What would be a perfect Christmas gift for your whole family? A trip to Walt Disney World, of course! Here’s how to make it happen for YOUR family, and have a fun time in the process!

Step 1 – Start Planning Now! Whenever you read this, now is the time! I can’t stress this enough. You’ll thank me later, when the holidays are upon you, and your plans are already in place. You can spend late December baking cookies with your kids instead of worrying about how to make this happen. Booking early also gives you the best choices of resorts, room types, and dining plan options (some include character meals).

Dining Plans include character meals

Step 2 – Pick the dates for your trip. I recommend January – March for your travel dates, so you can take advantage of lower crowds and better prices for your family. A week-long trip is just about perfect, but you can have a great time with just 3-4 days too. It’s all about what fits best in your family’s schedule!

Step 3 – Contact a travel agent who specializes in Disney vacations. They can help you choose the perfect resort for your family, as well as sort through all the different ticket types and dining packages. They’ll also be knowledgeable about how to get dining reservations and FastPass+ selections, airport transfers, and how to note any special needs for your party. This step will save you a lot of time and aggravation, and it costs you nothing extra!

Step 4 – Pay the deposit on your vacation now. The balance will be due 30 days before you travel, so if you time it just right, this will be AFTER the rest of your holiday bills are paid! Also, if you have relatives who ask what you’d like for Christmas, feel free to say “Disney Gift Cards”. You can use gift cards to pay toward your final balance, or just plan to use them for souvenirs in the parks!

Step 5 – You want your Disney vacation to be a great surprise for your family, so now it’s time to “plant the seed”… Order the Disney Planning DVD and watch it with your family, so they can see some of the rides and attractions. Watch Disney Park videos on youtube with your kids. Start saying “Wouldn’t it be great if someday…?” You’ll be getting their input about what excites them, all on the sly!

Check out Disney's Planning Videos

Step 6 – Figure out which parks your family will visit while at Disney World, and make a rough plan. Reserve any character meals that your family will love. Your travel agent will help with this, so just ask!

Step 7 – Plan the Big Reveal for Christmas Day! Let your imagination be your guide. You can wrap Mickey Ears, attach a note to balloons, do a gift scavenger hunt, put a note in a new Disney movie… The possibilities are endless. (Also, you can find lots of ideas on Pinterest!) This will be such an exciting day, and your family will be so surprised!

Step 8 – From Christmas until your big trip, let the excitement continue to build! Spend some time on the My Disney Experience website and smartphone app, let the kids pick out their favorite rides, and check out all the cool snacks that will be available. Read Disney blogs for more information about all the parks. Decide what everyone will wear, create a “CountDown Calendar”, watch Disney movies together for “research”, and enjoy the family time just getting ready for the BIG DAY!

Step 9 – Vacation Time! Have a wonderful trip, and be sure to take lots of photos! This is a Christmas gift your family will remember forever.

Let the Memories Begin

My name is Brenda Arnold-Richard, and I’m a travel agent at Travel With The Magic, specializing in Disney vacations. Let me help you make some great memories with your family! Contact me at 800-670-4312 ext 140, or email me at Brenda@TravelWithTheMagic.com, and let’s get started today! Remember, my services are always completely free.