There are many details to be taken care of when you are planning a Walt Disney World vacation. Here are some of the important dates to remember as you begin to plan.
Book Your Vacation
When you’re considering taking a vacation to Walt Disney World, I recommend booking as soon as possible. This will give you the best choice of resort and room options. Park reservations are now required in addition to your park admission to visit the parks. As you are looking at travel dates, it’s important to first check the Theme Park Availability Calendar to ensure the parks you plan to visit are available during your vacation. (I’ll share additional information about these later in the blog) Even when you book early, you don’t need to worry that you are getting the best price. If a discount is released that can be applied to your package, your Travel Advisor will work to make that adjustment to your reservation and you won’t need to do anything. You can make your room or vacation package reservations for arrivals up to 500 days in advance of check-in.
Disney Account – My Disney Experience
Once your package is placed on hold (or anytime before that) you will set up a Disney account if you don’t already have one and add the My Disney Experience app to your phone for easy access to all of your park plans while you are there. This is where you will schedule your park reservations, book dining reservations and other enchanting extras.
Park capacity in Walt Disney World theme parks remains limited as part of their ongoing health and safety measures. As I mentioned earlier, due to the limited capacity, Disney now requires you to have a park reservation in addition to your park admission for each day you plan to visit a park. It’s crucial to check the current Theme Park Reservation Availability Calendar prior to booking a package or buying theme park tickets to ensure park availability. As soon as you have your vacation booked (or tickets purchased) link it in your My Disney Experience account, and secure your parks by booking your park reservations! These do fill up!
Half of the fun of going to Walt Disney World is the amazing food! Previously, table service dining reservations could be booked 180 days in advance, but this has been changed to 60 days in advance at 6:00 AM Eastern Standard Time. If you wish to have the first choice for some of the most popular dining experiences, it is important to make your reservations when they are first released.
Disney has some “Enchanting Extras” that you may be interested in adding to your vacation for an additional cost. Some of these can be scheduled 60 days in advance at the same time as your dining reservations.
A few of my favorites I recommend are:
As of January 1, 2021, MagicBands are no longer complimentary with your Walt Disney World reservation, but they are still available to purchase at a discounted price. New solid colors and designs have been added recently to give you many options to choose from. If you aren’t planning to purchase MagicBands for your vacation or use ones from a previous trip, you can pick up Key to the World cards featuring Mickey and Friends, for each guest at the check-in desk when you arrive. These cards act as your room key, park admission, and give you charging privileges. Another available option in the My Disney Experience app is Disney MagicMobile service. It’s a convenient and more contactless way to access MagicBand features, like theme park entry, through the power of eligible iPhones, Apple Watch or Google Pay enabled Android phones.
MagicBand Ordering Timeline:
- As soon as you book your Resort stay, choose your MagicBand and print your name. MagicBands will ship to your home.
- 10-6 Days Before Your Trip – Choose your MagicBand and print your name. MagicBands will ship only to your Resort.
- 5-1 Days Before Your Trip – MagicBand selection is no longer available. Complimentary gray MagicBands will be sent to your Resort.
Paying Off Your Vacation and Adding Travel Protection Plan
Your final balance for your Walt Disney World vacation will be due 30 days prior to check-in. If you plan to add the Travel Protection Plan to your package, this will be your last opportunity to do so.
Purchasing Memory Maker gives you access to unlimited digital Disney PhotoPass photos captured throughout Walt Disney World. If Memory Maker is purchased at the advance purchase price, $169, any photos taken within 3 days from the date Memory Maker is purchased will not be included and must be purchased separately. So, be sure to purchase Memory Maker before the 3 day mark of when you plan to start having photos taken to ensure all of them will be included.
There are many details that go into planning an amazing Walt Disney World vacation and several dates to remember to stay on track. I would love to help you book and plan your vacation! Contact me at: Melanie@TravelWithTheMagic.com
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