Going on a Walt Disney World vacation is such an amazing and exciting experience. BUT it does require a ton of planning. If you aren’t familiar with WDW it can seem really overwhelming and you may not know where to start or what you even need to do before you get there. But not to worry, I am here to help! Let’s talk about what to do before your trip.
Buy your tickets – While you can buy your tickets at the park the day of, you really do want to do this ahead of time. Without tickets you are not able to book fast passes which is something you definitely want to do ahead of time. We will look more at this in a minute. You will also want to decide ahead of time how many days you want to buy tickets for, do you want to add park hopper, add water parks, special event tickets etc. So this is definitely something you want to plan out before your trip begins.
FastPass+ – We have talked about FastPass+ before and you can read more details on it in this previous article, but to keep it simple you need to plan this out ahead of time. This means choosing what parks you are going to be going to one to two months ahead of time (depending on if you are staying on or off property) and then choosing fast pass selections for those days in each park. If you do not do this ahead of time you may miss out on some of the more popular rides in the park, or end up waiting in extremely long lines.
Book Disney’s Magical Express bus – if you are staying on property and using Disney Magical Express to get to and from the airport this needs to be booked ahead of time. It must be booked at least 10 days prior to arrival but it is recommended to book 30 days prior to arrival. You receive special luggage tags 2-3 weeks prior to your trip.
Advanced Dining Reservations – You can begin making dining reservations 6 months (180 days in advance). At WDW it is not unusual for really popular restaurants to book up at the 6 months window. If there is a must do for you I suggest logging in at the 6-month window and booking ASAP. If you just want to do a few sit-downs but have nothing special in mind you can wait closer to your trip and see what is available but it is still good to have them booked before you arrive. It is possible to see what is available day of and grab something but again, no guarantees.
Do your research – this may seem like an obvious one, but a lot of people don’t realize how much there is to know when visiting WDW. Have an idea of what your family likes and try to plan accordingly. Look up menus for restaurants ahead of time and see what cuisine works best for your party. Do the same with attractions; does your family enjoy thrill rides? Maybe they enjoy seeing shows. There are a number of options in WDW and it is easy to mold your trip to your traveling party if you know your options.
These are in my opinion the important preparations to make before your trip. It is really just being prepared and planning. I know not everyone loves planning as much as I do. Hopefully you have one person in your group that does and can handle that part for everyone. What do you think about my preparation ideas? Do you do anything differently? Let me know in the comments!