As you may have heard, showing up to Disney World with no planning and “flying by the seat of your pants” is not the best strategy. In fact I know someone who went to Magic Kingdom on New Year’s Day and rode a grand total of 2 rides. 2!! RIDES!!!!
This year we get to take a trip to Disney World resort in Orlando Florida! WHOO-HOO! You may not know this about me, since I’m just getting started here, but I LOVE planning. Parties, trips, Yay! I had a BLAST planning our last Disney trip and learned so much that I became a resource for my friends when they planned their trips. (My Disney Binder was legendary around town!) Things at DW are constantly changing and the last time we went was three years ago, so OF COURSE I’ll need to do more research for our trip this summer! 🙂 Thinking about a trip to Disney? Come along! I’ll take you through the stages of planning, things to think about, what not to do, where to go for information and why (at least a little) planning is so important!
PART 1: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PLANNING FOR A DISNEY VACATION
Like I mentioned before, I do not recommend showing up to Disney World and winging it. I will tell you, however, that thanks to the internet there is a mind-blowing amount of information out there about Disney World. It is easy to fall down the rabbit hole and get carried away for hours! “But, I don’t want to know every item on every menu at every restaurant in every park” you say?? I will attempt to break down my planning tips into 3 categories: “Must-do” planning for anyone that wants to go, “Extra Magic” planning for those who want to know enough to make the most of this special vacation spot, and “I MUST KNOW EVERYTHING!” planning. This is the “Hmm, maybe I would like to know every item on every menu at every park” planning. (No judgements! This was totally me the first time around!!)
Before I go any further, however, I want to be clear about the difference between an Orlando vacation and a DISNEY vacation. An Orlando vacation is a trip to Orlando (or Florida in general) that includes a day or two at a Disney park among other things. A DISNEY vacation is going to Orlando specifically to go to the 4 Disney World Parks, water parks, etc. (or at least for the majority of your vacation!) There is so much to do at Disney World, you could spend months there and not see it all! I don’t like to “water down” the magic, so I love doing a full week of just Disney! After my last trip, I had many people say to me “Hey! I’m going to Disney! Can you help me plan?” only to find out they were going to Florida and stopping by Disney for a day or two. Basically, my advice for them was to have each person choose one thing that they REALLY wanted to do at the park they chose to visit (usually Magic Kingdom…) and shoot for those things with maybe an extra ride or experience thrown in if there’s time. And then there is my sister who is going along this summer and just said to me “I want to go to Hogwarts!” Ugh. I promised her we would plan a separate Universal Resort vacation another time. 😉 So, those of you who want to do a DISNEY vacation… then this series is for you!
Up Next: WHY DISNEY? WHAT IS DISNEY WORLD? And DECISIONS TO BE MADE!