7 Step Guide to a Walt Disney World Vacation

7 Step Guide to a Walt Disney World Vacation

By Nigel G. Worrall

If you’re planning a Walt Disney World vacation this Summer or Fall you’ll need to start planning and preparing like no other vacation before. Walt Disney World covers 47 square miles (think twice as large as Manhattan and you’ll get the idea!) and has  so many things to do that even those of us who live here struggle to keep up with it all.

In short, here’s just  SOME of the available offerings at Walt Disney World:

  • 4 major theme parks: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios
  • 2 water parks: Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon
  • Over 20 large resorts
  • 5 golf courses
  • 2 mini-golf courses
  • Numerous lakes offering water sports, boating and fishing
  • 2 dinner shows
  • BoardWalk entertainment district
  • DisneyQuest “virtual theme park”
  • Downtown Disney shopping and dining district

So with all this choice, just where do you  begin?

1. When.

Deciding when to go will be top of your list. Much will depend on  your budget, kids’ school schedules and other factors such as what you like to do individually and as a family, will heavily influence your decision.

Tip #1: Visit Disney when the kids are in school to enjoy the quieter theme parks more.  Lines will be shorter and more comfortable

2. What.

This is a critical step in the planning. There is so much to do that you’ll want to plan out what everyone wants to see and do.

Tip #2: List the “Must Do’s” and then do a secondary list of “Maybe’s”.  Involve everyone in this process and you’ll have a more enjoyable trip.

3. How Long?

There’s never enough time to see it all, so armed with your list in #2 you can now chart out how long it will take you to visit the “Must Do’s” and how long it will take you to do the “Maybe’s.” Be warned, even if you visit for a month, you simply can’t see it all.

Tip #3: If you want to visit all four theme parks and actually experience the majority of the attractions, parades and shows, you will need at least 5 full days! (Epcot can easily take 2 days all by itself as it is split into two sections; Future World and World Showcase. You might also find you need a day and a half at Magic Kingdom to enjoy everything there is on offer.)

If you then find you would like to do some of the “extras,” like Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon water parks or a trip to DisneyQuest you will need to allow more days. If you are visiting for a first time, I believe you need at least 7 to 10 days to do all the major theme parks and sample some of the other delights.

4. Transportation.

Depending where you live you’ll need to decide whether to travel by plane or automobile. If you’re flying, do you then want to rent a vehicle so you can see other things in the Orlando area?

Tip #4: Hire a car and stay off site to save money. There are some great places to stay that will help you save way more than the cost of vehicle hire.

5.  Theme Park Tickets.

A big expense when visiting Walt Disney World is the cost of entry to the parks. It is important to look over your itinerary, get out the calculator, take a look at all the prices and available deals to  figure out which tickets make most sense for your situation.

Tip #5: There are many ticket companies offering great deals. Check each one out and don’t be tempted by the deal that seems to be too good. Go with a reputable and approved Disney ticket agency.

6. Where To Stay.

Here’s another big decision. Stay on Disney property or stay off site?  If you take the advice in Tip #4 you’ll stay off site and save $$$’s but if you are seriously considering an on site resort stay then make sure you check out all of Disney’s resorts by searching for photo’s and details on the internet. Each resort is themed differently and some are very expensive.

Tip #6 : Rent a Vacation Home.  Renting a vacation home off site makes a lot of sense for most families. A fully equipped vacation home has 3 to 7 bedrooms (enough room for all the family at one nightly rate rather than multiple rooms at a hotel), a fully equipped kitchen (prepare meals at home rather than eat in expensive restaurants), large lounge and living areas (with flat screen TV’s, DVD’s VCR’s, games machines) and your own private heated swimming pool.

You’ll not only save money but you can keep all the family together and create some great memories.

7.  Relax and Enjoy.

Don’t forget to take some time out to do absolutely nothing. The temptation with a Disney vacation is to always be on the go. It’s important to allow time to recharge your batteries and to go home refreshed.

Tip #7: Allow one rest day for every two days of theme parks.

That’s it! Everything else is “gravy.” You can make reservations for meals, book special events and do all kinds of other planning but these are the seven basic steps to enjoy a great Disney vacation. Have fun!

One Response to 7 Step Guide to a Walt Disney World Vacation

  1. As we are all discussing 7 Step Guide to a Walt Disney World Vacation | Leisure … more than a word, it's a lifestyle, Going on a family trip gives where you go a whole new perspective. You see the places you visit through the eyes of your children, as well as being able to relate the experience with your parents.

    peaks island
    December 30, 2010 at 9:31 pm

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