Walt Disney World Vacation Packages
Through the years, there have been about a bazillion different Walt Disney World Vacation Packages. They get pretty confusing. If you are looking for one of these Disney World package deals or a Disney World travel package, you've come to the right place.
Dad's an expert on Perfect Vacation Packages for Disney World and will be glad to help you through the maze to find the one that works best for you.
Create your dream vacation package - Photo by Mike Billick.
Disney's Magic Your Way Package
The Magic Your Way package system lets you pick all the elements of a vacation that work best for you, and put them altogether in one booking.
Here are the components of a Walt Disney World Vacation Package -
Every Magic Your Way Disney World vacation package starts with Disney's primary ticket media, the Magic Your Way ticket. You can choose how many days of park tickets you want, and whether you want to add on the Park Hopper or Park Hopper Plus options.
Add dining to your package... or not - Photo by Brett Svenson.
If you want to add the Disney Dining Plan to your reservation, you must have Magic Your Way tickets and a room reservation. The Disney Dining plan is only available for those guests staying in Disney hotels (or Disney Vacation Club properties at WDW) on Magic Your Way tickets (or annual passes). There are several different Disney Dining Plan options - Quick Serice, Regular, and Deluxe. But Dad's not convinced these are a good deal...
Disney adds some cute extras to the Magic Your Way package. They call them "Magical Extras". These little gems can save you money on some of the best things that Disney has outside the parks that you might not normally experience. Some of these "extras" are really fun.
Here's a list of the current "Magical Extras":
- ESPN Wide World of Sports entry vouchers
- Free mini-golf
- Recreation discounts on Marina rentals and Bowling
- Dining discounts at House of Blues and Joffrey's
- Shopping discounts at Something Silver, Arribas Brothers, Curl, Pop Gallery, and Shore.
Disney can even book your airfare - Photo courtesy of Westjet
Believe it or not, as part of your Disney World vacation package you can let Disney book your airline tickets. Yes, you can ... maybe ... then again ...
Years ago, getting airline tickets was easy. You called up your local travel agent, they'd put together an itinerary, call back and if it was OK, you'd pay for it. Now the airlines want their money right now. No time to discuss options. Book now or forever lose those great flight times. Yep, that's progress.
Yes, you can "go Greyhound and leave the driving to us", but it's hard, and Disney doesn't always come up with the best options when it comes to times. I've got to say, their prices are competitive when you find the times you want.
If you decide to ignore Dad's sage advice and not have a car at Disney World, then you'll probably want to sign up for Disney's Magical Express. It's easy to add it to your Disney World vacation package, just tell Dad (or whoever is making your arrangements) your flight numbers and Disney will pick happily take you from the airport to your hotel. It's almost convenient.
MagicBands keep all the details of your package together - Photo by Brett Svenson.
When you arrive at your Disney hotel and check in, you will be given your MagicBands (or if you booked early enough and live in the USA you'll receive these in the mail before your trip. A MagicBand is a colorful, waterproof, RFID bracelet that you wear during your stay at WDW. It acts as your room key, park ticket, dining plan, charge card, and FastPass+ entry. (It is pretty impressive.)
Your MagicBand contains all the Disney purchased options for your trip. (Except specially ticketed events and tours.) It will not only open your room, it's your park ticket. You'll use it to enter the FastPass+ line at attractions. It will sync up all your PhotoPass photos to your account. If you get the Disney Dining Plan, it will keep track of your meals. When you check in to the hotel you will be asked if you want to put charge privileges on your card. They'll even ask if you want to put it on for the kids.
Other Disney Vacation Packages
From time to time Disney offers special promotions that bundle several of these options together and offer them at a discounted price. Play Stay and Dine packages are common and include your room, tickets, and the Disney Dining Plan for a slightly lower cost than normal. Free Dining is a popular promotion offered on occasion that gives you the Disney Dining Plan for free with a full price room and ticket package. Sometimes packages come with MagicBands in a limied edition design. And this Christmas, there was even a holiday package with all sorts of festive extra inclusions.
When you go to book a package with Walt Disney World, be sure to investigate all of the packages and special offers currently available to make sure you get the best deal on your trip.
Build your own package that's juuuuuuust right - Photo by WDW Shutterbug.
Creating Your Own Disney World Travel Packages
Disney has made it very easy to create your own travel packages. Too easy.
Disney World Tickets
There are some places where you can find discount Disney World tickets. Some are legitimate, some aren't. Be very careful when buying Disney World tickets off the internet. Big discounts on Disney World tickets don't happen. If a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Disney World Hotels
Once you have tickets, you'll need a hotel. Disney also has what are called room only packages. These Disney World travel packages allow you to call up and just reserve a room. This is great if you got your tickets from The Official Ticket Center or have an Annual Pass. Disney even runs specials where you get a discount on just a room.
Disney Area Hotels
I don't know why (yes, I do, but I just don't want to talk about it), but some people just don't want to stay in one of the Disney Resort Hotels. There are several hotels on the Disney World property that aren't owned by Disney. These hotels range from the Waldorf Astoria to the Best Western in Disney Springs.
Orlando Area Hotels
If you don't want to stay with Disney, you might need to find a hotel in the Orlando area. Orlando has over 150,000 hotel rooms. You should be able to find something that fits into your very own Disney World Vacation Package.
You can create your own, but you never know what goodies you might be missing out on.
Make memories, YOUR WAY! - Photo by Rich Ramos.
Should you use a Travel Agent to book your Disney World travel package? Mmm, let me think? Do I know any good Disney World Travel Agents?
Yes, Dad knows a few good travel agents, in fact, Dad has selected a very special agency to take care of your needs when you're ready to book your vacation package. That agency is Destinations to Travel. The crew at Destinations are full service travel agents and great Disney Vacation Planners. They are just waiting to assist you as you choose the perfect hotel, the right tickets, dining reservations and even day to day planning.
Trust me on this one.
Dad's Bottom Line
Are Walt Disney World Vacation Packages necessary for every trip? Yes and no. Yes, you are going to have some kind or package whether it's from Disney or you make one up yourself. Just make sure you don't just blindly trust Disney when you book, they like making money. Sometimes too much.