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Plan a Disney Vacation
A Walt Disney World Vacation


So Dad, when are you gonna tell us how to plan a Disney Vacation? Huh?



Disney Cruise Line ad


You certainly have come to the right place. Dad knows everything about Walt Disney World. So, without further adieu ...

The PLAN has to include Wishes

Seeing Cinderella Castle during Wishes is an important piece of how to plan a Disney vacationPhoto by Don Sullivan

Where to start?

Yes, a Disney vacation can be overwhelming. There is just so much information, so many options, so many choices, it's just .... I don't know where to even begin.


I know how you feel. That's why Dad's here. Together we'll walk through all of the choices, sift through all of the information, choose the best options. We will devise the Perfect Walt Disney World Vacation. Trust me!


So, Dad. You didn't answer the question. Where do we start?


At the beginning of course.

Choosing when to go

The first step in how to plan a Disney vacation, whether it's to Walt Disney World or to Disneyland or on a Disney Cruise, it doesn't matter. The first step is to choose the Perfect time to go. There is a lot of information that goes into choosing the Perfect time to visit Disney, from crowds, to cost, to weather and more.

The Best Time to Visit Disney World is ...

The Toy Soldiers at Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party are essential as you plan your Disney VacationPhoto by Tom Bricker (WDWFigment)


You could spend weeks scouring the internet, looking at hundreds of website's, taking voluminous notes, but you don't have too, at least if you're going to Walt Disney World. Dad's already done most of the hard work for you.

Dad's Best Time to Visit Disney World page

Making Reservations

The next time on our how to plan a Disney vacation agenda is making reservations. The first thing is figuring out how we are going to get to Orlando. You can get to Orlando by Plane, Train or Automobile. (Sounds like a bad movie.) Which way is better for you?

Next it's time to figure out where you'll sleep. There are lots of options in and out of the Disney World complex. Disney now has around 25,000 rooms and there are over 140,000 rooms in the Orlando area.

Dad's Favorite Disney Hotel

The Disney Polynesian ResortPhoto by Jeff_B.


Dad will be glad to help you choose the Perfect place to sleep.

The last thing we need to figure out is what tickets we need for our trip. The big question is whether to buy tickets separately or get it all together in a package.

Dad believes you should have some professional help. (No, not that kind.) I'm talking about a Professional Walt Disney World Travel Agent you can turn all the details over to and let them handle it for you. Dad has partnered with Destinations to Travel a wonderful Travel Agency that wants to help you with all the details of your trip. Give them a buzz today.

Destinations to Travel page


The 50's Prime Time Cafe sign in Disney Hollywood StudiosPhoto by Don Sullivan


A big part of how to plan a Disney vacation is where are you going to eat. Dining at Walt Disney World is part of the experience. There are over 100 restaurants at Walt Disney World so you have lots of choices.

Dad's Disney World Restaurants page

There are two types of restaurants. Table Service Restaurants and Quick Service Restaurants. When you eat at the Table Service Restaurants you will want to make reservations. Disney calls them Advanced Dining Reservations.

Dad's Advanced Dining Reservations page

Just to mix things up a bit more, Disney offers a way to prepay for your dining. It's called the Disney Dining Plan. The Dining Plan isn't for everyone and it's great when you can get it for free (one of the discounts that Disney has offered for several years is Free Dining).

Dad's Disney Dining Plan page

Making a meal plan can be a whole lot of fun. Dad and Mrs. Mom spend weeks going over menus as we outline where we are going to eat. It's a whole lot of fun.

Want to avoid the crowds? Have a plan

The lines at It's a Small WorldPhoto by Express Monorail

Day by Day

The last big thing in planning a Disney vacation is a day-by-day plan. There are some anti-planners out there who live by the theory that you don't need a plan at Disney World. In Dad's world, that's just silly talk. Dad's a big proponent of having a PLAN. Plans are especially necessary duing periods of larger crowds.


(Here's why you need to plan a Disney vacation)


So how do you make a Day-by-Day plan? It's sounds so simple, but it's one of the most difficult things you'll ever do. There are so many variables. From crowds to park hours and even Extra Magic Hours (a perk for Disney Hotel guests where they get in to the park earlier or stay later than non-Disney Hotel guests) you've got to know it all.


Just make sure you share your PLAN with your traveling party. Don't make the mistake Dad made when he tried to Plan a Disney Vacation.

Dad makes a plan

Gathering resources

There are a few things you will need before you plan a Disney Vacation. Dad recommends a couple of books and a couple of subscriptions. Why does Dad recommend these? Because, in the immortal words of Edward Lewis, "It's the best".


Dad not only recommends these resources, I actually use them. Every trip.


I recommend both the "Official" and Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World. Yes, there are hundreds of Disney World Guides out there but year after year these are the best of the bunch.


The first place to start when you plan a Disney vacation is on the Walt Disney World website (duh). Yes, I'm telling you that you need to go to the prime competition and sign up on their website. There are a couple of major reasons. First, you will be able to sign up for some pretty neat freebies and also you can track all of your reservations (hotel and restaurant).


Disney's Walt Disney World homepage


The main resource Dad recommends when you plan a Disney Vacation is Yes, this one will cost you just a bit, but it's well worth it. not only has over 100 park touring plans, but it has daily crowd projections not only for Walt Disney World in general, but also for each park. Touringplans also has the best Disney World app on the market. It's called Lines and is an essential piece to help as you plan and as you execute your Disney Vacation, and yes, it's included in your subscription.

Dad's page


If you buy the books, or subscribe to or even book your trip with Destinations to Travel, it's very likely that Dad will get a little money. Thank you. It helps.

WDW Magazine

I might be a little biased (because I'm the publisher), but I think WDW Magazine is just about the best resource out there when it comes to planning a vacation to WDW. Just go over and take a look at the topics. You need a subscription.

Get WDW Magazine

Dad's Simple Fun Magic Guide to Walt Disney World Planning

Dad's Bottom Line

Check back here often. Over the next few months Dad will be talking more about how to plan a Disney Vacation. There is always something new going on. It'll be fun. Trust me.