5 Reasons to Plan Ahead for Disney World
There’s no rule that you have to plan a Disney World vacation far in advance, but those in the know make sure to plan their Disney World vacation with plenty of notice. Why? The early bird gets the worm is a very accurate statement here. From better dining to better days in the parks, read on to find out why you should plan ahead, too!
1.) Dining reservations. Ever hear of people dining inside of Cinderella Castle? Or maybe a lovely meal at Be Our Guest, in the Beast’s castle? Famously popular restaurants like these book up very early. How early? Dining reservations open up 180 days in advance at 6 a.m. EST. And the most popular restaurants can book up in the blink of an eye, especially during busy seasons. For the best number of choices, having your trip booked before the 180 mark is smart. Plus, those staying onsite get the perk of being able to make dining reservations on that 180th day for up to 10 days forward…something offsite guests don’t get to do.
2.) Resort choices. It’s true, Disney has a lot of resorts to choose from. But not all of them will be the right fit for you, and occupancy levels are high at Disney resorts. This means that some resorts can book up as you get closer to the trip dates. And even within a resort you like, specific room categories can sell out.
3.) Discount availability. When a discount is released, it’s for a limited time and limited rooms. If you wait too long, the discount will end and rack rate is all that is left. Worried about booking before a discount comes out? For those booking with a specialist, these discounts can be watched for and applied to existing bookings if the discount is available for the dates and room type.
4.) Special activities. Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique makeovers in the castle, Pirate and Pals Fireworks Cruise, special dessert parties – these special activities require reservations and do book up. Sitting down to look at your days and deciding if and when you’d like to do these (or getting personalized advice from your travel consultant) will allow you to have reservations made early, with the best chance for availability remaining.
5.) FastPass+. For Disney World, you are given the opportunity to reserve three FastPass+ reservations per park day. These are essentially like ride reservations where you bypass the longer lines and are a very important part of having a strategy for a smoother experience. These open 60 days in advance of your arrival for onsite guests and 30 days in advance for offsite guests. Some of the most popular rides can book up completely at that point in time, especially during the busy season. (Not sure what makes sense to reserve? Have an expert plan your days based on your overall goals to ensure the least waits in line!)
So if you’re thinking summer or fall sounds far away right now, but you know you want to visit Disney World then, it’s not actually far at all! In the world of Disney planning, right now is the best time to get started!
Psssst! Did you just read this and panic a little bit (or a lot) because you were hoping to go this winter or spring? Send me an email – I’m really good at last minute planning when needed!
This post was written by Sabrina Tinius, a specialist in planning Disney vacations for families who want less stress and more time making memories that last a lifetime.
Through her in depth destination knowledge, park touring strategies and incredibly detailed planning, Sabrina is here to help you have a more enjoyable Disney vacation — while saving you tons of time and stress. And when she’s not busy crafting amazing Disney vacations, you can find her hanging out with her two awesome kids, taking family vacations of her own, and occasionally baking up a storm in her Seattle area kitchen.
Want to learn more about Disney Vacation planning? Check out our past posts on the topic :
- 7 Reasons Why I Will Never Plan Another Disney Vacation!
- 4 Reasons Why Disney Cruises are GREAT for Extended FAMILY vacations
- How to Surprise Your Kids with a Disney Vacation for Christmas