Any trip takes preparation. Booking flights, accommodations, packing. A trip to Walt Disney World, with its theme parks and multiple restaurants requires some forethought. Here are 7 thing I recommend planning out as you prepare for a trip to the most magical place on earth.
When initially planning a visit to Disney World I look at each day of our trip, and plan out which park will hit each day and plan out our non-park days. Once each of your days is allocated a park or non-park day you can zero in on what each day will look like. Making specific plans for each day. As the vacation gets closer, you may have to get flexible as Disney World releases adjustments to their schedule or you make your dining reservations. But at least having a loose plan can make that initial planning less daunting.
A couple months before heading to Disney World you can reserve your table service restaurants. These include buffet restaurants, character restaurants, any restaurant that has you being brought to your table, with the exception of Be Our Guest restaurant. If you plan on eating at any of these restaurants it’s important to plan which ones you want to eat at before trying to make your reservations. For tips on how to pick which restaurant is best for your vacation click here. For tips on how to get last minute reservations click here.
Each and every day of our vacation I narrow down our dining options. This is for each meal and sometimes snacks as well. I don’t like to leave eating up to chance. There are plenty of food carts, counter service restaurants, and kiosks stationed throughout Walt Disney World but they all offer a variety of items. So I like to have an idea of what are our family’s best choices. I take a look at where we expect to be at our preferred meal times and see what restaurants are around that area. From what’s available I select the choice with the best menu for our family. There have also been times where I’ve let the meals dictate where we are during the day. Let’s say I have an item on my snack goal list and it’s only offered for breakfast, then that places us in that area of the park in the morning. For more on that click here.
For our park days, I like to create a blueprint for our day, mapping out a route to travel. This gives the day a layout that allows us to move in an organized fashion. Moving around the park in a counter clockwise or clockwise circle. Keeping us from going to the same areas multiple times throughout the day.
Each member of our family picks a couple of must dos for our vacation. A ride that must be ridden, a restaurant that must be eaten at and a character to meet. This allows everyone’s voice to be heard, and everyone has something to look forward to during their vacation. You can also do this for each park day, allow each person to pick one must do for the park to make sure that each person rides the attraction they want, meet the character they want, see the stage show they want. Creating these must do’s have created unique experiences for our family: spending time at the Art of Animation, discovering the incredible Sleepy Hollow restaurant, and singing campfire tunes with Chip’n’Dale.
For each day of our vacation I plan out each child’s outfits as well as my own. This creates less stress for each morning and it creates matching outfits for beautiful pictures. I like to pack outfits that are comfortable, versatile and go with the plan of the day. For a day that involves a breakfast at Chef Mickey’s, everyone has something with Mickey Mouse on it. For day at Hollywood Studios I will pack Toy Story clothing or Star Wars clothing. By having clothing targeted to the characters and attractions of the day there’s less impulse purchases. If you only pack seasonal clothing, instead of Disney focused clothing, you may find yourself spending ridiculous amounts of money during your trip. For more on my packing strategy click here.
Even if you’ve paid for the entirety of your vacation before you leave, your park tickets, your accommodations, your dining plan, you should plan out a budget for the other things you’ll need funds for during your trip. Some of those things may be gratuities, merchandise, food, add on’s. If you don’t have a good idea of how much you’re okay with spending during your trip you may find yourself spending too much or too little. Give yourself at least some kind of range to guide your spending decision during your trip.
With these things planned out, you will have a vacation that has organization with room for lots fun and memories made. For more posts on planning out your trip to Walt Disney World check these out: