Disney World had 10,422 visitors on its opening day on October 1st, 1971. It now sees approximately 48 million guests every year.
Visiting Disney today requires advanced planning to ensure you have the best possible experience and don’t miss out on your favorite attractions. Be sure to decide on transportation, lodging, and time. You should also make reservations for popular experiences and use DVC rentals, discounts, and other money-saving methods to have an affordable vacation.
Read on for 9 essential Disney World travel tips.
Table of Contents
1. Start Planning in Advance
One of the most basic and important pieces of Disney advice you can get is to start planning for your trip as soon as possible.
Disney World is such a busy park that you should make your decisions at least 6 months in advance.
2. Consider Transportation
The trip to Disney World should be just as enjoyable as the vacation itself.
Flying is one of the most common methods for anyone who lives outside of Florida. Book a flight at least 6 months in advance to ensure you’ll have enough seats.
Consider driving the entire way if you live close enough. It can become a pleasant family road trip.
3. Choose the Right Lodging
Disney World includes 18 hotels owned by Disney and 9 that aren’t. They house 23,000 rooms, but all of them may be filled before you book your vacation.
A Disney resort offers you several additional amenities, including:
- Free transportation
- Free parking
- More time at the park
Disney resorts are a comfortable, luxurious forms of lodging, but they’re also one of the most expensive. A stay at a Disney Deluxe Resort can cost over $300 per night.
There are less expensive alternatives for planning a trip to Disney World on a budget. Consider off-site hotels and local timeshares or vacation homes. However, when considering timeshares, be sure to educate yourself on the do’s and don’ts before signing a timeshare ownership contract. Not being able to cope up with the rising annual maintenance fees often leads to defaulting on a timeshare.
4. Choose the Right Time
One of the most important questions to ask before jetting off on a Disney World vacation is when should I go? Finding the right time can save you money and give you a more enjoyable experience.
The least busy day at Disney World is Sunday. The busiest days are Tuesday and Wednesday.
The Disney off-season is mid-April to mid-May and mid-September to mid-November. Avoid major holidays like Spring Break, Halloween, and Christmas.
While you should avoid holiday crowds, don’t forget to consider events. Disney World has a host of parades, special shows, and other attractions that only happen during certain times of the year. Do your research and see if there are any you want to experience.
5. Make Reservations and Choose Tickets
Disney World ticket options include:
- One-day or multi-day
- Park Hopper
- Water Park Fun and More
Multi-day tickets are cheaper. The longer you stay, the more you can save.
Park Hopper tickets let you visit multiple Disney World parks in one day.
Water Park Fun and More lets you visit the water parks and gives you other amenities. It can also help you save money when combined with Park Hopper tickets.
Popular Disney restaurants and meals with characters take reservations 180 days in advance.
A FastPass helps you avoid lines and get better views. They apply to over 40 attractions, shows, and rides. Hotel guests get to reserve them 60 days in advance, while everyone else only gets 30 days.
Disney World’s Halloween and Christmas parties and Epcot’s Candlelight Processional are ticketed events. Get one in advance if you want to attend.
6. Choose Your Parks
Disney World is not a single theme park but a large area of land that includes a wide range of attractions. It contains 6 different parks, including:
- Magic Kingdom
- Disney Hollywood Studios
- Animal Kingdom
- Typhoon Lagoon
- Blizzard Beach
Plan for which parks you want to visit before you go on your vacation. Look for the ones with the rides, shows, events, and attractions you’re most interested in. Remember that a Park Hopper ticket will give you the chance to visit more than one.
Keep crowds in mind as well. Blizzard Beach is the least busy of all the Disney World parks.
7. Rent DVC Points or Confirmed Reservations
DVC stands for Disney Vacation Club. It’s a special membership for fans who love visiting Disney on a regular basis.
DVC provides a set number of points to use for experiences in the park, but they eventually expire. Members may be unable to use them all.
Rental companies let you rent out your DVC Points or DVC Confirmed Reservation. It’s a win-win because you can make money from unused experiences and provide them to other Disney fans.
A Confirmed Reservation is a pre-planned trip that a user can no longer go on. As an example, for 56 points at $20 per point, you can get a reservation for 4 weeknights in May in a Standard Studio on the Disney Boardwalk at a total cost of $1,120.
Renting individual DVC points instead of full experiences allows for more customization.
DVC points or confirmed reservations can save you up to 60% on a Disney Deluxe stay and make any trip to Disney World a more affordable, enjoyable experience. Check here to learn more about DVC rental.
8. Look For Further Discounts
There are more Disney tricks for saving money than choosing the right transportation, lodging, and ticket packages. Take advantage of all the other discounts that may be available to you.
Group rates are lower than single tickets. Try to include as many of your family and friends as possible for a more affordable vacation.
Members of AARP or the military will also get discounted rates.
9. Include Down Time
Visiting Disney World is meant to be a vacation, a fantastical escape from your everyday life. Scheduling too many activities will leave you burnt out.
One of the most underrated tips for Disney World vacations is to schedule time to relax. Go back to your lodging with your family and enjoy its amenities. You don’t have to spend every second in the parks to have a wonderful time.
More Disney World Travel Tips
Disney World is an unbelievably popular vacation site with 6 parks and an impressive number of attractions. Its popularity means you need to plan in advance to have the best trip.
Consider transportation, parks, tickets, and lodging. Look into renting DVC points or Confirmed Reservations and applying available discounts to save money. Make reservations in advance for popular experiences but include time off to avoid getting burnt out.
Read the rest of our content for more tips on how to have a magical time when visiting Disney World.