With four parks, 52 rides, 36 resorts, plenty of food, and character meeting opportunities, there’s no shortage of fun to be found when you’re visiting Disney World. If it’s your first trip, though, it can feel daunting to plan.
What parks should you visit? Where are you going to stay? What is everyone going to eat?
Luckily, our guide is here to help you with that and more. Read on to learn everything you need to know about planning a trip to Disney World
Things to Know Before You Go
There are a few things that can influence your stay: F
When you’re visiting
The day you go to a certain park
Which hotel you’re staying at
Are you booking dining reservations?
It’s important to decide these things ahead of time, as they can all have an impact on your overall experience. Trying to book Saturday evening reservations at the Contemporary Resort’s California Grill, it’s going to be harder than booking something on a weekday afternoon.
Further, if you’re visiting during the holidays, it’s going to be especially busy. There are always holiday events happening at the resort, so it’s important to make sure you plan for that. The hotel you choose to stay at doesn’t usually make a big difference when it comes to travel times or access to the parks, as they all have bus connections to carry you around the resort.
If you want easy access to Magic Kingdom, though, shelling out more to stay at either the Grand Floridian, Contemporary, or Polynesian Village resorts is going to give you direct access to the monorail line headed to the park.
What Parks Are You Visiting?
That being said, it’s still important to know which parks you’re going to be visiting. This is going to help you plan out pretty much every other part of your trip, like food, rides, and other things you’d like to do throughout the day.
If you’re short on time, you can always purchase a park hopper ticket that allows you to go to more than one park per day.
Where Should You Stay?
Here are a few of the most important factors you should consider when you’re getting started:
Are you staying onsite or offsite?
What’s your budget?
What kind of accommodations are you looking for?
Are location and convenience your priority?
How accessible is the airport?
Some things are going to be more important to you than others, but that’s why it’s important to pick the resort that checks off the most important boxes for your family.
If you’re interested, you can also check out the rental pricing for DVC here.
Are There Any Dietary Restrictions?
Disney is very accommodating when it comes to dietary restrictions and allergies. All you have to do when you walk into pretty much any restaurant around the resort is let a cast member know. There’s usually a specialized menu available, or they can make changes to certain dishes.
That being said, some restaurants are going to be easier for you to eat at than others. That’s why it’s important to know which parks you’re visiting ahead of time. You don’t have to plan every second of your day, but having a general list of the restaurants you’d like to eat at is going to be very helpful.
If you have any trouble planning this out, you can always give the resort a call. A cast member will be able to give you information on what you should do, and they can even help you plan which restaurants to eat at. If you make reservations anywhere, it’s a good idea to call ahead
they’ll have this information ahead of time, meaning you won’t have to worry once you arrive.
Know How to Navigate
If you’re staying onsite, you can get around pretty easily. With almost 500 busses, plenty of watercraft, a monorail, and even a gondola system, Disney’s transportation system is larger than some American cities.
That being said, if you plan to visit sites outside of the resort, you might need to consider renting a car. However, if you’re only making one trip somewhere else, then making use of rideshare or getting a taxi is going to be a lot easier.
Around the Resort
When you’re on property, there are four main transportation options you’ll have: busses, the monorail, gondolas, or boats.
Most hotels are going to have bus access, so it’s important to know a few things. First, always show up at least 20 to 30 minutes early. They’re the most likely to run late, and you want to make sure you plan ahead for potential delays.
The monorail system is by far the most popular, and it’s also the most convenient.
There are three lines, two of which going the Seven Seas Lagoon to connect Magic Kingdom with three different resorts and also the Ticket and Transportation Center. The other line runs between Epcot and Magic Kingdom. If you decide to take the monorail between these two parks, remember to show up early, as it can run a bit slow.
The newest transportation option is the gondolas, aptly named the Skyliner. It runs between different parks and hotels, allowing plenty of options depending on where you’re staying and visiting.
Finally, the boats. These watercraft are only available to hotel-goers, and they connect you to Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios. If you choose to use them, remember to arrive 20 to 30 minutes early.
Ready for Your Trip to Disney World?
Now that you know a bit more about planning a trip to Disney World, are you ready to get started? Whether you’re coming from out of town or it’s your first time visiting as a resident, these tips can help you get started. The most important thing to remember, though, is to have fun while you’re doing it!
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