5 Do's and Don'ts When Planning Your Disney Vacation

· travel,Disney,families

If you've listened to our podcast (and if you haven't, you should!) you already know that one of the most common questions I'm asked is "when is the best time to go to Disney?" And you'll also know that I provide a super long answer that basically ends with this: when is the best time for YOU to go to Disney?

I'll say it once, and I'll say it again: the Disney of today is not your mama's Disney. It requires planning and research to make it the BEST VACATION EVER, especially if you're a 'one and done' kind of family, or don't travel to the Disney parks often. Things LITERALLY change daily! DAILY! It's hard to keep up with.

That's why I recently jumped at the chance to chat about this with Krystal over at Crazy Cary Mom. I'm passionate about all things Disney planning and truly want you to have the best vacation ever (don't you?!), so I did my best to keep things short and sweet. I've compiled the short answers below to my first round of 5 Do's and Don't's -- if you'd like to read the full version, check it out here.

5 Do's and Don't's When Planning Your Disney Vacation

1. DO use a travel agent: Especially if you haven’t been to a Disney park in the last 5 years. The Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim and, yes, even the ships as part of the Disney Cruise Line, are all going through lots of AMAZING changes and updates. My job is to pay attention to these things, recognize what will (and what won’t) affect your trip, adjust your trip as necessary for new experiences, and guide you through it all so you have the best trip possible!

2. DON’T crowd-source planning your vacation. If you Google “best resort at Walt Disney World”, you’re going to get a WHOLE lot of responses. Trip reports and reviews are a-plenty. Keep in mind what is best for you and your family. Do you want to be steps away from the Magic Kingdom? Is having a fantastic pool more important to you than anything else? Don’t let other people’s judgments cloud yours. Everyone is different!

3. DO plan ahead: To maximize your time and have the BEST chance at securing your favorite resort room or some of those harder-to-get reservations, planning ahead is your best bet. Disney only asks for a $200 deposit to secure your reservation. This means you have more time to budget and make smaller payments AND have your plans in place so you can take advantage of your advance dining reservations at 180 days out and your FastPass+ reservations at 60 days out – both of which are crucial to making the most of your vacation!

One of the most frequent questions I’m asked is “when is the best time to go?” and my response is always “what works best for you? That’s the best time to go.”​

4. DO travel when it’s best for you and your family. One of the most frequent questions I’m asked is “when is the best time to go?” and my response is always “what works best for you? That’s the best time to go.” Tell me what your availability or restrictions are: are you limited to school vacations? Can you only travel during the summer? Or are you flexible and want to travel on a special occasion?

5. DON’T forget to pack your patience – and be kind! Walt Disney World is the MOST visited vacation resort in the world, with an average of 52 million visitors annually! (Disneyland is a close second.) People from all over the world and all walks of life travel to the Disney Parks and Resorts for the same reason you do – to enjoy the magic! As I mentioned before, having a great plan in place will be SO helpful to keep your time in line short and your dining choices already set, but you can’t control how others react and behave. It can also be incredibly overwhelming and exhausting at times for you, too! As your travel agent, I’ll empower you with everything you need if you have to make changes on the fly, and be there to assist you with anything you’re having trouble with, but don’t beat yourself up if you need to take a breather for yourself. And please be nice to the Cast Members! They want to make your visit enjoyable and fix any issues that they can. Honey will get you a lot further than vinegar.

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Special thanks to Krystal at Crazy Cary Mom for spending some time with us and sharing our tips with her readers! For more info, and to learn about some other badass female entrepreneurs, visit her blog at Crazy Cary Mom.