Want to Do Disney World Right? Follow These 5 Easy Tips!
Yo ho, pirates! With summer vacation fast approaching, some of you may be thinking that now is the perfect time to finally plan that trip to Walt Disney World. Disney may be “the happiest place on earth,” but if you’ve never planned a Disney vacation before, it can be tough to know quite where to start! Never fear—the crew of TravelPirates can help. Here are five tips to make sure your trip to Disney World makes you the happiest person on earth.
1. Picking the right time to go can affect the success of your trip:
The season, month, or even week that you choose to visit Disney can affect everything from crowd levels to hotel prices to food costs! If you don’t want to spend hours in attraction lines or pay premiums on even the most basic hotel rooms, use tools like Undercover Tourist’s crowd calendar to determine Disney's peak and off-peak times.
Use the same principles when booking flights to Orlando, and remember: book early, and be flexible. Check out our flight search tool to get an idea of the best airfares!
2. Staying in a resort you love will make your trip magical:
Orlando is stuffed to the brims with parks and attractions--and hotels to accommodate visiting groups of all sizes. Prices range from budget rooms under $50 a night to luxury rentals costing in the thousands. Disney World has its own collection of resorts for guests to choose from, and the benefits of staying on Disney property outweigh slightly higher room costs.
Disney hotels come in three tiers: value, moderate, and deluxe. These tiers determine things like room size, facilities, and of course, price. Each resort has its own theme, which can make your vacation even more magical!
Check out our hotel search tool to find the resort that works best for you.
3. We can't all have a magic carpet, so research how to get around Orlando:
Airport to hotel (and back): If you are staying on Disney property, a complimentary motorcoach service called Disney’s Magical Express will pick up you, your companions, and your bags, provided you make a reservation before your arrival. They even drop your luggage off at your room while you’re checking in! If you are not staying in a Disney hotel, you can rent a car or make a transfer reservation through a site like Hoppa. Also, check to see if your hotel has a shuttle service available.
Hotel to park: If you’re staying on Disney property, this step is covered. All Disney resorts are fitted with buses or monorails. Some rooms at the value resorts can be a little far away from the bus stop, so you may want to pay extra for a “preferred” room. Off property, certain Orlando hotels offer shuttles to the parks—either for free or for a nominal fee. And if you’ve rented a car, Disney has plenty of space. Just be prepared to spend $20 a day for parking, unless you’re a Disney Annual Pass holder.
Check out our rental car search tool if you need to rent a car for your trip!
4. Educate yourself about Disney park passes before you leave:
Disney park tickets are often the most expensive item for your vacation budget, but do not purchase discounted Disney park passes through an unverified seller. Scammers often try to sell "partially used" passes. Know that Disney park tickets expire 14 days from their first day of use, and that WDW uses a fingerprint system to ensure that tickets can only be used by one person. If you want to save a few dollars per ticket, you can purchase tickets through the verified reseller Undercover Tourist.
Something to know about Disney tickets is that while they are expensive, there is only a small price difference between 4-day passes and 10-day passes. Therefore, it is ultimately more cost-efficient to plan a longer trip than a shorter one. Don’t forget about ticket add-ons, too, like the “park hopper” (which allows you to visit multiple parks in a day) or water park options.
5. Develop a game plan for dining:
Inside Disney property, you have three options for eating: cart food, counter-service, and table-service. If you want to eat at any of Disney World’s full-service restaurants, it is highly recommended that you make reservations in advance. Of course, there is a chance that if you talk to the host or hostess in person, you may be lucky enough to snag a cancelled reservation! Disney World also offers a dining plan option. It is only available if you book your hotel and park passes through Disney directly. The plan has a per-person/per-day cost, but Disney sometimes offers it for free--like right now, if you book a trip through Disney before July 8, 2016.
If you’re not too keen on a constant diet of theme park food, consider stocking your hotel room with basic groceries: cereal, bread, peanut butter, fruit, and other snacks. That way, you can eat healthier and save money at the same time!