Yes, its true I am one of those crazy Disney lovers. I went for the first time in 2013 and forever more have been in love with all things Disney. This past fall we returned for Loralai’s first time, and of coarse it was every bit as magical as Layne’s first time. Click below to see our family video from our most recent trip.
I was always scared of Disney – there is a lot to know – Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Universal, arm bands, fast passes, buses – OH MY. You really do need a coarse to figure it all out. I am a vacation planner, I love it, but I still used an amazing resource that can save you from tons of research. Her name is Sarah and she books it all for you, no charge, no getting up at 6am to grab your special dining tickets or fast passes. firstname.lastname@example.org.
So let me hit the main points that many Disney first timers wonder about.
The parks – Disney World in Orlando, Florida is made up of 4 parks – Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios, plus two water parks. Universal Studios and Adventure Island are not a part of Disney, this is a separate amusement park in Orlando.
Disney World has many hotels categorized by value, moderate and deluxe. Value is great – you are not in your room except to sleep. Staying onsite gives you early/late entry to parks, discounts, and free buses to the parks.
180 days prior to your first day, you may book dining reservations. Favorite spots such as Cinderella’s Royal Table inside the famous castle needs to be booked early on this 180th day. You can choose a dining plan, the medium plan gives each person a snack, counter service and table meal per day. These save you money if you plan to have several character meals. The plan is also convenient; however, it is not a huge savings if you plan you eat mostly counter service with only a few characters.
60 days prior to your stay you can book fast passes. These are very important to get on popular rides faster. A fast pass says you can get in the fast pass line on this day between this hour. You are allowed 3 fast passes booked in advance but there are categories you are limited in. Fast passes can be changed around from your phone, but many times popular ones are full.
A hot question is how much does it cost? No Disney World is not cheap; however, if its something you want to do you can save ahead. I save for over a year with a monthly amount moved to a special account. I would say average cost for a family is $5000. You can do it cheaper or higher. To do Disney cheap, drive, stay off site and skip the dining plan. Book just one or two character meals and then eat cheaper. You can carry in drinks and snacks.
Last tip once you arrive – don’t sleep in. You can ride on average 3-5 rides in the first hour. The entire rest of the day you may only fit in 3-5 rides due to the crowds. Figure out the most popular rides and do them first. Examples include Everest at Animal Kingdom, Seven Dwarfs at Magic Kingdom, Toy Story Mania at Hollywood and Soarin at Epcot – my personal favorite.
So here is our 2015 Disney World Vacation