Planning a Walt Disney World vacation can be very overwhelming for a first-time guest, and may even present challenges for repeat guests. Walt Disney World vacations offer complete customization and can provide some of the best vacation experiences; however, this plethora of choices can also confuse many guests. Although there are unique circumstances that come up, guests are united in many questions. I have compiled just a few of the frequently asked questions by guests planning a Walt Disney World vacation.
1. How far in advance should I book my vacation package?
Some people are planners and book their vacations at least a year in advance, while others are more spontaneous planning a vacation mere days before traveling. To really take advantage of all the benefits of booking a Walt Disney World vacation through Disney, I recommend booking at least 6 months in advance. Dining reservations open up 180 days prior to your dining reservation date; however guests with a Walt Disney World Resort reservation may make all their dining reservations (up to 10 days) 180 days prior to their check-in date. If you plan on dining at some of the more popular restaurants, this is a must!
2. Should I purchase the Park Hopper option and/or Water Park Fun & More option?
Again, the beauty of a Walt Disney World vacation package is the ability to customize. For some guests the answer is a resounding “Yes,” but for others it is unequivocally “No.”
When contemplating the Park Hopper option, you need to consider whether or not you would like visit two separate parks in the same day. There are a myriad of reasons why this would be necessary, but two of the most popular reasons are (1) you plan on spending your day at one park, but have dinner reservations inside another park, and (2) you plan on spending your day at one park, but want to attend Extra Magic Hours and/or see a show or nighttime event at another park. You must have the Park Hopper option for any of these situations.
When examining the Water Park Fun & More option, obviously you need to evaluate whether or not you plan on visiting a water park during your stay, but you must also consider whether you would like to take advantage of the other exciting entertainment options. Choices available under the Water Park Fun & More option include admission to DisneyQuest, a round of golf at Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course, admission to ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex (including 30 minutes of game access at The PlayStation® Pavilion when operating, although some events require an additional admission charge), and a round of miniature golf (before 4:00 p.m.) at either Fantasia Gardens or Winter Summerland. The number of options available to you depends on the number of days on your park tickets. For example a 4-Day Magic Your Way Park Hopper Ticket with Water Park Fun & More Option would allow you 4 days of theme park access, as well as 4 visits to any of the choices available for Water Park Fun & More. What a way to increase your vacation options!
3. How much does it cost to add FASTPASS to my vacation package?
This question comes up all the time, and I love having the pleasure of saying “It’s FREE!!” A lot of guests think that Disney charges for FASTPASS just because the park-that-shall-not-be-named charges for their version. Guests love hearing that this benefit will not increase the price of their Disney vacation package.
4. Can I still use Disney’s Magical Express if I do not book my airfare through Disney?
Many guests assume they are unable to use Disney’s Magical Express since they did not book airfare through Disney. This could not be further from the truth – any guest staying at a Walt Disney World Resort may use Disney’s Magical Express. However, guests do need to keep in mind that Disney’s Magical Express only travels between Orlando International Airport (MCO) and the Walt Disney World Resort. If guests fly into or out of any other airport, they will need to arrange their own transportation to/from the Walt Disney World Resort.
5. When is the best time to travel to Walt Disney World?
I know I may sound like a broken record at this point, but the best time to travel to Walt Disney World really depends upon each family’s individual needs and expectations. If the budget rules and you must avoid crowds, then the best time to travel to Walt Disney World is during Value Season. If the schedule rules, then your availability will determine the best time to travel. If you are a wine connoisseur and gourmet, then fall during the Food & Wine Festival would be a perfect time to travel to Walt Disney World. If you are a horticulturist, then spring during the Flower & Garden Festival would the ideal time to travel. With the assistance of your travel consultant, you can discover your travel sweet spot!
There you have it – just a sampling of Frequently Asked Questions! Tell us your Walt Disney World planning questions – we’re all “ears!”