Parenting 101: 5 Tips for planning a perfect Disney vacation

It’s the most magical place on earth, but for some it’s an overwhelming destination. The reality of modern day vacationing at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, is that it requires proper planning. I’ve decided to compile a list of what I feel are the top 5 planning tips to ensure that you get the most out of your Disney vacation.

1. Research. Walt Disney world is very big, with 25 resorts, four theme parks, two water parks and a large outdoor shopping and dining complex. The first step to planning a Disney vacation is visiting the Walt Disney World website. Here you will find everything you need to plan a trip that suits your family. Check out the resorts, look over what each park has to offer, and read over the restaurant menus. Everything you need to know about Disney World can be found on their site.

2. My Disney Experience. Once you’ve booked your trip, download the My Disney Experience app and create an account. This app is the most handy tool to have on hand when on Disney property. After linking your resort and tickets on the app, you will be able to book your dining reservations and fast passes. Explore the app so that you are familiar and comfortable with it by the time your trip arrives.

3. Join Disney groups. If you, like most people, are on social media, join a Disney group or two. These groups are full of Disney fanatics who are more than happy to dish out advice and opinions on all things Disney. By joining a group, you can narrow down which restaurants you’d like to visit and which rides you should book fast passes for.

4. Book those ADR’s and Fast passes. Advance Dining Reservations can be booked up to 180 days in advance. Many of the more popular restaurants do in fact fully book up within minutes of that booking window opening up (7am EST). Every guest is allotted three fast passes per day that can be booked 60 days in advance (if staying offsite it’s 30 days). Popular rides, such as Flight of Passage at the Animal Kingdom, can have wait times of over four hours, so you will be happy that you woke up early to book those fast passes!

5. Down time. Schedule one day for down time. You will need a day to recharge your batteries. All Disney resorts offer a wide variety of activities throughout the day that are definitely worth checking out.

Bonus Tip: go with the flow and have fun! Sometimes all our planning suddenly goes out the window and you need to improvise. Perhaps a ride goes down, or you underestimated travel time, or everyone is too tired to go along with the daily plans. Whatever comes up, remember that you are at the happiest place on earth, so go with the flow!

Up next: Which Disney resort should I pick?

Meredith is a Disney obsessed stay-at-home mom. When she’s not planning a trip, you’ll find her with her nose in a book.

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