Although a simple trip to Disney World doesn’t have to be planned a year in advance, if your desire is for it to be magical, you want to start as far out in the planning as possible. Securing lodging isn’t necessarily the trickest part of the planning. To get the best restaurants, meals, and activities, you’ll want to book at least six months out if your trip dates are in the busiest seasons. That is why we suggest our clients secure their Big Disney Trip closer to a year off in advance.
Planning 10 to 12 months in advance could also save you a bunch of money on your on-property Disney World stay. Bigger families can benefit by renting a Disney Vacation Club property or studio villa with credit card points and cash when planned ahead. Some resorts to consider are the brand-new Disney’s Riviera Resort, Polynesian Village Resort, Animal Kingdom Lodge, Wilderness Lodge, and Bay Lake Tower (walkable to the Magic Kingdom.)
Seasoned travelers know that popular dates and accommodations fill up well in advance, so you need to know the inside tricks of booking rentals. For example, the booking window with Disney Vacation Club points opens at 11 months out for those who own points at that resort. Those who are renting from someone who owns the resort will have to wait until seven months out to book.
One of the main attractions of Disney is its characters. To snag a reservation at a character meal at some of Disney World’s best restaurants, you will need to know the ins and outs of the booking windows. Once you know your check-in date, you need to mark your calendar to make your reservation 60 days from that date. High-demand meals include dinner with princesses at Cinderella’s Royal Table or the Evil Queen and Snow White at Artist Point. Or equally difficult to book is the dinner seating to watch the fireworks from ‘Ohana, dinner. If having a fun brunch with Mickey and friends at Chef Mickey’s or indulge in a fancy meal at Victoria & Albert’s, be sure to mark your calendar. Booking those high-demand meals is crucial unless you get lucky scooping up someone else’s cancellation.
So what about the attractions, rides, and the FastPass? You used to be able to book these around 60 days out from check-in. Due to the pandemic restrictions, FastPass+ has been halted. There’s a lot to juggle when piecing together a Disney World vacation. Here are some of the most sought-after rides Mine Train, Slinky Dog Dash, Pandora: Flight of Passage in Animal Kingdom, Mickey, and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. Expect long wait times during the weekends or mid-day.
Whether you want to book some elements of your trip yourself or not, working with a travel advisor will relieve the stress of planning and remembering booking window follow-ups. Travel Advisors know the best times to enter the park and will handle all the small details of booking your trip. We wait on hold or in queue lines to ensure every detail of your trip is exactly the way you want it. Let someone else handle the mundane details of your dream vacation.
As a Virtuoso agency, Stay Balanced Travel recommends booking Disney a year in advance whenever possible. That will allow us the ability to get you everything you want and dreamed of while at the Magic Resorts of Disney! Ready to get started? Click here to schedule your free planning session!