Disney World Vacation Planning
Looking for information about the Disney Theme Parks? Maybe you want some information about Disney World Restaurants or attractions? Disney World is the most magical vacation destination anywhere. When you enter the Disney property you leave the world behind and are whisked away into a vacation where everything you need is taken care of. There's no need to arrange transportation, they take care of that for you. There are 100's of places to eat, so food is not an issue. Disney World has created a vacation destination where you can just relax and have a magical time. In order to do this, you'll have to do some planning. That's where we hope to help you out.
Here's what you can find:
- Disney World Planning Spreadsheets
- Disney World Planning Printables
- Guides and Maps to the Magic Kingdom
- Guides and Maps to Epcot
- Guides and Maps to Disney's Hollywood Studios
- Guides and Maps to Animal Kingdom
You'll also find information about Disney Resorts, Restaurants, and other exciting attractions in Disney World. Please take a look around and have a great time planning the best and most magical vacation you'll ever have.
Money Saving Tips for Disney World Vacations
If you are like me then you love to plan vacations to Disney World. You probably like to save money where you can. I've put together a few tips to help you save some money on your next trip to Walt Disney World.
Go During the "off" Season
This may seem obvious, but many people don't realize the benefits of going to Disney World during one of the value seasons.
Disney World has many different seasons. But to make things simple, lets condense them into three. The most expensive times of the year generally occur when schools are out. Summer Vacation, Christmas, and just about every other holiday. The "middle of the road" season generally precedes the most expensive times. Lastly, there is the true value season and this is usually in the Fall or Spring (although the times do vary).
During the value seasons room rates are usually lower. Disney World often offers more incentives to lure people to the parks. Do the math to make sure that the deal is saving you money. Free dining is never free, you're going to pay more for something else.
Saving Money on Theme Park Tickets
You can buy your park tickets from Disney or you can purchase them from an authorized reseller. The reseller will usually sell them at a slight discount, saving you a few dollars. Take into consideration how many times you'll be going over the next year. If you'll be making 2 or more trips, an annual pass may save you money in the long run. Some people take a trip in August and their next one in July of the following year to take advantage of the annual pass.
Deluxe Resorts mean Big Dollars
If you are planning on staying a a deluxe resort, why not consider a moderate instead. There is a pretty big cost difference between them. Unless you really want or need the amenities associated with a deluxe resort, you'll likely find a moderate that will make you happy. Try and balance the time you'll be spending at the parks against the time you'll spend at the resort. If you're going to be spending little time at the resort, then dropping to the lower category could save you a lot of money. The same thing applies for moderate to value.
You might also want to think about the Swan or Dolphin as an alternative to a deluxe.These are beautiful hotels with many of the amenities you'd expect. There are some drawbacks, such as no Magical Express and other perks.
Renting Points from a DVC Member
If you want to stay at a deluxe resort and save money while doing it, consider renting points from a DVC Member. Renting points at a Disney Vacation Club resort can save you a lot of money, especially if you're already planning on booking a deluxe resort hotel. If you are planning on staying at a moderate or value resort then the savings won't be there. There are several places where you can rent points from DVC members.
Consider Staying Off Site
I find that people have very set preferences when it comes to where they will stay when visiting Disney World. Some will not even consider staying at a non-Disney resort. However, there are some really nice places to stay that are fairly close to Disney World. If you have your own transportation, they are pretty convenient. There will be some costs involved, such as parking at the parks, so run the numbers to make sure that staying off-site will save you money.
The first place to look would be the Swan and Dolphin. They are located on the Disney World property and have some of the Disney perks. Next, look into the hotels near Downtown Disney. They are located in a group along Hotel Plaza Blvd. Some are better than others and some have better reviews than others, but most of them offer pretty good rates and can make a very affordable choice.
Food and Snacks
One thing that we do to save money at Disney World is to bring snacks with us to take into the parks. We usually do this for breakfast. We might bring some fruit, granola bars, or other packaged food that will fit into the bag we bring into the parks. We're not big breakfast people, so this works out perfect for us.
We also bring bottled water into the parks with us. If possible, we freeze the bottles and then by the time we are thirsty they have melted some and will continue to melt throughout the morning. We have cold water whenever we want it. We often rent a locker so we're not carrying our snacks and water everywhere we go.
The most important thing to remember is to have a great trip. Find ways where you can save some money but don't make it a stressful situation.
Will Disney World Build both Cars and Star Wars Lands?
There has been a lot of speculation and rumor over what will happen at Disney's Hollywood Studios next. It's been a foregone conclusion that Cars Land will make it's way to Disney World after being such a success at Disneyland. Another rumor could drive Cars Land off the highway. That project world be Star Wars Land.
Can Disney World support the construction of both? Remember that It's also building Avatar Land at Animal Kingdom. Personally, I'd rather see Cars Land and Star Wars Land. I'd be perfectly happy if they shelved Avatar. The other two make sense, they are Disney properties. Avatar, which will likely continue to be successful does not make as much sense to build.
The Best Time to go to Disney World is...
...in the fall. Once the summer crowds have left and the kids go back to school, the lines at the Disney parks go down dramatically. The weather is perfect, except for the occasional Tropical Storm or Hurricane. It still feels like summer, but even better.
Another great aspect of Disney World in the Fall is Halloween. Beginning in September and running through the end of October the Disney World parks and resorts are decked out for Halloween. In fact, Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party takes place in the Magic Kingdom on select nights during that time.
Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party is a ticketed event. Prices vary, but are generally around $60 for adults and a few dollars cheaper for children. The Magic Kingdom closes at 7pm on the nights of the Party and remains open until midnight. Only guests with tickets can remain.
Some people don't like the thought of paying for this type of event, but those who do will tell you it's well worth the added cost. There are a number of special events, parades, and a fireworks display that occur each night. This year they are adding Jack Skellington to the line-up. He will be in Town Square. In addition to all of the events, you can trick or treat around the park. In years past this was done on the trail between what was Toon Town and Tomorrowland.
Stay tuned for more information. The first scheduled night for Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party is September 10, 2013.
Disney World - Free Dining 2013
There's a little more than a week left to book your Disney World vacation and add "Free Dining" to it. Some have asked whether they should book with free dining or use other discounts. The answer to that really depends on these "other" discounts.
Free Dining at Disney World means that you are going to pay "Rack Rate" for your room. Rack rate is the full, non-discounted rate. If you currently have a discount that is valued more than what your dining plan would cost, then the Free Dining is of no value to you
Below are the dates for Free Dining this year. Value resorts are offering the Quick Meal Plan and all other resorts are offering the regular dining plan. You must book by September 15, 2013.
- September 29 - October 2
- October 18 - November 2
- November 11 - November 23
- December 12 - December 22