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How to Plan a Disney Vacation: Everything You Should Know

Cinderella castle Magic Kingdom Disney

It is important to plan a trip to Disney World before you go. Check out this guide on how to plan a Disney vacation that the whole family will love.

Are you wondering how to plan a Disney vacation?

If so, you’re one of 52 million visitors a year

If that number tells you anything, it’s that you should start planning as soon as possible. Not only are there massive amounts of people Googling the same thing as you right now, but you’ve got a vast 27,258 acres to explore.

There’s no such thing as ‘winging it’ — you need to organize.

Are you staying on-site or off-site? Are you exploring one of the theme parks or all four? Planning to visit the water parks?

There are many questions. We’ve got answers.

Check out this guide to planning a magical vacation for you and the family.

Decide on Your Theme Parks

It’s called Disney World for a reason. You’ve got about 43 square miles of land to navigate.

Which theme parks would you like to visit? Each offers its own unique experience. 

The Magic Kingdom is the park’s main attraction, offering the sites you’ve likely heard of — Space 

Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, Splash Mountain (and then some). 

Epcot offers the tech-friendly Future World, a handful of rides, and tons of interesting info. Hollywood 

Studios is a fully-functional park with lots of renowned names, including the likes of Toy Story. And the Animal Kingdom is a 580-acre zoo (even showcasing our dinosaur friends at DinoLand U.S.A.).

There are also two water parks: Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach.

Download the My Disney Experience App

This Disney app is “Magic at Your Fingertips.”

It allows you to get an overview of your entire trip, from dining and sleeping arrangements to booking tickets and transportation. You can use it while in the parks for an in-depth map or check it at the hotel to modify your FastPasses.

If you want to optimize and enhance your experience, this is a great way to do so.

Book Your Hotel, Dining, and Attractions in Advance

First, you must decide if you want to stay on-site or off-site. 

Hotels within Disney World offer a variety of perks — Extra Magic Hours that allow you to enter early or leave late. Transportation to and from the park and the airport. Ability to book your attractions and dining an extra month ahead of others.

Of course, there are many off-site hotels that offer benefits, too, and are just as fun. You’ll have to decide where the best value for your family is!

Booking tours with these experts also allows you some perks that the unknowing won’t receive — VIP trips to all four theme parks, front-of-the-line access, and more.

Choose Your Pass

Last (and certainly not least) is choosing how you’re planning to park hop.

There are a few different options for pass holders. You can choose a Base pass, Park Hopper pass, or Park Hopper Plus pass.

A Base pass allows you to access one park for one day (unless you opt for the annual pass). This is great for families who know they’ll spend all day at the Magic Kingdom, for example.

The Park Hopper allows you to do just that — travel to any of the four theme parks in a given day.

A Park Hopper Plus pass allows you to do all that, plus have access to the two water parks and any of the golf courses.

Now You Know How to Plan a Disney Vacation

Keep in mind that this list is not exhaustive!

As you can see, there’s a lot to organize and think about. The best thing you can do is to start planning in advance. That’s one of the crucial steps in knowing how to plan a Disney vacation that allows you to do everything you want.

For more great travel advice, keep scrolling our blog!

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