Updated: Jun 14, 2020
When I decided to look into Disney I was looking for off site resorts thinking the on site resorts were going to be really expensive. I was not pleased with my findings. As I started looking on the Walt Disney website, I was hooked...….
1. When I looked at the resorts there were so many categories to choose from. I needed to know the difference between each category before I could select which resort I really wanted. I did a google search on each resort category, resulting in choosing the value category at the All Star Movie resort. I went with this one because my girls love movies, there’s a movie theater in the resort that plays Disney movies of course, and I didn’t want to spend a fortune on lodging. I rather shop and spend our time visiting parks and pools during our stay. **TIP-Disney will give you “saving options” and options to have upgrades in your room as well.
2. Hidden secret, that I didn’t know prior to doing all this research, as you make your selections you are creating a cart which is identified as “price your vacation”, it saves everything with a cart number. Once you are ready to purchase your vacation and create your account, your cart information is transferred and Bam! Your vacation planning is seat, this is what I call the meat and potatoes are ready!
3. After purchasing your cart you can personalize it with additional tickets to miniature golf, visit the CNN sports complex and other places that come with booking a Disney vacation online. This is optional and free of cost!
4. It doesn’t stop there, after you make your selection for your resort there are more selections to make…..Park tickets! If you don’t stick to your budget Disney has a great way to reel you in with the park tickets. The more parks you visit the cheaper the tickets become. If you want to visit more than one park a day, you can purchase the Park Hopper Pass, this allows you to visit up to two or more parks per day.
5. Using Pinterest and Google helped me maximize my vacation. After selecting our resort, Disney started sending me to different pages about Magic Bands, Fastpasses and Dinning Plans. I was clueless. What in the world was all of this new language? That’s when I went back to google to look up those terms, oh boy did I have fun researching! I went to my Disney Pinterest search that started auto populating dinning reservations, hidden secrets at Disney and of course I started clicking and learning!
6. Magic Bands- that’s exactly what they are! They are arm bands that you use as your ticket holder for the parks, resort keys, dinner passes and money. You can also attach your debt card with an access cod, you will be able to make purchases. I will be putting my girls on a controllable spending budget, they will have gift cards during our stay. There are other exciting things to do with your magic bands and I don’t want to spoil the excitement for you!
7. Fast passes- have you ever been to an amusement park and the lines were ridiculous and you either spent a lot of time waiting or you skip the ride? Well with the fast passes you SKIP THE LINE! Sounds terrible but this is the awesome perk of booking through the Disney package deals! This a benefit that you don’t have to pay extra. The best thing about having a fastpass you can make your selections up to 60 days PIROR to your vacation! Yes! You can reserve your rides before you arrive. TIP*** make sure you check out the “My Disney Experience” app, you can see ahead of time which rides has the longest wait times, which rides your children will be able to ride and where the rides are located. This information is handy if you plan to watch a parade, if you are on a time schedule and planning dinner. I am not going to give the best of the best tip away! Let’s just say you should use the use app to see how to maximize your fastpasses.
8. Dinning Plans- If you are like me and my family, we were thinking on ways to cut the cost on food. Especially at the parks, we thought about visiting the grocery store to stockpile our room with quick foods and take with us to the park. Well guess what! There are Disney dinning plans, with different options! Oh boy! Depending on the plan you select, there is really no need to make the extra trip to the grocery store. We have the Disney Deluxe dinning plan, we will have more than enough food options. These options are for per person (based on my research, sometimes the portions are so big, you can split it, which sounds good to me) I am still working on my figure! HA! Another wonderful thing about the magic bands, there is a way to manage your meals allotment.
This is the moment that my heart dropped and filled with emotions. Included with the Disney Deluxe Dinning you can make character dinning reservations. I have booked us a Disney Princess Breakfast and a Mickey Mouse and Friends Dinner reservation. OMG!! Just the thought of seeing the girls faces is making my heart melt! I am excited to meet these characters as well! I am an old school Disney fan!
Who isn't right?
When doing my research either through Pinterest or Google, these are the places to meet the characters without using your fast passes or standing in long lines. (These reservations will take two allotted meal tickets, plan accordingly.)
9. I am all about the royal treatment, whenever possible! When booking with a Disney resort, you are treated like a super star! With your stay at Disney resorts you do not have to worry about driving and gas prices, hauling your luggage and parking. Traffic along is a vibe killer alone. Disney Magical Express has allowed me the freedom to really enjoy my vacation before I even get there. Once you have your reservation number for your vacation, there is a reservation number to call to reserve the Disney Magical Express. Yet again, make sure to do your research, only participating airlines will give you the full experience of providing you with a wonderful magical experience. This particular service will deliver your luggage to the door, allows you to check into your resort avoiding the service desk, includes pre check when you are ready to depart from the resort, and it includes transportation to and from the airport to the resort.
10. I recommend using the Disney website, the My Disney Experience app, and other resources to ask any specific questions that you may have. The best way to have the best time ever is to do research and find what’s best for your family. There is so much information about Disney that you may not come across if you don’t know how to maximum your stay
I can honestly say while planning our vacation "Disney is the Happiest Place on Earth". If this is your first time planning a vacation for yourself to Walt Disney World, this is going to be so much fun, finding tips and tricks might even be an additional bonus to planning your stay and if you like to agendas on vacations.
Although the best part about this vacation was planning, the girls have NO IDEA that we are going to Walt Disney World. They know we are going somewhere for a vacation, just not WHERE we are going on vacation. Bad Mommy I know!
I have already created our agenda, the shirts we will wear with matching ears and I am consistently thinking about how I am going to tell them.
Can you give me some ideas of how I should tell the girls?
What was your most memorable part about planning and visiting Walt Disney World?
***Disclaimer- The purpose of this post is to help all first time Mommy’s plan their first Disney trip.