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  • On Jun 23, 2019
    Stephanie from AZ Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    We are beginning to plan our first Walt Disney World visit as a family in October of 2021. How far in advance do you recommend that I start getting things booked? Is there a timeline to follow?

    Hi Stephanie, and welcome to the Disney Parks Moms Panel! You have come to the right place to get your plans practically perfect in every way!

    The first step is to find the perfect Disney Hotel to enjoy the many benefits of staying inside the Walt Disney World Resort (beyond the gorgeous theming, of course). The early access to FastPass+ planning is a real time and money saver, as it gives you a 30-day head start to make FastPass+ reservations for coveted attractions, which means less time in lines and more time having fun. Guests also enjoy complimentary MagicBands and transportation, so you don't have to spend on a rental car. 

    After choosing a Disney Hotel, you will purchase tickets, and I suggest a total of six Theme Park days for an epic trip. You can also budget for the 1 Park Per Day option, as there is plenty to enjoy at each Theme Park on a first visit. I'd suggest booking your hotel and buying tickets at least 200 days before October 2021 because the next step is time sensitive and will have a massive impact on your plan: dining reservations.

    By then, you will need to have a schedule figured out, as some of the Table Service dining experiences are at the Theme Parks, so it's wise to start choosing dates to visit each Theme Park before the reservations open, and this will happen 180 days before your trip.

    It's also wise to balance meals between Quick Service and Table Service restaurants (and you can browse some menus to understand the costs and plan accordingly). Among the many options available, I'd undoubtedly advise you to plan at least one meal with characters (at Cinderella's Royal Table or Akershus Royal Banquet Hall, for example) and one meal at a Signature Restaurant (like Jiko - The Cooking Place or Tiffins Restaurant).

    Then, 60 days before your trip, it will be time to make FastPass+ arrangements and prioritize attractions to make the most of your days. After that, you'll be set for a PERFECT trip!

    Because of that timeline, I'd suggest deciding on hotels and tickets at least 200 days before your trip so you can plan the most magical of vacations and make the planning process as magical as the trip itself!

    The Disney Parks Moms Panel will be here to walk you through every step of this fantastic journey, so don't hesitate to stop by with more questions! 

    May the magic be with you,

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Meet the Panelist: Julie, California

Hi! I am Julie, a Brazilian brand strategist who also loves to sing and cook. I grew up in Southern Brazil, in Santa Catarina, but I currently live in California. I dreamed of visiting the Walt Disney World Resort since I was a little girl and now it is my passion to help others enjoy the magic as much as I do. Being an all-things-Disney nerd and Disney Vacation Club member, I'm here to help you find the perfect hotels, park events and seasonal festivals to make your trip a memory to cherish forever! Learn More About Julie

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