Timon and Two Guys at DAK; AA;
  • On Sep 26, 2023
    Molly Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    Is there a checklist somewhere that I can use to plan our Disney trip so I don't forget anything? Like, Book hotel, check! Buy park tickets, check! Buy hopper pass, check! Buy lighting pass, check! Book character breakfast, check! LOL

    Hey there, Molly, and welcome to planDisney!

    It is my goal today to send pixie dust your way! A Walt Disney World Resort vacation may seem to be overwhelming, but it’s actually a quite simple process. Like my friend Peter Pan, I am more than happy to be your guide and lead you to your most magical vacation! Here we gooooo! 

    First, you’ll want to decide when you want to book your vacation. Do you want to visit during one of EPCOT’s many festivals like the current EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival? Maybe you want to visit during the holidays, so you can enjoy parties like Disney Jollywood Nights or Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. From there, you’ll want to review the theme park availability for your ticket type as well. This is always the first step because it would not be fun to have booked your hotel stay but have no theme parks to visit. 

    Now, if it’s a list that you want, a list I shall provide! Here is a quick rundown of what you’ll want to do to be the most prepared for your vacation: 

    • 6 months+ before your vacation: Book your Resort hotel and purchase your theme park tickets (you can add your Park Hopper Option at the time of purchase). I highly recommend booking a vacation package (and even adding a Disney Dining Plan if your vacation is in 2024) to keep everything streamlined. 
    • 60 days before your vacation: Make your advance dining reservations and Enchanted Extras reservations (like for Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique). If you’re staying on property, you can also make reservations for up to 10 days of your vacation on the 60-days-prior date. And yes, I definitely recommend that you include a character dining meal on your itinerary. The Crystal Palace with Winnie the Pooh and friends and Tusker House at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park are two of my favorites! 
    • 30 days before your vacation: If you haven’t already, make your final payment toward your vacation package. I would also arrange transportation for your transfer from the airport to the Resort around this time.  
    • First theme park day: Starting at midnight you can purchase Disney Genie+ to prepare for making your first selections starting at 7 a.m. Also, at 7 a.m., you may want to join the Virtual Queues for attractions like TRON / Lightcycle Run and Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. You can do all of this within your My Disney Experience App. 
    Also, check out the “Vacation Planning” webpage on the Walt Disney World Resort website to get a general idea of what elements make up a visit to the Most Magical Place on Earth. 

    AN EXTRA GEM: Really dive into the My Disney Experience App well before your visit. It may feel silly looking at attraction wait times, watching tutorials, or pretending to mobile order food. But trust me, the more familiar you are with the app’s features, the more you’ll be able to live in the moment when you’re on vacation. 

    Molly, if you have any other questions before your trip, please stop by planDisney. We LOVE lists here and helping other Guests plan their Disney vacations. Most of all, enjoy every second of planning—it’s half of the adventure! 

    Magic always, 
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Meet the Panelist: LeAndra, Florida

Hey, Mouseketeer! I'm LeAndra, a wife, mom of two, and content creator from beautiful Central Florida. I've lived near The Most Magical Place on Earth for my entire life; so, I like to say that I'm a Guardian of this galaxy! My love of all-things-Disney has also taken me on multiple cross-country road trips to Disneyland Resort and on a few flights over to Disneyland Paris. I am oh-so-grateful to be a part of your world by helping you plan your magical vacations.  Learn More About LeAndra

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