Family With Medals
  • On May 6, 2013
    Megan Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    Experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    My family is planning our first trip for early 2014 and would like to go as close to our daughter's birthday (3/15). How early can we start planning/booking? Is the Park Hopper option worth it? How about the family dining plan?

    Hi Megan!
    You are able to book trips to Walt Disney World up to 499 days in advance, so you could easily book it now. What happens is that you would pay a one night deposit based on 2013's rates and when the 2014 rates come out (which should be very soon) you would pay the difference, and then you would pay the balance at check-in.
    Personally, I think the "hopper option" is a must have. But that's because we hop parks almost daily, either for dining reservations, or fireworks, etc., so it works for us. However, if you only plan to do one park per day and can live with that restriction, either because of little ones, or a looser itinerary, then I would not go for it as an option.
    I am also not a big believer in the dining plan. I've been told by several Panelists that the bigger their family, the more they have found it to be a good value, but the smaller the family, the lesser a value. So I guess it would depend on who you ask. I have never added on the Dining Plan to my vacations.
    I hope this helps a bit and I wish you a Magical trip for your daughter's birthday!! :)
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Meet the Panelist: Chris, Massachusetts

I am a Disney fanatic!! Since childhood, I have been a fan of all things Disney; particularly the theme parks! There is no place on Earth that I would rather spend my time and I look forward to helping you create everlasting memories of your own! Learn More About Chris

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