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  • On Dec 9, 2023
    Robert from MA Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    Hello, we would like to go to Disney (FL) for the first time with two girls (10 and 13) in Feb. 2024, for five days. What is the best way to plan a trip?


    Thanks for asking your question to planDisney!

    Speaking as a dad to two teenage girls, I know exactly where you are coming from! 

    Planning a Walt Disney World vacation can seem like a lot, but with a little bit of guidance, it can be easier than expected. Before I begin, if you were to find a Disney Authorized Vacation Planner, one that is a no-fee agent, they could guide you easily, and at no extra cost to you. But to do it on your own can be easy too.

    Step 1: Decide your travel dates, and how many days you want to spend in the parks.
    My family rarely goes to a theme park on our arrival day, since by the time we get to our resort and check in, we prefer to start our trip by exploring our resort, enjoying a fun dinner at one of the hotels, and settling into our room. If the weather cooperates, we might even take in an evening swim! Otherwise, for longer stays, we will go to a park each day, save one where we dedicate a day in the middle of the trip to a pool/relaxation day. On shorter trips we go to a park each day.

    Step 2: Select your home in the magic. 
    We price out our trip based on one hotel of our choosing at each level, Deluxe, Moderate, and Value. When you go to the resort pages and look at their Room Rates page, like the one here for Disney's Polynesian Village Resort, you will see any packages available.

    Step 3: Make your selections.
    As the website guides you through the process, you will need to make some choices, like if you want to get Park Hopper options added to your tickets, or if you want a Magical Memories package. I would suggest that for a first trip, each park will have more than enough to do, so stick to standard 1-park-per-day tickets. As for those other choices, most can be added in as you get closer to your trip. So stick to standard selections for now, and if you want to add them before your trip, you can often do so before the trip begins.

    Step 4: Mark your calendar.
    Part of the magic of Disney is the dining! We book about 1 table-service dining experience per day, and that can be a good guide for you. You can (and should) make those dining reservations 60 days before your first vacation day.

    Step 5. Ask more questions.
    Friends will have recommendations. You will spend time surfing the web. Visiting us with follow-up questions is also recommended! What I would do is make these initial plans, then come back to ask us questions about the following.

    • Dining Recommendations
    • How Lightning Lanes work (from Genie+ to Individual Lightning Lane, to Virtual Queues)
    • Attraction suggestions
    You can make your plans as complex or simple as you want them to be. But remember my Rule No. 1 about Walt Disney World. You will never see it all on one trip, so don't try. Walt Disney World will always be there for a return trip if you want. So slow down, enjoy your time, see what you want, and what you can, and savor those days with your family. They will be off on lives of their own before you know it, so secure those memories!

    Please do feel free to write me back directly with follow-up questions. Break them apart so we can discuss where you might like to stay, where you might choose to dine, what attractions you should not miss, and how to make your trip as special as can be.

    Have a Magical Vacation!

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Meet the Panelist: Doug, Indiana

I am one of the Dads on the planDisney Panel, and I love to help parents plan their vacation, with a focus on showing them how it can be fun for them too. I am also here to help Dads plan some nice surprises for the Moms in their life (they deserve it!). Learn More About Doug

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