Minnie and Mickey Celebrate Disney 100; Epcot
  • On Nov 27, 2023
    Kristin from NS Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    I'm a first-time visitor coming for the festive season, arriving Dec 15th. I am unclear how to budget daily costs. We want the true experience: by-passing lines, dining, photos, character meets, etc. It's all not easy to navigate. Thank you :)

    Hi Kristin,

    Welcome to planDisney! I'm so thrilled for your very first trip to Walt Disney World Resort. I'm hoping you've already secured your resort room and tickets as part of a vacation package and have made the necessary theme park reservations for each day you plan to visit the parks. Once you've squared away those big plans the little details can still seem overwhelming. But not to worry! I'll be glad to walk you through all the details. Let's dive right in!

    Dining plans will not be available for visits prior to January 9th, 2024, so there is nothing you need to do aside from making advance dining reservations. You can review the menus for each restaurant online and determine which venues you'd most like to experience and which best fit your budget. I strongly recommend making reservations as soon as possible if you haven't already done so. My family usually opts for one Table Service meal per day and will place a Mobile Order for a Quick Service breakfast or lunch, leaving room for a few spontaneous snacks throughout the day as needed. We also usually reserve one Character Dining experience at a resort during our trip, most often on our departure day. This is a great way to relax and meet a variety of Characters without taking time away from attractions and entertainment in the parks. I'd be happy to offer my top dining suggestions if you'd like so feel free to write me back directly.

    Next, you'll want to be sure to purchase Memory Maker which will include unlimited downloads of all your priceless vacation photo memories. We almost always purchase this as it allows the whole family to get in the picture. You'll find Disney PhotoPass photographers at iconic locations around the parks so be sure to "say cheese" whenever you can. I'd recommend purchasing this at least 3 days prior to your arrival to take advantage of the pre-arrival discount.

    The rest of your planning and budgeting will happen each morning as you prepare to visit the parks. Disney Genie+ Service is a wonderful tool to maximize the magic and will reduce your standby wait on many attractions. We typically purchase it for our Magic Kingdom Park days since there are so many attractions and character experiences included, but we will pick and choose depending on our wish list experiences in the other parks. Genie+ can be purchased beginning at midnight on the day of your visit, but I usually wake up and purchase it right before I begin making my first Lightning Lane selection at 7 a.m. The service is priced per person specific to the park you plan to visit unless you've opted for Park Hopper Option tickets. Pricing can fluctuate from one day to the next, but you'll find the daily price listed on the Tip Board in your My Disney Experience App. You'll also have the option to purchase up to 2 Individual Lightning Lanes per day in addition to, or instead of Genie+. Be sure to review the list of included attractions to see which fit your family's interests.

    I hope this gives you a good head start for your trip. If I can answer more questions or offer further guidance please come back and let me know.

    Magic and memories,
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Meet the Panelist: Amy, North Carolina

Hi, I'm Amy- a proud wife, mom, and Disney adult. I'm a natural planner with a flair for the creative, always looking for ways to add a little magical sparkle to our family's day-to-day happenings and once-in-a lifetime moments. You'll find me and my crew visiting the parks from rope drop to close and packing in as much magic as possible to each day of our Walt Disney World Resort vacation. From dining to photo spots and all the details in between, you've got a friend in me! Learn More About Amy

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