• On Jun 4, 2011
    Jolie from MI Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    Hi Panel! I am planning my family's 1st trip to WDW! I am so excited! We are planning on coming 1/11/2012 to 1/18/2012.When will I be able to book my stay online? We want to have a Character Dinner at Akershus. Will we be able to get a reservation in time

    Hi Jolie!

    It is exciting to be planning a first trip to Walt Disney World!  By calling Disney, you can reserve a hotel room up to 499 days in advance of your intended check out date.  However, you can not make an on-line reservation until the actual 2012 pricing has been released, which based on the past several years, should occur in mid to late summer.  If you call now, what Disney does is charge you for a  single night's rate based on this year and then automatically adjusts your rate when the 2012 pricing comes out.

    Packages can only be booked once the 2012 rates are released.  However, you can easily convert a room only reservation to a package by simply calling.  Also, if any applicable discounts come out between now and then, you can call and try to have those applied to your reservation; there are usually limited numbers and conditions so not all discount codes will apply.

    You do not have to have a Disney resort reservation to make an Advanced Dining Reservation (ADR.).  When you are 180 days out from the day you want to dine, you can just make an ADR and link it your phone number.  The only big negative with doing it before having a resort reservation is you won't be able to take advantage of the ability to make reservations for the next 10 days; that's a perk you would normally have as a Disney resort guest.

    Enjoy planning and write back if you have any more questions!
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Meet the Panelist: Bernie, Maryland

I am an engineer with NASA with prior Air Force service. My wife and I have two boys, ages 13 and 8. At home, I'm known as the "Disney Guy" and I've enjoyed helping guests plan their Walt Disney World, Disney Cruise Line, and Disneyland vacations. Learn More About Bernie

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