Mickey Celebrates D100
  • On Jul 24, 2023
    Jourdan from TX Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    Hi there! Wanting to plan a trip with my family but I don't even know where to start. Would I book the hotel first?

    Hey Howdy Hey, Jourdan!

    Welcome to planDisney. Jourdan, oh boy, you have come to the right place! Here at planDisney, we are all about helping fellow Guests plan their most magical vacation on earth.  I am so happy to help you today.  The steps I'll share with you are for planning a trip to Disneyland California, but if you are thinking of heading to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, hakuna matata! It means "no worries."  The steps are similar for the most part, but you would just do them through the Walt Disney World website instead of the Disneyland website. But let's begin.

    Jourdan, the first thing you want to do is create a My Disneyland account if you are heading to Disneyland or a My Disney Experience account if you are planning to go to Walt Disney World Resort.  Now, these accounts are all part of a master Disney account, so once you create one, your login credentials will get you into either site.

    My recommendation is to start with the Disney Resort Hotel. I highly recommend staying on property because for one thing, you are immersed in the unique thematic Resorts and it's all part of the Disney experience. Additionally, you'll enjoy exclusive benefits such as complimentary Resort transportation, proximity to the theme parks, and early theme park entry 30 minutes before the parks open to the public, just to name a few.

    Now once you do this, you will want to purchase your theme park tickets and make your theme park reservations.  Both a valid theme park ticket and theme park reservation is currently required for entrance to the parks.

    At 60 days from your check-in date, you can book Dining Reservations and any "extras" like Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boutique.  As a Disney Resort Guest, you can book 60 days from your Resort check-in date for the entirety of your stay (otherwise it's 60 days out from the date of the dining or activity.)

    Now, the next step would be to download the Disneyland app (for Disneyland) or My Disney Experience app (for Walt Disney World) to your phone, as this is where you will manage your trip details once you are on site.  These apps will be your Fairy Godmother during your trip, trust me on this.

    It is also where you can add Disney Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lane passes for an additional fee. These add-ons expedite your entrance on select rides with Lightning McQueen speed. Kachow! Now, if you want to add Disney Genie+ or Individual Lightning Lane passes, you can either purchase them at the same time you purchase your tickets (for Disneyland only) or on the day of your park visit (for Disneyland or Walt Disney World.) Attraction selections can only be made on the day of your park visit, so you won't miss out if you decide to add them on the day of your visit through your Disneyland app or My Disney Experience app.

    Depending on the time of year you visit, Jourdan, there may be special events taking place during holidays like Halloween or Christmas. So, it's possible there are additional magical experiences to add to your vacation. But I hope this helps give you a starting place.  

    I recommend starting by calling one of the Reservations Cast Members who can help you walk through the steps and make sure you don't miss a single bit of pixie dust.  But once you get the basics booked, stop back here with questions. At planDisney, we never leave a toy behind because you've got a friend in us!  

    See ya real soon!
thumbnail image for Keri

Meet the Panelist: Keri, Massachusetts

Hi there, I'm Keri from Massachusetts, a wife and mom to preteen twins and a teen. Since my first magical visit to Walt Disney World at age three, I've loved all things Disney. My husband found his passion for pixie dust on our honeymoon and his first visit to a Disney park. Soon after, we joined Disney Vacation Club, which has afforded us unforgettable family vacations for the last 20 years. Disney Vacation Club has helped us create our most magical vacation memories. I can't wait to help you plan yours. Learn More About Keri

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