Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Disney Trip Planning

Everyone always has questions when it comes to planning a great Disney vacation. After going the last 4 years I have found a process that seems to work best for me and my super planning ways. I have found that planning early gets you the upper hand when you are dealing with lots of people added with 2 children under 5. Here is what I do step by step,
  1. Pick a date
    • Our family loves when there are less people to deal with at the parks so we searched the Forecasted Disney crowds calenders online and found September was our prefect match this year. It offered all of our needs, hot enough for waterparks, low cost season, Mickey's Halloween party, and less forecasted crowds. To find the best weeks I look at the following sites,
    • Disney tends to offer free dining packages with on-site stays which is the best deal Disney offers on certain low crowd level months but not always. We stay at the Fort Wilderness campground so we are excluded from this option. 
    • Special Events- Disney offers many special events all year like Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween, Marathons, Holiday events, and Concerts. 
  2. Pick Your Stay
    • This may change your date because prices are different for on-site and off-site hotels for different seasons. There are great sites that help with the season pricing,
    • Research the hotels before you choose. 
      • Off-site Property
        • Does it have a shuttle to Disney? If so how often or long does it run?
        •  Are you renting a car?
          • Daily Parking at Disney cost 
            $14.00 - Car/Taxi/Shuttle/Limousine/Motorcycle
            $15.00 - Camper/Trailer
            $18.00 - Bus/Tractor Trailer
      • On-site Property
        • How far from Disney Parks is the hotel located
          • This will affect how long the Disney buses takes to get there and back from the park. 
            • We stayed at the Pop Century which was one of the farthest from Magic kingdom so it would usually take about 45 mins with wait for the bus and transport there to get to MK.
          • If you are driving you can park at all of the Disney parks for Free. 
      • We always book with AAA but check around for discounts before booking.
  3.  Plan Your Park Days
    •  I used the same websites that I used to pick my dates to map out which park we will go to each day.
    • If you have little children try picking only one main park a day. If you have the Park Hopper pass then you can go to another park through out the day.
    • Make sure to look at the fireworks and parade times and days because some are not offered everyday. 
    • Look at Extra Magic hours if you want to go earlier or later. We found that the late night Magic hours seem to be more crowded than the morning.
  4. Make Dining Reservation
    • Disney will offer free meal sometimes and this make getting reservation a HUGE must because you will be fight all of the people staying on-site. 
    •  Use your week park plan as a guide to choose where to dine.
    • There are tons of online information about all of the restaurants Disney offers.
    • Make reservations online at Disney Dining.
      • You DO NOT have to stay on-site to make reservations.
      • You can may reservations 180 days in advance. 
  5. Start Planning Disney Outfit!
    • Matching shirts
      • If you are crafty make some! or Find someone crafty! There are so many options.
      • I find some great cheap Disney shirts at target that I get for the girls each year.
    • Princess outfits
      • Buy on ebay
      • craigslist
      • Sales online
      • I love to sew so I make a bunch of dresses before we leave. 
    • Super Hero
    • Dressing up is not get for the young one. Have fun with your little one. 

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