Folks always ask me when is the best time to start planning their trip to Walt Disney World Resort, so I thought I’d lay out my thoughts on the perfect planning scenario.
As always, this is based on my humble opinion……although we all know there’s ALWAYS a method behind my thought process when it comes to fine tuning your Disney stay!
Technically, you are able to schedule your Disney World visit up to 499 days in advance. Keep in mind however, this could mean only the room portion of your stay! If package component pricing has not been released for your particular dates of travel, those cannot be added to create a full package until this pricing is released.
Scheduling this far in advance does have it’s benefits……like getting the exact resort and room type you want or getting a ton of time to pay for your package. Many times when folks schedule this far in advance it helps them to budget appropriately and sometimes add more things along the way versus waiting until closer to your travel dates and not having enough time to save for the type of stay you would like to achieve.
The foundation of the resort choice and dates is laid, so we can then focus on some of the most important parts of the planning process…….FOOD! Disney fans are the only breed of folks I know that find it totally normal to schedule where they are dining 6 months in advance! I mean, is this not the focus of said trip??? Disney is known for its cuisine so why not take advantage of all it has to offer by being prepared with reservations for your trip! And yes, we are able to schedule your dining reservations 180 days ahead of your resort stay! Usually 2-3 weeks prior to this important date, I send the ever popular dining information sheet and wishlist for my clients to look over and make those ever important dining choices. This 180 day mark also marks the day that we can schedule special events like Bibbidi Boppidi Boutique or Pirates League for your little ones. Being prepared prior to that 180 mark is essential to get those hard to get reservations!
After all those amazing reservations are made, before you know it, it’s time to select those fastpasses! These can be scheduled at 60 days prior to check in for resort guests and 30 days ahead for non resort guests. Much like dining, 2-3 weeks prior to this important date, I provide my clients with a detailed list of fastpass choices in their appropriate tiers and including height requirements and one of my signature wishlists to fill out so that I am prepared to wave my wand when the fastpass selection window opens! At this time, my guests are able to complete their online check in, set a PIN for their bands, link a credit card to their resort stay and order their magic bands!
The final stage in planning will involve the ever important final payment date at 30 days prior to your stay. After final payment, my guests receive an email with all my tips and tricks, ever important snack suggestions, and details on how to book a bounce back offer to secure a future discount AND a request to set an appointment time prior to their trip to go over their itinerary and any questions they have about their upcoming stay!
And before you know it…….YOUR TRIP HAS ARRIVED! While I know it’s not always possible to schedule your trip more than 6 months ahead of time, it does have many advantages from the extra time to make payments and budget, getting first choices of dining and fastpasses and the ability to have that time to decide with your family important things that you’d love to experience during your stay.
So the short answer to the question of when is the best time to begin planning is…….NOW! LOL! Of course! Disney is always a good idea! –