Walt Disney World is one of our favorite trips to plan. Nothing brings people together like the thrill of a Walt Disney World vacation. Planning a trip to Walt Disney World can be an overwhelming task because there are so many details to consider like accommodations, transportation, dining plans/reservations, fast passes, and the list goes on. As your certified Disney specialists, we are able to take all of the guesswork out of this trip. Not only do we help with your accommodations, but we also help plan your fast pass selections, dining reservations, special event tickets and more. So get your mouse ears ready and contact us to start planning this classic trip.
Staying on property vs. off property
This is a question we are often asked, and the answer depends on if you are planning a Walt Disney World or a Disneyland vacation. If you are visiting Disneyland, staying at one of their Good Neighbor Hotels can be a convenient choice. We like to look for hotels within walking distance of the parks or with regular shuttle service and with free breakfast.
For Walt Disney World, we recommend staying at a Disney property. There are several reasons for this:
- Magical Express. When you stay at a Walt Disney World resort, you get complimentary round-trip transportation between the Orlando airport and the resort. This service also includes luggage delivery, depending on your flight arrival time. After landing, you just check-in at the Magical Express desk, and you’ll be whisked away to your resort in a comfortable motor coach.
- Extra Magic Hour. By staying at one of the Disney resorts, you get to enjoy an Extra Magic Hour. Each day select attractions are open for an extra hour for those guests staying at a Walt Disney World resort. This can mean shorter lines for your favorite attractions and more fun! Valid theme park admission is required.
- Dining plan. Disney dining plans are available exclusively to guests at Walt Disney World resorts. They save you money and make dining at Disney a breeze. Valid theme park admission is required.
- Early access to FastPass+ planning. By staying at a Walt Disney World resort, you get to plan your FastPass+ reservations before others! You can start planning up to 60 days before you arrive. Valid theme park admission is required.
- Complimentary Magic Bands. Magic Bands are your all-in-one keys to fun. They act as your key to your room, entry into the parks, FastPasses, and an easy way to make purchases. Guests of Walt Disney World resorts can customize their Magic Bands with their choice of seven colors and their name. If you stay off property, these bands can be purchased for an additional fee. Valid theme park admission is required.
- Free parking and transportation. Staying on property also means easy movement between the parks and resorts. Motor coaches, ferry boats, and the monorail make getting to and from the different destinations a snap. There is no need to rent a car, pay for parking, or wait on your off-site hotel’s single mode of transportation to get you there. This comes in handy especially for families with younger children that need a nap in the middle of the day or are worn out from all the fun at the end of a long day.
How to pack for Disney World
Here are our favorite things to pack:
- Disney souvenirs. Pick up souvenirs from home and pack them with you to save some money. Wrap them up for the kids and let them open one each day. Going early in the year? Your Disney souvenirs make great stocking stuffers and build the excitement leading up to your trip. Trading pins are all the rage right now, and the cost can quickly add up. Pick up some inexpensive ones on eBay to get your kids started.
- Autograph books. Personalized autograph books are always a great memory to hang on to. Check Etsy for some adorable personalized options. Be sure to bring a clickable Sharpie with you. The large Sharpie markers are easy for the characters to hold and sign these cute books. If you have a clickable one, you won’t have to keep up with the cap either. Want something a little more unique than an autograph book? Try a pillowcase, photo mat, or t-shirt.
- Ponchos. Keep a poncho in your backpack for water rides and those pop-up Florida rainstorms.
- Sunscreen. Even on an overcast day, you’ll need sunscreen. Be sure to bring lip balm with sunscreen too.
- Backpack. Having a backpack for your day in the park will certainly come in handy to hold all of your supplies.
- Snacks. Throw some small snacks like granola bars, small boxes of raisins, or individual bags of crackers for those moments when you need a little something but don’t want to stop moving.
- New socks. Going to Disney World means you will be doing a lot of walking. Your feet will thank you when you wear new, cushy socks.
- Comfortable shoes. Don’t worry what your comfortable shoes look like. Sore tired feet take away from your Disney experience like nothing else, so opt for comfortable walking shoes
- Ziploc storage bags. Have a couple of storage bags in your backpack to keep your phone, camera, and other small items safe from water. Larger ones can be used for wet/dirty clothes as well.
- Walkie talkies. Walkie talkies are great for keeping up with family members throughout the day if you plan on separating.
- Glow stick necklaces – Purchase your glow sticks at a dollar store and bring them with you rather than purchasing them in the park.
- Bug spray. Having some bug spray on hand for those central Florida mosquitos can come in handy
- Portable phone charger. You’ll want to have access to the My Disney Experience app throughout the day to easily manage FastPasses and to have quick access to reservation and park information. Keep one or two portable phone chargers in your bag and ready to go.
- Stain wipes/sticks. That chocolate covered ice cream bar shaped like Mickey is oh so good, but when the chocolate gets on your favorite top you’ll want to have a stain wipe on hand.
- Change of clothes for little ones. Because fun often means sticky shirts and dirty shorts.
- Moleskin. This will help with any blisters that may appear on your feet from all the walking you’ll be doing.
- Small towel. This is helpful great for wiping down any wet surfaces before sitting down.