After 10 years of waiting to return, we have finally booked our Walt Disney World Holiday for 2022! I’m filled with excitement but also with nerves due to the current situation and ever growing number of changes. Is Walt Disney World like how I remembered it? Will our trip still be magical? and am I about to spend the next 10 months stressing about the planning? Planning a Walt Disney World Holiday, how am I going to do it?
Walt Disney World holidays aren’t like other holidays. When you want to go to spain, you head to your local travel agent with a budget and a date, an hour later and BAM you’re all booked on your all inclusive, no planning happy holiday and you’re counting down. When you book Walt Disney World however, you look through almost the whole year of dates, check prices and crowd calenders, think about on site vs off site and a whole host of other things too.
So what do you really need to consider when planning a Walt Disney World holiday?
There are numerous things that you do need to consider and many will differ depending on who you’re traveling with, when and what your trip is for. Is it once in a lifetime? Are you going again within the next 6 years? If it’s once in a lifetime then there is a lot you’re going to want to cover and planning in advance is likely to stop you from being disapointed when you return.
On Site vs Off Site
A big debate with the Disney community and there is no right or wrong answer for this one. You’ve just got to do whats best for you! Over recent years Disney has taken away many of the benefits for staying on site and espeically if you’re a brit you now have to consider how you are going to get from the airport to Walt Disney World Resort itself (We recomend an Uber, but more on that in another post).
So what benefits are left? You’ll get 30 mins Extra Magic Hours (time in the park for resort guests only) every morning and if you’re a deluxe guest you’ll get an extra 2 hours at night too. If you’re a deluxe guest this is a great perk that can really help you to get that extra ride time in, but if you’re a value guest, 30 mins seams like a drop in the ocean!
On site transportation is something to consider, though this is free to everyone visiting Walt Disney World Resort, it’s good to think about how you’d be getting to the parks if you stayed somewhere else like I-drive. Many resorts and hotels off site do offer a free bus, but that will be subject to set times. In the past we’ve had busses that haven’t turned up for hours of silly times where we’ve had to leave early. Having Walt Disney World transportation is a huge bonus to us and means that we can visit other hotels on our ‘non park days’ too.
Dates and Crowd Calender
Before you book anything check a crowd calender, we personally recommend Undercover Tourist for a great simple Orlando crowd calender, it’s a great way to see what wait times are likely to be and also how packed the parks are when you go. There nothing worse than chosing a date becuase it’s £50 cheaper but then realising the parks are packed and you couldn’t do half the things that you wanted to.
Dining Plans and Dining Credit
At the time of writing this post, Dining plans aren’t currently running (though they’re due back by October!) Think about how much you want to spend while you’re away or where you want to eat. (Dis Trip Planner has a great tool to help you) Food at Disney really adds up, as a family of 4 we’re looking at around about £2000 just to eat quick service for 2 weeks!
Once you know how much you’re planning to spend, check it out vs a Dining plan if they’re running. You could save yourself some money. Another good tip is to keep an eye out for Dining Credit deals, when we booked we recieved $504 to use towards dining, it won’t last long but every little helps!
Fastpass (or Genie+)
Sadly since my last trip to Walt Disney World the Fasspass has ended. Fastpass was a great way to get on some of the more popular rides and enjoy your trip.
There isn’t much information out right now, but Disney are adding Genie to their app which is a free planning services to help you organise your trip. Along with this is Genie+ a paid service ($15 per person, per day) which will allow you to book access to 1 ride (not the popular rides) at a time during your day at the park. On top of this there are aditional fees for the more popular rides, up to 2 rides per day.
Whether you want to use this service will be totally up to your family and your budget, but it is something that’s worth keeping in mind.
No Park Days
What, go to Walt Disney World and DON’T visit the parks?! But you’re going to need a break I promise you. Make sure to think about those no park days, what are you going to do? Where will you go? What will you eat? Try to do activities that involve less walking and prehaps try something different. Theres so much to chose from; shopping, mini golf or a campfire and a movie.
This are just 5 things to think about when planning a Walt Disney World Holiday, what’s on your list for planning? Are you a planner with a folder or do you just go with the flow?
Not ready for Walt Disney World? Check out my other post on planning Disneyland Paris.