Monday, February 17, 2014

Disney Trip Planning Checklist: The Basics



A Walt Disney World vacation can be a big investment and often is a once in a lifetime experience.  Even the most seasoned Disney veteran can become confused with all of the details.  Here is a basic overview checklist to help you organize your plans.

1. CHOOSE A RESORT:
Value, Moderate, Deluxe, Villa, Family Suite?  
Be sure to check out the "SPECIAL OFFERS" for various room types.  
For more details on choosing a room, see my article about choosing a Disney Resort:  http://www.theprincesspapersblog.blogspot.com/2014/02/walt-disney-world-resorts-which-one.html

2.  CHOOSE TICKETS:
A.  How Many Days?
There are 4 parks: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom.
There are significant discounts on 5-day or more tickets.
Base tickets allow entrance to one park each day.

B.  Adding Park-Hopping?
Park-Hopping allows entrance to multiple parks each day for an additional fee.
There is enough to do at each park to fill an entire day.
First-time visitors may want to spend a full day or more exploring each park.
Hopping may take an hour one-way and require significant additional walking.
Use hopping for short trips or for great flexibility.

C.  Adding Water Parks and More?
For a fee, this allows entrance to both water parks, Disney Quest interactive games, Wide World of Sports Complex, and a walking golf course.
Add this option if you want to spend at least two days going to these places.
If you plan on only one day of these activities, buy a one-day separate ticket.

Discounts are available for adding BOTH "Hopping" and "More" together.

3.  CHOOSE MEAL PLAN OR PAY AS YOU GO FOR FOOD?:
Meal plans are only available for guests staying at a Disney-owned resort.
Every guest in the same room must choose the same meal plan.
All meal plans include a souvenir refillable mug for use at resorts (1 per person)
Meal plans are a good value for families with 2 or more kids.
The Basic Meal plan is a good value for guests who go to Character Dinners or eat a lot of steak.
The Deluxe Meal plan can be a good value for guests who enjoy Signature/Fine Dining each night.
Meal plans are good for budgeting/prepaid planning purposes.
Meal Plans are a good value if part of a Special Offer package, especially "Free Dining" promotions.
The Quick-Service meal plan, unless part of a special offer discount, is not a good value compared to cash prices.

There are 3 meal plan options (meals are PER NIGHT/per person)
*Quick-Service Plan (2 counter-service meals with drink and dessert plus 1 snack)
*Basic Plan (1 counter-service meal with drink and dessert, 1 table-service meal with drink and dessert or buffet INCLUDING 1 CREDIT CHARACTER MEALS, plus 1 snack)
*Deluxe Plan (3 meals of any type including drink and dessert.  Appetizer also included at all table-service meals. plus 2 snacks)

4.  MAKE DINING RESERVATIONS:
Dining reservations may be made up to 180 days in advance.
Guests do not have to be staying at a Disney-owned resort to make dining reservations.
Reservations must be cancelled 1 day in advance to avoid a $10 per person fee.
Book reservations to match Fastpass+ attraction reservations (same park/same day).

5.  MAKE FASTPASS+ RESERVATIONS:
Reserve attraction (rides) up to 60 days in advance.
Only guests at Disney-owned resorts may schedule in advance (at this time).
Only 3 FP+ reservations permitted per day (at this time).
Book reservations to match dining reservations (same park/same day).

For the best Special Offer pricing and complimentary service with booking and coordinating all dining and fastpass+ reservations, make certain to use a Disney Authorized Travel Agent!  I recommend using www.ImaginationsVacationsbyKatherine.com , official sponsor of The Princess Papers!  Free itinerary planning from a mom with a love of Disney.

Let Katherine know that you found her on The Princess Papers!

2 comments:

  1. This is Exactly what I need to see!! First Trip!!

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    Replies
    1. I"m glad it helped you! Sometimes a basic step by step list is the simplest way to cover something that can be so confusing.

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