Walt Disney World Vacations are unlike any other vacation. They are fantastic fun but expensive and involve considerable advanced planning and research. Preparing for a Walt Disney World vacation starts long before your holiday begins. Our Walt Disney World Planning Timeline contains all the key dates to help you plan a perfect vacation.
As soon as possible
- Download our free Disney World Vacation Planners and start writing down your plans.
- Set a budget. Remember there will be extra expenses when you arrive at Walt Disney World.
- Check if your passport, if needed, is valid. Also, check on any US Visa or ESTA requirements.
- Check on the latest COVID-19 travel advice.
- Research resort options. Should you stay onsite or offsite?
- Research flights. Flight prices vary, and the best time to book differs from country to country.
- Will you book the vacation yourself or use a Disney Vacation Planner/Travel Agent?
- Research Walt Disney World via online media, guidebooks, etc. Look into when offers are historically released for Disney World Vacations, but things are not in a regular pattern at the moment.
- Consider ticket options
- Do you want to book purchase a Memory Maker?
- Do you want to visit Universal Orlando or other Orlando parks?
- Pick your dates and get any annual leave requests arranged.
Six months plus
- Book your Walt Disney World Vacation Accommodation.
- Book your flights.
- Book park tickets.
- Create a My Disney Experience account.
- Start making a provisional daily plan, including the days you intend to visit parks and the dining reservations you want to make.
- Please make a note of park hours as soon as they are released. Check for any scheduled special events on the days you plan to visit, meaning shorter park hours.
As soon as you book Park Tickets or a Disney Vacation Package
You must book your Disney Park Pass as soon as you have your tickets or book a Disney Vacation Package. You must have a Disney Park Pass to enter your first park daily. However, don’t worry; you can usually change these nearer the time, but occasionally parks get fully booked.
- Book your Disney World Advance Dining Reservations. The most popular restaurants fill up fast, and you must be ready to book when reservations are open. Bookings are open for all restaurants 60 days in advance. Guests staying at a Disney Resort can book reservations for their first ten days once they hit the 60-day mark. If you plan to dine in a park restaurant, ensure your Disney Park Pass covers the same day.
- Book any special experiences you plan to do when at Walt Disney World. Reservations are open for Droid Depot, Savi’s Workshop, Oga’s Cantina, and Enchanting Extras Collection experiences. Guests staying in a Disney Resort can also book for the first ten days of their vacation at this point.
- Disney no longer offers the free Magical Express from Orlando International Airport. Consider how you are going to get to your resort. If you are not hiring a car, we recommend Uber or Lyft.
- If you are going to need the use of a Mobility Scooter book now.
- If hiring a car, ensure you have booked and have any required permits. Our guide to Orlando without a car provides information on this important decision.
- Time to make any final changes to your plan.
- Print out a fresh copy of our Disney Vacation Planners to ensure everything is current.
- Decide if you want to book Disney Genie+ or make Individual Lightning Lane Purchases for any days you visit.
- If you want to get Memory Maker, the price increases three days before your arrival; make sure you have booked it.
- Check you have all required documents packed, including passports & credit cards.
- Check weather forecasts
- Check your plan one last time.
- Complete packing
- Have fun!!
Modern Life is Good contains handy guides to plan your Walt Disney World Vacation. Our Guide to Walt Disney World for Beginners is a great starting point for planning any vacation.