No matter when you’re planning to visit Disney World, you’re bound to have a good time. No matter how you plan your trip, you’re sure to have the time of your life. That said, there are some tips for planning your Disney vacation 2018 that can help ensure you have the best time possible. Check them out and then get started on your planning.
1. Carefully consider when you’ll visit
First and foremost, decide when you’ll visit Disney World. For some families, the options are limited due to school or work schedules. However, if you have some flexibility, consider traveling during some of the less crowded months, such as February, April, or September. If summers are the only time that work for you, then take a look at Disney Crowd Calendar’s to see which weeks are busier than others. Planning for one week that’s less busy can make a significant difference in how much you’re able to do.
2. Don’t buy your park tickets at the gate
If you wait until you’re at the gate to buy your Disney World tickets you’ll have several disadvantages. First of all, you’ll be wasting money as there are discount theme park tickets available. Second of all, you’ll be wasting time. Don’t spend time waiting to buy tickets when you can already have them ready to be used weeks before the trip.
3. Consider all accommodation options
Figuring out the best place to stay during your Disney vacation 2018 isn’t as simple as just looking at Orlando hotels and choosing one. You’ll also want to consider other options like local resort spas and even Orlando vacation home rentals. You may be surprised to learn that Orlando vacation homes are often more affordable than renting hotel rooms. This is especially true when you have larger groups, as vacation homes can have as many as eight bedrooms. This allows for the rental of a single home for larger parties.
In most cases, we don’t recommend that you stay at Disney properties. There are advantages but they are far outweighed by the extra cost. For example, you get free shuttle service from those hotels to the parks. However, you can get the same free shuttle service at a nearby hotel that costs literally one-quarter of what you’d pay to stay at a Disney hotel.
4. Bring your own food into the parks
We find that many people don’t realize that they can bring food and drinks into the parks. Note that you can’t bring alcohol, and hard coolers aren’t allowed – though soft-walled coolers are. If you stay at a resort or a vacation home with a kitchen you can have breakfast before you go to the parks, bring your lunch into the park, and then only spend money on dinners. This is a great way to stay healthy on your trip while saving hundreds of dollars at the same time.
5. Make FastPass+ reservations 30 days before you trip
Another reason that it pays to buy your theme park tickets in advance is that you’re then able to make FastPass+ reservations 30 days before your trip. Essentially, you can choose one park per day to make reservation-style fast passes. You pick the ride and a time slot, and then you show up to that ride during that time slot. Instead of waiting in line, you get to go through a FastPass+ line that take just minutes compared to potentially hours in traditional lines.
6. Be prepared for any type of weather
No matter what time of year you’re heading to Disney World, make sure you’re equipped for any type of weather. It may be hotter or cooler than you expect. It may be dry as a bone the entire time or it may rain every day. Bring layers so you can be ready for a change in temperature at a moment’s notice, and bring your own ponchos. You can likely find inexpensive options at your local dollar store.
7. Make sure they know it if you’re celebrating
If it’s your birthday, your honeymoon, your anniversary, or another important milestone, ask at any Guest Relations window for a celebration pin. They’ll write your name on it and every Disney Cast Member who sees you will tell you congratulations. You may even get a freebie or two, but don’t be disappointed if you don’t get anything.