No matter when you’re planning to visit Walt Disney World®, you’re bound to have a good time because it’s Disney®. No matter how you plan your trip, be sure to enjoy this unique lifetime experience. That said, there are some tips for planning your Disney® vacation 2021 that can help ensure you make the most of your time.
Carefully consider when you’ll visit
First and foremost, decide when you’ll visit Walt 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 works for you, then take a look at Disney® Crowd Calendar to see which weeks are busier than others. Planning to visit during a less crowded week can make a significant difference in how much you’re able to do.
Don’t buy your park tickets at the gate
If you wait until you’re at the gate to buy your Walt Disney World® tickets there may be several disadvantages. First, you may miss out on discounts available when you buy your tickets ahead of time. Second, you don’t want to spend most of your day waiting for your tickets, you’ll want to use that time waiting to get on the ride! Third, parks tend to reach capacity and quickly so you will need to make a reservation to ensure that you can get in (and we don’t mean FastPass+ reservations).
Consider all accommodation options
Figuring out the best place to stay during your Disney® vacation 2021 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 may come at a greater 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 one-quarter of what you’d pay to stay at a Disney® hotel.
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 money at the same time. Make sure you check out what is acceptable on the Disney® website.
Make FastPass reservations 30 days in advance
I’m adding this point because, at the moment, the Disney® FastPass+ is temporarily suspended and removed from the My Disney Experience® app. Disney may decide to reintroduce the FastPass+ at a later time or not at all, but keep your eyes open. When FastPAss+ was available, when you buy your tickets in advance, you are then able to make FastPass+ reservations 30 days before your trip. You could choose to make up to three reservations at one park, and if you made reservations before 3 p.m., the possibility of more FastPasses open may open up later. 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 takes just minutes compared to potentially hours in traditional lines.
Be prepared for any type of weather
No matter what time of year you’re heading to Walt 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 general store.
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 may congratulate you. It is a nice personal touch to add to your Orlando vacation experience.
Remember to mask up*
Finally, remember to bring your mask. Neck gaiters are not allowed to be worn while inside the parks. Everyone is required to wear their mask at all times except for when you are eating or drinking while stationary. Social distancing while waiting in line applies, however, there are visible floor markers to indicate the proper distance. It is nice knowing that even though the lines may look longer, that they really aren’t as long. Plus, you have more personal space while in line! Be sure to visit The Frugal South article on Tips When Planning Your Disney® Trip for more info on your next visit to “The Most Magical Place On Earth!“