Welcome to the first in the series on planning your Walt Disney World trip. I know, you are looking at the title, the last thing you want is homework, holidays are meant to be all about the fun, right?
Wrong. The fun comes while on holiday, that amazing, one of a kind, magical experience where you get to kick back, relax and make the most of your time. To get to that point though, you need to put in the legwork, the research and planning. Thankfully, that is partly why I’m here to share my hard with you, to make your own planning and booking experience that much easier.
Know That You Need to Start a Year in Advance.
Yes, you really need to start looking a year in advance of when you plan to go. Why? To start giving you a rough idea of costs and what deals may be available. It lets you start saving up cash for deposits or Tesco Clubcard points to help offset the cost of a flight. My 2019 trip actually began its planning process sometime around March 2017, so even earlier than that! This gave me time to start asking friends and family who was wanting to go. You can also start looking at when particular deals become available with airlines and travel companies; when do they hold their sales? You can see the deals Disney offers directly; the free dining plan, room discounts or ticket offers. Starting so far out gives you a variety of choices to take down the line on what is going to work for you.
Money, Money, Money.
While it would be nice to think it wasn’t ultimately money is most likely to be the most significant deciding factor for your plans. Looking so far in advance lets you look at how room prices can be different at different times of year as well as flights and when deals may become available. Most people with kids or those who work term time (like myself) will be stuck to the most expensive times of the year. You can look at when the parks are traditionally quieter if you are in a position to do so. For checking park crowds, I would highly recommend Touring Plans, they give you the next few months for free when checking their crowd calendar, saving you some money but not having to sign up. While it may not be perfect or all that exact, it will give you a rough guide of what Disney is like at that particular time of year.
Thinking About Everyone
Looking so far in advance gave me a chance to show friends and family the kinds of things they could experience and, like above, giving them a price point. It began to frame what the holiday would be like and most importantly, gave everyone a chance to input what they are looking for, what they would like. There is nothing worse than planning something to realise people hate it, or on the flip side, being dragged along with plans, you know you know you won’t like. I know who would like what kind of dining experience, who loves what parks the best, those who want to do tours vs those who don’t. There’s a whole master plan evolving weeks before we even consider making a booking.
Some Pixie Dust
This post, like the beginning of planning a trip, is a bit of a ramble. It really serves to show you, to make the most, to make the right decisions, you need to be prepared. You need to look ahead if you want to make the best and most cost-effective savings for your Walt Disney World Trip.
The next post will cover why we book with Disney direct instead of a travel agent.