I get many questions from people who are thinking about visiting Walt Disney World and want Disney World vacation tips and suggestions. Disney vacation planning can be very involved and confusing as well, so the goal of this series is to start at the beginning, and look at everything you need to think about, in the general order you need to think about it. Each week’s post will be numbered and will eventually link to all the others so that, when complete, you will have a guide with all the steps and information you need to plan your own Disney magic.
So, as Mickey would say: “On with the show!”
Let’s start at the beginning, because you can’t do any other Disney vacation planning until you do this: decide when are you going to go?
I think you can’t really decide this until you take an honest look at yourself, your family, and everyone’s tolerance for things like crowds, heat, rain, as well as your budget to a certain extent.
Let’s look at a common scenario: If you have children, you may need to plan around school vacations: summer, Thanksgiving, Christmas, spring breaks etc. If you do this, it is important to realize that everyone else will probably be doing that as well. So, these are the times that will be most crowded. Is that ok for you and your family? These are the times that can also be the most expensive, or offer the fewest discounts. What is your budget like?
Are your children in school? Will going during the school year compromise their school work and grades? Many people choose to visit Disney World during the school year, precisely to avoid the hot weather and crowds, but if you are considering this, make sure you discuss this with your child’s school and/teacher.
Consider how you feel about weather as well. Do you mind heat and humidity? If you do, then you should probably not consider a vacation during the summer months. Florida humidity is brutal if you are not used to it, and vacations during this time of year require careful logistics to keep everyone from having “meltdowns”.
The thing is, there is no right or wrong answer to any of these questions, just what is right for you and your family. Everyone has a different comfort level when it comes to this. Only you know what is best for your family.
For this week then, let’s decide when you are going to go. Look at school and work holidays if necessary to help you decide when you want to visit. And in addition to the above, it will be helpful to consider the following:
- Try to plan as far ahead as possible, 6 -9 months in advance is optimal.
- Try to allow some flexibility at this point in your planning: have a general idea of the time of year, or the month that you want to visit, but if possible, don’t choose an actual week/days. Having some degree of flexibility may allow you to save money down the road when booking your hotel room and transportation, since even within a season some days of the week will be less expensive than other.
Good luck with your affordable Disney vacation planning. Have a magical day!
This post is part of the Disney Blog Carnival. Be sure to visit there to read more fun and interesting posts from some great Disney bloggers!
- Affordable Disney Vacations Step by Step. Part Two: What do You Want to See?
- Affordable Disney Vacations Step by Step. Part Three: How Long Will You Stay?
- Affordable Disney Vacations Step by Step. Part Ten: Why Not Take a Train?
- Affordable Disney Vacations Step by Step. Final Thoughts: Keeping the Magic Alive
- Affordable Disney Vacations Step by Step. Part Thirteen: Decide if the Disney Dining Plan is Right For You