Advance Planning is Key When Visiting Walt Disney World

Author Jessica Mitchell
While it is true that a trip to Walt Disney World can be a fabulous vacation, it can also be a stressful way to spend time with your family. There are many tips and secrets that you can use when traveling to Walt Disney World that will greatly reduce your stress level and save you time and money on your entire vacation.

Walt Disney World in Orlando encompasses four major theme parks, two water parks, and dozens of shopping and entertainment options. Since the average family vacations at Walt Disney World for only 4 days, it is obvious tough choices will need to be made when planning your vacation.

One of the most valuable tips is planning your days in advance. This will allow you to focus on what you and your family would like to do during the days you are visiting Walt Disney World. After planning your days of travel, you should then decide what parks you want to visit. The age of your children and the number of days you have to fill will be important factors in your decision. Traveling with very young children usually means a full day at the Magic Kingdom and maybe little or no time at Epcot. If you are visiting the Walt Disney area for the first time, you might want to tour each of the four parks over your vacation. The four parks, Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney Studios and Animal Kingdom offer different themes and attractions for the entire family. If you do only have four days to tour the parks and plan to visit each of the parks, you will definitely need to plan in advance what you really want to see at each park. Touring each park in only one day, while trying to see every attraction is only for truly, marathon type theme park visitors (don't even try it with kids).

The best way to lay out your touring plans is to figure what parks you wish to cover during your vacation and how many theme park days you have to spend overall. Before you decide which day to visit a particular park, you should consult the park hours for each individual park. This will allow you to maximize your days and get the most time out of each Disney Park. For example, if during your visit the Magic Kingdom has daily hours of 9am to 7pm, except on weekends when the closing time is extended to 10pm or later, it would make sense to visit that park on the extended days. Another alternative is to visit another park in the morning and "hop" to the Magic Kingdom later in the day to get a full days value of the parks (note: park hopping is only available to guests that pay for this feature on their admission ticket and is not advisable for guests traveling with very young children as traveling park to park in one day does take up a lot of time and energy).

Once you decide on what parks you will be visiting you should review the attractions at each park. This will allow you to create your "must see" list for each park. This is especially important when traveling during very busy seasons. Advanced planning will also allow you to work in character dining meals and other dining options that are difficult to book at the last minute.

Overall one of the best tips for your Walt Disney Vacation is advance planning. Families that do plan out their trip in advance are always less stressed and find they see more and do more at Walt Disney World. A final note on advanced planning - while it can be seen as too structured and less spontaneous, a good Walt Disney plan allows for some flexibility. Disney World specializes in entertainment options, so if you find your plan needs to be modified once you are in Orlando, just go with the flow and be flexible to changes. The most important thing is a general plan for your days with your 'not to be missed attractions". Once in Disney World, let the Disney magic guide you to a fabulous vacation.

Jessica Mitchell is also the author of the Mouse Manual a travel guide with Walt Disney World Tips that will help you get the most out of your next Disney vacation

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