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Disney World Vacation Planning Guide


Tips and Advice to Help You Book a Walt Disney World Vacation in Orlando


Looking at the size and scope of this website, you may start to think that quantum physics is easier than planning a Disney vacation. Relax, there are a few basic steps to follow that will make it easy on you and your pocketbook.

Selecting a Disney World Resort

  • Disney Resort hotel rooms have different sizes and capacities, so it’s important to first figure out how many people you will be traveling with, as not all rooms at all the Resorts can accommodate more than a party of four. While the first child under the age of three does not count toward the room capacity, they must still be listed on the reservation.

  • The Disney Resorts are heavily themed, so once you’ve figured out which ones can accommodate your party size, take a look at photos and video of the Disney Resorts to see which ones you like best.
  • Budget - Take a look at our Walt Disney World Resort Room Rates list. At first glance, staying on site may seem out of reach. Even the Disney Value Resorts are higher priced than some of the surrounding Orlando area hotels which often offer enticements such as free kid’s meals. However, what you’re saving in vacation dollars may be costing you in other ways.
    For example, unless you want to be held captive by an off-site resort’s shuttle schedule, you’ll more than likely need to rent a car. In addition to dealing with traffic, there are parking fees at the theme parks that would be included if you stayed onsite. Take a moment to see what you’ll be getting or giving up and paying for when making your decision: Disney World Resort Comparisons.


When to go to Walt Disney World:
  • Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have Disney World all to yourself? We all have that dream, but the reality is that most of us are dealing with school/work schedules. The Mouse knows when most of us are free to travel, and the prices vary accordingly during the various travel seasons. While logic would tell you that “Value” Season means fewer visitors, traveling any time when school is out is going to translate to the parks being busy. Here’s another instance where staying onsite makes a huge difference. You can take advantage of Disney’s Early Theme Park Entry / Extended Theme Park Hours when staying at a Disney resort.

  • Another determining factor of when you should visit Walt Disney World are the special offers and discounts that Disney releases at certain times throughout the year. Now, these aren’t set in stone, but typically Disney will offer a discount on their resort hotels or have a vacation package with free dining at certain times throughout the year. If you and your family are on a budget, then planning your visit around one of these deals can be very important.
Disney World Tickets
  • The Walt Disney World Resort theme park ticket pricing structure is based on an interactive calendar based on dates chosen by the purchaser. In some aspects, it's easy to see exactly how much tickets will cost you, but if you don't know the exact dates you plan on visiting, this system can prove to be a bit difficult. We've done our best to lay out the nitty gritty. Undercover Tourist offers discounted and refundable Walt Disney World E-tickets & physical tickets! (See ticket details for full refund policy.)

    Tickets for Walt Disney World are no longer priced on a value, regular, and peak season scale. Instead, Walt Disney World single-day and multi-day tickets are now priced based on the date guests intend to visit. The multi-day ticket pricing will be based on the arrival date chosen at the time of purchase.

    As an example, a one-day ticket varies in pricing from $109 to $159 per day depending on the exact dates that are chosen to visit a theme park and which additional options are chosen. The prices are subject to change at any time without notice, but the charts below show a range of what you can expect to pay per day depending on the length of ticket you purchase. It's also important to not that these are the advance-purchase prices; waiting to buy your park tickets until you arrive at the gate will be more expensive. Multi-day tickets decrease in price per day, so the more days you visit a theme park, the less it costs per day.

    Below is a breakdown on the usage window for theme park tickets:

Walt Disney World Vacation Packages:
  • For ease of travel, you can’t beat a Disney World Vacation Package.

    Simply put, a Disney package is a booking that has, at a minimum, a room reservation and theme park admission. You can add other components like dining and recreation, but Disney has some rules about adding those things. But in its most basic form – a package is a resort room and theme park admission.

    Begin building your dream Disney vacation by choosing from over 25 Disney Resort hotels and then customize a Disney package that lets you take advantage of all 4 theme parks, 2 water parks and over 150 Walt Disney World restaurant and dining locations!

The eternal debate:
Travel Agent or Planning your own Disney World Vacation

As you can see, planning a Disney vacation can be easy if you just do a little bit of research. Which park has Early Theme Park Entry / Extended Theme Park Hours? Is there a special event going on? Are all of the attractions open? Is my favorite restaurant available? When can I book it? The list is endless and can become quite time consuming.

Planning a Walt Disney World vacation is different than it was 10, or even 5 years ago. With the addition of Disney Genie, My Disney Experience, and everything else that goes along with planning a Walt Disney World vacation, it can feel like a full time job.

This is where using a travel agent that specializes in booking Disney vacations is invaluable. We're biased and think that Dreams Unlimited Travel is your best choice on the market. Your Dreams agent knows all of the ins and outs of planning a Disney vacation. Tours, dining, recreation, etc, can all be taken care of in advance. Our agents can even add the information to your My Disney Experience itinerary if you’d like! They can also send you a customized itinerary to print out and take with you if you’d prefer that. In addition to your own dining reservations, touring tips and the like, the itinerary can include the Park hours, when Extra Magic Hours are scheduled, what time the parades take place and if an attraction is closed during your visit. As always, using a travel agent will not cost you anything extra.

Another advantage of using Dreams is in finding Disney discounts. If there’s one in effect when you book, great, but what if one comes out later on? Your Dreams agent will constantly check to see if you can get a better rate. They have saved their clients countless thousands of dollars over the years by doing this. Forget about Disney giving you a better price if a new offer is released after you've booked with them. While the DIS does let you know when these discounts come out, if you don’t see it right away, there’s a chance you’ll miss out on getting it. Let our experienced agents do that work for you.

There you have it, Walt Disney World Vacation Planning 101. With these basics, you’re off to a good start. For hardcore planners, there are also a ton of useful tips found here: Disney Planning.

A little bit of advance homework should make your Disney vacation what it was meant to be. A memorable, magical trip that everyone will enjoy.


Our travel agents will assist you in booking the perfect Disney getaway, all at no extra cost to you. Get the most out of your Disney vacation by letting us assist you with dining and park reservations, provide expert advice, answer any questions, and continuously search for discounts to ensure you get the best deal possible.