As many of you know, April and I are in the middle of planning a Disney World Vacation. We are super excited about it and we are a measly 39 days, 21 hours, 10 minutes and 5 seconds from being on vacation! Excited much?
Now, I say that we are in the middle of planning it, but it is mostly planned. And when I say we, I mean April. She certainly take the brunt of the planning of all of our vacations. But she enjoys doing it and I enjoy letting her.
What is there to plan? Aren’t you just going to go to the parks?
Well, yeah, we are definitely going to “just” be going to the parks. But if you don’t have a plan you might find yourself among throngs of crowds, waiting in hour long lines and not being able to get into the good restaurants.
When should you go?
I think a better question is when can you go? As for me, I will go whenever I can. With that said, there are times when the crowds are lighter.
I find that many people are hindered by their kid’s school schedule. We have been fortunate in that our kids have always done well enough in school that we can justify pulling them out for a week to go whenever we want.
That is why we are going the second week in December this year. The crowds will be on the light side. We will also get to see the Osborne Spectacle of Lights one last time.
I’ve done some research and writing on when to go. Check out my article on when to go for some tips. Check back often. It’s an evolutionary writing.
I have said it before and I’ll say it again here. Make dining reservations as far in advance as possible. Don’t say I did not warn you.
We have found that even making reservations exactly 180 days from the date of our stay, we often find it difficult to get into the more popular restaurants. Fortunately for us, the most popular restaurants are not our favorites, but if you’re looking for character dining it is best to book as soon as you can.
One of the restaurants that I’m really looking forward to this December is Coral Reef in Epcot. It is a really cool place to eat where the rolls sort of get reversed between fish and people. There is an enormous aquarium and the restaurant has stadium seating. It sort of feels like you are sitting in a fish bowl and the fish are viewing you. There are even sharks in the aquarium. SHARKS!
There are gobs of great restaurants to eat at. Pick the ones you want to eat at and jump on getting some reservations. Without them you may not get in. Again, I cannot say this enough.
Which Park, Which Day
This is a tricky one to figure out. If you are making in park dining reservations and do not have a park hopper, you may get pigeon holed into going to certain parks on certain days. Don’t be discouraged. You can work around this. The only park this really happens to with us is Epcot, usually, because we frequently eat at resort restaurants.
If you have some flexibility a great resource is the Undercover Tourist iPhone app. It’s free and easy to use. It not only gives you wait times for the attractions, but lists the parade times and even tells you what the estimated park crowds are heaviest and lightest for that day.
I love going to Magic Kingdom on the very first day we are there. To me it’s nostalgic and the crowds will not keep me away. But everyone is different.
Whatever parks you decide to visit on whichever day, you will certainly want to take advantage of FastPass+.
Learn how to skip the lines from the pros at Undercover Tourist. I cannot explain it any better than them, so I’ll just leave you with this link.
In short, though, FastPass+ allows you to skip the line queue by setting up an approximate time you want to ride a specific ride. You are allowed a few of these per day. I recommend using them for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in Magic Kingdom, Toy Story Mania and The Rockin’ Roller Coaster in Hollywood Studios, Soarin’ and Test Track in Epcot and Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest in Animal Kingdom.
What is a break day? Stay at the resort and go to the pool. They are all awesome and you get a relaxing day without having to rush to or from a park. April has found that these are her favorite days on vacation.
Planning a Disney World Vacation
Whatever your plan is, try to be flexible as well. You may end up having to change your plans due to weather or park crowds. But it’s OK. Relax. You’re on vacation at the most magical place on earth. And I’m sure you’ll be able to reschedule your plans.
If you have any questions or comments, as always, reach out to us below.