How to Plan a Trip to Walt Disney World

Crowd levels are 1 and 3 (with 10 being the busiest) during these off-peak times, temps are milder, prices are lower.

Crowds are between 4 and 6, temps are often milder during these times (except August) and prices are moderate.

Busy! Expensive! And you might not have much choice but to go during one of these times. Crowds are between 7 and 10, prices are at their highest. Pre-planning is the most important when going during one of these periods.

Choose Where to Stay

Value Resorts: $84-179 / night*

All-Star Movies Resort
All-Star Music Resort
All-Star Sports Resort
Art of Animation Resort
Pop Century Resort

Moderace Resorts: $159-279 / night*

Cabins at Ft. Wilderness Resort
Caribbean Beach Resort
Coronada Springs Resort
Port Orleans Resort - French Quarter
Port Orleans Resort - Riverside

Deluxe Resorts: $256-1130 / night*

Animal Kingdom Lodge
Beach Club Resort
Boardwalk Inn
Contemporary Resort
Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Polynesian Resort
Wilderness Lodge
Yacht Club Resort

Disney Deluxe Villa Resorts: $249-$$$$$* / night

Animal Kingdom Villas - Jambo House
Animal Kingdom Villas - Kidani
Bay Lake Tower at Cont. Resort
Beach Club Villas
Boardwalk Villas
Old Key West Resort
Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
Villas at Wilderness Lodge

Make a Daily Plan

For each day of your trip, figure out which parks you want to visit.

Some things to consider:

During some seasons, nighttime entertainment is only offered on certain days. If you want to see those shows, you will nedd to plan to be in that park on that day. During busy times, shows are usually offered daily.

People often pick parks that are scheduled to have an Extra Magic Hour but the least busy parks are usually the ones that had an Extra Magic Hour the day prior. For instance, if Magic Kingdom has a morning EMH on a Tuesday, Magic Kingdom probably won't be as busy on Wednesday.

Pick Dining Options

I'm gald I broke you in with the whole ''make a daily itinerary'' thing because it's about to get even crazier. Get this: you need to imagine where you will want to eat all of your meals for each day of your trip months beforehand. Well, i guess you don't have to do that, but you may find yourself without a place to eat dinner if you don't.

So let's do this:

  • Based on your daily park choices, pick dining that ise located near where you will be.
  • There are Quick Service dinig locations (like fast food) and Table Service (restaurants), Only Table Service locations require reservations.
  • Make your dining reservations ASAP online or by phone up to 6 months in advance.

Plan Park Touring

Each step may seem progressively more neurotic but just go with me on this. If you show up to a park and tour with the herd. Here's how you can make a basic plan for each day to avoid lines as much as possible.

Arrive at the parks before they open. Many (most!) people sleep in on vacation but you can get more done in the first hour than the rest of the day plus you can see the park opening show and, in warmer months, you can enjoy cooler temps by getting started early.

Plan to spend the 1st hour going to the busiest riders and then the rest of the day can be more spontaneous.

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