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by Wishes Diva

When planning your Disney Vacation it can sometimes feel impossible to keep track of everything you need to do! From reservations and Fast Passes to dining and transportation, there can be a lot to do!

Planning Checklist- Putting the Pixie Dust in to Your Vacation

My hope is this list will help streamline your thinking to give you a concise place to start. Keep in mind that even though everything on this list should be done before you leave, your timeline will vary based on where you’re staying! If this list overwhelms you, or even if it doesn’t, a travel agent can be your biggest asset when planning a trip.

Pop Century

Lion King section at Art of Animation

Pick your dates. There are a lot of factors that can go into when you plan your trip. If you are someone who tends to avoid crowds, visiting during a common school break time or a holiday is not for you. Also be sure to do some research on when different events are held a Disney, including RunDisney events and holiday parties. Also, take into consideration the length of your stay in regards to your budget.

Pick your hotel. Do you want to stay on Disney property or off but close by? Are you planning on doing any other sightseeing or activities in the Orlando area? Those are both important questions that you need to ask yourself when choosing a hotel. The other important question is: what does my budget look like? There are nearly 30 on-property resorts to choose from as well as countless others. Do some reading online to help determine where you want to be. Also, dig into some reviews online as well to make sure what you see online will be what you get!

Decide on which type of ticket you’d like to utilize. Disney has a couple of options for tickets, so you’ll need to decide when you book which type you’ll need. The first thing you’ll need to pick is how many days you’ll be in the parks, and which parks you plan to do. This plus your budget will help you pick your ticket. Disney has a base ticket which will get you into one park per day, or they have a park hopper option which enables you to travel between parks on the same day.

Book your package! Once you have decided on tickets and hotels, you are ready to book! Room-only reservations can typically be booked 499 days out. Package deals are a different story this is where a travel agent can be a huge help in notifying you when packages are set to be released. If you’re not using an agent then keep up on Disney blogs and social media to see when packages for your timeline will be released.

Download the My Disney Experience app and link your reservation. This app is a HUGE help for all your planning. You can log in to the app using the account you created if you booked your vacation online. Otherwise, you will need to create a new account. This app is helpful in all facets of the planning process, especially for making dining reservations and FastPass plans.

Make a basic itinerary outline. After you’ve decided what tickets you’ll need it is helpful to lay out a basic itinerary for your days. This will be helpful in moving forward with your dining reservations and fast passes.

Chef Mickey's

Meeting Mickey at Chef Mickey’s

Book your dining reservations. Depending on where you are staying will determine when you can make reservations for dining. If you are staying on property you can book 180 days out from check-in and you can book for up to a 10-day vacation at that time. If you are staying off property your window will open at 180 days also but you’ll only be able to do one day at a time.

Begin Online Check-in. This can be done online or via the My Disney Experience app. This will help you make any special room requests and if you’re staying on property it will also allow you to customize your Magic Bands.

Book your FastPasses. Once again this timeline will depend on where you are staying. On property, guests will have the benefit of booking Fast Passes 60 days prior to their trip, whereas off-property guests will have to wait until 30 days before. This is one of the biggest draws for staying on property because it gives you a higher likelihood of getting the Fast Passes you want.

Consider any extras. Look into other things that Disney has to offer such as their Memory Maker options. If you are visiting during the holiday season you may want to look into Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party or Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, both of which require a separate party-specific ticket.

Below is a simplified checklist of all the information given above. Happy planning!

Walt Disney World Planning Checklist:

  1. Pick your dates.
  2. Pick your hotel.
  3. Pick your tickets.
  4. Book package!
  5. Download the MDE app and link.
  6. Create a basic itinerary.
  7. Book dining reservations.
  8. Begin online check-in.
  9. Book FastPasses.
  10. Consider the extras.