How to plan a trip to Disney World

We’ve asked popular family blogger @sarahjchristie from the blog ‘Extraordinary Chaos’ about her experience and top tips when planning a trip to the esteemed Walt Disney World. Here’s what she said:

Disney is all booked, the kids are excited, in fact scrap that, you are excited! Or it is just me that get more excited than the kids about a Disney trip? But it is not a show up a play type of a trip. A Disney vacation takes preparation and planning and if you get that right, it saves all the stress on arrival. I like to have everything planned so that when our holiday starts we can follow the plan and enjoy our time in the parks.


Firstly you need to sign up for My Disney Experience and get the mobile app. My Disney experience is the Disney online booking platform for FastPass+. This will enable you to pre-book up to 3 rides or experience up to 30 days prior to you trip, with valid theme park tickets.

Hollywood Tower ride

Choose your rides wisely and pre-book the rides that a more likely to have queues. I found a great strategy is to get to the park for rope drop and go straight to the back of the park. It is always quieter; we target our favourite ride, then work forward setting our FastPass+ choice for later in the morning. As soon as you have used a pass, go to a machine or onto your app and book another for later in the day. We found this really worked for us. The key is choosing the 3 rides you most want to ride and booking those, then mopping up the rest throughout the day. If you are visiting Animal Kingdom and want to ride the safari, head straight towards that at rope drop, the wait is generally not that long. You can then plan your fast passes and work backwards from there. My Disney Experience also offers you useful information such as park opening times, character meet and greet times and locations and enables you to pre-book restaurants.



When choosing restaurants, decide on a daily itinerary and pre-book. Favourites such as the Sci-Fi Dine-In and character meals get booked months in advance. I set out a rough plan of our trip and pre-booked all the restaurants that we wanted to eat in or experience. There is some room to change about, but it is worth booking in advance especially if the kids have a certain restaurant they want to visit.

Mickey mouse ice cream

What to pack?

Be prepared and take a lightweight backpack, if you plan to be out all day you will need to be prepared with lots of supplies. Such as easy to apply sun cream, you need to keep applying throughout the day, so a high factor spray saves a drama. Our boys welcomed the spray as it cooled them down. They would not have appreciated a thick rub on lotion; it was too hot and sticky for that. Take sunhats, glasses and water fans. They can be expensive in the parks, but can be picked up for a reasonable price in supermarkets. As soon as the kids see the water fan they will want one, and to be honest when queuing to meet a character, they are a godsend. Be sure to take water bottles, there are fill up stations all over the parks. I found insulated non spill bottles better, they kept the water cooler for longer and as I always ended up carrying them I wasn’t worrying about them spilling out in the backpack.

If you plan to see the fireworks at Epcot booking a dinner reservation and requesting seating overlooking the lake, it is great way to enjoy them without the crowds. We ate in the English Pub on the verandah overlooking the lake and thoroughly enjoyed watching the fireworks as we dined.


Disney character meet and greet

If you plan to spend quite a bit of time in the Disney Parks My Photo Pass is a great option, you do not need to worry about getting shots of all the family together as there are cast members with cameras everywhere. The Photo Pass also includes character spot photos and ride photos. We had 500 amazing photos in our Photo Pass when we came home. And lastly be ready with an autograph book and pen. Although there are lots of pre-arranged photo spots, the characters do tend to occasionally pop up.

Now you have done all that preparing and planning there is only one thing left to do? Have an incredible time, chill and reap the rewards of your careful planning. Oh and whatever you do wear worn in, comfy shoes!

If you’re planning a trip to DisneyWorld, here at Top Villas, we offer a vast collection of Orlando vacation homes, located only minutes away! To book or find out more information, call up today and speak to our sales team who will happily assist you: 1-866-341-8086 (US) or 0800 43 34567 (UK.) Our Concierge team are also on hand to help guide you through the way when purchasing attraction tickets, arranging dinner reservations or any other extras you may require on your dream Disney trip.


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