by Ashley M. Biggers
Many families dream of a Walt Disney World Resort vacation. Dreaming can quickly turn to confusion when trip planning begins and a slew of questions arise. With AAA Travel partners like TouringPlans.com, the planning process is a breeze!
- Stay on property
You’ll be hard pressed to find a safe, functional hotel close to Walt Disney World Resort for less than $80. With resort and other fees, the total nightly cost may be closer to $120. That’s near the price of Disney’s Value Resort Hotels, which have added benefits such as extra time in the park, and free transportation to and from the Orlando airport and throughout the Walt Disney World Resort.
- Buy tickets up front
Buying your tickets in advance saves you money. If you wait to buy multi-day passes until you arrive, you can expect to pay up to $21.60 more per ticket. (That’s $86.40 for a family of four.) Also, you can use Disney’s new seasonal pricing to your advantage by purchasing multi-day passes for the day before peak-season price increases take effect.
- When to visit
If you’re looking to travel outside peak periods, book your trip in September, February (except around President’s Day and Mardi Gras), May and the last weeks of August.
- Should you buy Park Hopper passes?
It depends on when you plan to visit. For example, if your trip falls during a holiday season the pass comes in handy. During these times, the Magic Kingdom closes at 6 p.m. several days a week for special events, giving you plenty of time to head to Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios or Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
- Get through lines faster
Make FastPass+ reservations. Book early-morning times, especially for headliner attractions like Space Mountain, Splash Mountain and new rides. Generally, you should make your reservations 60 days in advance. Also, arrive as early as possible. How early? During the fall of 2019, when Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opened at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the park opened at 6 a.m. and people began lining up at 4 a.m. The earlier you get there, the shorter the ride lines.
6. Optimize your trip
A study from North Carolina’s Elon University’s “The Science of Happiness at Disney” class revealed that the most happiness-inducing park experiences are character greetings, parades and fireworks. Character meals set up those treasured greetings. Skip breakfasts — that time of day is best spent riding hard-to-get-on rides — and opt for lunch and dinner instead. Book these meals 180 days in advance when tickets become available. The most popular meals and times sell out even that far ahead of time.
CTA: Do you have Disney questions? Your AAA Travel Agent has the answers! Call 800-750-5386 today!