Well over one hundred million people pour into Disney amusement parks every year. Each of those people plan their weekends, days-trips, and vacations around Disney attractions for the same core reason…
They want to enjoy a slice of the magic that the Walt Disney Company has built its brand on for decades.
Today, visiting a Disney theme park can be challenging depending on where you live and if you’re harboring preexisting health conditions. Still, putting your park plans on hold doesn’t mean you should stop making park plans. As a matter of fact, we recommend you plan your Disney family holiday now since you may have extra time to do so!
There are a lot of considerations that go into putting together the perfect Disney getaway. In this post, our team shares a few tips that can help you get your aspirations on track.
1. Pick Your Park(s) Wisely
As we’re sure you know, there’s a wide range of Disney parks across the globe. If you’re in the United States, the parks you’re looking at are the ones located in the Disneyland area in California or the Disney World area in Florida.
Consider which of those two areas you’d like to relegate your Disney vacation to. Disneyland is the historic park that started it all. Disney World is significantly more expansive and will give your family more ways to dive into the magic.
On an obvious note, the closer you are to the park you choose to visit, the less money you’ll spend on transportation costs.
2. Select a Time of Year
When you choose to tackle your Disney family holiday will have an impact on how much you’ll pay for it.
During a typical year, January through Spring Break is the cheapest time to visit Disney parks. Any time during holiday periods (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas) will be the most expensive.
Sure, it can be nice to visit parks during the holidays to see the unique shows and decorations that are available. If saving hundreds on room rates and hiked ticket pricing is more important to you though, try visiting the park earlier in the year.
3. Weigh Dining Options
A lot of people forgo weighing all of their dining options when going on their Disney family holiday which can be a costly mistake. Disney offers dining plans which they can roll into your room rate that enables your family to eat a set amount of meals for free while they’re in the parks.
Granted, these meal plans are expensive.
While meal plans make eating while enjoying your holiday seamless, you’ll pay more for a plan than you would if you took a quick break from the parks to eat at local fast-food establishments or restaurants. Both Disneyland and Disney World Theme Parks have fast food options located near their park gates.
Run the numbers on whether you’d like to dine in-park or off-site to see what makes the most sense.
4. Buy Tickets in Bulk
You’ll want to figure out ahead of time how many days you’re going to spend in Disney theme parks. That’s because when you buy your tickets, bulk-buying will net you a huge discount.
You could, of course, buy tickets at the gate each morning when you get to the parks from your hotel. If you do that though, you’ll be asked to pay the standard, single-ticket rate which, in some cases, can be $30+ per ticket more in comparison to buying large batches.
5. Look Into Onsite and Offsite Lodging
You’re visiting Disneyland/World so obviously, you’re going to stay in Disneyland/World lodging, right?
It’s no crime to stay at Disney-run properties. Those properties are wonderful extensions of the Disney brand and offer easy transportation to and from the parks.
That being said, at both Disneyland and Disney World, there are third-party lodging options that may be significantly cheaper.
If you’re having trouble getting the rate you want at your Disney hotel of choice, explore other hotels in the area or see more of the timeshare options that may exist.
6. Pre-Plan Your Big Attractions
There’s nothing worse than being stuck in long lines when visiting Disney Parks. The best remedy to that is to pre-plan your attraction visits through Disney’s reservation offerings.
At Disney World, you can pre-book your appointments on high-value attractions and have those reservations saved onto your Magic Band (bracelets that harbor your visitor information). At Disneyland, you can make reservations on rides via their FastPass booths that are stationed outside of each attraction.
FastPass+ lets you make these reservations from your phone but costs money.
7. Talk to an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner
Overwhelmed by all of this Disney Vacation planning advice? If you answered, “Yes!”, talk to a vacation planner.
Several travel agents work directly for Disney or are commissioned by Disney that can help you plan all the ins and outs of your Disney vacation. What’s best is that these agents are compensated by Disney so you don’t have to pay them to help you plan your perfect family holiday.
Your Disney Family Holiday May Be Closer Than You Think
It’s easy to get caught up in everything that’s happening right now and to assume it’ll be a long time until you can visit Disney. While it’s true that it could take a little while to get back to a sense of normalcy in some parts of the world, optimism dares us to dream of a brighter tomorrow.
On that note, have fun planning your Disney family holiday and feel free to browse more content on our blog for additional helpful advice.