I want to thank Disney for hosting my family and me at the Walt Disney World® Resort where we spent a magical time filled with pixie dust.
I have visited the Walt Disney World® Resort with my family many times but I still remember the first time like it was yesterday. Everything has changed so much since I had been there as a kid and even though we had a magical and unforgettable vacation if I knew then what I know now my family and I would have been able to save money and manage our time better to create even more amazing memories. If you have never been to the Walt Disney World® Resort or are going back after visiting as a kid, like I did, planning your trip can seem like a daunting task; there are so many options and so many attractions and experiences to choose from. That is why I want to share with you my best tips so that you can save time and money and plan the best Walt Disney World® Vacation for your familia!
Planning is Key
For my family, planning our Walt Disney World® vacation is part of the fun. We involve the kids from the beginning; we start off by visiting MyDisneyExperience.com web site and downloading the My Disney Experience mobile app where we can create our own personal travel guide to the magic! On the web site and mobile app you will find maps and itinerary tools. You can also reserve your FastPass+ selections in advance and connect with family and friends to coordinate plans. Each member of our family adds their “must do” experiences to a wish list on MyDisneyExperience.com and we plan our vacation around that making sure that everyone gets to do those things that are important to them.
Why Staying At a Walt Disney World® Hotel is the Best Option
Staying at a Walt Disney World® Resort hotel will not only put you closer to the Walt Disney World® theme parks letting you save time and making it easier to go back to your hotel to rest or for a nap, which is especially important if you have small children, but it also provides countless additional benefits. When you are staying at a select Walt Disney World® Resort hotel there is no need to worry about transportation; you can take Disney’s Magical Express from the airport to your hotel, and then take the Walt Disney World® Resort transportation to the parks and other locations within Walt Disney World® Resort which means that you don’t have to spend money on renting a car and you don’t have to deal with the hassle of driving, finding parking, etc. All of this transportation is complimentary and is not only convenient but can also be a lot of fun. Everyone in my family loves riding the monorail and the boats to get to the parks and even the buses are a fun experience for the kids.
One of the best benefits of staying at a Walt Disney World® hotel is being able to take advantage of the Extra Magic Hours. Each day, at select Walt Disney World® Resort hotels, guests are offered exclusive time in a Walt Disney World® theme park one hour prior to scheduled park opening or up to three hours after park closing. The park varies from day to day. In addition, Walt Disney World® water parks sometimes open one hour early for guests of select Walt Disney World® Resort hotels. Being able to get into the parks earlier not only provides you and your family more time to enjoy the parks but it also lets you avoid long lines at some of yourfavorite rides.
Not only is staying at a Walt Disney World® hotel convenient but it’s also a fantastic experience in itself. All the Walt Disney World® Resort hotels have awesome and immersive themes that bring the magic of Disney into every moment you spend there. The awe in my kid’s faces as they walked into the lobby of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa the first time or their excitement when they saw the 50ft Mayan temple at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort was just priceless. Staying at a Walt Disney World® Resort hotel gives you a great opportunity to enjoy the Disney magic.
With over 20 Walt Disney World® Resort hotels, there are options for every preference and budget; from the Campsites at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort to South Pacific themed villas at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort and everything in between.
Taking Advantage of Disney FastPass+ service
The Disney FastPass+ service is a great tool that lets you and your family fit more favorite rides and attractions into your magical Walt Disney World® Resort adventure! With the Disney FastPass+ service you can reserve access to over 60 Walt Disney World® experiences 30 days before your trip or 60 days if you have a reservation at a select Walt Disney World® hotel. You can make up to three Disney FastPass+ service selections per day in advance either online or using the mobile app, or for the same day at an in-park Disney FastPass+ kiosk. After you redeem your initial three picks, you’ll be able to make another selection. For our family Disney FastPass+ service means that we all get to enjoy the rides and attractions we love the most without long lines which makes for a happier, stress free time at the parks.
Don’t Forget Your MagicBand
MagicBands are a great way to have everything you’ll need during your magical Disney vacation comfortably and conveniently on you at all times. MagicBands connect you to your park admission, give you direct access to Disney FastPass+ service experiences and Disney PhotoPass photos and videos. The MagicBands also serve as your room key when staying at a Walt Disney World® hotel. My kids love picking their customized MagicBands in their favorite colors on MyDisneyExperience.com and having the MagicBands gives older kids like mine so much confidence and independence. At the same time I don’t have to worry about them losing the room key, their park ticket or their Disney FastPass+ service because everything is connected to the MagicBands which they are wearing at all, times. MagicBands are even waterproof so you can even wear them at the Walt Disney World® Resort waterparks or at the hotel pool.