Top 5 Reasons To Go To Disney Without Kids

In November I was really excited to take an adults only trip with my favorite Dole Whippies to Walt Disney World.  You would not believe the amount of people who were incredulous about the idea of going to Disney without my child, with other adults!  But let me tell you, it was an amazing choice!  Here are some great reasons why you should take a kid free trip to Walt Disney World.

5. No sharing! Unless you want to!  You know how your child will order ice cream that is  blue just because it is blue, and you order a delicious mint chocolate chip scoop?  Except yours always looks more appealing once it shows up.  Well no sharing required, you get that Dole Whip to your self!

4. Explore the World Showcase!  This is one place it is hard to appreciate with kids who are just looking for their next snack or attraction.  You can really soak in the atmosphere of the different pavilions and experience all there is to do at your own pace!

3.You don’t have to get the light up toy.  You know, the kind on the cart that comes out at dusk and they are so bright and flashy and your kid MUST have it and you have to figure out how to get it home.  Not this time! You can stroll smugly by and keep your wallet in your purse or pocket.

2. Sleep in and stay out late.  Both of these things can be very hard to accomplish with kids of any ages, they get tired or grumpy or both.  Well this happens with adults too, but it is generally a little easier to handle.  You can take advantage of nighttime extra magic hours and enjoy really low crowds.  No reason to get up early with the little ones, just close the curtain and hit snooze!

1. Freedom, sweet freedom.  You get to choose which attraction you want to do, which character to meet.  You can push lunch back by and hour and not have too many melt downs.  Or maybe you decide to linger over a drink or dessert.  Or you can try on all the tiaras in the shop in Germany and accomplish nothing else that day.  But that is ok because you do what you want.photopass_visiting_mk_393054706674

I can’t recommend enough how much fun it is to feel like a kid at Walt Disney World by going without kids. It is good for the soul and trust me, you will be a better parent for it when you return home!


Walt Disney World 2017 on a $2,500 Budget

Recently we did a podcast with 2017 pricing and looked at many different budgets. My budget was for $2,500.  The guidelines were that is must be for 3 nights and 3 day park tickets for a family of 2 adults, 2 children 10 and 5.

My trip was June 12-16, 2017 at Port Orleans French Quarter in a standard room with 5 day base tickets the total is $2440.70

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If we cheat a little bit and go over budget you can add Memory Maker and the grand total would be $2589.70

I wanted to also price out a similar vacation that included some type of dining plan.  Using the same dates of June 12-16 we move over to a value resort All Star Movies standard room.  For tickets we have the 3 day base tickets and the Quick Service Dining Plan the total is $2466.98.  Bringing this just under the budget!

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Of course these are priced out without any type of discount.  If a discount is available that will help you save some money as well.

Fun Walt Disney World Splurges

There are plenty of ways to spend your hard earned dollars at Walt Disney World, but you don’t have to spend them all on your park tickets or resort room.   Here are some ways to try out something a little different on your Walt Disney World vacation.

Club Level rooms- This splurge come with great views, continental breakfast, snacks, beverages (including alcoholic beverages), desserts and cordials.  Plus if you need itinerary, dining, childcare, transportation services, or golf time set up concierge services can do that. See our series here.

Theme Park View rooms- If you really want to make your family feel special choose a theme park view at select resorts. You cannot beat waking up this type of view or watching fireworks from your bed! 

VIP Tour Services-This is an amazing experience but comes with a big price tag.  So this is a good splurge to share with friends.  Groups are limited to 10 people and must me a minimum of 7 continuous hours.

A VIP Tour Guide smiles as he delivers an excited family to a Walt Disney World Resort destination

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Spa Services- There are a few spas to choose from at the Grand Floridian, Dolphin, and Saratoga Springs. Some services offered are massages, facials, nails and hair.

Epcot Seas Adventures- There are a few choices such as Dolphins in Depth, a 3 hour encounter for those 13 and up. There is also the Aqua Tour which is snorkeling in the 5.7 million gallon tank for a 2.5 hour experience for those 8 and up.  If you are SCUBA certified and 10 years and older you can do the DiveQuest experience. During this 3 hour experience you can swim with over 6,000 sea creatures.

Guests clad in SCUBA diving equipment swim beneath a rock arch in a tropical underwater environment

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Afternoon Tea at the Grand Floridian- high tea is served every day in the afternoon features specially blended teas, sandwiches and desserts.  What a fun and fancy way to add a little splurge to your vacation.

Victoria & Albert’s- This AAA five diamond restaurant experience located in the Grand Floridian is the ultimate splurge, particularly the Chef’s Table with is a 13 course dinner created  just for your party.

A Chef greets a table of Guests dining at Victoria and Albert's restaurant

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Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue is a zany vaudeville comedy show and served with all you care to eat fired chicken, BBQ ribs, salad, and strawberry shortcake.  Drinks include unlimited draft beer, wine and sangria for those over 21.  This two hour event takes place in Pioneer Hall at Fort Wilderness.  Check out Tara’s review here.

Have you ever splurged for something really unique at Walt Disney World?  If so what has been your favorite splurge, we’d love to hear!

7 Things to Know Before Your Walt Disney World Vacation

  1. You will walk and be on your feet a lot. Walt Disney World is big and even getting from the transportation to the turnstiles will be a walk. Of course while in line you will also be on your feet.  The best help for this is to wear comfortable broken in shoes and socks and make sure to take breaks!  Check out Shannon’s article on prepping to walk.
  2. You cannot avoid the lines. You can use FastPass, but you will still be standing in lines for your FastPasses. You’ll definitely spend time waiting in the standby lines and if you need food, chances are good you will wait in line for a little bit there as well.  Just go in knowing that you will stand in some lines just about everywhere at Walt Disney World.
  3. FastPass is free and easy to use. FastPass is included with your park ticket, so use them! And they are indeed easy to use.  You get to choose an initial 3 but after that you can make more, one at a time.  FastPass gives you a lot of flexibility to change plans on the go using the My Disney Experience app.


  1. There are a few ticket options. Choosing the best ticket option for your party can require some planning, but knowing what options are available are important. There is the base ticket which is 1 park per day, or the Park Hopper which allows you into multiple parks per day.  Then there is the Water Parks, Fun, and More ticket which allows you entrance into the two Disney water parks as well as mini golf, Disney Quest and other extras.  Knowing what you will use on a vacation can save you a lot of money.


  1. Check the park hours and know about special events. You will want to do some research on these events as they can have an effect on hours and closures. For instance starting in September and October Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and in November and December, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party will cause the Magic Kingdom to close at 7pm.  This can really change your plans if the park closes much earlier than expected and you will be unable to see fireworks during your visit.  Other special event such as Food and Wine, and Flower and Garden can have an effect on crowds as well.



  1. Don’t overlook attractions. It is easy to judge an attraction but a spin on the People Mover can be relaxing and fun. These smaller attractions can end up becoming favorites if you give them a chance.


  1. You can and should enjoy your resort. The resorts are so well themed, they have amazing pools and some cool amenities. Many resorts have multiple restaurants and bars so there are great places to get bite to eat or drink.    It is very tempting to spend all your time in the parks, but the resorts have great activities such as movies under the stars, campfires with s’mores, and fun games around the pool that you should make the time to check out.




Walt Disney World Refurbishments Fall 2016

Disney regularly releases the ongoing refurbishments and closures for Walt Disney World.  Here is the most up to date information for September 2016.  Please note that this is subject to change without notice.


Magic Kingdom:

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Aug 8-Nov 18


Hollywood Studios:

Rock N Roller Coaster Oct 27- Nov 9

Pizza Planet Jan 19-Late 2016


Animal Kingdom:

Dinosaur July 25-Oct 16

Dino Institute Shop July 25- Oct 16


Water Parks:

Blizzard Beach- Oct 23- Dec 24

Typhoon Lagoon Dec 25-March 11


Monorail through Summer 2016



All Star Sports Grand Slam Pool Oct 10-Dec 2

Boardwalk Villas May 16- Oct 31

Pop Century Computer Pool Oct 31-Jan 3, 2017

Port Orleans French Quarter Sassagoula Floatworks July 11- Late Fall

Wilderness Lodge general resort refurbishment and Cub’s Den closed through 2017

Yacht Club room refurbishments Oct 29- June 23, 2017

Yacht & Beach Club Convention Center Aug 4- Feb 1, 2018

Dolphin Hotel room renovations June- Sept 2016


Disney Springs:

Planet Hollywood through Fall 2016

Fulton’s Crab House- reopening as Paddlefish Fall 2016


Check back for updates to this information on closures and refurbishments.

FAQ: FastPass

FastPass is Disney’s attraction reservation system.  It allows you to reserve a time for an attraction with a short wait.  Here are some frequently asked questions about the FastPass+ system.

How much does it cost? It costs nothing, it is included with your park ticket.

Where are my FastPasses?  These are connected to your ticket media, so it may be a physical ticket, or your MagicBand.


How many FastPass reservations can I make?  You can make 3 FastPass reservations initially, after you use those you can make additional reservations one at a time.

How to make more FastPass? You can make additional FastPass using the My Disney Experience app or website, as well as the FastPass+ kiosks in the parks.

How do I make my initial 3 FastPass reservations? You can make these reservations on the My Disney Experience app or at at 60 days prior for Walt Disney World Resort guests, 30 days for off-site and annual passholders.  You can start to make these reservations at 7am.IMG_0139

How long do I have to use my FastPass?  Generally you have 1 hour to use your FastPass.  However if you are using this for a show the time will generally be 20-30 minutes prior to the show.

Can I show up early for my FastPass? Generally, no you have to wait until your FastPass window to open.

Can I show up late for my FastPass? Again, generally, no.  If you get lucky and get a really nice Cast Member, they may let you in late but don’t wait too long, over 15 minutes late and your FastPass will essentially expire.

Can I change my FastPass?  Yes you can change the experience or time of your FastPass if you change your plans or you mind.  You can do this in the app or online.


Does everyone have to have the same FastPasses? Not at all!  This flexibility makes it easy to be able to do what appeals to everyone in your party.

How long are the FastPass lines?  The FastPass lines vary based on attraction, time of day and how busy the standby line is for the attraction.


Do you have any other burning FastPass questions?  Ask away!

FAQ: How Does a Split Stay Work?

What is a split stay?  A split stay is when, during a single vacation, you stay at more than one Walt Disney World Resort hotel.

GF Resort

Why would you do a split stay? There are multiple reasons why you might consider a split stay. One big reason is experiencing more than one resort.  Maybe you have always wanted to try out Port Orleans French Quarter but the Polynesian is really calling your name.  Cost is another big factor, the deluxe resorts can be expensive and to still get the experience of staying there without committing to the entire vacation you can spread out the costs by staying for a few nights.  Pro tip: always go from less expensive to most expensive in order of stay.  So if you are staying at Pop Century and Contemporary make sure the Contemporary portion is the last part of your stay.  It will be really hard to go from the Polynesian to All Star Sports.

How does a split stay work with tickets?  The easiest way is to make your first room reservation include the tickets for the length of your entire visit.  This will save you money and save you the headache of linking multiple tickets. Any additional resort reservations will be room only.

How does a split stay work with FastPass?  This does not affect FastPass because it is linked to number of days on a park ticket.


How does a split stay work with MagicBands?  You will get a MagicBand for each room reservation you make.  You can choose to customize each reservation and get a MagicBand for each member of your party.  Or you can also choose to decline a set of MagicBands, meaning you will only get one MagicBand for your entire stay.

How does a split stay work with the dining plan? The dining plan expires at midnight the day you check out so you will need to use any credits at the end of each stay.  If you do a split stay you will have the book the dining plan for each room reservation or package.

How do I get from one resort to the next?  You will want to call Bell Services and ask to have your bags picked up and moved to your next resort.  If you only have Disney transportation you will go one of the theme parks and from there you can either enjoy your day at the park, or if you want to go right to your new resort hop on the Disney transportation to the new resort to check in.  Your bags will be unavailable for at least 4 hours, so be sure that anything you need right away or within the next 6 hours that you have with you.  Alternatively, you can check any bags yourself such as carry on luggage or backpacks at luggage services at the new resort.


Is It Worth it?

As a travel agent I get this question pretty frequently, and you may be surprised on what topics this question is asked.   These are my opinions on whether something is worth doing at Walt Disney World.  These are going to be my opinion but my opinion is also based on personal experience as well as data gathered from former clients.


Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique: At least once, especially if you have a kid who is crazy about princesses.  I would highly recommend if you are going to drop the cash you will want a reservation at Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom.  The packages can be pretty pricey so to save, bring your own costume and accessories instead of purchasing the full package.


Pirates League: This is very much worth it!  It is a great value and a fun experience for boys and girls.  In fact unlike Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, adults can also get a makeover here too!  They have pirate and mermaid choices and it is a really good value in comparison.


Getting Up Early: YES!  I cannot say yes enough.  The parks are least busy when they first open.  You also get to see some neat stuff like the Welcome Show at the Magic Kingdom.  How can you possibly be the family of the day if you are sleeping all morning?  Some restaurants even offer early breakfast reservations inside the parks which means you have beat the crowds inside the parks.  Go ahead and take that afternoon nap now, you deserve it.


To Try ______ Attraction: Well this is a no-brainer, yes!  You should absolutely try any attraction, ride or show at least once unless you have a medical condition in which it is advised against.  You may never know when you find your new favorite!


Park Hopper Tickets:  In most cases, yes.  This ticket makes your vacation so flexible.  It can be a little work bouncing from park to park but if you are like a lot of people and find Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom to be half day parks this ticket option gives you the chance to save the rest of your day by hopping over to another park.  If you are traveling with really young children it might not be worth the hassle.  But if you are traveling with teens or adults only it is so worth the splurge.  I have travelled with and without the Park Hopper and I will absolutely give up a character meal before I give up with Park Hopper!


Party Tickets: Yes, especially if you do not have park tickets for that day.  You can enter the Magic Kingdom at 4pm on the party days even when the party doesn’t start until 7pm.  You get special parades and firework shows, extra treats and character meet and greets.  The parks are less crowded as well so you can get on your favorites rides with a minimal wait time!

Refillable Mugs: Yes, but you have to do the math!  So as of 2016 the mugs are $17.  Say you are staying 5 days it would be $3.40 per day, plus you keep the mug.  For me this is very much worth it.  I drink coffee or iced tea in the morning so I would fill up each morning before going to the parks.  Then on an afternoon break I will fill up with Powerade, lemonade or more iced tea.  Then in the evening before bed I’m loading up on more water or Powerade.  Some quick math tells me that I am coming out ahead plus I have a cute souvenir cup to take home!


Cinderella’s Royal Table:  Not really a good value.  This restaurant located inside Cinderella Castle is a character meal that will run you about $60 a person or 2 Table Service credits.  While you cannot beat the location or atmosphere there are other really great choices for princess character dining (Akershus, 1900 Park Fare) that won’t cost as much and the food is really good.  If you were planning to do this as a special treat or celebration then it may be worth it to do once.


The Dining Plan: Yes, if used correctly!  The dining plan can absolutely save you money if you plan your meals correctly to get the best value.  If you split meals a lot or routinely order something that isn’t an entrée they no, it may not be worth it.  If you like to go on vacation knowing it is all paid for then this is very helpful, no Disney food sticker shock either.  So how do you figure out if it is worth getting?  You will have to do a bit of work checking menu prices and then figuring out if what you would order for each meal plus 2 snacks and if you would use the refillable mug (drinks start at about $3) and then look at the cost per day of the dining plan.


Preferred Rooms: Yes, a thousand times yes! Want to save yourself some walking at the beginning and end of the day?  How about saving yourself a long trip to the pool or food court?  Taking kids to Walt Disney World?  Then get a preferred room, it is worth the price difference from a standard, especially at the Value resorts.


Club Level: This is a it depends.  If you are already on the dining plan it may not be worth it, but if you are looking for a way to plus up a vacation with a great room that has snacks provided a couple times a day plus free drinks?  Then yeah you will want to look at it.  The big seller is that it includes some beers and wine as well as bottled water.  You could make breakfast out of the offerings.  There are also midday snacks offered and hot appetizers in the evenings and desserts in the late evenings!  This can be a fantastic value!  Check out Tara’s Club Level series here for specific resort information.


T-Shirts, Misting Fans, Glowing Trinkets: Nope, save yourself a lot of big bucks and pick up these things prior to going on vacation.  You can find misting fans and the cheap glowing, spinning toys at pretty much any dollar store, Walgreens, Walmart stores for about ¼ of the price.  The same could be said for the shirts you can purchase at Walt Disney World.  Your basic Tshirt will set you back about $25.  Go ahead and check out with Disney Store online, Target, Walmart, Forever 21, Torrid, Hot Topic, H & M, and Etsy just to name a few.


Disney Cruise Line Packing Tips

Dear highly intelligent reader, we know that you can choose your clothes with no problem for your cruise.  That part is usually tricky to be general, because you have to dress for your cruise.  We know you wouldn’t dress for an Alaskan sailing the same way you would a Caribbean cruise.  So here are some other items you may want to consider packing, what to leave at home and what you should carry on for your cruise.

What to bring on  your cruise:

USB plug- This is a simple 2 prong plug that can charge multiple USB devices.  A true must have for the modern family especially on vacation with limited wall outlets.

Refillable Mugs- if you are coming from Walt Disney World bring your mug along.  If you aren’t then consider packing an insulated mug or cup for each person.  I found this nice to carry around since mine had handles which made it easy to carry multiple cups at the same time.  Plus I could carry around a hot beverage and it would stay hot longer, same with the iced drinks too.  What else can the cups do?  Well if you have extra glasses or sunglasses these mugs are perfect for transporting the glasses while you are in transit.


Soapy Sponges- I know, I know.  You will want a dry sponge and coat it in dish soap.  Let it air dry a day or two then cut it into smaller pieces.  The pieces can go in a baggie and you have something to clean those refillable mugs, or sippy cups or whatever else you bring along.  Then when you’ve used it up, go ahead and toss it.  This is a must for me because I switch from coffee in the morning to water later so I need to get the cup washed out.

Sunscreen- You can purchase on the ship but save yourself big bucks and bring your own.

Bug Spray- You will probably not need it on the ship but if you are getting off the ship you will want to make sure you are covered in this area too.

Sweater/Jacket- this applies more to the warm weather cruises, but the temperatures can drop at night and the dining rooms can be downright chilly at dinner.  I like to stick with basic black, navy or white so I can wear it more than once saving room in my luggage.

Beer or Wine- Yep you can bring that too!  Check out the alcohol policy first but it is pretty nice to be able to enjoy a beverage or two while you relax on your verandah.

Dressy Clothes- You may not have a formal night on your cruise, but you can get some great family picture when everyone is relaxed and having a great time.  The dressier clothes just add some classiness to the cruise.

Gum- if you are a gum chewer you will need to bring your own!

Highlighters- Ideally you will want one color for each person in your party.  You can use these to highlight activities in your Daily Navigator that you want to do.  The colors can help you all differentiate who wants to do which activity.  Much easier than circling then trying to figure out who want to do that (not that I would know anything about that, ha).

Extra batteries- you will be taking a lot of pictures!  If you are using a camera other than your phone you will want to make sure you have plenty of juice to take those amazing photos.

What to pack in your carry on when getting on the cruise ship:

If is it before the time when stateroom are open you may have some time where you will be unable to access your luggage.  It is always a good idea to have a small bag, backpack or carry on luggage until the time when the staterooms are open.

Swimsuit- The best time to get in the pools and on the water slides right is as you get on the ship.  Or even better wear your swimsuit under your clothes and take extra clothes in your carry on.  Towels are provided by the pools.


Medication- VERY important, always keep this in your carry on.  You never know when luggage services may be delayed so it is key to keep this with you!

Valuables- Jewelry, electronics and any other thing of value should be in your carry on just to be safe!

Sunscreen- It might be worth packing this into your carry on baggage especially if you are hitting up the pool areas.

Extra clothes- Especially with children it is nice to have a change of clothes available in emergencies. Or if you an adult like me who seems to spill things at the worst possible times.

Chargers- Whether you have an external battery source or plan to plug into the outlet this is something that can be helpful to have.

What to leave at home:

Hard liquor- Sorry friends, Disney no longer allows this.  And we wouldn’t recommend trying to sneak it on.  They will find it!

Power Strips- This is on the banned list from DCL.  Go ahead and bring that USB outlet and leave this one at home.

Hanging Organizers- These can damage doors, so unless you have a large party with a lot of small items in tow, this is something you can leave behind.

Snacks- No reason to bring food unless you are on a special diet.  You can get food at all hours of the day and night in the many dining rooms, quick service areas, and room service.  You will not go hungry!

Beach Towels- Disney provides beach towels at each pool area and they are always plentiful.  Of course if you find you want the really oversized towels then by all means bring one.  But this is definitely a waste of space.

Too many clothes- Disney Cruise Line has washers, dryers, laundry soap, irons and large sinks available for guest use.  I believe I paid $3 to do a load of laundry which is downright cheap for Disney.  Just know that you can do a quick load and not waste any time of your vacation and save you the headache of over packing!

As always we want to hear what you think is important for packing for a Disney Cruise!



Guest Blogger Michelle K.: The ABC’s and 123’s of Planning Your Disney Trip

You’ve decided to take a Walt Disney World vacation.  OH YEAH!!  If you are like me, it can seem a little overwhelming to start planning your vacation.  Not to fear though, you don’t have to have a Mousester or Ducktorate degree in all things Disney to plan a great trip!


The best option is to use a Disney expert travel agent to help guide your decision making Blog2to create a customized vacation just for you.  As a former cast member, even I love having the help and ease of using one.  (Huge shout-out to Tara McClure one of the DoleWhipped ladies and Disney travel planner; our last vacation was just perfect!)

Want to start planning yourself?  Great!  As a huge Disney fan (or fanatic per dear Husband), with numerous trips to the mouse house under our belt, I’d love to share the 8 steps we use for you to start planning you dream vacation at Walt Disney World.

1.    Call to request your free Walt Disney World planning DVD.  These are a great resource for planning your trip and bonus, they are fun for kiddos to watch in the car if you are making a road trip of it!

2.    Decide when you would like to go! A few considerations to picking the best dates:

  • Consider weather and crowd levels! Take a look at free crowd calendars available on the web; it is a great tool to help pick a week that may be less crowded than others.  Will you want to hit the fabulous pools at the resorts or at the Disney water parks?  If so, January or December weather might be iffy.  That being said, we took a February trip to Walt Disney World this year and swam at the resort or Blizzard Beach 5 out of 7 days.  Thank goodness for heated pools!


  • Want to time your vacation to take part in a special event? Throughout the year, Walt Disney World hosts different events, some are covered through basic tickets and Blog4others require a special ticket purchase.  These include Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, Epcot Flower and Garden Festival, Star Wars and Princess Running events including marathon, half marathon, 5K and family fun run options, and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, just to name a few!  We’ve attended the Halloween party twice and it was fantastic!  Everyone should try it once for the special Halloween treats, fireworks, parade, and trick or treating.



  • Consider dining and fast pass reservations. Dining reservations can be booked 180 days in advance; fast pass reservations can be booked 60 days in advance if staying at a WDW resort or 30 days in advance with your ticket.  Planning your trip a little further in advance makes it easier to secure hard to get reservations!  Not to fear though, booking last minute trips has worked for us too but did require a little more flexibility.

3.    Determine how long you want to stay! There is so much to do at Walt Disney World.  Walt Disney World has 4 theme parks, 2 water parks, the ESPN sports complex, 5 golf courses, 2 mini golf courses, multiple spas, boating recreation, and a dining and shopping area at Downtown Disney with enough activities to fill multiple days.

4.    Decide where you would like to stay! There are a lot of choices and the great news is that it becomes easy to narrow down what works best for your needs by thinking about a few questions.

  • How many of your posse are going on the trip? Some resorts have more room options for groups larger than 4 wanting to share a room.
  • What will be important to make the most of your time there? Are you looking for the most amazing pool or little kid water play area?  What is important to you regarding location, do you want to pick the resort in walking distance to your favorite park?
  • Lastly, what works best for your budget? Resorts are available at every price point; offsite, value, moderate, or deluxe are available with numerous options for each!


5.    Would you like Disney Dining? If you are staying on property (in one of the Disney World resorts) you are eligible for a prepaid dining plan.  Several web sites break down the different plans and offer helpful tips if you aren’t sure.  We’ve made trips with and without the plan and were equally happy with both.  We enjoyed getting to try so many different types of snacks and meals on the Dining plan, especially character meals and dining at Epcot (gelatos, sushi, and crepes, oh my!).  Also great was being able to order the most expensive meal on the menu in restaurants for table dining that was covered by the plan!  On the other hand, we also enjoyed the flexibly of bringing in our own lunches to eat wherever and whenever was convenient.

6.    Make your resort reservations and purchase your tickets! If staying onsite, make sureBlog7 to use a Disney travel expert.  Their services are free to you (score!); they are paid directly by Disney and all prices are identical to what you would get booking directly with WDW.  There is really only an upside to this as they provide expert advice, ideas, and guidance to make your vacation the best it can be.  If you would like to use the dining plan, make sure to book it with your room reservations.


7.    Book your dining reservations as soon as possible! There are so many fun, unusual, Blog8and yummy options.  If you don’t already have a few favorites in mind, try checking out on-line reviews and on-line menus to find great places to eat.  Also, consider if you would like a character meal while on vacation.  There is a large variety available with different characters and menu options (everything from standard breakfast fare to African to Norwegian!)   Don’t worry if you can’t get all of your top reservations at first.  For each trip, I was able to get every restaurant, even the hard to get ones like Ohana and Crystal Palace that we wanted by checking availability a few times a day for several weeks and being flexible with meal times.


Blog98.    Lastly, book your fast pass choices as soon as possible. Choosing fast passes to your favorite attractions early helps ensure you get the times and choices you want!



Now sit back and get your Disney vacation count down calendar ready – You’ve got a great vacation to look forward to!