Our goal is to help you plan your dream vacation, and that all starts here.
Disney World planning can be downright overwhelming, but that is where we come in.
We have all the articles and tools you need to plan your trip from beginning to end.
To help you get started, we’ve collected all of our most helpful planning resources and put them together on this page.
Whether this is your first Disney World vacation or you simply need a refresher, we have you covered.
6 step planning process
Disney World vacation planning is kind of like building a house – you start with the foundation and work your way up.
And, just like with building a house, you might end up with something you’re not very happy with if you try to do it out of order.
These 6 steps are the basis to everything you’ll find on this site.
If you’re new to planning, this is where you need to start.
But there are still definitely some times of the year that are busier than others.
Plus, even though Florida is known for having lots of sun, you’ll likely want to take the weather into consideration, too, if you’re trying to avoid the intense heat of the summer or the hurricanes of the fall.
Step 1 means looking all of those factors (plus more!) and then picking the dates that will work best for you and your family.
→ Use the WDW Prep crowd calendar to help you pick your dates
Things like your FastPass+ booking window and even your transportation options from the airport are tied to whether you choose to stay on Disney property or venture offsite to where you’ll (typically) find less expensive options.
While price is understandably the first factor you’ll need to consider, most guests visiting the Walt Disney World Resort find that weighing the value of the perks associated with the onsite resorts versus the lower costs connected to the offsite options can sometimes be a bit tricky to navigate.
Step 2 helps you explore those choices and gives you the facts you’ll so that you find the perfect place to rest your head during your vacation.
→ Learn more about Disney World resort options to help you pick where you’ll stay
Disney World is home to 4 amazing theme parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom), 2 world class water parks (Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach) and a giant shopping district (Disney Springs).
And, although you’ll want to see and do it all unless you’ll be moving into Cinderella Castle (which unfortunately you can’t) you are going to have to pick and choose.
The first thing is figuring out exactly how much time you’ll want in each park. To help you get started, here’s our thoughts:
Suggested number of days in each park
|wdt_ID||TRIP LENGTH (DAYS)||MK||EP||HS||AK||WATER PARK||OTHER THINGS|
|1||3||1||1||1 HS or||1 AK||0|
This is just a suggestion. All families vary.
For instance, families with younger children and only 3 days in the parks might want to do 2 days in the Magic Kingdom.
It’s also a great idea to have 1 day out of the parks for every 3 days in the park.
Arrange it however it makes sense for your family.
Once you have nailed down how many days you want for each park, you’ll need to decide where you’ll plug that into your vacation.
Your goal is going to be to plan each of your days so that you’re visiting the park with the lowest crowds. Step 3 is where you’ll do that.
We have monthly crowd calendars that show you which parks are recommended for each day of your vacation, and those will be the key to picking the best park for each day of your trip.
→ Find your month in the list below, and choose where you’ll be each day based on our recommendations
And with so many fun places to eat, it is very common for people to want to decide where they will be dining before they ever pick what park they’ll be at that day.
But please trust us: you do not want to do that.
The reason dining falls at step 4 is that you need to plan your dining after you know where you’ll be each day.
The entire Walt Disney World Resort area is huge (roughly the size of San Francisco), and unless you want to spend hours each day on a bus crisscrossing the property going from meal to meal, you’ll need to be a lot more strategic in how you plan where to eat.
Step 4 gives you everything you need to know about dining at Disney World so you can find the perfect restaurant options nearby where you’ll be.
→ Get info Disney World dining to help you pick places to eat during your trip
Touring plans don’t have to be rigid minute-by-minute lists.
And ours definitely aren’t.
But our plans will help you maximize your day so that you have lots of time left for all the spontaneous things that make any vacation fun.
Step 5 has both pre-made touring plans and resources for people that want to put together their own.
→ Get park info and touring plans to help you navigate and avoid long waits
Step 6: Add extra magic
This step doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to spend more money (although that is definitely an option); it just means you are intentional about ways to add a little extra **pixie dust** to your trip.
For lots of people, this is the step that really ties their entire vacation together (and gets them hooked on planning lots more Disney World trips!).
As you continue down this page you’ll find resources that can help you add some extra magic to your vacation.
You’ll find info on things like planning your vacation around a theme, putting your crafting skills to work, making invitations, special meals, or even putting together fun travel bags for your journey to Disney World.
If you want to think of planning a Disney World trip like the steps in the construction process, Steps 1-5 above help you build your house, but Step 6 is where you get to decorate it.
Disney World basics
Ready for some more info? Check out the sections below to help you plan.
- Disney World planning basics
- Disney World for families
- Navigating Disney World transportation
- Disney World shopping & money saving tips
- Disney World crafts and free downloads
- Disney World news & updates
Want even more info?
Get our free 64-page Quick Start Guide that expands on these 6 steps and provides a worksheet you can fill out along the way.
Planning by Interest
Disney World has something for just about every visitor.
Whether you are heading there to check out one of the popular runDisney races or you’re a huge fan of Star Wars or you simply love all things Disney Princess, lots of people find themselves planning their vacation around their Disney interests (and passions!).
Think that sounds like you? You’ll find some of the most popular themes for trips below.
- How to meet Disney characters
- Star Wars at Disney World (including the new Star Wars land)
- Our best tips for planning a short trip
- Pros and cons of taking a solo trip
- A princess-themed trip plan
- Answers to your runDisney questions
- How to have a lazy trip
- Taking a large group field trip to Disney World
- A Disney World trip plan for 3 generations (Grandparents at Disney World)
- A luxury trip plan
- Disney World for techie geeks
- Visiting Disney World with special needs
Our most popular Disney planning posts
These articles are some of the most popular on the site for a reason: they provide both Disney World newbies and seasoned visitors with additional tools for their virtual Disney planning toolboxes.
We are big fans of being prepared, and, you probably are too (or you wouldn’t be on this site). These articles are all things that can help you be prepared before, during, and after your vacation.
- The ultimate Disney World packing list
- What to pack in your Disney World park bag
- Prepping for a Disney World trip at Dollar Tree
- 100 of the best Disney World tips
- How to have happy feet at Disney World
- Should you use a Disney travel agent?
- Ideas for celebrating a birthday at Disney World
- Disney World photography tips
- How to handle the weather at Disney World
- Pre-vacation checklist for your Disney World trip
- All about Walt Disney World Lost and Found
- Ideas for how to plan a Disney World surprise
- Tech tips for Disney World trips