Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Winging it: The Biggest Disney Mistake

Welcome to this month's Blogorail Blue Loop. Today we are sharing some common Disney mistakes and how you can avoid them.

There's a lot of mistakes you can make while visiting Walt Disney World Resort. You can forget to try a Dole Whip, or to miss out on meeting Mickey at Town Square Theater. (He is the most magical there) You can decide to get a Fastpass for the Tower of Terror instead of Toy Story Mania, when the standby lines for each are incomparable.

The biggest mistake, hands down, that you can make is winging it. Like it or not, Disney can be hard work; however, if you plan in advance, you can have a fun, carefree vacation in Orlando.

180 Days in Advance

Six months prior to my Disney vacation, I have pretty much my entire itinerary planned. Why? Because of dining reservations.

At Walt Disney World Resort, the booking window for dining reservations is 180 days before the first day of your vacation. What does that mean? That the most popular dining spots are often booked solid six months in advance. 

Popular character meals like Chef Mickey's at Disney's Contemporary Resort, Cinderella's Royal Table in the Magic Kingdom book up immediately. Other popular restaurants, like Ohana at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort, Le Cellier at Epcot's Canada Pavilion, and Be Our Guest in the Magic Kingdom are just as in demand. 

Therefore, dining comes first, and if you want a memorable meal at a restaurant I mentioned, you cannot wait until the last minute. I often hear from Disney guests that they'll just show up and try to walk in without a reservation. I am here to tell you that if that happens, it's an anomaly.

Once your dining is confirmed, you can work the rest of your itinerary around it. Be sure to plan for special events, parades and other seasonal celebrations.

In addition to your dining reservations, plans for recreation, spa treatments, the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and other special events like fireworks cruises and dessert parties can be made at this time. 

Breakfast at Chef Mickey's can be hard to secure

60 Days in Advance

Immediately prior to this mark, you should make sure you have your tickets set and linked to your account. Why? Because at this point you can start to make your Fastpass+ reservations. 

Gone are the carefree days where you could show up at the park and head to an attraction you want to experience, insert your ticket and get a Fastpass for later in the day. At 60 days, anyone staying on Walt Disney World Resort property can make three Fastpass+ reservations per day. Like dining, the more popular attractions fill up first. Attractions like Toy Story Mania at Disney's Hollywood Studios, Kilimanjaro Safari at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Soarin' at Epcot and Peter Pan's Flight at Magic Kingdom Park tend to book up quickly. The new Frozen attraction at Epcot can certainly be added to this list.

At this 60 day mark, I also prepare for the next two weeks, where I order my Magic Bands and plan out a more detailed itinerary in My Disney Experience. 

A Week Before

Believe it or not, you can check in to your resort online now. You can also fax a room request directly to your resort, as it is around this time room assignments are made. 

One Final Tip

Are you able to plan a last minute trip to Walt Disney World Resort? Sure. However, you must remember that the most sought-after reservations are made well in advance.

Is this a lot of work? Quite frankly, yes! That's why I highly recommend using an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner who does this for a living, and can point you in the right direction and make recommendations. At my agency, Glass Slipper Concierge, we handle all of the above for our clients. If you want to brave the process on your own, I recommend doing your research well in advance of these important milestones so you get the reservations you want and have a stress-free Disney vacation!

For more ways to avoid mistakes at Disney, check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Blue | Disney Mistakes & How to Avoid Them Loop:


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