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Basic Disney Vacation Planning Checklist

With our own Disney World vacation coming up in just 4 months, I've decided that I wanted to share some Disney planning tips with you. This will not be our first trip but it will be for Madison. For those that have never taken a trip to Disney World before, this article will go over the basics of planning your Disney trip. It can be overwhelming, but taking it one step at a time will help keep everything organized and allow things to flow once your travels begin. You must answer a few questions before getting into the details of planning your trip; when, where, how and how long do you want to go?

When do you want to go?

This is the first question that you should ask yourself, when? Do you want to go during the busy season? Would you rather go in late summer or fall so that there are less people and your costs are kept low? Those are the best times to go, however sometimes it doesn’t work out that way. You will need to take into consideration the timeframe, when you can get off of work, your significant others schedule if you need to consider that, the kid’s school schedules, can they take that long off? Should you wait until they have a break to go? Set your dates before booking anything else to ensure that your trip runs smoothly.

How long would you like to stay?

Are you going to only go to Disney on this trip? Will you be going for just a few days, or an entire week? This will determine how you should get there as well as where you should stay. If you have younger children, 3-4 days is plenty for them, older children may want to go for a longer period of time in order to get on all of the rides and see everything that they have on their list. You will again have to abide by the amount of time that you are able to take off from work, etc.

How will you be getting there?

This is one of the largest decisions that you will have to make, and it can really depend on where you live. Do you live near Disney? Do you want to fly or is driving a better option for you? How much are you willing to spend on travel to your destination? Often times driving somewhere can be far cheaper than flying. If you have three kids, plus yourselves, you’re looking at a large portion of your trip money going only towards travel. Driving is not all that bad if done properly, and for the little amount that you will spend on food and gas, it just might be worth it. (If it will take you more than a day’s drive, then flying would be a better option especially with small children.)

Where would you like to stay while there?

Once you arrive at your destination would you like to stay at a resort hotel or would you rather stay at a hotel right outside the park? This is entirely your own personal and budget preference. Staying at a resort hotel might be a bit pricey, however, transportation will be provided to the park, and if you include a meal plan you won't have to worry about meals at the hotel. Amenities such as laundry is provided as well. Just be sure to have your quarters with you. Staying outside of the hotel will mean that you will need to figure out a way to get to the park if you do not have a rental car or your own vehicle with you. Choose what is best for your family.

Now that we've covered the basic, check out our next post, Disney on a Budget. Disney can be expensive but with proper planning you can totally do it.

Annmarie John
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  1. Just did this recently as we will be going now this summer and agree with pretty much all of your tips. Just so excited to get to go now ;)

  2. We go every year in August. It's hot, but there are no crowds.

  3. This is great advice! We’ve been to Disney 4 or 5 times... it never gets old!

  4. It's always important to start with the basics when you're planning a trip. You can't do anything until you've got those figured out.

  5. I have never been to Disney and don't know if I ever will but this list is a good one.

  6. Great tips. I grew up going to Disney World and now live next to Disneyland ;)

  7. I want to go in March when it's freezing and I'm sick of snow. Of course, that's impractical since the kids are in school, but it was a nice thought. :) Your tips are good ones!

  8. great tips. We always have a list too! Snacks are a must for us to bring as well. Glow sticks from $1 store are great for the evening too!

  9. I wish I had seen this a few weeks ago! We just planned a trip to Disney for Spring Break and it was a little overwhelming. This made it seem so easy when it's broken down like this!

  10. We stayed at a hotel outside the park. It was a bit of a hassle. Next time I would like to stay inside the resort

  11. Thanks for the tips. I took my daughters to Disneyland a few years ago but I want to go back.

  12. Because it's not an inexpensive trip, it's important to think all this out beforehand. There's a lot to consider.

  13. I have been to Disney a couple of times and I agree with these basic tips; they are very good!

  14. I love Disney! These are great tips we also used rewards from our card to save money at Disney.

  15. Great tips! Especially for someone new to the Disney Planning game. I'll bookmark it to share :)

  16. I am planing a trip to Disney with the kids soon. I know we want to stay at the park

  17. we are planning for later this year. we can't wait to go.


[name=AnnMarie John] [img=] [description=AnnMarie John is a lifestyle blogger, mom of 4, retired army veteran and a huge Disney lover. Formerly from the beautiful island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean and now living in colorful Colorado, she loves sharing her opinions on everything, crafting and food.] (facebook= (instagram= (twitter= (pinterest= (

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