Saturday, February 11, 2017

Planning A Disney Trip: Part 1

So, since I am in full planning mode I have been thinking about Disney. A lot. I thought it might be a good idea to go over the entire planning process. After all, I do have a lot of experience planning all kinds of Disney Vacations.

The Magic Kingdom is typically the most crowded park.
The first thing you will want to do once you have decided on  Disney vacation is come up with a budget. I know, it sounds like it should be common sense. But, seriously pick a budget and stay with it. Only you know what you will be able to spend and once you start to see all of the amazing things you can add to a Disney vacation the total price can get quite high. Bottom line: if you know that you can only spend $1500 don't budge. Don't worry, there are plenty of ways to save on the vacation if you know how to be creative.

Once you have your budget you will need to pick your dates. This is were things can be a little tricky. It is more expensive to stay over weekends and anytime when school is not in session. If you are able to go in 'off season' months (think January, February, October, and November) and stay during the week you are more likely to be able to save on your room rate.

So, you have picked the week and you have your budget. Now what? You will need to find a place to stay. You have so many options to choose from. Yes, you can find a cheaper room off Disney property. And some of those hotels will include amenities like free breakfasts, which is not something you will find at any of the Disney resorts. But, you will miss out on some of the complimentary services that Disney offers its resort guests. Sure, your off property hotel may have a shuttle to and from the airport. But, Disney does one better. Once you check your bag at your departing airport you won't touch it again until you unpack in your hotel room. The same goes for your flight home. And the bus ride to and from the airport is complimentary. Disney will also take you anywhere you want to go on Disney property free of charge. The transportation system at Disney is truly second to none: buses, trams, boats, and the monorail. Some off property hotels have a shuttle that will come to the parks. But, these are often vans that can seat a family or two at a time. This means that it will most likely take a lot of time to get to and from the parks. If you decide that doesn't work for you then you can drive to the parks, and then pay for parking.

The Contemporary Resort is one of the original resorts on Disney property
Like I said before, only you know your budget. If you can get a room for $20 less a night off property that will save you $100 on a five night stay. If that means a lot to your budget then stay off property. I recommend talking with the front desk at the hotel to find out the best way to get around during your stay.

The type of park ticket you get can also make a big difference. If you are counting your pennies then maybe the park hoper option may not be for you. I would recommend picking a park and staying there for the day. What's the point of paying extra when you most likely stay at one park each day anywhere? If your plans don't allow for you to spend a day at each park it might be worth looking in to getting the park hoper ticket there are things on your must do list at each park.

One of the best things you can do to stretch your dollar is to check out any deals on the Disney website. Sometimes Disney will have special offers where you can get a room, park tickets, and a meal plan for a low price. Check the website regularly and you'll get a feel for when Disney has special promotions.

Of course, there is a lot more that goes in to planning a Disney vacation. But, that would make for a much longer article. I'll go over more as time goes on.

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