With any trip there’s planning. Even more so for a Disney trip in my opinion. I am; what I like to believe; the best planner when it comes to vacations. I love to research, find the best spots to be, eat and drink. Disney is probably one of my all time favorite places to go. If I wasn’t doing what I am now I would honestly work for Disney as a travel agent. So today I am putting my skills to work for you, here’s how to plan the most magical vacation.
Alright, so let us talk about the not so Magical side of Disney. The Cost. Disney is expensive I am not going to deny that. However if you go at the right times and do your research you will feel a relief on your wallet.
As you can see Disney’s busy times are pretty much in line with anywhere you go. The most expensive time to go is during the Summer months and special holidays. Not only do you want to think of crowd levels, but you want to look at the weather. Florida is HOT & MUGGY. Obviously summer time is not the most pleasant. Add thousands of people and it can get to be a lot. Evaluate yourself and your party. Do you get easily irritated in large groups? Do you enjoy the heat? Do you have little ones or older kids? Really take the time to evaluate the situation and make the best choice for your party.
Now Disney does not exactly give crazy large discounts but they do have periods of special offers that help in the end. When booking my trip they had a promotion going where you got up to 25% off your hotel stay. Make sure you really read the fine print though this discount only applied to deluxe resorts. Currently they have several offers going on their website. Click the link below to check it out.
One thing I would like to note is the famed free dining plan is on this list until Feb 26th, 20. I prefer to book with Disney directly, but there are other sites and travel agents out there as well. If you choose to book with someone outside of Disney please be careful. If it looks too good to be true chances are it is. At the end of the day Disney is not cheap but keep in mind it costs money to make your experience magical.
At this point hopefully you have an idea of when you would like to go to Disney and possibly scored a sweet discount at the same time. So let’s talk about the hotels and getting on property.
There are four basic categories of Disney hotels.
- Off Property
- These are mostly hotels in the Orlando area. If you are doing more than just Disney while visiting, it’s a good idea to stay at one of these properties. Usually will not get the Disney Perks.
- There are several hotels near Disney Springs that do include the Disney Perks including The Four Seasons, Dolphin, and Swan.
- Value Resorts & Campgrounds
- The campgrounds are great if you are RVing it during your vacation. Or if you are quite literally camping with your own tent, well, you are much braver than I am. Go you.
- The value resorts are all your basic level hotels that are going to be the cheapest to stay at.
- Moderate Resorts
- A nice step up within the hotel bracket. These are a nice middle ground when you want to stay somewhere a little nicer without breaking the bank.
- Deluxe Resorts/ Villas
- These are the top of the line resorts at Disney. And you will pay a pretty penny for them. Positive note these hotels are closer to the action. Meaning less time traveling more time in the parks.
For my upcoming trip I am traveling with my family as a party of 10. After looking around and doing some math we came up that it would be easier for us to all split a villa. For the price of 3 separate moderate rooms we could get a villa for the same price.
I recommend staying on the Disney property. There are many reasons as to why but here are my top three.
- You can book your trip as a package
- Use of the Magical Express
- Extra Magic Hours
Before moving on I want to touch on the Magical Express. This is a freebie that can be added onto your trip with one phone call. **Warning if you like some exclusivity this option is not for you.** The Magical Express is a huge liner bus that will take you from the airport and back for free. You need to provide your confirmation and flight numbers and Disney will do the rest. In about 10 days you will receive a paper and luggage tags to put on your bag. You apply the tags to your suitcases before you leave. And when you get to Orlando a cast member will pick up your bags for you and they will be delivered to your room, all while you are well on your way to to the parks.