Former Disney cast member (and current travel agent with Friend Like Me Travel Co.) shares her tips for how to get the most out of your Disney vacation!
7) When Should I Go?: This is probably one of the most frequently asked questions I receive. Here’s my answer: go when it works for your family. Sure, the crowds aren’t as busy in the off months (September, October, January, February) but that may not work for you, and that’s okay. If you can only go in July, then that’s when you go. You know it’ll be hot and busy, so you plan for it. At least if you go in July, you can take advantage of Disney’s awesome water parks and your resort’s pool. Plus, you’ll have more room in your suitcase for souvenirs since it won’t be weighed down by jeans and sweaters!
6} Plan, Plan, Plan (or use a travel agent!): Planning a trip to Disney World isn’t what it used to be 10 years ago. You can’t just walk into a restaurant and expect to get a table anymore. It requires planning and lots of it. If you want to see your little princess’s expression as she meets Cinderella and her friends at the Royal Table, you better be at your computer 6 months ahead of time (to the minute) to secure your dining reservations. Looking forward to seeing your little dude have a blast on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train? You’ll have to schedule that 2 months ahead of time. Seem like a scheduling nightmare? This is where a travel agent can take that stress away.
5) Use a Travel Agent: Yes, there are people out there (me!) who love to figure out all the nitty-gritty details that go into planning and executing your perfect vacation. They are a wealth of knowledge, are aware of cost-saving tips, and can eliminate the stress that comes with figuring out all the details. And the best part? Their services are FREE! For real, there is no charge to plan your vacation through a travel agent. Bottom line: Reach out so we plan your trip together!
4) Your Must-Dos: When sitting down to begin planning your Disney vacation, figure out your must-dos. There is no way that you will be able to fit everything into your vacation – there’s just too much to see and experience! Knowing that ahead of time will help to alleviate some potential stress or frustration with trying to fit it all in. Be sure to ask each member of your family what they really want to do on vacation. Shoot for 2-3 wishes per family member. Also, don’t forget the things that YOU want to do as well! Here’s a quick tip to make sure that mom and dad get to enjoy themselves: bribes. Yep, you’re at Disney World and a lot of the “normal parenting standards” go out the window.
3) Disney Cast Members Are Your Friends: I promise you that cast members are there to help make your vacation enjoyable. It is not their fault that the line for Splash Mountain is 180 minutes long, or that it is raining in the middle of the day (You may find it hard to believe, but there is not a magic bubble around Disney World to protect it from the rain!). People become cast members because they truly love Disney and want to share that love with guests. So, the next time you encounter a cast member, give them a smile and say thank you. You never know; they could sprinkle a little extra Pixie Dust your way!
2) Schedule a Rest Day: Trust me, you want to do this. At the start of the trip, everyone is feeling great. You’re happy, well-rested, and ready to rock out 10 hours at the park. Sure, you can do this for a couple of days in a row, but don’t even think about doing it EVERY SINGLE DAY. You will burn out. Everyone will be tired and cranky and nobody wants to deal with all that nonsense. So, be sure to schedule a rest day in the middle of your vacation. This will allow everyone to begin and finish their vacation feeling happy, rested, and ready to roll!
1) Have Fun: At the end of the day, your kids won’t care that you missed a dinner reservation or that you didn’t get every photo opportunity that you were hoping for. What they will remember is how much fun they had with their family. And let’s be honest, that’s all that really matters!
Planning a Disney vacation can be a stressful and overwhelming experience for many people. Good thing there are people like me to help you create the most magical vacation ever!
About the Author
Justine is a former Disney Cast member! In addition to numerous trips to Walt Disney World, she has extensive experience planning trips and traveling around the world. Justine is organized, detailed oriented, and will ensure that her clients have the most magical vacation possible. When she isn’t busy planning amazing trips for her clients, she spends her days enriching the minds of the future as a high school English and Special Education teacher. Connect with her on Facebook and Instagram and at her website: www.friendlikemetravel.com.