Welcome to my comprehensive Disney World planning guide that will provide you with all the necessary information and tools needed to plan the best Disney World vacation possible.
So, this guide won’t give you every single detail you need to plan your amazing Walt Disney World vacation, but don’t worry because what it does do is give you a great overview of various topics and then points you in the right direction by linking to related articles on the blog.
That way, you can dive into the nitty-gritty details and plan the perfect trip. So with that said, let’s jump straight to it!
- Notable Dates to Look Forward To
- Disney World Trip Planning Essentials
- How to Budget for a Disney World Vacation
- Cheapest Time to Visit Disney World
- Buying Disney World Tickets
- What is Genie+? And Do You Need It?
- Booking Your Hotel
- Where and What to Eat and Drink
- Disney Dining Plan 101
- Best Rides at Disney World
- Character Meet and Greets
- How to Prepare for Inclement Weather
- What to Pack for a Disney World Vacation
- Other Helpful Planning Essentials
- Final Thoughts
Notable Dates to Look Forward To
Before we go any further, here are some major things to expect and look forward to at Disney World in 2023 and 2024:
- Late 2023 – Moana’s Journey of Water
- January 9, 2024 – Disney Dining Plan returns
- Late 2024 – Splash Mountain reopens after a re-theming to Tiana’s Bayou Adventure
More future plans are likely to be announced throughout the year so I’ll keep an eye on that and update this accordingly. In the meantime, you can also join thousands of other Disney fans by subscribing to our weekly newsletter to stay up to date!
Disney World Trip Planning Essentials
If you are currently planning a Disney World vacation, then these essential resources and guides will help you make the most of your trip by providing you with everything from money-saving tips and Genie+ priorities to restaurant recommendations and hotel discounts, and everything in between.
Disney World Trip Planning Timeline and Checklist
Before you start planning for a trip, I recommend that you check out this simple WDW planning checklist and timeline that will help simplify the planning process by providing you with a targeted timeline of when you should complete certain aspects of your trip planning.
For example, 8 months before your trip is a great time to set your budget, choose your dates, and keep an eye on any upcoming attraction openings, festivals, or events. And 60 days before your trip is when you should start to book any desired restaurant reservations as well as any special experience activities like Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and Savi’s Workshop.
This timeline will provide you with all the details and steps you should take 8 months, 6 months, 4 months, and 60 days before your trip.
Disney World Bucket List
There are so many incredible things to see and do at Disney World that when planning for a vacation might feel overwhelming because the last thing you would want to do is miss out any anything incredible.
That’s why I recommend that you check out this Disney World Bucket List that will tell you everything you must see and do during your vacation.
My personal favorites include visiting during an Epcot festival, eating a Dole Whip, riding all the mountains, enjoying a fireworks dessert party, taking a VIP or behind the scenes tour, building a lightsaber, drinking around the world, and getting up close and personal with exotic African wildlife on the Wild Africa Trek.
Of course you won’t have to do all of these but it’s still a great starting point 🙂
How to Budget for a Disney World Vacation
Disney World is expensive. There’s no way to sugarcoat it.
That said, if you properly budget for a Disney World vacation without going above your means, you can easily have one of the best vacations of your life.
Choosing When to Visit
Before you even start budgeting for your trip, the most important thing you need to do is choose when you want to visit.
Like most vacation destinations, Disney World experiences huge waves of crowds and tourist during certain times of the year while other times are surprisingly more relaxed, empty and affordable.
Unfortunately, after COVID, the normal slow periods that Disney World used to experience are starting to disappear and become more unpredictable. So planning around that is getting more and more difficult.
If your schedule is pretty flexible, one thing to consider is to plan your trip around certain attraction openings, holiday parties, or Epcot festivals.
Regardless of when you plan for your trip, at the end of the day, the best time to visit Disney World is when it works for you the best. Then from there, you can start to budget accordingly.
How much does it cost to go to Disney World?
As mentioned earlier, Disney World is crazy expensive, and it’s only getting worse, from a budgeting standpoint.
Here are some example total vacation costs that you can expect during the year.
- Cheap Off-Season Trip: For a family of four at a Value Disney World Resort for 5 nights (Monday-Friday), you’re looking at $3,703 in the fall/winter.
- Cheap Summer Trip: For a family of four at a Value Disney World Resort for 5 nights (Monday-Saturday), you’re looking at $3,752 in the summer.
- Expensive Off-Season Trip: For a family of four at a Deluxe Disney Resort for 5 nights (Monday-Friday), you’re looking at $5,722 in the fall/winter.
- Expensive Summer Trip: For a family of four at a Deluxe Disney World Resort for 5 nights (Monday-Friday), you’re looking at $6,766 in the summer
These are only estimates and costs depend entirely on specific dates of the year.
For a more in-depth breakdown of a Disney World vacation total cost for a family of 4 (2 adults and 2 kids) that includes tickets, hotels, food, transportation, an add-ons, be sure to check out this guide.
And if you’re looking to plan a trip just for 2 adults, I also got you covered:
Food Costs at Disney World
You can always find cheaper hotels and ticket discounts, but one thing that tends to sneak up on people’s budgets are the food and drink costs at Disney World.
Food and drinks are very expensive at Disney. From looking at the average prices, everything is about 80% more expensive at Disney World compared to their similar counterparts in the real world.
On average, here’s how much you should plan on spending on individual food, drinks, and meals:
- Snacks = $6
- Drinks = $4
- Quick Service (no drink) = $13
- Table Service (no drink) = $27
- Character Meal = $42 – $48
- Signature Restaurant = $50 – $69
I go into more detail in this guide that also includes average prices for Epcot festivals, alcohol, and more:
How to save money at Disney World
Thankfully there are some surefire and effective ways to save money on Disney World tickets, hotels, souvenirs, and transportation.
Here are some of my favorites:
- Visit during cheaper times of the year (I go into more detail about that in the next section)
- Buy tickets from Undercover Tourists
- Skip Genie+
- Don’t drink alcohol, unless at Epcot
- Pack your own drinks and snacks
- Use your own stroller
- Don’t buy the balloons
- Stay off-property
- Plan a no park day
- Skip the Disney Dining Plan
- Don’t rent a car, use free Disney transportation instead
- Book a Split Stay
And here are over 90 more ways to save money at WDW:
Cheapest Time to Visit Disney World
The cheapest time to visit Disney World is from early January to Presidents Day weekend in February. This is generally the cheapest time for Disney hotel room rates.
If you are looking for cheaper tickets, then you’ll want to plan for a trip around the end of August or the entire month of September.
Of course you’ll want to avoid all of the major holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years, as well as certain marathon weekends and Spring Break (or Easter). This is generally the busiest and most expensive times of the year, not to mention Genie+ tends to sell out often on these days.
For a full breakdown to when it’s the cheapest time to go to Disney World in terms of hotel rates, park tickets, special events, and travel/transportation, I got you covered in this complete guide:
Buying Disney World Tickets
Due to Park Reservations, purchasing Disney World tickets is by far one of the most important steps to planning a Disney vacation. Although park tickets rarely sell out (with the exception of a couple holidays like Christmas), it’s important to lock down your tickets after all your travel arrangements have been taken care of.
Disney World Ticket Prices
A standard Disney World park ticket starts at $109 per adult and $104 per child (ages 3-9). Children under the age of 3 are free.
Prices vary depending on the time of the year, the number of days, and ticket add-ons such as Park Hopper, Park Hopper Plus, and Water Parks and More. Plus, if you are only purchasing a one-day ticket without Park Hopper, each park has their own ticket price.
Here’s an in-depth guide on Disney World ticket prices:
Also if you are planning ahead here’s how much park tickets cost next year:
Where to Find Disney World Ticket Discounts
Unless you love paying full price, you’re going to want to take advantage of some ticket discounts. And no, I’m not talking about those shady places that claim to have the best deals in town. Instead, I recommend that you purchase your tickets from authorized sellers like Undercover Tourist.
Cheapest Disney World Park
Besides both Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach Water technically being the cheapest park with tickets that cost $69, the cheapest Disney World theme park is Animal Kingdom with one-day tickets without Park Hopper starting at $109 per adult and $104 per child.
What is Genie+? And Do You Need It?
Genie+ is a paid ticket add-on that will give you unlimited access to the Lightning Lane during a select time window at over 40 attractions across all four Disney World parks.
It’s essentially a worse FastPass+ system that you have to pay for on top of your already expensive park ticket. Plus, if you’re an Annual Passholder, you still have to buy it.
The one bad thing is that some rides don’t participate in the Genie+ selection of attractions, but instead, you’ll need to purchase access to them a la carte via Individual Lighting Lane Selections.
Here are some helpful resources on Genie Plus:
Individual Lightning Lane Attractions and Prices
Here’s how much Individual Lightning Lanes costs:
- Avatar Flight of Passage = $11 to $16
- Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind = $14 to $17
- Rise of the Resistance = $15 to $25
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train = $10 to $12
- TRON Lightcycle / Run = $20
Please note that you can only purchase Individual Lighting Lanes for up to 2 different attractions per day.
How much does Genie+ cost at WDW?
Genie+ at Walt Disney World costs between $15 to $35 per ticket per day.
You can now purchase Genie+ for a certain park or for multiple parks if you have Park Hopper.
The Disney Genie+ Service also uses a per-park pricing method which means that every park has its own Genie+ price. For example, Magic Kingdom could cost $25 while Animal Kingdom costs $16 on the same day.
Generally, the busier the parks are, the more expensive Genie Plus will be. It can even sell out.
How many Genie+ selections at one time?
While you can’t book more than one Genie+ selection at a time, you can hold multiple at one time using the 120 minute rule. This rule states that as long as you scan into your first Genie Plus selection, or wait 2 hours after the park opens, you can hold multiple selections every 120 minutes.
Here are some example scenarios.
Cheapest Day to Buy Genie+
According to Thrill Data, the cheapest day of the week to buy Genie+ at Disney World is Thursday with an average price of $19.92.
The most expensive day is Saturday.
As long as you avoid the weekends or holidays, you can expect to pay the lowest price of the week on a weekday.
Sample Itineraries without Genie+
You can still have fun at Disney without buying Genie+. Here are some sample one-day itineraries for each park:
- Hollywood Studios One-Day Itinerary without Genie+
- EPCOT One-Day Itinerary without Genie+
- Animal Kingdom One-Day Itinerary without Genie+
- Magic Kingdom One-Day Itinerary without Genie+
Booking Your Hotel
Deciding on where to stay during your Disney World vacation may seem daunting due to the amount of hotel options both on and off Disney property.
Disney World Hotels
Disney World hotels are split up between five categories – Deluxe, Deluxe Villas, Moderate, Value, and Campgrounds.
Deluxe Resorts are the most expensive properties, have the best amenities, and will generally have some of the nicest restaurants. Some even have spas.
Deluxe Villas offer rooms that feature amenities that you will generally have at home like a full kitchen. You can also book these using Disney Vacation Club points. These properties are located at most Deluxe Resorts with a couple exceptions.
Moderate Resorts have some Deluxe amenities but at a cheaper price. Plus, these rooms feature exterior corridors similar to what you’d find at a motel, with the exception of the Gran Destino Tower at Coronado Springs. Some offer table service restaurants including a food court.
Value Resorts are the most budget-friendly and have the most fun themes. Dining options include a food court and room service. If you want to save money and don’t mind being at a busy and slightly noisy hotel with smaller rooms (minus the suites), then Value Resorts are the best bang for your buck. That said, these rooms tend to go the quickest during certain deals and special offers.
There’s only one Campground on Disney property and that’s the Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Lodge. Here you can either stay in a tent or park anything from 45+ foot RVs.
My favorite properties include Coronado Springs, Contemporary, Port Orleans Riverside, Pop Century, and Animal Kingdom Lodge. But if you want a Deluxe resort feel at a moderate price, then Coronado’s Gran Destino Tower is by far the best option.
For a full list of hotels and their availability, check out the official WDW hotel page.
This is where you’ll also find some great seasonal deals and promotions.
Disney Hotel Room Rates
Here are all of the room rates you can expect to pay this year according to MouseSavers:
On-Property, Non-Disney Hotels
Every mainstream hotel brand has at least one property on Disney World property. You’ll find hotels by Hilton, Marriott, Wyndham, and Holiday Inn.
There are so many choices to choose from but you honestly can’t go wrong with anything in Bonnet Creek.
But if money is no object, then you really can’t beat the Four Seasons Orlando.
One simple search on Expedia or Google will result in hundreds of name brand hotels, resorts, and motels within close proximity to Disney.
I don’t really have any recommendations but some areas I like include Flamingo Crossings and anything near the Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets. The I-Drive area is also great if you plan on doing other things besides Disney such as Universal, SeaWorld, Top Golf, shopping, etc.
Booking Your Hotel
You’ll find some of the best hotel deals on Disney World’s official website.
Or you can use a travel booking site such as Expedia, a hotel aggregator like Google, or even a travel agent, if you’re old school.
Booking Your Disney World Stay with Points
If you happen to have a lot of credit card points or hotel loyalty points that you’ve been banking for a vacation, then using them for your hotel stays at Disney World, could be a great use of your points/miles.
Currently five hotel loyalty programs have hotels on Disney World property:
- World of Hyatt
- Hilton Honors
- Marriott Bonvoy
- Wyndham Rewards
- IHG Rewards Club
The most popular hotel that you can book with points is the Swan, Dolphin, and Swan Reserve, all of which can be booked using Marriott Bonvoy.
The point redemption values vary depending on the year, but you can typically find some great deals during the off-season. On average, you can expect to pay around 50,000 points per night at the Swan, Swan Reserve, or Dolphin.
Regardless of what hotel loyalty program that you have points for, you will find a great property to redeem them at. Best of all, there are hotel categories that range from budget all the way to luxurious that allow you to book with points.
My favorites include Waldorf Astoria Orlando, Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, and Wyndham Garden Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek.
For a full list of properties that you can book with points read this:
Book a Split Stay (Which Can Save You Money)
If you want to splurge at a Deluxe Resort for a couple nights or even if you want to enjoy multiple Disney World hotels during one vacation, then booking a Split Stay is great way to do it!
A split stay means that you are staying at more than one Disney World hotel during your vacation.
The way it works is that you book two separate Disney World hotel reservations (you can’t connect them, but that’s okay).
Then once you check out of your first hotel, just bring your bags to the Bell Services and tell them that you a re doing a split stay. They will then ask you what hotel you’re staying at next, give you a ticket, and then they’ll transfer your bags to the next hotel free of charge (minus any tips).
You can then either make your way to the next hotel or head to the parks. Once you arrive at the next hotel, just present your bag ticket to Bell Services and they’ll bring your bags to your room.
Just note that your bags may not make it to the next hotel until the evening.
For some tips on how to book a Split Stay as well as some ways you can make the most of your split stay, be sure to check out this article.
My Two Cents
As much as I love beautiful and luxurious resorts and hotels, Disney World is probably the one exception where I’m willing to cut corners on my stay and spend my time at a more budget-friendly hotel.
One thing I’ve realized, and I’m sure a lot of you may have too is that you will almost spend zero time in your room. At least in my case, we will normally leave the hotel in the morning and won’t return until we’re exhausted at 11 pm or later.
So why spend all that money for a Deluxe resort if you’re not gonna be in the room?
As tempting as it is to stay at the Contemporary or a safari view room at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, I’m totally fine with Value resorts because I just know I’ll never be in the room. Sure I may have a resort/pool day, but I still don’t think that it’s worth the money, especially if you plan on spending most of your time out and about at the parks.
Where and What to Eat and Drink
I’m obsessed with Disney World food and I’m not ashamed to say it.
One of the best things about Disney World is that they offer some food and drink options that are unlike anything you’d find at any other theme park.
Here’s a quick overview of my favorite things to eat and drink as well as the best restaurants to spend your hard earned money at without feeling robbed.
Best Restaurants at Every Park
Every park has restaurants that you absolutely must dine at as well as some that you must avoid at all costs.
Here are the best sit down, counter service, and kiosks at each park, ranked from best to worst:
- 15 Best Epcot Restaurants
- 21 Best Animal Kingdom Restaurants
- 24 Best Magic Kingdom Restaurants
- 25 Best Hollywood Studios Restaurant
My personal favorites include ‘Ohana, Topolino’s Terrace, Steakhouse 71 (for breakfast and lunch), Regal Eagle Smokehouse, Via Napoli, Jungle Navigation Co. LTD Skipper Canteen, and Nomad Lounge.
At Disney Springs, my three favorites include The Boathouse (rolls are amazing), Morimoto, and Pizza Ponte.
On Disney property, but no owned by Disney, my favorites include Ravello and Bull & Bear. Capa (the only Michelin-starred restaurant at Disney) is also pretty good.
Disney World Food and Drink Bucket List
If you’re up to the challenge, see how many food and drinks you can cross off this bucket list.
Best Snacks at Disney World
I truly believe that the snacks are significantly better than the food options at Disney World, and that’s the hill I’m willing to die on. (That’s not the case at Disneyland, but we’ll save that for another time).
My all-time favorite snacks at Disney World included the Dole Whip (with pineapple vanilla swirl), Fraises, Gideon’s Hot Cookie, No Way Jose Sundae, Cheeseburger Spring Rolls, Fresh Fruit Waffle Sandwich, Olive Oil Ice Cream, Pineapple Crisp Sundae, Yorkshire Chips, Gingerbread Salted Caramel Buttercream Cookie Sandwich, and the Pretzel Bread Pudding, just to name a few. (My list of a lot longer but I didn’t want to bore you).
Also, here are the best snacks at every park:
- Best Snacks at Magic Kingdom
- Best Snacks at EPCOT
- Best Snacks at Animal Kingdom
- Best Snacks at Hollywood Studios
Every Location that Serves Alcohol
If you need a drink, this guide got you covered:
How to get difficult Disney World dining reservations
By far some of the toughest advanced dining reservations to get at Disney World are for ‘Ohana dinner, Space 220, Narcoossee’s, and Topolino’s breakfast.
Here are a few tips that will help you snag some of these tough dining reservations:
- Search by individual times, not “breakfast’ “lunch” or “dinner”
- Adjust your party size, then readjust once you check-in
- Check on the same day you want to dine because a lot of people will cancel
- Start searching for dining reservations at 5:45 am EST at the 60 day mark
Disney Dining Plan 101
The Disney Dining Plan is a pre-paid meal plan offered at Disney World that provides you with credits to use on food and drinks, thus eliminating the need to carry cash or pay for your meals (with gratuities being the one exception).
There are two plans to choose from:
- Disney Quick Service Dining Plan
- Disney Dining Plan
With the Quick Service Disney Dining Plan, you’ll receive 2 quick service meals per night of stay, 1 snack or nonalcoholic beverage per night of stay, and 1 resort fillable mug.
With the Disney Dining Plan, you’ll receive 1 quick service meal per night of stay, 1 table service meal per night of stay, 1 snack per night of stay, and 1 resort refillable mug.
Here’s a full list of restaurants that participate in the Disney Dining Plan. (this list will more than likely change)
How much does the Disney Dining Plan cost?
The Quick Service Disney Dining Plan costs $57 per adult per day and $24 per child (ages 3 to 9) per day.
The Disney Dining Plan costs $95 per adult per day and $30 per child per day.
In order to buy the Disney Dining Plan, you need to book a Disney Resort Hotel Package that includes a dining package and park tickets.
Annual Passholders can add the Disney Dining Plan to their hotel stay without having to purchase a vacation package that includes park tickets.
Is the Disney Dining Plan worth it?
That totally depends on your eating habits.
The DDP can definitely save you money if you use your credits the right way at the best restaurants that will help you maximize each credit.
I go into way more detail about that in this complete, in-depth guide that will show you how much money you can save (or waste) by buying the DDP.
You can also check out these tips, tricks, and secrets that will help you maximize the Disney Dining Plan.
Best Rides at Disney World
There are some any incredible and iconic rides at Disney World that it might feel overwhelming when planning on which ones to hit.
But don’t worry, I got you covered with some of the best, can’t be missed rides at each park.
Best Rides at Every Park
Here are the best rides, in my opinion, at each park that can’t be missed:
- Space Mountain
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Haunted Mansion
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Jungle Cruise
- Mad Tea Party
- Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind
- Test Track
- Living with the Land
- Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
- Frozen Ever After
- Avatar Flight of Passage
- Kilimanjaro Safari
- Expedition Everest
- Rock ‘n Roller Coaster
- Tower of Terror
- Slinky Dog Dash
- Star Wars Rise of the Resistance
- Star Tours
Best Rides for Adults
These are the best rides for adults at all four parks:
- 5 Best Hollywood Studios Rides for Adults
- 5 Best Animal Kingdom Rides for Adults
- 5 Best Magic Kingdom Rides for Adults
- 5 Best EPCOT Rides for Adults
Which Day of the Week Has the Lowest Wait Times?
Here are the best days of the week to visit each park if your goal is to have the lowest wait times possible:
- Magic Kingdom = Wednesday and Sunday (31 minute wait on average)
- EPCOT = Wednesday (31 minute wait on average)
- Animal Kingdom = Wednesday (39 minute wait on average)
- Hollywood Studios = Sunday (46 minute wait on average)
The worst day for Magic Kingdom is Tuesday, Epcot is Friday, Animal Kingdom is Saturday, and Hollywood Studios is Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.
Single Rider Lines at Disney World
If you don’t mind splitting up with your party in order to have the lowest wait time possible at select rides, then using the Single Rider Line is by far the best way to do it.
Here are all four attractions that offer a Single Rider Line:
- Expedition Everest (Animal Kingdom)
- Rock ‘n Roller Coaster (Hollywood Studios)
- Millennium Falcon Smugglers Run (Hollywood Studios)
- Test Track (EPCOT)
Unfortunately, Magic Kingdom doesn’t have any rides with a single rider line.
Disney World Roller Coasters Ranked
If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, then this list of every Disney Roller coaster, ranked is just what you need.
Here’s my top 5:
- Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
- Rock ‘n Roller Coaster
- Tron Lightcycle Run
- Slinky Dog Dash
- Expedition Everest
Fastest Rides at Disney World
If you want to feel the need, the need for speed, then these rides are for you.
Here are the five fastest rides at Disney World right now:
- Test Track – 65 mph
- Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind – 60 mph
- TRON Light Cycle Run – 59 mph
- Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster – 57 mph
- Expedition Everest – 50 mph
And here are the top speeds of the rest of the rides at each park.
Disney World Ride Lengths and Duration
Here’s the complete listing of every attraction length and duration:
Disney World Height Requirements for Every Ride
Here’s the compete listing of height requirements for every ride at each park, including both water parks:
Every Ride That Doesn’t Have Height Requirements
Disney World is by far one of the best theme parks to visit thanks in part to the sheer amount of rides and attractions that don’t have a minimum height requirement.
Some of the popular rides (some of which are minor “thrill” rides) that don’t have height requirements are:
- Astro Orbiter
- Haunted Mansion
- Jungle Cruise
- Mad Tea Party
- Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway
- Toy Story Mania
- Frozen Ever After
- Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
- Spaceship Earth
- Kilimanjaro Safaris
Here’s a complete list of attractions that don’t have height restrictions:
Spoiler Alert: Magic Kingdom has the most by far.
Stomach Issues? Here’s my IBS Guide to Disney World Rides
I have some serious stomach issues some days which makes riding certain rides (or waiting in line) super risky.
If you have IBS, then you should definitely check out my guide to managing it at the parks.
In the meantime, here are the “safest” rides in my opinion that have the shortest ride durations or easiest access to bathrooms.
- Prince Charming’s Carousel
- Dumbo the Flying Elephan
- Mad Tea Party
- TRON (ride is so short that I feel that I can get on and off quickly)
- Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind (Lightning Lane only)
- Avatar Flight of Passage (safest of all rides)
- Expedition Everest
- Alien Swirling Saucers
- Slinky Dog Dash
- Star Tours
- Rock ‘n Roller Coaster
One thing to note is that I don’t include the obvious examples like Hall of Presidents, Festival of the Lion King, MuppetVision*3D, It’s Tough to Be a Bug, or PhilarMagic since those are all theater shows. But in my IBS guide, I was sure to list all of the shows too.
Character Meet and Greets
How to Prepare for Inclement Weather
Disney World weather is as unpredictable as the the drops in Tower or Terror.
At one moment it’s bright and sunny and in the blink of an eye, there’s a thunderstorm rolling in.
Regardless, in general, the weather in Central Florida ranges from a high of 91 in August and a low of 52 in January.
Here’s what to expect weather-wise each month, as well as what you should do during a tornado or hurricane.
Disney World Weather by Month
Here is the type of weather you should expect each month at Disney:
- Disney World Weather in January
- Disney World Weather in February
- Disney World Weather in March
- Disney World Weather in April
- Disney World Weather in May
- Disney World Weather in June
- Disney World Weather in July
- Disney World Weather in August
- Disney World Weather in September
- Disney World Weather in October
- Disney World Weather in November
- Disney World Weather in December
Disney World Attractions That Close When it Rains or Storms
Although a majority of outdoor rides and attractions stay open when it lightly rains,, there are a number of them that will close when thunder or lightning is nearby (with some exceptions like TRON).
Here’s a list of rides that close when it rains, as well as all of the ones that stay open at every theme park.
What to Pack for a Disney World Vacation
As important as it may be to look cool or cute at Disney World, one thing at the end of the day always reigns supreme – comfort.
That said, here’s my complete Disney World packing list that includes every single essential you’ll ever need on a Disney vacation.
Best Park Bag
I’m all about brining a park bag regardless of how long you plan on being at the park.
Here are some essentials I like to pack inside of my park bag (which is actually a pretty small bag):
- battery powered, handheld fan
- hand sanitizer
- Liquid IV
- hair tie (for the wife)
For my complete list of park bag items as well as my favorite bags check this out:
Best Water Bottle for the Parks
I’m never paying $4 for a bottle of Dasani so I always bring my own refillable water bottle.
You honestly can’t go wrong with any brand, but my go-to has always been a Hydroflask.
Best Shoes to Wear at Disney World
You walk a ton at Disney World, whether you like it or not, so that’s why what you choose to wear on your feet is by far one of the most important things you have to consider when packing.
Here are my three personal favorite shoes:
Bring or Buy Diapers?
Although you can easily by diapers at Baby Centers inside of every park or at all Disney World resorts, you can also get some delivered to your room via Amazon or Instacart. Plus, there are so many Targets and Publix nearby that you can always purchase them once you arrive.
Here are all of the places where you can buy diapers at Disney.
Of course, there’s no crime in bringing in your own too.
Do you need to bring cash?
Even though Disney World accepts cash, you really won’t need it unless you’re tipping or if you want to exchange it to USD.
Other Helpful Planning Essentials
Here are some additional resources that don’t necessarily fit any of the categories and topics mentioned above:
Disney World Abbreviations You Should Know
This is pretty random, but you might find yourself stumbled upon a secret language at Disney Parks that may not make much sense.
Some popular ones include:
- AP: Annual Passholder
- DAS: Disability Access Service
- DVC: Disney Vacation Club
- GR: Guest Relations
- LL: Lightning Lane
- QS: Quick Service Restaurant
- ROTR: Rise of the Resistance
- TTC: Ticket and Transportation Center
- WDW: Walt Disney World
- MK: Magic Kingdom
- MNSSHP: Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party
- MVMCP: Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
- FP: FastPass
For the full list of Disney abbreviations and acronyms, check out this comprehensive list.
Do you need a rental car?
If you don’t plan on exploring the nearby Orlando area or visit any other theme parks like SeaWorld or Universal Orlando, then renting a car might not be the best idea, especially because of the plethora of free Disney transportation options at your disposal.
When on Disney World property, you can get around with ease using Disney buses, the monorail, the Skyliner, boats/ferries, and even walking.
I’m all about saving money, so if I can get to and from the airport using Uber or Lyft at a more affordable price than what it would be to rent a car and pay for gas, then I’m going to skip the rental car at all costs.
Using Uber and Lyft at Disney
Uber and Lyft (including Minnie Vans) are the best and cheapest way to get to and from the airport to Walt Disney World by far. Plus, it makes getting from point A to point B in the quickest way possible. This is especially true if you’re trying to get from one Disney hotel to another.
For more details about how to use Uber and Lyft at Disney World including all of the pickup and drop-off spots, check out this guide below:
Magical Disney World Baby Moon Guide
As crazy as it sound because of the sheer amount of walking you’ll be doing at Disney World, it’s surprisingly a pretty fun place for a baby moon especially if you stay at a resort with the nicest rooms and best pools such as the Yacht and Beach Club, Art of Animation, or the Polynesian Village Resort.
Not to mention, there are still quite a few rides and attractions that you can enjoy while pregnant. But of course, you’ll need to get the all-clear from your doctor before embarking on a Disney babymoon.
Here are some great ways to plan the ultimate babymoon at Disney World, most of which we personally partook in while my wife was pregnant with our daughter:
Planning an Accessible and Sensory-Friendly Visit
The sights, sounds and colors of a Disney theme park may be exciting for many people, but they can also be quite overwhelming to people with ASD.
Here’s a complete guide to planning an accessible and sensory-friendly Disney World vacation:
Planning for a Disney World vacation might feel overwhelming at times, but with the help of some of these guides and resources, I’m confident that you’ll be able to dominate and plan the most magical vacation ever.