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Planning a Magical Walt Disney World Trip Part 1

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This post is brought to you by Sharyn Kaye Travel

 

To help you from being completely stressed out by the endless options, crazy high costs, and infinite possibilities, we’ve put together these amazing tips for planning this very magical experience. As with all things Disney, there is A LOT of information; so we’ve broken things down into a 3 part series to make it a little easier. Let’s get started with Part 1! 

 

When to go:
Deciding when to go can be a big factor in your plans. To really enjoy the experience and make the most of your time, try to go with the crowds will be low or moderately low. Historically, these have been the attendance levels for Walt Disney World:

Lowest Attendance
-Mid-January to mid-February
-Just after Labor Day to Thanksgiving week
-Sunday after Thanksgiving to the week before Christmas

Moderate Attendance
-Mid-February to early March
-Late April to Early June, except Memorial Day

Highest Attendance
-Spring Break
-Mid-March to Late April
-Memorial Day Weekend
-Mid-June through Labor Day
-Thanksgiving Week
-The week before Christmas through New Years

A note about visiting during the highest attendance times of year: DON’T GO!
On New Year’s Eve 2018, Magic Kingdom stopped admitting guests at 11:00 am because the park had reached capacity. Yowza!

How long should you stay:
This can be a tough one. You want to see “everything”, but you don’t have time (or money) to hang out for a month or more. To get the most out of your stay, and reduce stress, here’s a guideline to get you started:

Visit Just One Park
-1 or 2 days
Visit Any Two Parks
-3 to 4 days
Visit Any Three Parks
- 5 to 6 days
Visit All Four Parks
-7 or more days
Visit the Water Parks too
-add another 2 days

If you have a large family or are traveling with young children, you may want to add more time or, better yet, go when the park attendance is at its lowest.

Split Stay.

Can’t decide which resort you want to stay at? Try a split stay. You can start your vacation at one resort and then move to another one for the remainder of your trip. Bell Services will even transport your luggage between the resorts, for free! On our last trip we stayed 3 nights at Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village and then moved to Disney’s Boardwalk Villas. After we checked out at Kidani Village, we brought our luggage to Bell Services, hopped on a bus to Magic Kingdom and when we arrived at the Boardwalk Villas later that afternoon, our luggage was waiting for us. Super easy.

Weather.

Consider seasonal weather when making your plans. June, July, and August can be very, very hot and humid.

Theme Parks.

There are 4 theme parks and 2 water parks at Walt Disney World

Magic Kingdom.

Cinderella Castle, Space Mountain, Main Street USA, and It’s a Small World are some of the attractions you’ll see throughout the 7 magical lands.

Where to stay:
Determine which theme park you think you will visit most and, if possible, try to pick a resort closest to that theme park to reduce travel time between your resort and the park. The place is bigger than it looks. It can easily take 20 – 25 minutes to get from the Animal Kingdom Park to the Magic Kingdom Park.
Tip: If you want to be centrally located to everything, choose an EPCOT / Hollywood Studios Resort.

Magic Kingdom Resorts
1. Grand Floridian Resort and Spa – Victorian Elegance Theme
2. Polynesian Resort – South Seas Theme
3. Contemporary Resort – Contemporary Theme
4. Bay Lake Towers – Contemporary Theme
5. Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground – Northwest Theme
6. Wilderness Lodge – Northwest Theme

EPCOT and Hollywood Studios Resorts
1. BoardWalk Inn – Atlantic Boardwalk Theme
2. BoardWalk Villas – Atlantic Boardwalk Theme
3. Beach Club Resort – New England Seaside Theme
4. Beach Club Villas – New England Seaside Theme
5. Yacht Club Resort – Martha’s Vineyard Theme
6. Caribbean Beach –Caribbean Islands Theme Pop Century – 20th Century Icon Theme (think yo-yo’s, Rubik’s Cube, and Play Dough –really, really big ones)
7. Art of Animation – Finding Nemo, Cars, The Little Mermaid, and The Lion King Themes

Animal Kingdom Resorts
1. Animal Kingdom Lodge – Safari Theme
2. Animal Kingdom Villas – Safari Theme
3. Coronado Springs – Southwestern American Theme
4. All-Star Sports – Sports Theme
5. All-Star Music – Music Theme
6. All-Star Movies – Disney Movie Theme

Disney Springs Resorts
1. Old Key West Resort – Florida Keys Theme
2. Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa – Horse Racing Theme
3. Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter – New Orleans Theme
4. Port Orleans Resort – Riverside – Southern Plantation Theme

Are you still feeling overwhelmed or have these tips made your first few decisions a little easier to make? Next time we’ll review Extra Magic Hours, Magic Bands, and Fastpasses (what?).
Stay tuned!

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