Who Needs To Plan For a Trip to WDW? ~ By Guest Author Matthew Wallace
One of the most asked questions I get from people is “do I really need to plan for a trip to Walt Disney World?” In a quick answer, yes! Let’s explore this a little deeper, because while the answer is ‘yes’, there are different levels of planning.
The first type of planner to look at is the Uber-Planner! This is the person who has to have EVERYTHING planned to the second! They may begin their initial planning anywhere between one and two years in advance of their trip. They begin looking at dates, figuring out potential resorts, looking at crowd calendars just to get an ‘idea’ of what the next trip could look like. They will probably even make the initial resort reservation to make it real! At the one year mark, they will refine their crowd numbers, and begin planning meals, parks, and attractions for each day. There will be little room for changes, as long as Disney World doesn’t mess things up with their scheduling.
The second type is what I like to call the thumbnail sketch planner! This person just wants to know a few of the basics! They will look at when to travel, where to stay, and basic days in parks. They may book the three allowed Fastpass+s they are allowed per day, but not really go much beyond that stage in their planning. Meals will likely be just quick service, or a potential walk up, on the fly. And, the remainder of each day will be relaxed, and allow time to take in some of the detail. They may even take some time to search out a Hidden Mickey or two!
Finally, we have the ”I don’t need a plan” planner! They may book a room three months out, put together one or two special meals, if they want them. But, otherwise, there is no specific plan to their trip. This planner may choose to not use Fastpass in any form! They may choose to just walk-on as many rides and attractions as they can in a completely open daytime schedule. They will catch a meal if they are hungry, with no plans as to where or when! And, there may even be days when they choose NOT to go to a park and just make use of the resort amenities.
So, what kind of planner do YOU need to be? It really depends on the needs of you and your family! Special events at WDW require advanced planning. And, the farther out, the better chances you have of making that event special! Remember, Advanced Dining Reservations (including tours, dessert parties, etc.) open up at or about the 180 day point. If you are wanting to do any Character Dining in the parks, this is very important to remember! And, as a reminder, if you are staying at a Disney-Owned Resort, you can make your dining reservations at 180 plus 10 days into your vacation.
There are a lot of online tools that can help you, regardless of the type of planner you might be. And, we will explore those tools next time!
About the Author:
Matthew Wallace is a Disney World fan from Ohio, and has been crazy about the place since his first visit on October 2, 1982! In the four years following, he made a total of eight visits, and deepened his love for The Magic Kingdom and EPCOT Center parks. The years that followed brought challenges to making too many more visits for awhile. Then, in February 2012, he returned with his family for a new first, seeing the wonders of Walt Disney World through the eyes of his children, and wife.
During that visit, two of his daughters have caught the bug and want to visit The Vacation Kingdom, as often as possible! As a family, they made another trip in December 2013. And, there is currently a trip planned for September 2015! (Hoping for some Food and Wine!)
Matthew is also the owner of the threestrandswdw online blog that can be found at: www.threestrandswdw.com.