Our Walt Disney World Planning Guide is here to help you plan your entire Walt Disney World vacation from start to finish- all while saving you as much money as possible at Disney.
In this planning guide you'll find links to our most helpful Walt Disney World planning articles including tips, money saving hacks, packing lists, and more!
Each of our Walt Disney World planning guides are updated regularly. We recently went through a large overhaul of our content to discuss the COVID-19 impact on Walt Disney World and how to stay safe during your visit.
LIMITED TIME OFFER: When you travel to Walt Disney World before the end of 2020, you can save up to $500 on a four night stay. Check out all the details, see sample pricing for packages, and request a quote. Click HERE >
- Where to find best discount Walt Disney World tickets?
- Where to find cheap Walt Disney World tickets?
- Which Walt Disney World hotel should I stay at?
- Which Walt Disney Word hotel is the cheapest?
- What should I do for transportation to Disney World?
- When should I visit Walt Disney World?
- How should I plan for food?
- What is FastPass+ and how do I use it?
- Can I plan a last-minute Disney World trip?
- New! How has COVID-19 impacted Walt Disney World?
We have free planning resources like a printable packing list PDF and planning guide (
previously $14.95) for people who sign up for our free Mickey Visit planning newsletter. Our newsletter subscribers also get exclusive discounts from Disney's largest travel partner.
Frequently Asked Questions
In this section of our planning guide we go over our most current frequently asked questions for a Disney World trip. General information on tickets, crowd calendars, transportation, holidays, etc. can be found after this section on this planning guide.
How is the COVID-19 pandemic impacting Disney World?
Currently Disney is doing all they can to manage limited capacity while also effectively employing health and safety policies. This means that Disney World requires advance reservations to the theme parks, limited capacity once you're inside, face coverings required for everyone 2 ages and older, along with various other policies to create a safe environment. You can read all about these polices along with how Disney is still keeping the parks magical in our guide the Disney World reopening.
I heard that Florida is changing their approach to COVID, how will this impact Disney World?
The Florida governor announced the lifting of restrictions for restaurant capacity, mask mandates, and other COVID precautions at the end of September for the state of Florida leaving most of the decision making up to individual counties. According to Disney World, they aren't making any immediate changes and reminded guests that face coverings will still be required. We don't anticipate Disney making any changes to their precautions anytime soon.
Is it safe to visit Disney World right now?
This is a tough question to answer as traveling right now is really a personal decision based on your own comfort level and health. One thing we've heard repeatedly from those that have visited since the reopening is how impressed they were at Disney's dedication to safety. The positive reviews have been overwhelming and that's a big plus to consider when making your decision.
How long will face coverings be required at Disney World?
No one truly knows the answer to this right now. The COVID-19 pandemic is such an unknown reality that we're all juggling including Disney World. Most educated guesses say that face coverings will likely be required until we have a vaccine and life can begin returning to a semblance of normality.
How much does it cost to go to Disney World?
One of the things we love about our travel partner is how easy it is to get a free quote. You can reach out to them at anytime and get a quote for your visit. You can also go on Disney World's website and look at hotel/ticket prices to get an estimate of that portion of your trip. Once you've figured that out, factor in your flights and travel expenses. Once you've done that, the last part to estimate is the cost of food and souvenirs. Our article here also helps break down expenses so you can get an idea of how to budget.
How much should I budget for food per day at Disney World?
The best way to figure this out, especially if you're visiting while the dining plans are suspended, is to go on Disney World's website to look at the menus for the restaurants. This is the most accurate way to estimate cost when it comes to pricing food options for your family.
For example, if I am visiting Magic Kingdom for the day and I know that I have picked one table service restaurant to eat at I can estimate that cost for dinner. Let's say I pick the Plaza Restaurant. Based on the menu, I can average about $20 per adult for an entree. Add in two fountain drinks (typically average around $4) and I'm at around $50. I always round up to plan (don't forget tip/tax) so let's say I set aside about $60 for dinner. For lunch, we might plan on eating quick-service snacks like corn dogs. If I plan out two corn dogs and two bottled waters, I'm at about $30 for lunch. So based on just lunch and dinner for two people, I'm at about (remember, always round up) $100 for both meals. This is not counting snacks! And you should absolutely plan for snacks. So if I guess that we might enjoy icecream and churros throughout the day, I will set aside another $50 for snacks. So now I've roughly estimated about $150 for two people for the day for lunch, dinner, and snacks.
Keep in mind that I didn't count breakfast (we usually eat at the hotel) and that I didn't factor in other drinks outside of those I mentioned since we will likely just refill water bottles throughout the day. This is my process for figuring out my budget so you can idea of how to best plan. Everyone has their own ‘food style' when it comes to theme parks. We're more of a ‘splurge and snack' family so I budget for that. If you know your family has more self control or you plan on bringing your own snacks, you can adjust accordingly.
What's the best age to take my kids to Disney World for the first time?
This is a tough question to answer because everyone has such varying opinions. Some families might take their kids as infants while others swear on waiting until they're at least 3-5 for their first trip. Disney offers plenty of rides for small children and other activities so really it comes down to personal opinion. Disney also has an abundance of resources for people traveling with small children like a Baby Centers in the theme parks and there's great stroller rental companies to pick from.
Should I add a day at Universal Orlando?
If you can afford it and you have the time to add on during your vacation then we say absolutely! Universal Orlando has two awesome theme parks with extremely popular areas like the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Universal Orlando is really close to Disney World so it's not that much of a hassle to spend a day there. Plus there's a lot of transportation options to take you to and from your Disney World hotel to Universal if you don't rent a car.
Have a frequently asked question you want us to address? Drop it in the comments!
Keep reading for answers to your questions on when to visit, how to get cheap tickets, transportation tips, seasonal events, and what to bring!
When to Visit Walt Disney World
The time of year you decide to visit Walt Disney World is one of the first decisions you make for your vacation! Do you want to visit during the summer? The holidays? During the off season to try and avoid crowds? This first section of our guide is here to help you decide when is the best time for you to visit Walt Disney World. This section includes crowd predictions of each time of the year and guides to the different holidays- along with our tips and tricks! Take me to “When to Visit” >
What Walt Disney World Hotel To Stay In
One thing that tends to overwhelm people traveling to Walt Disney World for the first time is the amount of hotels that are offered. We wrote a comprehensive guide and review of every Walt Disney World resort hotel along with a guide of all the price options available. Take me to “What Hotel to Stay In”>
The Full Transportation and Airport Guide to Walt Disney World
Our transportation guide explains every possible transportation option to the Walt Disney World resort. This guide aims to answer questions of how to get from the airport to your hotel, how to get around the resort itself, and more. Take me to “Airports”>
How to Find Discounted or “Cheap” Walt Disney World Tickets
One of the best ways to try to save money for your Walt Disney World vacation is to try and save money on your tickets. In this section of the guide, I have put together a comprehensive page with all of the known discounts on Walt Disney World tickets. Be sure to read the section even if you aren't searching for Walt Disney World ticket discounts because it also includes words of advice for anyone purchasing tickets. Take me to “Tickets” >
How to Plan for Food at Disney World
The Walt Disney World Resort provides a wide variety of different types of food. You will find classic amusement park food mixed in with upscale restaurants. The food quality is outstanding and whether you are eating a corn dog or pork shank, it will be the best you have ever had.
Our extensive guide on dining at Walt Disney World covers:
- Reviews on ALL the character dining offered
- Extensive list of food options for EVERY park at Disney World
- Comprehensive guide to ALL the dining plans offered for hotel guests to purchase
- Reserved dining for entertainment and how to book
- Information on healthy and allergy/gluten free options
- Tips and tricks on SAVING MONEY on Walt Disney World dining
Every Theme Park at Walt Disney World
Our attraction guides to the Walt Disney World theme parks will help you decide which park has what and what to prioritize.
- Magic Kingdom
- The traditional park where you can find Cinderella's Castle and classic rides like Peter Pan, Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, it's a small world, and more.
- Disney's Hollywood Studios
- This is where you can find Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge.
- Animal Kingdom
- This park is known for its safari with wild animals and Pandora.
- You'll recognize this park right away from its iconic ‘golfball' entrance but also is known for its international experiences.
Walt Disney World also offers two water parks to choose from:
- Blizzard Beach
- This waterpark offers a ski resort themed vibe that many guests enjoy for its uniqueness.
- Typhoon Lagoon
- This waterpark offers a traditional vibe with palm trees, beach themed water slides, and a pirate ship.
Walt Disney World also has a downtown district known for shopping, restaurants, and other experiences:
Each of our guides lists all the experiences and attractions you can find! For dining, be sure to go to our massive Walt Disney World dining page for a breakdown of all the restaurants offered at each park.
What to Wear to Walt Disney World
Deciding what to bring on your Walt Disney World vacation can be a big decision! From what to wear, what to pack in your bag, and what food to bring are all things to plan for. Our packing list guide has you covered with everything you need to bring based on our years of experience of visiting the Disney Parks. Take me to “Packing List” >
Walt Disney World Souvenirs
There are so many souvenirs to chose from at Walt Disney World, it can be overwhelming to decide what to purchase. We have put together a list of souvenirs we recommend that we believe stand the test of time and that you will enjoy for years to come. You can also find information here on the Walt Disney World PhotoPass option! Take me to “Souvenirs” >
Important Information on Holidays, FastPass+ and more!
- Lost Children in Walt Disney World– Full information on Walt Disney World's lost child protocol and tips to keep everyone together.
- Disney World Height Requirements- Full information on all the height requirements for each park, rider switch, and single rider.
- Disney World FastPass+ Tips and Tricks Guide- This Disney World FastPass+ guide will help you to maximize this free and powerful time saving system.
- Walt Disney World Magic Band Guide- This guide shows you everything you need to know for wearing a Magic Band!
- Mickey's Halloween Party Disney World Guide– Full guide to the private Halloween party happening select nights throughout September and October.
- Holidays at Walt Disney World– Full guide to Christmas time at Walt Disney World.
- Celebrating a Birthday– Information on what Disney will do on your special day.
- Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge– Everything you need to know including strategies, tips, and reviews.
- Value vs. Moderate Hotels at Walt Disney World– Which Should You Pick?- Help decide which hotel pick is best for you.
- Disney After Hours at Walt Disney World– This guide tells you everything about the popular After Hours events at Disney World.
- Camping at Walt Disney World– Did you know you can camp at Disney World? This guide tells you everything you should know.
- Disney World’s Magic Kingdom in One Day– Only have one day? Our guide has you covered.
- Walt Disney World Military Discounts– All the information on military discounts.
- Guide for Guests With Disabilities– Everything you should know on accommodations for guests with disabilities.
Plan Your Walt Disney World Vacation!
That should be everything that you need to plan your Walt Disney World vacation. If you still have questions about planning, see our Ask Us page.
Be sure to sign up for our planning newsletter so that you can get access to our exclusive hotel discounts and special planning tips. We have a dedicated team of writers covering new Disney World content weekly! Check out our blog for everything you need to know to plan a successful Disney vacation!
If you need any other help or have questions, don't be afraid to email me.