Whether you’re booking your first Walt Disney World vacation or your fiftieth, it’s easy to make some mistakes!
Planning a trip to Disney World involves several (slightly complex) steps, and it’s easy to forget things along the way. Today, we’re sharing our list of common mistakes that people make when booking their trip so that you know what NOT to do…and you can set your trip up for success before it even begins!
You Don’t Book With Discounts
If you’ve never used a discount to book a Disney World vacation, we’re about to help you out a TON. At any given time, there are usually multiple discounts and deals listed on the Disney World website. All you need to do is scroll to the bottom of the page and look for the section that says “Special Offers.”
Using these deals, you’ll be able to save on things like hotel rooms, tickets, and even add-ons. Not every deal might be the best fit for you though, so be sure to compare. We recommend that you always check out this page before you book — it could save you hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars!
You Don’t Add Discounts Later
The other important thing to remember about special offers is that if there aren’t any you can use when you book your vacation, they may still pop up later! And if you find an offer that works with your trip after you’ve already booked, you may be able to get it added on after the fact.
If you find that there’s a new offer that fits your vacation dates, then you can call Disney to have it added on to your current package. In some cases, you might need to cancel and rebook your trip with the discount you’d like, so be sure to check with Disney first. Remember, these deals are often subject to availability, so don’t delay if one pops up!
Not Doing Your Research
Before you book a Disney World vacation, there’s a lot of research that you’ll need to do to make sure you’re fully educated. First of all, you’ll need to decide if you want to stay on-site or off-site. And if you decide to stay on-site, then will you stay in a Disney Resort or in one of the non-Disney hotels like Hilton, Marriot, or Four Seasons?
You can also research which area of the Walt Disney World Resort you’d like to stay in. Some hotels are closer to parks and have better transportation options, so make sure to look into that if that’s something you’re interested in!
Researching isn’t limited to hotels either — look up what you want to do in all the parks ahead of time. Get everyone in the family involved in this too — especially kiddos! Figure out must-do rides, food, and more for each person before you go so you can plan your days accordingly to please everyone in your group.
There are so many things to consider before you even book your resort, but don’t worry, here at DFB we have all the tips to help you succeed!
Not Fully Using My Disney Experience
When you book your vacation, make sure to link everything to your online Disney account, My Disney Experience. (And make an account if you don’t already have one!) Once it’s all linked, download the My Disney Experience app to your smartphone.
In the app and on the website, you’ll be able to view all your plans, including resort reservations, tickets, dining reservations, park passes, and more. The app is very useful once you get TO the parks as well, so make sure to become familiar with it before you leave for vacation. It’s how you’ll check wait times, Mobile Order your food, and receive important in-park announcements.
Not Reading the Know Before You Go Page
Since Disney World reopened, all the important health and safety information is located on the website’s Know Before You Go page. Here, you’ll also find important details on what attractions, hotels, and restaurants are still closed.
If you have any big questions about how the parks and resorts have changed with the reopening and subsequent easing of initial restrictions, you’ll likely find the answers on this section of the website. Make sure to check out this webpage before you book so that your expectations for your vacation are realistic.
Buying the Dining Plan Without Doing the Math
When Disney’s Dining Plan is available, don’t just buy it because you think you have to! It’s not always a good deal (Disney wouldn’t try and sell it to you if it didn’t make them money in the long run!), so it’s important to run the numbers before you purchase and see if it will benefit your family.
Typically, you’ll pay more for the plan than you’d actually spend on food or you’ll end up paying for more food than you will actually eat. Unless you’re looking to buy the priciest foods off the menus everywhere you go or coming with a voracious appetite, you might not get the most out of it. It’s perfectly okay to buy it — and many families use it to the max and get a great value out of it — just make sure that you know what you’re paying for!
Not Making Your Park Pass Reservations Right Away
These days, you have to make reservations to visit the Disney World parks. Think of it like a reservation to go to a certain park each day. If you don’t have one, you don’t get in! These reservations can get booked up really quickly! Make your reservations on your My Disney Experience account as soon as you can — if your plans change (and there’s still availability) you can cancel and rebook them later.
It would be a shame to book your vacation and not actually be able to visit the parks, so this is definitely something that you’ll want to prioritize. We’ve heard from many readers who are weeks away from their trips and can’t get reservations for the parks they want (and, at times, can’t get in ANY parks!). (But if you find yourself in this situation, stay tuned to DFB. We update our readers as soon as more Park Pass reservations become available!)
There you have it — common mistakes that people make when booking their Disney World trips. Now that you know what NOT to do, you’ll be set up for success when planning your next vacation! If you’d like more advice and planning tips, make sure to follow along with DFB for the latest!
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When was the last time you visited Walt Disney World