Has a Disney® family vacation been on your bucket list? With four theme parks, two water parks and more than 25 resorts on property, it’s easy to see why Walt Disney World®Resort in Orlando, Florida, is one of the most visited theme parks in the world. It’s also easy to see why organizing a trip there can be overwhelming, especially if it’s your first time.
As a longtime Disney fan who lives just a few miles from Disney World, I’ve been going to the parks several times a week, every week, for years. And as a mom of two, I have experienced Disney World with children ranging in age from babies to teens.
Here, we break down and simplify the process of planning your family’s first Disney vacation, so you and your crew can focus on making magical Disney moments.
Figure Out When to Go
As you think about timing your trip to Disney World, look at dates at least six months out, when the booking window opens for many restaurants in the parks. Although getting a hotel or suite usually is not a problem, restaurants can fill up quickly, especially during popular vacation times.
If you have school-age children, look at the school district calendar and identify the days they have off. The parks are busier when school is out — however, Disney also hosts special activities during these times, which can make the larger crowds worth it. When an animated film is released in theaters, for example, Disney brings the star characters to the parks for appearances and dance parties; during the year-end holiday season, Disney decks out its parks and resorts.
To make your planning easier, you can refer to this chart for recommended months to visit Disney World.