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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Planning Your Disney Vacation

First of all, I have to give credit to MouseSavers.com for many of the ideas in this article as they put out a great list of things to do as you are planning your vacation. For their full article CLICK HERE.

When planning a vacation, TIME IS MONEY! And as mentioned before, the farther in advance you plan, the more success you will have.

So, here is what you have to do, in roughly the order you must decide (again, thanks to MouseSavers.com for the order)

1. When are you going?

If you can, it is best to go during the VALUE times, when the park is least crowded and when the prices are the cheapest. CLICK HERE and check out point #2 for those specific times.

2. What will you do there?

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to go without a plan. There are many things to take in to consideration, like the ages of your kids, how long you will stay, etc. For example, my family is planning a trip this spring but we have three pre-school age children and will only be staying for two days. The Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom have the most attractions for preschool age kids. Epcot and Hollywood Magic have five or less attractions a piece for preschool age kids--probably a waste of a day to go to either of those.

Here is where I HIGHLY recommend you get one of the Unofficial guides, depending on which park you attend to go to. Look at the Disney Vacation Links to the right and you will see lists of each of the guides. Use these guides to help you plan your trip.

Look at Disney's websites and find out what's going on during or around the time you will go. This may effect how long you intend to stay or when you wish to go. Here are the links:

Walt Disney World


3. How will you travel there? If you are flying, look at airfare NOW! You'll save, trust me. If you have little time left the best place to go seems to be Expedia.com for air travel. (See a previous post HERE).

Also, check out MouseSavers.com transportation link (CLICK HERE).

4. Get tickets as early as possible. Click above for discounted Disney tickets, or CLICK HERE.

5. Get hotel reservations ASAP. Again, you will save money. I love MouseSavers.com hotels page, at least for Walt Disney World. They went out and did a lot of research to find which hotels offer the most bang for your buck. CLICK HERE to find out more.

If you plan on staying at one of the Disney resorts, use a travel agent. CLICK HERE for a good one.

6. Details:

Food: How will you eat? Much of this depends on your budget. With my small children, we eat breakfast before we go, give them fanny packs with snacks in them, have them nap in the car at lunch time where we have lunch waiting in sacks, and then eat dinner at the park.

Transportation to and around: How will you get from the airport to the park? Will you rent a car? Will you use the airport shuttle? CLICK HERE for the MouseSavers.com transportation page.

And that's about it. As a further recommendation, pay for as much of it as you can before you go. I hate to hear how much people still have to pay for their vacation when they come back with credit card bills, etc.

Just have fun, and the rest is easy!

Planning Your Disney Vacation

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