Tips for Planning a Family Trip to Walt Disney World

Disney World is so fun.  A must for families.  The planning can be overwhelming. Here are some tips we found helpful:

First, sign up for  It’s less than $10 for the year, and it will give you a good idea of the crowd level in the parks on ANY given day!! Incredible.  This can help you plan the “When”.  Plus, once you are in the parks, TouringPlans has an App for your phone that will give you wait times for all the rides.

Next, browse the Disney Parks Mom’s Panel which has a wealth of info from other parents asking questions. You can find questions from parents with the same ages of kids you may have.  We found many of our questions answered with this Disney feature.

Download a map of Walt Disney World and/or request the planning DVD & brochure.  The map will help you “Where” to stay. We stayed at The Fort Wilderness Cabins and loved it. I added my TripAdvisor review at the bottom of this blog.

Some other tips:

  • Go on the off-season:  you can save loads of money, and the crowds are MUCH less.  For us, with kids under 8, it was worth it for us to take a few days off of school in order to have less crowds.  It worked! We hardly waited for anything.  We’d do it this way again.
  • Stay on-campus:  which is our preference.  You won’t need a car and the perks of the extra “magic hours” make a big difference.  We were able to ride 6 rides in one hour in Magic Kingdom!  Remember, Walt Disney World is 47 Square miles! It takes 30 minutes to drive from one end to another.  Plan to have a rental car for only 1-2 days if you are going to visit other places like Universal Studios, etc.
  • Take daily breaks: this really works!  Instead of “packing” in each day, take a 2-4 hour break right after lunch, take a nap, swim, use all your particular activities your hotel has to offer, then go back rested for a late night. This worked like a charm!
  • Use the Dinning Plan: money saving & convenient. We found this easy to use & because we shared most every meal, we were able to split treats or meals so we ate more often.  Eating often was helpful for my kids, 6 & 8, to keep them going…and the parents. We used every meal, and were able to find a gift for our last treat.
  • Do Bibbidi Bobbidy Boutique for the little girls: at least once!  It’s expensive, but for a priceless experience, when our little girls feels like a real princess, having breakfast or lunch/dinner with Cinderella right after is amazing.  Book early!
  • Do the Pirates League for the boys: at the same time as the BBB, if you have 2 parents and can split up.  Our son loved it and looked like a beaten up, one-eyed pirate for days, even after swimming! AMAZING make-up artists!
  • Splurge for the “Mickey Mouse Visit to your Room!”at least once in your life! This was amazing for our kids to have Mickey come visit our hotel room while we were away and he left us some goodies and 2 blankets with kids names on them & 2 Mickey & Minnie plushies.  This was PRICELESS!! This is WHY i massage…to have extra fun like this! The photo album was not our favorite, but the blankets are used daily at home now..I added those when the final arrangements were made.
  • Wear layers & bring a backpack: it gets cold, and bring some water. We found it helpful to have hats for the walking and some extra clothes for the evening times.
  • Take advantage of your resort area & the other resort areas: we loved the pools, Loved the golf cart at Fort Wilderness, & loved the Chip n Dale Sing Along in Fort Wilderness
  • Have fun!!

TripAdvisor Review about the Disney’s Fort Wilderness Cabins:

“Our family stayed here in February and loved it. We have a 9 yr daughter, 6 yr old son, with my husband, myself and my Mom.

We had plenty of room and privacy. It’s not fancy. It’s clean and simple, with your very own parking spot. The full kitchen really came in handy for snacks, breakfast and late night meals. Our favorite snack was a baked potato-which we were able to buy all ingredients for in the local store, and steaks on the grill for dinner. Followed by roasted marshmallows. The grill is cleaned for you each day. We only had time for grilling one night out of eight because there is so much to do and see.

Bring your own s’mores ingredients to the Chip ‘n’ Dale “Sing-a-long”, but that activity is a MUST with kids. It’s very interactive and great fun.

We rented the golf cart for the week, which was expensive, but we would do it again! The golf cart was one of our favorite parts of our trip. Plus, it makes it so much easier to get from your cabin to the various transportation areas to each park.

There are several stores on the property too, which would really be hard to get to without the cart.

We liked the pool, the tennis courts and the lake. There is so much to do on the property that next time we will plan a full day just to rest and have fun around our cabin.”

3 thoughts on “Tips for Planning a Family Trip to Walt Disney World

  1. Pingback: Disneyland or Walt Disney World? | athletictouch

  2. Touring Plans is a wonderful resource. I love the website and the app for my phone. It comes in handy when you are trying to plan out your vacation. We utilize the Touring Plans app before our vacation, and during our vacation to figure out what rides to hit.

    I’m a Disney Travel Agent, and your tips are great. Another idea that is nice for families celebrating a special occasion is getting a celebration cake delivered to your hotel room or delivered to your table during a table service meal. It can be a nice surprise for someone not expecting it. We travel during the off season in November, and go around our daughter’s birthday. We get a cake delivered to our hotel room, and she just loves it. The smile on her face makes it worth it, and it’s cheaper than the in-room celebrations (which are nice to do at least once).

    • Hi Jenny! What a great idea about the cake delivered! We had an in-room celebration at WDW and that was incredible! But, your idea of the cake is more cost effective and still gets the surprise in!
      Yes, Touring Plans is the BOMB!! We use it every time! First, using the “Crowd” numbers to plan the days we go, then the touring plans and phone app for the line wait times to navigate.
      I’ve always wanted to be a Disney Travel Agent! How do you like it?

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