Since this wild cast of characters came together in late 2012 to create the MouseQuest we have imparted lots of great information on planning practically perfect Disney vacations. So to help everyone starting their 2017 vacation planning here is a listing of the best Disney planning tools from the MouseQuest which we have posted over the last four years. So where do we start? At the beginning, of course:
First, you need to make sure you understand Disney’s unique lingo. Before you open a guide book, a website or a Facebook page you have to know the difference between DME and MDE, what the heck is the DDP and why do I have to worry about ADRs and FP+ before I even get to Disney. So let’s take a look at Dawn’s guide to the lingo of Disney.
After you have the lingo down, you will want to download the My Disney Experience app. This app will be your go-to for all of your planning needs. There are also a plethora of other Disney apps which will help you plan for, make the most of, and even make your Walt Disney World vacation last well after you are already home.
And don’t forget the numerous websites which will help you research everything from park times to restaurant menus.
Your next area of research will be which resort you want to stay in. From value resorts to deluxe villas, we have highlighted many of the resorts on Walt Disney World property:
• Monorail Resorts
• Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and The Villas at the Grand Floridian:
• Disney’s Animal Kingdom – Kidani Village
• Disney’s Art of Animation, Disney’s Coronado Springs & Disney’s Old Key West
• Disney’s Pop Century, Disney’s Port Orleans – Riverside & Disney’s Beach Club
• Disney’s All Star Movies, Disney’s Caribbean Beach & Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
WHEN TO GO TO DISNEY
Lastly, you will want to research the best times to visit Walt Disney World. Our MouseQuesters have done a podcast where they gave us some great nuggets of info on when to visit. Also, in Part 2 of the ‘Disney by Land & Disney by Sea’ blog series there are tools you can use to decide when is the best time for your family to go to Disney.
But wait… there’s more… If you didn’t book a package which included airfare your next major decision is how you are going to get to Disney. There are several options to get to Orlando including making a fun road trip of it… maybe a rousing game of Road Trip Bingo is your idea of fun. But which is more cost effective, driving or flying?
TO DINING PLAN OR NOT TO DINING PLAN
Next, you will want to find out if a dining plan is right for your family. You might even be going during a time where free dining is offered with certain resort stays. We devoted an entire podcast to whether Free Dining was really ‘free’.
We also discussed what it’s like to go to Disney during the free dining period when it comes to trying to secure Advanced Dining Reservations and FastPass+ selections.
TOURING THE DISNEY PARKS
Now some of the minor decisions take place:
It’s time to get a skeleton touring plan together. To do this check out our podcasts on each of the theme parks where we highlight some of the can’t miss experiences in each park:
o Magic Kingdom – We even have some tips for touring the Magic Kingdom in one day.
o Disney Springs
o Animal Kingdom
o Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Do you have a list of attractions and shows you absolutely must experience? Check out our podcast on Disney’s FastPass+ service strategies. In another post we showed what a Day in the Life using FastPass+ is like.
Finally, at least four days before leaving for Disney you should decide if the Memory Maker photo package is something you are interested in.
DISNEY ADD ONS
Phew, the hard stuff is out of the way. Now that the seeds of your vacation are planted it’s time to add some fun extras. Here are some podcasts and blog posts about the great things you can add to your Disney vacation to make it even more magical:
• Disney Cruise Line – Maybe you even want to participate in a Fish Extender Gift Exchange with the other passengers while on board. We have an easy-to-follow instruction guide to make your own Fish Extender Holder and an easy, frugal idea for a gift.
• Maybe you will be Traveling with extended family
• Adding a runDisney race to your vacation
• Visiting the Disney Water Parks
• Meeting characters
Now let’s look at some of the nuances of the parks you should be aware of before leaving:
• Disney Transportation
• Traveling to Disney across the pond
• Common Trip Planning Mistakes
• Dealing with the unexpected while at Disney
• Traveling to Disney with food allergies
• Child Safety While at Walt Disney World
• Hidden Mickeys
That was a fun trip down memory lane, no? That’s all for now. If you see a missing topic tweet us @MQPodcast and we will be sure to feature it in an upcoming post.