This summer (hopefully in June!), Walt Disney World should be releasing their 2020 vacation packages! If you are thinking about a trip for next year, now is a great time to contact me to begin brainstorming your magical getaway. Not sure where to start of the thought of planning a Disney vacation has you overwhelmed, never fear – I’m here to guide you every step of the way!
Disney has a number of resorts that are classified as Value, Moderate and Deluxe (lowest cost to most expensive). You really cannot go wrong at any of the resorts. Disney truly understands service and you just get some more amenities as you go up the ladder.
Value Resort rooms mainly have two double beds and there are some Family Suites available that give more space to spread out. The theming is based around animation, movies, music, sports and the decades. Each resort has one or more pools (without a water slide) and a food-court style dining offering. Art of Animation and All Star Music also feature Family Suites which will sleep up to six people and have two full bathrooms in the suite. These are great for larger families or families that just like to spread out.
Moderate Resort rooms typically have two queen beds and the resorts are larger, more spread out and feel less “hotel”-like, with smaller buildings. You will find water slides at the pools and restaurants that offer sit down meals and food-court style dining. These rooms will normally accommodate 4-5 people and at Coronado Springs you are able to fit six people in their suites. Fort Wilderness features Cabins that also sleep up to six.
Deluxe Resorts offer the same amenities as the Moderate resorts and many of the rooms will accommodate up to five adults, so the rooms are more spacious. They also have more dining options, themed character dining on – site at many locations, closer proximity to the parks, and club levels. These rooms will normally sleep up to 5, as most have 2 Queen Beds and a Day Bed.
Deluxe Villa Resorts
Deluxe Villa Resorts offer many of the same amenities as the Deluxe Resorts and feature Studios, 1-, 2- and 3-Bedroom Villas to accommodate larger families. They feature many of the comforts of home, such as kitchenettes in the Studios and full kitchens in the Villas, along with washers and dryers.
Park tickets are pretty simple. You basically pick the number of days you would like to be in the parks (depending on your flight times I’d recommend anywhere from 5-6 days, assuming you are planning to go for a week). You also have the option to add the Park Hopper pass to your tickets, allowing you to enter more than one park each day, and there are also ticket options that include access to Disney’s amazing waterparks. Otherwise, with the Base Ticket, you are able to get into one park per day (you are able to come and go from that park). For clients with kids or if it’s their first trip, I usually recommend the Base Ticket. It takes a good amount of time to get from place to place and the Base Ticket will allow you to see as much of one park as you can in a day. There are also seasonal events, which require a separate ticket admission. Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (August-October) and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (November-December) take place on select nights in Magic Kingdom. A limited number of tickets are sold for these events, which makes you feel like you have the park to yourself. No lie, my son and I went 10 days before Christmas last year and waited about 20 minutes for 7 Dwarfs Mine Train, which on a good day has about a 90 minute wait. I’m a huge fan of adding one of the parties into your Fall/Early Winter trip to enhance your Magic Kingdom experience.
I am a HUGE advocate of the Disney Dining Plan, not only because it saves you money, but it allows you to eat some great meals that you might not eat otherwise. There are three different levels to the Dining Plan. Here is what each plan would give each person per night of stay:
2 Quick Service meals (walk to a counter, order food, take food to an open table) and 2 snacks
1 Quick Service meal, 1 Table Service meal and 2 snacks
3 meals (can be Quick Service or Table Service) and 2 snacks.
The one my family normally uses is the Disney Dining Plan, although the last two trips, we have done the Quick Service plan because we weren’t really planning any big meals. I feel that the Disney Dining plan is the perfect balance. And you can use the credits in any combination you like, so if one day you want to use 2 Table Service credits, you can. You are not limited to 1 Quick Service, 1 Table Service and 2 Snack credits each day. I may have used four of my snack credits in one day at Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival, YUM! Many of the character meals will take 1 Table Service credit and some will take 2. But, that is something that I help you plan for, and to help find you the best dining plan based off your family’s eating habits. Food in Disney is pricey and while you can prepare food at your room and take it into the parks, you will want to enjoy someone else doing the cooking too! These are all great things to start thinking about as the package release date approaches. The hardest part is decided when your schedule will allow you to go, how long you want to go for, and where you want to stay. After that is decided, I make sure everything else falls magically into place!!