This is one of the most common questions I get and my answer is always the same: Now. I know that sounds crazy, but it is true. If you are thinking about going to Disney World, it is never too early to start planning, but there are some key days to keep in mind:
- 499 days prior to check-in – This is the earliest you can make a room reservation.
- 180 days prior to check-in – This is when dining reservations can be made and for those high demand dining reservations, it is important to make them this far in advance. Seriously.
- 60 days prior to check-in – This is when you can make your FastPass+ reservations. This is a huge advantage of staying at a Disney Resort and one you should definitely take advantage of at the 60 day mark. FastPass+ reservations can be made starting at 7am.
Disney is a highly demanded vacation location and certain rooms and rates will book quickly. This is why I always encourage people to start planning early.
What if I change my mind?
As long as changes are made more than 30 days prior to check-in, you can change your mind as much as you want. You want to change resorts? No problem. You want to check-in a day earlier? As long as there is availability, no problem. You want to add the dining plan? No problem. Planning is as flexible as the availability allows. It is meant to be fun and enjoyable and not meant to be set in stone.
It’s last minute. Can I still plan a trip?
Absolutely! Like any vacation planned last minute, those high demand room or dining reservations might be hard to find, but there will definitely be options. I have planned trips 200 days prior to check in as well as trips 20 days prior to check in. Both clients had a great time! You just have to know what to expect, if it is a last minute trip and adjust your expectations accordingly.
I want to wait for a promotion.
You can still book now. If there is a promotion running and availability during your booked dates, then the promotion can be applied to your already existing reservation. If it is not available during your already planned dates, you have the option to move it to a different time when the promotion is available. It just has to be more than 30 days prior to check-in to make these changes. If you know you want to go during a certain week, then it is safer to book it and know up front what you will be paying. Then, if a promotion comes along, it is an added bonus and extra spending money.
How much will I owe up front?
There are two different answers to this because it depends on your booking. For most, the answer is $200. Regardless if your vacation package is going to be $1,000 or $10,000, you will only owe an initial deposit to Disney Travel Company of $200. A vacation package consists of a room and tickets or a room, tickets, and dining plan. You can add extras like Disney Photo Pass and more, but generally speaking it is a room and tickets or a room, tickets, and dining plan. There is also a room only option. Room only options require a deposit of 1 night’s stay, so it will range depending on your resort of choice and it’s nightly rate. If you are not an annual pass holder, I always recommend a package. Packages also include magical extras!
What if I want to cancel?
As long as you cancel more than 30 days prior to check-in, your deposit will be fully refunded. You will also need to manually cancel all your dining reservations, since those are linked to your credit card for guarantee. Other than that, it is very simple.
Planning can definitely be overwhelming. It is one of the great things about using a travel agent. All of your questions are directed to the same person and that person is available to help you throughout the entire planning process and even when you are on vacation. The purpose of using a travel agent is to be able enjoy your vacation. Definitely take advantage of a free service!
As a travel agent with Vacation Ever After, I would love to help find the perfect package to fit your family’s needs, help you make dining reservations, FastPass+ reservations and give you tips and suggestions to make your trip truly magical. As always, any trip you book with me includes my services for FREE.
Please fill out the contact form below and I will get back to you. I look forward to working with you!