Disney World Trip Planner

  • 01 of 07

    Welcome to Mickey's World

    Mickey Mouse welcomes vacationing guests to Walt Disney World Resort
    ••• © The Walt Disney Company

    Walt Disney World sits on 30,000 acres, with about 7,000 acres of it developed into four theme parks: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney/MGM Studios, and Animal Kingdom; a sports complex, resort hotels, restaurants, shopping, entertainment, and activities.

    If you are planning a trip to Disney World, get the inside skinny before you go. Disney World is a great place, but it can also be overwhelming trying to decide where to stay, what to see, or even what can you afford. Here's some information to help you make informed choices.

     

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  • 02 of 07

    When to Go

    Magic Kingdom - Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse
    ••• Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse statue near Magic Kingdom. Getty Images/Moment Editorial/Cory Disbrow

    If you are planning to visit Disney World on vacation, one of the first decisions you need to make is when to go. While special events and promotions might have some influence on theme park attendance, you might want to consider when Disney World's highest theme park attendance is. Weekends in May, and June, July, and the first half of August are extremely crowded, as ​is Thanksgiving week, Christmas week, and New Year's week. If you don't like crowds and have a choice, you might want to avoid these times. Or you might want to plan your vacation around one of these popular Disney World events:

    • Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival: March through May
    • Disney's Star Wars Galactic Nights: April
    • Epcot International Food & Wine Festival:  October and November
    • Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party: September and October
    • Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party: November and December
    • Holidays Around the World:  November and December
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  • 03 of 07

    Weather Report

    The Orlando Skyline and Lake Eola
    ••• The Orlando Skyline and Lake Eola. Photo Courtesy Creative Commons

    Disney World is in Orlando in Central Florida, which experiences lots of sunshine and mild to very warm temperatures throughout the year. During the summer expect high temperatures during the day with a good chance of short-lived thunderstorms that might include heavy rain each afternoon. The warmest months are July and August, with the average high around 91 degrees Fahrenheit both months, and they are also the wettest months. The coolest month is January, which is pleasantly mild in the afternoon with a high around 70 degrees.

    The Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1 and runs through Nov. 30, with the highest storm probability from August through October. If you are concerned about your trip being interrupted by a hurricane, check into buying travel insurance. Or avoid the issue completely by not going to Orlando at that time of year.

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  • 04 of 07

    Making Reservations and Buying Tickets

    While you can use a travel agent, booking your own Disney vacation accommodations is simple either online or by phone. Just go to the website and either find the number to call or click through the reservation process as instructed. Disney's Magical Express is a complimentary airport shuttle and luggage delivery service offered by Disney World that is available to those guests using select airlines and staying at select Disney World Resort hotels. 

    You can buy Disney World tickets online as part of your vacation package or at the theme parks when you arrive. You'll have several choices of which passes to buy to which theme parks.

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  • 05 of 07

    A World of Theme and Water Parks

    Epcot Center in Walt Disney World
    ••• Epcot Center in Walt Disney World. Getty Images/Atlantide Phototravel

    Theme Parks

    • Animal Kingdom: Disney's Animal Kingdom is not just a zoo or a theme park, but a perfect combination of the two.
    • Epcot: There is no other place like it under the sun. It's where you can experience the cutting edge of technology, celebrate human achievement, participate in interactive presentations, and visit a unique kaleidoscope of  11 nations, all in one vacation. It's Epcot, and it is exclusive to Florida's Disney World Resort.
    • Hollywood Studios: Experience a world of glitz, glamour, and the excitement of show business.
    • Magic Kingdom: The classic theme park experience that puts the "magic" in Disney World.
       

    Water Parks

    Sunny Florida makes swimming possible just about year-round at Disney's two water parks, Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon,  and no one can give you a splish-splashing good time like Disney.

    • Blizzard Beach: This combination of a water park with the atmosphere and excitement of a major ski resort in the midst of a tropical lagoon is...MORE zany but fun.
    • Typhoon Lagoon: Modern-day Swiss Family Robinsons immerse themselves in a day of adventure in a water playground that looks as if it was left behind by a great storm.
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  • 06 of 07

    Eating Your Way Around the World

    Pinocchio Village Haus Restaurant, Fantasyland, Magic Kingdom, Disney World
    ••• Pinocchio Village Haus Restaurant in Fantasyland, Magic Kingdom. Getty Images/Melvyn Longhurst
    • The Disney Dining Plan: An option when planning your Disney World vacation. Disney hotel guests who want the convenience of a more-inclusive "cruise-style" vacation can buy the "Magic Your Way" Package Plus Dining. For each night of their resort stay, they can have two meals and a snack at more than 100 select restaurants throughout the Walt Disney World parks and hotels. 
    • Character Dining: There are many character dining spots across Walt Disney World Resort. The atmosphere is fun and relaxed, and every character makes a stop at every table and takes time for autographs and photo opportunities.
    • Theme Park Dining: There's dining in Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Magic Kingdom, and Epcot.
    • Downtown Disney: Dining at Downtown Disney gives you a wide range of choices, some of which are Hemingway's, Landry's Seafood House, The Boathouse, and House of Blues.

     

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  • 07 of 07

    A World of Shopping

    If you need a little time out from the theme parks, Downtown Disney will be fun for everyone. Unique shops, a variety of eating options, and entertainment make for a full day of different experiences.