Headed on a trip to Walt Disney World? Keep reading to see how we are planning to prepare for a trip to Walt Disney World.
Planning and preparation for Walt Disney World requires a lot of work and organization. I honestly didn’t know how much went into it until we were actually going through the process. I wanted to make sure I shared this experience in hopes to help you when it’s time to prepare for a trip to Walt Disney World.
Establish when you would like to go
For us, it started with making the decision to finally do this trip to Disney World. Cameron is going on 11 and we wanted to go before he got in that “too cool for school” phase. We wanted him to still enjoy Disney as a younger kid. With that, we knew we needed to go in 2018. On the other side of it we also have a young baby so we needed to time the vacation for when Cyrus was out of that infant stage.
It was also important for us to not go during peak times where we would have to wait in crazy lines. Also, during the peak times prices are much higher as well.
We decided Fall would be the best time because cooler temps, cheaper prices, and Cyrus would be close to 1 year old. How did we decide the exact week? Honestly, I went to Disney World’s site, and started searching each week to see what week in Fall had the best prices. That’s how we picked.
How we chose where to stay
When I was younger we never stayed on resort, so staying at a Disney Resort was never a big deal to me. However, Rick on the other hand always did. So he always says if we are going to go to Disney he will ONLY stay on resort. That naturally, narrowed down our resort selections. Once knowing we would stay at a Disney Resort I instantly went to Disney’s travel page and searched each location. I searched within my price range. Our top choices were Animal Kingdom Lodge and Polynesian. We actually decided on the Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village.
Our Reasons for choosing the Kidani Villas
– I love animals! We chose the 1- Bedroom Savannah View, because who wouldn’t want to wake up and see animals?!
– Being a family of 5 we wanted space, and getting a Villa gives us more room to be comfortable.
– The resort looks amazing, so colorful!
– At the time we would be traveling Animal Kingdom’s pool was under construction and it would have required us to have to travel to a nearby hotel. That did not sound convenient so we decided to pay a bit more and go with the Villas.
Do your studying
After we established that we would be going to Disney World, Rick starting going over the top with watching Youtube videos. He tried to learn as much as he could about Disney World attractions, resorts, and food. While he did get a little obsessed he did get some useful tips that have definitely help us. I would strongly recommend going to Youtube to research and Pinterest. Especially if you don’t plan to get a travel agent.
To Dine or Not to Dine
For us we knew when we got to Disney we wanted to not really have to pay for much. We like the idea of all inclusive. Getting the dining plan was the closest we could get to this. With our dining plan we get 1 Quick-Service meal, 2 Snacks, and 1 Table-Service meal each. All we have to do is show our Disney Magic Band and then we are done.
Life is hectic, and we knew we wanted to do Disney RIGHT, because we don’t know how often we can get there. With that, I entertained the idea of getting a Disney travel agent. I searched one on Facebook, 1 popped up. I saw a close friend of ours that I trust also liked her page, so I felt comfortable going with her.
When I reached out to here, I already knew which resort, the dates, and generally how we wanted our trip to flow. I just wanted someone to do the behind the scenes. Also, there are so many things to see/do at Disney. I wanted an expert at Disney to build an itinerary for a family that has never been that would give us an unforgettable trip. I told her what was important to us and she built the trip for us from there!
I am sure every travel agent is different, but ours offered different packages that detailed all the tasks she we do for you. I got her top package which meant she did all our booking, created a detailed itinerary, constant support, and really mapped everything possible for us. She woke up early in the morning when our fast-pass window opened up, and was booking everything while we slept. I would continuously get notifications of her booking all of our Disney dining reservations.
Last week (a week before our trip), we had a long call where we went through our personalized travel itinerary and booklet she created for us. IT WAS 25 PAGES! Talk about preparing us for success. There is no way that I could have been this prepared honestly. She was worth every penny. Based on the package we purchased she is also on-call during our trip to support us anyway we needed.
While we have not went on our trip yet, I always feel getting a travel agent was so priceless for us. It allowed me to not have to stress about planning every single detail. So if you prefer to take a couple things off your plate, I would recommend looking into getting a travel agent.
Planning out your outfits
If you know me you know I like our family to coordinate if possible. So with our itinerary I looked at where we were going each day and planned our outfits accordingly
Magic Kingdom – Personalized matching Disney shirts
Animal Kingdom – Earth tones and Camo. We will be doing safaris so I instantly knew I wanted camo print!
Hollywood Studios – They have Toy Story Land so I thought it would be fun if we dressed in Toy Story gear!
Universal Studios – Well of course the boys will be wearing either Minions or Harry Potter!! Cameron is so excited to go to Hogsworth!
Then for each day I packed back up outfits because of course I am sure there will be stains and whatever else the messy day will bring
Rick and I plan on doing date night while we are there, so I also packed a couple date night outfit looks.
Disney World musts: After doing my research I made sure to purchase Disney pins for trading, autograph book for the boys, and endless amount of Mickey Ears. Anything I knew would be a lot more expensive at the resort I tried to get on Etsy or Amazon prior to the trip.
I am really excited for Kidani’s pool so we came equipped with our pool gear as well. That is pretty much the core of what I packed. I didn’t want to over pack.
I started making a checklist of all the items I needed to pack, and started laying everything out so then it was simply packing the items in the suitcase.
Bringing the Essentials
This is the first time we are going on a week long trip as family, so I want to be prepared at the theme park. I’ve needed to make a list of everything that was a must have on the trip, because it is easy to get carried away and end up with like 5 suitcases.
Here is my Master List:
2 iFly Suitcases – Rick and I will have 1 suitcase and the boys will use the other.
Backpacks – Each of the boys will have their Mickey Mouse Backpacks that will be on standby in the event I need some more room. Ha!
Lily Jade Diaper Bag – I recently got my new Lily Jade Diaper bag, because I wanted a black 1 for the trip. This will be really helpful because I will use it most cases as a backpack and will be able to have my hands free. I have packed all of Cyrus’s food in my bag, baby essentials, snacks for the kids, bottles, diapers, toys, medicines, and change of clothes. I did want to take any chances and not have the essentials when getting through the airport with Cyrus.
Clothes – Don’t forget to get your Disney gear if you can at home so it is less expensive.
Tolietries and Makeup
Electronics – We are going to make sure all the iPads are charged the night before.
Pins to trade
Incidentals – suchs as insect repellent, stain sticks
Stroller – We opted to buy a sit and stand stroller for the Cyrus and Calvin. While Calvin is getting bigger we were concerned he would get fatigued and need to take a rest.
Quick tip: If you remember last minute items like I have been doing. If you are staying on a Disney resort you can purchase the item and ship it to your resort and they will hold the items for you until you get there. Utilize this if you have young children and you don’t want to load your suitcase with extra baby food, diapers, wipes etc. Simply order it from Amazon and it will be waiting for you at the resort!!
We are so excited to head to Walt Disney World! The boys are counting down the days until we get there. I will definitely share our experience and how our preparation helped us have a successful Disney trip.