Planning Your Trip: What to Consider Before Making a Touring Plan

Before Making a Touring PlanNo matter what time of year you decide to travel to Disney World, having a well thought out touring plan can make sure you’re maximizing your time in the parks.  You’re spending a lot of money on this vacation and you want to make sure you’re getting what you want out of it.

Before we dive deeper into how to set up your touring plan, there are a few tips I want to share with you that are important to consider before you dive into making your plans.  Knowing what you’re willing, and not willing, to do when it comes to your plans will help you determine how to structure your days.

Continue reading Planning Your Trip: What to Consider Before Making a Touring Plan

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Step 3: Decide If You’re Flying or Driving

1-5One of the most expensive items on your Disney travel budget is going to be your transportation to and from Orlando.  Whether you are flying or driving, there is a lot to consider on both sides of the coin before you pull the trigger on your transportation.  I wish there was a magic formula or calculator out there that could tell you definitively if you should fly or drive, but so far no genius has come up with one.  That being said, I’ll walk you through what I think you should consider before you make your final decision.

Time

I think most of you might automatically think that driving will automatically be more time consuming than flying.  If you live in the Southeast corridor, you already know this isn’t the case.  If you live anywhere on the east coast and even some parts of the near Midwest, you might be surprised that the time it takes to drive isn’t that much longer than flying.  As someone who flew 30 roundtrip flights for her ‘day job’ this year, trust me when I say that air travel time can quickly add up.  I think air travel feels faster because you often get a break with a layover or connection versus driving where you’re literally sitting down for the long haul.

Continue reading Step 3: Decide If You’re Flying or Driving

Step 2: Choosing the Right Disney World Resort

1-5In my last post, I highlighted the numerous benefits that are available to you when you choose to stay at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel property.  Unlike Disneyland, the ‘on property’ hotels at Disney World are available at a variety of price points making them accessible to just about everyone.

Disney World offers resorts in 4 separate categories:  Value, Moderate, Deluxe and Deluxe Villa.  Deluxe Villa Resorts are a separate animal altogether and can be booked in a variety of different ways.  We’ll discuss those in a later.

There are currently 29 Disney owned and operated resorts (Including Disney Vacation Villas) onsite to choose from.  That isn’t a typo.  Choice is certainly not something that is lacking in the resort department.  The challenge is that sometimes too much choice can be a bad thing too.  If you’re feeling overwhelmed and don’t even know where to begin when it comes to choosing your home away from home, you are definitely not alone.

I think the most important thing to consider when selecting your resort is how much time you will actually be spending at your resort.  If you plan on being in the parks from rope drop to the last kiss goodnight, then why pay $600 a night for a room that you will literally be sleeping and showering in and nothing more?  If, however, you’re planning on room service breakfasts, long afternoons lounging at the pool or spa, and gourmet, 3-course dinners, then that deluxe resort might be just the right fit for you.

Keep in mind the Disney Magic, pixie dust and world-renowned level of service are available in all resort categories.

Here’s the breakdown of my pros and cons for each of the Disney World Resort Hotels to help you decide where to stay:

Continue reading Step 2: Choosing the Right Disney World Resort

Step 2: Choosing Where to Stay

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Fewer things are more anxiety-inducing than deciding where to stay when you go to Disney World.  This is likely due to the fact that deciding where to stay is a two-fold decision.  You first must decide if you are going to stay on or off Walt Disney World Resort Property (referred to as ‘on property’ or ‘off property’ for the remainder of this post) and then choose a resort hotel to stay at.

I’ve decided to the best way to tackle this subject is to split Step 2 into two separate topics.  Today, I’ll focus on the decision to stay on or off property.  Once I’ve convinced you to stay on Disney property, we’ll break down the different resort categories and the pros and cons of each resort in subsequent posts. Continue reading Step 2: Choosing Where to Stay

Trip Planning: Deciding When to Go to Disney

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Deciding when to go on your trip is the planning step that will have the biggest impact on your overall experience.  As long as you know what to expect and have a plan, you can make the most of any trip, no matter when you decide to go.

Before you can decide when you’ll go, you need to first consider what is most important to you for your trip.  Do you prefer low crowds or discounted pricing?  Would you rather go when temperatures are more mild?  Is it important to have extended park hours or special events?  Do you want to experience the magic of Disney during the holidays?  There are many things to consider, but once you’ve decided what is most important, you can determine what time of year to go. Continue reading Trip Planning: Deciding When to Go to Disney

Trip Planning: 7 Keys to Planning a Successful Disney Trip

Keys to Planning a Successful TripNow that you’ve decided to take a trip to the most magical place on earth, you need to actually plan your trip.  Over the next several weeks, I’ll be introducing a series of blog posts that will help you plan your entire trip, start to finish.  Before we dive into the specific details, let’s go through the keys to planning a successful trip to Disney World.

How to Plan a Successful Disney Trip in 7 Easy Steps, by Fairytale Plans: Continue reading Trip Planning: 7 Keys to Planning a Successful Disney Trip

It All Started With a Mouse…

partner-statue-1If you complete a Google search for “Disney Vacation” you’re hit with over 10 million results.  Follow that up with a search for “Disney Trip Planning” and an overwhelming 13 million results are returned.

I first began planning trips to Disney World over ten years ago.  I, like many, found it difficult to know where to begin the planning process.  There are plenty of online resources to subscribe to and guidebooks to purchase.  I found these were a fantastic resource to know what I should do while I was on my trip, but finding the details I needed, or wanted, for the planning process itself was a challenge for me.

I didn’t know what my ‘step 1’ was and didn’t know where to go to find information about things like what to do when we arrived at Orlando International Airport, how to use the Disney Transportation, what to do when we had a reservation for breakfast before the park opened, etc.  Many of our first trips to Disney World were planned using the ‘trial and error’ method.

walt disney world - magic kingdom castle fireworksInspired by my own personal quest to find this information, the idea for this blog was born.  Now, more than ever, there are so many details to think about and keep track of and plan in advance.  My goal is not only to simplify the planning process.  I want to provide a series of tools and resources that help keep your organized while also providing the details you need to successfully plan your trip.

Once you get the hang of it, you’ll find that planning your trip to the most magical place on earth, can be a lot of fun and is a great way to stay connected to the magic in-between trips.  Even if you’re already a pro at planning trips to Disney, you’ll find ideas on how to keep that magic alive while you’re planning for your next adventure.  Ideas for movie theme nights, Disney crafts, Disney reviews, etc. will also be found here.

The introductory series of posts on this blog will focus on my keys to planning a successful trip.  To coincide with the launch of my blog, I have also launched an Etsy shop.  Here you can find a variety of planning worksheets available for instant download.  Coming in early 2017, you will also be able to purchase custom autograph books and travel journals.  You can review listings here.

When you were planning your first trip to Disney, what was your biggest frustration?  Share your thoughts in the comments!