The bright side of this is that even if there is a hiccup in their vacation, most people leave Walt Disney World Resort with a collection of memorabilia and a head full of wonderful memories. The stress gets left behind. The bad news is, you rarely get the insight required to learn from the mistakes of others.

One of the biggest issues that many people have when visiting Walt Disney World Resort, especially if it is their first time or their first time with a big change like more people or children, is that they are disorganized about everything. Planning, prioritizing, research, and organization are completely essential to the planning of any trip, especially a trip that requires as much pre-production as a Walt Disney Vacation.

To save yourself the stress of getting to Walt Disney, realizing you have no clue what you are doing, and spending the whole time scrambling to try stay on top of things, simply follow these steps to be organized at Disney World.

Being organized at Disney takes a little planning.

Being organized at Disney takes a little planning.

The mad packing dash.  Waking up late and now being able to be one of the first groups to arrive at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park.  There may be plenty of unforeseen problems.  But deciding where to stay, where to eat, and finally, what to do should not be one of them.

Where to Stay

You must choose whether you want to stay on or off Disney property.  More and more, folks seem to be saying that it is not worth staying in a hotel off-property.  But, if you have family who live close, or you live close yourself, that it is bearable.

Staying on the Disney premises is much more convenient, for many reasons, but even just not having to park – and pay for parking – is almost enough to make the decision for you.

Budget

After that decision about where to stay, you will need to assess your budget needs so that you can decide which level of Disney resort you will stay in: campgrounds, value resort hotels, moderate resort hotels, deluxe resort hotels, or deluxe villas. Once you have chosen which level and which hotel therein suits your needs, you can make your reservation. Be sure to ask if there are any special offers or discounts that apply to you: AAA, military discounts, Florida resident discounts, meal plan offers, and so many more.

Where to Eat

This seems like one of the things you should be able to put off or decide on the fly while at the park, but it is just not, no ifs, ands, or buts. You need to make your Advanced Dining Reservations – ADR – and you need to make that as soon as possible. ADR can be made up to 6 months in advance. If you are prepared to at that time, book them, because the restaurants at Walt Disney World Resort fill up fast! This is not to say that walk-ups are impossible, but they will ad unnecessary wait time to your vacation, and honestly, who wants to wait in line when you don’t have to?

Other Disney World Dining considerations to think over and decide upon at the time of your ADR are: are you going to order a dining plan or not, how many character meals do you want to incorporate into your vacation schedule, and what food allergies in your party do you need to be considerate of? Make sure that you bring an extra list of any allergies so that they are on hand if you visit a restaurant outside of you dining reservation schedule, and so that you don’t forget to address them in the middle of all the excitement at eating at some of the most magical restaurants on earth!

What to Do

Some of your steps to organize yourself on what to do while you are at Walt Disney World are obvious, for example, purchasing your theme park tickets. Some, however, are less well known and just as much fun – if not more. Some other options to check out are making golf reservations, reservations for spa treatments, or booking a parasailing excursion. You can also take a nice horseback ride at Fort Wilderness, or enjoy the Richard Petty Driving Experience. You can go scuba diving or snorkeling, take some radical surfing lessons at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park, and even go water skiing on the breathtakingly beautiful Bay Lake. All these experiences are unique, fun, and sure to enhance your Disney experience, but you have to plan for them and make your reservations as soon as possible, not only to make sure that you get in, but also so you can work them into your schedule for your trip.

Getting There and Doing It

You should have been keeping track of your plans as you booked them, so at the end of all your reservations, you have a rough schedule of what, where, and when your activities at Walt Disney World Resort will be. Copy this over into a folder, and pack every single reservation confirmation and your Park Passes sent to you by Disney in this folder. You can also print and keep your plane tickets or flight confirmations in it. This folder is now your vacation planning packet, and it will stay in your backpack/purse/fanny pack for the entirety of your Disney Vacation. Pack this along with your other Disney essentials: sun block, sunglasses, ponchos and/or umbrellas, comfortable and sturdy walking shoes, digital camera, cell phone, and other gadgets along with their chargers.

Now you are ready to embark on your journey to the most magical place on earth, Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. As you can see, it is indeed a lot of planning and organizing ahead of time, but on the bright side, if you do all of that ahead of time, while you are on your vacation, you can just enjoy being there and doing all these fun things you planned. Granted every morning before you leave your resort hotel room, you’ll have a mini checklist: vacation planning packet, room key – which can go in your vacation planning packet, charged gadgets, monies, and sun block applied with either poncho or sweatshirt along as necessary based on weather. Going over this checklist every single morning will ensure that you don’t need to make it back to the hotel before dinner so that you can pick up the ADR confirmation number that you forgot, or run back for sun block when your skin starts to fry like bacon in the Florida heat. Just don’t forget to add “have fun” somewhere on your vacation checklist.