Disney book package or individual

Disney World First Timer Advice: Buy A Package Or Book Everything Independently?

After all, you need to arrange for transportation, Disney resort hotels, tickets, meal reservations, budgets for souvenirs, a plan for how you will spend your time – the list goes on.

All this can be especially overwhelming for first time visitors.  So all this leads to a key question:  If you are a first time visitor to Disney World, should you purchase a vacation package from Disney or a travel agent that puts together all the pieces of your vacation, or should you book everything on your own, independently?

Just like there is no one, correct answer to so many of the important questions regarding vacations, there is not one-size-fits-all answer to this question either.  It all depends on many factors.  Let’s take a look.

Many factors go into deciding whether to book a package or individual components.
Many factors go into deciding whether to book a package or individual components.

Going to Disney World is a great idea – there are so many options.  But while those options are generally considered a good thing, they can also generate so many possibilities that it is easy to get confused, frustrated, or stuck in ‘analysis paralysis.’

If this is your first visit, you might really benefit from having all the components of your vacation put together by either a Disney travel planner or by the representative of a travel agency that is officially trained and recognized by Disney.  They put together Disney vacation packages every day.  After asking you a few questions about your budget, family, style, and goals, they can pretty quickly zoom in on a package that will fit your needs.

The travel planning professionals also learn about potential discounts, operating changes, and new entertainment options just about every day.  Many first time visitors to Disney World find that it is worth booking a vacation package through Disney or a travel agent.

How Much Is Convenience Worth?

Purchasing a vacation package can have a few down sides.  Sometimes, but not always, cost can be one of them.  If you end up with bonuses or bits that you didn’t really want, that can add up to money that is not well spent.  And there are times when you can purchase all the individual pieces of a vacation package more cheaply as pieces vs. the whole.

But you need to consider the convenience of the package too.  Many people who analyze things like Disney World dining, and the free or discounted all-inclusive dining options that Disney sometimes offers, generally agree that purchasing a dining package isn’t necessarily a smart financial decision.  Eating all the food you are pre-purchasing normally isn’t possible.  But does that mean it is never a good idea?  Well, if the convenience of not having to think about a food budget is a huge weight off your shoulders (even if it ends up being more weight on your hips), then the ease-of-use of the Disney Dining Plan might outweigh the fact that it probably isn’t the best financial deal.

How Much Do You Enjoy Planning?

Are you a planner by nature?  Do you enjoy researching, costing, calling, investigating, and reading?  In other words, do you enjoy the process of preparing your vacation arrangements?  If so, then take advantage of that, plan time researching, comparing, and booking, and have fun in the process.  It’s like starting your vacation early.

On the other hand, if you don’t have the time or interest in all the details, then consider letting a professional pull the pieces of your vacation together for you in a vacation package.