If you aren’t the ‘planning type,’ that is OK.  You don’t need to go crazy building schedules, budgets, and spreadsheets.  But you would be well advised to spend a little time putting your vacation plans together.  More than just a few families have showed up at Disney World unprepared and have been overwhelmed by the sheer number of options.

So what are the key vacation planning tips for first time visitors to Disney World? Here we go:

1 – Pick Your Travel Dates Carefully

This is the more important tip that will drive so many other factors on your vacation.  The time between Christmas and New Years, around Easter and Spring Break, and over the summer are the busiest times.  These are also the most expensive times to stay in Disney-area hotels, whether on Disney property or off-site.  The weather can be pleasant to cold (for Florida, anyway) around Christmas, and brutally hot and humid in the summer.  If you can arrange your schedule visit to Disney World at other times of the year you will get better prices, face fewer crowds, and possibly enjoy better weather.

2 – Stay At A Disney Resort Hotel

There are hundreds of hotels in the greater Orlando area.  There are also plenty of nice places at reasonable prices.  If you are looking to save some money on your vacation, this is a quick and easy place to do it.  However, we still recommend that you consider staying at a Disney resort hotel.  There are plenty of advantages to doing so.

You will have access to a number of services available only to Disney resort guests.  You will get access to Extra Magic Hours, where you can enjoy a selected Disney park during early or late hours that are only available to resort guests.  You also get free transportation in two different ways.  You get bus, boat, or monorail service from your resort to the theme parks, water parks, and Disney Springs.  And you also get free transportation from Orlando International Airport to your Disney resort with a service called Disney’s Magical Express.  While some people feel trapped on Disney property without any transportation of their own, others enjoy letting someone else do the driving and spend the funds they would have allocated for a car or taxi on more Disney fun.

Disney's Boardwalk is nearby name Disney resort hotels, including the Beach Club, Yacht Club, Boardwalk Inn, and the Swan and Dolphin Hotels.

Disney’s Boardwalk is nearby name Disney resort hotels, including the Beach Club, Yacht Club, Boardwalk Inn, and the Swan and Dolphin Hotels.

You also have access to world class Disney service 24 hours a day.  You generally don’t have to worry about real-life problems like dirty hotel rooms, surly staff, or taxi drivers who take advantage of you.  You can be assured of Disney quality for every minute of your vacation.

3 –Take Your Time

Some people who take Disney World vacation do so “commando style.”  They wake up at the crack of dawn, run from one attraction to another, and fall back into their beds at the end of the day, exhausted.  It is true that there are many things to see at Disney World – so many that you probably can’t take them all in even if you spend full two weeks on Disney property.  But that doesn’t mean that you should make it your goal to pack in as much as humanly possible.  Part of the magic of a Disney vacation is all of the little details, which are everyone, and the stories, quality, and fun interactions that are possible when you just take a little time to pause and look around.

Disney World offers so many wonderful details everywhere. Take the time to enjoy them.

Disney World offers so many wonderful details everywhere. Take the time to enjoy them.

Enjoy

If you follow these three simple tips, you are sure to have a great vacation, enjoy what Disney offers to the fullest, and leave your vacation time satisfied and rested.