So you decided to visit Walt Disney World, what’s first?

Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom (Courtesy: http://www.disneyplanning.com)

It is no secret that the Walt Disney World Resort is a top vacation destination in the world for families and multi-generational families, newlyweds or married couples, adults, and just about everybody else. Walt Disney World sits on 47 square miles, or about the size of San Francisco, with four theme parks, two water parks, golf courses, Disney Springs (a shopping, eating, and entertainment district), and 34 on property resorts. So yes, Walt Disney World is virtually its own city! As stated in the introduction of this six-part series of “Livin’ the Disney Life!”, where does one start when planning a vacation to Disney World? With so much to offer in terms of places to visit, things to do, and so many other options; planning can be very overwhelming. So let’s start with part one of this series and jump in…

Part one of this series is simply going to help you with doing the initial planning of your vacation to Disney World. The very first question you have to ask yourself is when do you plan to visit? My advice, as well as many other diehard Disney World experts and travel agents will probably tell you to check school calendars. Because when schools are out, the parks will be filled. Holidays also bring out the crowds too. Now in my case, being from South Florida, a 3-hour drive makes it very convenient to visit Disney World any time of the year with no worries about crowds. But knowing that most people are not within a short drive away, it is very important to have a gameplan to maximize the best of your trip. Two very good websites to visit when trying to plan your vacation are Disney Tourist Blog and Touring Plans (paid subscription). These two dedicated websites keep track of crowd levels and offer assistance as to when to visit. But do realize that there really is no off-season at Disney World. Especially considering all the newly opened attractions in the past few years (i.e. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Toy Story Land, Pandora-The World of Avatar). There may be periods where crowd levels will be very bearable, which is usually when schools either just started or have just returned from a winter or spring break. One last piece of advice would be to also check Walt Disney World’s ticket pricing calendar. Both Walt Disney World and Disneyland have tier pricing, therefore, depending on when you visit, you may pay more for your tickets. For more information, visit Disney Parks Blog.

So now that you have your dates in mind for when you’re visiting Walt Disney World, the next important step is to decide whether to stay on property or off property.

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