CHAPTER
THREE

BACK TO CHAPTER ONE

Chapter 2

Just like an artist sketches before they put paint-to-canvas, we have to get a faint view of our overall vacation before we set anything in stone.

This part is my FAVORITE, especially since I can do it while sitting in bed in my pajamas. When we rush ahead to the end of planning: reservations are made, dining is booked, etc. we can completely miss the bones of a successful plan.

As always, start with watching the video below - or continue to read on. 

Love, Dana

Have you been referring to your checklist? This will help keep you organized!

DOWNLOAD NOW

Using your printed planner, or your Google sheets template, start filling in the things you already know, like:

  • Your travel dates
  • Festivals + events
    Think fireworks, Mickey's Christmas Party, etc.
  • Crowd level predictions
    I use the crowd calendar from UnderCover Tourist. Don't put TOO much weight on crowd predictions, but it can give a great baseline when you don't know where to start.
  • Park Hours
    If your vacation is more than 6 months out, this will be hard to do. Look at
    the month closet to your
    visit on Disney's calendar.


Make a Vacation Sketch

01.

TRAVEL DATES

EVENTS

PARK HOURS

CROWDS

Make a vacation sketch with me!

PRINTABLE PLANNER

DOWNLOAD .XLSX

Create a Vacation Sketch

MY DISNEY WORLD PLANNING TIPS

Instead of going in "order" of parks, plan to visit the park that’s labeled LOW in crowd predictors for that day. For example, if you fly in on Friday, you don't have to visit Magic Kingdom on Saturday because that’s the first one you want to see. If it predicts crowds will be high, plan your days around it.

I don’t care if you’re six or sixty, it's always a good idea to head back to your room from 2PM to 4PM for a nap or sit by the pool. This is always the most crowded and hottest part of the day. 

Take advantage of your mornings, when crowds are the lowest. I like to say “early to rise, early to nap" because the only way I can get out of bed before 7:30AM is to gift myself a nap later. And coffee.

Rest Day

Park
Two

Park
One

Park
Four

Park
Three

Try the "park-park-rest" schedule

A common question is "how many days is the right amount for Disney World?" If this is your once-a-year family vacation a full week is ideal. You'll have 2 travel days, 4 park days, and a break in between. I use this formula for our trips!

QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:

How many days do we need for the parks?

Will we be visiting more than one park a day?

Do we want to experience any WATER PARKS?

Buy Your
Park Tickets

A plus ticket gets you an equal number of "plus visits," to
Blizzard Beach Water Park, Typhoon Lagoon Water Park (currently unavailable), or a round at one of Disney's 3 golf courses.

Park
Hopper Plus

Allows you to visit 1 park per day (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, or Animal Kingdom.)

You cannot visit multiple parks on the same day, but you can leave and return to the same park. 

Base
Ticket

1

Buy Your Park Tickets

If you booked a vacation package with Walt Disney World, you can skip this step and go ahead and confirm that you can see your tickets under your Profile.

But if you rented DVC points, are staying off property - like an Airbnb - or only booked a room, it's time to buy park tickets! There are 3 options:

02.

Allows you to hop (scan) into multiple parks in 1 day.

Park hopping starts at 2pm.

You'll need a park reservation for the FIRST park you visit and scan in before hopping to the 2nd.

2

Park Hopper Option

3

This is how most people buy tickets, but it won't be saving you any money. There's no real benefit to buying directly from Disney's website: a ticket is a ticket. 

THE MOST POPULAR

01

Undercover Tourist gives you the same kind of ticket options, but you save money. I like using them because of their user-friendly website, but there's no shortage of discounted ticket websites. 

MY FAVORITE

I've recently discovered this website and it looks like they have great prices! When I compared, it was 10% cheaper then buying through Disney.

ANOTHER DISCOUNTED OPTION

Commonly Asked Ticket Questions

04.

Now that you have your tickets ready to go, and you know what parks you're going to on which days (yay), you can make Park Reservations

Head over to Disney World's website and choose "Disney Park Pass System" under My Disney Experience to start. 

And since you're all linked up with your family - you can make Park Reservations for everyone!

You are crushing this!

Make Park Reservations

SKETCH YOUR VACATION

MAKE PARK RESERVATIONS

You're on your way to creating the vacation of your dreams, I can feel it! This first chapter takes a lot of brain power - you got this!

continue to chapter 3

BUY PARK TICKETS

LINK FAMILY & FRIENDS