This may end up in the book. I think I’ve got everything, but let me know what I’ve missed. Thanks!
- 9 to 12 months before your trip starts Establish a budget (see page XREF) and begin researching resorts (see page XREF) and best times of year to visit (see page XREF).
Check Mousesavers.com for a list of regular discounts, when they’re usually announced, and the travel dates they cover.
Create an account at MyDisneyExperience.com. You’ll need this to make hotel or dining reservations.
Make preliminary resort reservation (you can change or cancel it without penalty for several months while you continue researching
Research whether trip insurance makes sense for your situation. If you’re traveling to Disney World during peak hurricane season, it might be more worthwhile. Third-party policies are usually cheaper than Disney’s trip insurance, and often more comprehensive. See XREF for more details.
- 7 to 9 months out Check the best days to visit each park using our crowd calendar (see page XREF) and pick which parks you’ll visit on each day of your trip.
Research sit-down restaurants (see Part 10 and online menus at TouringPlans.com) to see which might interest you. If you’re planning to stay at a Disney hotel, also review the Disney Dining Plan (see page XREF) to see if it’ll save you money on the restaurants you’ve identified.
With these two steps you’re ready to make dining reservations at the 180-day mark.
- 180 days before your trip starts Make sit-down dining reservations beginning at 6 AM Eastern (online) or 7 AM (phone).
Check back on the economics of the Disney Dining Plan after you’ve made dining reservations (see page XREF) to verify it’s still saving you money. If not, drop it from your package.
Make recreation reservations, spa reservations (see page XREF), Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, Dessert Party (XREF).
- 120 to 180 days before your trip starts Make a list of “must see“ attractions in each park.
Begin a preliminary touring plan once you’ve got a list of attractions, using the dates you chose at the 7-month mark to visit each park.
By starting your touring plan now, you’ll be able to see which attractions would benefit from Fastpass+ reservations, which you can make 60 or 30 days before your trip. You’ll also see whether you’ll need the “park hopper” option on your theme park tickets, which you’ll purchase later.
- 120 days If you haven’t already done so, purchase park admission (see page XREF) at least this far in advance and link your tickets to your MyDisneyExperience account (so you can make Fastpasses at the 30 or 60 day mark).
- 90 days Make recreation reservations such as fireworks cruises
- 60 days Disney resort guests can make Fastpass+ reservations beginning at midnight Eastern, then finish the first draft of your touring plans.
Start a walking regimen so that you’re ready for the 7-to-10 miles per day you may be walking in Walt Disney World.
You have 2 more weeks to cancel most Disney vacation packages without penalty; room-only reservations can be cancelled without penalty until 5 days before arrival (6 if booked online)
You can start your online check-in at Disney resorts 60 days before your arrival.
- 45 days Final payment due for Disney vacation packages. Final payment for room-only reservations is due at check-in.
Customize and order your Magic Bands (if you’re staying on-site).
Make Magical Express reservations (if you’re flying) or other transportation arrangements.
If you want to switch resorts, check for any availability from people who cancelled at the 45 day mark.
- 30 days Off-site guests can make Fastpass+ reservations beginning at midnight Eastern.
Confirm park hours and finish preliminary touring plans.
Download Lines to your iOS or Android phone, so you can follow your touring plan and get updates while you’re in the parks.
- 27 days Check for Be Our Guest Fastpass+ reservations at https://beourguestlunch.disney.go.com/ (This might be changing)
- 14 days Book online grocery delivery services (see page XREF)
- 6 days Last date to cancel Disney room-only reservations booked online without a penalty.
- 5 days Fax your room request to Disney. We can do this for you automatically – see page XREF
Last day to cancel Disney room-only reservations booked by phone or travel agent, without a penalty
Check the weather forecast for Orlando
- 4 days Purchase Disney’s Memory Maker photo package at least 3 days in advance to ensure all photos are linked as soon as you arrive (see XREF)
- 24 hours Check in to your airline online
Finish Disney resort online check-in, if you’ve not already done so.
Cancel any unneeded dining or babysitting reservations
Do one last check of park hours and weather