We’re heading off on our first long haul vacation this summer to Florida – and we will be visiting Walt Disney World Resort and the theme parks although staying off-site. It’s not mine and my husband’s first trip in fact we both went in our teens 1991 with our parents, then again as a couple in 2008 but this time we will be going with kids and things have changed a lot. There are some important dates that you need to be aware of whilst you are planning for the Magical Vacation with your kids so here we go Walt Disney World Dates you need to know.
Booking your stay
If you are booking your stay at the Disney Resort then bookings open 499 days in advance. This may seem excessive, but we weren’t far off that time booking to stay off-site because many companies offer a deposit and then you can put aside money regularly helping to budget in advance. If you are wanting to stay on-site during busy times like Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween and Independence Day then you may find it essential to book 499 days in advance.
Your first bookings
The first of your bookings can be made 180 days in advance. If you are staying on-site you can book up to 10 days from your arrival date this gives you preferential bookings over the off-site guests. As an off-site guest, you can book for 180 days times only. These bookings are called Advanced Dining Reservations and you can do them over the phone or by the Walt Disney Experience Website and Apps.
Also for your little princesses you can book the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at the Magic Kingdom, as well as special events like Frozen Summer (2015) at Hollywood Studios. For the most popular restaurants, you will need to book at this stage to get the times that you want on the days that you want especially for character dining or the most popular restaurants like Cinderella’s Royal Table.
For the last stage of your planning dates, you will need your tickets in advance – depending on where you order them from you may need to get them as soon as you can but to ensure that you have them in hand make sure that you have them brought at least 3 months in advance.
Your FastPass+ are your 3 passes per day booked in advance (plus more on the actual day when you have used up your original passes) for attractions and events in the park. Staying on-site you can book these 60 days in advance of your first day for the whole of your trip whereas staying off-site you can book your FastPass+ 30 days in advance a day at a time.
FastPass+ are essential for the most popular attractions – like meeting the most popular of the princesses, new attractions, Toy Story Mania as well as reserved viewing for Parades and Fireworks as from experience these can get very crowded. For the most popular attractions, you will be lucky if you are staying off-site getting a FastPass+ like a meet and greet with Anna and Elsa from Frozen. However, it’s worth checking them out, from my investigations and research I’ve also discovered that you are able to move around times around especially for the less popular rides nearer the date which is useful if your plans change.
When researching what we wanted to book and sort out for our trip, the memory maker came up a few times. On previous visits, we have been reluctant to purchase the ride photo’s although visiting Peppa Pig World in the UK last year we did purchase a couple of the kids first rides on roller coasters to go in their photo albums. This time we are travelling as a group of 8 on some days and 11 on others so we’ve decided to club together and get Memory Maker between us. The reason I’m mentioning Memory Maker in a dates guide is that up to 3 days before your arrival there is a discount which if you are trying to keep costs down is good to know.