The 10 Most Asked Questions About Travel to Walt Disney World
The 10 Most Asked Questions About Travel to Walt Disney World
As a Luxury Travel Blogger and former Luxury Disney Travel Advisor, I get asked a lot of questions about Walt Disney World vacations. I have summarized the most common questions that I get and included them here, along with some brief responses.
Top 10 Questions About Walt Disney World Vacations
1. When is the best time to go to Walt Disney World?
This is easily the most common question I get asked, but there is no single answer.
The answer depends on what is most important to you. So when someone asks me when is the best time to visit Walt Disney World, my response is typically to ask: based on what?
- The weather?
- The crowds?
- Special events?
- The lowest rates?
You get the idea.
So to answer that question I really need to learn more about you and your family and what is most important to you. However, so as not to leave you hanging, if I had to answer this question straight up I would say that the best time to visit Walt Disney World is the third week of September through the first week of October. At this time of year most kids are back in school (so crowds are lower), the weather is still quite nice and there are a few festivals (Epcot International Food & Wine Festival) and special events (Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party) under way, both of which will add to the magic.
Beyond that, it all depends, but the other perfect answer is that there really is no single “best” time. Any time is a great time to visit Walt Disney World. It’s more a matter of knowing the pros and cons of each time of year and then making a decision based on that.
Of course, if you are considering a Walt Disney World vacation and would like assistance deciding on the best time for you to visit, please feel free to contact me.
2. How much does it cost for a Walt Disney World vacation?
The cost of a Walt Disney World Vacation can vary quite a bit because there are three categories of onsite resort hotels and there are many add-on options relating to dining plans, ticket options and so on.
I specialize in luxury Disney and focus on the Deluxe category of Walt Disney World Resort hotels. So for this category I would say that you should budget for an absolute bare minimum of US$4,000.00 to US$4,500.00 for your hotel room and standard park tickets for a family of four. This if for a Deluxe Disney Resort and tickets only; it does not include airfare and dining. Costs can rise to US$8,000.00 or beyond for some of the nicer room options at the top tier properties within this category.
Disney Value Resorts and Moderate Resorts will be correspondingly less. You will also need to account for any airfare, dining money and spending money, of course.
3. Where should I stay on a Walt Disney World vacation?
You should definitely stay onsite at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel. This will keep you closer to the magic and give you access to a number of benefits that offsite guests do not receive.
As mentioned in the previous answer, I focus on the Deluxe Disney Resorts category in my business and I highly recommend staying in a Deluxe Disney Resort for the ultimate experience in a Walt Disney World vacation.
4. Is there anything for adults to do at Walt Disney World?
In fact, there is even one Walt Disney World restaurant where kids under 10 are not allowed.
Walt Disney World is not a kids-only destination. There are many activities and events geared towards adult guests, so no need to worry here. It has even come to the point where I help some clients with what I call “The Secret Disney Vacation.” This is a Walt Disney World vacation for adults only where the kids are left at home. They will likely not be too happy if they hear that their parents went to Walt Disney World without them, so that is why I have named it The Secret Disney Vacation.
5. Are there any upscale hotels at Walt Disney World?
In fact, Walt Disney World has several AAA Four Diamond Rated Resort hotels. As you may have guessed, these are all part of the Deluxe Category of Disney accommodations, which is my specialty in my luxury Disney travel business. If you enjoy upscale accommodations when you travel, or simply want to do it up right on your Walt Disney World vacation, you will be quite happy staying in virtually any of these properties.
I can help to narrow the search as to which one of these magical Disney properties would be just right for you and your family. In fact, I have a blog post on how to choose the Walt Disney World Deluxe Resort that is right for you.
6. Won’t I get bored going to Disney theme parks every day?
Not if you are a Disney fan.
With four separate theme parks (plus two water parks, a shopping and entertainment area, and more), there is so much to do here that you won’t get bored over the course of your stay, assuming you have a well-planned itinerary. In fact, your biggest challenge will be quite the opposite: having to choose which things you most want to do while you are there. There is a long list of fun things to do outside of the parks at Walt Disney World.
On the other hand, I have guests who go on a Walt Disney World vacation and never even enter a theme park. So it’s really all about what is most important to you when you are on vacation.
7. Should I get a Disney Dining Plan?
There are currently three options available within the Disney Dining Plan offering. They range from counter-service-only meals, to a blend of counter service and table service, to table service only meals (the most expensive option).
There is no easy answer to whether or not you should purchase a Disney Dining Plan and my recommendations on whether or not to get the Dining Plan are customized to each individual family. However, as a rule I would say that if it is your first visit, the Disney Dining Plan can be a convenient option.
Having said that, it is common for me to recommend that you do not purchase a dining plan, because it may not be the most cost effective way for you to spend your dining dollars. So this one requires a bit of discovery into you, your family and how you intend to spend your time on vacation. There is no definitive answer either way.
8. What is a Park Hopper and do I need one?
With a standard Walt Disney World Magic Your Way ticket you can visit any one (and only one per day) of the four Disney Parks on each given day that you have a valid park ticket. You can pick any park you like. You could go to the same park every day if you wanted. So whichever park you go to on a given day (any one of the four on any day), that is your park for that day.
However, if you wanted to go to one park in the morning and then a different one in the evening (after a relaxing afternoon around the hotel pool) you would need the Park Hopper add on. The Park Hopper allows you to go to multiple parks every day. Keep in mind, however, you must purchase this as an add-on to your Magic Your Way ticket package, you cannot purchase it for a particular day of your stay. It is all or nothing.
9. Do I need to rent a car?
Generally speaking, no, you do not need a car if you are staying onsite at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel.
There is an extensive Disney transportation system that is free for guests of Disney Resort hotels. Boats, buses and monorails can get you just about anywhere you want to go onsite. You also have the option of taxis, Uber, Lyft or Disney’s own version of these, known as Minnie Vans.
Having said all that, there are some resorts that are not quite as conveniently located as others. So if you have a car at one of these properties, you may find it to be a convenience. Examples would include Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa and Disney’s Old Key West Resort.
10. Is 4 (or 5, or 6, or 7) days enough to see it all?
Realistically, if it is your first Walt Disney World vacation a traditional week-long trip is going to be your best bet.
You cannot see everything in a week, but you can see an awful lot and definitely you can visit all four parks at least once and see most (if not all) of what is most important to you. Of course, you have to leave something for future visits.
The bare minimum stay that I would recommend for a first-time visitor would be four days. At least you could visit each of the four major theme parks one time (with a standard Magic Your Way ticket), giving you a great sense of what Walt Disney World is all about.
Do You Have Questions About Travel to Walt Disney World?
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Also, be sure to read my Guide to Planning A Walt Disney World Vacation and my post on the Five Golden Rules of Walt Disney World Vacation Planning.
Mike Belobradic: The Finer Side of Disney Travel
Luxury Travel Blogger – Deluxe Disney Travel Specialist
The Finer Side of Travel™