Disney Prep- Schedule

I’ve had a couple of requests for Disney trip planning posts, so here we go! Our trip is in about two weeks.

The first step in planning your Disney trip is to figure out your schedule.  I highly suggest going during a down time.  Basically, you want to go when school is in session.  If you have school aged kids, that is a lot harder, obviously.  We’ve had really good luck in April and May there (our wedding planning trip in May was the emptiest I have ever seen the parks and it was glorious).  The week after Thanksgiving is also one of the really good weeks to go.  Florida (and California, but I am more of a Florida Disney expert, even though I have been to the California parks a good fifteen or twenty times too) has reasonably good weather pretty much year round.  The worst weather is actually in the summer, when it is hot.  By which I mean REALLY HOT.

After you’ve picked your scheduled dates, I suggest looking at a calendar and choosing which parks to go to on which days.  Magic Kingdom is a must for families with children.  All the parks are good, but Magic Kingdom is definitely the most geared towards children and it is also the quintessential Disney park.  Epcot and Hollywood Studios are usually our second picks.  Animal Kingdom opened the most recently (1999) and is still opening new attractions, so it doesn’t have quite as many things to do as the others yet.  However, it is also a great park with lots to do.  (You really can’t go wrong with anything Disney, to tell the truth.)

After you’ve chosen which parks to do, assign them each a day.  This is only necessary if you want to make dining reservations (but I highly recommend making dining reservations, so let’s go with that.)  You can start making Disney dining reservations 180 days in advance (I think it might be 190 if you are staying at a Disney hotel) and for some very popular restaurants during peak seasons, you need to do it 180 days in advance.  We’ve tried to get Cinderella’s Royal Table reservations for our last three trips (and we go during off-peak times) and this was the first trip we’ve managed it.  (And we actually moved our trip a week for that reservation.)  But if there isn’t ONE specific restaurant that you have your heart set on, you are probably good making reservations a month or two in advance and getting plenty of good ones.

Tomorrow (or when I write the next Disney post), I shall discuss Disney dining.  Any questions?