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Are you planning a family vacation to Disney World? Are you completely overwhelmed by it all? Do you have lots of questions about everything? Don’t worry-you are not alone! Here is the best list of answers to the most frequently asked questions about Disney World!
- When is the best time to go to Disney World?
- How many days should I spend at Disney World?
- Should I stay on property or off?
- Which parks should I visit?
- Do I need a park hopper ticket?
- What is Genie+?
- How much will it cost to go to Disney World?
- How can I get discounted tickets?
- Do I need reservations for meals?
- Can I bring in my own food?
- Do I need a stroller in the parks?
When is the best time to go to Disney World?
First up on this list of questions about Disney World is when is the best time to go.
These days, there is no off season. It is always busy. But, the #1 busiest time of the year is the week of Christmas and the week between Christmas and New Years. It is wall to wall people during these weeks. Avoid them if at all possible!
Spring Break, especially the week of Easter, is the next busiest time of year. Summer is not as busy as Spring Break, but it is hotter. So, you will need to decide if you would rather fight the crowds or the heat.
When looking at the best time to go in terms of the ages of your kids, this really depends on a couple different things. If this will be a once-in-a-lifetime trip, then I would wait until your kids are old enough to remember it. If you plan to go multiple times, then go when your kids are younger.
Just remember that at Disney World, kids under 3 are free. Kids who are 3-9 years old pay children’s prices, while kids 10 and over pay adult prices. So, if you are looking to save some money, go before your kids are 10 years old.
How many days should I spend at Disney World?
Another question that a lot of people ask when planning a trip to Disney World is how many days do you need.
I recommend at least four days to spend in the parks if you can fit it into your budget. This will give you a full day at each of the four parks.
If you can afford a longer trip, then definitely do it. A week is perfect because it gives you a full day in each park, plus a few days to repeat some of your favorite things or to do things that you missed. Plus, a week will allow you to not feel rushed to do it all in a short period of time.
Should I stay on property or off?
Whether you stay at a Disney World hotel or off property really comes down to personal preference.
Other factors that you should consider when making this decision is your budget, the size of your family, how much time you plan to spend in the room, and whether you plan to do anything other than Disney World on your trip.
While at first blush the Disney hotels seem more expensive, be sure to take into account any resort, parking, and other fees that you may pay offsite, as well as the time, stress, and expense of getting to and from the parks each day.
If you have small children, consider staying on property to make it easier to go back to the hotel for midday naps.
Which parks should I visit?
Next up on this list of the most frequently asked questions about Disney World is which parks should I visit.
The short answer to this is all of them! Each of the four Disney theme parks are unique. While some of the parks appeal to some age groups more than others, they all have attractions that everyone will love. This is why I recommend spending at least four days at Disney World.
However, if you can’t spend a full four days there, then pick out the parks that appeal the most to your family and plan to spend a full day at each of those parks. Which parks you should choose in this instance will depend on the ages of your kids and their interests.
Magic Kingdom is the best park for little ones. It’s also the most iconic Disney park. And it has the most things to do.
Epcot is best for adults and kids who love geography and traveling. If you have a Frozen fan in the family, consider Epcot too.
For animal lovers, Animal Kingdom is the park for you. This is also a great park for little ones.
If your family loves Star Wars or Toy Story, then you should visit Hollywood Studios.
Do I need a park hopper ticket?
Disney’s base ticket allows you to visit one park per day. The park hopper is an upgraded ticket that allows you to visit more than one park per day.
I would only recommend getting the park hopper if you will be there more than four days. It will allow you to hop between parks once you have devoted a full day to each one.
However, if you are on a tight budget and trying to save some money, then skip the park hopper. This alone can save you several hundreds of dollars.
What is Genie+?
Genie+ is basically Disney’s method of allowing you to pay a fee in order to wait less time in lines. Now, it is not available for every ride. There is a list of rides in each park on which you can use it.
You don’t have to buy it for every day of your trip. You can buy it for some days but not others. The price of Genie+ varies depending on the day you visit the parks and which park you visit. It typically ranges from $15-$35 per person per day.
The one or two most popular rides in each park are not included on Genie+. Instead, you can buy Individual Lightning Lanes for them. This means that you can pay a price to jump in the shorter line for these rides each time you ride, as opposed to paying a one time, per day fee for Genie+.
For more information on both Genie+ and Lightning Lanes, see my post on Genie+.
How much will it cost to go to Disney World?
I will be totally honest with you: taking your family to Disney World is expensive. How much, exactly, it will cost you will vary depending on a variety of factors, including the size of your family, the length of your trip, whether you stay onsite, whether you get park hoppers, the dining plan, or Genie+, and more.
My son is now a teenage, which means that I have to pay adult prices for him at Disney World. I can tell you that for my family of 3, a 6 night trip staying at a mid-level Disney hotel, with 7 day park hopper tickets and the dining plan, costs around $6,300.
But, the good news is that there are ways you can save some money and make these trips a little more affordable. For some money saving tips, see my posts on the true cost of Disney, how to save on food, how to go to Disney on a dime, and how to save on souvenirs.
Additionally, you should know that if you book a vacation package directly through Disney, you can book it with a $200 deposit and then make payments on your trip up until 30 days prior to your arrival.
How can I get discounted tickets?
The next question on this list of the most frequently asked questions about Disney World is: how can I get discounted tickets. There are very few discounted Disney World tickets out there. If you find some that seem too good to be true, they probably are. So, buyer beware.
Disney does offer some discounts and special deals if you buy directly from them sometimes. It’s always a good idea to check out their website for the current offers.
Another place to save a few dollars on Disney World tickets is Undercover Tourist. They are an authorized dealer of Disney tickets, so you can rest assured that any tickets you buy from them are valid. They usually have tickets for a few dollars off.
Do I need reservations for meals?
Next on the list of most commonly asked questions about Disney World is do I need reservations for restaurants.
As you might imagine, Disney World has tons of restaurants. Some of them are sit down establishments. Others are counter service eateries. They also have a lot of snack carts throughout the parks.
If you plan to eat at the counter service restaurants or snack carts, then you do not need reservations. If, on the other hand, you want to eat at one or more sit down places, then you should make advance dining reservations. This is especially true if you want to experience a character meal.
Most of these sit down restaurants will fill up, especially during busier times of the year. If you don’t have reservations, you may find yourself waiting an extraordinarily long time for a table. And there will be some restaurants that will have zero availability for people without reservations.
Can I bring in my own food?
Yes! Disney World allows you to bring your own food into the parks. This is a great way to save some money on food during your trip. Consider bringing in your own snacks and maybe even lunch.
The only thing that you are not allowed to bring in is loose ice. So, if you need to keep your food cold, use reusable ice packs.
Disney has lockers for rent in each of the parks that you can get to hold your food until you are ready to eat it.
Do I need a stroller in the parks?
The last question on this list of the most common questions about Disney World is do I need a stroller for my kids. Like many of the other questions here, the answer to this one will depend on your family.
If you have kids that are younger than 6, then yes, you need a stroller! If you have kids with special needs, then, you will probably need a stroller.
But, if you have elementary-aged kids who are healthy and with no sensory issues, then you don’t need a stroller. Now, a lot of people will tell you that you do. However, I’m telling you from experience that it is absolutely possible to take kids who are 6-10 years old to Disney World without having a stroller. I have done it with my son, niece, and nephew multiple times.
Planning a trip to Disney World can be stressful and overwhelming. The above answers to the most frequently asked questions about Disney World can help you navigate the most overwhelming aspects of it.
P.S. Are you planning a trip to Disney World and not sure what you need to do or when? Do you feel completely overwhelmed by it all? My Disney World Trip Planning Checklist can help! It will guide you through every step of the planning process! And it’s FREE! Grab yours in the box below!