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When is the Right Time To Book Your Walt Disney World Vacation?

December 14, 2019

With so many new attractions and new adventures, Guests want to book their Walt Disney World trip as soon as possible.

After all, planning takes a lot of work.

But, just how much time do you need to plan? And when is the right time to book that next magical vacation?

When is the Right Time To Book Your Walt Disney World Vacation?

How Far In Advance Should You Book Your Walt Disney World Vacation?

By asking yourself a few questions, you will get a better sense of when YOUR ideal time-frame to plan your vacation is.

What kind of saver are you?

I’m not going to sugarcoat it…Disney is expensive. So, for most of us, that means saving for months or years before we have enough to go on that magical vacation.

But, Disney is incredibly accomodating. They realize that most Guests can’t cover the entire cost of a trip in one payment. So, they only require a $200 deposit, no matter the price of your Package.

After that initial deposit, you pay on your own schedule. Save up until the last day and make one large payment or pay a little at a time until your trip is paid off. It’s completely up to you.

While I wouldn’t exactly say that I am expert saver, having a deadline really does motivate me to save at a faster pace.

So, if you’re the type of person who needs a deadline or a goal, I recommend booking as early as you can. Because there’s no better motivation to save than seeing a booked Disney trip in the near future.

Sign for Tusker House Restaurant at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Planning many dining reservations?

Whether or not you purchase a Dining Plan, your dining reservation window opens up 180 days prior to check in.

Guests who stay on Disney Property do get an added bonus of being able to book for the entirety of their vacation (up to 10 days after that 180 day mark).

Guests who choose to not stay on property, are only permitted to book dates that are exactly 180 days into the future. This may mean logging in every day to make dining reservations.

While it’s not impossible to find great reservations after that 180 day mark has passed, being prepared gives you the best chance at getting a table at your ideal meal time.

Booking your trip before your Advanced Dining Reservation window opens enables you to link your reservation to My Disney Experience. If you’ve ever made an account on WaltDisneyWorld.com, you already have an account with My Disney Experience.

As great of an asset My Disney Experience is, it still has its issues. And sometimes that means things don’t link up correctly the first time around. So, preparing ahead of time will hopefully eliminate those issues before your window opens.

Overview of Expedition Everest in Disney's Animal Kingdom

What is your FastPass plan?

Guests staying on Walt Disney World property have the perk of being able to book their FastPasses 60 days prior to check in.

Guests staying off Walt Disney World property must wait until 30 days before check in.

Much like popular dining reservations, FastPasses can be gone in a blink of an eye. In fact, since FastPass is free with your Theme Park Ticket, they can be even harder to get.

If booking FastPasses is a part of your Disney planning, I always suggest you book your trip prior to your 60 day FastPass window opening (or 30 day window, if staying off property).

Again, this gives you time to link your reservation to My Disney Experiece. Since this is where you will make those FastPasses, you will want to make sure that everything is set up correctly ahead of time.

This includes friends or family in another room. If you will be making FastPasses together, they must give you permission to make FastPasses on their behalf.

Giant Mickey Mouse Phone at Pop Century

Should you wait for discounts before you book?

Everyone wants a discount. And Disney is very good at marketing them.

While it may seem like a good idea to wait until a deal comes along, you run the risk of your preferred Resort selling out. Or you may have to book a more expensive room.

Disney releases many discounts throughout the year. And like I said earlier, they’re very accommodating.

So, even if you book your trip with no discounts attached, that price can easily be reduced. They don’t charge for changes to your reservation. So, you can change as many times as you need to with no penalty.

This includes the ever popular Free Dining Discount that comes out every year.

days to remember2

ExploreWithCatherine.com is not authorized or endorsed by, or officially connected with The Walt Disney Company, or any of their affiliates. For official Disney information, visit http://www.disney.com.

Hawaii Destination Specialist

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