Planning a Walt Disney World Vacation usually comes with months of planning. If you’ve ever tried to plan a vacation last minute, you probably ran into the problem of losing out on popular FastPasses, Dining Reservations, and even a great discount.
But, this year is changing everything you thought you knew about planning a Disney vacation. And this includes how long it takes to plan your Disney vacation.
One of the most recent changes is the addition of the Park Pass System. If you planning on going to any of the 4 Theme Parks, you must have a Park Ticket and a Disney Park Pass.
Combined with reduced number of Guests allowed into the Parks each day, you would think kind of reservation system would make it nearly impossible to get in.
But, as shown on Disney’s Park Pass Calendar, this hasn’t really been an issue.
Thanks to Rise of the Resistance and Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, Hollywood Studios is currently the most popular Park. So, you’ll find days when Park Passes are no longer available. But, I’m finding this normally happens on the weekends or days when schools/businesses are closed.
For the most part, there are plenty of reservations left.
Setting an alarm to get up bright and early to get all of the best FastPasses is something I really look forward to. Maybe that’s why I love my job so much.
But, at the same time, with fewer Guests going to the Parks these days, you really don’t need them. Lines have generally been shorter than normal. So, you’re getting to ride more attractions per day than ever before.
Not having to worry about FastPasses definitely has its advantages. You’re less likely to accidentally overplan your days. Unfortunately, it’s something that I see all too often.
But, more importantly, you’re not going to be feeling like you’re watching the clock all day. You can enjoy the moment without stressing that you’re not a specific attraction at a specific time.
Shortened Advanced Dining Reservation Booking Window
Instead of a 180 day time frame, Disney has reduced your booking window to 60 days ahead of time.
Sure, you could say that still having to reserve at table at a popular restaurant 2 months ahead of time isn’t really “last minute”. But, 2 months is still easier to plan out than 6 months ahead of time.
Whether you’re booking 2 months or 2 days ahead of time, there’s always a chance that a restaurant is completely booked up.
Keep checking My Disney Experience!
The system is always changing. As Guests change their plans, new availability will pop up at a moment’s notice. Constantly checking My Disney Experience doesn’t guarantee that you will find what you’re looking for. But, it doesn’t hurt to look.
So, what DO you have to plan right now?
Just how easy is it to plan a Disney vacation right now? All you really need to book is:
- A Resort
- Disney’s Magical Express (if you’re flying into MCO)
- Disney Park Pass with your Park Tickets
- Dining Reservations, if you’re dining at Table Service Restaurants
Aside from the 60 day Dining Reservation booking window, there really is no time frame for things you “must do”. This has been making planning very simple.
Usually last minute planning means sacrificing where you stay, what FastPasses you get, or even what Restaurants you’ll eat at. This can cause your trip to cost more than you initially budgeted for.
But, there’s really none of that right now. Even Pop Century, currently the only Value Resort that’s open right now, has available rooms for the foreseeable future.
Sure, there’s the masks, and there still aren’t any meet and greets or nighttime shows. But, there’s still plenty of magic around the Parks.
After flying to Orlando fairly frequently, I know exactly when I should purchase my tickets. Based on my location, I book once the price drop to about $99 because I know it’s probably not going to drop any lower. And at this price, these flights do sell out. This usually happens a few months before my trip.
Less people are flying, so flights are now cheaper and less crowded. I am still finding availability on flights to Orlando for $69 to fly as early as next week.
Disney’s Magical Express
If you’re planning your trip at the last minute, you may not be able to give Disney’s Magical Express 30 days notice.
If you’ve never taken the Magical Express before, they do send you valuable information. So, it’s helpful to arrange this as soon as you can. If you don’t know how to do this, your Travel Agent can arrange this for you.
Usually they’ll send this information via snail mail. But, if you book less than 30 days ahead of time, they can sent the same information to your email address. You can also find a map of the airport, to help you find your way.
No matter how much notice you give them (or none at all) they’re never going to leave you stranded at the airport. As long as you prove you’re staying on Disney Property, you’re able to take the shuttle to your Resort.