Tuesday, January 24, 2012

How Soon is Too Soon to Start Planning a Disney Vacation?

How Soon is Too Soon to Start Planning a Disney Vacation?

If you talk to Disney Fanatics you may hear them saying things like, "??? days to Disney!" Sometimes it is in the hundreds of days!! So how many days before a Disney trip should you start planning? That depends on you, your finances and how far in advance your work and other schedules can be planned.

Planning a trip to Disney can be as fun as going! It is a great way to keep the Disney Dream alive between visits, or build excitement for your first trip. It allows you to relive past trips and hold onto hope and encourage saving for your next visit to the Mouse!

Disney generally lets you book about 24 months out at the furthest. They started booking 2013 vacations in the fall of 2011. In the fall of 2012 they will announce the pricing for 2014. They will also release the2014 itinerary and prices for the Disney Cruise around the same time. So in general the furthest out you can actually book a trip is about 2 years give or take. That time gets shorter as the calendar goes on. Is that far enough out?

Today I wish to book a Disney Cruise and WDW trip in late January early February of 2014. I can't book it until the fall of this year! Why this far out? Well there are several reasons to start planning even before you can book. Let me share them.

1.       This trip is for the Walt's Basement for the Love of All Things Disney fan page. It is a gathering of the members. It was decided to set the time that far out so more people would have the time to save up for the trip. We actually started talking about this trip several months ago in WaltsBasement.yuku.com. I know we personally will need the entire time to save the money needed for this trip! We will be adding 7 nights at WDW to the Walt's Basement 4 day cruise on the Dream so we will need some extra time to save up.

2.       Having more time allows for more planning.

a.       You will want time for researching what is available in the way of places to stay. Will that be on property or off? What fits the budget and gives best access to the parks? Do you want a kid friendly wild/playful resort like the Pop Century or a more calming resort like the Port Orleans French Quarter?

b.      What deals are available for airfare?

c.       When to go? Consider weather, your schedules and special events in your lives (birthdays, graduation, anniversary or even a honeymoon) or at the parks. The larger the group the harder it is to find a good time to go.

d.      What special events might you want to go to? Is there a holiday event or maybe it is Food and Wine you wish to go to? Are you a runner and do you wish to get in on a Disney Marathon?

e.      Check the refurbishment schedule for what attractions and even parks might be closed. Nothing is more disappointing than getting to the park and finding your favorite attraction is closed during your stay for refurbishment. If you check the schedule you may be able to schedule your visit before or after the refurbishment.

f.        Do you have a small child in your group? Maybe you wish to wait for the child to be taller so they can ride the big rides or until you feel they will enjoy it more. Maybe the reverse is true for you. You may want to go sooner because a child is growing up so fast and you want to have them enjoy the "kiddy" rides one last time. (Some kids never outgrow the kiddy rides. I know it is true for me! LOL)

3.       You will get better prices the further out you book. This is even truer with Disney Cruises. The DCL is usually fully booked and therefore does not have last minute deals. Disney Parks often offers deals so keep checking and maybe even rebook if you can for a better price if a good deal comes along. Never hurts to ask.

4.       With more time you can have time to make or get things for your trip. Maybe you want Disney themed clothing for your trip. Matched T-shirts for families and groups can add to the fun and help make it easier to find people in your group. If you are going on the cruise you may want to do something fun in the way of a pirate outfit for pirate night. (Pirate night is a special night on all Disney Cruises with fireworks and a deck party.) Again for a cruise if you are doing Fish Extenders you may want time to make gifts. The more time you have the easier it is to spread out the time and cost of all of these little extras.


  1. Planning a WDW adventure really must be done way months before the actual date. We planned out trip 2 mos before so we really had a perfect time. We had lots of to-do and to-bring list so that helps. BTW great tips here. Very helpful

  2. I agree at least 2 months is needed to plan a trip to Disney! If you are going on the Cruise there are extra things such as Passports to consider if you don't have them. They can take up to 8 weeks to get. You need them in advance of the trip to do your preboarding signups. You also don't want to be fretting before your trip wondering if they will come in time.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.