(Already Too Late?)

By Dave Shute

Your plans should be firm more than 180 days before your arrival date. See this for why.

If it is already fewer than 180 days from your planned arrival date, see the items below.

ALREADY FEWER THAN 180 DAYS AWAY?

Depending on the week you are targeting, the Polynesian may already be unavailable, and you may have to target a different value resort than Art of Animation. Moreover, you may have difficulty getting in to Cinderella’s Royal Table, Hoop Dee Doo Revue, and Chef Mickeys.

If you can’t get in to the Polynesian or Art if Animation, see Next Best Resort Choices for alternatives.

For Hoop-Dee-Doo try going on a different night altogether that your itinerary does not have you already scheduled.

Missing Cinderella is unfortunate but OK, so long as you are successful in your attempt to reserve Akershus. Just pick the next most appealing Magic Kingdom restaurant for which you are not already reserved from here.

Some of the other restaurants you are targeting may not have availability near the times that the To-Do list and itineraries direct. Make the reservations you can make, then get off the phone and double check the daily itineraries on the dates that aren’t working out, to see how flexible that date looks.

If the itinerary implies that you can move your time around, call back and reserve the right restaurant for a different time that day.

If not, go here and pick the next best dining option for your family in the same setting—e.g., if you can’t get in to the Crystal Palace at the Magic Kingdom restaurant, pick the next best Magic Kingdom option on the list that you are not already scheduled for.

Keep a careful tally of the special dinners and other events that you are forced to miss.

If you have to miss more than half without exciting replacements, are in the wrong hotel, and will be missing both the Akershus Banquet and Cinderella’s Royal Celebration, then move heaven and earth to reschedule to either a later, or an earlier, but much less crowded, date—one that might still have the best of Disney World available.

LINKS FOR WHEN YOUR PLANS NEED TO BE FIRM

When Your Plans Need to Be Firm

Already Too Late?

180 Day Calendar

ITINERARY LINKS

MORE ON WHEN TO GO TO WALT DISNEY WORLD



21 comments

1 Terri Petrucci { 04.11.12 at 2:08 pm }

Want to stay at the Grand Floridian 3 to 4 nights with 5 adults. We want to go to Harry Potter World. What is the best package or pricing we can get?

2 Dave { 04.12.12 at 12:24 pm }

Hi Terri–you may already know this, but the Wizarding World of Harry Potter has nothing to do with Walt Disney World, of which the Grand Floridian is a part. See this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2009/12/13/summary-of-instructions-for-your-first-family-visit-to-the-wizarding-world-of-harry-potter/

Grand Floridian prices are here: http://www.mousesavers.com/grandfloridian2012.html You’ll need to add $25/night for every adult after 2.

For possible discount son these prices, see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2010/03/03/summary-of-current-walt-disney-world-deals-and-discounts/

Hope this helps!

3 LIZZY { 04.18.12 at 6:18 pm }

ARRIVING to Music Resort ON 6/9 at 1:00pm and departing 6/16 2 adults and 8 year old with mild autism. We currently have reservations at epcot garden grill at 7:45on Sat arrival date of 6/9 and Tuesday we have reservations Crystal palace at 1:10. Don’t have the park hopper option yet but can upgrade. Do you have an itenerary for us, my son is very adventurous. I didn’t see any plans for Saturday arrivals. My thoughts are:

Saturday Epcot 6/9 Firm
Sunday MK- extended evening hours
Mon-DHS
Tue- MK CRYSTAL PALACE RESERVATIONS AT 1:10
WED – AK 8:00 7-00
THU EPCOT
FRI MK
SAT DEPARTING AT 3:00 FROM AIRPORT – LEAVING HOTEL AT 1:00

4 Dave { 04.19.12 at 8:20 am }

Hi Lizzy, I have only a small number of itineraries as otherwise I’d be overwhelmed with different arrival dates and trip lengths.

Couple of thoughts on what you have proposed:

You are using Extra Magic Hours more than I’d advise. While the first hour of morning EMH in particular is great, because EMH draws people, the parks over the course of an EMH day are actually more crowded than they are on non-EMH days.

Given that. I’d suggest you flip Sun and Mon, and also Tues and Weds.

Hope this helps and have a great trip!

5 Susan { 06.14.12 at 8:34 pm }

Thank you for the site. It has great information!
Is it best to book through the online Disney site, via phone, or through one of the discount sites (e.g. travelocity). I am frustrated because as I play with the Disney sites planner to compare hotels etc, my offer price continually goes up!

6 Dave { 06.15.12 at 9:45 am }

You’re welcome Susan!

Check the stuff form the links on this page and see if it helps: http://www.mousesavers.com/roomrates2012.html

7 Amanda from Destinations in Florida { 09.10.12 at 11:06 am }

Susan, I would highly recommend booking your Walt Disney World vacation with an agency that has Authorized Disney Planners. The benefit in booking with one of these agencies (such as Destinations in Florida) is that we work directly with Disney, we are paid by Disney (so priced the same if not a little cheaper than if you book online or by phone with Disney) and we DISCOUNT WATCH! Meaning if you book a vacation early and a discount or promotion pops up, the agency will change your reservation to reflect the better price! Discount sites like travelocity will not provide this type of service.
Another “perk” of booking with an agency is that we can help recommend a Disney Hotel/Package that suits your family!

8 Joseph Baumchen { 05.26.13 at 12:06 pm }

When should I book flight, hotel and packages when going Sept. 13-20th? Not worried about dinning or other excursions. Just price flux from now until then. Will it go down if I wait or stay the same or go up???
Thanks:joe

9 Dave { 05.26.13 at 1:45 pm }

Joseph, I don’t track when flights go up and down much anymore, as the consistency seems gone. But Disney World ticket prices literally could go up any day now–see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2013/05/21/the-best-time-to-buy-disney-world-tickets-probably-right-this-minute/

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10 mary { 08.16.13 at 4:18 am }

Need help….first visit for 11 folks, 6 adults, 5 kids…want to have thanksgiving dinner together…any suggestions on available restaurants???

11 Dave { 08.16.13 at 8:01 am }

Mary I don’t know what’s available. My recommendations for Thanksgiving are here: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2013/04/15/thanksgiving-2013-at-walt-disney-world/

I’ve never tried to book a group that large, but have heard many many times that you’ll have better luck if you book as two groups–e.g. a table of 5 and a table of 6…so try 11 first, then try the smaller groups…

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12 Mary Beth { 08.24.13 at 10:41 am }

Hi Dave – we are in the process of finalizing our Disney trip in Florida. We would like to fly out May 3rd and come back May 10, 2014. We have twin girls who are 7 and will be 8 on 5/12. I have contacted Disney direct and looking to stay at Disney Port Orleans – French. Is this a good location hotel for us to stay at? Pools nice? Looking at a 7 night stay and a 5-day ticket w/ park hopper and water park. Our question is regarding the meal plan – we are looking at the standard meal plan – what is your opinion re Disney meal plans? We would also like to do a character breakfast and or lunch. We would like to book as soon as possible. Any advise – our first major trip since we had the twins:). Do you have any other suggestions regarding planning our trip. Did we cover everything? We have never been to Disney and will look into an itinerary in November along with booking our air fare. Thanks look forward to hearing from you! MB

13 Dave { 08.25.13 at 8:29 am }

Mary Beth, there’s a number of things here I’d do slightly differently or have specific advice on. Your dates are fine, but after that, suggest you just work down the topics on the home page http://yourfirstvisit.net/

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14 Brittany { 02.04.14 at 5:19 pm }

I am in a but of a mess! My husband has been crazy busy with work and we just found out that we can take a trip to Disney in April or June. I know we are super behind but I am thrilled we can go and I want to make this the very best trip it can be! We haven’t talked about a budget or anything like that since we just found out we could do it, so I am desperate for advice and ideas. This will be our first ever big family vacation and my husband and 3 year old daughter’s first trip to Disney! I have been to Disney but it was 10 years ago. Any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated! Thank you!

15 Dave { 02.05.14 at 2:40 pm }

Hi Brittany, be glad to help. Tell me that exact dates that are possible for you, as April in particular has both wonderful and horrible weeks…

16 Brittany { 02.05.14 at 7:10 pm }

We actually had to adjust our plans a bit and we will most likely be going in May. We are thinking of heading down on May 2nd, would that be a good time?. Thanks in advance for your help!

17 Dave { 02.06.14 at 7:01 am }

Hi Brittany, yes that’s a great time to visit! See this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2013/10/15/may-2014-at-walt-disney-world/

18 Lori { 05.18.14 at 2:16 pm }

Planning to stay Nov.17-21. What do you think? Any suggestions?

19 Dave { 05.19.14 at 11:50 am }

Lori, see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2014/04/15/november-2014-at-walt-disney-world/ If you are loking for something more specific, tell me the ages of your kids…

20 Cameron { 08.23.14 at 2:15 pm }

Hi Dave, we are visiting 19-26 September and have a 3 and a 6 year old. We are also bringing my inlaws (free babysitters!) and are staying in a 2 bedroom villa in Saratoga Springs. We are short on organization time and have high hopes to at least be able to book a few special things in advance. Any advice is certainly appreciated.

21 Dave { 08.24.14 at 1:15 pm }

Cameron, all my stuff on this site is for older kids, but we have daily plans for younger kids in our book: The easy Guide to Your First Walt Disney World Visit

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