In 2019, an average of 427,372 people visited Disney parks every day! Of course, that number has decreased drastically due to the pandemic, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a vacation to the most magical place on earth! On the contrary, it’s a great time to experience Disney World with smaller crowds and shorter lines. 

Are you thinking of taking your family to Disney for the first time? If so, there’s a lot to consider- lodging, parks, dining, transportation, and more! 

Thankfully, this post will teach you how to plan a trip to Disney World without getting overwhelmed, so keep reading! 

Decide Which Parks to Visit

Before you start planning a trip to Disney World in Florida, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the four parks. These include:

  • Magic Kingdom
  • Epcot
  • Hollywood Studios
  • Animal Kingdom

Moreover, there are two Disney waterparks- Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon. And, there is also an area called Disney Springs, which is free to the public and features shopping, dining, and entertainment. 

Once you research the parks, you can decide whether to stick to one park or pay for the Park Hopper option. Although it increases the price of your tickets quite a bit, it allows you to visit other parks in the afternoon. So, you’ll get to see a lot more when visiting Disney World. 

If you can’t decide whether to get the Park Hopper option or not, don’t worry! You can always add it to your tickets during your vacation if you decide you want it. 

However, the price for adding it to your ticket is the same, even if you buy it midway through your trip. So, if you want to get the best value for your money, it’s better to get it ahead of time or on the first day! 

Choose Lodging

There are many Disney resorts to choose from, whether on Disney property or nearby. While you don’t have to stay at one of these hotels, doing so enhances your trip to Disney and makes it much more convenient if you want to get to the park early in the morning. 

Some of the most popular Disney World Resorts include:

  • Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Polynesian Village Resort
  • Wilderness Lodge 
  • Coronado Springs Resort

If you love your Disney resort stay so much that you want to come back every year, you should consider a Disney Vacation Club membership! There are no commitments because even if you decide you eventually don’t like it, you can sell DVC with DVC shop

Disney Dining Plan

Many families are worried about the cost of food while visiting Disney, as it adds up if you eat all meals in the park. But, if you are purchasing your vacation package through a Disney hotel, you have the option to add on a dining plan. 

When it’s time to eat, all you need to do is scan your MagicBand (a special wristband for Disney guests), and the credits are deducted. So, you won’t have to pay anything at restaurants except for tips. The best part is that you can customize your plans to include alcohol, soft drinks, and more.

Of course, dining plans work best for families who don’t want to leave the park during their stay. However, if you stay at a hotel off Disney property, there are much more affordable options. 


If you choose to stay at a Disney hotel or resort, you’ll have free transportation to and from the parks. Of course, the options will depend on which resort you choose to stay at, but buses, the Skyliner, monorails, and even boats can take you where you need to go! 

While free transportation is probably the best way to go, you can also drive to the parks. If you’re lodging at a Disney hotel, you’ll get free parking too. If not, you will need to pay for parking, but keep your receipt if you plan on park hopping, as it will be free! 

Enhance Your Experience with Technology

Even though Disney is magical on its own, the parks have launched special technology to make the experience easier to plan. 

MagicBand and MagicMobile

MagicBands aren’t free, but once you purchase them, you can use them every time you visit the parks. With these special wristbands, you won’t have to worry about carrying your tickets, room key, or even a credit card. 

Rather, simply pass your MagicBand in front of the sensor to pay or enter Disney facilities.

Of course, you don’t have to use a MagicBand to get some of these same benefits. Instead, you can use the MagicMobile app to link your tickets to your phone. 

My Disney Experience App

This is another important app to have during your trip to Disney. With it, you can check the wait times for rides, make reservations for rides and dining, and look at park maps. Downloading it in advance will help you better understand things to do at Disney World. 

Another important feature of this app is the ability to place a mobile order from quick-service food spots. So, you won’t have to stand in line and wait in crowded areas when it’s time to eat. Instead, order what you want and pick it up! 

The Disney Genie feature of this app also helps you plan your day at your favorite parks. Simply by telling the app what attractions you are interested in, it creates an itinerary for you, helping you make the most of your day at the park. 

Consider COVID Restrictions

Of course, due to COVID-19, there are some restrictions that park visitors should keep in mind. Currently, all guests over the age of two need to wear face masks indoors, no matter if they are vaccinated or not. However, in outdoor areas, face masks are optional. 

Before your trip, take a moment to review updated requirements, as these change from time to time. 

Now You Know How to Plan a Trip to Disney World!

After reading this post, you know how to plan a trip to Disney World and make the most of your time there. 

Of course, there’s a lot to see and do at Disney, so don’t worry if you can’t fit everything into your itinerary. Instead, focus on your favorite attractions and use the Disney apps to help you come up with the perfect plan. If you do, you’ll create a memorable trip for you and your family to remember for years! 

If you’d like more tips on planning a vacation or the benefits of traveling, browse more of our related content!