They call Disney World the happiest place on earth, but planning a trip to Disney World can feel like the complete opposite. There’s just so much to see, and since traveling with kids can be quite a logistical nightmare, parents are always looking for ways to keep the trip simple—but still packed with fun and magic.
Here are some great tips for planning your trip to Disney World, including the best time to go there, the best age to bring a child, and how to order your itinerary.
First of all, you may want to pick up guide books like the The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World and The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World With Kids. This can help you view the sights at a glance, and preselect the ones you think your kids will most enjoy.
Ideally you should schedule your trip in November or December, ideally before Thanksgiving or before Christmas. The cool temperature and the relatively smaller crowds will make it easier to go around.
In general kids aged 8 to 12 are most likely to enjoy most of the attractions, including the rides (which have a height requirement). They’re also strong enough to take a whole day of walking.
The length of your stay depends on the number of things you want to see. If you really want to view all the Disney World features then allot as many as 6 days—and that’s a pretty hectic itinerary! However, it’s best to pace yourself if you have your kids with you. If they’re too tired you can expect a lot of whining and squabbling. Ten days is the ideal length of stay, since it’s enough to cover 2 full days to explore the Magic Kingdom plus time for hotel breaks. To save time you can get a Fastpass, which lets you book appointment for certain attractions and rides.
And speaking of itinerary, start with anything except Magic Kingdom. Save this popular attraction for last, and tour the other places like Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, etc.
As for hotel accomodations, the Disney hotel has a lot of unique swimming facilities (plus mascots!) but it can be expensive. You also get access to Magic Hours, where you can go to parks earlier. Consider your total budget, including the cost of transportation, food and a budget for souvenirs and other mementos.
Photo from disney-world-games.com