A trip to Disney is meant to be a way to enjoy hard-earned time off, to experience the magic of Disney itself in a real-life setting. However, because the parks are so intricately detailed, with so very much to do and see, planning for this trip can be overwhelming.
For some, that’s no problem. They gather their lists, plan out months or even more than a year, in advance, and are good to go. However, for the procrastinator, this can be a nightmare.
Maybe you’ve found an incredible last-minute Disney deal and you don’t have the time to sit down and plan carefully before you leave. Or maybe you just aren’t the planning type but still want to experience all that Disney has to offer and have the vacation of a lifetime.
Here, we will break down a quick, simplified list of what you can do to plan the perfect Disney trip last-minute.
If you’d rather skip the planning altogether and save your time for dreaming about the theme park vacation you’re embarking on, skip ahead to the very last section: Simplify Disney Trip Planning.
Make a List
For the last-minute planner
Last-minute Disney tickets often mean a large sale or discount, giving you less time to plan out everything you might want to see and do. Get started right away with a list so that you know what’s most important for you and anyone traveling with you to do.
First, consider who you’re traveling with. If it’s with kids, remember to factor in that they’ll get tired and won’t be able to go all day long, so you’ll need to have time for breaks. If it’s adults-only, you will likely be able to squeeze a few more hours of park time in.
Next, and this is the fun part, think about your absolute favorite Disney characters and movies. Is Cinderella your favorite? You’ll want to try and have dinner at her castle! If you’re a traditionalist, look into having breakfast with Mickey.
Depending on how long your trip will last, you will want to consider which parks at Disney World you want to visit. There are four theme parks and two water parks, and not every trip will allow you to visit all of them.
Lovers of films such as Star Wars and Indiana Jones will definitely have to make time to visit Hollywood Studios. Foodies should be sure to visit Epcot. Those looking for the iconic Disney World experience should visit Magic Kingdom. Adventurers and animal lovers must visit Animal Kingdom.
There’s something for everyone, but if you start thinking as soon as possible you can be sure and visit the parks that most fit your Disney dreams.
If you’re looking for more specific information about each park, check out this breakdown here.
For the true procrastinator
This step is extra dangerous for the procrastinator. Why? Because even when it comes to making a simple list, the very list-making itself can turn out to be a form of procrastination.
If you are a true procrastinator, maybe this will sound familiar. You decide to make a list, but when you sit down to write it, you notice your table is a little dirty. Well, that won’t do! So you get up and give the table a thorough cleaning. While you’re doing that, you notice the dog’s food bowl is a little low, so you top it off for him.
Then you figure he might need a walk, so you do that. Now, you’re back at your table and ready to roll! Except you’re ready for a snack. And, shouldn’t you have nicer materials to make this list?
Maybe you should pop out to the store and pick yourself up a nice notebook and a new pack of colored pens to use. You could color coordinate the list to match your favorite Disney movie! – Do you see where we’re going with this?
Planning for procrastinators does not have to be a chore! If you need more help, skip ahead to the last section of this post.
The Nitty Gritty
If you haven’t chosen dates yet
If you’re just getting started and have a little bit of flexibility, consider choosing dates where the parks will be less crowded. Check out a crowd calendar to determine when the crowds may be light and the lines short.
Fastpasses and all things tickets
If you have time to get really detailed, scroll through our detailed Discount Disney World Tickets Guide here. Otherwise, here are a few basic tips.
Now you’ve chosen which parks you will be visiting, decide if you want tickets for specific dates or ones that allow you to be more flexible. FastPass+ tickets can be booked 60 days in advance if you have a hotel reservation on the property, 30 if you’re staying off. So based on your dates, consider adding these as soon as possible.
Be sure and purchase your park tickets as soon as you decide on dates so you can add fast passes and get your reservations going, spots can fill quickly! Certain events in particular, such as a table at Chef Mickey’s, are very popular and difficult to reserve, so anything you can reserve before you go will help make sure you don’t miss out.
Simplify Disney Trip Planning
Planning the perfect Disney trip is no small feat. If you’re looking at the last minute, you risk paying more than you should for tickets and missing out on the must-sees of the parks. If you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed, let us take planning off your plate!
Contact us today to help you find the perfect package deal for you, or for advice on how to plan your trip. More than anything else, we love helping people make their Disney dreams come true. With over ten years of experience, we know all the secrets, tips, and tricks to have your Disney World trip go smoothly.
Save a bundle on your package or tickets today and ensure that you don’t miss out on one magical moment at Disney World.
Dean has been writing and blogging for over 10 years. He specializes in Disney theme park news including updates, openings, special events and general advice for travelers. He doesn’t shy away from the good, the bad and the ugly. His previous work includes being a Cast Member at Disneyland and working as a travel agent.