Saturday, 23 January 2016

Disney | Booking A Trip To Walt Disney World


Hi blog friends!!

So, if you don't follow me on Twitter you might not have seen that me and my boyfriend have bitten the bullet and booked a trip to Florida for September 2017. 
Now I know what you're thinking, that is SUPER far away (believe me I know and the waiting is already killing both of us haha), but I thought I would share with you how we went about booking, what tools I used to research certain things and at the end I will tell you exactly what we went with.


When To Go?

So you're thinking of booking a holiday to Florida, more specifically Disney. You now have the hard decision of deciding what time of year to go. If you have the flexibility you will definitely want to utilise this and try booking in 'low season' usually classed as January, February and September, October. 
July and August are obviously going to be the busiest times to go and the most expensive, so if you can avoid them, do! June is fairly quiet along with March and May. 
Take your time to decide the dates, to help choose I used a website called easywdw.com which has full crowd calendars for different times of the year, different weeks within the months etc, it is a really handy resource for picking the perfect time for you! Also take a look at the Disney calendar and see what events are happening at the different times of the year.


Where To Stay?

There are 2 options when it comes to picking where you want to stay; on site or off site. 
On site guests experience more perks than those staying off site including things like free dining plans and of course Extra Magic Hours (on sites guests are allowed to go into the parks earlier or stay in the parks longer than off site guests). 
Being on Disney property means you stay in the Disney Magic and are of course in very close proximity to all the parks. On site guests can enjoy free transportation around the whole of WDW, meaning if you are staying in Disney for your whole trip you won't need any of your own transportation! 
There are 3 types of hotel at Disney which are; value resorts, moderate resorts & deluxe resorts. For a full list of all the resorts click here
If you want to see reviews and pictures I suggest you use Trip Advisor!

Who To Book With?

So you've figured out when you're going and where you're staying. The big question now is who do you book with?! Do you book a package holiday or do you book things separately. Personally I would ALWAYS go with a package holiday but its obviously up to you and what suits your budget.

There are a handful of agents that you can book through; Disney itself, Virgin Holidays, Thomas Cook & First Choice to name a few, they all do different deals so it's worth having a browse of lots of different sites to get a gage on price and then you can compare them and see what works out the cheapest. Although booking direct through Disney gives you lots of perks, I can't stress enough how important it is to go into a shop and book, not only will you get deals and discounts you couldn't get online you can get expert opinions on hotels, dining plans etc.


3 Things To Remember!

Once you've booked your WDW trip there are 3 key things to remember wether you're staying on site or off site!

1) Download the My Disney Experience app, it's free and you can add your booking to it and from there make any changes, choose your all important Magic Band designs, view the park hours, see the park maps etc.

2) Book your dining reservations at the earliest chance possible which is 180 days before your departure date! Seriously do not forget if you don't want to be left disappointed! Popular restaurants can book up super fast! This can be done through the My Disney Experience app, and don't worry you don't have to go on day by day to book your dining, once you've hit 180 days to go you can book for your whole trip!

3) Book your Fast Passes! For on site guests you can do this 60 days before departure and off site guests can do it 30 days before departure. Again this can be done on the My Disney Experience app (now you see why you need to download it!) Don't forget that Fast Passes don't just include rides, they also include meeting characters, shows and parades and the night time spectaculars!

Now onto the exciting part...


MY TRIP!

So Bob and I are going on the 18th September - 2nd October 2017 (and for anyone who knows when my birthday is...yes I will be celebrating my 23rd birthday on this holiday SQUEEEEE). 

We Booked the whole holiday through Virgin Holidays, who were absolutely fantastic! We had debated going directly through Disney but because we want to go to Universal, Busch Gardens and do lots of shopping, we ultimately needed a hire car (although we will be using the free transport within Disney) so the logical option was to go with Virgin.

We are staying on site in the Caribbean Beach Hotel, we couldn't decide between Caribbean Beach and Coronado Springs but ultimately went with Caribbean Beach because it has 2 sinks in the bathroom (that was literally the deciding factor because we couldn't decide haha)!

We also booked all our tickets, so we have the 14 day ultimate ticket for Disney, 2 Park Universal Ticket and the 3 Park Sea World, Aquatica and Busch Gardens ticket and yes we will be going to Sea World which I know a lot of people will be against but honestly I only want to go for the roller coasters as they are some of my favourites in Florida so sorry not sorry!

We also got a free memory maker, $200 Disney spending money and all our My Magic + was included (Magic Bands etc). 
In regards to the dining plans, because we booked so early the 2017 prices for the dining plans haven't been announced yet so when they are we are going to add the Disney Dining Plan to our holiday.

This holiday was an expensive one and is not one to be booked lightly, we both know that we now have to save, save, save but honestly we both know it is going to be so worth it. 
I am so excited to be going to the best place on earth with my favourite person on earth and spending my birthday out there just makes it even more exciting and special!

So there you have it, a few things to think about when booking a Disney holiday! 
If there are any questions you'd like to ask feel free to tweet me, email me or leave a comment!

Lots of love
Katy xxx
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3 comments

  1. I'm so jealous but very appreciative of you for writing this post! I hope to go to Disney soon so this will be a huuuge help. xx

    Kathryn | Chapters of Kat

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  3. How exciting, there's not much that comes close to excitement levels than booking a Disney holiday :) haha I love how you made your hotel choice, when I read it you had me thinking about CSR only having one sink as I didn't even remember that, but having two is handy.
    Please, please don't pay for the dining, in April free dining will become available so try and just make a slight change to the holiday and try your best to get them to alter the booking so that you can take advantage.

    Moments with Belle

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