There is so much to consider when planning a trip to Disney World! The top three things to consider before visiting the most Magical Place on Earth include the time of year, the age of your children, and the ambiance of different resorts. These will help determine the experiences you will want to participate in when you visit!

Planning a trip to Disney World
#mostmagicalplaceonearth

#1 – Consider The Time of Year When Planning A Trip to Disney World

The first thing to consider when planning a trip to Disney World is the time of year it is when you are visiting! The weather, although mostly warm in Florida year round, does have varying weather which could affect your trip. There are also unique events and experiences throughout the year that you may want to be aware of before planning your next trip. Some of these events you may want to participate in, some you may want to avoid.

Summer is H.O.T. in Orlando

The majority of the year, Florida is warm. And then there are a few months where it gets scorching hot. It isn’t just the heat, but it’s also the humidity. Why is this something to consider when you plan a trip? We can think of a few reasons why this matters. 

Medical Issues  – Standing in line for hours in the heat can exacerbate some medical conditions or it can even produce a few such as heat exhaustion, heat cramps, or dehydration. If you have small children or older guests in your party, they may be more sensitive to the heat and may need to be monitored more.

Planning a trip to Disney World
This is where the party is at in Animal Kingdom!

General Enjoyment – okay friends, there is a difference between glistening and sweating like a hog. I don’t know if hogs really sweat, but that’s beside the point. The point is sometimes it gets so hot at Walt Disney World that it makes it difficult to enjoy all the great attractions there. If you disagree with me, think of the very littlest humans you know…and then think about how they would be around 3-4pm after walking all day on the hottest day of the year. #nothanks 

Solutions to the Heat – Alright, if you are going to brave the dead of summer at the Happiest Place on Earth, then do you and your party a favor, and bring accessories such as fans or cold towels. Maybe plan a nap time in the afternoon when it is the h-o-t-t-e-s-t, or plan to jump in the pool during the afternoon. If you are intent to stay in the theme park, taking in a show is a great way to get out of the sun. There are ways to beat the heat while you are here, but if the heat will compromise your health or enjoyment, then you may want to pick another time of year to visit the Mouse!

Marathon Races

There are four big marathon weekends (check out my runDisney story for more on that) held at Disney every year: 

  1. WDW Marathon (January)
  2. Princess Half Marathon (February)
  3. Star Wars Rival Run (April)
  4. Wine & Dine Half Marathon (October/November)
runDisney hosts the most fun races! It’s enticing enough to make you start running!

runDisney weekends may affect availability for room reservations on and off Disney property. If you want to attend during one of these events, you need to act fast! Know what you want and when you need to reserve! Not only are room reservations affected, but you will also need to get dining reservations as soon as you are able!

On the upside, these are great days to do the rope drop if you are not running! You can get to see runners and cheer them on, and there are less people in the parks in the morning so you can do more rides! The races aren’t something to deter you from visiting, instead just know what you need to do to make the most of your time here!

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival is a bucket list essential.

Food & Wine Festival

The Food & Wine Festival is my favorite festival that Disney hosts in Epcot! Gauging by the crowds, I’m not the only one. So here’s the thing to consider during this time of year: Epcot gets crowded on the weekends. This is because more locals visit on the weekends (I would too if I lived that close!) As it is Food & Wine, there are many guests who “drink around the world”, and on the weekends it seems to get really crowded with more intoxicated guests. We have started to enjoy Epcot during the week, and then enjoy a different park (or take a rest day) on the weekends when Food & Wine Festival is in full swing. 

Unique Experiences

Another thing to consider are the unique experiences that happen at different times of the year. I love that you can visit Walt Disney World throughout the year and experience different opportunities each time!  Some of these events include Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, Epcot’s International Festival of the Arts, and so much more!

Disney at Christmas
When the most magical place on earth gets more magical…#DisneyChristmas

Although some of the unique experiences center around holidays, other unique experiences are not holiday driven, but are only around at certain times. For instance, Disney Villains After Hours at Magic Kingdom Park is only on certain nights and only runs from June 6 – August 8 in 2019. Epcot’s Flower & Garden Festival is the longest festival that typically runs from March – June!

When planning a trip to Disney World, it’s super important to consider the unique experiences available during that time. It can also be beneficial to research available unique experiences, and based off of what you want to do, decide when to visit the Happiest Place on Earth! 

Pro Tip: If you are a DVC member or annual passholder, you have an advantage when attending unique experiences! You get extra special discounts!!

Wild Africa Trek
The Wild Africa Trek gets you really close to some wild animals!!

#2 – Consider the Age of the Children in Your Party When Planning A Trip To Disney World

This may be a no-brainer to some of you, but I had to include it because it truly does affect the rides you choose, the experiences you pick, the parks you spend the most time enjoying, and even your dining choices. When planning a trip to Disney World, you will definitely want to take into consideration the age of your children.

Children & Rides

There are lots of rides at Disney World. However, depending on the size of your children, they may or may not be able to ride each ride. Researching rides before you get to the most Magical Place on Earth will help you make the most of your time (and maybe even reduce some melt downs). 

Planning a trip to Disney World
Everyone could use a hug from Donald!

Children And Dining Experiences 

Secondly, you will want to consider your children when looking at dining experiences! Character dining is exciting and magical – especially for kids, but equally so for parents and grandparents watching their kiddos interact with Characters! I highly recommend making more reservations for character dining experiences if you have younger children. 

When considering the age of your children and dining experiences, you will want to figure out the dining plan that best fits your family. For more information on the dining plan, read How To Choose The Optimal Dining Plan for Your Family.

Rafiki
Just Rafiki giving some words of wisdom.

Children And Disney World Theme Parks

There will always be something for everyone of every age at every Disney World Theme Park. However, there seem to be certain theme parks that do cater to certain ages. I’m certainly not saying to only go to the parks that cater to your child(ren)’s age group. I am recommending that you consider which park you will be spending the most time at for your kid(s)’ maximum enjoyment, and then check out a resort close to that park.

Planning a trip to Disney World

Resort Locations in Relationship to Disney Theme Parks

Magic Kingdom -closest resorts on the monorail are Bay Lake Tower, Polynesian, and Grand Floridian.  Also, only a 12 minute boat ride away is Copper Creek!

Animal Kingdom – The Animal Kingdom Lodge (both Jambo and Kidani) are super close.

Epcot & Hollywood Studios- resorts that are close include Riviera, Boardwalk, Yacht & Beach Club

Pro Tip: If you have no children and desire peace and quiet, I recommend Saratoga Springs Resort or Old Key West. They are both close to Disney Springs and further away from the theme parks. Check out my blog on Saratoga Springs, the Hidden Gem of Walt Disney World for more info!

Disney's Polynesian Resort
There’s the Magic Kingdom! You can see it from the beach at Disney’s Polynesian Resort – which also means you can watch the fireworks from here!

#3 – Consider The Ambiance of Your Resort When Planning A Trip To Disney World

The final consideration when planning a trip to Disney World involves the environment around you. Each Disney Resort has a different theme and feel to it. Disney has even given a different scent to each resort! You can find out more about each DVC (Disney Vacation Club) Resort in this blog: Each Walt Disney World DVC Resort in a Word. If you need information on how many people can fit in each room, or what a room layout looks like, this resort information link should help!

Disney's Beach Club
This is only one of the reasons everyone loves Disney’s Beach Club Resort.

Each of Disney’s DVC Resorts offers many activities for children and adults alike! I highly suggest taking a “rest” day from the parks and just enjoying the resort. Different resorts offer different activities. Some focus on hiking, biking, boating, or sailing. Other resorts offer tea parties, spas, golfing, movies on the lawn, or educational experiences for children! Even just splashing in the pool seems to re-energize and refresh everyone! 

Pools at Disney
Pool time is always a good time at Disney’s Polynesian Resort

Are you looking for room reservations on Disney property, or have you dreamt about staying in a Deluxe Disney Resort? DVC Rental Store can be the fairy godmother and make your dreams come true! You can stay at a Deluxe Disney Resort for the same price you would pay at a value Disney Resort! Find out how much you can save  and check availability for your next Disney vacation!!

Animal Kingdom Lodge
You can wake up to this view at Animal Kingdom Lodge!

There you have it friends – three things to consider when planning a trip to Disney World! Let me know what you consider when planning a trip to Disney!