I’ll admit, I’m an overachiever when it comes to planning trips. I’m also a self-proclaimed Disney addict…and proud of it! This is great news for you because I’m going to share all of the resources I use during my own Disney vacation planning.
New here? You might be interested in learning more about our Disney obsessed family:
- Our Life Outside The Box
- 5 Must-Dos On A Girls Trip to Walt Disney World
- Travel California: Anaheim Harbor RV Park
- 11 of the Best Disney Vacation Planning Resources
- Top 10 Walt Disney World Pet Peeves
- Travel Disney: Our Love Affair with Fort Wilderness Campground
- Our Family Trip to Disneyland & Why We’ll Be Back
Want to know how you can get your family to Disney on a budget? Grab a $200 statement credit for signing up for the Disney Rewards Credit Card or click here to learn about more ways you can save.
I first visited Walt Disney World when my twins turned 2 years old. And as Brent likes to remind me, I didn’t even want to go. But because our good friends invited us to go with them, we said, “Yes!” and thus began my first ever Disney vacation planning experience.
Since then, I have visited Walt Disney World almost 10 times and Disneyland once. I’ve planned numerous trips for our family of 5, a mommy and daughters only trip, a mommy and son only trip, and an extended family trip for 10 people. I’ve also been asked by numerous friends to help them with their trip planning.
So you can see, I love the Disney vacation planning process! I hope you find these resources valuable while you plan your own vacation to Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando or Disneyland Resort in California.
Table of Contents
Disney Vacation Planning Resources
#1 Disney Company Websites
These Disney vacation planning resources are absolute musts when planning your vacation. They have all the information you’ll need for planning your trip. From ordering park tickets to researching places to stay and from pre-purchasing souvenirs to finding things to do, every detail of your trip can be planned right from these websites.
#2 Crowd Calendars
I like to know what previous years crowds look like before I decide when I’m going to go to a Disney park. While it’s never a guarantee that the park will be as full or as empty as stated in any of these crowd calendars, knowing the crowd levels from years past as well as any events coming up will give you a general idea of what the crowd levels might be when you want to go.
#3 Disney Related Blogs
Never underestimate the power of Disney related blogs. While blogs are opinion sites, you may resonate with one or two bloggers who give you information that can transform your Disney vacation experience. And while there are hundreds, possibly thousands, of Disney related websites, there are some that are amazing at helping you with Disney vacation planning. Here are my favorites:
#4 Mobile Apps
There are a few must-have apps to download on your phone. You’ll want some of these not only for the planning process itself but for navigating the parks while on vacation as well. And just a tip: plan to take a portable battery charger with you into the parks because these apps can really drain your phone battery.
#5 Social Media
If you thought Disney related websites were in abundance, you are sure to be overwhelmed by all of the social media options. There are tons of Facebook pages and groups you can follow. On Pinterest, you can search for specific park planning topics. Twitter can be used to follow Disney Company news and updates. You can get your fill of Disney park photos and captions on Instagram with the hashtag #Disney. And you can search YouTube for all kinds of Disney park information and video series.
There are too many to list in one blog post, so click here for my FREE Disney Social Media Planning Tools Checklist to get a list of all my favorites.
#6 Disney Travel Agents
I highly recommend using a Disney travel agent to help you with booking your trip. They are FREE for you to use and can keep better tabs on new promotions that Disney releases that may save you some money on your vacation. They can also do the “messy work” of getting up early to schedule your dining reservations and FastPasses. Here are some amazing Disney travel agents I recommend:
- Raymie at Simply Magical Vacations
- Grace Jones Travel with Magical Enchanted Vacations
- Any of the Smart Moms recommended travel agents
Friends who have been to Disney parks are invaluable. Find out who has been to the park(s) you are planning to visit. Schedule some time to sit down with them and pick their brain. Be sure to take a notepad so you can easily jot down notes. I find that talking to many different friends will give you different insights into what you might want to do or not do during your own visit.
#8 Airline Websites
If you don’t live close enough to drive to the park of your choice, be sure to take time to stalk many different airline websites. I actually recommend that you sign up for each airline’s free account to get on their email lists. You will find that they send out specials that are only mentioned in the emails. Do it NOW even if you’re only just beginning to think about your Disney vacation!
#9 Discount Sites
I never pay full price for a Disney trip, and you shouldn’t either. While much of my savings comes from the information I learned alongside my friend who published this book, there are a variety of ways to save on tickets, dining, resort or hotel stays, and airfare. Start early in the planning process to save the most money.
- Undercover Tourist
- Military Disney Tips
- Disney Rewards Credit Card (get a $200 statement credit)
- Disney Vacation Club Rental Store
- David’s Vacation Club Rentals
- Plus any site that carries discounted Disney gift cards (Raise, CardCash, etc.)
There are a couple of resources that don’t fit into any particular category, but I’ve found them to be very useful Disney planning resources.
Disney Vacation Planning Bonus Resources
I have a few resources that do not necessarily fit into what someone would call Disney planning resources. But to me, they are an essential part of the process. So you might call this resource #11.
What do you think? Do you think Disney music stations would get you into the Disney planning mood?