One of the most common questions we hear is this:
"Where do I start? Disney planning just seems SO overwhelming!"
To be honest, you're right! It is overwhelming! One of our missions here at RMD is to simplify the process and help you plan a stress free trip.
If you've decided that you're ready to start planning, here are the basic steps you'll need to take:
PICK A DATE:
What time of the year is going to work the best for you? Is heat a factor? What about crowds? School schedules? Chances are, you already have a time in mind that will work for you.
Once you have your time-frame, (let's say you picked November) then I would recommend looking at what deals might be offered. This is simple! Just visit Disney's special offers page (click here) and see what's available. Keep in mind that you can usually add on offers to existing trips, so if you book something before an offer comes out (like free dining or 30% off room rates) you can call them and they'll apply it to your total. You can find a how-to on that here!
PICK A PLACE:
Once you have your dates picked out, you'll need to pick a place. We've written articles on staying on-site vs off-site as well as reviews (like this one on Animal Kingdom Lodge) on some Disney hotel properties. I'd recommend reading those if you're unsure of what you'd like to do.
My personal recommendation is to stay at a Disney property. The short answer is that you don't "lose the magic" by leaving. We stayed offsite the first time we went because it was planned on super short notice, and we will never do that again!
Call Disney! Let them help you book your trip. They'll also explain some of the other Disney basics, like making it a package deal with tickets or offering dining suggestions.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR:
If you are more than 180 days out from your trip, mark your calendar for important dates. Just visit My Disney Experience and put calendar reminders in your phone for the dates when you can book dining and fastpasses. If you've never used My Disney Experience, it's super easy! Here is a step by step tutorial on how to find what you're looking for.
Once you've got the basics down, you can start thinking about some of the more advanced Disney topics. We can help you there too! Here are some quick links:
Advanced Dining Reservations
Adding Memory Maker