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Pixie Dust Central: 3 Things You Must Do When Planning Your Walt Disney World Vacation


Pixie Dust Central:
3 Things You Must Do When Planning
Your Walt Disney World Vacation

All too often, I hear from friends who want to plan a spur-of-the-moment trip to the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, FL. I am ALL for this type of vacationing, but there are a few things to consider with a last-minute trip to such a hugely popular Theme Park.

I know. I know. Some of you like to fly by the seat of your pants and you don’t want to plan every second of your vacation.

Well, that’s OK.

You don’t have to plan it all out, but with just a little bit of knowledge, you can make a huge difference in how your trip plays out!

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The first decision you need to make when you begin planning your Walt Disney World vacation is deciding where you are going to stay. There are so many places to choose from that you’ll need to do a little bit of research. I recommend ordering your Free Disney Parks Vacation Planning DVD first.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m pretty partial about staying at a Walt Disney World owned Resort hotel when I visit. There is something fabulous about staying AND playing right in the middle of the magic and not having to see one ounce of the “real” world while on vacation…I like to be completely immersed in my Disney vacations. Also, there are three “categories” of Resort hotels to choose from with one for every budget.

There are so many great benefits to staying on property too. If you’re flying into Orlando International Airport, you can take advantage of free transportation on Disney’s Magical Express from the airport right to your Resort hotel and back so you won’t need to worry about paying for a shuttle or taxi. One of my very favorite parts about this benefit is that you will receive some pretty special baggage tags that you’ll attach to each piece of your luggage at your home airport and those bags will magically appear in your Resort hotel room!

There are many, many hotel accommodations around the Walt Disney World Resort too. I’ve found that a great website to use for finding awesome deals is Be sure you subscribe to their newsletter too!

Read more: Finding The Magic With Disney Cruise Line (Video)



There are over 100 restaurants at Walt Disney World ranging from quick service [upscale fast-food type] to 5-star signature dining locations. Some restaurants are located in the Resort hotels while others are spread throughout the Theme Parks. There are even restaurants that have some of your favorite Disney Characters present to visit you at your table throughout your meal where they’ll pose for pictures and sign autographs.

The restaurants are extremely popular, and for this reason, you can make Advanced Dining Reservations up to 180 days in advance. Some of the more popular locations fill up very quickly, even 6-months out! I always recommend making a few reservations throughout your trip so that at least you’ll have some options. Just be sure to take a look at the cancellation policy so you know what to do in case you change your mind.

There are quick service restaurants throughout the property and inside the Theme Parks as well. You do not need reservations for any of them and the selections are typically more than your basic burger or chicken fingers. We have picky eaters, vegan eaters and everything in-between in our family and we are always able to find something to satisfy everyone’s taste buds.

Read more: Pixie Dust Central: Show Your Disney Side! (Video)



There are so many incredible things to see and do at Walt Disney World! The toughest part about planning, in my opinion, is realizing that you cannot see and do everything in one trip. What we like to do is to watch the planning DVD and have each member of our family make their “do not miss” lists. Watch it together as a family with pen and paper ready to jot down your favorites then make a plan.

One thing I’ve realized over the years is that there are always new things happening each time we visit. We make it a point to try something that we’ve never done before on each and every visit. We still have so many things to try and I don’t think we’ll ever run out!

So, pick your favorites and be sure to leave some down-time in your schedule too because you’ll surely need it! Walt Disney World is a huge place and there is a whole lot of walking involved so you’ll want to take it easy every now and then. We like to throw a pool day in the middle of our trip for some much needed rest and relaxation. The day after our pool day, we’re all refreshed and ready to go again!

Read more: Pixie Dust Central: 4 Reasons To Visit Walt Disney World In 2014

I’m hoping that you’re able to experience a Walt Disney World vacation with your family. It’s so fun to make life-long memories with the ones you love!

What are some of your fondest vacation memories?

Share them with us in the comments below!


Jackie Gailey is a work-at-home mom of two kids (16 & 12), wife of 20+ years to the greatest husband and dad, and owner of Jackie’s Magical Moments, where she blogs about about experiences she has with her vacation-loving family. In the summer of 2010, Jackie and her family, moved across the country to Savannah, GA so they could live closer to all of the fun that the central Florida area has to offer. She recently relocated to Florida to be even closer! Jackie travels to the Orlando area at least once every month as work and school schedules allow. She makes it a point to try something new on every trip and it never gets old! Follow her on Twitter at @jjzmgailey.

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