How Far in Advance Should I Book My Disney World Vacation?

Disney World Electrical Parade

If You Wait, Your Options Are Limited

I find that it’s very tempting for some people to wait until Disney releases a set of discounts applicable to their travel dates before booking.  However, doing this puts you at a disadvantage in some cases.  Disney World is a vacation that many people book far in advance, meaning that if you wait too long, you’ll have less choice of rooms and resorts.  Even more important, though, is the lack of dining reservations left when you book too late.

What’s Too Late?

So what’s too late?  I always advise my clients to book at least 6 months in advance when possible.  Why?  At 180 days before your arrival date, you’ll be eligible to make dining reservations.  Popular character dining and themed restaurants are often completely booked up right after this window of opportunity.  For some, this may not matter much, but if you know that your kids really want to dine with Mickey and friends, or you and your spouse really want that dinner at California Grill while overlooking the Wishes fireworks show, you definitely want be set to go at 180 days in advance.

Coming soon is the new MyMagic+, which will also best be used with some forethought.  One of the features of this new program is that you will be able to reserve times at a set number of attractions per day 60 days in advance.  Again, this means you need to have a reservation in place to take advantage of this.

There are several things that make this easier than you may think.   First, Disney only requires a $200 deposit on vacation packages, with the rest due 45 days before arrival.  This makes it easy to book far in advance without having to pay a lot on the spot.  Second, Disney also allows reservations to be moved to the new discount rates when they do come out, subject to availability (and if you are before your 45 day final payment window).  This means that if you are hoping for a free dining plan promotion, you don’t have to wait until it’s released to book your dates; you can book now and apply it when it comes out later.

Don’t Stress Planning Your Disney Vacation!

If the idea of figuring out your vacation so far in advance and tracking discount codes as they come out has you a little panicked, don’t worry: I’m here to help!  When I help you plan your Disney World Vacation, I recommend all of your best options, get it booked with deposit for you, and then I’ll carefully plan your itinerary using the least crowded parks each day, matching your restaurant choices to your days in each park, secure your advance dining reservations for you right on that 180 day mark (early in the morning, I might add!), and keep an eye on the discounts, getting your reservation moved to the new discount if it applies.   And, of course, I also offer theme park touring strategies and so much more!

So if you want to plan a vacation to Disney World, contact me early so we can get you the best experience possible!


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