Disney World – 3 Essential Planning Tips

We went to Disney World Resort Florida in 2015. We were a family of 3 back then and I will always fondly remember the holiday for lots of magical reasons. The big one being that I know it was when I firmly decided I wanted to have another child. I was sat on the back of a Disney shuttle bus on the way back to the hotel from Epcot one evening, specifically. So even though he’s not physically in the photos, if you look closely, you might see my Beb in the twinkle of my eye. We are planning another visit back to Disney World in 2019 when Beb is a little older so naturally I’ve already started planning. 😉

Magic Kingdom castle

We had an amazing time and although I feel like we are the only family in the world who managed to have a bit of a row at the foot of the Magic Kingdom Castle on our first visit (we were hot and jet lagged what can I say) we soon got immersed into all things Disney and had a really wonderful, magical holiday. Once we’d slept a bit.

Part of the success of that is down to the planning. So read on if you want some tips. Disney of course provides the magic once you get there.

Planning the finer details of our trip fell to me/I grasped it with both hands like an over-zealous bridesmaid at a wedding jumping for the bouquet. Whatever . Tomato/tomato. (How many of you just read both those tomato’s in a British accent like me.) So as you may imagine I got straight to it researching the don’t miss rides and the ones suitable for smaller children, the best places and times to meet characters, the best restaurants to eat at, all of that hoo-ha. I went all out. As I have a tendency to do. Lucky for me there are hundreds and hundreds of interesting and useful blogs and write-ups all about planning a holiday (or vacation) to Disneyworld. I enjoyed a good few weeks feasting on all that juicy info. I was pinning like nobody’s business. Check out my Disney Pinterest board if you want some good tips.

When we got there and we were all three of us baking in the heat on our first day and my 5 year old was knackered from all the travelling I quickly realised all my plans would have to be dropped from a great height if we were to enjoy ourselves at all. So that’s my foremost top tip.


Expect A LOT of walking in Disney Parks


Plan to have a very loose plan or no plans at all.

This gobble-de-gook warrants some explaining.  You’re in Disney, there’s so many iconic things to see. You’ve been dreaming about this trip most of your life and you don’t want to miss a thing. That’s where your planning comes in.

  1. Before you go decide which things (the smaller the list the better) at EACH park are the essential things for you and your family to see that you do not want to miss.
  2. Book your fast passes in advance for these attractions.
  3. Pad the day around the times of these top fast passes.
  4. Be prepared to throw everything out the window and go back to the hotel to chill in the pool.
  5. Point 4 is the most useful piece of advice about enjoying your holiday to Disneyworld! It’s easy to get caught up in the busy-ness and excitement only to find everyone is exhausted!


Fast Passes

Fast passes are incredible; personally I wouldn’t want to do Disney without them. If you stay at a Disney resort hotel you can book them up to 60 days prior to your check in date. We stayed at the Royal Caribbean it is lovely check it out! As simple as they sound they are a queue jump system where you can take the express lane onto rides and for meets if you book a time slot in advance. So fast passes –

  1. Book them before you go. Yes you can actually book your time slot for fast passes onto rides before you even get off the Airplane. This is great for really popular things like meeting Anna & Elsa. You may even find all the fast pass time slots are taken on certain things weeks before your holiday.
  2. Spread them out across different things rather than use them just for all the big rides. I booked ours for rides, meets, and even a great viewpoint for the parade.

The Royal Caribbean Resort Walt Disney World Florida


Memory Maker

I paid quite a bit extra for this picture package when we went in spring 2015. It’s currently being thrown in for free as a bonus when you book with certain travel operators (sshh it’s Thomson/TUI group I think).  It’s so much more than a picture package. There are photographers wandering around the parks all day taking photos of guests. With memory maker, they beep touch your magic band and all the photos taken of you that day are uploaded to your Disney account. It’s awesome!

  1. Look out for the marked view points to have your photo with all the iconic landmarks in the background.
  2. Get all your professional photos from the character meets uploaded straight to your phone.
  3. All your great family holiday photos in one place. Be sure to download them within the given timeframe when you get home. (I think it was 30 days but check the Disney website).
  4. Enjoy the moments without worrying if you caught a good picture.
  5. Mum in the picture and family photos with everyone in that aren’t selfies.

So those are 3 of my tippety top tips off the top of my head for planning your Disneyworld holiday of dreams. Let me know if you found them useful and if you learned something that you didn’t know before!

We are planning another trip to Disneyworld Florida in 2019 and so there will be lots more posts coming up here all about planning a Disney holiday. Just imagine all the pins I can find in 2 years!

I will be sharing the most helpful YouTube channels and blog reviews I have found that are go-to places for vids and tips about Disney. So feel free to bookmark this page for future reference, pin the image below, and if you liked my 1st ever Disney post please share it with others via the social buttons below. Thanks!




  1. 13th May 2017 / 8:24 am

    My husband and I are going to Florida this year (without kids and no Disney, I recently did a post about where we are visiting if you are interested?) but we are taking the kids next year. I never realised the fast passes needed prebooking, in Paris you can only get them on the day. #kcacols

    • thehippychristianmum
      14th May 2017 / 8:15 pm

      Sounds lovely, I would love to go to the beaches of Florida they look stunning and my husband would love the golf. Have a great time.

  2. 11th February 2019 / 10:31 am

    Great tips and not too many which is good. I’m the planning guru in our house, although I was never the one pushing for Disney this year but since we’ve booked it, I’ve caught some magical Disney bug and can’t stop researching and watching vlogs 🙂

    • Kate Lili
      25th February 2019 / 8:36 pm

      Me too, every time my family leave the room I switch the TV to a Disney vlog. I can’t get enough!

  3. 14th February 2019 / 12:54 pm

    Completely agree with your tips! The memory-maker is a brilliant investment (I’m NEVER in photos as I’m always the one taking them) so I was so happy to actually be able to show that I was there too. And yes to completely changing plans as necessary – there were 6 of us and jet lag/crowd anxiety/hunger affected everyone differently so we had to be adaptable. Have an amazing time on your next visit!

  4. Kate Lili
    25th February 2019 / 8:37 pm

    Thank you so much. It’s still months away but I am starting to get really excited now!

  5. 5th March 2019 / 1:42 pm

    Love these tips, totally agree with all of them! We got the Memory Maker for free via the Disney site this year so am very excited about that!

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