Where to Stay When Visiting Disney World

It’s Spring vacation season, and if you’re thinking about heading to Florida for a Disney World getaway in the coming weeks, it’s time to start planning.

With numerous hotels on and off Disney property, deciding where to stay and what to do can be a challenge as you factor in the various theme parks in addition to golf courses and the outdoor shopping center Disney Springs.

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Travel Leaders has excellent advisors who specialize in planning Disney vacations and can guide you every step of the way. Here are some tips to keep in mind.

First, think about where you want to stay and what types of amenities you’ll need. For example, booking a hotel room with a kitchenette where you can prepare meals will cut down on the cost of eating out. If you’ll be spending most of your day at the parks, something basic may suit you fine. If your ideal Disney vacation includes wellness time, you may want a more luxurious resort with a spa.

If proximity is important, think about choosing accommodations on Disney property. With more than two-dozen resorts and hotels, as well as a campground, you’ll find options for every budget. Plus, you’ll save on the cost of a car rental and parking. Another perk: some Disney hotels participate in Extra Magic Hours, which are times when guests can visit select attractions before opening or after closing time.

When Disney World opened in 1971, it consisted of the Magic Kingdom. Over the past half-century the attractions have greatly increased to include Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom, in addition to two water parks, Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach. With so much to see and do, consider getting a multi-day, multi-park pass. It can be a good deal if you’re going to stay for a few days and visit more than one park. The per-day cost of a ticket decreases the longer the duration of your pass.

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Many guidebooks on Disney World recommend that you start your day at the back of the park and work your way to the front, counterclockwise, in order to beat the crowds.

When it’s time for big events, like the fireworks show and parade, you can stake out a prime viewing spot using Disney FastPass, which allows you to make reservations for certain attractions, entertainment or character greetings. If you’re staying at select hotels, you can make your choices up to 60 days prior to check-in for the length of your stay. And there’s no additional charge. Or, you can use the time when everyone is watching the fireworks and parade to go on some rides when there may be less competition for seats.

Finally, if your schedule allows, you can save on lodging, food and entertainment by visiting Disney World in the off-season, which includes July 5 to Sept. 29 and Oct. 31 to Dec. 19.

For help planning a trip to Disney World, contact Karen Bagley!

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