In this post, I give you details on how I like to book my Disney World vacation. This method may not be for all but I enjoy booking in this manner. Below I have a video from my YouTube channel: Our Irish Family. In this, I explain in further detail the process of booking a Disney World vacation.
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We are travelling from Ireland – Orlando on a family vacation very soon. This will be our 5th trip to Walt Disney World but a first with our toddler (13 months old). Be prepared for upcoming travel posts. I’m sure travelling with a toddler will be a real eye-opener. Let’s get into how I book a Disney World vacation.
Booking Flights or Driving
One of the first decisions you make when considering a trip to Disney World is the time of year you will be visiting. If you have young children you may choose to go when they are on spring break, summer break or at Christmas. Whenever you choose to go, you will also need to decide on what method of transport you will take to get to Orlando. Many families travel by car to Disney World. They pack up the family and hit the road, some journeys can take 20 or more hours. If your family travels like this I’d love to know how the journey goes.
As I am from Ireland, we have to book international flights. I like to search many websites and compare prices and flight times. I often use Skyscanner, Kayak and Expedia just to name a few. Travelling mid-week is far cheaper than a weekend flight, it just depends on the flexibility of your vacation dates.
Onsite or Offsite
The next decision you need to make; whether you will stay onsite at one of the Disney World resorts or choose to stay offsite. We have always chosen to stay offsite, this is just a personal preference, however, I hope to stay onsite in the future, it’s on my bucket list.
If you decide to stay at a Disney Resort, you can book directly through the *Disney website. You may also call the Disney reservations team or book through a travel agent. There are many ways to book, but please ensure you use a registered agent. There are horror stories out there and I would hate for any of you to fall victim to a scam.
At the time of writing (April 2017), Disney has announced free dining options available when booking select hotels/resorts, it would be a perfect time to book if the dates suit.
The benefits of staying at a Disney hotel/resort are:
- First access to Fastpass+ and Advanced Dining Reservations
- Free transportation to and from the airport and Around the parks
- Free magic bands
- Access to Extra Magic Hours
- Access to the Disney Dining Plans
These are just a few of the benefits gained from staying onsite at a Disney World hotel.
If you decide to stay offsite there are many areas to choose from, Lake Buena Vista, International Drive, Davenport, Kissimmee, etc. Be sure to research the area you choose to stay. There are many choices of accommodation; hotel, resort, condo, villa etc.
We have previously stayed on International Drive. I would recommend this area, especially if you can get a hotel room near Pointe Orlando. There are so many dining, shopping and entertainment options on International Drive.
To book offsite accommodation I like to use *booking.com. Booking.com provides you with 100’s of hotels and resorts to choose from at fair prices. You should also look up hotel comparison websites to ensure you are getting a good deal, a favourite of mine is called trivago.com
The main benefit of staying offsite is you get more bang for your buck. The hotels offsite are cheaper more often than not. Another benefit for me is a change of scenery. After being immersed in Disney all day long, it’s nice to get away and turn off the Disney mind and focus on normal things.
If you are choosing to stay offsite it is also worth noting that you may need to hire a car for travelling to and from the Disney Parks. There are other options like Uber, buses and taxis if you don’t fancy driving. Some offsite hotels do provide a bus free of charge to Disney parks, so it’s worth checking with the hotel. Even with the added expense of car hire and parking fees ($20 per day), I always find staying offsite a far cheaper option than onsite Disney hotels.
If you’d prefer not to book your own flights and accommodation, there are a variety of travel agents available online or in your town/city to help you make the bookings.
I enjoy the process of looking online for that bargain flight and accommodation. I feel a great sense of accomplishment when I find a great deal. Whatever method you chose I hope you enjoy your Disney World vacation.
Have a magical day!