Tips for planning a vacation to Disney World in 2021

Disney World is considered one of the most magical places on earth. As magical and fun as it can be, there is still much planning and preparation that goes into getting ready for a trip to Disney World. There are a couple of routes you can go to book your trip—you can use a travel agent or book it all yourself.

Using travel agents is a good idea because of their familiarity of Disney vacations. They take care of everything from booking the room, to selecting a meal plan, to assisting with flights and transportation, among other details. As helping clients with Disney travel is part of their services, they are experienced and knowledgeable about the various vacation packages and park details.

Photo by Janelle Briscoe.

However, getting a travel agent may not be feasible for everyone, and many have to plan the vacation themselves. If you find yourself having to plan a trip, here are a few tips that may prove helpful:

• Book far in advanced—Typically, guests can book a trip up to 499 days out. However, due to current circumstances, it is based on what is currently available, so be sure to book the trip as soon as possible due to limited space. Additionally, guests can make restaurant and park reservations 60-90 days out of their planned arrival.

• Pack lightly and set aside shopping money—There is going to be so much to buy in Disney World, and you will most likely be coming home with keepsakes. Pack lightly in order to leave space to bring everything back home. Should there not be enough space in luggage, by paying a shipping fee, Disney World stores can ship directly to your home.

• Consider the check-in and check-out times: Check in times for all Disney World resorts are at 4 p.m. and check-out times are at 11 a.m. Knowing this, sometimes people will schedule their flights closer to the check in time. Or, they will get there early, check in their bags and explore Disney Springs and the other parks, or go swimming until it is time to check in. When checking out, be sure to make enough room to be at the airport two hours before the flight leaves.

• Download the Walt Disney World App—The app is crucial to have when visiting the parks. It shows event times and places at the various parks. It also enables visitors to make reservations, order food, and to see the wait times for rides. It also shows the bus schedules to get visitors to and from the resorts.

Next, one of the many things that people love about Disney World is the food. As mentioned before, visitors can make food reservations up to 60-90 days prior to their visit. Wondering which places to make reservations? Here a few top-rated food places in Disney World;

Photo by Janelle Briscoe.

• Wine Bar George—Rustic wine bar with delicious appetizers and entrees located in Disney Springs. Must try the fried mac & cheese bites.  

• Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’—Southern Floridian restaurant with Chef Smith, who is one of Oprah’s personal chefs. Famous for their mac and cheese and fried chicken.

• La Cantina De San Angel—Quick Service Mexican food in Epcot with flavorful tacos, empanadas, nachos, and more Mexican cuisine.

• L’Artisan Des Glaces – Craving a delicious snack? This is a great place to satisfy those cravings. Located in Epcot, France. Known for their delicious, warm, brioche ice cream sandwiches.

Understanding that we are still navigating the effects of a pandemic, it is crucial to take safety precautions for the health and well-being of ourselves and others. Here are some Covid-19 precautions that Disney World is currently taking:

• Social Distancing—Disney World has enforced social distancing with 6 feet ground tapings for while people are waiting in lines in order to maintain social distancing.

• Masks—Guests are required to wear masks at all times unless stationary in resting areas or when eating and drinking.

• Sanitization—There are multiple sanitizing stations available. However, it is still encouraged for others to bring their own hand sanitizers or disinfectant sprays.

• Monitoring symptoms- Disney World is taking temperature checks upon entry, so it is important to keep track of individual symptoms as guests will not be permitted into parks if they have a fever.

While Disney World is loved by many, waiting in long lines is not. However, because Disney World is operating at a lower capacity, wait times are shorter around this time of year. Whether short or long, waiting in lines is bound to happen while in Disney World, so here are a few tips when dealing with that:

Photo by Janelle Briscoe.

• Bring a portable charger—To help time go by faster, some people like to download videos or listen to music while waiting in long lines, so be sure to bring a portable charger to keep the battery charged.

• Consider arriving at parks before they open—Depending on which ride, visitors may try to get there as early as an hour before the park opens so that they can be one of the first on a ride. However, the downside to this is that it may work for the first ride, but after that the lines fill up quickly upon opening.

Lastly, we certainty can’t forget about the rides! As there are so many rides, here are three we suggest you don’t miss:

• Avatar Flight of Passage—Located in Animal Kingdom, this ride features views of nature while riding on the back of a banshee.

• Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance—Located in Hollywood Studios, this thrilling ride puts guests in the middle of an altercation between the Resistance and the First Order. Watch out for Darth Vader! Passengers must obtain a boarding pass through the Walt Disney World app in order to ride.

• Mission Space—Located in Epcot, this ride allows visitors to travel through space on a daring adventure to be one of the first to land on planet Mars.  

While planning a trip to Disney World may be stressful, remember to have fun and to take pictures.

 For more information, visit Disney World’s Website. Students and faculty who are interested in booking a trip to Disney World through a traveling agent can reach out to Marquenta Taylor, an independent travel consultant, experiencesofalifetimetravel@gmail.com.

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