Ten Top Walt Disney World Vacation Tips
From the authors of
PassPorter™ Walt Disney World:
The unique travel guide, planner, organizer, journal, and keepsake!

Winter’s chill makes January one of the top months for Disney vacation planning, but most “snow birds” don’t start arriving in Florida until mid-February. January is the perfect month for a spur-of-the-moment, off-season getaway. Room rates are at “Value Season” rates, and even better discounts are available for those with Magic Kingdom Club cards and annual passes to the theme parks.

PassPorter Planning Tips are written by Jennifer Watson and Dave Marx, authors of PassPorter Walt Disney World: The unique travel guide, planner, organizer, journal, and keepsake! Available wherever books are sold. Visit their web site at http://www.passporter.com for more information, tips, reviews, and fun!

2000 MediaMarx, Inc. Permission granted to reprint this article in whole or part with full attribution. The text of the article is available in electronic format or by sending e-mail to tips@passporter.com. If you use this article in whole or part, we kindly request that you send two copies to us at MediaMarx, Inc., P.O. Box 3880, Ann Arbor, MI, 48106.

Updated 11/21/03

Copyright 1999-2006
PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.

Questions? Problems? E-Mail Us!

  January 2000 Edition

Planning Your Adventure
You can never get too much advice, especially when the topic is as big (and popular) as Walt Disney World. Nearly everyone has been there, haven’t they? Your family and friends are a great resource because you understand each others likes and dislikes. That makes their Disney advice that much more valuable. Just be sure to double-check the facts before you act on their recommendations. Parks, prices, policies, and particulars change far more quickly than you think.

Getting There (and Back!)
Do you really need a rental car? If you stay at an off-site hotel or plan to visit many other Orlando-area attractions, a car can be a necessity. But if you spend your entire vacation at Walt Disney World, why not relax and let someone else do the driving? Disney’s free monorails, buses, and boats will transport you around Disney property. Pay a shuttle bus or town car service for the trip to and from the airport.

Staying in Style
When choosing lodging for your large family or group, don’t just count the number of beds available in the room(s)—count the bathrooms, too. Sometimes two smaller, adjoining rooms work better than sharing a larger room with a single bath. You’ll get going far faster in the morning!

Touring the “World”
Although some vacationers swear by a ride-by-ride, minute-by-minute plan for touring a theme park, we prefer a more relaxed plan. Make a short list of “must see” rides and attractions. Put a few more on the “we will if we can” list. Decide where you’re going to eat your meals and make appropriate reservations. After that, be flexible. Take advantage of opportunities that arise (like a shorter than expected line), and don’t go crazy trying to “do it all.” You’re supposed to relax on vacation, aren’t you?

Feasting and Snacking
Fine dining can be a big part of a grown-up’s Disney adventure, but Disney never loses sight of a family’s needs. Nearly every restaurant at Walt Disney World, no matter how exotic or “grown-up,” offers a reasonably priced kids menu. And if you don’t see what you like on the kids menu, ask for it — Disney may be able to honor your request.

Making More Magic
Not all of Disney’s magic takes place in the theme parks. The Disney Institute offers a variety of dream-come-true classes and experiences for children of all ages. You can try your hand at everything from animation and photography, to rock climbing and wine tasting. Children can experience behind-the-scenes workshops in art and the performing arts. Call 800-324-5243 for information.

Family Travel
If you’ve got a flock to shepherd around the theme parks, why not make your lambs a bit easier to find when they stray? If everyone is wearing the same, boldly colored shirt or distinctively-styled hat, you will all have a much easier time staying together.

Special Events
The Walt Disney World Speedway comes to life at the end of January for the first event of the Indy Racing League season, the Delphi Indy 200. Practice is on the 27th, qualifying on the 28th, and the big event is on the 29th. Call 407-939-7810 for information and tickets.

Winter Disney Vacations
If you’ve never visited Central Florida during the winter, the weather may surprise you. This is not the tropics. Daytime temperatures range from about 60F/16C to 75F/24C, and evenings dip down to 50F/10C —or lower! A rainy day can be downright uncomfortable, but a good day can be a delight! You may need shorts or long pants, and definitely bring sweaters and jackets. Fortunately, the pools are heated.

Saving Money
Join the Magic Kingdom Club. Members can get discounts on resort accommodations, theme park admission, meals at selected Disney restaurants, merchandise purchased at the Disney Store, and from the Disney Catalog. Membership is a free benefit for employees of some companies (ask Human Resources) and members of some Credit Unions. Anyone can join if they pay $65 for a two-year Gold Card membership. Phone 800-563-4763 for details.

As special as any Walt Disney World vacation can be, it’s even better when you plan ahead. There’s so much to see and do, and so many hopes and dreams rest on a successful visit. Start planning now, and watch for more PassPorter Planning Tips in the months to come.

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