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Ten Top Walt Disney World Vacation Tips

From the authors of
PassPorter Walt Disney World
The unique travel guide, planner, organizer, journal, and keepsake!

Admit it, Walt Disney World has been in your dreams again! Are you already planning to go, or are you just hoping you can go? Does it really matter? Here are some of our top tips for planning and enjoying a Walt Disney World vacation. Whether they get you started on your own plans, or make existing plans that much richer, we’re sure you’ll find at least one tip here that will help make your dreams come true!

PassPorter Planning Tips are written by Jennifer 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 for more information, tips, reviews, and fun!

1999-2007 MediaMarx, Inc. Permission granted to reprint this article in whole or part. The text of the article is available in electronic format or by sending e-mail to If you use this article in whole or part, we kindly request that you send a copy to us at MediaMarx, Inc., P.O. Box 3880, Ann Arbor, MI, 48106.

Updated 01/02/07

Copyright 1999-2007
PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.

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  This Month's Tips

Planning Your Adventure
Read a travel guide (or two!) Walt Disney World is huge, and the more information and advice you have the happier your trip will be. Any of these guides will get you off to a great start: “The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World” by Bob Sehlinger and “Birnbaum’s Walt Disney World” which is published by Disney itself. A fan favorite is “PassPorter Walt Disney World: The unique travel guide, planner, organizer, journal, and keepsake!” by Jennifer and Dave Marx.

Getting There (and Back!)
Don’t forget the benefits of your AAA (American Automobile Association) membership. As we all know, AAA will map your route for you, but there are several other special AAA deals for Walt Disney World visitors. Among the benefits are discounts on resort accommodations, special parking privileges at the theme parks, and on-site help at the AAA Hospitality Center. Call 800-222-6424 for more details.

Staying in Style
Hotel check-in time may be 3:00 pm and check out time may be 11:00 am, but we recommend you arrive early and leave late. You’ll gain an extra day or two of fun at Disney’s parks, and you’ll be first in line for the best room assignments. Check your bags with bell services when you arrive and pre-register at the front desk. Leave your bags with bell services again when you check out of the room, then head for the parks and have a great time!

Touring the “World”
Are you visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom? Follow the animals’ example! Wake at dawn and arrive at the park early (gates usually open at 8:00 am) when the temperatures are cooler and the animals are still about. Run for cover (or take a break at your hotel or a water park) when the large, late morning crowds arrive, and return in mid-afternoon when the crowds thin out. You’ll see more, do more, and be much more relaxed.

Feasting and Snacking
Character Breakfasts with Mickey and Minnie at Walt Disney World are for grown-ups, too. Many of Disney’s Deluxe resort hotels host these breakfasts, which may be the best breakfast value available at Walt Disney World. Prices and quality are comparable to a good Sunday brunch buffet, and there’s nothing like a hug (or handshake) from Mickey to start your day out right. We recommend you call 407-WDW-DINE for information and seating arrangements well in advance of your vacation.

Making More Magic
Make a special occasion even more special with a fireworks cruise! Whether it’s a birthday, unbirthday, or anniversary party, or just the two of you, can you imagine anything more magical than bobbing gently on the water, watching the fireworks explode over Cinderella Castle or Epcot? Disney supplies the skipper, cake and refreshments. The sunset comes along at no extra charge. Call 407-824-2621

Family Travel
If your journey to Walt Disney World crosses several time zones, consider keeping your family’s biological clock set to the time back home. For example, if you’re from the Pacific Time zone, do everything three hours later than the clock suggests (including wake up). Not only is it easier physically, but you get the benefit of eating your meals at off-peak hours. You may miss early entry days at the parks, but the kids can stay up “late” to see the fireworks and still be chipper the next morning.

Special Events
The Year of a Million Dreams is now underway. You may be spotted by a cast member at the park to receive one of these "dreams," which range from an all-day FASTPASS to a night in Cinderella Castle.

Autumn Disney Vacations
Fall is one of the best times to visit Walt Disney World. Resort rates are low, crowds are light, and the weather is at its best. This fall will be busier than usual, though, since its the kickoff of Disney’s Year of a Million Dreams celebration. Resort rooms are already hard to come by for October, so book soon, or consider a quieter November or early December getaway.

Saving Money
Drinking water is essential in the hot Florida sunshine, but Disney charges movie theater prices for its bottled water. Save a bundle by bringing your own water bottles, and refill them with free chilled water from Disney’s refrigerated water fountains.

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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