When to Book Your Walt Disney World Vacation

When to Book Your Walt Disney World Vacation

When should you book a Walt Disney World vacation for your family? The simple answer is, “As soon as possible!”

Most family vacations can be planned at the last minute. You can typically find a hotel room at almost every popular vacation destination up until the day before you want to check-in. And with your “everyday” amusement parks, like Kings Island, Six Flags or even Universal, you simply walk up to the front gate and buy your ticket for the day. And when it’s time to eat, you find an open eatery and stop in for a sandwich.

Too many people end up with a disappointing visit to Walt Disney World because they didn’t plan far enough in advance, or because they didn’t know what they were getting into.  A Walt Disney World vacation needs to be booked FAR in advance, and every detail need to be worked out well before checking in.

If you’re thinking about taking your family to Walt Disney World, consider the following:

You can book your trip up to 499 days before your arrival date, as long as rates have been released. For example, they released 2012 rates in June of 2011. So, this past June, you could have began booking a trip for most of 2012. However, you won’t be able to book through the end of 2012 until August 20 – the 499-day mark.

If you absolutely can’t book early, you will want to book no later than 60 days before you arrive. This will allow you 15 days to make your final payment (which is due at the 45-day mark for packages), and allow Disney time to print and ship your Vacation Vouchers and Magical Express Booklet. If you book fewer than 45 days from the day you arrive, you’re asking for something to fall through the cracks…and you’ll have to pay in full when you book.

Ideally, you will want to book no fewer than 180 days before you arrive.  At the 180-day mark, a few important things happen. First, Disney releases park hours for their four Florida theme parks 6 months ahead of time. Secondly, all guests may begin making Dining Reservations at Disney’s hundreds of restaurants at 180 days.

If you’ll be visiting Walt Disney World during a busy season (Spring Break, Summer, Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year), you will absolutely need to book at least 7 months in advance. This will allow you, or your travel agent, to get everything in order, review the posted park hours, and be ready at the 180-day mark to make your critical Dining Reservations. There are a number of extremely popular restaurants – including many character meals – that book up within days of the 180-day mark.

If you’re just starting to consider a 2012 Disney vacation, contact Mouse Unlimited.

Mouse Unlimited offers a “personal touch” to your travel planning experience by offering help and advice that Disney can’t provide. We handle every aspect of your trip – from airfare, to lodging, to ground transportation, to activities, to tours and more.

In addition to saving you hours of time sitting on hold with Disney, Mouse Unlimited will make your dining reservations, handle your payments, offer money-saving advice, watch for new discounts, and create custom itineraries for your specific family.

It’s never too soon to start planning your vacation, even if you can’t book yet. When you’re ready, visit Mouse Unlimited‘s website where you can ask a question, learn more about Disney destinations, or request a free quote (but please respect their time and only submit a Quote Request if you’re serious about taking a trip).

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