The days of taking off to a Walt Disney World vacation and “winging it” are gone. With dining reservations and FastPasses being booked months in advance, you have to have at least a basic plan. If not, you will miss out on some great activities and restaurants. Since I specialize in Disney vacations I get asked a lot of questions, mostly about Walt Disney World. So, I thought I would put together a list of Walt Disney World vacation questions I am asked the most.
1. How much does a Walt Disney World vacation cost?
To me, this is the hardest question to try to answer because there are so many variables. Many questions have to be answered before I can even begin. How many nights do you want to stay? How many days do you want to visit theme parks? What resort do you want to stay at? What time of year do you want to go? Those are just a few to start. It is impossible to say what your Walt Disney World vacation will cost without answering these and several more questions. I know that isn’t the answer that you want to hear, but it’s the truth!
2. What discount will I get?
There is no way to know without a doubt what discount, if any, will be available for your Walt Disney World vacation. I don’t even like to speculate because Disney does what Disney wants to do and it’s hard to predict. There is never a guarantee that Disney will even release a discount. If they do, I find out the morning that it’s released. There is no way to know who qualifies for it until it is actually available.
When Disney releases a discount, they allow a set number of rooms at each resort and even room type or view at each resort for that discount. What happens next is mass chaos. Anybody who has already booked their Disney vacation must have their package modified to apply the discount. This is where having a really good agent counts. Instead of you sitting on the phone on hold for hours, we do that for you. (4 hour hold times during last free dining release). If your package doesn’t meet the requirements for the discount then I will contact you and work all of that out to hopefully help you qualify for the discount.
3. Do you work for Disney?
No, I do not work for Disney. I own Starts With A Wish Travel. We are a travel agency that specializes in Disney vacations. All of us have extensive travel experience with Disney and a passion for helping people plan a fun-filled Disney vacation. We book Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, Aulani Resort & Spa and Adventures by Disney. We also book Universal, and other Orlando area destinations as well as all-inclusive resort and most cruise lines. Disney is our specialty but we can help you with much more.
4. How do I get around the Walt Disney World Resort?
Disney provides complimentary transportation all over the Walt Disney World Resort. You can get anywhere by taking a bus, boat or monorail. Even if you drive down to Disney World, you can park your car and never get back in it until you leave to go home. They even give you complimentary transportation between the Orlando International Airport (MCO) and the Walt Disney World Resort via Magical Express.
5. Why should I use a Disney Specialist?
A Disney World vacation is different than any other vacation you will take. There’s a lot that goes into planning a Disney vacation so that you aren’t wasting time and missing the best things. I’m talking hours. You most likely don’t have the extra time it takes to research everything. We are constantly reading and staying up to date on what is going on in the parks. We attend agent education events. We take multiple Disney vacations a year. Discount monitoring alone is a reason to use a Disney Specialist! You don’t have time to wait on the phone 4+ hours to try to book your vacation or try to apply a discount. And when it’s time to book those dining reservations and FastPasses, we are the ones that are up and ready to book by 6am. We know everything that needs to be done to plan a great vacation and we do that for every one of our clients.
6. How much are FastPasses?
Disney does not charge for FastPasses. They are complimentary with your ticket purchase. You start off with 3 per person per day which can be booked 60 days before you check in.
7. Is Animal Kingdom just a zoo?
No! I am surprised at the number of people who think Animal Kingdom is just a zoo! Animal Kingdom is a very unique theme park. Pandora-World of Avatar is a huge draw with the extremely popular Flight of Passage ride. There are several great rides and some delicious dining. One of the best shows at Disney World, Festival of the Lion King, is located in Animal Kingdom. There is a newer nighttime show, Rivers of Light, making Animal Kingdom a full-day park now.
8. Can you get discounted tickets or special package discounts?
No. My ticket and package prices are exactly the same as Disney’s prices.
9. Do I have to tip at the restaurants? Do I have to tip Mousekeeping?
I cannot tell you “Yes, you HAVE to tip.” Here is what I will say…
I follow the same guidelines for tipping in Walt Disney World as I do at home. If I have wonderful service, I tip accordingly. But I always tip. At Walt Disney World, like most other places, if you have a party of 6 or more automatic 18% gratuity is added to your bill. I have had some people get really upset with me when I share that, but it’s really the same as going anywhere else with a large party to eat. It doesn’t matter if you have the dining plan or not, it is automatic for parties of 6 or more.
I, personally, always tip Mousekeeping (Disney Housekeeping). They work really hard to keep your room neat and tidy, sometimes leaving towel animals or arranging your child’s stuffed animals on the bed. It’s entirely up to you to tip or not to tip, but that is my personal opinion.
10. Is the dining plan really worth it?
Absolutely 1000% Yes! I’m not saying that because I want to sell you on it. I have done the work. I have visited Disney World with the Disney Dining Plan, Deluxe Dining Plan and without a dining plan. I kept every single receipt for any type of food or drink. We spent way more money when paying cash than when we purchased the dining plan. Food is very expensive at Disney World. You save money on your meals just by purchasing a dining plan. The convenience of having it paid for before you even leave home is an added bonus!
I could keep going and going but those are the questions I get asked most often. What questions do you have about your Disney World vacation? You can reach out to any of our Starts With A Wish Travel Advisors for help!