Disney World requires planning like no other vacation. Advanced dining reservations, touring plans, FastPass ride selection, extra ticketed events and tours... all of these things and more need to be planned far in advance of your trip.
Here I'll discuss when all aspects of your Disney vacation can be booked, so you don't miss out any the magic!
At 499 days out, you can book Disney World resort hotel accommodations. While room reservations will be available, if you are looking to book this far in advance you will have to call directly at (407) 939-5277 or have a travel agent book for you. This might be something you are interested in if you know you want to travel on specific dates, or you know it's an incredibly busy time of year.
Online reservations for the next year will be available summer of the previous year. So for example, if you are looking to book a room for next year, you can expect online reservations to open up summer of this year.
Disney will offer various deals and discounts as it gets closer. Usually you can expect see promotions released 3-6 months beforehand. To get an idea of when promotions are usually released, you can check Disney World's historical Resort discounts.
You will also be able to book your park reservations once you have your park tickets. For more information on how to reserve your park days you can read about it here.
Before you hit the 60 day mark on your Disney World countdown, you'll want to plan a basic outline of your days. Have an idea of which park you want to be at on which day. At this point it doesn't have to be set in stone, but knowing what day you want to spend at each park will make the next step much easier. And that's booking dining reservations!
Dining reservations open 60 days before your check in day. Phone lines open at 7am EST, online booking opens at 6am EST. If you are looking to book a harder to get reservation, a character meal, or a meal on a holiday, you'll want to be ready at that 60 day mark, preferably as online reservations open up.
Some of the harder to get restaurants include (but at not limited to):
You will be able to book for your entire trip at the 60 day mark, so if your trip is 7 days, you'll be able to book 67 days out. That means if you are looking to grab a hard to get reservation, you might want to consider putting it towards the end of your trip.
I also suggest booking things in order of difficulty, rather in chronological order. This will help to ensure you get the reservations you want.
In addition to restaurant reservations, you can also book spa treatments, Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, tours, and other special events 60 days out.
If you booked a vacation package (meaning you booked a Disney Resort and extras like tickets or food), your final payment for your vacation is due 30 days before check in. You have up until this day to make any changes or cancel without any penalty.
For more information on booking rules (including payments, cancellations, changes, etc) see my full article here.
If you are planning on purchasing Memory Maker, you'll want to do it before the 3 days prior to your trip. Memory Maker is an add on to your reservation that allows you digital access to all of your park and ride photos. For more information on what is included in Memory Maker you can see the full article on it here.
If you are looking to snag a virtual boarding pass, a Lightning Lane ride via Genie+, or individual Lightning Lane rides, you can do so at 7am through the My Disney Experience app.
For high demand rides, I suggest having the app ready to go just before 7am. Some of the virtual boarding passes will sell out quickly.
For more information on virtual boarding passes you can read about Rise of the Resistance and the virtual boarding system here.
Get your free Disney World vacation quote here.
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See you at the parks,