Planning for a Disney vacation can feel roughly equivalent to planning a wedding, a high-powered corporate event, or even a strategic battle. Armed with binders full of printouts, constantly checking their cell phones for last-minute updates, seasoned Disney veterans are easily spotted making their way through the parks according to a strict timeline. But how do you get there? What skills do you need to ensure a perfect Disney vacation? Here’s a light-hearted look at how to make your planning a success.
1. Calculating 180 Plus 10, 60 vs. 30, and deciphering plenty of acronyms
First-time visitors logging into Disney fan forums can easily become overwhelmed by the numbers. To get the best dining reservations, you need to be online 180 days before your trip. But if you’re staying “on property,” you can book 180 plus 10 days out…not 190 days before the start of your vacation, but 180 days before your trip you can book 10 days worth of reservations.
For FastPass Plus, you can book 60 days in advance if you’re staying on property, but only 30 days ahead if you’re off property. That only works if you’ve already purchased your tickets and linked them to your MDE account. If you want to wait and buy tickets when you arrive, you will be stuck trying to get whatever you can during your trip.
2. Logging on after midnight but before 12:01 a.m.
So you’ve made it to the designated day for making that dining reservation at Cinderella’s Royal Table or that FastPass Plus reservation for Toy Story Midway Mania. Now you just have to master the art of beating everyone else who wants those same reservations to the punch. If you log in too late, you’ll miss out. If you log in too early, the system won’t let you complete the reservation—and by the time you back out and start over, you’ll be too late. To avoid this Catch-22, practice logging in just after the turn of midnight a few nights prior to booking your experiences. Hopefully you don’t have to get up too early for work the next day!