This is the second post in a series on Walt Disney World. We’ll be focusing on planning an incredible trip at an affordable price. Along the way, we’ll share all the insider tips we’ve picked up on our previous trips. You can read previous posts here.
One of the questions you might be asking when planning a Disney World trip is, “How many days does it take to see everything?” Here’s the answer: You can’t.
If you have never been to Walt Disney World, then it’s hard to imagine its size, but Disney World is 43 square miles – about the size of the entire city of San Francisco.
The resort has:
- 4 theme parks
- 2 water parks
- 5 golf courses
- 4 miniature golf courses
- 2 shopping/dining/entertainment complexes
- Sports complex
- 70 full-service restaurants
- 24 hotels
And, if theme parks, golfing, shopping, dining and sports aren’t enough, there are fishing lakes, fireworks cruises, watercraft rentals, surrey bike rentals, campfires, movies, arcades … and the list goes on. Getting the picture?
So, I’m not lying when I say that you can’t see everything at Walt Disney World. So, then, how do you decide how long to stay?
Well, your budget will probably dictate it to a certain extent. But beyond that, what will be ideal is what works best for your family. If you are only comfortable being away for a long weekend, then do that. If you are planning a grand 10-day extravaganza, it will be fab. Either way, there is fun to be had.
A common time frame for a Walt Disney World vacation is a week. Many of the condo-type resorts and vacation home rentals around the area offer weekly rentals, and you will often find them to be a significant savings over a daily rate.
What to do with your week at Walt Disney World? Well, there is plenty to do in the theme parks to just go to them every day, but that can be tiring. My ideal plan for a week at Disney World would include:
- Arrival night at Magic Kingdom to watch fireworks
- Day at Magic Kingdom
- Day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
- Day at a Disney water park
- Day at Animal Kingdom / Evening at Downtown Disney
- Free day for golf / shopping / pool time
- Last day at EPCOT, ending with IllumiNations
This trip design starts right off the bat with seeing the iconic Cinderella Castle and watching the fireworks, because those are the things we immediately think of when we plan a trip to Walt Disney World, right? When you start with that, the rest of the trip is just icing on the cake!
You’ll notice I built a couple of “breaks” – the lower-key/slower-paced water park day and the day when you don’t go to a theme park at all – into this itinerary. Doing the parks is fun, but it is tiring! It’s best to recognize right off the bat that you can’t go from open to close in the parks every day and take some time to relax. After all, isn’t that what a vacation is for?
Now, an important money saving tip: Plan out your theme park days in advance so that you don’t buy more ticket than you need. Disney offers multi-day tickets. If you are going for seven days, you might just buy a seven-day ticket. But, it’s unlikely you’ll use it. With this itinerary, you need five days of theme park tickets, and then a water park ticket. We will talk much more about ticketing in a future post, but for now know that making a rough sketch of your itinerary before the trip is the best way to know exactly what tickets you will need and budget for them.
Have you been to Walt Disney World before? How many days did you stay? What do you think is an ideal length for a Disney World vacation?