Planning a Walt Disney World vacation can be challenging, because there are so many options. In addition, Walt Disney World has their own language – with various acronyms and terms that may seem very difficult for beginners to learn. Because a Disney vacation can be expensive, you definitely want to get it right.
Many families will book Disney World family vacation packages, which can include hotels, park tickets, airfare, and the Disney dining plan. It can be a convenient way to make sure that you get everything that you need to book before your trip (although restaurant reservations and FastPass+ reservations are separate).
Thinking of planning a vacation to the Walt Disney World resort? Here’s everything you need to know about Walt Disney World family vacation packages.
Disclosure: I am a former member of the Disney Parks Moms Panel and have been on some complimentary press trips at Walt Disney World, but all opinions are my own.
All About Walt Disney World Family Vacation Packages
Disney calls their vacation packages Magic Your Way packages, because you are able to customize them to best suit your vacation needs. These packages can be booked directly through Disney (online or via phone) or through a Disney travel agent (see reasons why you’d want to book with a Disney vacation planner here).
Included in a Magic Your Way Vacation Package
Because Magic Your Way packages are flexible, you can choose whether or not you want to include the Disney Dining Plan and/or flights. You’ll also have the option to include ground transportation (complimentary Disney’s Magical Express or a rental car from Alamo). Here are all of the things you can include in a Magic Your Way package:
- A room at a Walt Disney World resort hotel
- Tickets to the parks
- Memory maker
- The Disney Dining Plan
- Ground transportation
These are all options, so you don’t need to include everything in your vacation package.
Options in Your Walt Disney World family vacation packages
Thinking of booking a Disney vacation package? First, you’ll want to decide on the dates that you plan to go. This is the first step – everything else flows from there. As you are deciding, check out the best times to visit Walt Disney World here.
Once you have your dates chosen, you’ll find out which resorts have availability. You can find out more about choosing a Walt Disney World resort here. When you choose your preferred resort, you’ll be able to see the room types that are available.
Every resort has a different set of room types. If your preferred resort isn’t available for the dates you’ve chosen, you’ll want to pick different dates or a different hotel. If there are any Disney special offers available for your trip, you should be able to access them at this point.
After picking your resort, you’ll see ticket options. First, you’ll choose the number of days. We usually get tickets for about 5 days, although we’ll stay for 6 days. That way, we’ll have the option of going to Disney Springs one day. Hanging out at your resort is another great option. Keep in mind that these multi-day tickets expire 14 days after their first use.
After picking days, you’ll choose the type Magic Your Way tickets that you want. Base tickets include one theme park per day. Or, you could decide to get park hoppers and will be able to go to more than one park per day.
Our family always gets the park hopper option, because we like being able to go to dinner in a different park than the one we spend the day. Finally, you could also choose to get the park hopper plus option. With those tickets, you’ll also be able to visit the water parks (among other fun options).
Next, you’ll be able to add on the Disney Dining plan if you want to. Options include the Disney Quick Service plan, the standard Disney Dining Plan, and the Deluxe Dining Plan. Think about your food preferences and how you’ll use the plan.
We usually get the standard Disney Dining Plan, because we like eating at the table service restaurants, but find that the Deluxe Dining Plan offers too much food. It’s a good idea to review these options in advance so that you are prepared when booking your package.
If you want to purchase your meals a la carts, or plan on leaving Walt Disney World for some meals, you may want to skip the Disney Dining Plan.
At this point, you’ll receive the price of your package, and will be able to add on any additional extras. You can price flights, add ground transportation, and purchase Memory Maker, before getting your final package price.
Magical Extras With Your Walt Disney World Vacation Package
When purchasing your Disney vacation package, you may find that you are eligible for Magical Extras. These can always change, and may not apply to your vacation. In the past, Magical Extras have included discounts at select Disney Springs restaurants and shops, and complimentary admission or discounts for on-site activities. If you do receive these extras, you’ll receive a savings voucher with your package.
Other Things Included with Your Magic Your Way Vacation Package
Guests booking a Magic Your Way vacation package receive all of the complimentary things that guests to Disney resorts get. You’ll receive complimentary MagicBands 2, free round-trip transportation from Orlando International Airport to the resort, and transportation to all of the parks and resorts once you are on property. There’s also free WiFi at each of the hotels and at the parks.
Guests can book FastPass+ reservations at no cost 60 days in advance, and I highly recommend that you do that right at that point, so you don’t miss out on anything. Guests of Disney resort hotels can also take advance of extra magic hours, which are early and late times when the parks are only open to resort hotel guests.