Did you know there are important Disney deadlines and dates for planning a trip to Walt Disney World? When can you book a room, dining, and Fastpasses? As a travel consultant who specializes in Disney Destinations, I would be happy to help you in planning your trip. But, if you enjoy the planning and want to give it a go on your own, make sure you are aware of the not to be missed dates. Here is what you need to know:
As far as 499 days prior to check-in, you can book a room at a Walt Disney World resort. You will be able to add park tickets, dining plans, and the Memory Maker at a later date.
About 200 days before arrival, travel packages are usually released by Disney. Travel packages include the room, tickets, and other add-ons like a dining plan, and Memory Maker. Sometimes travel packages come with a savings incentive!
At the 180 day mark, you can make your advance dining reservations. You may have heard these referred to as ADR’s. Some dining reservations can be hard to get. If you want to eat at Be Our Guest in the Magic Kingdom, or have dinner at Cinderella’s Royal Table, you will need to make your reservations on your 180 day mark. You can log into your My Disney Experience account at 7:00 AM (Central), or call 1-800-WDW-DINE at 8:00 AM (Central) to make your advance dining reservations. You will need a credit card to guarantee the reservation. Your card will not be charged, unless you fail to show up and fail to cancel the reservation. Some special dining events, such as Cinderella’s Royal Table, require payment in full at the time of the reservation. It’s much easier to cancel a reservation closer to the date, than trying to get one at the last-minute. I suggest making the most important dining reservations right away. If you are not able to get a reservation you really wanted, then Mouse Dining is a great place to set an alert for when a reservation becomes available.
60 days and counting, you are going to want to personalize your Magic Bands!
Magic Bands act as your room key, park ticket, Fastpass holder, and you can link a credit card to it if you wish. To personalize your band, you choose a color for each person in your group. If two people want the same color, no problem! You get to put a name inside each band.
Still at 60 days if you are staying in a Walt Disney World resort, then you can make your Fastpass selections, and check-in online. To make Fastpass selections, go to your My Disney Experience account and start making your choices. Online check-in allows you to make room request, for example if you want to be close to the elevator, or on a lower floor. The requests are never guaranteed, but Disney does make every effort to exceed expectations! During online check-in, you can enter your cell phone number to receive a text when your room is ready. Once you receive the text, you may go straight to your room bypassing the front desk! This is a good time to sign up for the Magic Express if you plan on using Disney transportation from the Orlando airport to your Walt Disney World resort. You will need your flight information when you make the Magic Express reservation.
30 day count down is here! Your package must be paid in full today. Log into your My Disney Experience account, or call Disney, to make the final payment. If you are staying off of Walt Disney World property, today is your Fastpass selection day. 30 days out is also the last day you can cancel a package without a fee. For cancellations 29 to 2 days prior to check-in, there is a $200 fee. Any cancellations 24 hours or less will result in your losing the entire cost of the package. If you have travel insurance, the rules are different. Also, if you did not make the Magic Express reservation previously, now is the time. You will receive tags to put on your luggage before you check them at the airport. You want to make sure there is time for Disney to send those to you before you leave.
3 days out is the last day to purchase the Memory Maker for $169 price. After the 3 day mark, it goes up to 199.
The other important time to remember is 24 hours. You may cancel any of your dining reservations for any reason. You must do so at least 24 hours prior to the reservation, or you will be charged $10 per person on the reservation.
If you have additional questions check out my post on Disney Tips and Tricks 101.