How far in advance is too far to start planning?

Minnie1986

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
If there's one thing I've noticed, it's that planning helps with my anxiety and COVID-19, social distancing and everything else going on has got my anxiety at an 11. With all that being said, I'd like to start working on my next WDW trip, but it wouldn't be until late September/early October 2021. I know it's early to get pricing and that kind of information. Has anyone starting planning a trip this far out? What's a good place to start? TIA!!
 

Think Tink

Premium Member
In the Parks
No
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Never too early! I already am planning this August (hopefully) and next August! You can book room only 499 days out by calling Disney. I like watching YouTube tours of hotels I’m interested in, even though I always go back to the Yacht Club lol.

start making a lists of potential fast passes and restaurants you may want to check out. I do that so when it’s the day to reserve, I’m ready.
Have fun!!!!
 

DVCakaCarlF

Well-Known Member
I have trips booked a year in advance and others the night before...depends on how long your trip will be and what you are trying to accomplish.
 

belledream

Well-Known Member
I’m planning a trip for next year! It’s nice to have something to look forward to and also a happy distraction. With all the uncertainty, I’m just going in with the mindset of being flexible. I’m just sticking to safe options, like booking through Disney, so that if things happen, it’ll be easier to get refunds... even if it may mean giving up some savings. I’m also thinking about having a backup trip (or maybe we’ll just take both of we get lucky ;)). We have a room-only reservation right now, but depending on what deals come out closer to the trip, I’m totally up for making changes to whatever works the best! But I’m really enjoying thinking about our resort and dining options.

Packages should come out in June so that’d be a good place for you to start!
 

Herdman

Well-Known Member
We were supposed to go in May, now hoping for late October. I told my family that half the fun in a trip to Disney is the planning, and now I was going to have twice as much fun as them!! haha
 

Shouldigo12

Well-Known Member
I thinks it's a good idea to have something fun to look forward to and that can distract you for the time being. The only real downside of planning something far ahead is the possibility things can change, like restaurants closing down or prices going up. Both those things can be easy to deal with.

As far as where to start; personally I begin with when I want to visit. You have the months, so I would try to narrow it down at least between September and October and preferably pick out some specific weeks too. The Disney Tourist Blog has good month by month comparisons. Then I pick where I want to stay. Start by picking onsite or off-site, and if you want to do onsite decide what budget you have and at least two options: your first choice and then a second choice if price increases throw the first one out of budget. Then I decide the order of the parks, what restaurants I want to visit, and then fastpasses.

Then after that, if you still want to do some planning, you can start making a lost of things you need to get or or do before you leave, like a rain poncho or bag. Or you can even start over again, but with a different location; I've planned out dozens of trips to New York, Italy, Hawaii, and Disney World that I never went on just because I'm like you and I find the process relaxing. For some reason Disney is the most fun to plan, but others can be really enjoyable too.
 

jbird327

Member
I am planning a trip in late October 2021. For an activity with my daughter, we picked the dates (Oct 30 - Nov 6) planned out the parks and then added in the meals and any additional activities. The Fastpasses will wait until closer to the trip. I called Disney to reserve the room because I thought you could at 599 days but was reminded that it was 499. So I will call back on June 18th to make the reservation. I am sure we will be making revisions as time goes on but the dates are set. To break up the time a bit, we are counting the days to 499.
 

JIMINYCR

Well-Known Member
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I havent stoped planning since the end of my first trip in "95" knowing I was going back. The better prepared you are the more knowledge you possess, the more satisfied you will be with how your trip goes. The further ahead that you plan the more time you have to tweak those plans, add or delete options and know you are getting the trip you want.
I start nailing down my dates, make the resort booking, look at the ADR's and menus for what I want, scan crowd calendars, decide on park days and FP+ choices. Start immediately saving and budgeting money to afford souvenirs, extras, events, and for treating myself. Check out weather reports. As time gets closer I look at packing lists and what I am wearing, bringing... those things necessary or can be lefty out. Planning is never ended until the day we step out the door for the drive down.
 

Kingdom Konsultant

WDWMAGIC Board Sponsor
Premium Member
WDWMAGIC Sponsor
It's never too early to start planning. Booking on the other hand has to wait. Keep in mind that if you are going to want to add tickets and/or dining that you cannot add that to a room reservation.

Pam
 

tractor tipper

Well-Known Member
Depends, last trip we took I started planning it three years out. When I started had a possible 16 people going number increased to 29. Ended up with 18 going. Glad we did it last year and not this year. Sorry for those with messed up trips.
 

NelleBelle

Well-Known Member
I secretly plan out trips for our family (e.g. my youngest who's almost 14 would've run his first 1/2 marathon this July in San Francisco--pretty sure that is NOT going to happen, so I suggested to DH that maybe he and DS should do WDW 1/2 or Star Wars 1/2--I'd even do one of those again)! But DH is put off on WDW at the moment (fed up with lack of progress, crowds, self-entitled attitudes, $$$, etc) and prefers to DLR (which is great fun to visit, not as much fun to plan) 😉 This is my favorite part of the trip...the planning!!! Have fun with it!
 

Minnie1986

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
It's never too early to start planning. Booking on the other hand has to wait. Keep in mind that if you are going to want to add tickets and/or dining that you cannot add that to a room reservation.

Pam
Can I make my room reservations at the 500 day mark and then add on the DDP later? I’m already set for tickets(long story)? If not,what’s the best way to go about it?
 

Minnie1986

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I secretly plan out trips for our family (e.g. my youngest who's almost 14 would've run his first 1/2 marathon this July in San Francisco--pretty sure that is NOT going to happen, so I suggested to DH that maybe he and DS should do WDW 1/2 or Star Wars 1/2--I'd even do one of those again)! But DH is put off on WDW at the moment (fed up with lack of progress, crowds, self-entitled attitudes, $$$, etc) and prefers to DLR (which is great fun to visit, not as much fun to plan) 😉 This is my favorite part of the trip...the planning!!! Have fun with it!
I’m actually moving ~1 hr from DLR and have gone once a year for the last three years. It’ll be so weird to fly from SoCal to Orlandoinstead of the short flight from NYC.
 

Minnie1986

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Thanks for the great advice, everyone. One quick question I have since I've never started bookingplanning this far out. If I book at the 500 day mark and a special or something comes up, am I able to make adjustments? Can I not add in the DDP when I book my room?
 

Kingdom Konsultant

WDWMAGIC Board Sponsor
Premium Member
WDWMAGIC Sponsor
Can I make my room reservations at the 500 day mark and then add on the DDP later? I’m already set for tickets(long story)? If not,what’s the best way to go about it?
You cannot add dining to a room only reservation. Room only can be made at 499 days prior to your check in date. We have clients that we are able to get set up so that they don't have to cancel the room only booking and re-book it as a package. (IF you want help with this, let me know)

Pam
 

Kingdom Konsultant

WDWMAGIC Board Sponsor
Premium Member
WDWMAGIC Sponsor
Thanks for the great advice, everyone. One quick question I have since I've never started bookingplanning this far out. If I book at the 500 day mark and a special or something comes up, am I able to make adjustments? Can I not add in the DDP when I book my room?
499 days out for a room only. You can adjust it if a special comes out regarding the room portion. No you cannot add the dining to a room only booking

Pam
 

eliza61nyc

Well-Known Member
It's strange to me some times to hear all the rants about how "stressful" it is to plan a Disney vacation. Lol It personally gets me excited for my trip.
I too sorry of research all year long, I'm always checking out the restaurants because there are so many I haven't tried. So imo it's never to early.... unless of course you are driving everyone else stuck in quarantine with you crazy😜
 
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