I am not the only person at work visiting Walt Disney World this year. Two of my friends, Kath and Mary, are also looking forward to Disney holidays, and in terms of holiday booking and organisation they are polar opposites.
You see Kath is fairly organised and knows where she wants to go, she is ready and waiting to set her fast passes and pre book her meals. Mary is a bit of a turn up at the airport kind off gal, hubby does all the booking and arranging, and this suits Mary down to the ground.
A couple of weeks ago Kath and I were discussing our booking at the Be Our Guest restaurant. (Which I must say, we are beside ourselves about dining in the Beasts castle, with the snow falling at the windows outside) Mary declared she had never heard of ‘Be Our Guest’. (Yes, I too though she may have been living under a rock) Kath and I started by finding a Youtube video of this amazing Disney restaurant, which she fell in love with instantly.
We couldn’t believe that she literally had no idea how to plan her holiday to get the best from the Disney Parks. So we set about telling Mary all she needed to know and how to plan a trip to Disney.
It actually shocked me that Mary didn’t know all of this information, but the fact is, if you do not access My Disney Experience , and if somebody else is arranging the booking, you could miss it. As Mary is staying off site she thought pre booking did not apply to her, however it doesn’t matter whether you stay on or off site, you can still access and pre book via the My Disney Experience website and app.
So let me take you through the benefits of My Disney Experience. Firstly you need the Walt Disney World Little Big Book of Magic. This is a pocket sized guidebook that is full of hints, tips and maps for Walt Disney World.
It has great advice such as height restrictions for rides, and tips for exploring Florida. The great thing is it comes in a downloadable version so you can add it to your bookstore to save on extra luggage.
Next you need to sign up for My Disney Experience, this is incredible. You can book restaurants, book a fastpass, check out Disney Park opening hours and completely personalise you whole Disney experience all via the website and app. For me this has made the whole experience so exciting, I can visit my Disney holiday once a week and get absorbed in planning my experience.
Here are my favourite features of My Disney Experience.
Firstly you can see the park opening hours for the day you are visiting, if you are staying on site you can also see which parks are offering the extra magic hours. I went through and wrote a plan of which parks were open longer on which days. This is a great starting point to plan your restaurant bookings.
Once you have planned your Disney Park schedule you can then plan meals. I know this may seem weird booking so far in advance, but there are so many exciting themed restaurants and they do get busy. Booking in advance guarantees you will get a table at your chosen time.
You can also search character experiences and plot where they will be at certain times throughout the day, you can save these times to your reminders, now this does not serve a fast pass. But I don’t know about you, I sometimes forget with all that’s going on, and miss the boys favourite characters. This way its in your schedule so you don’t forget.
And last but not least fastpass+, this is amazing, and so exciting. You can now book fast passes from home. The great thing is that this is not restricted to on site guests. If you are staying off site you can book your fast passes 30 days in advance, and 60 days if staying on site. I just love this, as I know we are not going to miss our favourite rides, we can set them as fast passes and they will show in our itinerary. See the short tutorial I have made below on how to use you fastpass+.
As you can see there is so much on the My Disney Experience site and app, and even better; WiFi is free at Walt Disney World. You can access your plans and even change them whilst you are on the go in the parks. I adore the fact that when we arrive at Disney I will not be stressing about booking restaurants and getting to parks early to book fast passes as I will have it all under control.
And you will be pleased to know that Mary has now booked into Be Our Guest and is happily setting fast passes and bookmarking experiences ready for her trip.
Check out my top Walt Disney World Booking Tips here.