Disney Vacation Planning: Do and Definitely Do List
November 10, 2021
There’s always a good reason to visit Walt Disney World® Resort or the Disneyland® Resort, whether it’s a holiday, a milestone celebration or just because. And planning a Disney vacation can feel like a special occasion, too—especially when you use your Disney® Visa® Credit Card to maximize your perks and Rewards Dollars. As you plot your next adventure, we’ve got helpful tips for every step of the way. Here’s our list of the practical things any Guest should do for a Disney getaway, as well as the pro-level checklist items that Cardmembers should definitely do to take it to the next level.
Begin planning your vacation about a year in advance.
Look ahead to the perfect dates for your Disney vacation about 12 months out. Starting a year in advance sets you up for the most options possible for lodging and special experiences, particularly during busy times like holidays or festivals.
Take advantage of special vacation financing.
Book a qualifying vacation package to Walt Disney World® Resort or the Disneyland® Resort with your Disney Visa Card to get special vacation financing and make your dream getaway possible.1 Reserve your package and you’ll be set up for accommodations, theme park admission and more.
Make reservations for popular restaurants.
Many Disney restaurants open reservations 60 days in advance, so mark your calendar and set a reminder to jump in and book your meals two months before you arrive. This is especially important for popular restaurants, such as Be Our Guest Restaurant in Magic Kingdom® Park and Le Cellier Steakhouse in EPCOT® at Walt Disney World® Resort, or Carthay Circle Restaurant in Disney California Adventure® Park and Blue Bayou Restaurant in Disneyland® Park at the Disneyland® Resort.
Check our dining perks guide to find locations where you can save.
Cardmembers, remember you can save 10% at select Disney restaurants most days when you pay with your Disney Visa Card.23 There are simply too many delicious possibilities to list here, so check out our Disney Rewards Dining Perks Guide to explore the full list of locations where your perk applies.
Book unforgettable experiences with Enchanting Extras.
Add some more excitement to your agenda with the Enchanting Extras collection at Walt Disney World® Resort. Choose from a variety of separate activities—like building your own Star Wars-inspired droid, posing for adorable pictures during a Capture Your Moment photo session at iconic locations like Cinderella Castle and more.
Redeem Disney Rewards Dollars toward activities.
Don’t forget you can redeem your Disney Rewards Dollars toward fun treats and experiences all around the Disney parks. Try a new snack, pick up a memento at one of the shops or book an Enchanting Extra as mentioned above.4 Make sure to load up your Disney Rewards Redemption Card to take on your vacation so that you can enjoy using what you’ve earned.
Get Memory Maker or Disney PhotoPass+ for photo downloads.
Add this to your collection of souvenirs you’ll treasure long after your getaway. You can easily snap precious photos to remember your vacation for years to come with Disney’s help. Simply purchase Memory Maker at Walt Disney World® Resort or a Disney PhotoPass+ product at the Disneyland® Resort for digital downloads of iconic, professional photos taken by Disney photographers. Disney Photopass service terms and expiration policy applies.
Visit the Cardmember-exclusive Magic Shot locations.
Stop by private Cardmember locations where your Disney Visa Card grants you access for complimentary photo opportunities.25 At Walt Disney World® Resort, you’ll find the Magic Shot at EPCOT®, next to Journey Into Imagination With Figment, and the Star Wars Magic Shot at Star Wars Launch Bay in Disney’s Hollywood Studios® Park. At the Disneyland® Resort, you’ll find the Magic Shot at Disney’s California Adventure® Park next to Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue! and the Star Wars Magic Shot at Star Wars Launch Bay in Disneyland® Park.
Look out for special Parks-only souvenirs.
Pick up the perfect gift for any Disney fan (yourself included, of course) with clothing, accessories and collectibles you can only find at Disney parks. Not only can you purchase parks-exclusive merchandise, but you can also enjoy one-of-a-kind shopping experiences with a Disney twist, like adopting a banshee at Windtraders at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Park.
Use your Cardmember shopping perk to save.
Shop with your Disney Visa Card and save 10% on select merchandise purchases of $50 or more at select locations throughout the parks.26 The savings could help add up to a few extra goodies and treats throughout your vacation.
Spend some time exploring outside the theme parks.
Include some time in your itinerary to shop and dine around Disney Springs® at Walt Disney World® Resort and the Downtown Disney® District at the Disneyland® Resort. You won’t want to miss the chance to check out even more delicious dishes, awesome sights and fun details outside of the parks.
Save on snacks and merchandise at participating locations.
Cardmembers can take advantage of perks at participating locations around Disney Springs® and the Downtown Disney® District.278 Check out the Disney Rewards Guide to Cardmember Perks at Disney Springs® and the Disneyland® Resort Perks page to start dreaming of ways to enjoy your savings.
We wish you a wonderful Disney vacation! In case you still have room in your schedule and want to keep planning, we’ve rounded up further reading. Take a look at A Dream Disney Vacation Planning Timeline, then keep dreaming and start counting down the days until your adventure begins.
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