Hi fellow Disney friends! When it comes to planning your Walt Disney World vacation, you might need a little help. After all, there is always so much to do and experience, especially when a new attraction or show opens up. To ensure that you’re not missing all the Disney must-dos, I’ve gathered up the very best Disney planning sites to help your trip go off without a hitch.
Let’s get started!
If you’re anything like me, you may have used Expedia to book a hotel once or twice for a local getaway. However, you may be surprised to learn that Expedia can also help you book your Disney World vacation!
Expedia allows you to browse Disney World hotels, including their reviews and star ratings. This is an excellent feature that isn’t offered on Disney’s website. Of course, there are no “bad” Disney World hotels, but each one could have its drawbacks for guests, depending on their interests, mobility, and what they’re looking for.
Even if you’d rather book your hotel through Disney’s actual website or your official Disney travel agent, check here first to learn more about guests’ firsthand experiences.
Tripadvisor is an excellent source for anyone visiting Walt Disney World for the first time because they offer suggestions on the top things to do at the parks, as well as where to stay and eat. Granted, many of these top suggestions tend to be on the higher end, but you can still browse through all of your options in one place. Best of all, they all have photos taken by guests outside of Disney Castmembers, so it offers a more realistic take on the setting.
Another great feature of Tripadvisor is that it offers hotel suggestions, both on and off-property, that are top-rated by travelers. Likewise, this website also provides answers to common questions asked by travelers, such as “What are the most popular things to do in Walt Disney World with kids?” According to Tripadvisor: Festival of the Lion King, Avatar Flight of Passage, Disney Springs, and Fantasmic!
While both Expedia and Tripadvisor are great resources to plan your Disney trip, they’re not centered around Disney World. So let’s move on to those magical experts:
Touring Plans is considered one of the best Disney planning sites for a few reasons, but mainly because of their step-by-step ride itineraries and crowd calendars.
A crowd calendar takes data from the previous calendar year and applies it to the current one so you can determine when will be the best and cheapest time to visit Walt Disney World. Likewise, their ride itinerary (which does require a subscription) helps you ride your favorite attractions with fewer wait times. Their app even tells you how long it’ll take you to walk to your next ride – it’s that detailed!
Outside of their subscription, Touring Plans offers insight into all four Disney theme parks, as well as the water parks and Disney Springs. They provide an overview of everything you need to know to plan your vacation step-by-step, from deciding when to go to creating a budget that works for you, and how to make the most of your time when you get there. Touring Plans is great for knowing those kinds of details.
Undercover Tourist is like your one-stop shop for all things Disney (and other things around Orlando, but more on that later).
So what do they offer? Well, the short answer is everything you could possibly need to plan your vacation. This includes where to eat, where to stay, current and future ride refurbishments, seasonal guides, and more. What I personally love about Undercover Tourist is that they feature a ton of posts on disability travel, including how to use a wheelchair, an overview of Disney’s Disability Access Services (DAS), and where to go when those in your party need a little sensory break.
When traveling to Disney World with my autistic nephew, knowing where we can go to get away from the crowds has been great and I’m so grateful to Undercover Torust for providing that handy guide.
Though Undercover Tourist does provide planning resources to make your trip to the parks easier and more enjoyable, they also sell official, discounted park tickets. Depending on what kind of ticket package you purchase, you can save up to $81 compared to what you’d pay on Disney’s official website.
When I say that Undercover Tourist is your one-stop shop, I really mean it!
Disney Food Blog
Disney Food Blog was one of the first Disney planning sites to really become mainstream, and truthfully, had it not been for them, WDW Vacation Tips may not even exist! They made it okay to love Disney and want to write about it!
When Disney Food Blog, or DFB, first burst onto the scene, its focus was on food at the parks. While they have branched into other territories, including all the latest news and changes at the park, food is still at the heart of what they do and that’s what I want to talk about because their guides can be so beneficial to planning your Disney World vacation.
With so many places to dine in Walt Disney World, it’s nice to get a little help regarding where you should go, how much it’ll cost, and what the experience is like. Unfortunately, you only get half of the story on Disney World’s actual website (are they really going to say that the food served at Coral Reef Restaurant is subpar?) But with Disney Food Blog, you’re getting legitimate insight into what the dining experience is actually like and whether or not real live people thought it was worth it.
On top of these reviews, they also offer their insight. For example, while dining at the Crystal Palace in Magic Kingdom, they recommend requesting a window seat so you can see some of the events and shows happening on Main Street, U.S.A. (we agree!). Likewise, when talking about San Angel Inn Restaurante, they mention that the food has been inconsistent, to which again, I agree.
WDW Prep Scool
Questions about Disney Genie? Is it worth it? How does it work? Do you really NEED it for your Disney World vacation? These questions and more are answered at WDW Prep School!
WDW Prep School offers detailed, up-to-date crowd calendars, tips on how to snag those hard-to-get dining reservations, and even talks about the best restaurants you can eat at while traveling on the Disney Skyliner!
What I really like about WDW Prep School is that each Disney restaurant blog links to the full menu on Disney’s website, so you can make an accurate food budget. This has come in handy for me so many times!
The Walt Disney World Website
Of course, the Walt Disney World website is going to be great for learning about what there is to do and where to stay, as well as booking your trip and making dining reservations. It’s also perfect for booking other special things, like Memory Maker. Being able to do this all in one place is the upside to utilizing this website.
However, for planning purposes, look to these other sites. As mentioned above, Disney’s website is going to make everything sound great, so you’re never going to get an insider’s view. While I’d recommend most things at Disney, it doesn’t count for everything, which brings me to my next Disney planning site recommendation, which is…
WDW Vacation Tips
I’d be remiss to not include us on this list of the best Disney planning sites. At WDW Vacation Tips, we’re Disney fans first and writers second. All of us on the team have been visiting the theme parks for years and love being able to share our knowledge with you.
So if you’re new here, what can you expect? Well, a little bit of everything! We offer personalized tips for all your Magic Kingdom Must Dos, as well as Everything You Need to Know About Disney Genie and Disney Genie+. We even offer helpful guides on things to do outside of the parks, such as 20+ Free Things to Do in Orlando, as well as interesting trivia such as the Jaw-Dropping List of All Disney Sponsors in Disney World.
Whatever you need, we’re happy to provide it on our website. We thank you all for following along and checking out our list of the best Disney planning sites!
Do you have questions about planning your trip to Walt Disney World? We welcome you to follow our Facebook page and drop your questions. We’re here to help!
As a self-proclaimed Mouseketeer, Courtney Dercqu is a fan of all things Disney. Between decorating her desk with souvenirs from the park, to making unique mouse ears and having a dedicated Disney Instagram, Courtney is a true believer in the magic of a Walt Disney World vacation. Having had more than 200 articles published on various content, Courtney’s excited to share her knowledge and experience with everyone! Be sure to follow her on Instagram for all the Disney magic.
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