Resources for Planning The Perfect Walt Disney World Vacation

Planning a successful Walt Disney World vacation is not exactly for the faint of heart. There are a lot of details that can make or break your dream trip. However with a friendly guide, and the right tools, planning success can achieve fabulous results. We field a lot of questions here at Walt Disney World for Grown-ups and one of the most common is "How do you know all this!" So the team thought that we should open up our virtual office door and share with you a few of our go to resources for planning the perfect Disney dream trip.

Good Old Fashioned Books

This may be the digital age, but all of us have a stack of Disney Guides on our desks. I always start off the year buying a new Birnbaum's Walt Disney World - The Official Guide. It's a slim book with coupons in the back and a great place to start, but once you've got your basics down switch to something with a bit more detail. My Birnbaum always ends up covered in post-it notes full of scribbles about things I want to go to, do, and research more.

Absolutely made for planning, the Passporter's Walt Disney World comes chocked full of planning pages. This is a Disney vacation-planning workbook with all the planning pockets and pages you need right inside. I love Passporter but unlike the Birnbaum I don't buy one every year, I buy them for every trip. With spots to tuck away memories and treasures, once my Passporter comes home from traveling it becomes a scrapbook and journal for the whole vacation.

Passporter Guide Books Become KeepsakesPassporter Guide Books Become Keepsakes

Our final go-to guide, is one that can be found in a prime spot for easy research on all our desks. The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World is an absolute must. The fun and sometimes irreverent book offers great tips and tricks for touring from both the authors and other experienced guests. Not to mention that the details and data-crunching these guys put in on all of their products is second to none.

Feel free to order these online - but all three should be available at your local bookstore.

Reliable Websites

Everyone on staff spends more than their fair share of time on and using the MyDisneyExperience website. A great place for research and planning the Disney website is a must for connecting all the magic on your trip. For fun and news throughout the year - check out the Disney Parks Blog too.

Once I know I'm going to Disney the first thing I do is decide what hotel I want to stay at, and to make that choice I start out with some of my favorite fan sites. Disney Hotels Fan has an awesome newsletter that goes out with details on all the Disney Resort Hotels. Then I get specific and hit the fan pages for specific hotels all of them are fan run sites brought to you by people who truly love the hotels and offer a deeper look at some of Disney's favorite resorts.

Websites Share Information By and For Disney FansWebsites Share Information By and For Disney Fans

Next up - it's all about the plates and our friends over at the Disney Food Blog simply can't be beat for their knowledge and expertise. Not only does the DFB offer its daily readers fantastic reviews of everything food at Walt Disney World, but I don't leave home without their e-books loaded onto my phone. These fast, friendly. downloadable DFB Guides are the best Disney dining tool you can find, and even as an experienced Disney traveler I find myself referencing them on the go.

A staple of online Disney vacation planning for as long as I can remember is a fabulous guide to just about anything you need to know about Walt Disney World. Deb Willis is the Grand Dame of Disney online; with her one stop resource she has inspired and mentored a whole generation of Disney travelers., brought to you by the authors of the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World, is the penultimate resource for learning what the crowd levels are going to be, how to create a step-by-step custom itinerary, and saving time by avoiding lines.

Of course for our ultimate online resource, our authors spend a fair amount of time going through Walt Disney World for Grown-ups to reference the previous posts and to crowd source a wealth of detailed Disney information in the friendly member forums. The Walt Disney World for Grown-ups search tool (up there in the right hand corner of the navigation bar) is designed to find what you want right on the site. Just type in a few key words!

head on over to our member forumsHome To Some of the Friendliest Disney Forums AroundHome To Some of the Friendliest Disney Forums Around

Planning Apps For On The Go

The MyDisneyExperience App is the official interface that connects your smart phone with all of your Walt Disney World plans. Loaded onto your smartphone this tool is a powerhouse for scheduling and organizing. It offers guide maps, entertainment schedules, and keeps your hotel, dining, and FastPass+ reservations right at your fingertips. To truly unlock the magic be sure you don't leave home without it.

Of course, before Disney got hip to putting the power in the palm or your hands, the go to resource for making your plan of attack on the park was Lines Mobile App. Brought to you by, Lines Mobile App will show you the rides you want to see, the wait times at them, help you create a custom a step-by-step itinerary showing when to arrive at them to avoid the long lines. It will even update on the go for the best possible routes.

Mobils Apps Give You Disney Details On The GoMobils Apps Give You Disney Details On The Go

TripIt is a general travel-planning app that I'm quite fond of. It keeps all your travel plans in one place and gives you access anytime, on any device. You can keep information for multiple trips in it, share it out with other people, and store details like reservations, confirmations, and travel club numbers. The free version offers all you can need in family travel planning, but if you're on the go an exceptional amount you can upgrade to "pro" for even more features.

These resources just scratch the surface of what's available to use when planning your Disney vacation, but they are the tried and true that our staff wouldn't be caught without. I hope that sharing our list will help you create the trip of your dreams.

If you have questions, or just need a place to chat about all things Disney travel planning, head on over to our member forums and join in the conversations!

Melissa W wrote on Fri, 01/16/2015 - 17:20:

Melissa W's picture

What a fantastic post! I appreciate having all of these resources right in one place. I used to love the books but I like being able to get almost everything online now.

Traci C wrote on Fri, 01/16/2015 - 19:24:

I love buying a new set of planning books every year..however my "Disney Bookcase" is starting to get out of control! I haven't purchased a PassPorter since 2011, but I'm thinking I need to get a new one for our Thanksgiving trip this year :)

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