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How Far In Advance Should You Book Your Disney World Vacation?

Updated: Jan 26, 2023

As a Travel Agent specializing in Disney destinations, I often get asked “How far in advance should I book a Disney World vacation?”  My answer – as soon as possible.  Disney World requires a LOT of planning if you want to make the most out of your time there and really needs to be booked more than six months in advance.  Why, you ask?  Here are just a few reasons below:

  1. Availability. The earlier you book, the more options you will have as far as resorts and room choices.  Disney gets more popular every single day, and resorts can get booked up quickly, especially during peak times. 

  2. Dining. Did you know that dining reservations can be made 180 days in advance?  For popular restaurants (especially character meals), if you aren’t booking at 180 days – you may very well not get the reservation you want.  In some cases (such as when free dining has been offered), it is even difficult to get the popular reservations at the 180 day mark.  Don’t miss out on that special  meal with Mickey & friends because you waited too late to book your vacation!

  3. Discounts. When you book ahead six months or more, you are booking without any discounts.  However, once a discount is released, your travel agent will automatically apply the discount for you if applicable to your dates – or will let you know if modifying your dates or resort will give you a better discount.  Discounts such as Free Dining are becoming harder and harder to come by, and your best chance is to already have a reservation booked.

  4. Why Not Put Your Vacation on Lay-a-way? How many other vacation options allow you to put a small deposit ($200 per room) with final payment not due until 30 days prior to your trip?  Cancellation up to that point is completely refundable.  Even renting a condo at the beach usually requires 50% up front.  This is a great way to save up for a vacation you’ll always remember!   Payments can be made as often as you want in increments of at least $20. 

Bottom line – you have nothing to lose planning ahead and booking your vacation in advance.  Only $200 down reserves your package and gets you on track to have the best vacation ever! 

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