This is the third part of our Disney planning series.
The planning continues as we approach the six month mark. Here’s what you should do six-months prior to your Disney trip!
Part 3 -Traveling to “The World”
Here’s What To Do 6 Months Prior
By: Crystal Seaton
So here we are….6 months prior to your Disney trip! Now it starts to get real.
To recap, you have booked your trip, paid your deposit, made any payments you choose to make, and started thinking about park days, special events, and dining reservations.
Now the magical time has arrived. At 180 days prior to travel, you can start booking some of your dining and special events. Booking dining at this point is very, very important.
If you are not sure what your 180 day magical date is, there are calculators available online, but you can also call Disney Dining and they will give you the date.
Think you want to meet Pluto while you eat?
Want to dine in Cinderella Castle or Beast’s Castle?
Want a special meal at California Grill or Narcossee timed to watch Wishes (Magic Kingdom’s fireworks) from your table or the special viewing areas?
180 days is your magic number.
How does this work?
Well at 180 days prior to arrival, you can start booking these reservations. If you are staying onsite at Disney, then you can book all of your reservations for up to 10 days of your stay at 180 days from your check-in day. If you are staying offsite, you will have to make each day’s reservation at 180 days from that day.
At 6 a.m. Eastern Time, 180 days prior to your trip, you can make your reservations online via your online account at www.MyDisneyExperience.com. You will want to have this account set up a few days in advance and have your resort reservation linked to this account.
Most Disney Travel Agents will be more than happy to help you with this step.
If you prefer to work with a person over the phone, that option is available at 7 a.m. Eastern Time. Call 1-800-WDW-DINE and they will be happy to help you make those reservations. It is helpful to have your email address (the one you are using for your My Disney Experience Account), your cell number, and your resort reservation number available.
Several restaurants also have a credit card guarantee policy (even if you are on the dining plan) so make sure to have that ready to go.
Most importantly, make sure to know what you want before it is time to make your reservations and have back-ups in place. Several restaurants do fill up quickly. If you are trying to get things like Cinderella Royal Table, Be Our Guest, Ohana, or Chef Mickey’s, ask for those first.
If you are trying to get an early morning (before the park opens) reservation, ask for those next. If you are trying to get a specific time due to firework or Illuminations viewing at the restaurant, go for those next.
Lastly, remember, using a good travel agent that knows their Disney makes all of this stress free. They will help you have those plans in place and will be the one up early booking those reservations. Because 6 a.m. doesn’t sound so bad if you live on the East Coast, but it is still early. And those of you further West….well who wants to make reservations essentially in the middle of the night? Not me.
Also, check out:
Disney World Trip Planning – One Year Before Your Trip
Crystal Seaton is a wife, a mom, and a travel agent. She travels to Walt Disney World multiple times per year and also cruises and visits Disneyland as often as possible. She is the owner of Magical Vacations By Crystal and affiliated with Custom Travel Professionals, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. Crystal also blogs at WDW Divas along with a few of her fabulous colleagues.