Top 5 Frequently Asked Disney Vacation Questions
This is a sponsored conversation with local business Click the Mouse London.
Let’s face it, a Disney trip is a rite of passage, an experience you have to share with your kids at least once. Even if your kids aren’t big on princesses or Mickey Mouse, you don’t want your kids to miss the chance to experience the wonder and joy only a major theme park can offer.
In both Disney and Universal parks, the immersive experience can’t be beat and the level of service is second to none. But if you aren’t very familiar with Disney and Universal (like you didn’t know that The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is not actually at Disney) or you are intimidated by making arrangements yourself, then you should consider booking your vacation with an Authorized Disney or Universal travel agency.
Ryan Starkweather and Lauren Starr run Click The Mouse London, a local travel agency specializing in Disney and Universal travel packages for families from London to Windsor and surrounding areas. Their business and passion is making Disney dreams come true for other families.
Recently I sat down with Ryan and Lauren to hear some of their client’s most frequently asked Disney vacation questions.
The Top 5 Frequently Asked Disney Vacation Questions
Is the Dining Plan Worth It?
In short, yes. We always say, you are going to eat so why not pre-pay? You book the Dining plan when you purchase your trip, which means you can pay in advance for your food. We really enjoy it because it lets us feel like our trip is all-inclusive.
The Tiers Explained
Quick Service Tier 1
Now if your kids can’t sit through a meal or you don’t want many sit down meals you should consider the Quick Service (first tier) dining plan. It has two snacks and two cafeteria-style/quick service meals per person per night stay (credits are based on the number of nights you stay at a Disney resort). Because you are not eating at sit down restaurants you don’t need to worry about gratuities. Use snack credits for breakfast, or to try all the new snack options that pop up around the parks.
Disney Dining Plan Tier 2
The Disney Dining plan (second tier) gets you 1 table service meal in addition to your 1 quick service meal and 2 snacks. Many different restaurants offer character meals (where characters like Cinderella or Mickey Mouse visit your table while you eat) but these can be pricey if you pay out of pocket. When you purchase the Disney Dining plan, you can use table service credits for these meals (although a select few take two credits per person).
Deluxe Plan Tier 3
We can’t imagine eating enough food to make the Deluxe plan (third tier) good value, but for families that want to have two sit down meals and a quick service meal each day plus two snacks this is the right plan.
New in 2018 is the bonus that all three plans offer an alcoholic beverage with each quick service and table service meal!
How old do kids need to be to go to Disney?
Disney prides themselves on making rides for all ages and we agree. With a few exceptions, like Expedition to Everest, Space Mountain, Flight of Passage and Tower of Terror, 95% of rides are geared to all ages. Where else can you guarantee that you and your kids will have fun? A lot of people say to us: I have an 18 month old, are they too young? We say you will remember that trip forever and you will experience the magic through your kids’ eyes. The first time we took our daughter to Disney she was 8 months old and that is one of our favourite trip memories.
Generally, a trip to Walt Disney World is something many families want to do before their kids are 10 years old and Universal is somewhere they visit with their tweens. But this all depends on your kids and their temperament.
We try to buy experiences for our kids instead of toys as much as possible. Some of our most vivid memories are of our kids on vacation.
When should we use our Fast passes?
We think mid to late morning is usually the best time. This fluctuates if you are going back to your hotel for a break from the heat – which we usually recommend. After you use your third Fast pass you can go online to get a 4thand 5th Fast pass. By squeezing your passes in during the morning you can maximize your riding potential.
Do I need a park hopper ticket?
Generally we would say no for Disney. If you have smaller children and are visiting for at least a few days or if it is your first visit, we don’t think you need the park hopper. Travelling between parks can waste time. However, there are certainly advantages to this ticket upgrade.
First, it gives you lots of flexibility in your day. If you want to start at one park, ride all the rides but then see a special show at a second park in the same day you can. It also works well if your family is divided on their must sees.
For Universal we recommend their version of the hopper ticket. If you want to ride the Hogwarts Express, you need a park to park ticket and we think this ride is one you need to ride both ways!
Why should I book my vacation with a travel agent?
There are many pieces to a successful Disney family trip. Flights, resorts, dining packages and Fast passes all require advance planning. We hear from clients that this is daunting. Many people have heard they are supposed to book things in advance but they aren’t sure what a Fast pass is or where to meet characters for dinner. We love helping people with this. We will wake up at 6 am to book your dining or stay up until midnight to book your cruise excursions. You can also call us when you are on holiday with questions.
Special Needs Disney Travel Arrangements? No Problem.
We book many trips for people with autism and sensory challenges, says Ryan. With my background in developmental services, I am able to find all the quietest spaces if that’s what you need for travelers with sensory issues. I can arrange for special equipment like wheelchairs, walkers, or commodes and can get those sent to your resort affordably.
So What Does it Cost to Use Click the Mouse Services?
Having us at Click the Mouse London build out your trip and help you with your itinerary is free, because Disney and Universal pay agents a commission. The price you pay when booking with us is the same as if you booked directly with a travel provider. The difference is that we will provide you with personalized, consistent support from start to finish, says Ryan.
Don’t Settle for Bad Disney Advice
The thing about Disney and Universal is that if you get bad advice you won’t know any better and you could miss out, or be left feeling like it’s not quite as magical. Click the Mouse London helps you stack the deck in favor of the best family vacation yet.
Here’s How to Contact Ryan and Lauren:
Click the Mouse London offers free no-obligation estimates to Disney and Universal as well as Disney Cruises. You can ask for one by clicking on the link above today to get your trip started.
Read more: http://www.mouseducktravel.com/
We went with friends who go every year and knew the ins and outs. Helped a bunch. All your tips they did
The dining plan is TOTALLY worth it and if you catch it when they run their free dining promotion every year – SCORE. We have eaten free the last 5 or 6 times we’ve gone.
Wow that is super impressive!
We went to Disney if you months ago and some of these tips could’ve really helped us when we went. I did not even know they offered a dining package.
This is a great resource for any first time trip to Disney. There are a lot of questions you need to answer when you’re planning a trip to the Magic Kingdom.
This is helpful! We always use fast passes. We used to use the dining plan but when my daughter was considered an adult at 9, we stopped. She just doesn’t eat enough to pay the adult price and I did the math and found it cheaper to not get the plan. She still orders kid meals now at 11!
These are some great questions to answer. There is so much to think about when you are heading on a Disney holiday and you don’t want to be throwing away money on things or booking the wrong thing. So having real answers from people who have been there and done it is such a great thing.
We are excited to visit Disney again, hopefully within the next few years. My kids liked it the first time, but they were younger and needed a lot of down time.
We went to Disneyworld when the kids were 5 and 9 and I think that was a good age, I never got any dining plan but it would avoid a big problem when everyone is hungry.
Great post, I’ve never been to Disney so I would be full of questions!
This is awesome. I had no idea there was a place that could help me plan a trip to Disney. It all seem so overwhelming so help would be much appreciated.
We’re headed back to Disney in February. We took the kids several times when they were growing up and we’ve taken the grandkids several times so I’m always looking for great tips.
This definitely answers some excellent questions. I plan to bookmark this post so I can refer back to it when we start planning our next Disney adventure.
I am doing the same thing for future. Thanks for he comment.
Since I have never had the pleasure of visiting a Disney Park, so the Hopper Ticket does sound like a great advantage to have! I think that I would use it so I could see as much as possible. This is fab advice to have! Thanks so much for sharing it!
Visiting Disney was one of my favorite family vacations to date. This is great information that I have to keep in mind for booking our next trip.
These tips will definitely make a Disney trip much more smooth for anyone planning a family vacation! Very helpful. Especially the park hopper ticket and the benefits of booking with a travel agent.
I have been thinking about taking my granddaughter to Disney. She is two and I think she would have a blast.
We have been wanting to plan a trip to disney for several years now. Thank you for the tips, this takes a ton of pressure off.
I think it does make sense to book your Disney trip through an agent specializing in these tours. This is so much more convenient and saves many hassles. This is good especially if you are visiting the first time.
I m not sure I would ever do a Disney vacation, even when my husband and I have our son and if we go for another kid. We are just not those types of people and I wasn’t raised by people who brought me either. I think it is more fun to get when you’re older anyways so you can relive your youth and truly remember and appreciate it!
Maybe someday I will get to Disney.Thanks so much for sharing it!
There’s so much more planning than you’d imagine with a Disney vacation. It’s always great to get the inside scoop. We live down the street from Disneyland, but when we first went to Walt Disney World we needed all the help we could get.
These are great tips! I also wonder about the meal plan, but it’s always nice not to have to worry about that at the time1