I am a AAA associate, a former Walt Disney World cast member, and a Disney fanatic. (For real: We go to Disney at least once every year!) Here are 4 of the most common Disney planning tips I share with my friends when they need help. Have more questions? Just ask!
1. Stay on Disney property
Here are the Disney hotels we love most:
- WILDERNESS LODGE: Our No. 1 all-time favorite
- PORT ORLEANS RIVERSIDE: Where we're staying this October
- POLYNESIAN: Man, do I miss that Cast Member discount!
2. Take advantage of the Disney Dining Plan
The Disney Dining Plan is worth the money. And if you can book your vacation on dates that they offer it for free, do it now. NOW! On a related note, you'll want to make your dining reservations as soon as you are eligible – that’s 180 days in advance if you are staying at a Disney resort.
Plan some pool days in between the park days – you’ll want a break in the middle to rest your weary feet. Both water parks are great, but we prefer Typhoon Lagoon.
Try to go for at least 5 nights if your budget and schedule can swing it. Shorter vacations don’t give you enough time to see everything AND to relax. And isn't that really why you want to go on vacation?
4. Book with AAAWe always book our Disney vacation with AAA, and not just because I work here. These two benefits are why:
- AAA DIAMOND PARKING: This card lets you park as close to the entrance as possible, right next to the handicapped parking spaces. It will save you time because you don't have to wait for a tram. This is our favorite benefit of booking with AAA.
- MERCHANDISE DISCOUNTS: The AAA Diamond Savings Card will save you money on merchandise and food throughout the property. We use it to save on all our souvenirs in one big purchase at World of Disney, the main store in Downtown Disney's Marketplace.
There are other benefits for AAA members too, like hotel savings up to 35%, a preferred fireworks viewing location in the Magic Kingdom, and more. You can learn more about them here.
As much as I love going to Disney, AAA's Disney experts know even more than I do. They receive constant training and updates on the latest deals. Find an agent in your area.
We also have group called AAA Magical Members, a free program for people who are interested in learning more about Disney. You can learn more about the program here.
Do you have more Disney questions or tips to add? Join the conversation in the comments below!