7 Tips for a Last Minute Trip to Walt Disney World
A Last Minute Trip to Walt Disney World. Yep, you read the title right. You can in fact do a last minute trip to Walt Disney World despite all of us planners advising you to book at least 180 days in advance. However, flexibility is key in planning an unforgettable and enjoyable last minute trip.
These trips are great for a long weekend or a quick escape to connect with friends and family. Are you craving a vacation before it is time to head back to school? Here are some tips on how I planned a Disney World trip less than 3 weeks before travel and what to expect when planning with limited time.
may I repeat flexibility. You will need to first of all toggle between flights and resort deals to get the best prices. My trip falls under summer discounts, so I made sure to check all the resorts with summer discounts still available. We were able to find a great rate at the Grand Floridian for less then Wilderness Lodge since the summer discount was sold out at Wilderness Lodge and the standard rooms would be more.
Also be very careful when you look at air fare rates. Many airlines have changed their pricing to have a more budget friendly option where you cannot choose your seats in advance. When I changed our dates around, the flight prices varied greatly and on some options we had to pay more to have “preferred” seats to sit together.
2. Speaking of Flights
What about Magical Express? If you are booking last minute you may not get your yellow luggage tags in time. Does that freak you out? No worries and no problem! As long as you have Magical Express set up, Disney can still pick up your bags without the yellow tags.
All you need to stop is stop at the Magical Express with your baggage claim info and they can still pick up your luggage and deliver it to your room.
3. Magic Band Customization
To have your Magic Bands shipped directly to you, you must customize them in your my Disney experience account at least 11 days prior to check in. If you are within 11 days your My Disney Experience account will let you know that you will pick up your magic bands when you check into your resort.
4. Table Service Dining
Before you purchase a dining plan on a last minute trip, I recommend checking for table service availability. I was actually pleasantly surprised to find that many of my favorite locations still had a availability even in July with only 3 weeks before travel. If you can’t find what you are looking for, try to be flexible with meal times and also keep checking back.
A few days after booking, a coveted Ohana reservation popped up and I happily grabbed it. 30 days before travel is a good time to check as guests cancel reservations instead of paying their final payment. Also check 1-2 days before the meal for last minute cancellations. You can also go to the location the day of and ask about any open reservations or walk up options.
5. Must Do List
Make sure to have everyone traveling contributes to a must see list. This will help you decide if you need a base or park hopper ticket and what to book for your FastPasses. In our case, since it is a shorter trip, we made sure to do the Hopper so we can see all 4 parks but still spend extra time at Magic Kingdom.
6. My Disney Experience
Make sure you have downloaded the my Disney experience app to your smart phone or tablet to keep track of your dining and FastPasses. This is a great tool to easily check dining availability and fast passes on the go and essential for planning any trip even a last minute one.
Even if you book your trip within 60 days of travel once your FastPass+ window has opened, don’t worry things will still be available. You will want to book FastPasses as soon as possible but I recommend toggling between booking dining and fast passes to make sure you prioritizing your Must Do list.
There is a lot that goes into planning a Disney World trip and with that all crammed into a short planning window it can get tricky. Make sure to reach out to an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner to help navigate. Our services are FREE and we can help you with all of the details and make sure you check off as many as your must do items as possible!
Please feel free to contact me whether it’s a last minute vacation you want to take, or if it’s one that will take some extra planning…I’d love to help!
Julie Hauck *o*
Authorized Disney Vacation Planner- Platinum Level
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