How To Book A Disney World Holiday! Part 1

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If you have been following me on here you will know about my slight obsession with Disney World! Disney World for people that don't know, is the one in Orlando, Florida (Disneyland is in California & Disneyland Paris is of course in France and so on) and I have been lucky enough to visit 4 times and I am currently planning my 5th for my Honeymoon, or Disneymoon as I like to call it.

Now a holiday to the world is a holiday like no other, and it really is helpful to do as much planning for your trip as possible, for me this is great as I am such an obsessive planner, but for others it can be really daunting and overwhelming. 




My next trip is a looong 18 months away, but I have already started making plans of where I want to stay and what I want to do, I personally think its never too early to start planning, and it also takes the stress off, so there's nothing wrong with a big countdown to your trip.

This blog series will be split in to 3 posts, simply because there is so much to talk about if I put everything in to one post it would be too much info to take in! So I am going to start off talking about Flights and Accommodation, part 2 will be about park tickets, and part 3 will be about car hire, food and spending money. Lets get started!


FLIGHTS

Flights is one of the main things you need to start with. You need to know a rough idea of dates and also the airports you are willing to fly from. Direct flights during off-peak times are usually around £450-£600 per person if you are booking separately and not a package, many people find doing everything separately can save a lot of money. If you are travelling in school holidays you can expect to pay around £800-£1000 per person for a direct flight, so you might want to consider flying indirect via New York or Atlanta to keep the costs down.

 Flights are usually only available 11 months before your return date, so although it is one of the earlier things to plan, you may have to wait before you can actually book. I have found that Thomas Cook release their flights earlier, but are often lower in price if you can wait until the 11 month mark.

There are 2 main airports around the Orlando area, these are Orlando International and Sanford. Most airlines fly directly to Orlando though Thomson fly to Sanford. Sanford is outside of Orlando and takes roughly an hour to get to the main tourist areas or Disney. Orlando airport is about 20 minutes away so it is often preferred to fly to here. However, it has been known that because Sanford is a much smaller airport, you can be off the plane, through immigration and on the bus/in your hire car in around 45 minutes, though Orlando has been known to have over 2 hour queues through immigration, this therefore equals out when comparing travel time. 
You can also fly to Tampa (2 hours away) or Miami (I think about 4 hours away).

Recommended websites for Flights:




ACCOMMODATION

Equally important as flights is where you will be staying. You have the options of on disney property in one of their hotels, an offsite villa or condo or an offsite hotel in one of the nearby areas, Lake Buena Vista or International Drive probably being the most popular. The onsite vs offsite debate is ongoing and you will get many different responses as to why people prefer each option. Here are some pros and cons for both that usually get mentioned:

Onsite
Pros: Convenient for the parks, Great theming, Free transport, No need for a hire car, Early entry to the parks on certain days, Occasional 'Free Dining' offer, Free Parking
Cons: 'In your face' Disney, Amount of children, Feeling in a 'bubble' or 'trapped', Small rooms, Can be very expensive.

Offsite
Pros: Offsite restaurants, Cheaper accommodation, Less restricted to dining reservations, More space, Private pool if staying in a villa
Cons: Parking fees at theme parks, Further distance especially if staying in a villa, Less 'Disney Magic' 

I have always stayed offsite, but for my next trip we are considering a split stay. A week on disney property and then 2 weeks or 10 days offsite, this way we can give onsite a try and see what we think. I see this as a great option if you cannot decide or like the idea of both options, I think it will be the best of both worlds!

There is also of course the choice to stay onsite at a Universal Studios hotel, staying at these gives you great perks such as being in walking distance to the Universal parks and early entry, the deluxe hotels also give you free Front Of Line Passes for each day of your stay! 

Recommended websites for hotel bookings:

Disney Direct (disney hotels)


Recommended websites for packages (hotel & flight):


Part 2 coming soon with everything you need to know about PARK TICKETS!


xox















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