Tips for Starting To Plan Your 2017 Walt Disney World Vacation

It's almost January, that prime moth of planning for Walt Disney World travelers around the world? Disney veterans know that now is the time to get your ducks in a row before those prime reservation spots open and the rush is on to snag those perfect meal times, parties, and rooms for summer. We've got a few important things for you to keep in mind while planning your 2017 trip to Walt Disney World.

Tips for Starting To Plan Your 2017 Walt Disney World VacationTips for Starting To Plan Your 2017 Walt Disney World Vacation

Non-Park Days

Are you looking to extend your stay without adding more park days? Disney Deluxe Resorts often offer extensive pools, marinas, and activity programs to keep you busy on non-Park days. Don't forget the fantastic golf, sport-fishing, and spas you can indulge in at Walt Disney World.

In addition the new Disney Springs shopping, dining, and entertainment complex has more than a days worth of fun for the whole clan to enjoy. While it doesn't cost anything to stroll the grounds of Disney Spring, guests can splurge on first run movies at the AMC Theater, bowl a round or two at Splitsville, cruise the lake in an Amphibicar from the Boathouse, explore DisneyQuests interactive gaming, soar overhead with Characters in Flight, catch a showing of La Nouba, or a concert at the House of Blues.

New Districts Opened In Disney SpringsDisney Springs Is A Day Long Shopping & Dining Adventure

Special Event Dates

Not sure what time of year you want to go? Keep in mind these special events that can add a different flavor to your Walt Disney World Vacation

  • Epcot International Festival of the Arts, January 13 - February 27, 2017
  • runDisney Marathon Weekend, January 04 - January 08, 2017
  • runDisney Princess 1/2 Marathon Weekend, February 23 - February 26, 2017
  • Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, March through May 2017
  • runDisney Star Wars 1/2 Marathon, April 20 - April 23, 2017
  • Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, September through mid-November 2017
  • Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party, Select nights September though October 2017
  • runDisney Wine & Dine 1/2 Marathon Weekend, November 2 - November 5, 2017
  • Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, Select nights November through December 2017
  • Epcot's Holidays Around The World, mid-November through December 2017

Special Events Are A Fun Way To Enhance Your TravelSpecial Events Are A Fun Way To Enhance Your Travel

Planning For New Openings

Lots of people are waiting for the world of Pandora to open and bring a brand new land of fun to Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park. Currently, it's slated to open in "Summer 2017." Disney likes to keep opening dates vague until they're sure the show is ready to go on (they don't need another Rivers of Light debacle). Just because it says that it will be open for "Summer" that doesn't mean it will be ready to go on June 1st. We travelers can always hope for the best, but if you want to be sure to catch a "Summer" opening, you may want to plan your trip for a little later in the summer to avoid disappointment.

Summer 2017 Doesn't Always Mean June 1stSummer 2017 Doesn't Always Mean June 1st

Concerning Crowds and Weather

Atlantic Hurricane Season runs from June 1st through November 30th. I would never suggest not traveling because it's hurricane season, but it may be worth buying travel insurance during this time of year, especially if you'll be heading out on the Disney Cruise Line.

June through September are the hottest and rainiest months of the year in Florida. If you struggle in the heat, I suggest avoiding traveling at this time of year. However if you flourish like a hot house orchid, pack a rain poncho and keep on touring!

The week around the 4th of July, and Christmas are the two busiest weeks of the year at Walt Disney World. If you don't love crowds, you really want to avoid these weeks.

Be Prepared for the WeatherBe Prepared for the Weather

Reservations Are Important

Advance Dining Reservations for restaurants at Walt Disney World open 180 days in advance. If you are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort, you can make reservations for 180 Days +10 from your arrival date. Yes, you really do need to plan that far ahead, especially for some of the more popular locations.

FastPass+ Reservations for Walt Disney World Hotel Guests open 60 in advance of your arrival date. For guests staying off property, FastPass+ Reservations open up 30 days in advance. You must have ticket media in advance in order to be able to use those services.

Special Event Tickets commonly sell out at Walt Disney World. So while you may possibly have the option to buy them while you're on site, if you want to be sure your place is saved its always best to purchase in advance.

With those things in mind - I wish you happy planning! Now get to it! When can we expect to see you in 2017?

Jon Stallings wrote on Wed, 12/28/2016 - 16:32:

Jon Stallings's picture

We have our reservations in for November 27th - December 2nd. It will be our first Christmas time at WDW. Although our wedding anniversary is actually in June this is our trip to also celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. (Our honeymoon was at WDW)

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