This is part 2 of what to know before you go to WDW. I would like to know what other things you have found that work too.
Crowd size is another factor that will affect your trip. Walt Disney World has different “seasons” of the year. These seasons are based upon attendance levels in the parks. Obviously, the “peak seasons,” or highest attendance times of the year, are when school is out or on vacation. Thus, Easter/Spring Break, summer, and Christmas are the busiest times to vacation. If you have the opportunity, it is generally cheaper and less crowded during non-peak season times.
The reality is that if you have a chance to go during the off-peak season times you should. Crowd size can definitely make your Walt Disney World experience a positive or negative one. I know several families that did not take crowd size into account when they were planning their trip to Disney. They just thought it was packed all year long. Unfortunately, they did not have a great experience on their vacation, as they went during Spring Break, when they could have waited a few weeks later and gone in early May when the crowd levels were lower.
A little research can go a long way so it is worth your time to check out some information about the lower attendance times at Walt Disney World and see if you may be able to work your vacation around those times.
Finally where you are staying can make a huge difference. Basically it comes down to two main choices, staying on-site at a Walt Disney World Resort or staying off-site. Every family is different but the off-site hotels for the most part tend to be a bit cheaper and sometimes larger if you rent a villa. But staying on-site immerses you in the Disney magic 24-7! Free transportation throughout Walt Disney World, Extra Magic Hours, plus other benefits may make paying a bit more to stay on-site, with possibly in a smaller room, well worth it. In fact, you also need to weigh how much you will really spend in your room.
If you are planning to spend most of your time in the parks and not in your room, then staying on-site is probably for you. I cannot tell you how many times people have told me they didn‟t have a great experience because for their first trip to Disney, they stayed off-site. I think if you have been to Walt Disney World before then staying on-site isn‟t as crucial. But if it will be your first time to Disney, you most likely would want to experience the continuous Disney Magic!