Walt Disney World Vacation Planning Online Resources
You can utilise several great Walt Disney World online planning resources to not only plan your next magical vacation, but to keep the magic alive after you get home too!
Whether you're taking your 1st trip or your 100th, there are many great resources online to keep you up to date with all the goings on at Walt Disney World. The online Disney community is rich with enthusiasts who love to share their knowledge and passion for all things Disney, answering your questions and helping you to plan the most magical trip. Below are my top 8 resources for planning a Walt Disney World vacation and delving into the Disney community.
Because 5 is too few and 10 is too common!
AllEars.net has been up and running for over 15 years now, originally known as 'Deb's Disney Digest', there are currently over 13,000 pages of information, including; parks, resorts, cruise line and dining. The sites owner, Deb Wills is a recognized WDW expert, invited to many special events and celebrations, including the maiden voyage of Disney Cruise Lines newest ship, The Disney Dream. AllEars.net is one of the greatest unofficial WDW resources for dining information, with regularly updated menus from every eatery on WDW property. Be sure to sign up to their weekly newsletter! With over 129,000 subscribers, this weekly newsletter will keep the most seasoned veteran, to the WDW beginner, entertained with the latest information, helpful tips, reviews, previews and interviews.
Mousebuzz.com is a dedicated Disney forum. Primarily used to discuss news and events for Walt Disney World, there are several sub forums to cover the other Disney theme parks and the Disney Cruise line, as well as boards to talk about Disney trivia, movies, and anything else. Here, you will find a friendly, thriving community of Disney enthusiasts. Most members are based in America, but there are many members from various other locations around the globe. This is a great forum to sign up to, if you have a question, they have an answer.
3. The Dibb
The Dibb.com - Also known as, 'Disney with a British Accent' is a UK based community for Disney fans. Consisting of an information website and a forum, you can find all you need to know about Disney here. What caught my attention in particular was that they have a space to advertise and book Villa rentals. Users of the forums can advertise the Villas they own, prices etc and you can communicate and book through the provided forum boards and webpages. There are also several representatives from UK and American based ticket companies and travel agents who are active on the forums, with dedicated boards to requesting prices and advice. For the younger Disney fans in your family, they also have 'Kids Only' forums, which are monitored and offer the children a safe environment to talk about Disney.
4. Disney World & Orlando Unofficial Guide
WDisneyW.com was one of the first ever online resources I used way back in 2002 to plan our first ever Walt Disney World vacation. Their site is very easy to navigate, with updated content on all areas of the WDW resort and Orlando area. Their forums are home to a mixture of UK and American users, which have organized several 'meet ups' in both countries for their members. A great source of information, including reviews, gallery’s and affiliated with several well priced ticket operators.
PassPorter.com - Ready to plan your dream Disney vacation? Not only is this an online resource, but an offline one as well. What do you do when you're faced with hundreds of decisions on what to do, where to eat, and where to stay? The Passporter is a travel guide, a planner, an organizer, a journal and a keepsake book, all in one neat, take-it-anywhere package. Not only an in park guide book, filled with maps, touring guides, budget planner and storage pockets, but, it also comes in several variations specific to the type of vacation you might be taking, for example Disney Weddings, Disney Cruise, or a Disney Vacation to the California park. Also available in e-book form. They offer many downloadable and printable pages for your existing PassPorter to keep it up to date or to add something new. The winner of twelve national book awards, it is one of the most honoured Disney guide books. Joining their community gives you access to a very active forum and the opportunity to join their 'club', offering you an 'all you can read' access to their e-books, e-worksheets and more.
6. WDW Radio Show
WDW Radio - an award winning podcast dedicated to celebrating the magic of Walt Disney World. Listen to it in your browser or download the latest episode to your iPhone/iPod via iTunes. They also have a Newscast via their YouTube Channel, some of the latest broadcasts coming live from the Disney Dream. Run by Lou Mongello, an internationally recognized expert and Disney historian, his weekly podcasts of updates, rumours, news and trivia have also included interviews with Julie Andrews, Cat Cora and Jim Korkis, as well as numerous Disney Legends and other leading members of the online Disney community. Be sure to check out Lou's print magazine, Celebrations Press, a bi-monthly print publication that American, Canadian, and UK residents can subscribe to. If you need another Disney forum to sign up to, check out the WDW Radio Show forums, one of the most active Disney-centric forums online.
7. Touring Plans
Touring Plans.com - for those who need some guidance of how best to spend their time at Walt Disney World, they have been offering tailored touring plans since 1985. What's a touring plan? Well, a touring plan is an 'itinerary' of what is suggested you do on a particular day to maximize your time and enrich your experience at WDW. They have a wide range of plans, from travelling with small children to active seniors. There are many park centric plans and, once you have some experience or WDW knowledge behind you, you also have the option to create your own plans. For someone who fancies a challenge or really has only one day to see and do everything in a WDW park, check out their Ultimate plans and see if you can beat the current records.
8. Crowd Calendar @ Touring Plans
Crowd Calender deserves it's own spot on this list for being so fantastic. A must use resource for any WDW traveller, seasoned or first time. They have collected over a decades worth of wait times, weather reports and calendar events that, when brought together with the brain of a very clever statistician, presents to you a highly accurate crowd level estimation for 365 days of the year. Perfect if you're not sure about the best times of year to go or are concerned about crowd levels on dates you've booked. They provide park recommendations for certain dates and, of course, a touring plan to go along with it.
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