Preparing for Disney: Reservations

Ack, I can’t believe how close our trip is getting. I have been busy making lists, starting piles to pack and making reservations. I feel like I still have a million things to do! We have made a lot of progress on all of the reservations we wanted to make and I wanted to share what we have so far.

I am getting more relieved and excited that we decided on the Amtrak Auto Train. We can buy everything we need for the trip, not worry about luggage weights and can travel in comfort. We are staying in one of their bedrooms which will give Parker room to play and for all of us to sleep. The trip includes dinner and a continental breakfast so we don’t have to worry about food. We also decided to pay the extra fee so that our car was one of the first 20 cars off at our destination. I can’t wait to share a video of our cabin and what the experience was like!

I feel like a kid getting so giddy about the Disney Magic Bands! What a fantastic idea on Disney’s part. No need to carry tickets, room keys, cash or even credit cards. You can swipe into your room, the park, check in at FastPass+ locations, add pictures to your Memory Maker account, pay for meals and even purchase souvenirs. Plus, you can personalize them by choosing your favorite color and adding your own bling!

One of the best parts of a vacation is all of the photos you get to look at when you return. I know we always struggle with pictures of all of us together because someone has to take the picture. In the past, while we loved a lot of the pictures taken, they were too expensive to purchase.

I was thrilled when someone told me about the Disney Memory Maker package. One package for any pictures taken around the park, character meals and even ride attractions! Even better, it can be purchased ahead of time for only $149. You can also link up the confirmation number to all of the magic bands in your party so all of your photo memories can be found in one place! You can view all of your photos in your My Disney Experience (more below).

We went back and forth about getting a dinning plan. Rob and I had one when we went a few years ago and it really was convenient. At first we got a quote for the price and thought it was much higher than what we would spend individually. Then I started crunching the numbers. I took into account some of the places we wanted to eat, the fact that there would be 3 of us eating at each meal and what groceries we would need to buy. After seeing that total, I was convinced a Disney Dining Plan was the way to go. If nothing else, it gave me an exact number to budget for.

We decided on the dining plan that would give us a quick service meal, a sit down meal and a snack each day. Since Parker is only 18 months and doesn’t pay for hotel accommodations or park tickets which means he does not need the meal plan. Keeping in mind he will be eating off our plates, here are the places we decided to make reservations for.

Here are the places we made reservations for! Teppanedo and Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater are the only places we have eaten so far. I can’t wait to try the rest and share photos and our reviews of them!

The first thing we did after booking our trip was each create My Disney Experience profiles. The My Disney Experience allows you to navigate pretty much every aspect of your vacation in the comfort of your own home and on your own time. Since Sarah and Tim live so far away it has helped keep us all up to date on things.

Within the My Disney Experience you can:

Create Your Family & Friends List: Since we are vacationing with my sister and Rob’s best friend, we wanted to find a way to all keep up on reservations and planning.

Link Existing Reservations and Tickets: This is where you can link every aspect of your trip together making it easy to find information and reservations. This includes your hotel, park tickets, Disney Memory Maker and more.

Personalize MagicBands: As I mentioned before, MagicBands pretty much replace the need for paper tickets, room keys, cash and even credit cards while in the parks.

Make FastPass+ Selections: Once you purchase your tickets, you can start making some FastPass reservations for your favorite rides. Once we purchase our tickets on base we will be linking them so we can start making some FastPass+ selections!

Make Dining Reservations: Within the My Disney Experience you can choose all of your dinning reservations in advance limiting wait times and eating on the go.

Online Check-In Available: You can check in online and make the arrival process quick and easy.

This was in 2010, the last time we were at Disney. Things were a little different back then… 🙂

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