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Planning Our Disney Vacation: Part 1 – Length Of Trip

We are kicking off a series showing you exactly how we are planning our next Disney vacation! We are excited to show you step by step how we are planning our trip.

Here is what you need to know: There are 12 of us traveling together. Jen and her family, Dave and Jodi (our mom!) and me (Katie) and my family. There are 6 kids ranging in age from 5-16.

The very first thing we needed to do when planning our vacation was choosing how many days we wanted to be in Disney World.

Key Factors We Considered When Choosing Travel Days

Each trip we take to Disney World has different considerations. This year is no exception. We have listed the three biggest factors we took into consideration when planning the length of our trip.

1. Last Big Family Trip To Disney

The biggest factor we considered when choosing our travel days was knowing that this is likely our last big family trip to Disney World. We have always done a big family trip every few years, and with with the grandkids getting older and mom and dad getting older we are well aware that the big, week long trips with all of us are likely coming to an end. We wanted to not feel rushed and to really enjoy our time at Disney World.

family at magic kingdom

2. School

We already knew that we would be visiting Disney World during the school year. We are Minnesotans and can’t handle the immense heat. Additionally, we wanted to try to hit some lighter crowd levels (more on this to come). Jen and her husband and my husband and I had to factor in how many days of school we were willing for our kids to miss.

Because Jen’s kids are quite young, and Katie’s older kids have some random days off in the school calendar, we determined that we were willing for our kids to miss school in order to make a longer Disney trip work. We will dive more into this as we share how we picked our dates.

3. Park Days and Rest Day

We knew we wanted to hit up all four parks, so at minimum we would be doing 4 park days and a travel day on each end. We never plan park days on a travel day.

One thing we have never done on a family Disney trip is take a rest day in the middle of the park days. We have always been on a very strict budget, and staying on site at a Disney hotel is expensive. The thought of taking a rest day seemed like a luxury we simply couldn’t afford.

However, on this trip we really wanted to try to factor in a rest day. This would give the littlest cousins some time to catch up on sleep and give Grandma and Grandpa some time to rest their feet. We thought it would be fun to visit another resort or head to the BoardWalk for a day. If we could swing it, a rest day was something we wanted to factor in.

sign to go to the boardwalk

After discussing as a family what it would look like to add in a rest day to our trip, we all decided that this would be a good option. This feels like a luxury to us and is something we are very excited to experience!

Our Travel Itinerary

Once we took all three factors into consideration we determined to have our travel itinerary look like this:

  • Day One – travel day
  • Day Two – park day
  • Day Three – park day
  • Day Four – rest day
  • Day Five – park day
  • Day Six – park day
  • Day Seven – travel day

This is a long Disney vacation for us, but we are so excited to do a big trip together. The next step in our Disney vacation planning was to pick out dates that will work for all twelve of us!

As we were planning, we did take into consideration these 3 things to never do on your Disney arrival day! Check it out to make sure you don’t make these mistakes!

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