Why We Love Walt Disney World Vacation Packages (and You Should Too)

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Walt Disney World vacation packages come in all sizes, designed to fit multiple travel styles and budgets. From packages with bundled flights to all-inclusive deals, you’re bound to find a package to Walt Disney World to make your trip both magical and efficient.

The question many travelers ask is whether they need to book a Walt Disney World vacation package or if it’s better to make reservations a la carte. To help you decide, we’re breaking down the  benefits of booking a package to Walt Disney World.

What Is Included in a Walt Disney World Vacation Package?

Disney's Polynesian bungalows are available for booking through a Walt Disney World vacation package
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When booking a package to Walt Disney World, you are able roll a number of vacation elements into a single unit. For most people, this means bundling their tickets and resort hotel into a single cost.

However, the flexibility associated with a Walt Disney World vacation package means you can also include the cost of your airfare as well as other extras. To break it down, imagine that you want to book a 6-night stay at Port Orleans, a Disney World moderate hotel.

You could book your hotel in one reservation and then separately purchase theme park tickets. Or, you could purchase both in a single transaction called a package.

With a Walt Disney World vacation package, you also have the added advantage of purchasing airfare, travel insurance, Disney’s Memory Maker, transportation to and from the airport as well as magical extras, such as a round of golf. It’s the most simple and convenient way to plan and reserve Disney World travel.

Packages to Walt Disney World, What Are the Advantages?

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge is availableas a package to Walt Disney World
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As discussed, when purchasing a package to Walt Disney World, you’re rolling all of the elements associated with your trip into a single transaction. This is beneficial for a number of reasons:

Fewer Up-Front Costs

First, you’ll only be required to make a $200 deposit to reserve your package. When you book a Disney World resort separately, you’ll be charged up front for one night’s stay to hold the reservation. Depending on the resort you book, this could easily be double the cost of a package down payment or more, but there are other benefits as well.

Often, guests to Disney World will wait until closer to their travel dates and purchase their tickets ala carte. While this allows them to put off paying the full purchase cost until closer to their travel dates, it could leave them without a spot in the parks.

Today, all guests to Disney World are required to make park reservations. These can fill up quickly as travel dates approach, so most people book early.

But here’s the catch. You need to have a theme park ticket before you can make your reservation. By including your tickets in your Walt Disney World vacation package, you can pay the $200 deposit on the package. You will have planning access to your tickets right away, but will still be able to put off paying the full purchase price until a later date.

Keep in mind, that while the $200 deposit will stand as an inititial down payment for most package elements, you will be asked to pay in full for any extras at the time of booking, such as travel insurance and Memory Maker. However, this would be true whether you booked these services separately or include them in your package.

Adding Extras to Your Walt Disney World Vacation Package Is Easy

If you aren’t ready to pay for extra add-ons to your package to Walt Disney World at the time of purchase, you can always add them later by contacting your Disney World travel agent. The same holds true if you simply decide later on that you want to add Memory Maker, ground transportation or other value-added benefits.

Package to Walt Disney World Offers Payment Flexibility

All Walt Disney World vacation packages must be paid in full 30 days before your arrival date. However, if you’re on a budget or prefer to make regular payments, you can easily set up a payment plan by booking your vacation through a travel agent specializing in Disney World vacations.

Flexible Cancellation Policies with Package Convenience

Packages to Walt Disney World come with flexible cancellation and change policies. Guests may cancel up to 30 days before arrival and receive a refund of all monies paid, minus any non-refundable portions of a travel protection policy or other third-party charges where applicable.

If you need to cancel your package between 2 and 29 days before your arrival, you will be credited any monies paid (minus any non-refundable portions of a travel protection policy or other third-party charges where applicable) less the $200 deposit.

Walt Disney World Vacation Package Easy Change Policies

Planning a Disney World vacation can be a complex endeavor. Many guests book months in advance to secure special discounts or resorts for certain dates. So, what happens if plans change?

With a package to Walt Disney World, you’re able to make changes up to 30 days before arrival. This includes swapping out a guest who can’t make it with another traveler, changing travel dates, and selecting new accommodations or party size.

Keep in mind, if any change results in a higher cost to your travel arrangements, you will be responsible for the additional charges, but you will not be required to pay a change fee. Likewise, if the changes made result in a decrease in package cost, you will receive a refund of any monies already paid that result in an overage.

For changes made 30 days or less prior to arrival, there is a $50 change fee.

Booking a Walt Disney World vacation package also allows you to cancel and receive a refund on the cost of your theme park tickets. Tickets purchased separately are non-refundable.

Easy Setup of Your My Disney Experience Account

With a Walt Disney World vacation package, it’s easy to set up a My Disney Experience account or add your vacation to an existing one. Simply enter your reservation confirmation number and link the tickets associated with your package to the appropriate members of your party.

If you book extras, such as Memory Maker, these will also automatically sync with your account once you add your confirmation number, meaning all of your precious photos taken on rides or with PhotoPass photographers, will appear in your My Disney Experience account for download.

Packages Include Many Offsite Resorts

Offsite resorts, such as Hilton Lake Buena Vista Palace  as seen from upper floor balcony
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When booking a trip to Disney World, many vacationers assume they are limited to reserving Disney World resorts if they want to book a package. Fortunately, Disney World offers package options that include a number of offsite hotels, including popular chains such as Hyatt, Hilton and Marriott.

Hotels available for package reservations will hold a special designation, such as Good Neighbor Hotels, indicating that they meet Disney World’s stringent quality standards and offer a required set of amenities.

Walt Disney World Vacation Package Caveats

Saratoga springs grandstand neighborhood is available for booking as a Walt Disney World vacation package
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As with anything, there are some things you should know before booking a vacation package to Walt Disney World. For instance, not all costs associated with your Disney resort stay will be included in the cost of your package.

If you drive to Disney World or rent a car and park at your resort, a separate parking fee will be instituted. This will be included on your bill at checkout. Other charges you may see on your checkout statement include the purchase of Genie+ or Individual Lightning Lane reservations, as well as any purchases or restaurant tabs you charge to the credit card on file with your room.

Second, while MagicBands are available for guests booking a Walt Disney World vacation package or hotel stay, they are no longer included in the cost of your package. Anyone wishing to use MagicBands will need to make a separate MagicBand purchase prior to arrival through their My Disney Experience account, Shop Disney or after arriving at Disney World.

Overall, booking a package to Walt Disney World is a convenient way to plan your travel, providing you the opportunity to consolidate your costs and arrangements in one convenient package.

More Disney World Travel Tips

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Kathleen Hesketh and Ali Patton, mother daughter travel bloggers

We're Kat and Ali, a pair of mother daughter travel bloggers sharing our knowledge and experience from multiple years of Disney travel with other Disney lovers and first-time visitors, hoping to simplify your vacation experience and help you enjoy all of the magic of a visit to Disney World. As Disney vacation planners, we can now book vacations through Mickey World travel, at no additional charge, and help you realize all of the magic of a trip to Disney.

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Kathleen Hesketh

Kathleen is a travel agent with Mickey World Travel, a platinum level Authorized Disney vacation planner, where she helps people discover the magic of a Disney vacation and other travel destinations. She is also the chief author and editor for Seconds to Go - a travel blog where she shares experiences from traveling the U.S. with her daughter, Ali.

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