Book Walt Disney World - Booking Guide For Walt Disney World
A guide on the different ways you can book your next Walt Disney World holiday.
Walt Disney World Booking Guide
There are two main ways you can book your Walt Disney World holiday. One way is as an ATOL-protected package, and the second is a DIY method where you book each part of the holiday individually. Neither way is inherently better as both come with their pros and cons. The way we book our Disney holidays here at Mickey From The UK
has been changing as we get older, and we'll lay out what we do a little later in the article.
ATOL Protected Walt Disney World Packages
An ATOL-protected flight, hotel, and ticket Walt Disney World package is the easiest way to book a Walt Disney World holiday. Our recommended way to book is through Disney directly - The Walt Disney Travel Company (Disney Holidays).
I have found with Disney directly it's always free and easy to get in contact with them to change or sort anything out, as there are no middlemen to go through. When booking directly with Disney, you secure your hotel and ticket package with just a £50pp deposit. Then 11 months before departing you can add your flights to your booking to create an ATOL-protected package. Disney has partnered with British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and American Airlines so you have different choices and price points to choose from.
You can also book your Walt Disney World package through travel agents such as TUI
or Virgin Holidays.
If you want to use a travel agent rather than book with Disney directly, I would advise you to book with the travel agent that runs the airline you want to use. For example, if you want to fly with TUI, book your Walt Disney World package through TUI
if you want to fly with Virgin Atlantic book through Virgin Holidays.
This again comes down to the ease of customer service if any issues arise rather than going through a third party.
Many travel agents (not all, of course) have burned customer trust during COVID times. Also more recently some travel agents have begun taking bookings and deposits for holidays and flights not even on sale yet. Customers are then put out when hotel and flight prices are released only to be stung by price increases. I have a basic rule when it comes to all business, not just travel agents, and that's if you can't treat me as a customer well during bad times, you don't deserve my business during the good times. A good rule of thumb is never to book a Walt Disney World on-site hotel unless the dates are available to book on the Walt Disney Travel Company (Disney Holidays) website.
DIY Walt Disney World Bookings
DIY Walt Disney World bookings consist of you booking each element of the trip yourself. This usually consists of booking your Walt Disney World hotel and ticket package direct through Disney
and then booking flights separately. When you do this, you're not ATOL protected, but as long as you have adequate travel insurance
and paid at least £100 of your flight cost on a credit card, you should be protected in the unlikely event of an airline failure before leaving.
Once you've booked your hotel and ticket package through Disney directly
it's time to look at flights. While you can add flights to your Walt Disney World package, you might have other plans. You might want to book a couple of nights at a Universal Orlando hotel, or even add a Disney Cruise onto the end of your holiday. For these situations then you cannot add your flights to the package and must book them separately.
Flights can vary drastically in price depending on time of year and airline of choice. The best place to start is comparison sites like Skyscanner
where you can get an overview of the flights available from your airport of choice and time of year. You can then drill down into individual airlines to check for prices. The main airlines that fly from the UK to Orlando are Virgin Atlatnic
Norse Airlines, Aer Lingus, and British Airways.
Booking Walt Disney World Tickets
If you're staying off-site and booking your hotel or villa separately, you should purchase Walt Disney World theme park tickets before you depart. Our Disney World Ticket Guide
tells all you need to know, or just go ahead and book them below.
Insurance is a must when travelling to America because they don't have an NHS service like we do, and if you need medical help, it can cost thousands. A few providers have been listed below to consider.
Airport To Resort Travel
Once you've booked your hotel, tickets, and flights, all that's left is your transport to and from the hotel. As there is no Disney's Magical Express anymore, you have to make your way. If you want a regular coach service, then use Mears Connect.
Otherwise, it's super easy to grab a taxi or Uber/Lyft at the airport.
How We Book
Back in the day, we were loyal customers of Thomas Cook booking our packages through them. When they went bust, I started using TUI
as they flew from Bristol (the closest airport to us) on their lovely Dreamliner planes. Now they've ditched that, I have been DIY-ing since COVID. Since DIY-ing, I have been enjoying the flexibility of doing things separately. The Walt Disney World hotel and ticket package I always book direct through Disney
. Depending on what we do on the trip, we might add a couple of nights at a Universal Orlando Hotel to experience the Universal Parks. We book those through Hotels.com.
If we add a Disney Cruise we book that through Disney Holidays
or direct on the Disney Cruise Line website. We then wrap our custom trip with flights usually from British Airways booking direct with them.