Welcome to Big Castle Travel’s monthly trip planning series! Each month we will plan a Walt Disney World vacation 6-7 months in advance. While we recommend starting the planning process much earlier, 6-7 months is the perfect time to consider your dining reservations and travel plans!
To start the series off we will look at planning a trip to Walt Disney World in April 2020!
To baseline this trip we will be planning this as if our family were traveling. That means we are planning for two (2) adults, one (1) child aged 3-9, and one (1) infant. Disney has a “Free Under 3” policy where you are not charged extra for an infant’s park entrance, and they can eat off your plate at meals!
Once you know who is going, your next step is to check our the crowd calendars for your travel month. Here is the April 2020 Crowd Calendar from Undercover Tourist. April can be a pretty busy month for Walt Disney World due to the various Spring Break times across the country. Families that get work and school days off after Easter also like to exploit that for their scheduling.
Based on that information, Big Castle Travel would recommend a 5-night stay starting on a Sunday. This trip would include a full travel day before and after, with 3 park days of Park Hopper tickets, and a rest day in the middle. We have the detailed Trip Itinerary at the end of this article.
Now let’s start planning! We will use the same planning methodology that we used to show you how much a Disney World Vacation can cost.
First question: how are we getting to Disney World in April 2020?
Easy: Big Castle Travel is renting a minivan because we have no interest in flying with at 3-year old and an 8-month old. The trip is about 1000 miles, and we’re estimating gas will hover around $2.70/gallon.
Rental price: $366
Resort Hotel & Accommodations
There are over 30 places to stay at Walt Disney World, so how can you pick just one? One way is to pick based on cost, which we discuss in our article on the cost of a Disney World vacation that we mentioned above.
For this trip we are picking Port Orleans – Riverside (POR) for a few reasons:
- POR is quiet across the majority of the resort. Perfect for 8-month old nap times.
- The Royal Guest Rooms have theming from Princess & the Frog, Aladdin, and other princess movies that our 3-year old loves.
- The complimentary boat transportation to Port Orleans – French Quarter and Disney Springs is a perfect distraction for our rest day.
Rack Rate: $349.60/night
Due to the current and expected construction at Epcot, we would skip that park for this trip in April 2020. However, since we are planning for the nap times of an 8-month old, we will be choosing the Park Hopper option. With Park Hopper tickets we have the option of doing one park in the morning, napping in the room, and heading to a different park in the evening. So long as you are not intent on riding every ride in every park, then this option is a great way to maximize a smaller trip.
3-day tickets in April of 2020 currently list between $135 and $154. Starting on April 20th gives us a price of $414.07 for adults and $400.01 for the 3-year old. Tax comes out to $79.82.
3-day Park Hopper Tickets: $1,307.97
Food & Drink
At Big Castle Travel, we are pretty big fans of the Disney Dining Plan. We like to eat big and enjoy some drinks, so the plan is usually a good value for us. Especially when you make sure you maximize all of your snack credits!
Disney only lets you add the Disney Dining Plan to a package deal. They will not show you the per person cost! But Big Castle Travel calculates it for you to make sure you are getting the best value.
Adult Disney Dining Plan: $78/night
Child (3-9) Disney Dining Plan: $30.50/night
Total Disney Dining Plan: $932.50
We will find a different way to say it in every article: Disney’s PhotoPass Memory Maker is a must-have for families staying 3 or more days. Seriously, GET MEMORY MAKER. If you like family photos, you won’t be disappointed. As always, you receive a $30 discount for buying this before your arrival.
PhotoPass Memory Maker: $169
It takes a very strong person to leave Walt Disney World without souvenirs. We are not those people. For this trip I will estimate 5% and add it to the final cost.
We talked through the cost calculations above, but what will the actual trip look like? Based on the crowd calendar, here is how we would plan our April 2020 Disney World itinerary:
- Sunday – Travel Day
- Wake up early
- Brunch at Waffle House in Gainesville, FL
- Arrive mid-afternoon at Port Orleans – Riverside
- Boat to Disney Springs
- Dinner: Chicken Guy! (Quick Service meal credit)
- Monday – Animal Kingdom
- Tuesday – Magic Kingdom
- Wednesday – Rest Day
- Thursday – Hollywood Studios / Magic Kingdom
- Rope Drop Hollywood Studios (or close to it)
- Breakfast: Oga’s Cantina (Quick Service credit)
- FastPass+ 1: Slinky Dog Dash
- FastPass+ 2: For the First Time In Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
- Nap Break at POR
- Travel to Magic Kingdom
- Snack Credits at Magic Kingdom
- FastPass+ 3 (book it when you get there): Haunted Mansion
- Dinner: Skipper Canteen (Table Service credit)
- Happily Ever After
- Friday – Travel Day
That sounds like a fun trip for next April! Let’s see what the final cost looks like.
Getting There $501
Minivan rental + gas
Resort Hotel & Accommodations $1748
5 nights at Port Orleans - Riverside
Park Tickets $1307.97
3-day Park Hopper tickets
Disney Dining Plan $932.50
Disney Dining Plan for 2 adults and 1 child (3-9) for 5 nights
Extra Food, Drinks, & Tip $233.13
Extra booze and snacks not on the dining plan, plus tip for dining plan meals.
Memory Maker $169
Buying PhotoPass Memory Maker Package ahead of time
5% of entire trip cost
TOTAL COST $5129.18
$5,129.18 is about right for a mid-range Disney World Vacation in a relatively busy season. The itinerary should be a solid mix of a relaxing, baby-friendly trip, while still getting enough rides in for the 3-year old. It will also be a perfect time to try some tasty Disney food!
It is worth mentioning that this price is at 100% Rack Rate and no discounts have been applied. Big Castle Travel can almost guarantee that between now and April 2020 there will be an offer that reduces the total cost anywhere from 5%-20%. Given the time of year, we expect either a Free Dining offer or a pretty hefty Spring seasonal room discount.
Does this sound like the perfect April 2020 trip to Walt Disney World for your family? Is there anything we are missing? Anything you would do differently? Let us know in the comments!