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Disney in a Minute: What is planDisney?

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We’re here with a series of quick posts, “Disney in a Minute,” bite-sized nuggets of information that can better help you understand a Disney term or planning topic. Enjoy!

PlanDisney is Disney’s own personalized planning resources. A rotating team of several dozen active panelists will answer almost any trip planning question related to Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, or Disney Vacation Club. You write in a question and you get a personal answer back. Questions could include everything from assistance with meeting characters to rules about parking at the resort hotels.

Started in 2008 as the Walt Disney World Moms Panel, there have been several rebrandings and expansions of the program, but from the start all the panelists have been regular people who enjoy planning vacations for their own family and friends. They receive a bit of training from Disney, but they are not Disney employees. Full disclosure: I was a member of the first panel and answered guest questions for several years. The way I liked to describe being on the panel was, “Imagine you have neighbor who has been to Disney a zillion times. If you were planning a trip and had a question, you’d give her a call.” The planDisney panel is that neighbor for everyone.


If you want to use the planDisney panel there are a few things you can do to have a better experience. First note that depending on the volume of questions being asked during a given week, it may take a few days to receive a response. If you have an immediate need, you may be better off doing your own research or calling Disney directly. Second, you can ask a question to the general panel or to a specific individual. The panelists have a wide variety of backgrounds, demographics, and areas of expertise. To read about the specific panelists, click on the “About” tab at the top of the home page and then click on “Meet the Panel.” If you have, for example, a question about military tickets, then you might want to ask a panelist with a military background. Or if you have a question about cruising with a special needs child, then look for a panelist with a special needs family member.

PlanDisney is no substitute for the tools at TouringPlans, but it can be a good supplementary resource to get detailed Disney trip planning questions answered.

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Erin Foster

Erin Foster is an original member of the Walt Disney World Moms Panel (now PlanDisney), a regular contributor to TouringPlans.com, and co-author of The Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line. She's been to WDW, DL, DL Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland, Aulani, DVC Vero Beach, and DVC Hilton Head. She's a Platinum DCL cruiser and veteran of 10 Adventures by Disney trips. Erin lives near New York City, where she can often be found indulging in her other obsession - Broadway theater.

5 thoughts on “Disney in a Minute: What is planDisney?

  • Are the plandisney folks actively coached to write multi-paragraph answers to simple questions? Someone will ask plandisney “what’s the best way to get from Magic Kingdom to Animal Kingdom”, and the panelist will answer with a long essay about how much their children love Kilimanjaro Safaris. It’s almost maddening – Erin, do you know why they do that?

    • I know exactly what you’re talking about. When I was on the Panel a million years ago, we were allowed to give “just the facts” answers. These days the panelists are asked to give as full and complete an answer as possible. I’m not privy to the exact requirements, but from my own reading of the Panel I’d say that they’re coached to include a certain number of links to other parts of the Disney sites as well as to include some statement of empathy or personal anecdote to increase engagement and build a unique bond with that specific guest. Again, I don’t know the details of the current Panel training, but I do know that sometimes when you’re asking about a height requirement you really do just want a number.

      • Thank you for this writeup! As a current Guest relations IT Cast Member, I am so happy planDisney is the way it is now because we can refer to them when helping guests. We now know that the training they receive is more extensive and involve folks like Ambassadors and Imagineering and cross-collaboration with our teams, especially Disney Parks Blog and media. The way they write makes for better SEO to bring back to official sources and really helps to get official Disney announcements out (as opposed to rumors or misinformation guests come to us with from certain websites), compared to some older Moms Panel answers that while to the point, weren’t always the most reliable or useful for us to refer to depending on the panelist.

      • You are very right hizouse, I notice they bring back some past Moms Panelists from pre-Plandisney like this one who definitely aren’t given the current research training and are also the ones we don’t reference. I wish there was a way to mark incorrect answers like this for them to take down.

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