Smart grids (SGs), as an emerging grid modernization concept, is spreading across diverse research areas for revolutionizing power systems. SGs realize new key concepts with intelligent technologies, maximizing achieved objectives and addressing critical issues that are limited in conventional grids. The SG modernization is more noticeable at the distribution grid level. Thus, the transformation of the traditional distribution network (DN) into an intelligent one, is a vital dimension of SG research. Since future DNs are expected to be interconnected in nature and operation, hence traditional planning methods and tools may no longer be applicable. In this paper, the smart distribution network (SDN) concept under the SG paradigm, has presented and reviewed from the planning perspective. Also, developments in the SDN planning process have been surveyed on the basis of SG package (SGP). The package presents a SDN planning foundation via major SG-enabling technologies (SGTF), anticipated functionalities (SGAF), new consumption models (MDC) as potential SDN candidates, associated policies and pilot projects and multi-objective planning (MOP) as a real-world optimization problem. In addition, the need for an aggregated SDN planning model has also been highlighted. The paper discusses recent notable related works, implementation activities, various issues/challenges and potential future research directions; all aiming at SDN planning.