7 Reasons You Shouldn’t Wing It on a Trip to Disney World
Headed to Disney World and thinking you’ll just wing it on this trip? Stop right there! Before you just assume you can show up and figure it out on the spot, read these 7 reasons why Disney World is NOT the place you want to just wing it.
1. Dining. On many vacations, should you find yourself hungry, you can waltz up to a restaurant and reasonably be expect to be seated in short time. Not in Disney World. Restaurants are extremely popular, and for good reason, so reservations are a must. In fact, many of the most popular restaurants book up far in advance. Dining reservations first open 180 days before your trip, and people absolutely take advantage of that.
2. Park Crowds. Disney World is no hidden secret, so you can bet there will be plenty of other people joining you each day. But how many, and when they’ll be there, is not always the same. If you know the crowd patterns, you can enjoy your time more with less people all around you. A good Disney planner can help you with this.
3. Lines. Who loves lines? No one. Despite what many think, long lines are not simply inevitable with Disney World, though many a person ends up standing in tons of them by not knowing better. With a good plan, you can avoid as many of these lines as possible and get WAY more out of your day, in a much more enjoyable fashion. Fast Pass+ reservations are just one aspect of this, but they are definitely important. Winging it on these instead of reserving them as soon as your window opens means often not getting any of the most popular rides.
4. Park opening. Figure you’ll just get up whenever and show up at the parks? That’s probably not the best idea. Know when the park opens, plan to be there quite a bit earlier than that, and know how long it will take you to get to that park in the morning. Arriving before “rope drop,” as fans call it, gives you a distinct advantage for the rest of the day, if you use it wisely.
5. Meeting characters. If meeting characters is important to your children, some pre-planning may be necessary. If your children are dying to meet Anna and Elsa, for example, the last thing you want to do is stand in line with hundreds of other people for two hours. Planning to allocate a Fast Pass+ reservation for this, or knowing when to visit if you can’t get one, helps keep this wait time manageable. Other popular characters may be best visited in character meals, which will need advanced reservations. There are, of course, characters throughout the parks, too, but prioritizing the ones that have the longest lines ahead of time just makes sense.
6. Seeing shows. It’s so easy to miss out on great shows if you don’t have a good plan ahead of time. Why? Shows have set times each day and don’t wait for you to finish getting out of line at other rides. If you are trying to see a stage show, a parade, fireworks and more, all while experience a bunch of rides, then advanced planning is the only way to know you’ll be able to accomplish it. Otherwise, you’ll spend far too much time trying to look back and forth between your times guide for show times, your Fast Pass+ reservations and the lines you are in between all of that and get too stressed out trying to figure out if you can fit in that stage show your daughter wants to see before you need to find a spot for the parade.
Speaking of parades, these and the fireworks shows are best thought about in advance, too. Waiting til the last minute to find a spot where everyone else already found all the spots 30 minutes ago doesn’t usually lead to a happy ending.
7. Burn out. Disney vacations should be fun!! But sadly too often I hear complaints that families were stressed out the entire time, trying to figure out what to do when they got to the parks, where they could go that didn’t have an hour line, how they could get back to that show they missed, too much time criss crossing miles back and forth across the park in search of the rides they want and so on. Don’t let this be your vacation! Winging on a trip to Disney World might sound less stressful and more enjoyable at first… but in reality it leads to far less enjoyment once you arrive. Get a good Disney World plan together and see the difference it can make!