How to Beat the Heat in Disney World

How to Beat the Heat in Disney World

How to Beat the Heat in Disney World

Disney World Mickey Bar

For most of the year, hot weather and Disney World vacations go hand in hand. If you’re planning to visit during a hot time of year, you’ll want to have a good plan to manage the heat so you can fully enjoy your time in the parks! Even when avoiding the summer months, many of us are visiting from places with much lower humidity. That added humidity can even make temperatures in the 80s seem much higher than back home. A little planning ahead goes a long way.

Pack some cooling help. Taking along special cooling towels in your backpack goes a long way during higher temperatures. Just get the towel wet and place around your neck for an instant cooling effect! Portable misting fans provide a quick dose of cool as well.

 

Start your day early. While we always advise arriving before park opening, the heat is another reason to do so. By starting early in the morning, you’ll accomplish quite a bit before the heat of the day arrives. This allows you to slow down, rest, and cool off for the afternoon, rather than arriving right as the heat is ramping up.

 

Take a break. If you’ve started early, pop on back to your resort for an afternoon break. Getting out of the parks between 1pm – 4pm or so will allow you to avoid the highest temperatures and let you cool off with a nice dip in your resort pool.

 

Start really late. Got teens or no kids in tow? This method takes careful planning to pull off well, but can work well for those who simply refuse to be early risers. Stay onsite and take advantage of the evening Extra Magic Hours. Arrive around 4pm and stay late into the night to avoid the heat and, later, the crowds.

 

Use shows to your advantage. Not staying onsite or simply refuse to take a break? Line up some shows for your afternoons. Several of the parks offer indoor shows that you can plan to do back to back to get a couple of hours off of your feet and in the cool air conditioning.

 

Plan table service meals. Knowing in advance that you have somewhere nice and cool to eat your meals goes a long way to making it through a hot day. While quick service options are always available, there is not always air conditioned seating available. If you don’t like to sweat while dining, book those dining reservations in advance for guaranteed cool down period.

 

As always, having a good plan in place goes miles toward a more enjoyable vacation!

 

 

Don’t Crowdsource your Disney Vacation Planning

Don’t Crowdsource your Disney Vacation Planning

Don’t Crowdsource Your Disney Vacation Planning

I’m sure you’ve seen it.  Someone posts to Facebook asking for advice.  50 people chime in all with different answers.  Sometimes this is useful – say you are asking for a good Italian restaurant in your town.  Generally speaking, it works out fine to take a recommendation that a few people gave you for a Saturday night date.  But asking how to plan your vacation is something else entirely.  It usually goes something like this:

You: “Friends, I’m trying to plan a trip to Disney World.  I need your help!  Where should we stay and what do I need to know?”

Friend 1: “We stayed at All Star Movies, you should stay there!”
Friend 2: “Definitely check out the Marriott, it was nice when we stayed there.”
Friend 3: “You should buy the FastPass thing!”
Friend 4: “Do Harry Potter for sure!
Friend 5: “My kids didn’t like Epcot, so I recommend skipping that park.”
Friend 6: “The Little Mermaid rooms are really cute!!”

And so on.

Everyone is just trying to be helpful!  But here’s the problem.  None of these people asked you anything about your family, your preferences or your interests.  Instead, they just said what they liked.  Without knowing more, how do you know if any of their preferences will be true for you?

Let’s unpack some of the troubles here.

Friend 1: “We stayed at All Star Movies, you should stay there!”

Friend 1 didn’t ask you what kind of hotel you feel comfortable with.  She didn’t mention that All Star resorts have double beds, not queen beds, and maybe you and your husband are tall and double beds just won’t cut it.  Or you have two teens and sharing a double bed is just a big nope for them.  And we haven’t even gotten into differences in amenities yet.  If a friend likes a hotel they stayed in, does that mean everyone would like that hotel?

 

Friend 2: “Definitely check out the Marriot, it was nice when we stayed there.”

This friend hasn’t given any reason why they liked it, but perhaps more importantly, didn’t think to tell you that by staying here you are giving up some important perks.  It’s possible they had no idea they were lost out on some of these perks, or maybe in their case they didn’t care.  However, it’s just as likely that you would care a lot about these perks.  For example, do you want to have to pay for your transportation?  Do you want to miss out on FastPass+ options for the most popular rides?  These would be good things to know before picking this hotel.

 

Friend 3: “You should buy the Fast Pass thing!”

This statement represents the many things I’ve seen as advice that are actually just flat out wrong.  You cannot buy FastPass.  It’s free.  You can get an earlier start on it when staying at a Disney resort, but it’s free for everyone.  This friend is possibly thinking of Disneyland’s MaxPass, or they are thinking of Universal’s Express Pass, or maybe even the old term for Memory Maker which was PhotoPass, but in any case they are supplying you with wrong and confusing information.

 

Friend 4: “Do Harry Potter for sure!”

Harry Potter isn’t part of Disney’s parks.  It’s at Universal Studios, which is not right next door, requires separate tickets and sometimes is best done as an entire additional stay.  As such, this friend is not really helping with the Disney question asked and is assuming the family wants to visit an additional location for a theme that they may or may not know if the family even likes.

 

Friend 5: “My kids don’t like Epcot, so I recommend skipping that park.”

You could replace Epcot with another park and find people saying the same thing.  But again, the problem here is that the friend is not asking what your family likes- they are assuming you have the same tastes as their family.  Do you have kids who like Frozen and really want to meet Anna and Elsa?  They reside in Epcot, along with the only Frozen themed ride in the parks.  If you were to have skipped this park based on this advice, you’d have missed the chance to make that dream come true for your children.

 

Friend 6: “The Little Mermaid rooms are really cute!”

Yes, they are!  But if you are a family of 5, you’re out of luck.  These rooms sleep 4 people.  Friends tossing out advice on Facebook often aren’t thinking at this level of detail.  Wouldn’t it be better to know which rooms do hold your family of 5 before considering them?

 

Instead of weeding through other people’s preferences, why not work with someone whose goal is to match YOUR preferences?  Seeking out a Disney specialized travel agent is a good start.  But you’ll want to make sure the person you are working with is a true Disney expert that specializes in very customized vacations.  Look for a consultant that starts with a phone call rather than asking you to check off boxes for which options you want on a form – it’s so hard to know what to check off if you don’t know enough about the options!  When you work with a Disney expert that has a consultant and concierge style (like those of us here at The Enchanted Traveler), they will ask you detailed questions to help find the best matches for where to stay, how long you need, the right tickets, best parks for each day, dining recommendations, FastPass+ reservations and all of the detail down to customized ride by ride plans to keep you out of the long lines.

 

So when it comes to Facebook, just remember that as well meanings as our friends are, they usually aren’t asking questions to find the right fit.  They’re just recommending what they themselves did.  And chances are, you aren’t identical to your friends.

 

How Many Days Do I Need for Disney World?

How Many Days Do I Need for Disney World?

How Many Days Do I Need for Disney World?

Epcot at night

First trip to Disney World?  You might be feeling unsure about how long your trip should be.  It can be hard to get a good feel for how much is actually there and how long it takes to do it.  Let’s take a look at how much time you’ll ideally have for this vacation.

Disney World is huge!

Let’s just start there.  If you’ve been to Disneyland before and think you have a good sense of Disney World is like, you’re probably wrong.  There are four main theme parks in Walt Disney World, as well as two fully themed water parks, over 25 onsite resort options, well over 100 restaurants, a full transportation system, a giant shopping and entertainment district and more.  It stands to reason that a Disney World trip most often necessitates a longer stay than Disneyland.

Prepare For 4 Park Days

With the four main theme parks, you will want at least four park days.  And the Magic Kingdom, in particular, is difficult to complete in a day because it has more attractions than the other parks.  I love to help my clients plan two days at this park to allow them a comfortable pace and a chance to experience more of what is offered.

Considering Your Preferences

From there, we need to consider your own preferences and favorites.  For example, some families really love to explore more of Epcot and dine in more of the restaurants there, making 2 Epcot days a lot of fun.  Others are very into the many shows offered at Hollywood Studios and find that two days there allows more room for those, plus a chance to see both nighttime shows there that are otherwise very difficult to see on the same night.

If you’re following along, right now we’ve added up to 6 park days assuming you’d like that extra day to repeat one of these other parks.

Do You Want A Relaxation Day?

The next question will be whether you’d like a day or two off for relaxation.  For my west coast clients, the time change can take its toll, especially on children.  Having a day to adjust can make the rest of the trip a lot easier.  Other families really enjoy a day or two off between park days.  These days might just be pool and resort days, or they might be used for the water parks, visiting Disney Springs or any of the other fun activities that can be planned.  Having this slower paced, laid back day here and there allows for a more relaxed vacation feel.

A Week At Walt Disney World

Best bet?  Plan for at least one full week at Walt Disney World!  If you’ve got more time available, adding in a couple more days makes everything feel even better.  There’s never a worry that you’ll get bored!  There is so much offered that you could easily spend two weeks here and not run out of things to do.

When you work with us, this is just the tip of the iceberg in our planning.  Not only will we help you figure out the perfect amount of time for YOUR family, but we’ll make sure you’ve got the perfect match for resort, tickets, and dining, activities, customized plans to keep you out of the long lines, personalized advice, and we’ll take care of every reservation detail so that you don’t have to worry about a thing.

Ready to plan?  Contact us today for your free consultation!

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Outsourcing Your Disney Vacation Planning

Outsourcing Your Disney Vacation Planning

Outsourcing Your Disney Vacation Planning

disney vacation

Outsourcing in business is a smart way to save time and money, and it’s catching on in personal life as well.  Busy people are outsourcing all kinds of tasks:  housecleaning, grocery shopping, picking up take out (UberEats, anyone?)… more and more all the time, it seems.  But vacation planning?  Yes!  Planning a vacation takes up many hours to do well, and Disney vacations in particular have many pieces that have to be planned out in advance.  Busy moms and dads are turning to professionals to make sure everything is done the right way and when it needs to be, so they can have an amazing vacation without stressing out about it beforehand.

So when it’s time to plan your Disney vacation, have you asked yourself:

  • Do I have time to do all the research needed?
  • Do I know what needs to be done in advance in order to have the best experience?
  • Do I have the time to work on all of the reservation pieces and stay on top of deadlines?
  • Is the time I would invest in the planning process better spent elsewhere in my life?
  • Do I get enjoyment from the many details or would I enjoy another activity more?
  • Do I have the information I need to get the most out of my vacation once I’m there?

 

We all have only so much time in our day and many things are vying for our time: work, school, sports, family time, groceries, chores, errands.  The last thing you want your vacation to be is another added stressor in your life; just another to do on an endless to do list.

And when we are trying to decide what tasks are better given to a professional to handle, we are asking ourselves, which things am I very good at and which things are better left to an expert?  Will I get the end result I am hoping for if I DIY this task, or will a professional expert be a better bet?

Professional vacation planners exist to take on this large, overwhelming task for you!  Disney experts can help you put together every detail of your Disney vacation including everything from the initial phase of deciding on where to stay to a final, custom travel guide complete with dining reservations, daily plans to keep you out long lines and much more.  Outsourcing your vacation planning means arriving at your destination stress free, ready to maximize your vacation, all without having to spend hours on end trying to figure out in the beginning.

Ready to have an amazing Disney vacation planned for you, customized for your family and without the stress of trying to figure it out yourself?  Just contact us to get started.