You’ve probably had friends go to Disney World or Disneyland before, or maybe you went when you were a kid. And you might be thinking, “Why can’t I just show up and go with the flow?” You can. Sure, you can. But it’s best to know ahead of time what that will mean for you, so you can best decide if “go with the flow” is really what you think it is when it comes to Disney Parks vacations.
The first question to ask yourself is if you like crowds. Because yes, there are always some crowds at the Disney Parks, but they are not all equal. Different days in different parks, as well as different times of day all, affect the total number of people in the parks. And that, in turn, causes changes in wait times, but also the very real sense of crowdedness with people all around you. Thick crowds you have to push through? Or people easily walking the paths? There’s a big difference in your experience.
What about dining? If you haven’t been to the Disney Parks in a while, you may be surprised to find out that simply walking up with your family to the restaurants at dinner time is likely to lead to some big disappointment. Popular restaurants book up far in advance. Want the best dining experiences? You’ll need to plan for that. And you’ll want to plan with some consideration – for example, getting the best use of dining credits on the dining plan, timing the meal such that it doesn’t interfere with shows or parades you want to see and so forth.
But probably most important for you is the value of your time. I frequently see people commenting on Facebook or news articles that they can only get through a handful of rides each day because the lines or so long. Long laments about an hour or more lines fill the internet. The reality, though, is that these people, for the most part, are showing up with no plan at all. The assumption that Disney lines are always long is false. You can absolutely avoid the long lines and get far more done with a good plan. And for the amount you’ll be spending on your parks experience, isn’t actually getting to the rides and attractions you want to experience important? Your time is extremely valuable, and the only way to maximize it is to know where to go when.
Speaking of the value of time, get this: You don’t have to spend the next few months trying to figure out how the heck you are going to plan all of this. That’s a lot of time and research, I know. If you enjoy it, that’s great – happy hunting! If you don’t, there are actually professionals out there that specialize in this kind of planning for a living. I should know, I’m one of them! I highly suggest seeking out a Disney expert to help you plan your next Disney vacation. An expert can listen to all that you hope for, recommend the best options and meticulously put together a plan to keep you in the shortest lines, the easiest days, and the most fun you can have.
So while people often arrive to the Disney Parks with no plan at all, thinking they’ll just go with the flow, what that really means is a lot of aimless wandering, disappointment in the wait times, a lot of standing around waiting for things, and a let down when they run out of time to get to all they had hoped for. Maximize that Disney vacation experience by walking in, plan in hand. So what if everyone else has no plan and complains about all the waiting around? You’ll be miles ahead of them.
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