Walt Disney World is a magical place to vacation and if you do most things correctly it is difficult to not have a wonderful time. Some people are planners and some are not but some planning is essential. Every traveling group has a definite dynamic and there are travelers within each group with different abilities and needs. The magic of Walt Disney World can overcome most things but there are a few things that MANY, MANY visitors do that can defeat even that magic. Let’s look at five things that can derail an otherwise incredible visit.
- OVERPLANNING: An awful lot of people get carried away with the planning portion of a visit. They try to plan every minute of every day and more often than not they suffer some disappointment because of the dreaded “Disney variables”. Although there are a lot of sites around that do a good job of predicting crowd levels, none of them are always accurate. You must allow some spare time to account for unexpected crowds and other things like an attraction going down because of a malfunction – it happens!! If you find yourself asking how long it takes to walk from attraction A to attraction B so you won’t miss anything, you are overplanning.
- THE DOMINANT PERSONALITY: As I mentioned in the introduction, every traveling group has a dynamic which includes a dominant person in the group. If you don’t recognize who that person is in your party, it’s probably you. I speak from experience here because I am generally the dominant personality. I have learned over time that I have to step back and let the other members of the group take the lead. When I find myself taking over the group I have to say to myself – it’s not all about you!! Let your family and friends make some touring decisions.
- GOING COMMANDO (NO RESTING): It always amazes me the number of visitors who feel that they have to be on the go and hitting attractions every minute of every day. They are easy to spot because they are the ones in full meltdown about half way through their day. I’m not just talking about the kids either, grownups have meltdowns too. Kids cry and grownups yell or grimace at each other. Do yourself a favor, relax your pace and make every attempt to get out of the park for an hour or two each day. Take a nap or a dip in your resort pool and if you are not staying on site go visit one of the beautiful Disney resorts to just sit down for a snack or a cold beverage – you will not regret it.
- NOT LISTENING TO YOUR BODY: Your body knows when it needs something!!! When it’s tired it needs rest of one type or another, when it’s hungry it needs nourishment. and when it’s thirsty it needs fluids. One of the worst things you can do to yourself at Walt Disney World is to not stay hydrated. You get caught up in the excitement (happened to me in October) and you don’t drink as much WATER as you should. Dehydration is the quickest ticket to feeling just plain miserable and is the easiest thing to prevent – water, water, and more water!! Don’t worry, there are plenty of restrooms at Walt Disney World and they are generally spotless!!!!
- WINGING IT (ZERO PLANNING): I did this once and believe it or not, this is worse than overplanning. Walt Disney World is huge and very complicated so if you don’t do any planning I can almost guarantee you will spend a significant portion of your vacation standing in line for attractions. Equally as important, one of the easiest ways to rest is at a table service restaurant but if you don’t pre plan at least some meals and make the appropriate reservations you are very likely to be disappointed. The internet is a gold mine for research and any planning you do (just don’t overdo it) will be rewarded.
It’s very tough to ruin a vacation to Walt Disney World but if you do some of the things I mentioned above you are on your way. I learned most of the things I talked about through many, many visits over the years and I hope reading about them will help you maximize your visit. As always, enjoy your visit to Walt Disney World!!
- Changes Coming to Disney World in 2013 (chipandco.com)
- NEW! Disney Attractions+ now available at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts. (chipandco.com)