Planning a Walt Disney World vacation is no small task – there’s so much to do and see, and so much information out there that it can easily become overwhelming. Luckily, we’re here to help!
Check out my list of Disney Planning Do’s and Don’ts:
Do – Make Lists: I am big fan of lists – they help me stay on track, and they are especially helpful to me and my family when we are traveling. I like to make the following lists for my Disney trips: packing lists (for me AND the kids!), budget/spending money list, park list (stuff like sunscreen, snacks etc that I pack in our bag that we bring to the Parks), a list of the rides/attractions I know I want to do, a list of the foods I want to eat (which may seem weird but Disney has some AMAZING food!)…needless to say, I am a big fan of lists – and you should be too, they help ensure your vacation is a happy one!
Do – Research: If you’re planning your first ever trip to Walt Disney World, you will definitely want to do some research (Chip and Co is a great place to get info about Resorts, News, and all things Disney in general!) – reading about basic stuff like Resort choices, dining options, checking out Park maps to get the lay of the land, looking up what attractions/rides your family might enjoy (or what they might not be able to ride due to height restrictions, etc) – knowing some of this stuff before you arrive will help you out tremendously and leave you more time to enjoy your trip
Do – Be Prepared for the weather: Florida weather can change in an instant, so you’ll want to bring along some items to be as prepared as possible for its sudden fluctuations. Sunscreen is a MUST (as is making sure you apply it liberally and often), as are ponchos (you can buy disposable ones at your local dollar store, or more durable ones at your local Target/Walmart), and shopping bags and ziploc baggies (to protect your valuables when the rain comes), and a hat (sunburned scalp is no fun, trust me!). Bring along your own water bottles too, and make sure you fill them up and stay well hydrated – as the Florida sun can be killer
Do – Stick to your regular schedule: It’s easy to get thrown off when you’re on vacation – but trying to stick to your regular schedule as much as possible – make sure you’re eating meals around the same time as you do at home, and naps are really important too – kids will definitely still need their naps while at Disney (even though they might fight you HARD on it), and if you skip a meal or a nap you might end up with a temper tantrum (adults AND kids are susceptible to this…). Obviously everything can’t be exactly the same while you’re in a different place, but keeping the basics the same – feeding, naptime, bedtime, etc – will keep everyone happy
Don’t – Plan Every Minute Of Every Day: I am a huge fan of planning, but I also have been to Disney World many times, and I know that the reality is – Disney runs on its own time clock – buses and boats take a while to load and unload, crowds make it tricky to get to your favorite ride during your Fastpass+ time, it can take 30 minutes or more to get a meal at a counter service location at lunchtime…needless to say, sometimes even the best laid plans don’t always get perfectly executed. I like to make a general plan – like picking which Parks to go to on which days, but other than that, I leave things pretty open – that way we can be spontaneous and go wherever the mood takes us!
And on that note…
Don’t – Try To Do It All: I cannot stress this “don’t” enough – especially for first time WDW travelers. You and your kids will get overstimulated, and want to do every single ride, attraction, and show – and it is just NOT POSSIBLE. Even if you’re there for a whole week – the chances of you getting to do it all at all 4 Parks are really slim – so I suggest you just accept that now, and focus on the things you REALLY want to do (that’s where that research comes in!). No matter what things you decide to do, you will still have a great time
Don’t – Over Research: Planning and research is all well and good, but there is such a thing as too much planning (hard for me to admit, since I love to plan, but it’s true!). Skimming a guidebook for general information is great and highly recommended, but spending hours and hours on Disney forums, reading other people’s (usually skewed/biased) reviews…not so good. If you feel yourself getting overwhelmed, take a step back from the research and just remind yourself to keep it simple – get an overview of where you’re going, and then learn the rest when you get there (that’s half the fun of going to a new place anyway!)
Above all DO remember to have fun! After all, you ARE going on vacation to the Happiest Place On Earth – DISNEY!!!
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