I’m sure many a person has looked at going to Disney and just simply gave up due to being completely overwhelmed. (We know that will never happen to you since you’re here getting my help!!) Yes there is a LOT to know about Disney but remember – you don’t need to know everything! Looking up the answer to a quick question can quickly lead to hours pouring through Google hopping from link to link learning about things you hadn’t even heard of when you started searching hours ago. Here’s something to keep in mind: pick out the handful of things most important to your family and focus on those things. Depending on the reason for your trip, the things will be different each time. Here are a few examples:
- Resort – if you’re looking to take a nice, relaxing trip and spend time in your room or at the pool it would make sense to do some research to see which resort fits you best. Another reason to focus on the resort would be if you have special needs in your traveling group. For parties with over five members, your options are a bit more limited when staying on property. Every Disney resort is handicap accessible so you won’t need to worry about that.
- Food – When your group contains a foodie, you might spend more of your planning time on where you’re going to be enjoying your meals. People who’s plan is to just stop and grab something won’t spend nearly the time making Advanced Dining Reservations (ADRs) or looking at the menus from different restaurants to pick the perfect one.
- Tickets – This can be a point of concern if you’re not sure what kind of tickets to purchase. You’ll need to know a couple of things before you can research tickets: how many days you’ll be in the parks, if you’ll go to more than one park each day and if you’ll be visiting any of the water parks during your visit. One thing most people overlook is that not everyone in your guest needs to have the same ticket unless you’re booking a package (even then, you could upgrade a ticket upon arrival). Why would you do that? Well, Annual Passholders (APs) get free parking and a discount on other things. By one person having this type of ticket in your group, you could stand to save more than you spend on the upgrade (and you have a ticket to come back any time in the next year!).
- Packing – One thing most people don’t realize at Disney is that you can bring your own food and drinks into the parks. Most anything is allowed with the exception of alcohol and glass containers (be sure to check the Disney site for the most up to date info). Doing this can save a tremendous amount of money on snacks and bottled water.
- Fitting it all in – This one’s simple: you’re not going to! So long as you show up with that understanding, you’ll be fine. Even the best laid plans will have something go haywire. Keep calm and just go with the flow. Attractions close without warning, someone doesn’t want to do what the rest of the group does, weather doesn’t cooperate, someone doesn’t feel well, the list goes on and on.
Most importantly remember that this is your vacation! It shouldn’t be so much work that it’s not fun anymore. Cast Members are used to seeing people who are overwhelmed and are there to help. Don’t be afraid to reach out to them with a question if you’ve got one while you’re in the parks.