Codeword: PLAN!

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When you are a Walt Disney World enthusiast, chances are others around you will notice and inevitably, they will ask you for assistance in planning a vacation of their own. In most cases, you will give them all of your wisdom and share in their joy and excitement and they will follow “most” of what you suggested. It’s important to remember that all families travel differently and we shouldn’t take offense to those who don’t wish to follow our trip advice to a tee.

Unfortunately, there is the chance of someone having an unpleasant vacation experience (personally, I cannot imagine it!) and they will want to come back and, on some level, blame you! I’ve had this happen to me twice and in both cases it was a matter of their poor planning and because of this, I tend to give a disclaimer when offering trip advice to the Walt Disney World novice.

First, you must go in to this trip with a plan. This is not the time to “wing it” or “see how it goes”. A vacation to the Walt Disney World Resort requires a lot of planning. I’m not saying that you need pie charts and graphs, but you do need to arrive on property knowing park hours and what you want to see.

Next, know where you are going to dine and make sure you do your ADR’s! There is nothing more frustrating when I hear people complain that they couldn’t find some place to eat while in the parks! Now, the down side to ADR’s is that there is a slim possibility that on a certain day when you’ve booked, say, to eat in Italy and you do not want Italian food. Who can know six months in advance what you are going to be in the mood for? The reality is that you have to be flexible and not be too structured and sit back and enjoy the atmosphere of the Disney dining experience.
And finally, go in to this vacation knowing that it is not a “relaxing” vacation. If you want to relax, hit the beach; go to the mountains. A Disney vacation is never going to be relaxing. There is a lot of walking, there is a lot of waiting in lines, and there are a lot of rude people around you. If you can go in to the experience knowing that you are going to be exhausted by the end of it, you are going to be fine.

Not every vacation is going to be perfect to everybody but if you ignore those three simple facts mentioned above, you may very well have unhappy travelers and really, they have no one to blame but themselves. Disney officianatos know the importance of a plan of action and we tend to do it way in advance. If you are fortunate to be able to take a spur-of-the-moment trip, you still have to take the time to have a plan.
So if anyone asks you how to have a great Disney vacation, you can effectively sum it up in one word: PLAN!

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