Disney Trip Planning: Being a Theme Park Commando

Sure with the excitement of an upcoming Disney trip, it’s normal to fill the time leading up to your vacation with visits to Disney fan forums, websites, and podcasts, but you should be browsing those sources for fun and planning-tips rather than using them to make step-by-step plans in the parks.

Not Yet! Our bathroom break is at 2:15.

Not Yet! Our bathroom break is at 2:15.

The reason I am so against relying on overly involved itineraries is because of how hard it is to accept the let down when everything doesn’t go according to plan. For example, if you’ve planned out when to ride every attraction in exact order and find you are running behind for your 12:30 lunch reservation because one of the attraction’s lines was longer than you expected, you might be left feeling: 1. rushed, 2. disappointed, and 3. stressed. Not only are you going to feel stressed out when things aren’t going according to plan, but you’ll probably just feel stressed in general with your itinerary in the back of your mind at all times. Who wants to be riding The Haunted Mansion at the Magic Kingdom while wondering when it’ll be over so you have enough time to head over to Peter Pan’s Flight before the 3 o’clock parade, and on top of it you haven’t even eaten lunch yet.

Here is a simple list of Do’s and Don’ts to give you an idea of what I mean:

DON’T plan every ride you will do on a given day.

DO plan one or two must-do rides for each member of your family.

We have to do all of the blue dots on this map!

We have to do all of the blue dots on this map!

DON’T get too attached to your plans.

DO realize that there is always a next time!

DON’T make dining reservations for every meal of every day.

DO make a few dining reservations to sample what Disney has to offer.

DON’T schedule too many things for one day.

DO Plan what days you will go to which parks. (You may do this around Extra Magic Hours or by looking at a crowd calender.)

DON’T become a theme park commando!

Do take into account what everyone else in your party wants to do with their vacation.

"We need to do all of this in the next 3 hours!"

“I think we can get all of this done in the next 3 hours!”

My biggest point of advice here is to treat your itinerary as a tool of guidance rather than a strict, set-in-stone checklist. It’s easy to get nervous that without an in-depth plan you might miss out on something, so that’s why each member of your party should make a list of must-dos and you should get to those attractions first. Of course the more you plan, the more efficient your time will be laid out, but your trade-off here is a more “willy-nilly” plan, if you will, rather than a overly-structured plan with probable stress and possible disappointment. But when it comes down to it, can you REALLY do anything that would make you have a bad time at a Disney park?

Angie Carreiro


About The Modern Mouse Crew

Modern Mouse Radio is a multimedia Disney fan site run by Josh Taylor and put together by a crew of amazing individuals. Check us out. You won't be disappointed.

Posted on April 8, 2013, in Articles and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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