How to Approach Disney World

As a Disney annual pass holder, I’ve realized there are basically three ways in which people plan their visit.  I find that moms tend to be in the first category, grandparents in the second, and men in the third.  Which means an awesome trip to one of these people does not equate to an awesome trip to a different person in their group.  Let’s explore….

  1.  The planner.  You’ve seen this person.  They have their Disney World app open and provided everyone with a copy of their itinerary breaking down each ten minutes of your 7 day trip. Wow….expectations are going to be off the charts with this group.
  2. The easy breezy.  Sure you might get in one or two rides here or there and they may have booked a FastPass.  This group might have a great time until they realize that its midnight and they’ve only seen about half the park.
  3. Mr./Mrs. In the Dark.  These are my favorite folks to encounter.  Why are lines so long?  Can you believe tons of these places have no restaurant reservations open?  This person went into Disney completely in the dark and are both shocked and dismayed that things aren’t going their way.  Don’t be this person.  I’ve seen you.   Who spends all that money with no planning at all?!?  These people pop up actually more than you would think.

Here’s a high level starting guide to keep your trip going smoothly and your group happy. With most family vacations to Disney, due to the amount of money being spent and the time invested, expectations are extremely high from the start.  This is about being practical and managing those expectations.  Hence…I’m speaking from good and not so good personal experience!  More to come later this week!


  • Sign up for Fastpasses.  JUST DO IT.  You can sign up for 3 in advance.  Once those 3 are used and/or the time has past, you can sign up for 3 additional ones at a Fastpass Kiosk.  Make sure to do them for your whole group, at the same time, in advance of your visit.  This will cut down on a ton of waiting time…and in the summer when EVERY ride seems to have an hour wait, it will be well worth it.
  • Eat, Feet, and Heat.  It’s critical, especially in the peak season, to make sure you are ahead of the game and don’t let any of these needs escalate.  If you feel warning signs that one of these needs is getting out of hand, definitely do an immediate stop and regroup. If these warning signs are ignored, the meltdowns can get ugly quick!

    One too many rides over the line for this little fella
  • Go early.  I know this is often the #1 tip for visiting Disney, but the reality is that things come up and you might not get there QUITE when you expected.  But the bottom line is, the earlier you get to the park, the shorter the lines will be.
  • Make sure you’ve downloaded the Disney World app.  This will tell you live all of the wait times for every Disney ride/park.  You can check to see what last minute meal reservations are available on the app and book immediately.  It’s well worth it!
  • Book meals in advance as you see fit.  Having at least one meal planned for the day will help provide some structure.


Happy tip alert!  Look at the pretty pic above.  You might never know it, but this spot near the entrance to It’s A Small World is actually a resting spot and CELL PHONE CHARGING area! The outlets are located in the tree stumps…adorable!!  So if your wisely downloaded your Disney app but forgot to charge your phone, one member of your group can relax for a bit and let the good ole iPhone charge up before you are on to your next ride.  Just don’t forget the cord 😉




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