Monday, September 20, 2010

The Power

People often ask how to maximize their Disney trips and avoid the common pitfalls that could make or break a vacation.  My response is often fairly simple.  Do plenty enough research ahead of time and you'll be just fine!  Don't have the time to sit down and read countless guidebooks and a zillion Disney forums?  No problem!  I've got my basic tips right here. 

The Power Of... A Nap
This is one you all have got to trust me on.  I don't care if you have kids or if you don't... we all need a little down time.  Even if you aren't very good at sleeping during the day, at least have some quiet time around 2 or 3 in the afternoon.  Relax by the pool, enjoy a long meal, go to the spa.... anything that gets your away from the hustle and bustle of the parks for at least an hour.  It's so much easier to stay up late and enjoy the evening activities.  Take my word for it.  Your body and mind will thank you.

The Power Of... Touring Plans
If you're not aware, I'm a huge fan of the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World.  The authors stress the importance of having a game plan and I totally agree with them 100%. 

I've heard of people coming back from a vacation to WDW and saying they barely got to ride anything.  Not only that, but their trip was in January.  Okay, that's during the slow season.  The only thing I could come up with is that they entered the parks at 11 a.m. and went to attractions like the TTA first.  *shakes head*

I'm not saying that you need a printed touring plan because if you've been to WDW before, you probably can do without.  All I'm saying is having a game plan going into your vacation.  At each park, know what attractions you should hit first thing.  Also, I've said it before and I'll say it again... get to the parks at opening!  You may need a break mid-afternoon but that's okay.  Isn't that where that awesome nap could come in handy?  ;)

The Power Of... Good Shoes
Everyone has their own idea of "good park shoes" but it might be wise to take a good look at your options.  I personally am a fan of Crocs.  I personally do not like the basic "Beach" style but I do like the "Mary Janes" and the basic flats.  Crocs are well cushioned and provide nice support.  They also breathe well if you get them a size bigger.  Crocs should not be tight anywhere but also should not be falling off.  Make sure to try them on before you just order them. 

If you like tennis shoes, make sure you're taking them properly broken in.  Don't buy a pair 2 days before you leave and then assume they will feel alright on your feet.  You're going to need some good Moleskin at that point.  Boy will you be sorry.

Okay folks, you got it?!  Take naps, have a plan of attack, and wear good shoes.  Geez, you'd think you were going in the Army, huh? 


  1. You are absolutely right on every point! On one of our first vacations together, I dragged my husband (he was not quite a Disney fan, though he is now) from morning to night 2 days in a row and the third day he turned on me and refused to go to a park. He was exhausted and had sore feet. I learned my lesson and we started taking midday breaks and had a great rest of the vacation. Of course, now with kids, midday breaks are a must for ALL of us! :-)

  2. Our touring "styles" could not be more different....haha!

    I'm anti-naps on vacation and pro-sleeping in.

    We never get to the parks earlier then 10 or 11.

    TTA is one of the first rides we hit at the Magic Kingdom because it's one of our favorites.

    And I think any shoes without socks (including crocs) are terrible. I'm a tennis shoes kinda gal.

    And other than having a rough idea of which parks I want to hit on each day, I'm basically anti-planning, in general...haha.

  3. Oh, and I should say that even doing all of those things (sleeping in a bit, having no plans, taking no naps, going on TTA first) we still manage to get tons of rides in. So I hope you weren't referencing me and Graham in this entry...haha.

  4. Haha!! No, not at all Jill. In general, for first timers and unexperienced WDW folks they may be shocked. Plus, you guys go in January so you've got experience and a low crowd time going for you. You can do whatever in the heck you want and you'll be totally fine.

    It is funny how totally opposite we are. In so many ways.

  5. I do enjoy reading about WDW from your perspective since it's so different than mine.

    I think one reason I'm anti-nap at WDW is because when we go, the parks close at 8pm. So we're always back at the hotel fairly early to relax and whatnot.

    I did enjoy taking a "rest" day in the middle of the trip. We'll definitely do that again in the future.

  6. Don't forget about the power of making good decisions.

    The Power Of... Making Good Decisions
    The reason so many people can spend a day at a Disney Park and barely see anything is the direct result of making bad decisions.

    Having a plan is good but sticking to it is the trick. Part of the problem with plotting your day out is unforseen circumstances. "Lightening the load" or reducing your expectations for the days attractions is one way of doing it but ride junkies like Jill and myself need to do as many as possible in a given day.

    Your first stop at any park should be the attraction board. Take a look at wait times and get to know which rides are going to have long waits. That information will be important later.

    People waste time by abandoning their spot in line after waiting 30+ minutes then wandering aimlessly while looking for a shorter line. Here's how a sadist does Disneyland in a day. There is usually lots of time in between to fit in other attractions.

    9:10 1. Space Mountain Fast Pass
    9:15 2. Star Tours
    9:25 3. Buzz Lightyear
    9:45 4. Snow White
    10:00 5. Pinnochio
    10:10 6. Churro
    10:30 7. Big Thunder
    11:00 8. Pirates
    11:30 9. Indiana Jones Fast Pass
    11:40 10. Lunch
    12:30 11. Haunted Mansion
    1:00 12. Splash Mountain
    2:00 13. Winnie The Pooh
    2:10 14. Churro
    2:35 15. Train
    2:50 16. Roger Rabbit
    3:20 17. Micky's House
    3:35 18. Minnie's House
    3:50 19. It's A Small World
    4:25 20. Alice In Wonderland
    4:55 21. Storybookland
    5:30 22. Matterhorn
    6:10 23. Dinner
    6:50 24. Submarines
    7:30 25. Space Mountain
    8:00 26. Indiana Jones
    8:40 27. Casey Jr.
    9:00 28. Snack/Fireworks
    9:50 29. Mr. Toad
    10:20 30. Peter Pan
    10:45 31. Coffee and a Cookie on Main Street
    11:20 32. Go home and crash