Does any1 else find WDW overwhelming?

mikeishere

Mouseketeer
Joined
Aug 22, 2010
I’m a huge huge Disney parks fan but does anyone else find WDW and and Orlando holiday planning just so overwhelming with all that it involves? That I’d rather consider the smaller Disney Parks like Paris and California just because I feel more relaxed and less stressful and look forward to it more when it’s Paris / California.

the way you have to plan your fast passes etc beforehand and were you wanna be and wanna go each day and all the hints and tips to follow online just stresses me out. The bigger the Florida parks and WDW gets just gets more stressful as the years go by that it makes me look forward to it less and the smaller resorts like Paris more as its less stress free and don’t have to plan soooo much.

It means missing out on more rides and entertainment because of just how big Florida theme parks are. But you still get the Disney magic in Paris and California.
 

DL1WDW2

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 5, 2019
I agree WDW is overwhelming .
I always wish I could Plan one day and relax a day plan a day relax….
but usually too excited and GoGoGo takes over
 

mikeishere

Mouseketeer
Joined
Aug 22, 2010
I agree WDW is overwhelming .
I always wish I could Plan one day and relax a day plan a day relax….
but usually too excited and GoGoGo takes over
I’m the same I like plan relaxing days but I just wanna be gogogo all the time as I don’t know when I’ll be back
 

chrish2

Earning My Ears
Joined
Aug 11, 2013
Having gone for many years one "perk" is there is no need to try and fit it all in. e.g. Going and just doing the waterparks is much more relaxing. If we get tickets it's usually only for one "group" of parks.
 

Minniesgal

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 29, 2013
I think this is where DVC is great as once you have DVC you know you will be back and see it again so you slow down more and don't rush.

We do it much more relaxed now only make a few dinner reservations, only do parks early morning or evening and chill in between.

Have to say having lived in Paris I am not a fan of Disneyland Paris, WDW will always have my heart
 

Plague

Frozen II Fan
Joined
Jun 14, 2020
It comes down to time. You need plenty, either by going frequently or going for a long time less often.
If you go for a week and also spend a day or two offsite (eg. Universal/IoA/Seaworld) then yes, mega planning and stress.
 

finchy3

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jan 30, 2014
We have always visited DL so our visit to WDW was very overwhelming, we haven't returned lol.
Apart from a visit to DLP which we enjoyed we have continually returned to Walts park.
 
  • marcais

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Feb 22, 2018
    I liked the planning for previous visits. Sitting with the kids figuring out which parks they wanted to visit on which days, then going through all the attractions and seeing which they wanted to get fast passes for and then building an itinerary around it.

    I have no enthusiasm for planning next year's trip cos all I see every time I look at MDE is how many 45+ minute waits there are and how much time we'll be spending in line. I'm spending more time looking at non-Disney things to do. This will likely be our last trip to Florida, so there's things we've seen on previous trips that we put off with "we'll do that next time", so this might be the time we do some of that stuff.
     

    mikeishere

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 22, 2010
    I hate all the fast pass planning like you know 90 days before what time you’re going to be in the queue for Splash Mountain. I like to be relaxed and spontaneous on holiday it’s a bit depressing knowing where your going to be on each time of day. It’s not work/real world
     

    RossK

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 29, 2014
    There are two types of people in this world: Those who love planning a WDW vacation, and those who don't :D

    I think the key is not being super ridged in your planning. I always visit for three weeks, so yes, pretty tough to know in the third week of the holiday what I want to be doing. But in my experience, I have almost always been able to change things the night before - even hard to get dining reservations as other people also change their plans. So I just book what I think I might want and then change on the fly if needed.

    My approach, which I find fairly stress free is this:-

    An excel spreadsheet, with a column for each day of the holiday (honestly, for a three week vacation, this is a must, even with non-Disney vacations to keep track of where you're supposed to be). I reuse this same spreadsheet template each year (and start with the previous years plan as a base). And along the first row of the spreadsheet, each day I decide which park I want to visit... It roughly goes like this: Magic Kingdom on the first full day, then each subsequent day a different park until I've visited each one. Then for week 2 and 3, I largely just cycle through them, with the parks I like most having more frequent repeats. I then build my reservations on top of this. So if I'm at Animal Kingdom, I know I'll want a Yak and Yeti reservation, so I note that down. I put in all the places I'd like to make sure I hit up. Once I've added all the restaurants which I really want to visit, I then fill in any gaps as needed. I roughly look to eat at around the same times each day, an early'ish lunch and a late'ish dinner. From this point, I know roughly where I'm going to be and at what time, so its fairly easy to know what time to book fast passes. I always try and make sure I schedule FPs *before* a dining reservation and not after, so I'm not rushed through my meal.

    I do this planning in advance of the reservation windows opening - so when it opens, I just work through my list relatively stress free.. I always use a bit of experience, so for example, I don't try and book Flight of Passage in the first week of my trip, because its available to almost everyone. I take advantage of the 60+10 rule (if you have a resort reservation, at the 60 day mark, you can book as far out as 70 days). Proportionally, relatively few on-site guests stay 10 days, so its much easier to get the "hot ticket" items towards the end of that 10 day window as far fewer people have access to reservations that far out. If something is not available as I work through my list, I just pick a second choice, and come back to it later. I have never failed in getting what I want out of the full three week trips I've done. Quite often by the third week, I've decided I don't want to do certain things, so I just cancel. Better to have the reservation than not - so if you don't know for sure, just book it and cancel closer to the time.

    So basically, relax, take your time and try and have fun with it. At least for now, one extra complication, FastPasses, have gone away so one less thing to worry about!
     

    mikeishere

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 22, 2010
    There are two types of people in this world: Those who love planning a WDW vacation, and those who don't :D

    I think the key is not being super ridged in your planning. I always visit for three weeks, so yes, pretty tough to know in the third week of the holiday what I want to be doing. But in my experience, I have almost always been able to change things the night before - even hard to get dining reservations as other people also change their plans. So I just book what I think I might want and then change on the fly if needed.

    My approach, which I find fairly stress free is this:-

    An excel spreadsheet, with a column for each day of the holiday (honestly, for a three week vacation, this is a must, even with non-Disney vacations to keep track of where you're supposed to be). I reuse this same spreadsheet template each year (and start with the previous years plan as a base). And along the first row of the spreadsheet, each day I decide which park I want to visit... It roughly goes like this: Magic Kingdom on the first full day, then each subsequent day a different park until I've visited each one. Then for week 2 and 3, I largely just cycle through them, with the parks I like most having more frequent repeats. I then build my reservations on top of this. So if I'm at Animal Kingdom, I know I'll want a Yak and Yeti reservation, so I note that down. I put in all the places I'd like to make sure I hit up. Once I've added all the restaurants which I really want to visit, I then fill in any gaps as needed. I roughly look to eat at around the same times each day, an early'ish lunch and a late'ish dinner. From this point, I know roughly where I'm going to be and at what time, so its fairly easy to know what time to book fast passes. I always try and make sure I schedule FPs *before* a dining reservation and not after, so I'm not rushed through my meal.

    I do this planning in advance of the reservation windows opening - so when it opens, I just work through my list relatively stress free.. I always use a bit of experience, so for example, I don't try and book Flight of Passage in the first week of my trip, because its available to almost everyone. I take advantage of the 60+10 rule (if you have a resort reservation, at the 60 day mark, you can book as far out as 70 days). Proportionally, relatively few on-site guests stay 10 days, so its much easier to get the "hot ticket" items towards the end of that 10 day window as far fewer people have access to reservations that far out. If something is not available as I work through my list, I just pick a second choice, and come back to it later. I have never failed in getting what I want out of the full three week trips I've done. Quite often by the third week, I've decided I don't want to do certain things, so I just cancel. Better to have the reservation than not - so if you don't know for sure, just book it and cancel closer to the time.

    So basically, relax, take your time and try and have fun with it. At least for now, one extra complication, FastPasses, have gone away so one less thing to worry about!
    Wow your a planner!

    no thatjust does my head in why should that much planning go into a holiday I wanna know I’m going on holiday in a month amd go with the flow and not be doing spreadsheets like work.

    this is why I like this new paid fp Paris are doing at least this way you just rock up at your fave ride and show your fastpass paid ticket.
     
  • RossK

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 29, 2014
    Wow your a planner!

    no thatjust does my head in why should that much planning go into a holiday I wanna know I’m going on holiday in a month amd go with the flow and not be doing spreadsheets like work.

    this is why I like this new paid fp Paris are doing at least this way you just rock up at your fave ride and show your fastpass paid ticket.
    To be fair, in many popular tourist destinations or restaurants, you need to make reservations. There are plenty of restaurants you can just walk in to at Disney, but if you want to go to the popular ones, then a reservation is a must. You don't need a spreadsheet at all - I just find it easier than noting down on a piece of paper. Sure. I agree, it would be great if we could just rock and do what we want when we want, but that's never the case in any popular destination. For example, I'm arranging a two week trip to Japan - and its almost exactly the same situation. I have to get around to different cities on different trains, make dining reservations, book tickets and so on. Can I avoid making many of the reservations? Sure, just like I can at Disney, but I might not get exactly what I want, when I want. FastPasses are probably gone at WDW in their current form, so really Disney is now like almost every other popular tourist destination in that respect.
     

    mikeishere

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 22, 2010
    Y
    To be fair, in many popular tourist destinations or restaurants, you need to make reservations. There are plenty of restaurants you can just walk in to at Disney, but if you want to go to the popular ones, then a reservation is a must. You don't need a spreadsheet at all - I just find it easier than noting down on a piece of paper. Sure. I agree, it would be great if we could just rock and do what we want when we want, but that's never the case in any popular destination. For example, I'm arranging a two week trip to Japan - and its almost exactly the same situation. I have to get around to different cities on different trains, make dining reservations, book tickets and so on. Can I avoid making many of the reservations? Sure, just like I can at Disney, but I might not get exactly what I want, when I want. FastPasses are probably gone at WDW in their current form, so really Disney is now like almost every other popular tourist destination in that respect.
    Yeah I see what you mean. :)
     

    loves to dive

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 21, 2011
    I think you can plan as much or as little as you want at WDW. We do almost no planning - pre-Covid. No FPs in advance other than maybe the night before, most times if we book a FP it's while standing line for a ride and it's never for more than 30 min. from when we think we are getting off the ride. We never book more than 1 at a time. We never book ADRs in advance, usually day of while walking around in a park.

    I book the resort about 2 months before I go.

    Now that park reservations are required (which I hate) I do go ahead and book those when I get my tickets but that's it. We always have park hoppers which helps. If a park is too crowded, we just move on to another. There has never been a time if there was a ride we wanted to ride we didn't ride it. Caveat - we go often. When we first started going we went every other year (single mom it took me two years to save) and we have never really been ride centric. We started going before any FP system so waiting in line was what you did. We like trying different places to eat and with park hoppers the world is your oyster. I was there in April (solo) with park hoppers. I booked my room 1 month before I went, I booked my park reservations and that was it. I rode every single ride I wanted to ride, ate at TS restaurants 4 times, booking day of. I checked every afternoon just for fun and there was always something available for that night. I spent a couple of hours every single day back at the resort, either at the pool or "resting" in my room. We usually go for anywhere from 4 nights to 6 nights.
     

    Plague

    Frozen II Fan
    Joined
    Jun 14, 2020
    they are waiting around in lines the entire trip
    Going to Disney and not knowing that you will be queuing a lot is a major failure in expectation management. :)

    I often wait in the main line anyway - the stuff Disney put into them is just so fascinating. At DL Anaheim in 2019 I did Smuggler's run a few times - once in the single rider line, the rest in the main (no FPs) for about 40 mins usually. The SRL was likely quicker, but standing in a concrete passage for 20 mins or so got old fast.
    Sometimes I'll stop in a queue and wave others past, so I can properly take in the detail - Eg. GotG (at Anaheim again) I stepped back to watch the pre-pre-show video in full. (Twice actually as there was the Monsters after Dark version as well when I was there.)
    I did FoP on a FP in 2018 but really want to do the main queue as I missed all that - if I ever get back again ... this year, next year, sometime ... :confused3

    Basically, don't be in such a hurry. Enjoy what you get to see and do and don't worry about what you missed.
     

    Pooh's World

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 18, 2021
    Going to Disney and not knowing that you will be queuing a lot is a major failure in expectation management. :)

    I often wait in the main line anyway - the stuff Disney put into them is just so fascinating. At DL Anaheim in 2019 I did Smuggler's run a few times - once in the single rider line, the rest in the main (no FPs) for about 40 mins usually. The SRL was likely quicker, but standing in a concrete passage for 20 mins or so got old fast.
    Sometimes I'll stop in a queue and wave others past, so I can properly take in the detail - Eg. GotG (at Anaheim again) I stepped back to watch the pre-pre-show video in full. (Twice actually as there was the Monsters after Dark version as well when I was there.)
    I did FoP on a FP in 2018 but really want to do the main queue as I missed all that - if I ever get back again ... this year, next year, sometime ... :confused3

    Basically, don't be in such a hurry. Enjoy what you get to see and do and don't worry about what you missed.
    It's more about people who shun planning and say they are cool with whatever, "relax" and then go to Disney and wait 5 hours in line for Flight of Passage because they didn't have fast passes and don't know about rope drop, then wait another couple hours for three-four other rides, and spend hours waiting for dinner because they didn't make reservations. Then end up complaining and whining the whole time they are there and hate the Disney experience.

    You see this type of person at Disney often when they don't plan.
     

    RossK

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 29, 2014
    Basically, don't be in such a hurry. Enjoy what you get to see and do and don't worry about what you missed.
    This really is golden advice. And as this is the UK trip planning forum, typically us Brits visit for weeks at a time. We simply do not need to run around like maniacs trying to get everything done. Disney is actually still perfectly doable without reservations (aside from the new Park reservations!!). We never usually wait more than 50 minutes for a ride in standby. And as you say Plague, the level of detail in many of the queue systems really is outstanding. It is also a point of regret that I'm yet to see the "avatar" in the FoP main queue, as we've always FastPassed this one. Maybe on the next trip... Whenever that will be :D
     


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