Adjusting Your Expectations for Your Walt Disney World Vacation - Part Two
A Walt Disney World Planning Articleby Susanna Bucci, PassPorter Guest Contributor
Last modified 07-21-2016
In October 2015, I wrote an article on adjusting one's expectations when things don't go quite as 'magically' as you planned during a Walt Disney World trip.
I touched on some things such as room readiness, being prepared for crowds, and FastPass selections. About 2-3 weeks after the article ran in PassPorter, I headed off for my third trip with my mom, keeping those 'adjusted expectations' in mind. However, I experienced some things that I hadn't thought of before, and decided to do a follow up article to include them.
Mickey Snacks: A chocolate dessert a guest could get on the Boardwalk near Epcot.
Flight Delays – During the winter in most of the U.S, delays are inevitable. Snow, rain, and other weather issues can mean the difference between arriving at the Polynesian Village Resort in the morning, and not getting there until 11:00 pm at night. In the days leading up to my October trip with my mom, it didn't occur to me that our flight might be delayed. Why would would it be? We were flying out of Philadelphia in the middle of autumn, and the weather was perfect! Yet, ten minutes after I woke up, I received an alert that said our 8:00 am flight had been delayed 6 hours. Whether it's the end of July or the beginning of December, ALWAYS be prepared for a delay. Bring an extra battery pack and charger for your phone, some games and toys if you have kids, and keep your My Disney Experience app open so that you can make changes as needed. This brings me to my next point...
FastPass+ Part Two - For pete's sake, make them late! I always make FastPasses for at LEAST three hours after our expected arrival time at our resort. This gives us time to settle in and not be worried about getting to a park before our FastPasses expire. If you get delayed, simply change your FP times or cancel them. This happened to us, and we had to cancel one FastPass because there were no more times that we could move it to. Frustrating, but we made up for it by getting to ride Soarin' multiple times in a row before it closed for the night!
[Jennifer's Note: Keep in mind, however, that if you make your FastPass+ later in the day, you may not have time to get more FastPass+ if you use those first three. So keep your touring style in mind when deciding when in the day to make your FastPass+. I also prefer to make my later in the day, usually the afternoon, as we have a tendency to miss them if they are too early in the day.]
Getting a 'Sub-Par' Room - We have always asked for a room on the second or third floors of our resort, believing that the ground floor would be noisy with guests coming and going with suitcases. But when we arrived at Port Orleans French Quarter, that was our only option for the building we wanted. We were pleasantly surprised to find that our assumptions were unfounded. We slept like rocks, and began to wonder if anyone was even in our building due to how quiet it was! If you are offered a room at your resort that you have tried before and had problems with, then by all means, speak up. However, don't assume you won't like a room or building if you've never tried it before.
[Jennifer's Note: I used to worry a lot about my room and make detailed requests before I arrived. Over the years, however, I've found that the room assigned to me was just fine -- I've come to trust Disney to give me a good room. I will still make simple requests from time to time, but if I'm given a room I don't request, I always check it out first and almost always accept it. Remember, though, you can always request another room if you have a serious problem with the one you were given -- that doesn't mean you'll get it, but it doesn't hurt to ask!]
Ponchos - During our stays in 2013 and 2014, we hadn't needed rain gear because it simply hadn't rained during the day (shocking, I know). Our luck ran out in 2015 when it began pouring down rain in Hollywood Studios. When I say pouring, I mean it was 'grab the animals and set sail in the Ark' kind of weather. We carefully made our way from The Great Movie Ride to Muppets 3D without getting soaked, and hoped the rain would stop when the Muppets show was over. Unfortunately, we were wrong. My mom and I looked at each other and laughed, threw up our hands in defeat, and proceeded to buy the famous Disney ponchos. Bring rain gear, even if you don't think you'll need it.
[Jennifer's Note:The great thing about rain at Walt Disney World is that ponchos are always available in nearly every shop. So no matter where you are when it begins to rain, you can buy a poncho. And did you know that if your poncho rips or tears, you can return it to a shop for a new one right away?]
Lit Up Carousel
Carousel at Night: a night time view of the Prince Charming Carousel with Cinderella\'s Castle in the background.
There are probably millions scenarios that you could prepare for when embarking on a vacation to a Disney park, but the truth is, something will always take you by surprise. A flight delay means you'll be late, rain means you'll get wet, on and on the list goes. The best tip I can give anyone is to just roll with whatever comes at you. The way I see it, you have two choices: be grumpy and ruin your vacation, or smile, 'keep calm and carry on.'
Susanna is a graduate of Huntington University with a degree in Digital Animation. She hopes to one day work for Disney or Pixar, but enjoys going to Walt Disney World in the meantime. Susanna spends her time drawing, animating, and doing anything else that entertains children. You can find her work at https://www.behance.net/susanna_bucci
Updated 07-21-2016 - Article #1310
by PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.
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