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Original article at: http://www.passporter.com/articles/introverts-guide-walt-disney-world.html
5 Ways A Couple of Introverts Enjoy The Busiest Places in 'The World': A Walt Disney World Planning Articleby Stephanie Denton, PassPorter Guest Contributor
Last modified 07-21-2017
Recently I read Quiet by Susan Cain, and I discovered that I fit the description of an introvert.
My husband and I both fit the description, actually. We enjoy people, but need our down time to recharge too. We're perfectly happy to spend a quiet evening at home, and will often choose that over going out. If we get together with others, we prefer small gatherings to big parties. So why on Earth do we keep going back to Disney World, the busiest place on Earth, and how do we enjoy ourselves once we’re there? Somehow a trip to Disney World actually helps us reduce stress, instead of causing more.
Whether you fall into the category of introvert or know someone who does, I hope these tips will help you. Several are things you’ve probably read before, but thinking of them from a different perspective can help make your vacation to Disney more enjoyable for you and those you’re traveling with.
1. Getting ready for a trip to Disney World is a planner’s dream come true. I love to plan a vacation, and nothing beats planning one to Disney. I book our resorts about a year ahead, and plan out our meals at the six-month mark so that I can make our Advanced Dining Reservations. I love to play with each day’s itinerary, looking at park hours, restaurant menus, and of course, listening to the Passporter Moms podcast for ideas. I can do all of this from the quiet of my own home, sitting on my couch with the dog by my side. And I can start this a year ahead, or more, so I can stretch out the excitement that comes with a trip to Disney.
2. Planning our vacation pays off when we get there, by alleviating the stress of making decisions when we’re tired. On our first family trip to the World, we were sitting at dinner, and my husband commented how nice and relaxing it was to know where we’d be eating each night. When we can, we like to do a sit-down restaurant for dinner, to have some time to unwind. This helps us relax and enjoy our day, and gives us some time to recharge. It also alleviates the stress of deciding where to eat when we’re tired from a long day of playing in the parks. I always have lunch narrowed down to a few places we’d enjoy as well, to help make the wide number of choices smaller and easier to manage. We aren’t commando tourists, but we do plan out our meals, and our Fast Passes before we go. Usually we see where the day takes us as far as additional rides and attractions go, but we always know where we’ll be sitting down for a meal.
3. Disney is organized chaos. Sure, there are people everywhere, but there are also times guides to follow that include detailed maps of the parks. We use (and love) the My Disney Experience app! Ride wait times, show times, etc., are listed on the times guide, and in the app, to help you plan as you go throughout the day. In addition, it’s always good to know that you can ask a Cast Member for help if you need it. Every trip has its unplanned adventures, but it can also have the predictability that comes with organization. This is a tremendous help in alleviating stress or anxiety. In addition, since we’ve been several times, we know the drill. We know what to expect, and that sometimes you just have to roll with it.
4. When we need a break, there is always a quiet place to escape for a little bit. Sometimes that quiet space is an indoor quick service restaurant for lunch, or a snack. Sometimes it’s a quiet ride like the People Mover. Sometimes it’s a quiet spot to sit and just watch people go by, without having to try to maneuver through them. Sometimes it’s going back to the resort to relax and unwind. We also try to take advantage of opportunities to take breaks by stopping to chat with a Cast Member, get our photo taken by a Photopass photographer, or wander through a shop. We try to find a way to relax and take a break each afternoon, and as needed throughout the day. Everyone can benefit from a break. Many people think that breaks are for small kids, but trying to power through the day will only lead to exhaustion, no matter what your age (ok, maybe that doesn’t apply to the 20-somethings out there). In addition, we’re morning people. We’re there at the rope drop, and very rarely stay until closing. We make sure we get enough sleep each night to recharge for the next day. Being there early in the morning generally means smaller crowds for the first few hours, which we enjoy tremendously.
5. Disney time is family time, and nothing is better than that. We’ve met up with extended family for trips in the past, but generally don’t travel with them for the entirety of our trip. We’ve found that we like to have time for “just us.” We can call the shots as we go, and not disappoint anyone if we want to call it a day and go back to the resort for some rest. If you fall into the category of introvert, and are traveling to Disney with family, I would suggest planning some down time in smaller groups. That way everyone can have some time to do their thing, whether that’s riding Dumbo 10 times in a row, or relaxing in the shade with a cold drink. Everyone will benefit from some quiet time, and there will still be plenty of family together time as well.
I tried to find photos to share with you that would capture our family taking our time, and enjoying simply being at Disney World. One is of my daughter, who had worn her princess tiara to the park that day. A fairy godmother asked if she had wanted to be sprinkled with pixie dust, and of course she said yes! The other photo looks like a simple family photo, however the story behind it is that we continued to play during the fireworks display, which meant it was really quiet at this corner of the park. We were able to have some quiet time with Stitch, and take a great picture!
About the Author: Stephanie grew up in Southern California, and has visited Disneyland many times since childhood. She and her family now live in Idaho, visiting Disneyland once every year or so, and Disney World about every three years. They are members of Disney Vacation Club, and would live on a Disney Cruise Line ship if they could.
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