I’m not sure if it’s really possible to relax while at Walt Disney World. In fact, we usually come home more exhausted than when we left. However, there are ways to relax and have a more stress free Disney vacation.
1. Plan ahead – Part of planning a stress free Disney vacation is planning ahead. Dining reservations can be made 180 days in advance, FastPasses can be reserved 60 days in advance for resort guests and you can even check-in in advance at your resort. Planning early will get you the best reservations for your trip.
2. Arrive early – Don’t forget, not everyone had planned as much as you and may be interested sleeping at bit while at Disney. (silly, silly.) We know that getting to the parks early is your BEST BET to avoid crowds. You’ll be amazed how much you can get done in the first few hours a park is open, even on the most busy days. Plan on arriving at least 30 minutes before the parks open, if not earlier.
3. Avoid the crowds – This may sound like a joke, but it’s possible to avoid some crowds at Disney. This starts as early as choosing your dates for your trip, but is also key when choosing which park to visit each day. Think about what is drawing people to a park on a given day.
- Are there Extra Magic Hours that will draw in thousands of resort guests? (Hint – you’ll want to avoid that park.)
- Is there a nighttime special ticket event at a park that will cause it to close early that day? People who are not park hopping will be more likely to choose another park that is open late, therefore lowering crowds during the day. (Hint – that’s the park you want to go to.)
- Is there nighttime entertainment that evening at a park that isn’t being offered other nights during the week? (Hint – unless you want to go see that entertainment, you’re better off at another park.)
4. Take breaks – Part of the plan with arriving early is also knowing you will need a break. My family always arrives at a park before it opens, stays until early afternoon and then heads back to the resort to rest. My husband and kids like to swim and I usually head to the resort shops, since I can “shop Disney” all day. We then head back to the parks around dinner time feeling refreshed and ready for our evening.
5. Use a Travel Agent – Even the most seasoned Disney traveler can benefit from an authorized Disney Vacation Planner. They don’t cost any more than booking with Disney directly and offer endless advice for Disney vacations. They can book all of your reservations as well so you never have to lift a finger.
6. Bring a STROLLER! – We have a stroller that is only used at Walt Disney World. Other than at Disney, my kids walk everywhere. But, at Disney, the walking is extreme and the crowds can be extreme and the heat can be extreme. It’s a lot, even for an adult. Having the kids in the stroller means less stress for them and therefore less whining for you to deal with.
7. Take a deep breath – The key is to remember, that no matter how much you plan, there is stress with any vacation and especially a vacation that may be a once in a lifetime trip. The heat will get to you, or the crowds, or someone will bump into you with a stroller. Try to take a deep break, look around and realize that you are at Walt Disney World! After you return home, you won’t remember the heat or the craziness. You’ll just have wonderful memories of a truly magical place.
What are your best tips for a stress free Disney vacation?