If you’re planning a vacation to Walt Disney World and have never been before, it’s not uncommon to feel overwhelmed. I see it online all the time. People panic about getting the right FastPass+ and what they will do if they don’t get a dining reservation for Be Our Guest Restaurant. A vacation should be an escape from stress, instead of just adding to it. Walt Disney World is supposed to be the “most magical place on Earth”, and if you allow it to, it can be.
Dining reservations can be made 180 days in advance. If there is a restaurant that you really want to try, make your reservations as early as you can. Keep checking back if you couldn’t get what you were looking for. But don’t let missing a particular restaurant ruin your vacation. There are approximately 300 places that serve food at Walt Disney World. Try something else instead. Some of the best meals that I’ve had at Walt Disney World have been at restaurants that weren’t at the top of my list. There are some great hidden gems that accept reservations or even walk ups at the last minute. If you want to learn more about the restaurants, consider purchasing a copy of Dining at Walt Disney World: The Definitive Guide. I know it’s a great resource because I co-wrote it.
I think that the biggest cause of stress at Walt Disney World comes from FastPass+. You can make your reservations 60 days in advance if you’re staying on property, and 30 days if you’re not. You must have a ticket linked to your My Disney Experience account in order to make your reservations. There are still some hard to get choices like Avatar Flight of Passage and Slinky Dog Dash. If you don’t get them, consider arriving an hour or so before the park opens so that you can get in line immediately. If it’s Slinky Dog that you’re worried about, you might want to sign up for Disney Early Morning Magic – Toy Story Land. When I did it, I was surprised by how much we got done in a little over an hour.
Even if you don’t ride Slinky Dog Dash or Avatar Flight of Passage, you can still have a great time. Read about the rides and shows before you leave home, download the My Disney Experience App, and look the maps over so that you’ll have a good idea of what is where. Then go, and have a blast! Don’t let the stress of what you didn’t do ruin the things that you did do. Ultimately, your vacation and how much stress you’re under is in your hands.