My Number One Piece of Advice

Expect it to be crowded, but have a great time anyway

There is something that I have noticed over and over again when people talk about planning a Walt Disney World vacation, and it continues after they arrive. It is how stressful the vacation can be. My number one piece of advice is to not let the stress take over your vacation. I know that’s easier said than done, but you need to go into it with the right mindset, even during the planning. A vacation is supposed to be a chance to get away from the norm, and let’s face it, normal life is stressful. It is possible to control how much stress you let creep into your Walt Disney World vacation.

The first thing you need to remember is that you are not going to do it all. I understand that you might be planning a once in a lifetime vacation, and you do not want to miss out. But if you try to do everything, you’re just going to end up burnt out, which is not a fun way to spend a vacation. I live close enough to Walt Disney World that we tell what time it is because we hear fireworks (we really do this), but there are still plenty of things that I haven’t done. And that’s okay. If you miss something it’s not a big deal, as long as you had a good time.

Another major contributor to stress is making FastPass+ reservations. No one wants to make a mistake. But if you end up enjoying the attractions that you have FastPass+ for, can you really call it a mistake? If you don’t get all the choices that you want, it’s not the end of the world. Show up at rope drop, or get in line at the end of the night. Some of the standby lines are AMAZING.

Another thing that brings stress is the crowd level. No one wants there to be crowds while on vacation, but that’s something that you can’t do anything about. Last summer my daughter Tricia and I visited Disneyland Resort in July, it was her first time there and my second. And we had the time of our lives, in spite of the wall to wall people! The crowds will bring you down only if you let them.

Weather is another thing that you can’t control, but will often bring unnecessary stress to a Walt Disney World vacation. The best thing that you can do is to be prepared. Assume that it will rain at some point during your vacation, and pack a few ponchos. A summer storm will usually pass quickly, and then it will become a distant memory. Remember as well that it is going to be HOT AND HUMID for a good part of the year. Knowing this won’t make you cooler, but it might make you complain about it a little bit less.

There is something that you do have control over that can help to keep your stress level down. Take care of yourself while you’re here. Use the sunscreen, even if you don’t normally burn. Drink plenty of water, because it is easy to become dehydrated. Make some of your food choices healthier instead of eating mostly fried foods. Take breaks, even if you just sit on a bench in the shade for five minutes. If you don’t take care of yourself, you’ll add stress to your vacation.

Finally, have a good time! Every time I’m in a park I see families fighting, and other people who are not feeling the magic. They let the stress take over. If you miss a FastPass+ reservation, or someone in your party wants to wait in line to see Goofy when you already have a picture with him, it’s not the end of the world. A Walt Disney World vacation is about making memories, so enjoy yourself instead of stressing over the little things.