Everyone approaches vacations—especially Disney vacations—with a considerable amount of ambition and expectation. However, even Disney magic has its limits, and if you’re not prepared for problems, you may be thrown off balance. Here are some of the best ways to enjoy a Disney vacation and avoid disappointment!
13) Don’t be afraid to repeat a ride. What are Disney parks for if not fun? Roller coasters, stage shows, movies—do it all, over and over again; no explanations are needed!
12) If you want a snack, get one! Unless you have a medical condition, vacations are all about treating yourself. Go right ahead and enjoy the treats (which are never hard to find at Disney World) without any regrets! If you really do need to eat healthy, Disney has plenty of options.
11) Don’t neglect educational rides. They may not always be thrill rides, but Disney makes knowledge fun, and even the wisest Disney-goer might learn something new!
10) When you want to sing and dance, do it! There are few places that accept dance parties and sing-alongs; embrace these opportunities at Disney! Who cares if you embarrass your adult companions? Your inner child (and real children) will thank you for it.
9) Actually talk to Cast Members. These people were hired for a reason: they’re friendly, helpful, and you really can enjoy a conversation with them! Don’t assume that a Disney employee is like any other employee; these ones actually WANT to be your friends.
8) Keep your companions’ needs in mind. If you’re traveling with a large group (or even a small one) there will be contradictory ideas and desires. Your eight year-old wants to go on the Prince Charming Regal Carrousel, but your teenager wants to ride the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster for six hours and your sister-in-law just wants to shop. Ask their opinions when planning your vacation; if you’re more of a procrastinator, feel free to improvise!
7) Don’t ignore stage shows. If you want to enjoy yourself on roller coasters, go right ahead—but try to keep an open mind about the other forms of entertainment that Disney has to offer, especially these fantastic shows!
6) Don’t be afraid to split up. A child should always be with an adult in a public space, but, children aside, there’s hardly any place that is safer for split-ups than Disney World. Arrange meeting places and times, then divide and conquer! Just try not to adopt this method if you have reservations somewhere; people tend to forget time’s passing in the parks, meaning that your 5:00 will probably be 5:45.
5) Laugh in the face of difficulties. If there’s any place in the world that encourages you to exude a positive attitude, it’s Disney World. You don’t need to smile until your cheeks hurt, but you do need to embrace plot twists—whether there’s a grumpy companion or a broken ride!
4) Don’t overlook street performances. If you haven’t already left some open space in your schedule, put some in for these. Cast Member interactions, musical performances, and priceless moments can all be found when you’re not be expecting it! Enjoy the impromptu entertainment—and the knowledge that you can walk away whenever you want to, without any pressure.
3) Stay off the grid. It may be tempting to Instagram every single character meet-and-greet, but the liberation that comes with an offline vacation really is refreshing. Besides emergency cell phones, maintain minimum contact with the non-Disney world; make like a vacation, and vacate!
2) Keep free space in your schedule. There is a reason that this is so high on the list: relaxation and obligations do not go together! Power-walking from place to place is one way to have a vacation, but it can transform into a burden very quickly. If you can afford it, make your vacation slightly longer, so that you can absorb Disney experiences without an intense pace—and without exhaustion. At the very least, insert one or two days into your vacation that are “free days”; whether your companions want to enjoy their resort or revisit their favorite ride, you’ll be well-rewarded!
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1) Do not expect it to be perfect. People will be grumpy in your group sometimes. There might be sunburns. Kids might cry. This is normal! Disney magic is great, but it can’t fix all of your problems at once, and putting a reasonable blend of whimsy and pragmatism into your Disney vacation will make any problems seem far less severe (although you really should avoid the sunburns).
Every vacation is unique, and who knows? The perfect vacation really might be out there for someone. However, if you maintain your sense of humor and remain open to different experiences—as well as relaxation—your vacation is guaranteed to be both magical and fulfilling!
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