“Just keep swimming” It’s not just a line from a movie, it’s truly a way to live life. These few words of wisdom could really save your sanity while you’re on vacation. I’ll be the first to tell someone planning a vacation to do just that – plan! Sometimes though, it’s better to throw those plans out the window and go where the world takes you. Sites like TouringPlans.com and the Disney website are my best friend while I’m trying to fill in all the spaces on my spreadsheet. Having a plan and knowing which parks we’ll visit requires a look at crowd levels and what Advanced Dining Reservations (ADRs) we can get for the trip.
Sometimes though, things don’t always go as planned. This is where I get nervous and meltdowns can quickly occur – from both parents and children! Try to have a few things in mind in case an attraction or show you’d planned on visiting has a long wait or is currently not running. Here are some suggestions:
- Get a FASTPASS. If it’s an option for the attraction, show or character, grab a Fastpass and come back during the designated time. This could give you the time to take a bathroom break or grab a much needed snack.
- People Watch. People from all walks of life visit Disney and it’s interesting to see how they all interact and how things are different in different cultures.
- Have some time wasters. Fastpass not available and have to ride the ride? Have something small to entertain the kids while you’re waiting in line. Pocket size is good so you could just stick it in your pocket once you’re finally at the front of the line. Check the party favor section of the store for small items – bubbles, stickers, puzzles, ect. Another fun item is the Hidden Mickeys book.
- Learning never stops. Make some flashcards to practice vocabulary words or math facts while you’re waiting for the rain shower to pass (or the parade to arrive or whatever else might be holding you up).
- Keep ’em busy. Kid Tips for Walt Disney World is a fun book for kids. It’s easy for them to read and keeps them entertained with things you might not think about that might appeal to them.
- Consult the map. It’s so easy to get overwhelmed – especially when you’re new to Walt Disney World. Once you’ve been a few times, you’ll become familiar with the parks and know what’s around you. During your first trip, you may not know there’s a cute little shop around the corner to duck into and stay dry during a brief rain shower (or warm up if it’s cold) or you could ride three attractions nearby while you’re waiting for your Fastpass time for another attraction. Take a look at your map and see what you’re near.
- Take breaks. Don’t forget to add some time for things like snacks and bathroom breaks. Hungry kids who have to go potty are not so much fun. (Hungry adults who have to go potty aren’t much fun either!) A quick snack break could change your whole afternoon.
If all else fails, throw the plans out the window all together and just have fun! Start planning another trip to do the things you missed this time.