Disney World travel planning: not for the faint of heart

Disney World Travel PlanningMy husband has never been to a Disney park, so for our big trip this year, we decided to go to Disney World because if you live east of the Rockies, that’s what you do I guess.

Growing up in California, I was lucky enough to be able to go to Disneyland. Every time we went, it was amazing. The Disney people just get it. It’s not just the décor, but it’s the entire experience. Customer service is amazing. I swear they pump anxiety meds or maybe booze into the air to make you feel happier than you really are.

As I began planning our trip to Disney World, I kind of started to freak out. It’s insane. I swear I put less stress and thought into planning my wedding.

Going to Disneyland was pretty laid back. The most planning you did was book a hotel and buy tickets to the parks…maybe. Mostly, you just bought your tickets at the park.

Maybe if you didn’t feel like making the hypnotic drive down Interstate 5 (Did we pass the stinky cows yet?), you booked an airline ticket and a rental car, but a last minute trip to the southland was easy to do by car.

So, not only do you have to buy your plane ticket, book your hotel, and get your tickets to the parks (because a package deal can save you like 30%), but you also have to figure out how much you’re going to eat and which rides you want to go on…before you even get to the damn parks.

I mean, what?

Disney World travel planning is insane. Did I say that already? Holy crap.

Who the hell knows what rides they want to go on before they get to the park? Sure, as a Disneyland veteran, I have a few core favorite rides and I want to make sure my husband experiences them, but if you’ve never been, how are you supposed to know what you want to do? Just because 15 bloggers recommend one ride doesn’t mean you’ll like it. Maybe you’d rather go on It’s a Small World (because you are completely nuts) instead of that weird Seven Dwarves roller coaster. Favorite rides at Disney are a very personalized thing. I will avoid Tower of Terror at all costs, but many people love it. It’s like a nightmare for me. Just throw in some zombies and the Tower of Terror will be a nightmare I had once.

Then there’s these touring plans for each park. TOURING PLANS?!? Don’t get me wrong. I love planning stuff, but I like to leave some room for spontaneity. How the hell am I supposed to know what I’m going to feel like doing a few months from now? And to have to schedule things in hourly chunks? That sounds way too much like work.

On top of all this…people recommend making restaurant reservations six months in advance.

The hell? How am I supposed to be able to determine how much I’m going to spend on food for five days? Or even where I’m going to have all of my meals? Isn’t that part of the fun of travel? Figuring it out along with way?

I’m hoping all of this extreme Disney World planning is just an effect of the internet age (too much information causing people to needlessly freak out) and when we get there it’s as amazing as going to Disneyland.

2 thoughts on “Disney World travel planning: not for the faint of heart

  1. Corinne

    Disney World is a completely different beast than Disneyland, because even the Magic Kingdom is so much bigger than Disneyland. That may be why the websites encourage so much planning. Are you a AAA member? Might be worth consulting their travel office, if you haven’t already.

    I know someone who used to live in FL and went to WDW often and blogged about it – not sure if her blogs are still live, but I’m sure she’d be happy to advise you on how to make the most of your time there.

    Pro tip: If you’re going in the spring or summer, be forewarned, Florida humidity is a killer. Like sitting in a sauna wrapped in a damp towel with a plastic bag over your body. Even with growing up in Maryland and dealing with summers there, I wasn’t prepared for Florida in May/June.

    1. Amy Ruiz Fritz Post author

      I can’t believe how humid it was when we went down there in March. I can only imagine how awful it must be in the summer. Next time, we’re going in the winter. On another note, I’m completely addicted to Disney World now.


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