Now, on to the point of my blog post today. My first trip to Disney World in Florida was several years ago. We were spending a couple of days in the parks and then getting on a Disney Cruise ship for a celebratory cruise. I had never been there and there was so much that I had to see and do. We set our sights on the Magic Kingdom park. It was a typical late summer day in Orlando, hot, humid, more people than I typically like to be around. It is important to note that I had never been there before, but as a typical type A male figure, I knew what I wanted to do, where I wanted to go.
We started out going left. We went on Splash Mountain, now one of my favorite rides. We then took off to go do the Haunted Mansion. After that, we went to Mickey’s Philharmagic which was new at that point. From there, we went to Space Mountain. We found a quick service restaurant for lunch (sorry, don’t remember which, but I think it was close to the Mainstreet USA). It was after lunch that I decided that I wanted to go ride Big Thunder Mountain, then back to Adventureland to the Jungle Cruise, at which point the daily rainstorm happened and I was drenched as I was seated on the entrance to one of the Jungle Cruise boats...the only seat NOT covered by the canopy. As you can guess, by this time I was tired. I was getting punchy, but I still thought I knew my way around better than anyone who has ever been there. I wanted to go to the Winnie the Pooh ride next. I started to walk confidently. My loving bride had finally had enough (she had been there previously and lives and breathes Disney). I was walking confidently to where I knew I wanted to go. She stopped and very sternly told me that I was going the wrong direction. We argued, I got out the map. I put the map away and started following the expert in the family.
We were tired, I was wrong, and I learned a very valuable lesson. Have a plan to get around the parks. No matter what park you go to, have a plan and listen to those that know more than you do. Because of me, in a little over 4 hours, we had been to every land and still had more that we wanted to do. Our feet were tired, we were beat. We ended up leaving early that day and missing the fireworks because of my stubbornness earlier in the day.
Let me end with the only good decision I made that day. Go Left first. Most people have the inclination to go right, so by taking a left, you can avoid some of the larger earlier morning crowds. Other than that, I didn’t do anything right. Your plan should include doing everything you want to do in each land of the park before moving on to the next area. Plan your Fast Passes accordingly. For example, get your fast pass for Splash Mountain early in the day, get the one for Mine Train about mid-day and get that one for Space Mountain late afternoon. Utilize your Fast Pass times to help plan your way around the park. (the only downside to this is that it makes it a little bit more difficult to get extra fast passes)
My final thought, hire a professional. They can help you plan everything and they LOVE doing it. They can help decide on the right resort, the plusses and minuses of the different parks on each given day, clear down to the right kind of park tickets you should buy.
Thanks for reading and have a great day!