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Zippity-Doo-Dah-Do-Over

I know some of you can’t even fathom the thought of your vacation being anything less than perfect, but it does happen. When Walt Disney World gives you rotten pineapples, you make yourself a delicious Dole Whip Float! Here are some of our “do-over” WDW Vacation moments and how we overcame and learned from them.

We wouldn’t WDW Resort hop again- meaning we wouldn’t stay at different Resorts during one consecutive vacation.  For our last trip, we wound up going a day early, so we booked All-Star Music for our first night. Then we moved the next day to what was originally booked and planned, which was Caribbean Beach Resort.  After 7 days there, we won a prize package to stay at the Swan and Dolphin for two nights free. After that we tacked another night on, and stayed our last evening at Pop Century. Now, we were VERY exhausted. It’s exciting at first, a new place, a new bed. But with having to pack up our stuff and our vehicle with EVERY move, it became a huge pain in the Mouse’s butt. So we have learned, stick with one Resort, your luggage and dirty clothes will thank you for it.

We wouldn’t book so many Character Meals. I love a good meal, and the Characters are always welcome at my table, but with that said, I don’t have to have them with me at EVERY meal.  I also have never felt “full” or “satisfied” from a Character Meal- the kids would be so excited to see the characters, that I would never relax and just eat. I would eat VERY small amounts of food because of all the excitement, so I wish I could do-over some of those meals and just take it all in and RELAX.  We also discovered that too many planned meals are too much for our family to make time for. Yes, of course we have to eat, but walking up wherever you are is soooo much easier than trying to catch the bus, to the monorail, to the ferry, to the train… you get what I mean. We now book one per trip and that is plenty too look forward to, plus leaves the others for future visits.

We would have rented or driven our own vehicle a long time ago instead of riding the Disney busses. We didn’t mind them in the beginning, but as time has passed, there have gotten to be fewer busses, with longer wait times and when you are at the Values, you share with other Resorts. It is so nice to get into your own vehicle, bring what you need in case you need to get to it from the parks, drive, and park.  Yes, the busses will take you very close to the entrance, but it just isn’t worth our time anymore to figure out how much time it takes from point A to point B.

We would have taken more breaks during the day and learned to slow down. So many trips you cram it all in there, but you miss those small, relaxing moments by the pool or sleeping in occasionally to recharge.  There is no reason not to go back to your Resort during the day, relax, enjoy, and then head back to the parks for the evening. A nap in an air-conditioned room can do wonders for your attitude and health.

Extra Magic Hours has changed names and how they work over the years. When it was “E-Ride” night, you had to purchase a ticket from your Resort to enjoy the Magic Kingdom with other Resort guests, but it was VERY exclusive and it seemed the park was virtually empty.  I don’t mind the Extra Magic Hours as some of them are great to take advantage of, but I wouldn’t rely on them to get certain rides done because that’s when they were and are the busiest. I can never understand why “Peter Pan” is soo crazy busy into the midnight hour during “Extra Magic Hours” along with everything else in Fantasyland.  We now use Extra Magic Hours as a way to enjoy the parks late into the night with a romantic stroll or just a way to people watch for a bit.

We also have learned that we would have packed differently.  We finally got smart and brought a fan to run at night, packed LESS clothes and more practical items to wear, along with learning how moleskin and body glide can save yourself from the pain of blisters and chafing.  We found out quickly that if you like to swim alot, like our Jessie does, having extra suits are a MUST because having to put her into that wet suit every day was just gross. We got smart with food items and brought our favorites from home so that we had that to look forward to after a day in the parks- you can buy small food items on Disney grounds, but they will cost you!

So what are your Disney Do-Overs? Let us know with a comment below. Have a magical week!

4 Comments »

  1. I don’t have any do overs. Pretty much few of the things you’ve said is how we have done every trip since our very first. I love the character meals and always plan accordingly. I don’t park hop. I look to which park has EMH and book a ADR for that day so I’m not frantically headed to our van to get to our ressie. If the park closes early like AK sometimes I will book a ADR that is close by and after the park closes. We always stay 9-14 days so we can take a day to relax or sleep in. We do rush around to take in everything. But we love every minute. We pack for 5 days and wash while there and bring our own drinks and snacks from home to last the trip there and back. Sometimes we stop by the walmart down the road from WDW to pick up extras also to buy cereal and milk to have breakfast in our room before we go to the park. I love the whole planning process and can’t wait for our trip in Dec! We did park hop one year and it didn’t really make a difference as I said I make my ADR’s for the park that has EMH so it was kind of a waste of money. So now we just use that extra money to do the waterpark and fun we usually go in Sept. The weather is nice and the free dinning is amazing!! We live in San Antonio and live 5 min from Six Flags and Sea World and are yearly passholders so we were prepared for the pricing and such for WDW. We knew to pre pack snacks and such before we ever went, if anyone was wondering why or how come we knew to take extra snacks. We love, love, love WDW and have not just been there but to Disney land as well!

  2. We just returned from a 7 night stay and even though we’ve been10+ times (four with our daughter) we learn something new every time. One tip we picked up a few years ago: get the dining plan and plan one sit down meal per day at the park you are planning to tour (or a close-by resort). This ensures some down time and a good meal, and gives us something to anchor our day. Since we were there 8 nights, we had 8 sit down meals (2 on the last day!) and we REALLY enjoyed them. We are already looking forward to 7 or 8 BRAND NEW restaurants/experiences next year. We stayed at the Polynesian, so several of our meals were at the Poly or on the monorail line- very, very easy (and delicious)! That brings me to tip two: staying on the monorail. It WAS more expensive than our usual moderate resort stay, but not THAT much more, and with a discount, it was SO, SO worth it. The monorail access is priceless- it bought us HOURS of transportation time and trouble throughout the week. I really didn’t think it would make that much of a difference (we,ve stayed mod and value before) but it made ALL the difference in our vacation. It was a completely different experience.

  3. Character dining is a unique experience, but I agree about the actual eating part of it. I get the feeling that each guest is expected to move on out once they’ve seen the characters. I don’t think they really want you to stay through a second rotation, even if you’re at a buffet and are still eating. It is hard to eat and manage character visits to your table. Fun, wouldn’t miss it, but not for every meal.