Last week, I briefly touched on some important Disney vacationing benefits. Today, I'm going to talk about maximizing your time. Being that I have a huge problem with time management (#CONFESSION!!) in my everyday life, it's funny that I pretend to know so much about it while I'm in the parks. Ha! Disney is so massive, if you don't have some loose plans, you'll miss out on doing stuff.
Disney did a HUGE favor for us by implementing the Fast Pass system. Even better is Fast Pass+, an attraction scheduling function that allows guests to schedule activities months in advance. If you are staying on property, you can plan things even sooner. A prime example of the benefits of FP+ is getting to ride Toy Story Mania more than once in a day. Toy Story Mania is a moving target game that lets you compete with the people in your car. It spins you through movie-themed games, is 3D, and leaves you feeling extremely accomplished or downright defeated. (Ask Cal about that!) As soon as Hollywood Studios opens, BAM, there's a line. I like to get there early, ride TSM, go around and do other things, then come back to use my TSM Fast Pass in the afternoon. Twice in one day. Win!
When Cal and I visited at Christmas, we rode the bus EVERYWHERE. It literally saved us chunks of minutes throughout our day. Instead of walking to our car, waiting in the parking lot lines, walking from our car to the tram, from the tram to the gate, etc, we just rode the bus. It picked us up near our hotel food court and dropped us at the gate of the park. Easy. (I haven't used the buses a lot in the summertime, but depending on the time of day, I imagine they're alright. PLUS, you have plenty of time for catching up on social media and selfies because you aren't driving.
I also love WALKING. It's the best kind of transportation because you get to burn off those 1200 calorie meals. <---that's a real thing.
This has a little to do with your Fast Passes, but more to do with street smarts. Study where you're going. Know what time the fireworks start. There is endless info to be found on the Disney Parks website, or you could check out Mouse Savers or All Ears. A little studying ahead of time will prepare you to deal with the masses. And they are massive. A little flashback to several years ago, July 4th. Cal's family and I staked out a spot in front of the Magic Kingdom. We were over an hour early for the big castle fireworks show, so we just stood there, look on our phones, talked, hung out, sweated, etc. When we got within 15/20 minutes of the show start, swarms of people began searching for space to perch. A family next to us, in the nearby handicapped section, were quickly trampled on by another family trying to squeeze in. Things escalated quickly and Disney cast members had to intervene. In large crowds, tension is going to run high. You can avoid some stress by having a plan of action. I'm not trying to get all "Tanner Family Clipboard of Fun" on you, but trust me, it'll save time.
(If you didn't get that reference, I'm not sure we can be friends.)
TIME TO RELAX
It's a vacation, don't forget that. Go to your room and take a nap one day. Swim in the pool. You'll need it. Sit on a bench with a cup of coffee. People watching is a fun activity that takes little effort.
Anyone who has been to the parks will already know everything I just said. I don't have any 'aha' moments to bring to you. But if I can convince you that taking a Disney vacation can be a pleasant experience, then I've done my job.