You read that title correctly! It is possible! It makes me so sad when people return from a Disney World vacation and are disappointed because they spent hours waiting in line for attractions instead of enjoying themselves. It doesn’t have to be that way!
Let’s face it: even if you are visiting Disney World on a budget (see my three-part series), a Disney vacation is a major financial and emotional investment. Most likely, you’ve planned this trip for months. You may have childhood memories of your own family Disney vacations that you’re trying to replicate, or you at least have a fantasy of what a Disney trip “should be”. The bottom line: you deserve to get the most out of your Disney vacation. And it’s easy to do…if you have an itinerary and touring plans.
An itinerary is a schedule of which of Disney World’s four theme parks you plan to visit on which days. When designing your itinerary, it’s important to choose parks that will be the least crowded on each day. Daily touring plans, on the other hand, are comprised of your “must-see attractions” in each theme park, listed in order of when you plan to experience them. Attractions should be organized with the goal of minimizing wait times; certain attractions build long lines quickly and should be experienced first, while others can be visited at any time during the day. It’s important to keep in mind that touring plans are not schedules; they are just guides, and they should allow for some spontaneity (this is a vacation, after all)!
Exactly how do you develop an itinerary and daily touring plans? You have two options. First, you can do it yourself. The Internet contains countless resources that will assist you in researching and designing your own Disney vacation plans. This process is very time-consuming, however; it literally took me months to sift through all of the available resources and successfully plan our first Disney vacation. Nevertheless, if you have the time and desire to do this on your own, it can be really fun! Your second option is to hire a Disney travel specialist to design your itineraries and touring plans for you. This is a fantastic solution if you are short on time, or if you become overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information, OR if planning a vacation is simply not your cup of tea. A good Disney travel professional will listen to you, learn about your family, and handcraft unique and personalized plans for you that will help you avoid the crowds as much as possible.
Many people question whether an itinerary and touring plans are truly necessary. Disney World is unlike other vacation destinations; while you definitely do not need to (nor should you) schedule every single moment of your trip, having a plan to guide you is essential to the success of your vacation. I’ll never forget a conversation that I had with a friend after we both returned from our first family Disney vacations. I’d designed an itinerary and touring plans; he had not. Our family had enjoyed a truly magical vacation; we made memories on that trip that will last a lifetime. On the other hand, my friend’s family had spent most of their time battling frustrating crowds, and he was resentful of the time and money he’d invested in his trip. Each day, we experienced every attraction on our “wish-list” (and then some) with little to no wait; we always felt like we were a few steps ahead of the crowds. Conversely, my friend complained that his family waited in countless long lines; consequently, they were only able to experience five or six attractions in an entire day. Unfortunately, since then, I have had this same conversation many times with families who visited Disney World without a plan. As a result, I have become truly passionate about helping other people make the most of their Disney vacations, and I’ve discovered over the last few years that the key to success is having a personalized itinerary and daily touring plans.
Next Week’s Post: Save Time in the Theme Parks with my Top Five Touring Tips!
Disney Specialist, Ginger's Getaways
Learn more about my personalized Disney itineraries and touring plans