Disney has a lot of rules, and yes you should follow them. Well, most of them! Most of the rules are put in place for safety, crowd control and guest experiences. Some have been put in place by rumor and are self-imposed, and if you were to ask Disney about them, they would admit they are only suggestions.
Leave the selfie sticks behind and don’t try to smuggle alcohol into the parks are two major no-no’s when it comes to visiting Walt Disney World. However, some rules about Walt Disney World we have imposed on ourselves. Wherever you look, you will get the same advice. You have to plan, plan, plan – and then keep on planning. It’s enough to make anybody nervous.
The good news is that you can actually chill. There are a bunch of Walt Disney World rules that you don’t have to follow, and there are many ways to do WDW without a plan.
Here are five rules that you can break:
Rule No. 1 – Make Dining Reservations 180 Days in Advance
It’s true that if you wait too long reservations for the most popular restaurants fill up. However, there are a lot of restaurants and many of them will take last minute reservations (I recently wrote about Five WDW Restaurants You Can Still Book Last Minute).
Many of the Disney Spring restaurants and many of the resort restaurants are very accessible. It’s only the restaurants that get the raviest (is that even a word?) on-line reviews that get onto everybody’s must do list. It’s not essential and you will not go hungry.
Plus, many of the best restaurants also have lounges that do not take reservations.
Rule No. 2 – Do All 4 Parks Plus Extra Days
Your trip can last as long as you need it to or as long as you want it to. You don’t have to go to all of the parks. On one of my recent trips we only went to two of the parks, but we opted to do them both for multiple days.
The parks are very spread out and park hopping is not always the best option. You should just do what you want and are comfortable with.
You also don’t need to pay for extra nights so that you can include more leisure time between the parks. It’s nice to do, but it’s not a hard and fast rule.
Rule No. 3 – You Have to Stay at a Disney Hotel
People go a little overboard in saying that you have to stay on property. Yes, there are perks, but it’s very expensive.
There are plenty of good neighbor hotels just minutes away from Walt Disney World that enjoy many of the on-site perks. They offer shuttle service and are in walking distance to Disney Springs. If you do choose to stay off property you can save a bundle.
It’s nice to stay at a themed Disney hotel, but it is far from the only way to experience Walt Disney World.
Did you know you can enjoy a character breakfast at Wyndham Lake Buena Vista at Disney Springs (with actual Disney characters) for a fraction of an on-site character breakfast?
Rule No. 4 – Select Fastpasses 90 Days in Advance
Fastpass selections become available 90 days prior if staying on site, or 60 days prior if you stay at a good neighbor Disney hotel. Fastpasses help you avoid the standby line by scheduling your arrival time for the attraction.
As with restaurants, the most popular ones fill up fast, but in no way is it a requirement to even use Fastpass at all. You can schedule Fastpasses any time you like and even refresh your My Disney Experience app regularly for up to the minute openings in availability.
Finding a Starbucks or other counter service location to sit and try this out is a winning strategy for getting highly prized Fastpasses on the day of.
Rule No. 5 – You Can’t go Without Kids
It’s a myth that Walt Disney World is only for kids. Just take a good look at the drinking around the world visitors, Victoria and Alberts, and Disney Springs. Adults love Walt Disney World, too.
You don’t have to bring the kids on a Disney trip and you don’t need kids with you to enjoy it.
There is a lot of fun for adults to have and even the kid attractions were in fact built to be enjoyed by adults as well.
There is world class food and plenty of entertainment whether you are a mom and dad on holiday, just a couple trying to getaway for a magical few days or a group of friends having a getaway trip!
What are your best “rule breaking” suggestions?