Planning a Disney vacation can be a Type A personality’s dream! And with all the new technology available, like My Disney Experience, the smartphone has replaced spreadsheets, books and maps of the past. So it is no wonder that super organizers relish every detail of a well-planned Disney trip. But what happens when a last minute opportunity falls into your lap? Of course, no smart, self-respecting Disney fanatic would say no, but what happens when you have almost been shut out of the most desirable FassPass+ and Advance Dining Reservations? In other words, can you still have the vacation of your dreams even if you couldn’t score a FastPass+ to meet Elsa and Anna or claim a primo spot for the Festival of Fantasy parade?
I’m saying yes! We set sail for Walt Disney World in early October, and I have less than 30 days to plan—shudder! Of course, I’m not going to let a little detail like no Seven Dwarfs Mine Train FastPass+ deter me! Here are some tips on how to circumnavigate your trip planning when up against a wall, and they all are inspired by (Walt) Disney quotes:
- “Hakuna Matata”-Timon and Pumbaa, The Lion King
No FastPass+, no worries: Don’t give up! I have heard tales of the diligent planner’s success in grabbing the FastPass+ of their choice simply by checking back on My Disney Experience. You never know: someone else might change their FastPass+ selections. Hey, it’s the circle of life in a sense!
- “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” -Walt Disney
Plan on trying some “new to you” attractions! One of the most amazing surprises we had at Animal Kingdom was slowing down enough from the rides to sit still for The Festival of the Lion King. And oh, what a treat that was! We had been missing out! I will admit it: I didn’t try attractions like AstroOrbiter or the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover until I was a grownup! And you haven’t lived until you’re done Splash Mountain over and over in the 40 something degree December weather because no other fools I mean guests were wanting to get wet! Do you know that is the first memory from that trip that the kids talk about? Step out of your comfort zone; open that new door!
- “You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.” –Walt Disney
As if I weren’t already challenged to plan this vacation in short order, then I had my “kick in the teeth”: my son’s remaining days on his no-expiration tickets would not sync up on My Disney Experience. So unless he has a ticket associated with his name, I would not be able to get FastPass+ for him. Luckily, the Cast Members are able to wave their magic wands. I emailed copies of my ticket and my ID to firstname.lastname@example.org and my new hero Dan called me back to assist me in my dilemma! Hooray!
- “I was so upset, I forgot to be happy.” – Eeyore, Winnie the Pooh
At the end of the day, you’re going to Disney World! Be happy, don’t be an Eeyore! I remember being on Main Street, U.S.A. and just soaking up all the sights and sounds, when I heard the unwelcome sound of a Dad berating his family as they walked by. I won’t repeat what he said because it wasn’t very pleasant, but he ended by saying, “We’re going to have fun whether you like it or not!” Yikes! Again, another confession: I was more Eeyore and not Tigger at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party last year during our character meet for Alice in Wonderland and the Mad Hatter. Just a few minutes before we reached the front of the line, the characters took a break, and only the Mad Hatter returned! My daughter was dressed up as Alice, and I was really bummed she couldn’t get a photo made with her. But I let it totally spoil that experience when I should have just shaken it off. Lesson learned!
So, hakuna matata…don’t forget to be happy…open new doors…take that kick in the teeth in stride. And by all means, say yes to any opportunity you have to vacation at the Most Magical Place on Earth!