Am I overplanning?

Boardwalk_bride

Married in WDW :)
Joined
May 26, 2009
Our FP selection is coming in 2 days (yay!) but I'm starting to wondering if I've over planned. We haven't gone to WDW since becoming parents (our daughter is turning 3 when we visit) and we are so used to having a rigid park plan (actually I do that for all travel). I also thought my daughter would be scared of the characters, however, yesterday at a holiday event she ran up to Santa, so I'm wondering if I need to add those in (currently she is obsessed with Elsa and Snow White....and Beast).

Below is an example of one day I have planned (we have 2 MK days planned). This one assumes we (DH and I) split up time alone vs. all together. Is it too much?
*=who has daughter
7:40Bus to MK
9:00Pooh (Parent 1*)
Space Mtn (Parent 2)
9:30Peter Pan, Under the Sea (1*)
Dwarf (2)
10:00Dumbo, Carousel? (2*)
Dwarf (1)
10:30Small World, break? (2*)
11:00Barnstormer, Pooh (2*)
Space Mtn (1)
11:30Lunch
12:30Fastpass refill
Monsters ; Characters (Pete's side show) (all)
CoP; Philarmagic, ppl mover (all)
2 to 3Head back to hotel
5:00​
Dinner
 

jbehr12

Mouseketeer
Joined
Aug 18, 2018
Our FP selection is coming in 2 days (yay!) but I'm starting to wondering if I've over planned. We haven't gone to WDW since becoming parents (our daughter is turning 3 when we visit) and we are so used to having a rigid park plan (actually I do that for all travel). I also thought my daughter would be scared of the characters, however, yesterday at a holiday event she ran up to Santa, so I'm wondering if I need to add those in (currently she is obsessed with Elsa and Snow White....and Beast).

Below is an example of one day I have planned (we have 2 MK days planned). This one assumes we (DH and I) split up time alone vs. all together. Is it too much?
*=who has daughter
7:40Bus to MK
9:00Pooh (Parent 1*)
Space Mtn (Parent 2)
9:30Peter Pan, Under the Sea (1*)
Dwarf (2)
10:00Dumbo, Carousel? (2*)
Dwarf (1)
10:30Small World, break? (2*)
11:00Barnstormer, Pooh (2*)
Space Mtn (1)
11:30Lunch
12:30Fastpass refill
Monsters ; Characters (Pete's side show) (all)
CoP; Philarmagic, ppl mover (all)
2 to 3Head back to hotel
5:00​
Dinner
I won’t judge your amount of planning because some people thrive when every detail is jotted down. I don’t, but to each their own. My only comment is that even with a tight schedule, make sure you leave some wiggle room for the inevitable changing of plans. If a ride goes down, you end up running late for something, daughter wants to do something else and switch it up last second, etc.

What I’m trying to say is the plans look good, but just be ready if not everything goes exactly how you have it. If it does, great! If not, then remember to remain flexible.
 

2019TripIdeas

Mouseketeer
Joined
Feb 6, 2018
We're about at our FP window too but all I "planned" was which 3 rides I preferred FP for and then a few backups per day in case I can't get those. I planned which park we're at and approximately when (i.e. which one has EMH for). I did an ADR for one meal per day on most days. I'm over here wondering if I'm not planning enough!

I loved touring Disneyland with our 3 kids last year (then ages 4, 2, 1.5). We used MaxPass and just kind of went where the availability was and ParkHopped too. I do wish we could do similar but am also interested to see how I feel about the 3 FP selection process this time and how it makes our days feel.

We have found that with Disneyland and our three kids, a lot of the joy just came from letting them soak in the atmosphere- jumping in line for characters, etc. You may have an easier time of it with only one kiddo, but bathroom breaks can really put a twist in your plans and that's not something you can plan for. For me personally, the experience is almost 100% about watching the joy on my kids faces and enjoying family time together, so no, I wouldn't split from my spouse that much. It would take away from the experience so much for us.

That said, in our case we have times where our 2 year old won't make the height requirements (or our 3 year old too!) so by necessity we'll have to split and rider swap then. I'd say almost all the time though, our priority is our kiddos getting to ride things THEY want to ride and seeing the things they want to see [but my husband and I are definitely not theme park people, so that probably plays in]. I do think we'll try to do single rider for the things our kids wont hit the height on if it's a quick line. We may or may not ride anything in the Star Wars area, for example- may just wander through and check it out.

Given that she seems that she may love characters, I'd definitely prioritize that and maybe try the autograph book thing if she'd like that. Seeing our kids meet characters last time was SO much fun and absolutely worth the time it took. I didn't regret missing rides because of character lines at all.
 
  • Boardwalk_bride

    Married in WDW :)
    Joined
    May 26, 2009
    Thanks, both! I should have mentioned that we are there for 8 nights, and coming from Toronto area, so for us part of it is getting what we want (as adults) as well. It is also an early tenth anniversary for us (we got married in April 2010 at Epcot!), along with her 3rd birthday.

    I'm thinking I should probably make it more flexible and spaced out - and train my brain to be more relaxed! I'll talk to my husband tonight about the plan before we have to make our FP selection!
     

    jbehr12

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 18, 2018
    Thanks, both! I should have mentioned that we are there for 8 nights, and coming from Toronto area, so for us part of it is getting what we want (as adults) as well. It is also an early tenth anniversary for us (we got married in April 2010 at Epcot!), along with her 3rd birthday.

    I'm thinking I should probably make it more flexible and spaced out - and train my brain to be more relaxed! I'll talk to my husband tonight about the plan before we have to make our FP selection!
    I always go the route of a “rough outline” with 3 early FPs and one sit down ADR per day. Anything else outside of that is figured out as we go and leads to a good balance between scheduling and flexibility.
     

    Dreams&wishes

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Nov 22, 2019
    To be honest I think your rides are to close to each other in time. Even with a fast pass you will still take 20 or some times 30 mins before you are out of a ride. Then you might want to stop at Starbucks for a coffee and that in itself takes 40 mins also walking for one side of the park to the other will take time especially if she decides to walk.... I would plan 1 ride per hour max
     

    KPeterso

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 26, 2004
    I would try to re-structure to do rides a little closer together. For example, you have Dumbo & Carousel for 10 AM, followed by Small World at 10:30 , and then Barnstormer at 11. I would put Dumbo and Barnstormer together since they are right next to one another instead of criss-crossing. I know it is all Fantasyland, but I try to structure to be in one area and not going back and forth so much. It may not bother others but it does for me.
     
  • Hikergirl

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 28, 2016
    For me, having specific times for specific rides would be way too much planning, however I know some people love to have plans like that for their WDW trips. The only thing that jumped out at me was that you said you haven't been since you've become parents and that you are used to a rigid plan.
    With a 3 year old I'd just leave some "openness" in case she hasn't inherited your rigid plan following genes :laughing:
    Have a great trip!
     

    LongLiveRafiki

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 8, 2017
    Just remember if you are planning on using rider swap that all of you would have to go to the ride so they can see that your DD is too short before they will add the pass onto the adult staying back's band. This will take a little extra time to get done as well as add more walking so don't forget to account for that. Also, each person can only have one rider swap on their band at a time. It wasn't clear if you were planning on using rider swap for Space and Dwarfs, but if so the rider swap for Space would have to be used before that adult could get a rider swap for Dwarfs. Hopefully that makes sense.

    I also think that your rides are scheduled a little too close together. There are so many variables that could make things take longer. If you go into the trip understanding that, then no big deal, but if you think you would be stressing about sticking with the schedule/running late/missing a planned ride, then you might want to scale back a bit. You never know when you might pass by a ride with zero wait that your DD wants to ride over and over, or need a bathroom break or snack that takes time away from your plan.
     

    Boardwalk_bride

    Married in WDW :)
    Joined
    May 26, 2009
    Thank you so much, everyone. We had a "planning meeting" last night and restructured things to make it more doable, and also talked about which ones we are okay missing (if they are too tight). The rides listed for her are more a guide for us, or more for DH (I always plan everything, and despite going to WDW 6 times in the last 12 years, he still doesn't know where things are since I lead him around!). I'm excited for our FP selection tomorrow - and crossing my fingers we get Frozen @ Epcot for our daughter's bday!
     
  • nandojoe

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Sep 19, 2019
    Well...I won’t judge your amount of planning as somebody already said. I´m going en Jan/2020 with two kids. I had been in WDW 9 times, but this one will be the first time of my younger (3yy). I prefer to ride all atractions with my whole family together.

    I dont like the idea (but of course, I respect) the one parent with the kid at Dumbo and the other parent in other ride, like Dwarf. I think you maybe lost some important moments with your kid.

    I´ve decided with my wife that our trip in 2020 it will be not for us, but for our kids. So, we are planning rides that we can go all together. Of course we gonna ride some radical that kid can´t go (like Everest, Hollywood Tower... ), but all the rides that the kid can go, we will do together.

    Sorry for my english! ;)
     

    pjacobi

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 20, 2001
    I think your planning is reasonable, but don't expect perfect execution. Instead, expect that your plan will change and be able to cheerfully adapt and adjust.

    -Paul
     

    Boardwalk_bride

    Married in WDW :)
    Joined
    May 26, 2009
    We definit
    Well...I won’t judge your amount of planning as somebody already said. I´m going en Jan/2020 with two kids. I had been in WDW 9 times, but this one will be the first time of my younger (3yy). I prefer to ride all atractions with my whole family together.

    I dont like the idea (but of course, I respect) the one parent with the kid at Dumbo and the other parent in other ride, like Dwarf. I think you maybe lost some important moments with your kid.

    I´ve decided with my wife that our trip in 2020 it will be not for us, but for our kids. So, we are planning rides that we can go all together. Of course we gonna ride some radical that kid can´t go (like Everest, Hollywood Tower... ), but all the rides that the kid can go, we will do together.

    Sorry for my english! ;)
    We did switch it to be a bit more relaxed. I totally get some people wouldn't want to separate - we are going to MK twice so we will both be able to enjoy rides separately, as well as together with her. My husband and I also really need alone time, so this will (hopefully) work well for our family!
     

    elaine amj

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 26, 2012
    I plan the exact same way lol and I have since we started going to WDW 10 years ago. I do this for every single vacation, whether it is the each or a camping trip lol. I tried to wing it on a Disney cruise and my friends told me to never do that again haha. I tried to wing it at Disneyland after that and by 11am we had crisscrossed the park a couple of times and my family rebelled. I had to top for 5 mins to scribble together a plan. They MUCH prefer just being told where to go next.

    That said, your plan is one I would create for adults - 30 mins between rides is just about perfect for smelling the roses in between. When I went with my 3 yr old niece a couple of years ago, I allotted an hour between rides and THAT was perfect for a 3yr old's pace. That said, making noted on "skippable" attractions will accomplish the same thing while helping u continue to feel you are "on schedule".
     

    Boardwalk_bride

    Married in WDW :)
    Joined
    May 26, 2009
    I plan the exact same way lol and I have since we started going to WDW 10 years ago. I do this for every single vacation, whether it is the each or a camping trip lol. I tried to wing it on a Disney cruise and my friends told me to never do that again haha. I tried to wing it at Disneyland after that and by 11am we had crisscrossed the park a couple of times and my family rebelled. I had to top for 5 mins to scribble together a plan. They MUCH prefer just being told where to go next.

    That said, your plan is one I would create for adults - 30 mins between rides is just about perfect for smelling the roses in between. When I went with my 3 yr old niece a couple of years ago, I allotted an hour between rides and THAT was perfect for a 3yr old's pace. That said, making noted on "skippable" attractions will accomplish the same thing while helping u continue to feel you are "on schedule".
    I just did my FP selection and was forced to slow down! I wasn't able to get many of the times and/or rides I wanted. I'm a bit disappointed but realize this will work out better in the end.
     

    LovesTimone

    Christmas Day 2017
    Joined
    Apr 29, 2009
    So I have a thought... at 3 they are so sweet, and watching them watch everything is so much fun... the expression, the excitement... I would not want to miss any of this... as well I would not want my spouse to miss any of this either

    I am assuming that you are planning to stay in after dinner due to bedtimes.... As a suggestion... I would stick together during the day... So each take a evening after dinner to go it alone, and ride the more grown up rides plus single rider lines are easier... and the other parent can stay in the room with the little one... Just a thought I would put out there...
     

    Boardwalk_bride

    Married in WDW :)
    Joined
    May 26, 2009
    I thi
    So I have a thought... at 3 they are so sweet, and watching them watch everything is so much fun... the expression, the excitement... I would not want to miss any of this... as well I would not want my spouse to miss any of this either

    I am assuming that you are planning to stay in after dinner due to bedtimes.... As a suggestion... I would stick together during the day... So each take a evening after dinner to go it alone, and ride the more grown up rides plus single rider lines are easier... and the other parent can stay in the room with the little one... Just a thought I would put out there...
    I think you are right. She goes to bed super early as she doesn't nap. I'm so burnt out from replanning and being online for an hour this morning that I'm going to take a break - but will circle back soon with your advice.

    Thanks all - I really appreciate all the advice (and mostly lack of judgement of my crazy planning!)
     

    QueenIsabella

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 17, 2016
    So I have a thought... at 3 they are so sweet, and watching them watch everything is so much fun... the expression, the excitement... I would not want to miss any of this... as well I would not want my spouse to miss any of this either

    I am assuming that you are planning to stay in after dinner due to bedtimes.... As a suggestion... I would stick together during the day... So each take a evening after dinner to go it alone, and ride the more grown up rides plus single rider lines are easier... and the other parent can stay in the room with the little one... Just a thought I would put out there...
    We did this. My older son would literally pass out and seize if he got overstimulated, so I had to be OCD when taking him to WDW. DH and I took turns going in or staying in the parks , while the other parent ensured our son got the rest he needed. It made for a nice balance of "we" time and "me" time.

    On a similar note, we took our family when our younger DD was 3yo. She figured out a "chicken exit" strategy of wetting her pants, even though she'd been fully potty trained for months. I'm a slow learner, it took me a few days to realize why she was doing this--she was nervous about what was to come, even though we made no attempt to take her on thrill rides. Fantasmic! is a perfect example. So, my advice is to really pay attention to your child, keep your expectations low, and know that you'll all be going back again, so missing something isn't a tragedy.
     

    Nancyg56

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 17, 2005
    I just did my FP selection and was forced to slow down! I wasn't able to get many of the times and/or rides I wanted. I'm a bit disappointed but realize this will work out better in the end.

    I think it is all going to work out. I book FP and figure out the attractions in between as we go. I know that no matter how weel a plan is laid out it is going to get tossed at some point becuase we tend to make changes on the fly. I imagine your family will as well. I think the best thing about the plan is that you now have a direction on mind and will knwo which direction you want to go in.

    Have a great trip!
     



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