"Real" Disney fans certainly can wing it, Craig

Discussion in 'The DIS Unplugged Podcast' started by disneysteve, Oct 5, 2018.

  1. disneysteve

    disneysteve DIS meet junkie

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2002
    Messages:
    14,842
    @Teleclashter
    I have to respectfully disagree with Craig's assertion on the show this week that true fans can't just wing it on a Disney World visit. We do it every time and we have for years, including when our daughter was younger. We're doing it again at the end of this month.

    Typically, we make no ADRs at all and no, or very few, FPs in advance. We can't possibly know which park we will go to each day weeks or months in advance. Oh, and by the way, we often don't even plan our visits more than 8 weeks in advance. We stay offsite so we aren't concerned about getting a particular room at a Disney hotel.

    About the only FPs we might make in advance are if there is a new hot attraction that we want to do. The last time we did an advanced FP was for FOP when we came down for the DIS 20th party. We are arriving on 10/29 for a 2-week stay and as of right now, we have a total of 2 FPs booked on one day. That's it.

    We rarely do table service restaurants onsite so ADRs are rare for us. I think the last time we made one was several years ago when we were able to have dinner at BOG. For our upcoming trip, my wife and I actually made 2 ADRs which is super odd for us. We're going to Hoop De Doo and having dinner at Tiffins one night. We're kind of celebrating that we'll be there just the two of us for the first week so wanted to do something special. DW has never seen HDD and I haven't seen it for about 30 years.

    The rest of the trip we will wing it. Each night when we decide what park we're going to the following day, we will grab a few FPs. Onsite meals will all be counter service so no ADRs needed. We will just enjoy being there and getting to do whatever we get to do.

    Planning out every minute of every day might be fun for some people but not for us. We want vacation to be relaxing and taken at whatever pace we feel like going at that day, not an experience planned months in advance with military precision.
     
  2. ChrisFL

    ChrisFL Disney/Universal Fan and MALE

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2000
    Messages:
    8,180
    I didn't get that impression from what he said :confused3
     
    rotlex and denecarter like this.
  3. Avatar

    Advertisement


  4. disneysteve

    disneysteve DIS meet junkie

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2002
    Messages:
    14,842
    Pete asked at what point do you just go and experience it and Craig said he doesn't think there is a point like that for people who "seriously have a passion for Walt Disney World." He did say there is a "small chunk" of people who may do it, and we're definitely in that chunk, so he didn't totally discount it.

    Pete also said he doesn't think you can do the existential thing with kids, so I'd disagree with that, too. We've been taking our daughter regularly since she was 5 months old and none of those trips were planned in advance either. We have always winged it, making our "plans" as we go once we're there.

    I think the whole super planning issue scares off a lot of people. You don't have to plan out every day of your trip months in advance. If you truly enjoy doing all of that planning, go for it. But if not, and I suspect there are lots of people who don't but have gotten convinced that they have to, forget about it. Sure, you might not get on Flight of Passage and you won't be having dinner at Be Our Guest, but I assure you it is quite possible to just show up and have a great time.

    It is 6:20 pm right now. I just looked on the app for dinner availability for tonight and 35 options came up. Yes, some of them are rather late, but some are within the hour, like Tusker House, Tiffins, The Wave, and others. You aren't going to starve if you don't plan out your meals 180 days in advance. You won't be stuck with all CS if that's not what you want. And you won't be stuck with all the poorly rated restaurants.

    Now if you are going Christmas week or Spring Break or marathon weekend, you might want to do a little more planning, but for most times, it just isn't necessary unless you are dead set on certain places or certain attractions.
     
    hertamaniac likes this.
  5. Cousin Orville

    Cousin Orville Inventor of Air Cooling

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2000
    Messages:
    2,708
    Craig recognized the fact there was a small chunk of guests who make few if any plans. I agree. There's a niche group of guests who elect not to make any plans. I think they're typically (but not always) adult guests who may not be as attraction focused, just enjoying walking around, and are not keenly interested in table service. When I go with my kids as family of 5, yes we book restaurants nightly. I don't like trying to chorral a family of 5 through a busy counter service searching for a table holding 2 trays with drinks. I like to rest and enjoy a table service restaurant. Just my preference. Unless I'm cool with hitting up Marrakech or eating after 8:30p with my young kids, I'm going to put the time in and plan some meals. Historically, we've also booked out our fastpasses. I wish that wasn't necessary, but as a family, options get limited real quick without them.

    Is it possible to have an existential experience at WDW? Yes. I just came back from a week with friends. We rode very few attractions and mostly ate at F&W and lounges. But as a family, to me that's a recipe for frustration. (I understand that's not everyone.) Wish it wasn't necessary, but in 2018 I think it is.
     
  6. disneysteve

    disneysteve DIS meet junkie

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2002
    Messages:
    14,842
    I'm sure the fact that we are a family of 3 helps. I'm sure it's harder with 5, and certainly with larger groups as Pete said.
     
  7. disneysteve

    disneysteve DIS meet junkie

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2002
    Messages:
    14,842
    Out of curiosity, I just looked up dinner options for tomorrow, Saturday night on a holiday weekend, for a party of 5. There are 63 options from 4:00 on including many popular and family-friendly places like 50's Prime Time, Trail's End, Brown Derby, Liberty Tree Tavern, Garden Grill, and more.

    Again, with a big group or at a particularly busy time or if you have your heart set on a specific place, advance planning is a must. Otherwise, I think the whole planning thing tends to be exaggerated.
     
    GAN and smcabee like this.
  8. Cousin Orville

    Cousin Orville Inventor of Air Cooling

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2000
    Messages:
    2,708
    With kids, we're usually going during school breaks, so options are probably more limited then. Having just come back last week (a trip with friends), the crowds were lighter than they were a month ago. So, that may be helping availability. My threshold of pickiness may also be just too high. If we're wanting dinner at popular times or a popular restaurant. But your point is well taken, it's possible to wing it. You just have to have the right attitude and be flexible enough with what's available.
     
    denecarter and lambdabeta like this.
  9. disneysteve

    disneysteve DIS meet junkie

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2002
    Messages:
    14,842
    I hope those lighter crowds persist when we get there in 3 weeks.
     
  10. Cousin Orville

    Cousin Orville Inventor of Air Cooling

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2000
    Messages:
    2,708
    Slightly lighter. :D
     
  11. GeneralTso

    GeneralTso DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Messages:
    1,936
    It looks like your plan works really well for you! Stick to that!
    No one is encouraging you to change how you do things, merely stating opinions and thoughts.

    That's the beauty of all this.....folks get to do things the way they want to do them. There's no glory in any particular way, it's just what works for you.
     
    Ds4angels and tink1970 like this.
  12. SA mom

    SA mom DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2012
    Messages:
    1,369
    I love planning a Disney Trip. However, the 60 day FP window has taken a little of the fun out of it. We only come every other year or so. During the last trip in March, our party of 4 started in MK with our fastpasses and then lunch at Skipper Canteen. Then we decided we really wanted to ride Rockin' Roller Coaster before they re-themed. We hopped to DHS, got some miscellaneous FP that came up and then decided to hop back to MK. The rest of the trip went that way, planned in the AM, rather spontaneously in the afternoon/evening. It was really nice.
     
    disneysteve likes this.
  13. GreatLakes

    GreatLakes DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2015
    Messages:
    2,358
    There was a mention of not being able to wing it with kids. I feel the opposite. I'll be down with my 1 year old in less than a month and while we have FP+ because, why not, we aren't necessarily going to stick with them if we decide to do something else. We have exactly 1 ADR on a park day and we plan to let him decide on the day. When he is hungry we will grab something to eat. When he is tired he will go back to the room with grandma and take a nap while my wife and I stay in the parks and do what we can while he is not with us. It will likely be the most laid back trip we have ever done.

    The more often I go the more likely I am to just not have a plan. I went to Epcot for F&W and did only 3 rides and 1 movie. I spent the rest of the time just hanging out trying some food and enjoying just being in the parks.
     
    Alicenwonderment and disneysteve like this.
  14. KellyHonos

    KellyHonos DisneyDivaxo

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2018
    Messages:
    329
    It truly is just a matter of preference. I never thought I'd be the one to say this because I'm so anal about plans (i hate the unknowns and "waiting" and winging-it) but I went to WDW back in July and I noticed at times, I was getting stressed out by having to be here and then having to be there...it made me feel so rushed, even though I didn't have to feel that way, I imposed that on myself...I think next time, and hopefully my next trip is to Disneyland, since I've never been, I'm going to compromise by picking and choosing a few select things to plan, and then letting the chips fall where they may.
     
    firefly_ris and SorcererHeidi like this.
  15. CampbellzSoup

    CampbellzSoup Son. Husband. Father.

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2014
    Messages:
    3,718
    I pick three fast passes that’s it
     
    Alicenwonderment likes this.
  16. KellyHonos

    KellyHonos DisneyDivaxo

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2018
    Messages:
    329
    I think with the addition of being able to book more is what messed me up. We used to work around the 3 we got.
     
  17. TheMaxRebo

    TheMaxRebo DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2008
    Messages:
    16,764
    might be a bit more around when they get older and have opinions. We usually plan together as a family and see what are priorities for everyone and try to ensure we get booked the 1 or 2 things each person really wants to do. We don't do commando touring or have every minute of the day planned out or anything but I like to get locked in the priorities and then much more flexible around that

    I think it gets harder if one of your kids really wants to do something and you just try to wing it and then you aren't able to do that one thing. Now, obviously it comes down to setting expectations and not getting to do any one thing doesn't ruin a vacation or anything like that, but still, I'd like to be able to do something that my child wants to do if possible - and planning increases the odds of being able to do it
     
    disneysteve and SorcererHeidi like this.
  18. hertamaniac

    hertamaniac Give me 95 degrees everyday

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2017
    Messages:
    1,422
    We have done this no "real" plan strategy too. It was incredibly less stressful. For example, I targeted certain QS options, but didn't feel 100% obligated to stick with a hardened schedule and succumb to an ADR.

    I freely admit that I would have considered myself a master scheduler as before smartphones, I made 3-ring binders of our itineraries for each Disney trip. Well, those days are long gone not just because of the technology upgrades, but also as I found deviation from planning can have a cascade of effects (i.e. what happens if we're late or miss this, then the next immediate event would cause compounding stress).

    To me, when I plotted our daily WDW course, it would conjure up perfect images of those magical moments in my mind. It was sort of an escapism of the daily work/life stress and gave me thrill as I wanted to give my wife the best experience(s) I could. I say this tongue in cheek as plotted versus real never matched 100% on any WDW visit. However, some of the most fondest WDW memories were those where we took that tangent.
     
    SorcererHeidi and disneysteve like this.
  19. OKW Lover

    OKW Lover Retired and living 2 miles from The Castle. DIS Lifetime Sponsor

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2004
    Messages:
    30,059
    Val & I are locals now (4+ years) so we never really have a strategy when going to the parks. Even before we moved here from MA, we had been to WDW so often that we pretty much just winged it on our visits. At most we made ADR's for a nice meal one or two nights and arranged park time around that.
     

Share This Page