- Aug 1, 2015
I would argue that it isn't WDW that puts the restrictions on guests, it's the guests themselves that do this. Disney opens up the ability to make dining reservations 180 days in advance and FastPass reservations 60 days in advance. They don't force anyone to get up before dawn and frantically hoard ADRs and book FastPasses like their life depends on it.I get it, but it's really not a fair comparison.
If I'm visiting a city, I can book some dining reservations at any point, not a certain number of days in advance. I can also book tours or buy event tickets at the same time. Coordination is so much easier.
Is it still more difficult to plan with 12, yes, but IMO DW puts unnecessary restrictions on too many aspects of the process.
For the record, I just checked to see what times are available for dinner tonight, and there are plenty of great places available. Not all of them, no..you won't get BOG or Storybook or CRT same day. And if you want Ohana, you'll be eating dinner at 9:55 tonight, but there are plenty of others. Granted, I looked for a party of 3 instead of 12, and that does make a difference. That's always going to make a difference when trying to secure reservations for extremely popular restaurants no matter where you are.
As for Fastpasses, rope dropping can get you on the attractions you can't secure Fastpasses for. I rode FoP last summer and was off the ride before breakfast time. It wasn't stressful at all, there was a herd of people, and it certainly wasn't walk on, but it was do-able. Again, that's going to be harder for a group of 12 with various ages and likes and dislikes to consider. I went by myself that morning because I was the only one who wanted to ride it. Made the decision literally at 5am that morning when I had woken up with the idea that I wanted to go do it. Got up, got dressed, informed the others of what I was doing (they thought I was nuts, lol), and off I went.
Disney can be as flexible as the person who is visiting it is willing to be. If you and/or your group has a lot of restrictions (number of people, variety of likes/dislikes when it comes to food and attractions, different personalities (early risers vs night owls, etc), then yes...it's going to be a lot more stressful. And if not getting certain ADRs or FastPasses is going to ruin the trip, that makes it even more stressful.
Instead of thinking of all the barriers that you see that might prevent you from having a good trip, turn it around and think of all of the amazing things you will get to do. No trip is ever going to be perfect. There will be inconveniences. Rude guests. Transportation glitches. Ride closures. Thunderstorms. Heavy crowds. Not-so-great food. Disappointed family members. That's just how it is. But there will also be Mickey Mouse and countless opportunities to smile and laugh and have fun.