Where has the fun gone...?

Lashed34

Mouseketeer
Joined
Aug 18, 2019
We're just over a month away from our trip and although I'm excited to be returning to Orlando and the parks it seems that unless you book anything - anything from FP to lunch somewhere - you are kinda going to lose out big time.

I've been looking at restaurant reservations - all booked. FP availabilty seems booked up way ahead of when we'll get our options open on Nov 4th.

Instead of looking forward to all the excitement I'm thinking everywhere will be absolutely full to brimming - queues everywhere and no fun at all.

Of course I expected the parks to be busy, but I also want a holiday where I can eat or drink where and when I want, instead of booking it months ahead when I have no idea of where I will (ride queue wise).

Maybe I'm panicking a bit, but I feel the fun is running out fast.
 

JETSDAD

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 7, 2016
We arrive later this week and have zero ADR's, We have a very loosely laid out plan but it will likely change on the first or second day (as it normally does). What I recommend doing is just randomly checking night before and same day availability for dining as I think you will be quite surprised. Unless there is one very specific, hard to book restaurant that you want at a specific time, you should have plenty of options. For FP's, if you refresh a bit you can find anything night before and/or day of. For both ADR's and FP's it will be more difficult if you are a large party so you may want a more solid plan.

I find that we have more fun just doing what we want, when we want, and changing plans as we wish but others prefer a more detailed plan and sticking to it (I wouldn't find that very fun but to each their own).
 

Lashed34

Mouseketeer
Joined
Aug 18, 2019
We arrive later this week and have zero ADR's, We have a very loosely laid out plan but it will likely change on the first or second day (as it normally does). What I recommend doing is just randomly checking night before and same day availability for dining as I think you will be quite surprised. Unless there is one very specific, hard to book restaurant that you want at a specific time, you should have plenty of options. For FP's, if you refresh a bit you can find anything night before and/or day of. For both ADR's and FP's it will be more difficult if you are a large party so you may want a more solid plan.

I find that we have more fun just doing what we want, when we want, and changing plans as we wish but others prefer a more detailed plan and sticking to it (I wouldn't find that very fun but to each their own).
Thank you, that makes perfect sense and is certainly how we would like our visit to go. Having not been there for 20 years planning certain times to be in certain places is very difficult, so planning things day by day is the way we'll be doing it. I have the app on my phone so will follow the advise of refreshing during the days there.

Once again thank you, it can be a little overwhelming.
 
  • cjlong88

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 1, 2019
    I use to be that person that would plan everything down to the minute. It became too stressful and not fun.

    I think it's all about mindset and flexibility. I used to get so worked up about things that were out of my control. Focus on those things that you can control. Have a plan, but allow that plan to change.

    I went on a (very) last minute trip in December 2018 with my partner and a mutual friend. We booked the trip on December 26th and left on December 28th. No FP's made, no ADR's. Nothing. We found some great FP's and one great ADR in those 48 hours leading up to the trip. Everything else was unplanned. It was 3 days at Disney during one of the most crowded times. We had an absolute blast. We didn't get to do everything we wanted, but I can say we saw so much more than we ever thought. We were super flexible in our day, and allowed FP's to take us from place to place. When we saw a food options that intrigued us and the line was short, we grabbed food then. When crowds were unmanageable in one place, we quickly adapted and moved to another part of the park.

    In the 5 times I've been to Disney, it's hands down the best trip I've ever done. Go in with the right expectations, the willingness to be flexible, and you will have a great time!
     

    db24

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Mar 21, 2019
    I've done trips with lots of planning and some with very little planning and enjoyed both. Sometimes not having everything planned by the hour can be fun and just go where you feel like that day. As for dining reservations check for opening during the trip. Lots of stuff opens up the day before because of cancellation requirements. On my last trip with no planning we even got CRT for 9 people by checking for openings the next day. Same goes for FP just check randomly at times during your trip and you'll be surprised what opens up. I hope you enjoy your trip!
     

    Lashed34

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 18, 2019
    I use to be that person that would plan everything down to the minute. It became too stressful and not fun.

    I think it's all about mindset and flexibility. I used to get so worked up about things that were out of my control. Focus on those things that you can control. Have a plan, but allow that plan to change.

    I went on a (very) last minute trip in December 2018 with my partner and a mutual friend. We booked the trip on December 26th and left on December 28th. No FP's made, no ADR's. Nothing. We found some great FP's and one great ADR in those 48 hours leading up to the trip. Everything else was unplanned. It was 3 days at Disney during one of the most crowded times. We had an absolute blast. We didn't get to do everything we wanted, but I can say we saw so much more than we ever thought. We were super flexible in our day, and allowed FP's to take us from place to place. When we saw a food options that intrigued us and the line was short, we grabbed food then. When crowds were unmanageable in one place, we quickly adapted and moved to another part of the park.

    In the 5 times I've been to Disney, it's hands down the best trip I've ever done. Go in with your the right expectations, the willingness to be flexible, and you will have a great time!
    Thank you, that me me smile, very reassuring.
     

    Lashed34

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 18, 2019
    I've done trips with lots of planning and some with very little planning and enjoyed both. Sometimes not having everything planned by the hour can be fun and just go where you feel like that day. As for dining reservations check for opening during the trip. Lots of stuff opens up the day before because of cancellation requirements. On my last trip with no planning we even got CRT for 9 people by checking for openings the next day. Same goes for FP just check randomly at times during your trip and you'll be surprised what opens up. I hope you enjoy your trip!
    Thank you, all these responses are very encouraging.
     
  • SaintsManiac

    Adventure is out there.
    Joined
    Dec 9, 2014
    You don't need to make ADRs way in advance. There have to be some things available, though. There's plenty available Thanksgiving week. What are you looking for?
     

    Lashed34

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 18, 2019
    Like many other people FoP is my only hope to get on and experience possibly more than once. AK has EMH on the day we arrive on Dec 9th, so I'm hoping another day of EMH is added before we leave on Dec 12th, if not we'll have to try and rope drop as it's the only ride I have been following posts and threads for - for tips and advice on getting on.

    With restaurants I like to walk around, look at menus etc rather than just book one online that I have no idea about. But would book Space 220 if and when it comes available before our trip.
     

    Lashed34

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 18, 2019
    You don't need to make ADRs way in advance. There have to be some things available, though. There's plenty available Thanksgiving week. What are you looking for?
    We're there 9th - 12th December - no big restaurant plans though unless Space 220 opens. But just looking on MDE many of the restaurants are full and that was a bit daunting and worrying.
     
  • Gehrig1B

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 15, 2016
    I find that we have more fun just doing what we want, when we want, and changing plans as we wish but others prefer a more detailed plan and sticking to it (I wouldn't find that very fun but to each their own).
    Agreed. The full-day touring plan (go, go, go) does not interest us.

    We book our ADRs and 3 fastpasses and then let the flow of the day take over. We do have hoppers making flexibility easy, not being tied down to a single park all day.

    If you refresh the app you will find fastpasses available day of. We often get 10+, especially at MK. Do it even if the app says "distribution has closed" as people cancel all the time. We find 5 minutes of refreshing on your phone while in the queue quite beneficial.

    As mentioned, it is more difficult with larger groups so do be prepared to split up your groups and overlap FP+ times when necessary.
     

    Tink9721

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 14, 2009
    With restaurants I like to walk around, look at menus etc rather than just book one online that I have no idea about.
    You definitely don't need to wait until you're physically at the restaurant to look at a menu. You can view menus for every restaurant on property right on Disney's website.
     

    Lashed34

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 18, 2019
    You definitely don't need to wait until you're physically at the restaurant to look at a menu. You can view menus for every restaurant on property right on Disney's website.
    I appreciate that, thank you. Maybe it's my age (51), I'm like it with internet shopping vs actual shopping - I like to see things up close, get a feel of the atmosphere etc. But yes, I have seen online just to get an idea of what is where and what kind of food is served. SO MANY OPTIONS which makes it even harder to decide months before we visit.
     

    ajenks22

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 14, 2011
    We're just over a month away from our trip and although I'm excited to be returning to Orlando and the parks it seems that unless you book anything - anything from FP to lunch somewhere - you are kinda going to lose out big time.

    I've been looking at restaurant reservations - all booked. FP availabilty seems booked up way ahead of when we'll get our options open on Nov 4th.

    Instead of looking forward to all the excitement I'm thinking everywhere will be absolutely full to brimming - queues everywhere and no fun at all.

    Of course I expected the parks to be busy, but I also want a holiday where I can eat or drink where and when I want, instead of booking it months ahead when I have no idea of where I will (ride queue wise).

    Maybe I'm panicking a bit, but I feel the fun is running out fast.
    The only thing you should absolutely plan is this one critical detail: get to the parks early. When we go early, we are so much more relaxed and feel we can do anything we want since the lines are minimal. Forget those expensive, lengthy character breakfasts! Get to the parks early and you’ll get to do everything you want and feel good about being winging it.
     

    Poohspaleeyore

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jun 12, 2019
    i agree with the previous poster. if you arrive at parks before rope drop or take advantage of emh you will be able to do more. i have always had good luck with rope drop. i also waited late to start planning our upcoming trip and am starting to feel anxiety because everything seems to be dictated by availability versus what we really want to do. and i am struggling to research everything i need to know since its been several years since our last visit.. i have had better luck finding ressies using the internet browser versus the phone app. and if you are looking for dining during a special event it does not show up using regular reservations but under event descriptions link using browser or at least that is my experience.
     

    kylenne

    Wakandan-American
    Joined
    Oct 16, 2016
    Like many other people FoP is my only hope to get on and experience possibly more than once. AK has EMH on the day we arrive on Dec 9th, so I'm hoping another day of EMH is added before we leave on Dec 12th, if not we'll have to try and rope drop as it's the only ride I have been following posts and threads for - for tips and advice on getting on.
    On the rare times AK has an 8am regular opening time, FoP at rope drop isn’t terrible at all. As an alternative you can get in line right before park close and it’s a similarly short wait.

    FWIW I rope dropped it in August even though I had a FP for it that day. I only got there about 15 minutes prior to the start of EMH but I was able to get to the front of the tapstyles. Granted I was solo and it was a 7a EMH, but as a rule far less people like getting up early on vacation. Slinky Dog otoh was a nightmare.
     

    MiketheGrate

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Oct 10, 2019
    We arrive later this week and have zero ADR's, We have a very loosely laid out plan but it will likely change on the first or second day (as it normally does). What I recommend doing is just randomly checking night before and same day availability for dining as I think you will be quite surprised. Unless there is one very specific, hard to book restaurant that you want at a specific time, you should have plenty of options. For FP's, if you refresh a bit you can find anything night before and/or day of. For both ADR's and FP's it will be more difficult if you are a large party so you may want a more solid plan.

    I find that we have more fun just doing what we want, when we want, and changing plans as we wish but others prefer a more detailed plan and sticking to it (I wouldn't find that very fun but to each their own).
    I've read (have not confirmed) that a lot of ADRs and FP open up in the 24-48 hour window ahead of particular day as people firm up their plans to go to one park over another at the last minute.
     



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