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Does anyone ever give up on their planning and just go with it?

Minnesota disney fan

Well-Known Member
I kind of follow what the other posters have said. We usually stay for 9 days. I make fp's the first 4 days for each park. Then I sporadically make fp's for the rest of the trip days. I don't care if I use them or not, or change days after the 4th day. We only have a few adr's that we make, and that's it. I find that we enjoy the parks more if we are not chained to a schedule. We end up dong the attractions that we love, and spend the rest of the time enjoying the parks, resorts, etc. We use park hoppers, which fits our touring style. Every evening, we decide when and where we want to go for the afternoon/evening. It's easy to do with PH's. We also try to fit a day or two at Universal too.
We seem to enjoy touring like this and it works for us. We get to go on the attractions we love and repeat them if we want, or do something entirely different. Guess what I'm trying to say is that just be flexible, make those fp's and adr's that you don't want to miss, and go with the flow. All the stuff that is debated on here is just that, debates and opinions. Some are very helpful, but try to take them with a grain of salt. WDW, with it's faults, is still a magical place to be:)


Well-Known Member
Have watched your posts here for weeks and you are definitely a planner! That's not a bad thing. In fact, Mickey makes it more and more necessary each year.
My family has always enjoyed planning. Before there was fastpass, we plotted everything out for an entire week's trip, down to 30-minute increments. The Family Planning Session was an event at home. My wife would make a special light meal and then take the notes because she had the only handwriting we could read.
Then when we got there, we would start out on nour daily plan each day, but invariably, there would be changes. So we would adjust the master plan each night based on what things we had actually already seen because of short-ine availability. We almost always hit our most important targets and we almost never followed our plan exactly. And we ALWAYS had a GREAT TIME. We made dinner reservations the night before, and ate lunch wherever we happened to be.
Mickey has changed all that in the last decade or so, of course, as you are now quite well aware.
Never will forget the first time our planning session actually included planning on obtaining a fast pass for a ride, (which you could only do day of at a kiosk in the park). As we wrote that on our plan, the youngest son seemed up. I asked him why he was upset, he answered, ((One of my favorite statements he's ever made, "Dad, I'm not upset, I'm ashamed! " (that we had fallen to the point where we would count on using a fastpass rather than our usual superb planning). :)
Fastforward to our trip coming up next month. Just my wife and I. and I have spent hours on dining reservations and fast passes. (Even though it only takes about an hour or so to do the fast passes for a 5-day visit. Then, you can make dinner reservations.

To cite the above recommendations, step away. You have a plan. Use it as a general guide. Try to make your fastpasses. (Though if you have obtained a fastpass for Spaceship Earth, as we have, what does it matter if you don't use it). Make the dinner appointments and just use the rest of the time as things come to you.

You will be at WALT DISNEY WORLD, You Will Have Fun if you can enjoy where you are at the moment.. It will Not go perfectly. You will still have fun. Step away for now. Be encouraged. You will have a great vacation!!


Active Member
Our last trip was last minute. My husband planned it. (We helped. He knows what we like.). He planned it in 1.5 weeks. We did everything we wanted. We went in July or August while kids were all still out of school.

Take a break from planning


Well-Known Member
There will come a time on any park day where you just move away from your plan and do what you want. You have been engaging on this board long enough now that you will be able to make decisions on the fly. You will be more engaged with your family and in your vacation and you will have a better time because of it.


Well-Known Member
My wife and I refuse to be tied down to "the clipboard of fun" 5 internet points if you catch the reference. We went in 2018 for a week in march, didnt have a single fastpass booked, and only 1 sit down restaraunt. We want to be able to come and go and do in the moment. We rode every ride we wanted, short of 7 dwarves mine train, got our fastpasses on the fly, and i somehow managed a frozen ever after fastpass for the same day we were at epcot like an hour before ha! I hate over planning. We watch weather, plan accordingly, and honestly i think stood in line for Jungle Cruise and Test Track. Jungle Cruise, we just needed the break in the day, so the line worked, and Test Track, because of tiered fastpass, and had already used it on soarin.

We like the challenge i guess. I want to live in the moment when im at WDW. I live and work in a high stress world. Im not taking stress on my vacation.

unmitigated disaster

Well-Known Member
I don't overplan as my dad is not exactly zippy, so we have our 3 fastpasses and wing it from there. We only do quick service so we just make sure we get there early.


Well-Known Member
You just need to take a step back, I think.

My rule for Disney planning is the same rule I set when I planned my wedding, and it's worked well for me: Plan to your heart's desire and obsess over every detail so long as you're relishing and enjoying it. When it stops being fun and starts being stressful and overwhelming, walk away from it, go do something else, regain your perspective, and then return to it when you feel like it, even if it takes days or weeks. Most important of all, understand that a good plan is nothing more than a guideline, and the most important part of planning is the knowledge you gain in the process. That knowledge will equip and empower you -- not to follow your plan to the letter, because that shouldn't be the goal -- but to be able to intelligently depart from it when the occasion arises. When your next FP+ attraction breaks down, you'll know what the best replacement is! When you decide to opt out of the dinner ADR you'd planned, you'll know how to modify it to save yourself getting charged a penalty. When the kids decide they'd rather spend the morning in the pool than visit a park, you'll know the best way to cover what you've missed later...

Club Cooloholic

Well-Known Member
Our trip is during Thanksgiving break. All my ADRs are in, and the FPs will be scheduled at end of September. My touring plans are just the way I want them to be, but after reading so many posts of crowds, bad food, broken rides, I'm at a point in which I don't care about the plan anymore. I'll be happy with whatever FPs I get even if they are not headliners (who really needs Frozen? I'll take the kids to see the Broadway show). I don't even care about cancellations fees for ADRs (except for Cinderella's Table since it was pre-paid.) if we don't feel like going.

I went from being all excited about the trip, asking non-stop questions and researching all details to having planning fatigue. I just want for my FP dates to come up, and not think about this until we get to WDW. And if when we're there it does not feel 'magical', I don't care. WDW is too much work.
I was feeling similarly before my trip in June. I had done all this planning, then was second guessing so many choices. I ended up cancelling a few dinners because, one I didn't want to be locked into it, and two I realized the worst that can happen is I end up eating somewhere that is not a first choice but that we discover we like. We had been enough times that making it onto every ride was not the biggest deal.
If you read enough posts in here you will end up second guessing so many of your choices. You have been there before, you know what you like go with that. If I listened to what people like or don't like my family would never have stepped into the Enchanted Tiki Room, which is a must do every trip because my kids just love it. I

Wendy Pleakley

Well-Known Member
I'll be happy with whatever FPs I get even if they are not headliners (who really needs Frozen? I'll take the kids to see the Broadway show).
In regards to this specific point, stand-by lines are not the end of the world. Some people get into a "Fastpass or nothing" mindset, which isn't really necessary or realistic.

Earlier this year I was waiting for Toy Story Swirling Saucers and a young kid was whining to his parents about the 25-minute or so wait, and "can't we go use a Fastpass". Totally wanted to go all old man on him and say, back in my day, there was no Fastpass and if you wanted to do an attraction you'd have to wait every single time...

Epcot doesn't have that many attractions. Even if you do stand-by for a couple of them, you can still see it all. Come up with some ways to kill time in line, like we did in the old days. Even if it's just browsing the internet or playing a game on your phone.

There's also rope drop and end of day. You can generally do one attraction at rope drop with a shorter wait, and one right at closing (the stand-by line will move quick once they stop letting Fastpass guests in).
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