I’m fresh from my first Walt Disney World trip in 15 years, and I’m already planning my next one. In order to make my future trips even more magical, I have to consider what I’d do differently.
1) Order Bottled Water
Several Disney planning sites, blogs, and forums mentioned bottled water as a must-have. Some even suggested packing it in checked baggage or ordering it with Prime Now and other grocery services upon arrival. I didn’t do any of this—and I seriously regret it. I figured I’d be fine drinking the tap water in Orlando, in abundance, just like I do at home. I quickly discovered that Orlando water and my body don’t get along. The disagreement led to me missing out on a day of plans due to illness. I stuck to bottled water for the remainder of the trip and slowly got better. Needless to say, I’ll need to order bottled water or bring a filtered pitcher to avoid missing magic in the future.
2) Evening-Only Table Service
I learned that table service works best for us in the evening, considering our daily plans. I’d scheduled a table service in the morning for one day and in the early afternoon for two other days during our trip. I budgeted extra time for service and even scheduled dining package plans for a decent amount of time in relation to our reservations. We ended up with a minor time crunch in getting to the Candlelight Processional, and our morning reservation cut a little more into our day than we liked. I don’t want to be concerned about time for the next trip. We’ll save our table service dining reservations for the evening, or on days when our schedule is a bit more open. Speaking of schedules…
3) Scheduling a Rest Day
I mentioned in my previous article that I’d planned for resting and frequent breaks. While we did stop frequently, we were pretty much going all day, every day—except for the day I was sick. The combination of the water’s effect on my system and being overrun made my fibromyalgia and lupus unhappy. My body pretty much shut me down for eighteen hours and left me weakened the following day. A scheduled rest day, as opposed to only rest times, will work better for me.
4) Getting a Preferred Room
We stayed in one of The Little Mermaid rooms at Art of Animation and it was amazing! That said, the Little Mermaid buildings are a decent walk from the lobby and dining area. I noticed that the path to our room became a trek at the end of the day, when both of our conditions made walking bothersome. I’m going to reserve a preferred room next time to keep us closer to the lobby and the buses when we need it most.
5) Change Trip Days and Departure Times
The end of our vacation was a bit awkward. We stayed at Disney from a Saturday afternoon to the following Friday afternoon. It was weird leaving on a Friday, and it felt as though we should’ve had another day even though we didn’t. Our 7 PM flight didn’t help matters either. Our original plan was to spend more time in the parks on our last day. Then the recent TSA changes happened. Because we were awarded PreCheck, we ended up having longer downtime than expected before our flight. Mom found that having a fraction of a day in the park wasn’t ideal, and I disliked being in the airport in the afternoon. Plus, the late arrival time back home wasn’t welcome after a long day. Our future flights home will be around noon or 1 PM to prevent the wasted day feeling and minimize the damper we felt with a late flight.
6) Use DAS
We were lucky in that most of the rides we chose had little to no wait in the standby lines. I also made FastPass+ reservations for Na’vi River Journey, Rivers of Light, and a few other popular attractions that we really wanted to check out. It wasn’t until we were in Magic Kingdom that I realized I didn’t reserve Seven Dwarfs Mine Train FastPasses. We ended up skipping it because the standby line was too long for either of us to comfortably handle. The same went for Tower of Terror went I entered Hollywood Studios. Thanks to brain fog, I didn’t even think to seek out Disability Access Service (DAS) for either attraction. DAS would have enabled us to obtain a time to come back and ride without the uncomfortable wait in a queue or skipping the attraction. Even if I need to set a reminder on my phone, we’ll be utilizing DAS in addition to FP+. I don’t want wait times to cause us to skip anything.
Some of these can be considered rookie mistakes while others were unforeseeable. I’m hoping that these changes will better accommodate our physical needs and allow us to have an even more magical experience during our next visit.