Breaking Out of the Disney Rut

We all have ruts. Sometimes our Walt Disney World vacations can become routine and repetitive, and we find that it’s time to change things up. Getting out of the Disney rut is important because Disney is different these days; so let’s adapt and prevent, dare I say, boredom, or (yikes) dare I say: the Covid fatigue syndrome from hitting our upcoming vacations. With the changes ahead, we can tweak ourselves and our places to adapt to the new business model and still get new enjoyment for years to come.

I repeat behaviors to prevent anxiety, to enjoy the predictability which will ensure a great vacation ahead, to know my exact budget and also because I’m lazy or too busy with other things to plan new adventures.

Let’s get out of our Disney ruts the next time we return to Walt Disney World! First, I must identify my own behaviors. Please add your ideas in the comments so we can all discuss together.

Photo by Drew Beamer on Unsplash

Resort Repeat Offender

Once we found a resort we liked, we stayed there each time. Our last resort was always our favorite resort. Until I broke my bad habit.

My tip is that we started small and ventured into our ‘area.’ We would stay and try, for example, all of the monorail resorts, and then we ventured out to the Wilderness Lodge. If we were hesitant, we enjoyed a split-stay in order to break our boring habits.

If we hadn’t done this, I would have never experienced our new favorite: Coronado Springs Resort’s Gran Destino Tower! As our family changed and evolved with age, it was important to reassess our dynamics and adapt to a new resort environment. And, as the perks seem to lessen, a new re-evaluation is good for all of us: where do we belong on Disney World property?

Restaurant Repeat Offender

If a restaurant was a success for us, we repeat it. Again and again. But with all of the new restaurants at Disney Springs that have recently opened, it was time to venture out and reclaim new favorites. How do you break the restaurant repeat offender habit?

My tip is to always choose your favorites and enjoy them, but each time add one new dining experience to your visit. We will always dine at our special Grand Floridian Café, but venturing out to other restaurants can be a great way to make additional special memories on property. This will be especially meaningful if many choose to stay off property this year, as they potentially readjust or reconsider staying on property. Enjoying Disney resort dining will be much more valuable.

Sticking with the Same Schedule

I tend to have a habit of keeping my home schedule at Walt Disney World. It’s fun sometimes to shake things up and change your body clock. We use to depart for our trips early in the morning and get that first flight out, but lately, we have tried changing the rhythm and departing on the last flight out. It’s a different perspective coming to your resort in the dark, late at night, and it also helped with shifting age levels as our children became teenagers.

Consider staying in the parks later as opposed to running to catch the first bus back. Or perhaps rope drop and be the first guest/family in the parks if you typically are a late-morning arrival guest.

Break the schedule habit and try counter service for dinner and a sit down table service restaurant for brunch! It makes for different experiences and new perspectives.

Militant vs. Relaxed

Are you a Walt Disney World militant Type A vacationer? Switch that habit and try the roaming, leisurely approach to Walt Disney World life. Take the stroll along the paths to get from point A to point B instead of rushing. Sit on a bench and watch the people go by. Dare I say sleep in?! Plan less, saunter more!

Or is it the opposite habit? Not planning and habitually missing life in the parks can be challenging in pandemic times. You might need to switch your mindset and become a planner in order to get that Rise of the Resistance virtual 7 a.m. boarding group, or you can decide that you’ll make sure your tickets are pre-booked online with the theme park reservation system so that you can be in your desired park on a certain day.

Photo by Amanda Jones on Unsplash

Focused on the Negative

So your day didn’t go exactly right. The repeated bad habit of negative thinking can make for a stressful Walt Disney World vacation. When the theme in your brain is always focused on the negative, which in these times that can be easy to do, it’s easy to think: I didn’t meet a character up close this time, I didn’t stay at the resort I really wanted because it was closed this year, my go-to restaurant is also closed, there are no fireworks or parades? Ugh.

Before leaving for your trip, practice a positive view of the vacation ahead. Focusing on the positive will help create an optimistic mindset and lead to a great Walt Disney World vacation ahead. Perfect? No way. And that’s okay!! Acceptance.

Breaking your Disney habits is not easy, but trying new experiences and changing views can lead to adapting to 2021 and making new memories ahead. We can re-evaluate the new business of Walt Disney World and figure out where we fit in it together.

Featured image credit: Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Shari Kessler loves the Disunplugged and all things Disney. She has imparted her passion for the parks along with her husband of more than 25 years to their three young adult children. Their family vacations have included Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line and Aulani but their home base is Walt Disney World as she resides from New Jersey. Shari also loves her cats Ricky and Lucy(RIP Lucy 2021). As a former early childhood educator she is now assisting at an animal hospital in NYC. She enjoys the Disunplugged community and hopes her articles connect with the Dis family. You can find her and all of her articles at: Thanks for reading!

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