Future Disney trip planning is somewhat precarious right now, and many Disney fans are finding themselves unsure of how to proceed. But one of the great things about being a Parks fan is the world of endless possibilities in terms of planning.
“Fantasy Planning,” or imagining a trip in your mind, is a hobby many fans enjoy. Where would you stay, eat, and how would you structure your trip? For even the most seasoned visitor, there is inevitably always going to be a new snack, resort, or mode of transport to explore. Many get enjoyment out of browsing Disney’s website or Disboards.com and thinking about where they would stay if they had an unlimited budget. Or how about a two-week vacation? What seems like poorly-allocated time can be great fun, a robust stress reliever, and even teach you something new. But there are many great ways to blend fantasy with actual planning.
Walt Disney World is overflowing with a wide variety of food options, from snacks, casual dining, and formal restaurants. Even the most seasoned guest has most likely not tried every snack, meal, or beverage on property. The DIS’s main web page has a wonderful search function where one can easily find dining options based on type, cuisine, price range, dining plan, time, location, and name. This makes it very easy to explore menus throughout property. Many guests have a fixed roster of restaurants that they care to enjoy. Boma is an absolute must-do at least once per trip for me. Pongu Pongu’s Night Blossom utilizes a sizable portion of my snack credits. While it is great to have regular, reliable spots, there is great benefit to branching out. Only having visited Florida at the height of the summer, Whispering Canyon Café’s skillets and milkshakes would probably cause adverse results. But during my first fantasy visit at Christmastime, I can only imagine a delicious meal!
I would certainly encourage anyone to think about what they would eat while on WDW property with wild abandon. How would you proceed if you had the deluxe dining plan? Or a bottomless stomach?
Alongside dining, attractions and other entertainment offer a world of possibilities. While it is fun to fantasize about walking on Avatar Flight of Passage three times in a row, one also should think about finding new places to enjoy. For those who have been dozens of times, this might seem like a daunting task. But deeply probing maps of each of the parks should present several new dining options, attractions, or other areas that you might entirely overlook. As those at home are making Disney dishes, I am discovering a World Showcase bursting with delicious baked goods. Norway’s Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe is now on my must-do list after seeing a picture of someone’s homemade School Bread. Perhaps there are resorts you have never been to? Dining at one of their locations is a great way to discover both a new restaurant and resort.
The landscape of Walt Disney World is dotted with many rides, paths, and snack areas. By really focusing in on a park map, it should not be difficult to find nooks and crannies commonly less utilized. Animal Kingdom is a park many die-hard fans are just now coming to love. With many animal trails, including the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail and Maharajah Jungle Trek, guests can see many majestic animals such as Komodo dragons and hippopotamus. The Discovery Island Trails is a honeycomb of paths in and around the Tree of Life, which has many smaller animals. Families of otters delightfully scurry about, lemurs swing from branch to branch, and kangaroos discreetly abound. It is a whole area which does not seem heavily utilized. For you, new discoveries might be a new snack place. Or a rediscovery could emerge. Perhaps you have not ridden Prince Charming Regal Carrousel in years, and earmark it for your next trip. Or have never been to Tom Sawyer Island. By taking the time to dissect a map of each park, and property as a whole, you might mentally rediscover a land you have never held in much regard. By venturing forth and searching, (mentally imagining your vacation is as long as you please), the possibilities are endless.
Fantasy Planning is great fun but can also result in practical information. Maybe Animal Kingdom Lodge has consistently evaded your attention, and you decide to try dining at Sanaa. Perhaps your love of Magic Kingdom prompts you to book a room at the Contemporary Resort for the first time? Or you simply enjoy an afternoon of Disney escapism.
As we get through these tough times, parks in Florida and elsewhere are awaiting our arrival. Some have trips planned for later in the year and others are less sure as to when they will get back. Fantasy Planning a trip can be great fun and could result in a new find. By venturing forth in the realm of your mind, you may very well find a new favorite snack, attraction, or land. Is this something you have ever done? Has it led to any new discoveries?
Spencer Wright is passionate about Walt Disney World, Disney Film, History, and Old Hollywood. He works in Center City Philadelphia and lives in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. He looks forward to writing articles for The Dis Unplugged; currently focusing on Animal Kingdom and the creatures that live there.