The old adage that "you can't teach an old dog new tricks" certainly does not apply to repeat Disney guests. It doesn't matter how often we visit the Most Magical Place on Earth, there are always new experiences to be had and tips to learn. Here are some of the new things we discovered on our latest trip.
Take the Back Entrance into Epcot. I don't know why, but every time our family visits Epcot, we cringe at the thought of using the main gate. It takes so long and is always a hassle. This visit, as luck would have it, we were staying at Yacht Club, and made good use of both the boat and the walkway to Epcot. Both brought us into the International Gateway located right between the U.K. and France pavilions. Such a different experience and set the tone for a much more relaxing Epcot adventure! We will never use the main gate again.
Know Your Resort Transportation Options. Not all deluxe resorts are on the monorail loop and not all waterfront resorts offer boat transportation to all parks. These may seem like no brainers. But what you may not know is that if a resort offers boat transportation to a park, that is the only option. There is no bus loop from the resort to the park. Of course, you can always opt for an additional cost ride share. Do your homework and familiarize yourself with how best to get from your resort to your park of choice.
Don't Let Weather or Crowd Predictions Scare You Away. We aren't a family that visits Disney during the summer months. The heat and crowds were always something that I was certain would ruin our vacation. But, never say never because we got a deal we couldn't refuse and so...we found ourselves visiting at the end of July. And guess what? It was a wonderful experience. Yes, it was hot, but it's summer and it's hot everywhere. And the crowds weren't half as bad as I feared. Lesson learned: go to Disney whenever you have a chance, and manage your expectations!
Menus are Not Set in Stone. Consider the menus at most Disney restaurants a loose suggestion. Want to swap out pork for chicken in your nachos? Ask! Have a picky eater who wants to eat off the kids menu but have a larger, adult size portion? Ask! While nothing is guaranteed, we were able to modify many of the dining options to suit both a picky child and a picky adult's appetites.
Downtime is Mandatory. Chances are good that you and your family will want to try and do it all on your next Disney vacation. I hate to be the voice of reason but You Won't Be Able to Do All The Things. It's just not possible. You will run yourself into the ground trying; and then your vacation will turn into anything but a relaxing, magical time! The solution: schedule in downtime. Downtime is different for everyone, but can include such low key activities as: making use of your resort's pool, choosing a morning to sleep in, participate in resort activities (many are FREE), and simply wander around your resort (or visit another resort) and take everything in.
Every trip "home" to Disney brings with it lessons for future visits. What are some of your favorite Disney lessons that you plan on applying on your next vacation?