Remember the days when you’d book a Disney vacation, and then you just show up? Maybe you visited Florida and decided to add in a day at Disney World last minute. In my humble opinion, those days are gone. Nowadays you need a degree in Disney to know the ins and outs of planning a vacation, especially for the large amount of money you’ll drop to be able to do it. Or perhaps, that’s where the internet helps you out.
Things at Disney seem to change so often that even if you were just there a year or two ago, you still need to update your Disney info. Just think of Fastpasses. They were introduced to Walt Disney World in 1999. Then in 2013, there was FastPass+ where you could book some in advance of your trip. After the parks opened back up in 2020, FastPasses were not available. Now there’s Genie+.
With the introduction of Disney blogs, podcasts, social media groups and more, people have been able to get most questions answered quickly and find out any changes since their last trip. When I planned my first trip as an adult, I hadn’t been to Disney World in 10 years. Without podcasts like The Dis Unplugged, I would have been lost and likely missed out on so much.
In addition to changing rules, like you need a park reservation at this point, you can also get fan recommendations. Whether you want to compile a list of must-try snacks or need to find the best spot to have your toddler nap in their stroller in the parks, novice and infrequent Disney World visitors can get recommendations online. Need to prep a young kid on what to expect? There’s plenty of ride photos or videos you can show them if needed to make them more comfortable (or know what rides to avoid).
Now that the parks can get so crowded, it’s good to know which times to avoid for your Disney trip. There are various crowd calendars you can check, but you can also just look at what events are there during your planned weekend, such as race weekends, that bring in larger crowds.
The Walt Disney World website and app are also excellent resources for planning your trip. You can see what rides and attractions are closed during your trip or plan around a big attraction opening date if you don’t want to miss it. You can find the height requirements listed and park maps. Which rides do you rope drop, and which do you save for later in the day? You can check for recommendations or occasionally check out Disney wait times on the app at various points of the day before your trip.
Believe it or not, the internet can even enhance your photos from your trip. You can find out all the best spots for your photos, whether it’s the Instagram-worthy purple wall or the best place to stand for a perfect castle shot.
So for those occasional Disney visitors, the internet has the ability to greatly enhance their trips by catching them up to date on what’s going on with the park. It can give Disney fans their fix of the park between visits. It can be a place for Disney fans to sit and chat all things Disney. It definitely has its drawbacks, but how else could you keep up with the ever-changing parks?
Sara is a Marketing Specialist by day, but her true passion is writing. She's been a freelance writer for 11 years and uses that side hustle money for traveling with her husband and three young children.