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Sunday, May 20, 2018

Our Ideal 1-Day Walt Disney World Itinerary for 2018

Guide4WDW.com
by: guide4wdw - Collin

Our Ideal 1-Day Walt Disney World Itinerary for 2018 

For many of us that have been to Disney time and time again, it seems a little strange and a bit weird to think about having one day to spend at Walt Disney World. Many of us spend a week or more touring the parks and resorts and still don't mange to get done all that we hope to accomplish. It's an inevitable reality that presents itself time after time, but I don't say that to discourage you from taking a day to explore Disney World, even if you just have  single day or even a few hours to explore a small portion of what there is to offer on property.

Many of you reading this will find yourself on a work trip in the Orlando area or on an extended layover at Orlando International Airport at some point and may just have one day to get away for a while and enjoy some time in the parks. Again, it's weird for many of us who vacation to the parks year after year to think about, but there are tons of guests arriving at the gates of the parks each day that only have one day to spend at the happiest place on earth.

A majority of those guest come unprepared, don't have tickets, and have no idea what they're walking into, but they all have one thing in common, expectations. Disney World is one of the most sought after destinations in the United States and for fairly obvious reasons, but in today's Disney planning scenario, it can be tough to set up one day and vastly enjoy all that even one park has to offer. 

So, as a result we're taking today to look at what we'd do if we had only one day to spend in one park. I will preface this with the fact that we've been in this situation before and while it isn't ideal, you'll be surprised at how amazing your day can be with the limited amount of time available to you. However, to make the most of the time, you have to arrive with a plan and this is the plan we'd go with. 

Our Ideal 1-day Disney World Itinerary - Tower of Terror

What Park Do You Go To?


If I had never been to Walt Disney World I'd have to spend the time I had exploring Magic Kingdom in 2018. Now, I say in 2018 for one reason and largely one reason only. As the parks grow and new expansions are unveiled over the next 2 years, including Toy Story Land and Star Wars - Galaxy's Edge, my opinion on which park to visit could likely change. Honestly, I would even consider going to Epcot and originally that was my pick for this 1 day itinerary. As I thought about that decision, I took a step back. I redirected my thoughts and considered the scenario once again from a different perspective. If I was a first time guest, what park would leave a lasting impression on me?

The answer I came up with wasn't ideal, because what came to mind was our 7 Day Itinerary. Then I realized one more thing and that was that the point of one day at Disney isn't about doing everything but rather taking the time you have and making the most of it. It's not going to be the perfect trip, but for one day you get the opportunity to escape the world for a few minutes and enter a place of pure happiness. So, the answer I came up with wasn't my favorite park, Epcot (with our Our Tried and True "Epcot in a Day" Touring Plan), but rather a place described best as where you can "leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy,” the Magic Kingdom. 

What Ticket Do You Buy? 


Honestly, you're only going to need a one day ticket to the park and the cheapest place and most reliable place (other than Disney themselves) I've found to buy that is the Official Ticket Center online. It's quick, it's convenient, and you may save a few dollars along the way. For longer stays, you may even catch a free upgrade through them, but I recommend checking out our 2018 Discount Disney World Tickets post before you dive too deep into the ticket buying process for longer stays.

Our Ideal 1-day Disney World Itinerary - Crescent Lake

All things considered, I'd go with a base one-day ticket *without* the park hopper option if you're only doing one day in the parks. Truth be told, you won't have time to park hop without wasting a lot of unnecessary time in this situation. This one tip alone goes against just about everything I talk about in our 2018 Disney World Vacation Planning Tips article when talking about tickets, but in this rare case I can genuinely say to avoid the park hopper (it kind of hurt me to say that lol). Save the money you would have spent on that add-on and see if you can find a table service dining reservation at any location in the Magic Kingdom on the My Disney Experience App.  It can be tough to secure a reservation at the last second but use our last minute reservation tips and you should be able to come up with an excellent meal even on the day of your time in the park.

If you're looking for meal suggestions, I highly recommend looking into:

-Crystal Palace - For a fun filled family character meal with Pooh and friends. There are a ton of great options on the buffet for both kids and adults and the atmosphere is quite elegant as you look out the glass windows towards Cinderella's castle. At the same time, the dining location remains extremely kid friendly and is a place for the whole family to enjoy.

-The Plaza Restaurant - If you're looking for a slightly more budget friendly offering without going to exclusively quick service locations, the Plaza offers a nice blend of classic cheeseburgers and sandwiches of different varieties while mixing things up with a Honey Barbecue Brisket Macaroni and Cheese. If you get the chance to talk with the chef, he'll make your day and share a few culinary tips with you along the way. Ask about his secret to getting rid of that "Florida water" taste! It'll blow your mind and he'll likely remember your visit and you for years to come. We met with him years ago about an allergy some of our friends deal with and he remembered us literally 8+ years later!

-Liberty Tree Tavern - Liberty Tree tends to be a guest favorite of Magic Kingdom. If you're looking for classic Thanksgiving-esque style food, this is an excellent option. Honestly, I haven't been to this one in years, mostly because an extremely heavily meal rarely intrigues me on a sunny Florida day, but it's definitely worth a look if you've never tried it before!     

How to Make the Most of Your Time - Our Ideal Itinerary 


If you clicked on this post or Google brought you here, you likely came for what I'm about to share. I appreciate you having confidence in our planning abilities that are based on experience, but I will say that you'll likely have to modify our plan slightly to fit your needs. Everyone wants to do something different when they head to Magic Kingdom. We all want to see different attractions, eat at different locations, and honestly just see different things. With all of that under consideration, I can say with confidence that if you use this plan, I can nearly guarantee you'll have an excellent day that will be memorable for years to come. 

With that, we'll dive right into it and share exactly what we would do and have done to make the most of a limited amount of time on Disney property. 

First and foremost, if at all possible, get there when the gates open, if not a few minutes before they open. The Magic Kingdom welcomes guests before it's official opening and allows the earliest of individuals to explore Main Street before the attractions and other areas of the park officially debut for the day and the welcome show is performed on the castle stage. If you get there early enough, you'll have plenty of time to scout out some hidden gems of Main Street (like these below) or many others you may uncover on your own that can be found in the "history" section of this site: 
I share these not to build page views to those article (ok, well maybe I do to an extent lol), but rather to share with you an aspect of the parks that many guests miss on one day trips that could leave you with a much greater appreciation for what you experienced during your day in Magic Kingdom. The history of the place is what sets it apart form many other parks across the country and the attention to detail is unparalleled when you take the time to take a closer look. Additionally, those extra few minutes allow you a bit of time to explore the gift locations of Main Street and get a better idea of some special souvenirs you may want to take home with you to commemorate the experience or share a piece of the magic with a friend or family member back home.

Our Ideal 1-day Disney World Itinerary - Epcot Monorail


Ideally, after catching the opening show at the castle, you'll head to one of your favorite attractions and begin the process we've used to Ride 6 or More Attractions in 90 Minutes or Less: With Only 1 Fastpass+! That detailed process is one that we've been using for years and it's the key to taking full advantage of the first hour and a half to two hours after the park officially opens. 

Once you get done with all of those attractions, we recommend trying to find a way to eat breakfast or lunch at Crystal Palace. It is a tough reservation to secure at the last minute, but if all else fails attempt to do a walk up and ask if you can wait for a table. They wont always let you wait, but it's worked for us time and time again over the years.

I recommend Crystal Palace for a few reasons. First and foremost, we've had great experiences over the years there. Second, it offers a buffet that most guests can find something they'll really enjoy eating. Lastly, it's a great way to escape the heat of the summer months as it begins to build in the late morning and early afternoon. You'd be surprised how much of a difference an hour or two in the AC opposed to a few hours in the Florida summer heat can make. In the long run, it'll give you more energy for the rest of the day and you get the chance to eat at our favorite Table Service Breakfast on Property.  

After that meal, I'd recommend heading to a few attractions with shorter wait times (typically its a small world, The Peoplemover, or even the Magic Carpets of Aladdin for a quick set of attractions before the afternoon parade begins. (If you're looking for spot for the parade, I highly recommend the center hub of the park near the Partners Statue or up near the Car Barn at the front of the park. 

Once the parade ends, you'll be well into the peak crowd level for the day and it's a great time to head back to Main Street to do some shopping and cool off again in the air conditioned stores rather than spending that time in an attraction queue. As night starts to set in, catch a few more attractions like Haunted Mansion, or even visit Tom Sawyer Island before catching a quick service dinner or a snack. If you can manage it, try to set up your remaining fastpass+ selections for this point in the day.  

I know, it may be very difficult to get exactly what you want if you buy your tickets last minute or if you didn't plan on visiting the park originally. Either way, take what you can get when you can get it. If you can buy your ticket further ahead of time, do it and then immediately book your fastpass+ selections at the 30 day window for non-resort guests or 60 days for resort guests.

At the end of the day, you'll want to catch one last thing before leaving the park and that's the Happily Ever After Fireworks. It's an excellent show and one I highly recommend so grab an ice cream sandwich at the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor and claim your spot about 30 minutes before the show (or an hour+ if you're picky about your "spot"). When the performance in the sky is complete, don't do what most guest do and head for the exits. Stick around the park and head back over to some attractions (if the park is remaining open) for a few last minute attractions. Once the park officially closes for the day, you'll no longer be able to get in line for attractions, but continue to stick around until about 30 minutes to an hour after close for the Kiss Goodnight and to close down the park. The collaborative experience is something you wont want to miss and is truly the perfect way to end a one-day itinerary. 

Wrapping Up


At the end of the day, you'll likely have experienced nearly every attraction in the park, and if all worked out as planned you'll be eager to return at some point in the future. Many guests will leave the Magic Kingdom with a series of memories, a positive outlook, and a greater appreciation for the place created by a man with a dream. It's an empowering experience and one that encourages you to take a step and pursue that one thing you never thought could become a reality. I say this for a reason, but also as a motivation. Two years ago, I never thought I'd be where I am today and doing what I'm doing right this second. The theme park experience not only gave me a place to explore but a location that has brought so many people into my life that I never expected. Once you visit Disney, you become a part of this community that is so difficult to explain. It's a wonderful group of people and a community like nothing else. 

Our Ideal 1-day Disney World Itinerary

Walt said it best, it takes people to make a dream a reality. At the time when that was first shared, he likely didn't know what that simple phrase would become to so many. He created a place not only for cast members to grow and learn, but also a place that fulfills dreams and creates an escape from reality for so many of us time and time again. I share all of this for one reason and that is to encourage you to take whatever amount of time you have to visit the park and to make the most of every minute. You may not have enough time for a full day at Magic Kingdom, but take the time you have and make the most of it. You never know when a simple experience may develop a new favorite aspect of your life and a place that you want to return to time and time again. 

Your Thoughts

As always, if you have thoughts, concerns, questions, or even some tips of your own to share, don't hesitate to reach out to us on Facebook or your favorite social media platform. Give us a follow while you're there, and we'll keep the conversation going in the future. We're not the largest Disney community, but we're one that's there and one that listens. Thanks for reading and have a wonderful day wherever you are!


How Do I Create These Posts? 

Every once in a while I get questions about my gear. This is what I use and highly recommend at the moment in the realm of content creation. This list is varied and tends to change from time to time, but this is my current set up of gear used to create these posts. If you have any questions or need some tips in the site building process, feel free to message me on Facebook!

ComputerMacbook Pro  
If you get one of these you'll inevitably need dongles (The USB-C Struggle): 
Main DSLR CameraNikon D3400 (kit lens currently)
Tripod for Night PhotographyPrimaPhoto Traveler 
Photo Editing SoftwareLightroom 6 Stand Alone Version (Not Creative Cloud) 
Secondary Camera: iPhone 7 (Older Photos on the Site) 


Ready to Plan?

Let our friends over at Destinations to Travel (FREE - no obligation quote request form below) help you out at no additional cost to you! Here's a closer look at why I recommend an Authorized Disney Travel Planner!

Last but certainly not least, if you're starting the planning process, a great place to start are with some of our top planning articles! Looking for dining? Check out Disney World Dining Tips For 2018. Want to start with some more tips? 44 Excellent Disney World Tips for 2018 or Disney World Planning Guide and Tips For 2018 are a great place to begin! Looking to save money on tickets? Check out our friends over at The Official Ticket Center for great deals that even made it into our 2018 Discount Disney World Ticket selections and another great way to help us create more content through your contributions at no additional cost to you! You'll probably even save money along the way.

                



Thursday, May 17, 2018

Flight of Passage - A Motion Sickness Perspective

Guide4WDW.com

by: guide4wdw - Collin

Flight of Passage - A Motion Sickness Perspective   

Today, I'm doing something that I hope to do more of here on the site from time to time, I'm revisiting an old topic to cover it in just a bit higher level of detail in light of more recent experiences. Recently, we had the opportunity to visit Pandora at Disney's Animal Kingdom once again, but this time with a new group of individuals who had never seen the land before. While that in and of itself is an experience, it was incredibly helpful in covering today's topic.     

Today I'm bringing you an article that I know very few Disney writers have or are able to cover. It's also a story I looked for myself for weeks before my first trip to Pandora (a short time after it debuted last year) and came up with no definitive answer. So, today, we're taking a look at Pandora's Flight of Passage attraction and the ins and outs of the attraction from a motion sickness perspective.

To add a quick backstory, personally, I struggle heavily with motion sickness. In a typical day  simply driving to and from the local store with another driver can become a problem quickly. Whenever I travel with friends, I always volunteer as the driver to avoid motion sickness. Strangely though, I can handle many Disney attractions. For example, my limit is typically around the Space Mountain level of "thrill" without feeling sick. I've never been able to do Star Tours without feeling awful afterwords, Rockin' Roller Coaster is strictly a "no-go," and Expedition Everest I have done once, but it wasn't the best experience (I was fine, but really didn't enjoy it). 


I know the question most people tend to ask is how Flight of Passage compares to Soarin'. After riding the attractions one day apart, I can honestly say there's no true comparison between the two. Soarin' is one of those attractions that on a typical day I'll be fine unless I look around to the sides too much, then it tends to get to me. Also, it's one of those attractions that tends not to bother you once you know what to expect. Flight of Passage honestly did not bother me. Yes, as many have said, it is a thrill ride, but the environment you're in doesn't expose you to the motion sickness as much as you would expect. Rather than a tight and confined space with little circulation, Flight of Passage features a constant breeze flowing past your "banshee" and at times even sprays a gentle mist over you as you flow through the experience all while remaining relatively stationary. 

Opposed to the typical slight rolling action of Soarin' or the slightly jerky nature of many coasters and Star Tours, Flight of Passage is a different movement type. Throughout the attraction, the "Banshee" (ride vehicle) emulates a type of hopping motion that probably rises and falls around 10-15 feet at most combined with tilts and sways as the on screen film is played in 3D. Of course Disney mixes up the motion according to the on screen projections and it is quite honestly a breathtaking experience to say the least. There is no true comparison to this attraction, but I will say I took a motion sickness medication at the start of that day, as did a guest traveling with us who gets horrible motion sickness, and neither one of us had serious problems. To be quite honest, I have felt worse in the past getting off of Dinosaur than I did this attraction. 

Fast forward to our March trip of 2018 and we found ourselves traveling with a friend that also gets motion sickness who has struggled with simulators (not unlike me) for many years. They got on the attraction with full expectations that it could bother them, but they were determined to see it and try it for themselves at least once. Upon exiting the ride they did mention that closing their eyes to remove the on screen perception of forward movement really helped them when they felt uncomfortable for a short amount of time during certain parts of the experience (If you've ridden it you can guess which parts but I wont ruin it for anyone who has yet to ride it). Even in that situation, as they walked out of the exit queue they had a smile on their face and were beyond happy that they rode this incredible attraction.     

Unfortunately, there's no way to guarantee you won't get sick if you struggle with similar problems, but the three of us all agreed that it was more than worth the risk. Nothing truly compares to the crazy realism of the attraction. The second guest of the first trip (who also happens to be my father) did mention that he did not know if he would ride again, but was blown away by the experience and was glad that he took the chance and rode it at least once. 


Here's my personal advice. If you can do Soarin', Star Tours, Expedition Everest, Mission Space, or Rockin' Rollercoaster, you should, at the very least, be able to get through the attraction without any problems. If you're worried, take a motion sickness medication before you ride and that will likely solve a lot of your problems. 

Something worth mentioning here at the end of this article (our May 2018 update), is that Disney has been passing out cards/pamphlets warning those with motion sickness not to partake in this attraction as you enter the queue. It also mentions certain medical conditions and circumstances that would prohibit you or that they advise against partaking in the attraction if they apply to you. Personally, I see this as a bit much for an attraction that I've never heard of someone getting physically sick on while partaking in the experience. My best guess is they learned they're lesson in the early days of Mission Space and wanted to lay out all of the warnings. This attraction is no where near as intense as Mission Space and I will not even consider riding Mission Space during a trip to the parks. The entire set up of that attraction is not a good mix for motion sickness but Pandora is entirely different and isn't quite was restricting as the capsules guests are put in for Mission Space. 

Pandora, at least in my opinion, is a freeing experience. It's hyper realism is unparalleled and, for the briefest of moments, you're soaring over Pandora and you just feel free! (Did anybody else's mind just go straight to The Shawshank Redemption while reading that... nope... just me? --- In your best Morgan Freemen Voice, "and for the briefest of moments, every last man in Shawshank felt free."--- but I digress) You are flying on the back of a Banshee soaring over Pandora in a way that is indescribable in words. You have to see it to believe it, and you wont be disappointed. 

If you want even more Disney in your day, be sure to check out our friends over at WDW Magazine as their print release is rolling out soon! Join the Wait List For the Print Version Here As always, thanks for supporting those who support us in return.  
               
Your Thoughts
As always, if you have thoughts, concerns, questions, or even some tips of your own to share, don't hesitate to reach out to us on Facebook or your favorite social media platform. Give us a follow while you're there, and we'll keep the conversation going in the future. We're not the largest Disney community, but we're one that's there and one that listens. Thanks for reading and have a wonderful day wherever you are! 

Ready to Plan?


Last but certainly not least, if you're starting the planning process, a great place to start are with some of our top planning articles! Looking for dining? Check out Disney World Dining Tips For 2018. Want to start with some more tips? 44 Excellent Disney World Tips for 2018 or Disney World Planning Guide and Tips For 2018 are a great place to begin! Looking to save money on tickets? Check out our friends over at The Official Ticket Center for great deals that even made it into our 2018 Discount Disney World Ticket selections and another great way to help us create more content through your contributions at no additional cost to you! You'll probably even save money along the way.



Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Disney in the Rain - How to Make the Most of a Rainy Day at Walt Disney World!

Guide4WDW.com

by: guide4wdw - Collin

Disney World in the Rain - Making the Most of It! 

A rainy week at Walt Disney World is something we all dread seeing pop up in the weather forecast for an upcoming trip. At times it can be frustrating to set up all the resort reservations, tickets, dining, and all the other details of the trip to arrive to a week of rain in the parks. Sure, it's not ideal, but at the same time it opens up the door to new experiences that you otherwise wouldn't have had the opportunity to enjoy. Admittedly, that's easier to say sitting behind a computer screen than walking through Walt Disney World with thunderstorms looming or a constant trickle of rain falling from sky, but it can be quite true in reality. 

Here's the thing about rain at Walt Disney World. Most guests and sites are going to say to avoid the parks because it's "miserable" to trek around in the rain and that you should go to an outlet mall or go do something else in Orlando that is inside and away from the rain. I'm going to tell you to do the opposite. Sure, rain can be uncomfortable at times and your shoes will be wet and inevitably you'll stay pretty damp throughout the day, but I'd recommend you go to the parks anyway and enjoy the moment and a new experience you may or may not have had before.

 If you can get behind that concept, keep on reading and we'll dive into it a little deeper, but if you really despise rain check out our final tip which will be how we'd recommend avoiding the rain altogether. For the rest of you, here are a few things I'd think about and recommend for a rainy Disney trip.   

France - Disney in the Rain
Before we get started, I will say that rain is just something you're likely to face on any Disney trip. Chances are, it's going to happen and it's more of a matter of when it is going to happen rather than if it's going to happen. Unfortunately it's a part of the warmer weather that is characteristic of Florida and a rainy season unfolds as a result. Don't let it ruin your vacation, simply adapt and overcome to make the most of the experience, even if it's not your "ideal" plan for a Walt Disney World vacation.           

One Solution - Don't Worry About the Rain (Let Me Explain...)  

Thankfully, rain "all day" at Walt Disney World is typically the exception rather than the rule. In the rainier seasons of late spring, summer, and early fall, chances are it's going to rain at some point if you're planning a week long trip to the parks. With that being said, chances are vastly in your favor that it will not be "all day" rain. A vast majority of the time, you'll be walking through the park, enjoying a beautiful morning, and then as 2 or 3 o'clock rolls around storm clouds will fill in and you'll catch an aggressive downpour that lasts anywhere from 1 hour (or less) to 4 or more hours. I'm not local, but from my experience a majority of the afternoon thunderstorms last a couple hours and fade away as the sun sets unveiling an incredible sunset reflecting off of the passing storm clouds. 

Truth be told, there's a huge upside to these rain showers, particularly in the summer months. If the storms are short, the temperature will drop aggressively as the rain rolls through the area leaving behind a far less aggressive temperature than the 85-90+ degree early afternoons that tend to be the preface a big storm. 

These afternoon rain storms aren't just a Florida phenomenon, but tend to happen more frequently and predictably there. Here in Kentucky, we've faced almost identical weather the last few days to what you'd expect from a Florida summer day. This morning it's 85 degrees here and yesterday it was 90 at about this time. This afternoon we'll catch a pretty aggressive rainstorm that will develop but in Florida, a similar weather pattern occurs almost daily. If you are in the parks this week (the week of May 15th 2018) it appears to me as if you will be facing an uncharacteristically rainy week with a fair amount of continuous rain, but I'll let the local readers confirm or deny that one.      

Epcot - Disney in the Rain

However, the kind of rain that is typical of these Florida months isn't a vacation ruiner and I'd argue that no type of rain will "ruin" a Disney vacation. Don't be like many guests and avoid the parks, just avoid the rain when it comes around.   

Avoid the Rain, Not the Parks 

When the rain starts to come down at Walt Disney World, there tends to be two types of guests. The ones that run for the resort and hang out in the lobby or watch TV in the resort room and the ones that embrace the rain and head to the parks anyway. Honestly, it bothers me a bit to see guests huddled in the lobby "waiting out" the rain when a somewhat rare rainy morning develops. Most of them have already paid for their day in the parks and simply don't realize how much fun you can have touring the parks in the rain. It's not the situation you look for and wish for, but nevertheless it's an experience you don't want to miss. One of my greatest memories with a group of friends arose from a rainy day in the parks. 

It was a rather simple day, and we had started the day at a park other than the one we planned to finish our day in, but we had secured a reservation for Le Cellier at the Canada Pavilion in Epcot for a late afternoon lunch. Well, it was summer, so at this pointing in the article you know what that means for an afternoon reservation. You guessed it, rain! When we left our first park for the day (which for the life of me I can't remember what park it was) we knew we were going to be cutting it incredibly close to make our reservation, or even our grace period before they gave away our reservation.

As we approached Epcot via the Monorail the skies opened up and a rainstorm broke loose that was one of the worst I've seen in all my years touring the Disney parks. It was a sideways rain that is incredibly difficult to deal with but we were determined to make the reservation. We arrived at the front entrance already late for the reservation, but knew they'd hold it for a short time. Me, being around 16 or 17 at the time decided I would just run and see if I could make it to the restaurant to at least prove that we were in the park, even if the whole party wasn't there to be seated.... Now, before I finish this story this is a great time to say I DO NOT RECOMMEND doing this lol. Truth be told it's a great way to get hurt and is frowned upon by Disney... For those of you who know Epcot well, you know that the front entrance to the Canada Pavilion for this reservation is not a short journey. At this point, I had about 5 minutes to make the trek. Long story short, I saved the reservation by about a minute and a half. 

You may be wondering how any of this applies to a rainy day at Walt Disney World, but I share this story for one reason and one reason only. This is a story we share and talk about among friends and family time and time again. It was so absurd that it was hilarious and out of the ordinary for any place other than Disney that it's utterly comical to replay in our minds time and time again. It's a strange memory but one that has stood the test of time.  However, it's one that would have never happened if we didn't just embrace the rain and enjoy the moment no matter what the weather threw at us.  

I know this is a hard suggestion to implement, but if you're prepared for the rain (see below), you'll have an incredible day that vastly exceeds sitting at the resort and waiting on/watching the rain fall outside the windows. The resort staff does an excellent job of entertaining guests and creating fun, limited time, events indoors for guests to enjoy but don't pass on a park day just because of the rain. Enjoy the resort and what it offers on rainy days but do that in the afternoon or during a break from the parks to change clothes or dry out for a little bit, don't make it the focus of your day. 

Honestly, many of the resorts, especially the Grand Floridian, Wilderness Lodge, and Polynesian, take on a warm and inviting persona as the rain falls outside or a storm passes which can be incredibly relaxing. Enjoy those moments but also take the time to enjoy the parks we all know and love despite the circumstances and the weather of the world around you. Enjoy that escape from reality and enjoy a few minutes playing in the rain like you did when you were a kid. A little water falling from the sky never hurt anybody, and you may be surprised at what you can get done with lower crowd levels, and that unique situation opening up a variety of new opportunities.  
                          

Attractions to Focus on In The Rain 

If you take my advice and head to the parks anyway, you'll likely be able to avoid the rain more so than you may expect. Magic Kingdom and Epcot are particularly good parks to tour in the rain. The experiences and attractions are very close together. At Magic Kingdom, take  Tomorrowland for example. When the rain begins, jump in line for Space Mountain, make a quick walk over to Carousel of Progress, jump in line for Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, head to the Laugh Floor, and finish things off with a ride on the Peoplemover. By the time you do all that, you're looking at likely over 2 hours of awesome entertainment that will get you through a big storm reasonably dry. 

Here's a few other attractions to take part in in the Magic Kingdom: 

  • The Country Bear Jamboree
  • Splash Mountain (you're already going to get wet, and it'll run if no lightening is in the area)
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh 
  • It's a Small World 
  • Peter Pan's Flight 
  • Philharmagic 
  • Prince Charming Regal Carrousel 
  • Under the Sea - Journey of the Little Mermaid
  • Haunted Mansion
  • Pirates of the Caribbean 
  • and so many others! - Not to mention how much time you could spend strolling through the stores of Main Street. 
Little Mermaid - Disney in the Rain - How to Make the Most of a Rainy Day at Walt Disney World!


Epcot is a bit different: 

  • The Land Pavilion is a great place to spend some time riding Soarin' or the Land attraction itself. You may even want to look into a "Behind the Seeds" Tour for a closer look at the greenhouses, especially while the rain falls outside.  
  • The Seas with Nemo And Friends is an incredible place to hang out for a bit as a passing rain shower rolls through. The pavilion is vastly underrated and could easily take up a great bit of time during an Epcot day, but very few guests take the time to fully explore it. 
  • Last, but certainly not least, you have the World Showcase. The showcase is full of stores and indoor experiences that allow you to take a few steps in the rain and then right back inside to enjoy the next store or experience. Don't forget to book a dining reservation or to stop for a great counter service meal somewhere to experience the culinary aspects of some (or a few) of the countries. 
As a bit of a seemingly odd suggestion, don't count out a day at the waterparks if there's no lighting in the area. The water parks are great and you're going to get wet anyway so just stick your towels and change of clothes in a locker to keep them dry and go enjoy the slides!           

What Park to Avoid in the Rain - Here's Why 

If you're going to try the Disney parks on a rainy day, here's the one park I don't recommend, Hollywood Studios. Now, this recommendation is a bit strange because it is a very small park, but there's really no good way to navigate Hollywood Studios without having to trek through large areas of open space where you simply cannot avoid the rain. Additionally, the Indiana Jones Stunt show is typically cut short because two of the sets are exposed to the elements, and even with the Toy Story expansion set to debut, there isn't too terribly much to do in the park when it rains. The Star Wars Launch bay is a great place to be indoors for a bit, along with Toy Story Mania, Star Tours, and Tower of Terror, but there's really no good way to navigate the park and get from place to place without getting soaked at some point or another. At Epcot and Magic Kingdom multiple things are attached or only  a few steps away from each other, and that doesn't tend to remain true at Hollywood Studios. You may know a better way to make it work but I've never had much luck with Hollywood Studios in the rain.

Disney in the Rain - How to Make the Most of a Rainy Day at Walt Disney World!

To me, Animal Kingdom is also particularly tough in the rain due to the layout of the park, but its rainy day activities have improved with the new attractions of the Pandora expansion.
         

What to Pack and How To Prepare 

This is the key to this whole article and finding ways to make Disney "work" in the rain. A few simple things can make or break the way you can or cannot handle the parks in the rain. Here's a few quick suggestions. 
  • Make sure you have a change of clothes somewhere. In your bag, at the resort, or somewhere near by. 
  • Pack a good rain jacket. In my opinion, ponchos are terrible. While they are vastly convenient, if you know rain is inevitable, a rain jacket is far more comfortable and keeps you far more dry than the glorified plastic bag with three holes cut in it. Never buy Disney ponchos unless you're a collector of ponchos (yes, they do exist lol... you know who you are) or are just incredibly desperate. They're horribly overpriced and while they are nice ponchos you'll likely never wear them again so a $1 poncho from the dollar store could essentially serve the same purpose or one of these compact individually packaged ones off of Amazon.
  • Have an extra pair of shoes ready at the resort. Wet shoes are not fun, so having an extra pair is a nice way to freshen up after a day of making the most of the rain. (Pro tip: if you get desperate, carefully slide a hair dryer into your shoes to dry them out faster in your resort room or consider opting for waterproof shoes or even flip-flops on a rainy day.)
  • Consider taking a hat. In many cases it will shield your eyes from the heaviest of rain showers and keep your hair dry along the way. 
  • Carry with you some extra plastic bags for electronics just in case. I know most iPhones are water resistant or at least claim to be at this point in time, but other cameras and phones may not be. 
  • If you are carrying a camera through the parks, consider picking up a nice camera bag, especially if you're carrying a more expensive DSLR or one that isn't sealed. Personally I recommend and use a Lowepro Photo Hatchback because it fits everything I need and it has an All Weather Cover that conveniently fits into a pocket of the backpack itself in the chance that a huge rainstorm develops that could ruin my gear. For more on my park bag/gear, check out my Disney Packing List - What I Take to Disney World - If anyone wants to hear more about my photo gear in particular just let me know and I'll get something written up. It's a pretty budget friendly setup at the moment.  

If You Despise Rain, Try This

If you've made it through this whole article and still think a day in the rain at WDW doesnt sound even remotely appealing, that's okay! Here's a few recommendations: 
  • Consider resort hopping. Head to Magic Kingdom, jump on the Monorail and spend the day touring the resorts on the Monorail loop. There's plenty of shopping and dining to keep you occupied for quite some time, and you could even make a day out of it. 
  • Go see the legendary Yehaa Bob perform at the River Roost at Port Orleans Riverside. Be sure to check performance dates and times first. 
  • Enjoy your resort and explore it in much greater depth than you likely would have without the rain. If you don't know where to start, ask a cast member at the front desk and I would almost guarantee they'll have a great suggestion! 
  • Book a last minute Table Service Meal and go try something you've never experienced before. It may become your new favorite dining location! Resorts are great places to look for dining reservations but oftentimes you can pick up hard to find reservations in the parks on rainy days as guests cancel and opt to stay in the room opposed to touring the parks. It's their loss and your win in that case!         

Your Thoughts
As always, if you have thoughts, concerns, questions, or even some tips of your own to share, don't hesitate to reach out to us on Facebook or your favorite social media platform. Give us a follow while you're there, and we'll keep the conversation going in the future. We're not the largest Disney community, but we're one that's there and one that listens. Thanks for reading and have a wonderful day wherever you are! 

Ready to Plan?

Need help planning your vacation? Let our friends over at Destinations to Travel (FREE - no obligation quote request form below) help you out at no additional cost to you! Their services are free and a great way for you to help out the site at no extra cost to you! Here's a closer look at why I recommend an Authorized Disney Travel Planner!

Last but certainly not least, if you're starting the planning process, a great place to start are with some of our top planning articles! Looking for dining? Check out Disney World Dining Tips For 2018. Want to start with some more tips? 44 Excellent Disney World Tips for 2018 or Disney World Planning Guide and Tips For 2018 are a great place to begin! Looking to save money on tickets? Check out our friends over at The Official Ticket Center for great deals that even made it into our 2018 Discount Disney World Ticket selections and another great way to help us create more content through your contributions at no additional cost to you! You'll probably even save money along the way.



Monday, May 14, 2018

Why I Think Everyone Should Visit Walt Disney World - How to Make it Happen!

Guide4WDW.com

by: guide4wdw - Collin

Why I Think Everyone Should Visit Walt Disney World - How to Make it Happen!  

Every once in awhile you have one of those days that makes you really appreciate the little things in life. You have that moment where you realize that no matter what, it could simply all end tomorrow. Now, I know that sounds a bit sad, but at the same time it's one of the greatest blessings life gives us. In many ways that simple thought encourages us to enjoy every moment and make the most of any and every situation life throws at us. It could be a terrible day, but it could always get worse and no matter what there's a silver lining to each and every moment in life. 


It's About More Than Just the Parks

You may be wondering what this has to do with our topic for the day, but to me it has everything to do with today's article. To me, more than anything else, Disney is a place that makes you appreciate every moment. The place creates memories that are unmatched by any other location. As I've said many times, to me its not about the attractions, it's not about the food, and it's not about the many joys of the parks themselves, but rather the moments we share with those who we care the most about. That's what makes Disney different. It's a place that fosters incredible memories with a cast that exceeds expectations and stories that many of us hold close to our hearts. 

All of this sounds rather simple, but those of you who have been traveling to Walt Disney World for many years likely know exactly what I mean. That single point, in and of itself is a reason I recommend a Walt Disney World trip to anyone and everyone. Even if you're traveling alone, there is this incredible online Disney community that will often invite you into their lives like family and help you create memories no matter what your situation is in life may be. It's a group of like-minded people and while there are a few exceptions, so many of us aren't in it for the money (trust me, if I was, this would have ended a long time ago lol), but rather for the interaction we get to share with Disney fans and friends each and every day. 

There's Something For Everyone

In an entirely different way, I recommend a Disney trip to anyone and everyone because it is a place that exceeds expectations and truly offers something for everyone. If you're into food, there's plenty of world class options if you take the time to look for them, if you're into thrill rides, there's something for that, if you like golf, there's that too. Even if you hate Disney and everything about it, you drive ten minutes and you're surrounded by a city of so many things to do that you wont know where to start. 

In all reality, it's kind of shocking when you think about it, and while we've covered many different things to do inside and outside of the parks, there's no way to cover it all. We continuously strive to share new experiences with you day in and day out, but here are a few of our top recommendations and articles with some unique options to add to or take part in during your stay. As always, if you want to see us cover even more, just let us know and we'll try it out and let you know what we think! One of the things you history buffs may want to take part in is learning the legacy of this incredible organization and while Walt Disney World isn't the "original" park, you may be surprised at the history of Walt and the early days of the parks you can uncover even today!   


Unique Activities: 

History of the Parks and Beyond! 

This array only scratches the surface of what's available on Disney property and a couple of options beyond the parks and resorts. I've said t before and I'll say it again, there's something for everyone, it's just a matter of finding what you love and doing it the "Disney way" with a level of quality that exceeds expectations time and time again. 

In regards to how you can make it happen, it may not be as difficult or as expensive as you may expect. Disney can be done on a "shoe-string" budget, and we've done that many times ourselves for various reasons, or you can go all out and create the luxury vacation of a lifetime. 

Many of you may be facing another issue, or simply an obstacle to overcome, of a family member that isn't convinced that Disney is for them. Honestly, you're not alone. That happens to many prospective guests I know and have tried to convince to head to the parks time and time again. The key to it all is making a special effort to share with that person the one part of Disney that they'll enjoy more than anything else. Oftentimes, their mind automatically jumps to noisy kids and Mickey Mouse when Disney World is mentioned. Truth be told, you will face both of those in the parks, but that's not what it's all about. When you unfold the realm of possibilities for guests, you may be surprised at how their thought process and view of a Walt Disney World vacation changes. 


If you're concerned about the actual trip planning process, you have a ton of options. First and foremost we have a series of itineraries here on the site (listed below) that can get you started but Disney is pretty good about walking you through the process if you choose on-site resort accommodations. Also, you could consider an Authorized Disney Travel Planner (here's the one we recommend) to do the majority of the work for you or as much or as little of the planning as you'd like. Disney trips can be intimidating for sure, but when you get the right help and do the research it gets far easier and you continually grow upon your past experiences. If you're looking for even more Disney trip planning info, don't forget to check out our friends over at WDW Magazine and their new in print magazine featuring all kinds of awesome Disney content debuting soon (online version already available). As always, we appreciate it when you support those who support us!        

Itineraries:
I know this short article has a lot of links to other articles in it, but I do that for one main reason, and that's to show that there's no perfect way to do Disney and there's no one way to tour the parks or even tour Disney property as a whole. It's all about what works for you and what you want out of your vacation experience. When it comes right down to it, that's what it's all about. Use the knowledge you get from research and apply that to your trip to develop the ultimate vacation experience for you and your family. 

One last thing you may want to consider is that Disney spans the globe. So, if Walt Disney World isn't your thing or you can't find what you love in Orlando, head to California, Shanghai, Tokyo, Paris, and so many other unique locations. If you're not a theme park fan, take a Disney Cruise, or check out one of the truly incredible offering by Adventures By Disney to many parts of the world under the watchful eye and leadership of that Disney comfort and level of service. Disney service is part of what keeps me going back time and time again.      

Your Thoughts
As always, if you have thoughts, concerns, questions, or even some tips of your own to share, don't hesitate to reach out to us on Facebook or your favorite social media platform. Give us a follow while you're there, and we'll keep the conversation going in the future. We're not the largest Disney community, but we're one that's there and one that listens. Thanks for reading and have a wonderful day wherever you are! 

Ready to Plan?


Last but certainly not least, if you're starting the planning process, a great place to start are with some of our top planning articles! Looking for dining? Check out Disney World Dining Tips For 2018. Want to start with some more tips? 44 Excellent Disney World Tips for 2018 or Disney World Planning Guide and Tips For 2018 are a great place to begin! Looking to save money on tickets? Check out our friends over at The Official Ticket Center for great deals that even made it into our 2018 Discount Disney World Ticket selections and another great way to help us create more content through your contributions at no additional cost to you! You'll probably even save money along the way.



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