Why Many Walt Disney World Vacation Planners Get it Wrong

How Most Disney Vacation Planners Get it Wrong

A Poorly-Planned Walt Disney World Vacation Can Impact Your Trip and Leave You Frustrated

One thing that just about every Walt Disney World Travel Agent will agree on is that you should have a plan for your Walt Disney World vacation–especially if you are a first-time visitor.

Walt Disney World vacation planning has become somewhat of a cottage industry, with books, websites, blogs and gurus around every corner. There are seemingly an infinite number of sources all telling you how to plan your Walt Disney World vacation. It can quickly become overwhelming for the novice Disney traveler. And while there is a lot of great advice out there, there are also a lot of ill-advised recommendations. Just because someone has taken a few trips to Walt Disney World doesn’t mean that they know how to plan an effective itinerary for every possible scenario.

So how do you tell the good from the bad?

Over the years I have seen a lot of recommended Walt Disney World vacation plans from a lot of sources and I have come to the conclusion that there are a few common themes where many of them really get it wrong.

Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

What to Watch for in a Walt Disney World Vacation Plan

Here are a few key areas where many Walt Disney World vacation planners get it wrong. Watch for these triggers if you are following a plan or if you have a Travel Agent creating an itinerary for your Walt Disney World vacation.

Over Planning

Over planning your Walt Disney World vacation is the number one problem that I see most often. It is, unfortunately, a typical output from an inexperienced Disney vacation planner. This is not usually a result of bad intentions, but more a result of inexperience. Your planner is trying to ensure that you see and do everything (or at least as much as they can possibly squeeze into your day) and so they plan your vacation with naive exuberance.

However, your Walt Disney World vacation is not a military operation. It should not have you on a regimen that schedules your entire day from start to finish with little time to breathe or take an “unscheduled” break. Not only is this hard on your family unit, but it also leads to people not being able to do other things that they may want to do once they arrive.  And so frustrations mount, kids (and parents) melt down and arguments set in.

Not a very magical Disney vacation experience.

Unfortunately, though, this scenario is all-too-common and plays out all day long in Disney Parks. When I hear of people who came back from their first Walt Disney World vacation feeling like they needed a vacation from their vacation, there’s a good chance they tried to do too much. When those same people tell me that they had someone prepare a schedule for their week, that is a sure sign that it was over-planned.

Over-planning is almost as bad as not planning at all…almost.

Crowd Rushing Around Disney's Hollywood Studios

Rushing Around

A by-product of over-planning is rushing around. There are definitely times when the best of us will find ourselves having to rush from one place to the next on our Disney vacation (usually when we’re relying on Disney buses). However, rushing around should not be a chronic element of your weekly itinerary.  Feeling like you have to continually rush from place-to-place without much time to breathe or relax is a direct result of over-planning. It doesn’t take long to wear you down.

Trying To Do Too Much

Rushing around is a by-product of trying to do too much. In their eagerness to please the client, many Disney vacation planners will try to squeeze as much as they possibly can into every day’s itinerary. Even if it were possible to do all of those things in one day (which often it is not), that does not leave much (if any) time for people to breathe, especially when the guests have younger children.

A Disney vacation planner’s inexperience can once again be a factor here.

It takes many years of Disney vacation experience to have covered just about every possible itinerary variable. For example, it may not look like it will take very long to get from Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort to Pioneer Hall at Fort Wilderness to attend the Hoop De Doo Revue dinner show (which is awesome, by the way). On paper, an inexperienced planner may figure that this trip should take 45 minutes by monorail and boat. However, I know from experience that 90-minutes is not unusual for this seemingly short journey. And so allowances need to be built into itineraries that allow for the realities of travel around Walt Disney World Resort. It only takes one or two misses in one day to throw an entire schedule completely off the rails. This not only leads to missed reservations, but also unhappy and upset clients and guests.

Walt Disney, One Man's Dream, Hollywood Studios

Thinking of the Walt Disney World Vacation as a One-Time Occurrence

Most of the common mistakes noted above come from one basic fact: the Disney vacation planner is thinking of your Walt Disney World vacation as a one-time occurrence.

This is a mistake.

I mentioned earlier that it is impossible to experience all of Walt Disney World in one week. So instead of trying to jam everything in, thereby jeopardizing the entire weekly experience, it is important to set expectations up front. Walt Disney World is a big place and you cannot see it all in one week… and you shouldn’t try to. Accept that and you will be one step ahead of many other guests.

Once that expectation is managed, you can then set about working on a realistic itinerary for the week that will provide a well rounded and rewarding Walt Disney World vacation experience for the entire family unit. I have a very unique Discovery approach that I follow with my clients that does just that. It is something that I developed as a result of decades of Walt Disney World travel experience.

Need Help Planning Your Deluxe Walt Disney World Vacation?

If you are considering a Walt Disney World Deluxe Vacation and would like assistance with your options and itinerary, please feel free to contact me.

My services include recommendations on Disney Deluxe Resort hotel accommodations, Disney dining, special events and activities, and your Walt Disney World itinerary, to name just a few. With nearly 50 years of Deluxe Disney travel experience (and approaching my 100th visit to Walt Disney World Resort), it would be my pleasure to assist you.

Mike Belobradic: The Finer Side of Disney Travel
Oakville, Ontario, Luxury Travel Advisor – Deluxe Disney Travel Specialist