What Type of Disney Traveler are You? Know Your Disney Travel DNA
What is Your Disney Travel Type?
There are six types of Disney travelers. Which are you?
Get to know your Disney travel DNA, because one size does not fit all when it comes to Planning a Walt Disney World Vacation
With an incredible number of options and combinations available to you, your Walt Disney World vacation plan should be as unique as you and your family.
I like to call this your Disney travel DNA. Your Disney travel DNA helps to define your Disney travel type.
Everyone has a unique Disney travel DNA. So the key to having a very rewarding Disney vacation is to know your Disney travel type and then build a vacation plan based on exactly who you are as a family unit.
Decoding Your Disney Travel DNA
As an experienced Disney traveler (with 50+ years’ worth of Disney travel), I talk to a lot of travelers about their Disney travel styles. Sometimes I’ll decode their Disney travel DNA and then help them to build a Disney Travel itinerary to reflect their unique results.
While off-the-shelf or internet Walt Disney World travel itineraries are fine as general samples, they will reflect the Disney travel DNA of whomever created them: not you. The chances are slim to none that any of these itineraries will be an exact match for your Disney travel type.
Even worse, an off-the-shelf Disney vacation plan can lead you down a path of regret. You don’t want to miss seeing something because you followed someone else’s plan.
So my advice is that it’s fine to gather different Disney travel plans for inspiration and ideas, but be sure to overlay your own wants and needs when it comes time to create your itinerary and booking your Disney dining and FastPasses.
What is Your Disney Travel DNA?
Your Disney Travel Type will identify key traits in your travel style and combine them with the unique considerations of a Disney vacation. This is information that you can use to ensure that you are getting the most out of your Walt Disney World vacation.
This is particularly important if it’s your first trip to Walt Disney World. The options can be overwhelming and you want to avoid making poor or ill-informed decisions wherever possible.
How to Assess Your Disney Travel Type
There are many things that I recommend that you consider when assessing a Disney travel type. For example, what is more important to you:
- trying to see as much as you possibly can — and going full tilt for a week in order to do it, or
- focusing in on the key things that are most important to you and then allowing for some down time by the pool or for other fun Walt Disney World activities?
The Disney Travel DNA of these two traveler types will be different.
There Are Six Types of Walt Disney World Travelers
After 50 years of visiting Disney Parks and Resorts, I have come up with six categories to segment Disney travelers.
I have identified these six Disney Traveler types based on many decades of Disney travel experience and research. I have spoken with, traveled with and observed friends and family, clients and other guests at Walt Disney World who have navigated the Disney Parks and Resorts over the years. So let’s have some fun and identify your unique Disney travel DNA.
Here is my list of the Six Disney Traveler types
Look for the elements that will help you to identify your own Disney Travel DNA so that you can start to imagine what kind of Disney Traveler you might be. While some travelers may fit 100% into one of these Disney travel types, it is more likely that you will be a composite of two or more (think of a pie chart with percentages of each type).
The Park Buster
The Park Buster is one of the most classic of all Disney Traveler types. The Park Buster is a Disney Parks fanatic. If it were up to them, they would love to do all four Walt Disney World Parks in one day. The Park Buster doesn’t mind the crowds, can stand waiting in line (to some degree) and loves being amidst the magic and wonder inside Disney Parks.
Even on the busiest of park days, the Park Buster will be in his or her element, likely having a few tricks up their sleeve to work through the crowds or knowing when to call it a day and tap out before things get too crazy. The Park Buster is high energy and if you can keep up with them, they’ll probably guide you through a very fun day at Disney Parks.
The Disney Planner
The Disney Planner is happiest when all meals and all FastPasses are locked in as early as Disney allows them to do so. They live with their My Disney Experience app by their side and love the comfort of knowing exactly what is going to happen this afternoon, tomorrow and the next day. The Disney Planner doesn’t enjoy leaving things to chance or having any unscheduled time (unless they planned for having unscheduled time). When someone in their party wants to change any plans on the fly, this will cause great stress for the Disney Planner. But secretly, they will enjoy the challenge of having to rejig their carefully-planned itinerary and will find great accomplishment when they come up with a new plan that resets things back into some sense of order.
Most travel groups will benefit from having someone who has many of these Disney Planner qualities in their Disney Travel DNA.
The Carefree Disney Traveler
The Carefree Traveler tends to take things as they come and doesn’t get too stressed about things that don’t go as planned (if they even have a plan. that is). If a ride is down for some reason, or they miss a FastPass time, no worries. The Carefree traveler is easygoing and will usually be able to enjoy themselves no matter what happens.
The Carefree Disney Traveler is among the most rare of all Disney Traveler types, but they can have a great calming affect on those around them when things don’t turn out as planned. So it’s always nice to have a Carefree Disney Traveler within your group.
The Disney Historian
The Disney Historian notices the small details that most travelers miss. They have likely done some advance research on what to watch for and the inspiration behind many of the rides, attractions and general Imagineering throughout the Disney Parks and Resorts. They have a great appreciation for how it all ties together. From Hidden Mickeys to the windows on Main Street U.S.A., the Historian views all of this as a significant part of the magic that is Walt Disney World.
They Disney Historian would be quite at home wandering the Disney Parks with a camera and an eye for detail and never even stepping on a ride.
The Luxury Disney Traveler
The Luxury Disney Traveler loves to experience the finer side of Disney travel (and is obviously a sentimental favourite of this blog). While the Luxury Disney Traveler enjoys visiting the Disney Parks and finds the history interesting, they would prefer to experience all of this as part of a VIP Tour, or other exclusive level of Disney service.
The Luxury Disney Traveler prefers all types of VIP Walt Disney World. While cost is always considered and they don’t necessarily give carte blanche on expenses, the Luxury Disney Traveler can see the value in the many opportunities to pay for magical extras on their Disney vacation. They are quite at home paying for and doing things that most other Disney travelers either don’t know about or simply do not have the budget to do.
The Disney Adventurer
The Disney Adventurer likes to chart their own path and discover things that the average Disney traveler isn’t even aware of. The Disney Traveler has a bit of Disney Planner in them, but not to the point of becoming obsessive about it. They are more akin to researchers in that regard. They want to know the off-the-beaten-track side of Disney and go where the crowds usually don’t.
The Disney Adventurer would rather spend time surfing in Typhoon Lagoon at 6:45 a.m. than sleeping in or rushing off to a park. An ideal Walt Disney World vacation would include such events as practicing archery at Fort Wilderness or taking a hot air balloon ride at Disney Springs.
The Differences Between the Disney Traveler Types
Probably the best way to bring these Disney Travel types to life is to show how they would each answer the same question.
A Magical Moment is when a Disney Cast Member does something extra special and unexpected for a Disney guest. So consider the following question and the answers that you might get from each Disney Travel Type:
“What would be an ideal Magical Moment for you?”
The Park Buster:
“Getting three extra FastPasses that I could use however I like.”
The Disney Planner:
“Getting that unattainable Disney Dining reservation that rounds out my perfect itinerary.”
The Carefree Disney Traveler:
“Anything that I was be offered would probably be awesome!”
The Disney Historian:
“Getting the inside scoop and some behind-the-scenes access from a Cast Member.”
The Luxury Disney Traveler:
“Getting upgraded to Club Level or a Suite at our resort.”
The Disney Adventurer:
“Getting an extra hour of bonus time on my SeaRaycer speedboat rental.”
For the record, by way of a self-assessment I would see my own Disney Travel DNA breaking down as follows, based on my own Disney Travel Types:
30% Luxury Disney Traveler
15% Park Buster
Your Family’s Disney Travel DNA
So always remember, it’s important to know your family’s Disney travel DNA to ensure you make the most of your Disney vacation. It is the foundation for the custom-tailored plan that you should follow and will help to ensure that you will get the most out of your time at the Most Magical Place on Earth.
Planning for a Walt Disney World vacation is far more involved than most other vacation planning.
So take a moment to start jotting down a few key points about what kind of traveler(s) you and your family tend to be. This will be very valuable for your Travel Advisor who ultimately wants to ensure that you get exactly what you hope to get from your Disney vacation.
Listen to the Disney Travel Podcast for More Disney Travel Tips
If you enjoy Disney Podcasts, 1923 Main Street: a Daddy Daughter Disney Travel Podcast is a weekly Disney podcast that focuses on Disney travel tips, advice and insider information. Search 1923 Main Street on your favorite podcast player or visit 1923MainStreet.com for more information.
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Mike Belobradic: The Finer Side of Disney Travel
Luxury Travel Blogger – Deluxe Disney Travel Specialist