Don’t get me wrong, we had a great vacation and I have many fun, interesting, insightful things to share with you, but I have to get the pet peeves out before I can do that. And, I am experiencing PVS—Post Vacation Syndrome and am not totally fit for public consumption yet—at least without growling at someone. So here it goes. . .
Yes, I know you are on vacation which means relaxation and no worries, man. It may also mean no decisions, no planning, and just go with the flow. I get it. . . sort of. I am still amazed by the folks who just show up for their Disney vacation, whether it is in the parks or on the cruise. It is as if they are amazed that they are there at all and suddenly realize that they are in the middle of a Disney vacation with no plans and no planning. You have either already paid a bunch of money or will eventually pay a bunch of money for your Disney vacation and as far as I’m concerned, I want to get the most out of my Disney vacation. For me, this means having decisions made before I’m on vacation and planning—as much as possible—done prior as well. Disney is one of the most reviewed, written about, discussed, blogged, and videoed places in the world—literally. You can find an answer to almost any question you might have about Disney on the internet and a bit of research prior may help make your Disney vacation a bit smoother or even more of a value if you can get more out of it. In other words, do the homework! As Bill Burke, author of Mousejunkies! says, (I’m paraphrasing here. . .) there are two types of people who go to Walt Disney World—the people who plan and the people who don’t. The people who don’t plan have a less than thrilling experience, deem the World an excruciating place to be, and never return.
Another area where a bit of homework might pay off is with purchases. I watched people agonize over purchasing pictures—both at Walt Disney World and on the Disney Dream. Yes, photos can be a bit more expensive to purchase, but I have yet to see a Disney Photopass CD or Disney Cruise Line photos at a garage sale. Those same folks were purchasing other merchandise without a second thought--$45 for a Disney sweatshirt, etc.—put cringed at photo prices. For us, it was easy. I had budgeted for photo purchases—pre-purchased the Disney Photopass CD at a savings, and planned to either buy photos or the CD on board the Dream. I have never regretted a photo purchase, but have regretted not purchasing photos.
OK, we have been to Walt Disney World 8 times and know our way around the parks pretty well. We still get maps and use them occasionally to determine meeting points, bathroom locations, etc. When we have to refer to a map or a times guide, we step to the side, or better yet, we do it before we start to move. All of those people trying to walk and read a park map are a hazard! Get out of the way! There are people behind you who are moving! My most favorite are those groups who take in a ride or attraction, go to the exit, then stop, get out the map, and have a group consensus meeting right there about where to go next. Again, a bit of planning! Why not do that when you are in the queue for an attraction? Everyone is moving, there are pauses, you are together. You could have your group consensus meeting about what to do or where to go next while waiting for the attraction you are about to experience and then everyone knows where to go at the exit. How does that sound?
There are lines for everything! Characters, bathrooms, attractions, bus stops, etc. When you encounter a character, check to see if a line has already formed. Most likely, there is one. If you want to meet that character—get in line—like everyone else! Otherwise, you will have pictures of other families with the characters, or other people in front of the characters. Same for bathrooms—when you enter, look to see if there is a line—ask someone if you are not sure. If there is a line—wait like everyone else. Same for concession stands, restaurants, etc. I am continually amazed by the people who think they can circumvent lines. And, for those of you who try, the Cast Members are on to you. We watched Cast Members take extra time with guests who were already in line to see characters to help thwart the “I just want to get a picture of the character without standing in line” people. We were some of those folks who got extra face time with characters because of those other people.
I’m starting to feel better. Know that the above scenarios are just a handful of people who take Disney vacations. Most Disney vacationers are great and fun to visit with. We talked to people at restaurants, on busses, in queues, etc. Moral of the story—a little planning prior to your Disney vacation can make your Disney vacation even better! Enough said.