Skipper Adam

Published: March 29, 2012 at 2:30 PM

I appreciate this article more that the one that was more or less a massive complaint that made a lot of assumptions.
David Brown

Published: March 29, 2012 at 2:41 PM

I'll second that Skipper - good article Robert.
Rod Whitenack

Published: March 29, 2012 at 3:44 PM

That's all great advice! I might say one thing, however, about getting there before the park opens to hit the most popular attractions before the big crowds start rolling in. Getting there early is always a good idea, but from my personal experience, I'd advise anyone to be flexible about which rides they intend to hit. I've often found that just because thepark opens at a certain hour doesn't necessarily mean the big, hot attraction you want to ride will open at the same time. I've been near first in line, first thing in the morning before and ended up waiting two hours for the ride itself to open.
Mark Fairleigh

Published: March 29, 2012 at 5:48 PM

Wise words, Robert. Wifey and I have learned to just go with the flow over the years. Nothing is so important on a vacation that it's worth ruining your vacation over and/or peace with your loved ones.
José María Sandoval

Published: March 29, 2012 at 8:13 PM

Thanks for the tips.
Manny Barron

Published: March 29, 2012 at 8:18 PM

Great tips, they should have this advice outside of every theme park in big, bold letters where everyone can see.
Rob P

Published: March 30, 2012 at 6:21 AM

Do you know what , Robert, I think number 5 is quite possibly the best bit of advice on offer here.

Published: March 30, 2012 at 6:36 AM

It always amazed me that people would spend thousands of dollars on a Disney vacation, and yet have no idea what a Fastpass is.

Research is fun (at least for me).

Brian Emery

Published: March 30, 2012 at 7:35 AM

Thanks Robert… I do agree to all of this… Especially being flexible..

My daughter got a stomach bug the first day on our vacation one year and plans go out the window… Therefore our planned rest day was the first day of the vacation…

Daniel Etcheberry

Published: March 30, 2012 at 7:57 AM

"Be happy with what you have and whom you are with" = wise thinking.

Published: March 30, 2012 at 10:54 AM

Have you been reading my game plan for vacations?

You're spot on with the advice, especially with not seeing other people as obstacles. I've always taken time while in line to see if I can't get the person next to me to talk a bit while we're waiting. It's amazing what you can learn, not only about where you're at, but also about places you've never been.

I was really sad to see on my last trip to Disneyland the number of phone zombies there were. Here those people were in one of the greatest theme parks with such rich detail, and what are they doing? Texting and not even looking at the park they forked out good money for.

Anon Mouse

Published: March 30, 2012 at 1:09 PM

In a nutshell, its plan by not overplanning; spend without overspending, and have fun without high expectations.

The best vacations are when I'm relaxing on the off times, when I'm not in a theme park or a tourist trap. Traveling is part of the anticipation (or maybe just getting through TSA) and arriving at the destination.

As for being with strangers, it is really about being friendly with everyone include your travel companions. If you're having fun within your group, you can certainly have fun with everyone else. I major problem is when you might have arguments with your spouse. This has happened on occasion.

Tyler Stover

Published: March 30, 2012 at 3:03 PM

Great article.

It sounds cliche, but attitude really does make all the difference. There have been times in theme parks where I've let myself become stressed and frustrated going in, and all that does is start a cycle of stress and frustration, because you'll view everything negatively and that will just add to the problem.

A week ago I visited Disneyland right in the middle of Spring break season. I knew it would be ridiculously crowded going in, but a friend really wanted to go so we went. I resolved ahead of time to not let the stress get to me, to go in with a good attitude, not be disappointed if something didn't work out and not to be impatient with long lines. I just accepted it for what it was, and that positivity carried me through the day. We wound up having a great time.

Mark Hollamon

Published: April 1, 2012 at 6:44 AM

Very nice article Robert. When friends or family plan a vacation to Orlando they often ask us for advice on putting their trip together. Through a few years of doing this for them I have found one of the most important issues to help us plan and them to remain stress free is:

What will you have more of: Money or Time?

Once we know that planning is a relative breeze. One of your biggest suggestions (and one we really try to get across) of paying in advance is spot on! We try to get our family to plan at least a year ahead and get all the tickets out of the way very early. That can make a HUGE difference.

When you plan well and pay for things in advance, your vacation "almost" seems free! You miss the bits you set aside along the planning journey much less than a BIG after vacation bill!

We also really try to drill in the fact they could live down here for a year and not do everything, so the thought of non-stop running from the moment they step foot off the plane can be squashed right there!

We try to put a down day at least every three days if not every other. A down day could be a trip to the water park, beach, something local, or just a day to recharge the batteries. THAT is a key to a stress free vacation!

I am very glad this site exists. I used it to plan many a trip to Orlando before we moved here. It's a wonderful tool with great resources!

Maureen Marsh

Published: April 2, 2012 at 9:39 AM

Robert, you are so true, especially with #1 and #5. I had saved up and paid up-front for my Disney trips until 2009. I charged almost everything for that trip and it took 2 years to pay for it! I like to talk to others before a parade starts, instead of whining about the wait. Once I had staked out a great spot on Main Street about 90 minutes before the Christmas parade. And older couple came and stood beside me and asked where I was from. They were from Canada and the gentleman had recently retired from Jockey, North America. I just blurted out "Jockey for Her has been my favorite underwear since 1982." I think I blushed then, because he said "It's nice to know that my life's work is well thought of." I felt we were no longer strangers.