Hello fellow riders and welcome to another episode of the WDW Ride Guide. Normally, we focus on one ride, learning about its history, story, best time to ride, etc. Of course, we do this in the hope that you will know whether to add it to your next Disney vacation. After all, Walt Disney World is a huge place with more to do than you can tackle in a single trip. With that in mind, there is great potential for magical memories, but also potential to be a little overwhelmed. The last thing I want is for you to go to Walt Disney World and have a less than magical experience.
Fortunately, I am not alone in this goal, and there are a number of great podcasters, bloggers, and vacation experts ready to help. One such person is Shannon Albert, author of wdwprepschool.com, and the host of the WDW Prep to Go Podcast. She has been helping her readers and listeners for years and is full of wonderful insight and great tips. I was listening to one of Shannon’s podcast episodes a few weeks ago and thought it was so helpful, I had to share with my listeners. So, I asked Shannon if we could air her episode here on the WDW Ride Guide for your benefit! She was very kind and has allowed us to do just that today. So, here in just a moment you will hear the main portion of her episode entitled, Jay’s Disney World Trip Redo – PREP114. Before we dive in though I want to share some essential facts about WDW Prep School:
- The website is wdwprepschool.com
- The motto is “You’ll learn things you never knew you never knew”
- The focus is on sharing all the tips and tricks for planning a great Disney trip
- The podcast is WDW Prep to Go – A Disney World Planning Podcast
- Voted “Most Informative Podcast” in the Disney Podcast Awards
- Episodes air weekly and run 20-30 minutes long
- There are currently 117 episodes to learn from
Those are the facts, now time for the fun!
Take a few minutes and go listen to the episode here.
Wow, that is some really great information! Big thanks to Shannon for allowing us to share her talk with Jay. Before we go I just want to touch on some of the major points from Jay’s two different Disney experiences.
First the Do Nots:
- Don’t assume things will be the same as your last trip to Walt Disney World. Jay took a trip in 2003, but over the course of 10+ years Walt Disney World has changed a lot. With the addition of My Disney Experience, Magic Bands, and Fastpass +, knowing how to create a ride touring plan is very different from what it used to be.
- Don’t wait to make reservations. For guests staying on property, Advanced Dining Reservations are available 180 days out, and Fastpass + 60 days out. The most popular restaurants, rides, and character meets go fast.
- Don’t neglect taking breaks. Almost everyone falls into the trap of arriving at the parks later than intended and attempts to make it up by staying all day. This results in tired, grumpy children and adults. Not to mention some tired feet!
- Don’t go in without a plan. With a Disney vacation the old adage is true, failing to plan is planning to fail.
- Last but not least, don’t ride Stitch’s Great Escape. I have never meet Jay, but I wanted to give him a big high five when I heard him share his story. If you have listened to our episode on this ride you know it sits at the bottom of the Disney ride barrel in my humble opinion.
That is a good list of things to avoid doing when taking a Disney trip. Jay also hit on some very good things to do while getting ready to go. Here is a quick reminder of what worked for him and what will work for you too:
- Do begin planning your Disney vacation more than 180 days in advance. This will give you time to decide when to go, where to stay, what to do, and also give you enough time to make those Advanced Dining Reservations and Fastpass + selections.
- Do take as long a trip as you can. For Jay, the difference between a 6 day and 7 day trip meant his family didn’t have to feel rushed and could actually take breaks. Speaking of…
- Do take breaks and be flexible! One of the best things you can do to enjoy your trip is to utilize your time wisely. Arrive at the parks when they open, take a break midday, and then go back and stay as late as you can. This not only helps to avoid peak crowds and high temps, but allows you to have time to rest, relax, and enjoy your vacation.
- Do use an Authorized Disney Travel Specialist, such as myself. Unfortunately, I did not have the pleasure of working with Jay, but I was very glad to hear he used an Authorized Disney Travel Specialist. As he said, there is just so much to know, and only so much time you can spend planning the trip yourself. By utilizing the cost-free services of a travel planner, you get an expert on your side. We can be your extra pair of eyes, ears, and hands. I do what I do because I’m passionate about Disney and the powerful memories it can help your family create together. The only thing better than taking a trip to Disney myself, is helping someone else have the most magical vacation possible!
Well, that wraps up our very first Podcast Showcase. Again, a big thank you to Shannon Albert and WDW Prep School. If you weren’t already listening to Shannon’s podcast I hope today’s episode has you adding it to your list of podcast subscriptions. Shannon offers a wealth of knowledge about how to prepare for your trip, including her 6 step process to planning a Disney vacation. However, I think I need to talk to her about how she ranks rides! She says Expedition Everest is her favorite ride in all of Walt Disney World. I would probably rank it the #3 roller coaster in the parks so I look forward to a healthy debate on that topic sometime in the future.
For now, I want to thank you so much for joining me today. If you have any questions or comments about today’s blog, shoot me an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. I love hearing from you. I look forward to coming back next week and talking more Walt Disney World! Wherever you are, I hope you have a great week and until next time, make each day a ride worth taking!