Now that travel has picked up, and life at Walt Disney World seems to echo that of pre-pandemic days, it is time to provide some updates to my “Practically Perfect Tips When Things Don’t Go as Planned” blog. A lot has changed, but the magic remains the same.  If the last two years have taught us anything, it is to be flexible but, most of all, remain calm and collected.  I don’t think we could have ever been prepared to make the adjustments necessary that March 2020 brought, yet here we are.  Travel With The Magic agents are still meticulously planning vacations, and thankfully, you are taking them!  Remain flexible and fluid: events like weather and technology glitches still happen, but attitude and preparedness can change anything!  Don’t let the little things get you down on vacation – we have made it to a more “normalized” stage of the pandemic, and you are going to the “Most Magical Place on Earth!”

Here are my updated tips to help you recover from the unexpected!

  1. Don’t let rainy days get you down!  Grab a poncho or rain jacket and go anyway.  Rainy days – be it a sudden pop-up storm that will pass or a day full of rain – are park clearers. You don’t want to miss the Rainy Day parade!  You may experience thinner crowds and shorter wait times.  This was my experience during my most recent trip, and we made it the best day despite the rain and cold.  Certain conditions may cause certain rides to close temporarily – pay attention to changing conditions and attraction reopening!  If you hold a Genie+ pass or Individual Attraction Pass for a closed attraction, please see a Cast Member at the attraction or a Guest Experiences umbrella (bright royal blue umbrella) for assistance.  You will often be given a new return time or anytime pass that is good at that attraction or another eligible attraction.  If you can’t fathom heading to the park for a day of rain, check the Resort Activities calendar you received at check-in. You can always request another copy!  Each Resort has daily activities that take place indoors.  Disney Springs also offers many indoor entertainment options like the AMC Dine-In Theater, shops, and more!

2) Oh No – We Slept In!  Calm down, get dressed, and get to the park.  Don’t make it a stressful event.  I always recommend setting the alarm for 6:55 am to reserve your first Genie+ selection and/or Individual Attraction Pass.  If you know you won’t make it to the park opening, make the selection for later in the day using the refresh method.  You can select your window for Individual Attraction Selections, and these are non-refundable.  Make sure you select a later time.  What happens if you miss the alarm?  Don’t worry!  Make your first Genie+ selection when you wake up and go from there.  If you miss a Genie+ return time, it isn’t the end of the world.  If it is a mega-popular attraction with a long wait, consider riding at the end of the day when lines are typically much shorter. This is your vacation.  Trust me, you won’t remember what “goes wrong” if you focus on the memories being made.  If you aren’t morning people consider staying at a Deluxe Resort to earn the Extended Evening Hour benefit at Magic Kingdom and EPCOT.  Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resort guests receive an extra 2 hours at Magic Kingdom or EPCOT on select evenings.

3) Be flexible!  Realize that Disney does not want to disappoint anyone and take a ride down.  This occurs when there is a potential safety hazard. Safety is the MAIN PRIORITY. Yes, it will supersede guest satisfaction any day of the week.  If you are unable to ride something, find another ride or attraction.  Please do not waste time walking back over to the attraction; check My Disney Experience to see when it is available.  You can easily watch a show, grab a snack, or meet some characters!  I caught this incredible sunset of the castle due to an unforeseen circumstance, and it is one of my favorite photos ever!

4) Have patience and be kind!  We live in a digital world and deal with many people; errors can occur.  We also live in a world where things have not gone according to plan and everyone is completely exhausted by being accommodating. Remember when this all started and “we are all in this together” was being spread like wildfire?  It is especially true now.  Whether you experience issues with check-in, dining reservations, or My Disney Experience, remain patient. Disney is known for its customer service, let them do what they do best and remedy it!  Definitely contact your Travel With The Magic travel advisor so they can follow up if needed.  Again, Disney does not want to disappoint – customer satisfaction is their top priority, second only to safety!  Disney appreciates positive and negative feedback. Try to remember as much as possible when dealing with issues like the Cast Member’s name, the time, the issue or experience, and anything that offers a distinguishable identifier. This is crucial for praising Cast Members and retraining opportunities if needed. You can leave a Cast Member compliment in the My Disney Experience app!

5)  Go, Go, Go!!  Disney offers various modes of transportation to the theme and water parks and Disney Springs.  Your travel advisor will inform you of transportation options during the planning process. In addition, the My Disney Experience app now offers bus arrival times for each destination from your Walt Disney World resort!  You can see when a bus is arriving so you know to eat breakfast a little faster or if you can take your time.  If you miss a bus, consider taking Lyft or Uber.  You can also take your vehicle and park for free if you drove.

6) Adventure is out there!  Remember to have fun and don’t stress the small stuff.  You can always contact your Travel With The Magic travel advisor if you miss a Genie+ return time or something goes off-plan, and you feel overwhelmed.  Trust me; we have all been there. Sometimes, unplanned things make the best memories!

7) Have Courage and Be Kind!  Cinderella always offers wonderful advice.  Be kind to other guests, Cast Members, and yourself!  We have experienced a lot during these last two years.  Even the most seasoned Walt Disney World guest feels a bit out of water.  Kindness is free and goes a long way.  Hiccups and “missed events” are stressful, but they do not dictate your entire vacation.  Trust me – you will forget these seemingly “big moments” when something magical and unexpected happens.  I have been there.

I promise you, even as travel advisors, our own personal trips have hiccups as well.  It can be frustrating and overwhelming, but staying patient, calm, and remember that “missed opportunities” can be made upon your next trip are crucial.  We are always there for you – even during and after your trip – and just a phone call away if you need guidance.  Contact me for more tips and ideas on what to do when things don’t go according to plan.