Disney World is the ultimate vacation, because they’re is something there for everyone! There’s Princesses and Mickey, Thrill rides and GreatEeats. There’s food for those with allergies and golf for those that would rather be on the green.
But with great choice, comes great anxiety!
All of these incredible options, and bucket lists, and must do’s can make planning a vacation daunting. Even if you use a travel agent or grab one of the 3 inch planning guides at your local book store, Disney Vacations aren’t exactly the picture of relaxation.
But here’s the thing…
Your Disney World Vacation doesn’t have to be Stressful.
It doesn’t have to be stressful with the family, the extended family, the adult only trip, the solo trip. It can be fun and enjoyable for all- without you needing a vacation from your vacation.
Yes, folks, Disney can be magical and stress-free! Let discover how!
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Foolproof methods for Reducing Stress at Disney World
With a few simple and foolproof methods you CAN have a (mostly) stress free Disney World vacation! Let’s take a look at what you can do to drastically minimize stress and enjoy your Disney World Vacation- so when you get home you actually miss Disney and can’t wait to go back.
Let’s make this vacation a success!
First things First, Packing for success before you leave for your trip
At the most basic level, think about what you might need for your trip! Like if it’s hot, PLEASE consider bringing a portable fan- you won’t regret it! This one is my favorite for myself, and then I have ones for the kids strollers (pro tip, they also clip to baby carriers!) Ponchos are ALWAYS in my bag. Always. Always. Florida is ridiculous when it comes to the rain.
If you end up having chafing problems, definitely get some chub rub. You will be walking a lot. I have a favorite brand and it has saved my life more than once!
Seriously- good shoes are a must. You’ll likely be walking OVER 10 MILES a day. Which is great for your heart, just make sure it’s great for your feet too 😜
Bring a portable phone charger (don’t forget the cord) because the My Disney App KILLS your phone. Or just write everything on paper. Or get one of the fuel cell chargers when you get to Disney (They are 30 dollars and you rent them).
though there’s been a controversy when it comes to the Fuel Rods, so I’d pack your own charger instead. I LOVE this one, and it’s lasted me all year every where I go. 12k reviews on amazon don’t lie 🤣🤣🤣
And the winter- oh winters in Florida.
One minute their cold, the next their hot, and before you know it you’ve got sunburned faces and wind burnt lips.
You’ll start out with warm clothes in the morning, shed your layers but lunch, and be downright frozen when the sunsets. Then the next day is perfect shorts and flip flop weather even though you brought 2 jackets to the parks just in case.
I can’t make this up people.
When you pack, plan for most of whatever weather you think, but then pack 2 outfits for the opposite weather.
So shorts AND jackets. Sneakers AND sandals. Sunscreen, sunglasses AND lip balm. Bring one outfit per day- then add two extras day’s worth of clothing.
Remember you are on vacation, you don’t want to have to run to the store (or even worse, the resort gift shop) and load up on outfits because you didn’t plan ahead.
This is especially important if you are coming for a week or longer visit, because it’s likely that half of your trip will have one type of weather and the other half won’t.
Also, to save yourself some packing space, plan to do a load of laundry- I promise the facilities are clean. It will save you some room to bring home souvenirs too!
You can check out more 30 Helpful Packing tips you need to know, and the 5 essentials you will want to bring on your Disney Trip, for more info!
Hangry is NOT pretty- why Food should be a Priority on Vacation
I don’t care who you are- Hangry is NOT pretty. Despite the large amount of options at Disney, sometimes the Pooh Bear hungry grumbles sneak up on you!
Make sure that you have your days planned out with the bigger things you want to do, and then plan your meals around those things. Some people go all out with a minute by minute schedule- but for a stress free vacation I’d suggest just a handful of top items each day and keeping flexible with the rest of the plans!
Mobile ordering that is! Have your MyDisneyExperience App downloaded on your mobile device, updated, and filled out with Credit Card or Apple Pay information. Then you can mobile order treats and meals without the long line.
Pack some snacks, bring in a water bottle and plan ahead so you can have a relaxing meal without having to stress about where you are getting it from.
No one wants to wait in line in the middle of the lunch rush while their entire family is hungry.
Trying to do Everything will leave you really Stressed
This is really important because part of the reason people get so stressed out is that they want to do EVERYTHING.
Newsflash! You can’t do everything.
In fact, I say it’s hard to do even a top 10 unless you have a 7-10 day vacation. That’s why I’m recommended the top 3. The top 3 things you make 100% a priority.
If you don’t have a top 3- you can learn about the Disney Bucket list!
Then everything else can fall in place as the schedule allows and you don’t feel super upset that you didn’t get to do everything you wanted.
Disney is especially magically in that there is so.much. stuff. to do. But they also boobytrap you with it. Street performers and character meals that take 2 hours and showtimes that can get pushed back all add to the time debacle.
What about a detailed plan?
One thing I can guarantee is that any minute by minute plans will get messed up- even with advanced reservations. In fact, I’d say that the ONLY way to do a detailed plan would be to:
- Get to the Parks with plenty of time for your plan (and add an extra hour just in case!)
- show up to your restaurant 20 mins early and do Check In on the MDE app (and then check out the shops nearby) and plan for the meal to take at least an hour
- Or bring all your own food so you can eat in the lines and when you have time
- put on blinders so you don’t see any street performers, parades or shops OR give yourself lots of wiggle room
- skip anything that isn’t fitting into your schedule immediately- no down time
- Purchase amenities like the Disney Genie+ and Park Hopper to make the most of your vacation time
Planning for Vacation
Can you intentionally plan for a stress free vacation?
YES, yes you can. This is done by planning something known among the Disney Vacationers as an “off day” or a “rest day”
What do you do on an Off day?
Anything you want!
Most people like to chill out at the resort before a reservation somewhere in the afternoon. Resort hopping is a super fun experience! I have a giant list of free things and also cheap things you can do at the park on your off day.
You can also do certain character meals on an off day without a ticket. Check out my guide for that! That’s a favorite for rest days and it works really well for arrival and departure days too!
Basically, you’re giving your feet and body some rest so that you can actually enjoy your vacation- while taking in the beautiful Disney World scenery.
It’s not all for the kids
Sure, Disney is a family vacation. But let’s not forget, that parents and caregivers need to enjoy themselves too!
Take advantage of many of the cool things for adults and you won’t regret it!
You’ve got spa options, bar hopping (and a really cool dueling piano bar!), fancy restaurants and hitting up the parks by yourself.
You can even golf, get a backstage tour and hit up the Orlando area for some of the unique sites.
Take advantage of that and make it a vacation that everyone can enjoy!
Change the way you view spending at Disney
Yep. Even if you aren’t doing Disney on a budget, Money can still be a bugger.
Why? You want to get the most value for your money. You paid good money to be here and enjoy yourself- and if things don’t go so well(like rain every.single.day.) that can be really frustrating!
And if you are on a budget and constantly counting every penny- you are not going to enjoy yourself.
So I have two recommendations.
One. Find your max limit and add money to that max. Disney is EXPENSIVE. I’m an annual passholder and I watch the prices climb before my eyes. Even if you don’t plan to spend a lot- you will. Things happen and you want to make sure you won’t stress about it.
Two. Remember that you won’t be back next month. This is a special trip (even if it’s yearly) and you can still have fun, spend some money (because it’s going to be necessary to eat and get a few things at the stores) and still not stress about every cent.
If you’d like some budget ideas, my budget section is full of great tips!
Know when to go
Some would say I saved the best for last, and this is a very important tip for planning a reduced stress Disney Vacation.
You need to know when to actually plan your Disney Vacation.
Disney sees annually 50 million people a year. That’s a LOT of people!
The best times to go would be Jan-March (skip the end of march) and August-October. January you will see a lot of rides closed for refurbishment and August is HOT!
But you can deal with these things if you aren’t fighting the crowds, missing your fast pass reservations, or not getting the food reservations you want because it is SO busy!
There you have it folks! Disney World can be a magical experience for the whole family- without everyone pulling their hair out. You CAN have a great trip at Disney with it being a low stress vacation.