Guide Book Tour Plans


Hi everyone,

Does anyone ever do the tour plans from the Unofficial Guide to WDW? I was reading through there and, while it seems like you would see way more of the attractions, I got kind of stressed at the idea of leading three children, two senior citizens, my laid-back DH and my high-strung self through the parks at that pace. In fact, DH told me to quit reading those books because my anxiety went up over the two hours I was reading through them.

I think there are some good tips there, but viewing our vacation through the guide’s lens actually made me cranky and ready to cancel our trip.

Last trip we were there at the same time of year as this trip and it didn’t seem nearly as crowded or stressful as they make it sound in the guide book. Are they just trying to prepare you for a “Worse Case Scenario” or have things changed quite a bit since summer of '07?

Even though I am an A-type personality, I need flexibility when dealing with three generations in WDW, and the tours from those books don’t seem to allow for much of that.

I’d love to hear how others take on the parks.



I took one look at the books, stressed out, then passed them along.

No doubt everyone here has an opinion as well :laugh: - and we all love to share them. That said, I’ve gotten better advice here than any book. :mickey:

My quick tips -

  1. Getting early to the parks is a MUST. The days goes so much better with an early arrival - nothing like a 7AM rope drop at MK in the spring when it is still dark!!! :blink:

  2. Look for the “must do’s” early - Dumbo, etc. See what you can when it is early. Ride once, twice, three times if it is fun! Snow White’s Scary Adventure isn’t missed if they get a few Dumbo’s or Peter Pan rides in. This also gives Grammie time to rest her feet.

  3. Last one I’ll pass along - and perhaps a bit controversial, but nothing (and I mean nothing) is worth waiting in line for 60+ minutes. That is our rule. When the park gets packed later AM or early afternoon, we head out.

Don’t stress!


We did do the Unofiicial Guide touring plans the first few times we went to WDW. They do work and are efficient at seeing as many attractions as possible. There was a lot of back-tracking, but as newbies, I believe they enabled us to feel like we got to see as much as possible.

We don’t use them anymore since we have our own touring plans now which is basically- no stress.


[QUOTE=jen9804;1013940]Hi everyone,

Even though I am an A-type personality, I need flexibility when dealing with three generations in WDW, and the tours from those books don’t seem to allow for much of that. [/QUOTE]

Fellow “A” type here. All I can say is go with the flow. Try your best w/ getting there early, but even the best plans go off line due to a ride going down, larger than usual crowd, or someone just getting tired after a previous late night.
It was not until our 3rd trip to WDW that we felt we had done everything ride and show wise. There was less of a commando tactic attitude as the years went by. Now we might not do a third of the rides/shows in a partiular park if we want to go back to the resort and RELAX. And relax is the key. You’re on vacation also.


We tried to follow one once, but it was too easy to get distracted by other things we wanted to do. Depending on when you go, I think the plans aren’t necessary. Besides, they’ve added so many street shows and other experiences, it’s not easy to “waste” too much time in the parks these days, as long as you’re getting fastpasses and not standing in line to get character autographs every time you see them.


Maybe that’s why I was so stressed out reading the guide books. We’ve been to WDW twice already and my parents have been there once. We already know what we like and what we can miss if time doesn’t allow for it. The one thing we missed last visit was Relaxing!! We were going every minute, which was fine with me, but not with my parents and my son, all of whom needed to go back to the resort and rest!

Thanks so much for the input. You’ve all really put my mind at ease. I think I will just go with the flow…


I’ve used the touring plans and they definitely work. Keep in mind that even that guide book tells you that there are steps you may want to skip(attractions you are not interested in), and to substitute freely with attractions/shows in the same area. You can modify them to suit your interests. So I use them as essentially a guideline, and adjust according to mood and what’s going on in the park at the time. I think the most important things to be aware of is to get to the parks before opening, use fastpass, and have an overall plan of what you want to do, so that you don’t get stuck in the “what to do next” conference(which can waste a lot of time), or in unnecessary bottlenecks.


Uh oh… the dreaded"what to do next conference"! I refuse to participate! :laugh:


Nope - we fly by the seat of our pants.:happy:


OMG, the first year we went I had everything planned to the last detail based on my readings of the WDW ‘bibles’. Each time since I have planned less and less. We focus on getting there at opening and then go from there.


We use the Code more as a ‘guide line.’


I’ll never forget seeing this one family with this guy having a typed sheet in front of him at MK. The kids were tired and cranky, and he was reprimanding them because they were off schedule, and figuring out how to fix that. That is not a vacation. Best thing to do is everyone pick one must see for the day, do that in the morning with low crowds, and then go with the flow. Hmmmm… Do you think I could make millions if I write a planning book with that advice?


We saw almost exactly the SAME thing at Epcot this year. The mother was frantically leafing through her copy of the Unofficial (the thought of lugging that thing around:pinch:!) mumbling something about “not knowing that fastpasses run out!!” The kids were crying “we want to go hooommme!” Real fun vacation!


I love those kind of books! I like learning the different things you might not always realize. Although I never follow the tour plan they lay out bc my family has a system that works pretty well! But I do like to read and find things to try that I’ve never done before or sometimes you find the greatest little tips! Like how if you have young children you can get into Fantayland an hour before the MK opens so you dont have to wait in huge lines! That was an awesome help!


I think teh best times we have had are the ones where we take our time and soak up the magic of being in Disney as a family. If you have been before and plan on going again, relax and enjoy what you are doing at that moment. I am not saying having a plan is a bad thing but trying to follow a schedule for exact times just adds a stress to a vacation and who needs that? We have found that a break in the day to swim or nap or just recharge in our room has made a huge difference in our enjoyment.
Have fun, do what feels best fo all of you and it will be a great trip!:smile:


:pirate: :laugh:


I’ve seen people like this as well, but I don’t blame the Unofficial Guide or the touring plans – I blame the people themselves! They are certainly wound too tight, or incapable of adjusting when things don’t go exactly as planned. I plan and follow touring plans to AVOID being stressed and allow myself to avoid problems and relax.