Plan of attack


How crucial is it to have a plan when you get to a park? I know it cuts down on waiting time but is that the only advantage? I’ve been looking at various sites and can’t really get excited about having to plan for every minute we are in a park. I know everyone will have different opinions on this but is there really anything wrong with just entering a park and working our way around it in order? Having said that, I do plan on slightly working around show times to make sure we catch the ones we want to see. Thanks in advance for all your opinions. I know there will be a few.



I personally dont have a plan. I like to go with the flow but we have been there several times.
I just do and see what we want when we want. If not I think I would go crazy following a set sched.


I think it depends on a couple of things. First, if you are going in peak season, you should probably have some sort of plan. When it’s really busy, lines are going to be longer and you should hit up the popular rides first or really late in the day or be prepared to get fastpasses for them. Second, it depends on if you’ve been there before. I personally don’t have a plan before we get there. I always just talk to the fam on the bus/boat/monorail on the way to the park and we kind of figure out our plan of action. But, we’ve been there numerous times and know what we like and what the best strategy is. If I had never been there before, I would research the popular attractions to figure out what to hit when.

With that being said, I can’t imagine trying to plan every last second. Just go with the flow, but be aware of what will fill up fast and be prepared in that sense. I don’t think you need to plan every step, but maybe talk to your family to make sure you know what they definitely don’t want to miss. Then make sure you cover those things.


Sorry, I should have added a few more details. I am going Sept 11-19. It will be me and my daughter. I have been there before, but not in the last 15 years. This will be my daughters first trip and she is 8. The plan is to get to parks for rope drop and do the most popular ride first and then just play it by ear. I know we won’t get to do everything we want this time but I’m hoping for a good bounceback offer so we can go back in Oct 2010 for her 10th birthday. Thanks for reading.


That’s a slower time of year, so you should be good on crowds! Since it’s just the two of you, it will be easier to move around the park too and get places faster if need be! :laugh: You are there for a while too, so it shouldn’t be hard for you to do a lot of stuff you want to. I’d say what you’re planning is good. Get there early and do the popular rides. If you’re staying on site you can be there for extra magic hours too. You should be able to get through a lot of the popular stuff during that time. I wouldn’t worry too much about a plan, since crowds should be low. I was there that time of year a couple of years ago and as long as you know which rides to get fastpasses for, the rest of the lines are easy peasy. :laugh:


I hope you are right Princess. I have huge fears of getting there and waiting an hour to get on each ride. We have 2 days planned for most of the parks so I’m hoping we can get it all done. I’m at 47 days today and I’m so excited. This is a surprise trip for my daughter but I get to tell her soon : )


I think it’s important to know what you want to get done. I put the key attractions in an order of importance for FPing. Other than going down the list on what to FP and certain showtimes we plan to go to, we never really have a plan. I think it’s a good idea to know what attractions typically have minimal wait and what time is best to hit key attractions, but other than that, I don’t really think it’s necessary to plan the day out completely.

Touring Plans just seem so crazy to me. People say they work, but I’d rather not feel as if I’m racing around the park. There’s valuable information to be gained from looking through them (they tell you what attractions are good to hit at what time), but I don’t think I’d suggest following them step-by-step. They’re good for the people who want to go to WDW once in their lifetime and say they did everything. However, it seems to me that they would take away from the magic and cause one to overlook the special details around the World.

I would suggest going through each park and writing the FPable attractions down in the order you would like to FP them (or make a mental list). Make ADRs and use your dining time as a guideline as to where you’ll be at that time of the day. Pick out showtimes accordingly. Other than that, wing it. Be spontaneous. You’ll have just as much fun.


DH and I both grew up taking trips to WDW. We were so excited to take our kids for their first trip, and we thought we’d be fine just going with the flow, and that first trip was fun, but on the way home we both agreed that we could have had an even better trip if we’d just put together a little plan. So, now I do have a “plan” in place, but it is not a true touring plan. We just do what everyone else on here has said: we all say what is important to us to see/do on that particular trip and go from there. We also know what are the more popular attractions, and plan to get FP’s for those as not to waste time standing in long lines. We also plan our parks around our ADR’s.

On another note, we went in October 2007, and we were expecting the kinds of crowds we had seen in late September 2005. It wasn’t crazy crowded, but it was busier than we had expected.

Have a great time!!


When we first started going, we had everything planned. We were park commandos. Now, we are a lot more laid back. We all know what our favorites are and what we can skip, so it is easier for us to go with the flow. We pretty much follow the same pattern at all the parks.

You know your personality and what would work best for you and your DD. It sounds like you have a great attitude about the trip and will enjoy the time with your DD.


We’ve never had a major plan. We usually know which ride/s we’re starting with in each park but beyond that we just play it by ear. It sounds too stressful to have the whole day planned out before even leaving home. If something is too crowded we move on, if we walk by a ride that has an unusually short wait time we stop and take advantage of it.


I think a lot depends on how many times you’ve been to WDW - the more often you go, the more laid-back you become. But this is your first trip in a long while and you want to make it memorable for both of you, without dropping from exhaustion.

My best suggestion is to become relatively familiar with the parks and their attractions before the trip. The Unofficial Guide to WDW is the best book around - I really suggest you get a copy and start to read it now. At least read about the attractions in each park. Learn about fastpass and how to use it. Ask lots of questions here. There hasn’t been a question asked here that hasn’t been answered. With it being just the two of you, I would suggest that you concentrate on what is more exciting to your dd (ie. the Magic Kingdom) and less on attractions like The World Showcase at Epcot. Not that the WS isn’t great, but save most of it for future trips.

Write out a list of “must-sees” for the two of you. Your plan to be there at rope-drop is good. Are you staying on-site? If so, become familiar with the Early and Late Magic Hours in the various parks.

You’re going at a quieter time, so you might be very surprised and find that you’ll be able to do most attractions with a minimal wait (20 minutes or less). And remember - try not to do it all - it’s impossible. Don’t race around so madly that you leave something you’re really enjoying, just to make sure you get to the next attraction.

Plan, relax and have fun.


I didn’t read the other responses so hopefully this doesn’t sound too redundant…

But I think the most important thing to do is decide on the “must-do” attractions for you and your daughter. September is absolutely WONDERFUL time to go, so you shouldn’t be competing with huge crowds! But it’s always a good idea to have your “must-do” attractions in mind so that you can hit them first thing when the park opens, or utilize Fastpass for them. And don’t feel bad about skipping one of your “must-dos” if the line is too long or you’re not feeling up to it; being flexible and coming back to it will just make your trip more enjoyable. Don’t feel like you have to stick to any rigid plan! That just sucks the fun out of things. :wink:

Have an amazing trip!! :happy:


I get antsy without a plan. On my recent trip to Disneyland I was forced to slow down a bit and I felt jumpy! I need to go go go! Get my FPs to get maximum benefit! Plan it all out!

And THEN I can take a deep breath and relax… on subsequent days. But first I have to ATTACK!


It occurs to me that I might have a problem. :tongue: (Although I can be flexible if something looks too long… but I still have to hurry hurry hurry and take advantage of lower morning crowds.)

But really… you only have a few days. I would make a rope-drop plan for getting on the maximum number of rides before noon, and then slow down and take what comes.


[QUOTE=kimblebee;980068]How crucial is it to have a plan when you get to a park? I know it cuts down on waiting time but is that the only advantage? I’ve been looking at various sites and can’t really get excited about having to plan for every minute we are in a park. I know everyone will have different opinions on this but is there really anything wrong with just entering a park and working our way around it in order? Having said that, I do plan on slightly working around show times to make sure we catch the ones we want to see. Thanks in advance for all your opinions. I know there will be a few.


I suppose those plans are great if you go during the REALLY busy season. We always just wander through the park and enjoy it. I do know which rides I am NOT going to miss, but that’s about it. I am open to whatever the day brings


I think it’s a good idea to plan your day as far as specific rides you really want to do ie Toy Story Mania at MGM for example as rides such as this get busy real quick and the fastpasses for them also run out very quickly too. Other than this I personally don’t bother. I prefer to run free and see where I end up each day. I am only restricted if I have an ADR somewhere but then I usually tend to plan my day around that. say…I have an ADR at CRT…then I will spend the day at the MK etc.


Thanks everyone for responding! I feel better now about not having every minute planned. I do have my ADR’s all lined up so we will spend the day in that park. I do have a few rides that I know are must dos right away or at least get Fastpasses for. Other than that we will just play it by ear.


whoops…Hollywood Studios…i’ll never get to grips with that change! :laugh::pinch::laugh:


We always have a plan on what we want to see and do in each park and then base it on those to see how we may get it all done


My plan is to get my DW up as early as possible then get FP’s for the rides we cant miss. Other than that its go with the flow.


:genie:Seeing as how this is essentially your 1st time all over again
You need a plan
Now that being said it depends on how many days you plan to visit each park
Only once a plan for sure to get it all in and then its go go go
If you have a couple days at each then no a plan isn’t necessary go with the flow
One idea that works well for us is to get in
and fast pass something right away then make your way over to a busier ride then come back and do this as you go fast pass then come back
may seem liek a bit of running around but may be no other way to get the all the rides done in one day otherwise