Welcome back to DADventure Disney’s round table of some of my favorite Disney Fan Parents on Instagram.
Every week, I work alongside this merry band of Disney fan parents to find our Top 10 favorites in all things Disney. See ALL our lists by clicking HERE!
This week, the answers came these Disney Parent Panelists:
and yours truly @dadventuredisney.
You can also follow our joint account – @DisneyParentsPanel!
Our topic this week: The WORST Disney Planning Advice We’ve Heard
Once again, we’re changing it up a little this week and skipping the true Top 10 in lieu of a new kind of discussion.
All of us are quick to offer up Disney Advice for traveling to Disneyland or Walt Disney World – but we hear our fair share too. Not ALL of it is a winning tip – in fact, there’s a lot of times that we just shake our heads.
I asked my fellow Disney Parents Panel members what is the WORST they’ve heard or been told, and here they all are.
Please have a look at our answers below, especially the WHY’s behind our choices and then hit the comments below and let us know what you think.
On to the the list – let’s go!
Stay Off Disney Property
This is a personal preference, for sure, and you can definitely save money… but it’s not for us. We whole heartedly believe to get the full Disney experience and be fully immersed in the magic, you need to stay on grounds.
This picture is our favorite view… the castle from the beaches at the Polynesian!
Don’t Visit During…
The idea is that everyone will be home watching the game and no one will be at the parks. Listen, this may have worked back in the day, but everyone has been aware of it since 1995, so it’s still plenty packed. Plus, you’re still visiting on a Sunday so if you’re looking forward to a slow day you’re going to be sorely disappointed!
Obviously, it is someone’s personal choice for them and their family, but Disney has put into place practices and safeguards to keep us safe during this time in our world. They honestly did an amazing job handling the parks in the pandemic. We felt totally safe returning to the parks.
ALWAYS USE THE DISNEY DINING PLAN
No. Not for us – and not for many of you who have little kids. I’ve talked about it before, but it just doesn’t work out. You’re stuck in reservations all day and waiting to eat. You’re stuck eating TOO much and not when you want. And… the kids HAVE to have a plan and HAVE to choose off kids’ menus when available. So, instead of a great meal at a restaurant they have to choose from burger, nuggets and PB&J (AGAIN). We didn’t do it – ate when and where we wanted to and saved money. Enough said – right?
MAKE SURE THAT YOU HAVE DINING RESERVATIONS FOR EVERY NIGHT/MEAL
For us, we usually have no clue what we want to eat half a year in advance. Our unpopular opinion is that it’s fun to find somewhere to eat the day of when we decide where to eat! Sometimes plans change and you don’t want what you thought you were going to eat in August in January. There really are reservations still available day of, or even walking in and asking has worked many times!
FOOD IS TOO EXPENSIVE – LEAVE THE PARKS
Not true! Meals are actually only a dollar or two more and the meals are good portion sizes. It wastes so much time to leave the park to save a dollar or two.
Don’t Go Till Your Kids Are Older
My kids remember their earliest Disney memories and love talking about them. Also kids under 3 are free admission and at buffets/all you care to eat places. BONUS! So I loved taking my kids when they were younger and I might have missed out on some awesome memories I listened to that advice. Everyone has to decide for themselves, but that’s my experience 🙂
The truth is, YOU will remember it and make lasting memories.
My kids for the 1st time went at 6 weeks and 2 1/2 years old. And we’ve gone every year since. And we’ve never regretted that we didn’t wait till they were older. Seeing them as toddlers or young kids is amazing as a parent to watch. It’s the best magical experiment.
We took the opposite approach and after a trip with just a 3 year old, we followed up half a year later with a now 4 year old and an almost 1 year old; We loved every minute of it, and so did our kids. We used our fast passes and the rider switch program to ride everything we wanted, and made priceless memories (like the one captured below). As an added bonus, kids under 3 are free at WDW. Grocery delivery, and the Baby Care centers at WDW make theme-parks with little ones, completely doable.
Now, we have two WDW-loving kiddos that will ride (almost) everything. If we’d waited until both our kids were the “right” age, we would have missed a lot of the magic for our oldest.
So, what do you think? Have you ever heard these things? Do you stay off property? Have you visited on Superbowl Sunday? What’s the WORST piece of advice you’ve heard?
Keith & the Disney Parents Panel