Nobody wants to experience FOMO…or “fear of missing out”…especially, not DISNEY FOMO!
There’s so much to see, do, eat, and buy while visiting Disney that it can be really easy to get overwhelmed. How do I know what’s a must-do, and how do I know I’m choosing the RIGHT things?! These are all questions that can shoot through your mind when planning a Disney vacay.
But the hard truth is that there is literally NO WAY you can see or do it all when visiting Disney World. There’s simply too much STUFF for that to be possible! So…to help you avoid that awful Disney FOMO, we have come up with eight helpful tips so you can make the most of your vacation.
1. Do Your Research
Research is one of the most important parts of getting ready for a Disney World vacay. We say it all the time, but you’ve got to read up on what to do while on your trip. (And aren’t you SMART, you’re already doing that?!) Keep checking out DFB (and watch our youtube channel!) so you know what’s worth your $$$ and what you can pass up.
Research is SUPER useful when trying to figure out which resort hotel to choose, dining reservations to book, and FastPasses to secure. It will also help you create a list of things you KNOW you NEED to see and do visiting the park. Then, you can start laying out your must-do attractions and top priorities!
If you’re planning your very FIRST Disney vacation — check out these tips!
2. Avoid Overbooking Your Time
While planning, prioritize your one or two must-dos in each park and for each day, then give yourself some flexibility. Overplanning and overbooking your time can often leave you 1) exhausted 2) overwhelmed 3) disappointed when you don’t get everything done.
To avoid this, try placing your top dining locations and attractions on your itinerary. Then, leave a little room for extras…like napping, grabbing a fun snack, or swimming in the hotel pool!! And you never know when you’re going to see something NEW that you want to do at the parks. But if you’re already booked to the gills, you won’t have any room to explore and enjoy new options.
We also suggest leaving a bit of time for rest and relaxation. Let those feeties take a break, sit down at a relaxed spot like BaseLine Taphouse and sip on a brew, or maybe even take a nap. All of these small moments of rest will help make your overall vacation feel a bit more chill. Want our best tips for chillaxing on your Disney vacay? Check out our video below!
3. Know What You Want In Advance…So You Don’t Miss Out On The Best of the Best
Another great tip that will save you lots of time and MONEY is knowing what you want to eat BEFORE you get to Disney! A great way to figure out what snacks and dining locations are worth it is to check out our Disney food reviews.
We have reviewed just about EVERYTHING Disney has to offer in order to help make your decisions a little easier. We did the dirty work for you. 😉
Check out our full Disney World restaurant guide HERE!
While You’re There
There are a few little tips that you can do to maximize your Disney vacation while at the parks.
4. Go to a Character Meal Instead of Waiting in Line
If meeting characters is a priority for your family, be sure to make a few character dining reservations. We suggest this because going to a character meal instead of waiting in lines to meet the characters can actually knock out two birds with one stone…and save you time to do even more fun stuff!
Instead of waiting in a long line, you’ll be able to chill out in the AC, chow down on some yummy food, and wait as four or five characters come to you!! Ultimately, this will give you the ability to meet a large number of characters in a fraction of the time it would take in the parks.
Now, keep in mind, there are some characters that can only be met at a meet-and-greet location. A few of these include Mulan, Gaston, and Elena. But if you’re looking to meet more classic characters like the princesses or Mickey and Minnie, then character dining is a great option.
Of course, booking character reservations is where a bit of research and planning comes in because you want to make sure that you are dining at a location with good food and characters that you want to meet.
Some of our favorites? Storybook Dining at Artist Point where you can meet Snow White, a couple Dwarfs, and the Evil Queen; and Tusker House in Animal Kingdom where you can meet Mickey and his pals in their safari gear!
5. Rope Drop the Parks if You’re a Morning Person
If you’re a morning person, plan on rope dropping whatever park you are visiting that day. This means that you get there a few minutes before the park opens so you can be one of the first people inside.
WHY get up EARLY when you’re on vacation, you ask? Well, we enjoy doing this because the parks aren’t very crowded (better chance to knock out more of your high-priority attractions) — and the temperatures are typically cooler.
We also really recommend doing this if you weren’t able to snag a FastPass for a big-ticket attraction like Flight of Passage or Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.
This will allow you to get into the park and hop on those rides before the massive crowds pour in. Wait times should be lower, giving you the ability to ride more popular attractions in a shorter period of time.
6. Stay in the Parks Late if You’re a Night Owl
If you’re not a morning person (SAME!), then plan on staying at the parks late. Often, the park crowds begin to thin out after the fireworks end, so this is when you can expect wait times to reduce a bit. If you were unable to snag a FastPass for, say, Space Mountain or Peter Pan’s Flight, later in the evening should be a good time to hop those.
Wait times may also be lower during the fireworks show. So, if you’re ok with skipping the fireworks, you can use that to your advantage as well.
Another great thing to do is to take advantage of those Extra Magic Hours whether they be in the morning or night. Extra Magic Hours are additional hours where the parks remain open for guests staying at a Disney Resort or a few good neighborhood hotels. We loveeee those Extra Magic Hours because the parks really tend to be less crowded during those times.
Extra Magic Hours change parks and hours daily, so be sure to check your My Disney Experience App for more information.
After Your Vacation
7. Use shopDisney to Your Advantage
One big way that most people experience FOMO is seeing everything they DIDN’T DO…right after they have left the parks! People often start thinking, “SHOOT, we didn’t do this.” or “Darn, we didn’t buy that!”
It’s OK! Pretty much everyone goes through it. But, there are ways to avoid a bit of this, especially if you are experiencing FOMO over Disney merchandise.
If you realize that you have forgotten to purchase a souvenir, but you’ve already left the park, then take a look at the shop merchandise feature in your My Disney Experience app. This feature will allow you to purchase theme park merchandise straight from your phone!
So, as long as what you’re looking for is on the app, you can get it with no FOMO at all! Instead, you can just purchase what you forgot and carry on. If you don’t spot it on My Disney Experience, take a look shopDisney.com as they tend to have a lot of merchandise from inside the parks as well!
8. Check Out the DFB Guide
Another great way to avoid the fear of missing out or Disney regret is to plan for your next Disney trip with the DFB Guide. Our guide will provide you with tons of useful information based on our experiences in the parks. This means tips on dining, rides, time management, and more!
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What do you do to avoid Disney FOMO? Let us know in the comments below!