What's your Disney World touring personality?

The beauty of traveling to Disney World as an adult -- on your own, or with a group -- is the freedom. You have the freedom to travel the World at as leisurely or frenetic a pace as you choose.

But something that must be taken into consideration is a touring plan. You could, if you choose, be completely spontaneous, go where you want at a moment's notice, and rely on counter service eateries or perhaps nicely beg your way into a popular table service restaurant (It can be done!)

Or, you could have consulted Disney World planning websites, such as touringplans.com, months ahead of time to plan out your trip itinerary, create an attraction touring plan for each park, make advanced dining reservations, and add special extras to your trip.

Then there's an approach somewhere in the middle -- perhaps you consult crowd forecasts and plan out which parks you'd like to visit and when. Perhaps you book ADRs based on which park you plan to be in that day, but you don't go much further than that.

So, which approach is most like you as an adult visiting Disney World?

Is your idea of a Disney World vacation one in which you relax, take it all in at a slow pace, and let your spur-of the-moment desires take over?

Or, are you a Type A planner who, even without kids, must stick to your plan and visit your favorite places or be prone to an "adult" meltdown?

Or, are you a middle-of-the-road type, taking some planning into consideration, but perhaps wavering off-course now and then?

It certainly depends on the time of year as to which approach you choose -- the leisurely approach could certainly work in September or January, but probably wouldn't work so well in July or late December.

So, what is your approach: precise touring plan, or winging it? Leave your thoughts below.

BRiTMiCK wrote on Wed, 01/12/2011 - 15:49:

BRiTMiCK's picture

I thought I'd be a Type A planner, knowing my nature, but actually I think I fit into the more middle of the road description. In advance, I plan, plan, plan - I know exactly what park we're going to, on which day and base it all around what's on and predicted park levels etc and I book all my ADRs in advance. In my normal life, I'd have a total melt down if we changed the plans for days or meals at all. But that Disney magic does it's stuff to me and when we're there I totally relax.We tend to stick to the park plan, just so we see the shows we want, for the first week, but for the second we switch things around, go with the flow and do whatever we feel like, ocassionally cancelling restaurants if we don't feel like them (I always hope someone else has a better day because a slot has opened up). Of course we do have the luxury of being there for a fortnight - if I was only there for 4 days I'm sure I'd be more uptight to make sure we made the most of it!

Brad wrote on Wed, 01/12/2011 - 16:06:

Brad's picture

Great point BriTMiCK! The best time to plan is before you go, once you're there it's really hard to catch up if you have things you need to still figure out. You're right about the long trips too, they allow you to make a more relaxing approach.

Do you find that on long trips that you wind up putting off so many things "because you have two more weeks," that by the last few days you've left way too many things to actually do?

Anonymous wrote on Wed, 01/12/2011 - 16:38:

Anonymous's picture

I totally wing it when i go alone (it is usually during a runDisney event) I sometimes don't even know which park I am going to until the bus arrives, as I take the first bus that comes. And once at the park, I go to the rides I like, if there is more than a 20 (okay 10) min wait I probably won't wait. If the fast pass is hours from then I won't get it as who knows what park I will be in in a couple hours. I will though always check the show times for my favorite shows and parades to see if I can make those and plan for that. That is the most planning I usually do. I may simply go to a park and wander around, eat, and people watch and never get on a ride. It is so much more fun and relaxing to not have specific plans and go and do what I want when I want. And I know I will probably be back in a couple months so ... of course, I've been going to WDW since 1971 multiple times a year and am an annual passholder so that makes a big difference. But I'd tell any adult to just relax and wing it. Don't stress out and plan too much. It's vacation!!!

Lonnie wrote on Wed, 01/12/2011 - 18:26:

Lonnie's picture

Other then hotel and some special dinning reservation we just see where the day may take us. Occassional we do book tours too. Since we general visit a weekend a month we don't usually have any "have to dos" to get too. We also enjoy the hotel ammenities, ie night time movies at the Wilderness or Yacht club.

J.P. wrote on Wed, 01/12/2011 - 23:44:

J.P.'s picture

Mostly use the "winging it" approach.

My hubby and I take 12-day vacations to Disney. We make one or two advanced dining reservations to popular restaurants (like to CRT) and book the rest of our table service the each morning at the concierge. We've always gone in May or September when the crowds are lower so we can get away with it.

I find that with 12 days and a park hopper pass we always see everything we want. We're pretty easy going and only have a few rides that we MUST go on each time we visit.

I always have a very relaxing and enjoyable vacation there.

Thanks Britmick for cancelling your reservations and opening those dining slots for me!

Kristen H wrote on Fri, 01/14/2011 - 06:12:

Kristen H's picture

These are all great responses! I like how we all fall all over the map.

My husband and I tend to be "middle-of-the-road" types. We're most die-hard about our food, so we tend to make ADRs, but we sometimes change a couple while we're there.

@Britmick -- Your approach sounds sooo much like me and my husband! We have a plan, then end up changing out minds anyway.

@anonymous -- I would love to try that "get on the first bus you see" approach. That would be so fun, like theme park roulette!

@Lonnie -- Which book tours have you done? Do you recommend any?

@J.P. -- I hope to be able to take a 12-day vacation sometime soon! I've never been able to stay more than 7 nights at a time. I get more vacation from work starting later this year, so here's to hoping!

Jane wrote on Sun, 01/16/2011 - 14:31:

Jane's picture

My husband and I have a tradition on the first day, after checking in we go to the bus stop and take the first park bus that arrives. It just sets the tone that this is vacation-relax. We usually are there for our anniversary, so I make one advance reservation, and the rest is magic.

ocean134 wrote on Thu, 05/05/2011 - 17:27:

ocean134's picture

I always make ADRs. We have certain restaurants that are a must. I typically already know which day we will visit each park. As for when we are already in the park we mostly wing it outside of grabbing FP for the popular rides/attractions. I try not to over plan since everyday at home is always planned, work, chores, etc. You need a little relaxation and flexibility while on vacation - even in WDW.

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