Walt Disney World (FL)

My 2015 Disney Resolutions

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Touring Plans fearless leader Len Testa made a resolution for 2014 to eat no table service meals at Walt Disney World. That would never work for me because, c’mon guys, table service meals at Walt Disney World. To the best of my knowledge, he’s made good on his promise, and in the process has gotten more familiar with the many fantastic counter service dining options in the parks and resorts.

Len’s resolution got me thinking about my own Disney touring and whether I might be a rut or two of my own. Are there things I can do to tweak my habits that will provide me with a better experience for myself, or a better base of knowledge with which to help other guests? With the aim of stepping outside my Disney comfort zone, I’m making a few Disney World resolutions for 2015. Here goes …

My new priority.
My new priority.

Visit the Animal Kingdom during every trip.

I typically make 6-8 trips to Walt Disney World each year. Two of those are long visits of a week to ten days. During these trips I make point to pop over to the Animal Kingdom. But during my shorter 3-4 day trips, I skip the this park, prioritizing the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios over bonding with the animals. Because of this, I’m less facile with the nuances of the Animal Kingdom than I am with the other parks.

In 2015, I resolve to visit the Animal Kingdom every time I’m at Walt Disney World, even if that means (gasp) skipping Epcot.

Visit Walt Disney World without taking any photos.

When I visit Walt Disney World, I typically take several hundred photos every day, not of my family and friends, but of random “stuff” – merchandise, food, signage, etc. I do this is so that I’ll have fresh photos for blog posts like this one and as a back-up for my oh-so-fallible memory. Wait, how much does embroidering an ear hat cost? Ahh, I’ll look at the photo I took of the sign by the register. While my intent is good, I often find that I’m so focused on getting a photo of something, that I don’t actually see the big picture. I’m working so hard to capture an image that I forget to have fun.

In 2015, I resolve to take a trip to Walt Disney World and not take any photos. (Except as a reminder for where I parked my car, because without that I might never be able to leave :-))

I will not be buying these in 2015.
I will not be buying these in 2015.

Stop paying for non-alcoholic drinks.

Lovely and talented Touring Plans blogger Alex Duncan recently wrote about saving money on beverages at the parks by getting free water at the counter service restaurants. Her posts made me realize just what an absurd amount of money I spend on bottled water and Diet Coke when I’m in Orlando. Because I’m (well) over 21, my resolution will not apply to adult drinks. As a grown-up lady, I may need occasional fortification beyond H2O.

More than just saving money myself, I want to do this a reminder that many Disney guests are extremely price sensitive. I hope this will make me more aware of all areas where minor tweaks can add up to big savings.

In 2015, I resolve to pay for no non-alcoholic beverages at Walt Disney World.

Finish my Disney World to-do list.

I’m been extremely fortunate and have been able to experience almost everything Disney World has to offer. There are, however, a few rather glaring loose ends I have to tie up. These are the WDW experiences that are easy to do, but I’ve just never gotten around to. This list includes:

Don't mind if I do.
Don’t mind if I do.
  • Ride Mission Space Orange. I’ve gone on Green several times, but have always been just too plain scared to try Orange. It’s time to put on my big girl pants and give it a try.
  • Stay at Fort Wilderness. I’ve been to Fort Wilderness countless times to meet friends, dine at the Hoop Dee Doo, take the Segway tour, visit the petting zoo, and tour the Christmas decorations, but I’ve never actually stayed at Fort Wilderness. It’s the last Disney World resort that I haven’t stayed at. The reasons behind this are practical. If I visit on my own, I typically go the budget route, staying at a value resort or using my DVC points on a studio. If I stay with my family, my three teenage daughters (and I) are much happier if we have more than one bathroom. When I’m with them, we stay in a larger villa, in a family suite, or in two rooms, depending on the circumstances. The Fort Wilderness cabin are spacious and lovely, but the one bathroom situation has been a stumbling block for us. I’m going to give that block a kick and make it happen in 2015.
  • Close down the Magic Kingdom. Early to bed, early to rise, is a my natural modus operandi. My lark-like circadian rhythm is great for rope drop or pre-dawn runDisney race starts, but it has prevented me from ever closing down the Magic Kingdom. I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve never seen the Kiss Goodnight or been shooed out of the park by the cleaning crew. This will change in 2015.

In 2015, I resolve to finish my Disney World to-do list.

What’s on your Disney to-do list? Do you have any Disney resolutions you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below.

P.S. I just read this list to my daughter and she literally laughed in my face when I mentioned the no-photos trip. Saying, “That is simply not possible. I’ve never even seen you with a camera out of your hand at Disney World.” Well, baby, in the immortal words of Barney Stinson, “Challenge accepted.” (Oh, and I almost put “Don’t buy any Vinylmations” on the list, but I knew that I’d never actually be able to follow through on that one. I do know my limits.)

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Erin Foster

Erin Foster is an original member of the Walt Disney World Moms Panel (now PlanDisney), a regular contributor to TouringPlans.com, and co-author of The Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line. She's been to WDW, DL, DL Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland, Aulani, DVC Vero Beach, and DVC Hilton Head. She's a Platinum DCL cruiser and veteran of 10 Adventures by Disney trips. Erin lives near New York City, where she can often be found indulging in her other obsession - Broadway theater.

8 thoughts on “My 2015 Disney Resolutions

  • What a great idea for all of us Disney-loving resolution-makers! Your list is interesting and inspiring in a few ways. I love the no-paid drinks idea- it makes so much sense. I have my own list of things I never seem to get to, and like you, it includes some late night events that I usually skip for sleep. I think I’ll try to make this the year. Unlike you, though, I NEVER have a problem prioritizing AK- Expedition Everest is one of my top-five things to do in the World! Great post.

  • I find it hard to make it to Disney world once every couple years. I wish my problem was not being able to live with just one bathroom. This article seems to be a severe case of first world problems, and extremely out of touch with the common guest. I think maybe tack on a resolution to be grateful for the amazing things you already have.

    • Seriously Ryan. This is a DISNEY blog. It’s all first world; blessings or problems. And frankly, she wasn’t even complaining, just making harmless fun resolutions. Please take your sour grapes elsewhere.

    • You know, I always get a pang of “aw man…wouldn’t it be nice…” when I read these blogs by people who live close enough to Disney to go frequently. But you know– we all have something that is great. I live just outside Charleston, SC and am amazed when I tell people where I am from and get the “Oh, I love to visit there” response. But you know what? I am blessed…my town has great restaurants, lovely architecture, great history and the beach. Some of us live in the beautiful mountains. Some get to see snow. My sixth grade students were discussing before break how they have never seen snow. Some live near lovely fall foliage. We should all take a look around. It is nice to be able to visit Disney (and some get to go more frequently than others), but we all have something special if we think about it a little.

  • This may sound like a “no-duh”, but my resolution is to learn to make the changes with Fastpass+ work for us. We go for a couple of weeks every two years and are reasonably dedicated rope droppers, usually leaving the parks for the day by noon to 1 PM. This will be our first year with Fastpass+. Like many, we have a routine that suits us well and Fastpass played a big part; we were not that thrilled about the advent of Fastpass+ and the changes it would entail. As I’ve planned though, I’ve realized those changes could have benefits for us. As our kids have gotten older, we no longer need to leave by midday to accommodate naps. Maybe we’ll work in two parks by rope-dropping one park in the morning and leaving earlier than usual, then going for a late afternoon/dinner experience with Fastpass+ in the second park. Maybe we’ll still only go in the morning, but skip the rope drop and give ourselves the “luxury” of feeling like we have a slow start. Opinions on Fastpass+ are so divided that it seems clear it’s not worse, just different, and I resolve to turn those differences into positives on our vacation.

    • Yes! I’m with you Jennie! My resolution is to figure this out first hand!

      My other resolution – I’m going to take one full day from my next trip to just walk around one park with NO PLANS. Just see what I see and happen upon what I happen upon. This could last for all of 5 minutes but I’m going to go for it.

  • Hi Erin,
    The water part of your post was a very sobering reminder that you can easily blow a lot of cash away and quite unnecessarily.
    I hate the heavily chlorinated water from the fountains, but a decent filter bottle can have it tasting fresh in no time.
    Sure they don’t come cheap, but they pay for themselves in a single day!

    Ride Missions Space Orange by yourself lady! LOL
    I rode that recently and spent a very long hour feeling hot, sweaty and unlikely to hold down my breakfast!

    • I’m going to second what Kev said. The one time I rode the orange side, I also spent quite a while afterwards not doing anything but trying to keep my lunch down. It doesn’t happen for everyone, but plan accordingly.


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