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 …
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 :-))
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:
- 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.)