Tuesday, November 24, 2015

How to Maximize a Short Trip

A Disney Parks vacation is amazing. We simply adore it and try to get there as often as we can. But many times, for various reasons- time, money, etc... to get there, we have to keep it short. We've done 2 short trips in the past and one is coming up. My idea of short is 4 nights or less. Many may disagree with that and consider it a perfect amount of time. Others may gasp in horror at even thinking of only going for 4 nights. For us, 4 nights with 3 full days and 2 half days, is relatively short because most of our trips are 7 or 8 nights with 8 or 9 park days. And when you're not used to cutting the trip basically in half, it can leave you feeling as if the trip flew by and you didn't get to do nearly as much as you wanted. It can leave you disappointed.

But there are ways to avoid disappointment!

- First of all, remember you are in Disney! And any time there is better than none!! Savor every moment!!

- Limit yourself. You may have to limit the number of parks you visit, or limit the days you spend at each park. It's a personal preference. In my opinion, you cannot do everything there is to do at Magic Kingdom or Epcot in one day (each). So on a short trip, you will need to decide between visiting all parks for only one day each, or skipping one and spending two at your favorite park. I might get yelled at, but I'm gonna say it- Animal Kingdom is our least favorite park. There just isn't much there that appeals to us. There is nothing there that is a must do for us. We do love it and there are many awesome things, but we can survive without it. So on short trips we will skip it in favor of two days at Magic Kingdom. We prefer two at Epcot as well, but MK wins for us.

- Don't waste time. When you only have one day at each park, you need to skip things that just take up too much time. Like midday breaks, parades, browsing every gift shop, Kidcot stations, street entertainment, play areas such as Honey I Shrunk the Kids, character meet n greets, basic rides that seem to have really long lines (Tomorrowland Speedway, Astro Orbiter, Peter Pan, unless you have a fastpass). But if those things are very important to you, do them. You just need to realize you may not accomplish as much in the parks as you may be used to.

- Use Fastpass + to the maximum your day! Schedule your 3 ahead of time for as early in the day as you can. Then when you're there, you'll be able to get more sooner. Once you use your 3 you can book more, one at a time, using the My Disney Experience app on your mobile device.

- Keep meals simple. One thing that sucks up a lot of park time is sit down meals. Especially if you need to leave the park to get to them. An average sit down meal eats up at least an hour and a half to two hours, not including travel time. Depending on time of day, you can do a counter meal in half that time, or less, freeing you up to do more with your day.

- Skip Disney Springs (Downtown Disney). It's a great place and it can be really fun, but in the end. it's mostly just shopping. And as much as we all want the perfect souvenir, I'm not willing to pass on park time to shop for hours to find it. If you have time in the evening, sure! Especially on a day where a park closes early, like Animal Kingdom.

I think that's it! If you have questions, or more tips for maximizing your time, please post them! Enjoy every moment of your short trip! Suck up every second of Disney magic that you can!

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