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  1. #1
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    Default WDW is meant to be a HAPPY place, so why am I so stressed?

    After a 4 year break we're returning to WDW in September.

    However, the hassel of pre-booking meals and events 5 months out on a website and app that are slow, unpredictable and often contradict is infuriating (and even more so to a software engineer)

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  4. #2
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    We were the same way for our trip this past November. We were there for 12 nights so that was ALOT of planning!
    1288 very long miles to WDW!
    1958 DL-Off property
    Dec 1998 WDW-Off property-Chaperone HS Band trip
    Sep 2005 WDW-POR-25th Late Anniversary
    Apr 2010 WDW-POR-30th Anniversary!
    Aug 2012 DL-first time in 54 yrs!
    Apr 2014 DL-34th Anniversary!!
    Nov 2016 WDW-Retirement!
    Apr 2018 Disney-DGD's 1st trip!

  5. #3
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    I'm a bit of a planning nerd so I kind of enjoy the meal and FP planning. That being said, the website and app can be awful and that is the stressful part. I've learned now to only make dining reservations on the phone.
    - Brian

    First WDW visit: 1984, Village Resort
    Last WDW visit: 2015, Caribbean Beach
    Next WDW visit: 2018, Polynesian

  6. #4
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    I can't agree more. They found a way to take what is supposed to be a vacation in the happiest place on Earth and turn it into the most stressful and infuriating vacation you will ever take. It is bad enough you have to go through all that tedious planning for months before going but what is worse is all the constant checking, changing, updating, logistics and timing you have to worry with while you are there.

    The only reason we have even been to WDW the past few years is because our high school age children have had events there. We have another event coming up this summer so we will be there for that and stay a few extra days to spend time in the parks. We haven't really taken a true vacation to WDW since they started all this nonsense, our real vacations have been elsewhere. I never dreamed I would see the day I didn't want to plan a trip to WDW but they managed to turn me off.

  7. #5
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    The actual booking of the meals and FP+ options can be stressful, but the planning is what gets me excited for my trip. I have one coming up at the end of November and can't wait until the Park Hours come out and I can truly begin planning in earnest.
    -Bud

    Walt Disney World:
    9/03 - CBR
    1/09 - BWV
    9/05; 2/07; 12/07; 9/08; 9/09; 9/10; 9/11; 12/13; 12/17; 4/18; 10/18 - PC
    5/15 - POR

    Disneyland: 12/15 - Paradise Pier Hotel

    Next up: ????

  8. #6
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    I felt the same way about the excessive amount of planning a WDW trip takes these days. My family also hadn't been on a full WDW trip since Thanksgiving of 2013. We had taken a few Universal trips with a night or two in disney, only stepping foot in a park (MK) once since 2013. This was mainly because we felt burnt out on disney, but all the preplanning definitely played a part in our long hiatus.

    However, we just got back from one of our best trips ever! Even with all the planning we had a great time. Once we used our three initial FPs we would select a new FP while in line for our current ride. Honestly it only took a minute or two to decide what we wanted and that was it until the next ride. Wasn't much different than when we first started going and we would study the park maps while in line deciding what to do next.

    Hope you end up having a great trip!
    Denise

    Resorts we've stayed at in 20+ trips: ASMo, ASMu, ASSp, PC, CSR, CBR, POR, POFQ, WL, AKL Jambo, AKL Kidani, Poly, Contemporary, BC, YC, BWV, OKW, SSR, Swan, Shades of Green, Vero Beach, Disneyland Resort

    Next Trip: ???

  9. #7
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    I was just telling DH this today! I love WDW planning but with added extended family this trip, I'm having a hard time getting excited about accommodating all of them. And our options are so limited with such a large party.
    DVC MEMBER since 2009
    CS- Oct.2006 *Honeymoon*
    ASM- Sept. 2009 BLT- Nov. 2010
    WLV- Oct. 2012 SSR- July 2013
    BLT- Jan. 2014 WLV- Nov. 2015
    SSR- Mar. 2016 OKW- Oct. 2017
    SSR- Apr. 2018 BC- May. 2018
    BC- Aug. 2018 BLT Dec. 2018

  10. #8
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    I understand. I do like getting to the point where I can make dining reservations, but I really do not like making fast pass reservations before the day I am at the park. I have found a slight work around. The park that I am going to, I try to make 3 fast passes for as early in the in the morning as I can, even if it is for a ride that really does not need a fast pass. Then I can make a fourth one after those three, and then I can get a fast pass after each fast pass I make and activate. Example:

    I took my 3 grandkids to Magic Kingdom last Tuesday. By 1pm, we had used all three of our allotted pre-booking fast passes. As soon as we were in queue for Splash Mountain, I booked Buzz Lightyear - which we did right after we got off Splash Mountain. I then booked Pirates for almost no wait (this is with booking 6 fast passes all at once during spring break mob time). This continued for most of the afternoon/evening. This does help a lot, but the key to this is to not book your fast passes spread out the whole day. Maybe knowing that might help you not be as stressed? BTW: The only ride I could not get a fast pass to the res of the day for the Mine Train ride.
    Ali's Mom
    Senior Imagineer

  11. #9
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    Just to piggy back onto what Ali's Mom said, we too booked all of our initial fastpasses for early in the day. I made them as early in the day as I could. We typically had one for the 9-10 time frame, then 10-11, 11-12. I usually tried to make our highest priority fast pass our second or third of the day incase we decided to sleep in or just arrived at the park late. This worked well for us. We usually ended up getting a ride or two in between our scheduled FPs and then made and additional 1-2 FPs before we headed back to the resort for pool time in the early afternoon. The key for us was booking our 4th while in line for our 3rd, and so on. This meant we didn't always have a whole hour in between our FPs later in the day. Then usually on the bus ride back to our resort I would see what might be available around the time we planned to head back to a park that evening. So when getting back to a park we usually walked right up to our next FP. There isn't a single ride that we didn't get to do over the 5 days we did the parks. There are rides we didn't want to do, but we were able to do everything we wanted with what didn't really feel like too much work on our part.

    I see a lot of people get there at rope drop and do as much as they can without fast pass then schedule their fastpasses for later in the day when the lines are longer. That's a great idea too. But then if the park is unexpectedly packed early you don't have any FP's till later and can't make any until the initial 3 are used. Of course you could try to change them if need be. Booking ours early in the day just made more sense for us and worked well for the way we tend to tour the parks/take breaks.
    Denise

    Resorts we've stayed at in 20+ trips: ASMo, ASMu, ASSp, PC, CSR, CBR, POR, POFQ, WL, AKL Jambo, AKL Kidani, Poly, Contemporary, BC, YC, BWV, OKW, SSR, Swan, Shades of Green, Vero Beach, Disneyland Resort

    Next Trip: ???

  12. #10
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    I think one year we scared my daughter in-law. We had the living room set up like a command center. 4 computers dry erase board. This was planning overload. We had all the park times broke down by extra magic hours, where we had ADR's, which park we would go to etc. All this just to align the FP's with every ones schedules. We did the same thing the morning our ADR's opened up. We again had the computers going, home phone, and several cells going.This was insane! When I went in 2015 I swore I would never do that again. Since we had my grandson with us I opted for a more "flexible" planning process. We only concentrated on a few must do ADR's and FP's. The rest we did on the fly with the app. That trip was probably the least stress and most fun of all my trips.Now I'm not saying not to plan but maybe ease it back a bit and just concentrate on "must" do's. Leave time for being flexible when things popup and mess with the schedule.
    -- .. -.-. -.- . --.- -- --- ..-- ... .

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  13. #11
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    The thing about a WDW vacation these days is that you practically need a spreadsheet to keep track of all the reservations. I haven't been on an extended trip there since 2013 for that very reason (I did a day trip during the Food and Wine Festival in 2015--crazy busy!) The thing is that I love the planning part of vacations, but not the way that Disney requires it. It just all seems too complicated.
    Beth
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  14. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by MNNHFLTX View Post
    ... you practically need a spreadsheet to keep track of all the reservations ... It just all seems too complicated.
    Totally agree!

    We're planning 14 nights during the Food & Wine festival. We have a spreadsheet of park hours, EMH, Fantasmic, Festival of Lights, Dining reservations (and cancellations due to issues with Disney not uploading all venues for the same date) and FPs.

    Going to WDW is turning into a military campaign. I need a holiday to recover

  15. #13
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    After going every year (and sometimes twice a year) for over two decades, we haven't returned since FP+ was implemented. I work in an organization of over 7,000 people. Only 3 people are above me. I PODSCORB All day long, every day, even on the weekends. The last thing I want to do on vacation, is PODSCORB.

    I want to put the phone down. I don't want to prioritize meetings. I want to relax and go with the flow. I don't want to tell anyone what to do or be told what to do. I don't want to meet timelines or deadlines. I don't want to rush from one location to the next. In short, I want what WDW used to be (and will never be again).

  16. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by MNNHFLTX View Post
    The thing about a WDW vacation these days is that you practically need a spreadsheet to keep track of all the reservations. I haven't been on an extended trip there since 2013 for that very reason (I did a day trip during the Food and Wine Festival in 2015--crazy busy!) The thing is that I love the planning part of vacations, but not the way that Disney requires it. It just all seems too complicated.
    I love my spreadsheet. I'm pretty sure I'm in the minority but once the planning is done we find everything runs so smoothly its worth it.
    "One little spark of inspiration is at the heart of all creation, right at the start of everything thats new, one little spark lights up for you!"


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    Mom to our little Prince Everett and Princess Adelaide
    August 2019 Pop Century!
    Not all treasure is silver and gold, mate.

  17. #15
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    I very much agree! We're going in late May/early June for an 11-night trip with another family and we're just at the point when we can book FastPasses. I'm the main planner and usually love it, but this is so much more complicated than I thought it would be! (My family goes twice a year, so we're pretty familiar with booking FastPasses, dining, etc.) Trying to plan it all out with so many people who all want different rides, different times, different parks is getting stressful and making me wish for the days of getting paper FastPasses the day of in each park.
    Laura
    "Any wish is possible. All it takes is a little courage to set it free!" Jiminy Cricket
    25+ trips to WDW and counting! Stayed at: Poly, WL, Kidani, SSR, BLT, BCV, CSR, VB, POR, Jambo, OKW, CR, VGF & BW!
    Next Up: Nov 2017 - SSR!
    DVC Member & AP holder since 2008!

  18. #16
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    We have an upcoming trip and didn't get the Dining Plan and only scheduled one character dining meal during the whole trip so that made planning much easier. I scheduled it on a non-park day. Even on our visit pre FP+ we didn't get the dining plan because we didn't want to be tied to reservations.

    I'm sure I'm in the minority here but it makes visiting the parks so much easier. It allows for more fluidity on park days. FP are a little time consuming but I scheduled our upcoming FP recently and wasn't as stressed as I thought I would be. Once the trip is done I can give my full review and opinion.

  19. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by buzznwoodysmom View Post
    Then usually on the bus ride back to our resort I would see what might be available around the time we planned to head back to a park that evening.
    I'm glad to see this. This is what I planned to do but have read conflicting reports that you have to be in the specific park to book additional FP. All our FP are early as well and when we take an afternoon break we will probably be looking to book one for our return later in the day. Thanks!

  20. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by j2k View Post
    I'm glad to see this. This is what I planned to do but have read conflicting reports that you have to be in the specific park to book additional FP. All our FP are early as well and when we take an afternoon break we will probably be looking to book one for our return later in the day. Thanks!
    It was our experience that once we used our initial FPs we were able to book in a different park from the park we were in, from the bus, or from our resort. We did not have to be inside the park in which we were booking a FP. This was end of Feb.\beginning of March. This method worked perfect for us.

    Honestly, we did not need a spreadsheet and it didn't take much time to get additional FPs. If anything, it actually took less time than the old method of having to walk to each attraction to get FP. I did not feel like I was constantly looking at my phone, which is something I was afraid would happen with the new system. All in all I would say the new FP system and all the preplanning did not have any negative effect on our trip at all.
    Denise

    Resorts we've stayed at in 20+ trips: ASMo, ASMu, ASSp, PC, CSR, CBR, POR, POFQ, WL, AKL Jambo, AKL Kidani, Poly, Contemporary, BC, YC, BWV, OKW, SSR, Swan, Shades of Green, Vero Beach, Disneyland Resort

    Next Trip: ???

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  22. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by buzznwoodysmom View Post
    It was our experience that once we used our initial FPs we were able to book in a different park from the park we were in, from the bus, or from our resort. We did not have to be inside the park in which we were booking a FP. This was end of Feb.\beginning of March. This method worked perfect for us.

    Honestly, we did not need a spreadsheet and it didn't take much time to get additional FPs. If anything, it actually took less time than the old method of having to walk to each attraction to get FP. I did not feel like I was constantly looking at my phone, which is something I was afraid would happen with the new system. All in all I would say the new FP system and all the preplanning did not have any negative effect on our trip at all.
    Thanks so much for this info. We'll be there next month and have hoppers. On the days when we hop I'm planning to book something before we get to the next park. Thanks for sharing this info.

  23. #20
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    For those that book FPs for the morning and take breaks midday, do you park hop? We tend to do 1 park in the morning and than a different one mostly for an ADR and night shows. You can still only book FPs for 1 park at a time, right?
    DVC MEMBER since 2009
    CS- Oct.2006 *Honeymoon*
    ASM- Sept. 2009 BLT- Nov. 2010
    WLV- Oct. 2012 SSR- July 2013
    BLT- Jan. 2014 WLV- Nov. 2015
    SSR- Mar. 2016 OKW- Oct. 2017
    SSR- Apr. 2018 BC- May. 2018
    BC- Aug. 2018 BLT Dec. 2018

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