It’s no secret that some planning is required to get the most out of your Disney trip.
Once you’re through the gates each day, the next level of planning kicks in, and things can start to get complicated. Wait times, weather, table reservations, walk times, and more can alter things unpredictably and the potential for anxiety and tension can build. If you and your party are on a mission to see and do as many of the fun attractions as possible, anything that derails your mission could spoil the day. But what if I told you, one potential complication can be removed making it far easier for you to go with the flow?
Don’t make any dining reservations on park days! Let’s start with how unpredictable children can be. Especially vacations with children. What if they aren’t hungry at your scheduled mealtime? What if they are tired and it’s the perfect time for a nap? It is difficult to predict when your group will be hungry as you manage your time in the park.
Now let’s do a little math. Specifically, something I call “ride math.”
Before you stand in line at an attraction as your dining reservation time approaches you must add up the wait time, ride time, and walk time to see if it’s a risk worth taking. Too often you’ll have to pass on an attraction as the “ride math” won’t work because you reserved a table.
Let’s say your seating is at 5 pm and it’s currently 4 pm. As your crew waits, you scroll through posted wait times for various attractions to see if you can enjoy the ride and still make it to the restaurant.
Time is ticking as you furiously calculate the ride math for each. But what happens if everything is busy and there’s nothing to do in the meantime? You’re stuck waiting around for your table. You’ve passed on some attractions and are saddled with unwanted dead time.
When it comes to food, one alternative is to simply go with the flow
There are plenty of alternatives to dining reservations. Each park has quick-service restaurants where you can sit and relax, plus so many delicious snacks that it’s simple to eat whenever you’re hungry.
One exception to this plan would be if a princess Character Dining Experience is on your must-do list. There are six character dining experiences outside of the parks, but currently, none have princesses in attendance. If dining with a princess is on your must-do list, my advice is to book it for breakfast. Scheduling it for early in the day makes planning the rest of the day a breeze without a scheduled interruption and associated ride math. It’s also another example of how nice it can be to just go with the flow.