How much do "normal" people know about WDW planning?

I guess most of us are at the (top) end of the bell curve when it comes to WDW planning, but how much information does everyone else have and how much planning do they put in?

For example, even last year when I did my first HEA dessert party, I knew that standing at the back of the area in the Plaza Garden offered the best view. I read on the Liners app a few days ago that everyone was pushing to the front. So these people knew about the dessert party, but not about how to make the best of it.


Normal people know so much less. I truly think they wander aimlessly, stop to look at the map occasionally, do things that look interesting when they stumble across them, and skip most things because the lines are too long.


It is shocking how many people will not get fast passes because they “cost too much”. I think for a lot of people the amount of information can be overwhelming. It took me 5 years to try a new resort, 6 years to eat at a resort I was not staying at, and I learn something new here every day.


We are the 2%.

Perfect example. If you get a chance, go the the “hub” in MK about 10:00 AM on a day where the park opened at 9:00. Look how many people are just standing there either looking at a map or their phones trying to figure our where to start their day. They might think they are there early, but they actually quite late!

My family always thinks that I over plan, but at the end of the week everyone is happy with how everything worked out (I also make sure to point out HUGE wait times at rides we already rode!)

Plan Hard, wait less.


I think we are very lucky. Not because we know how to plan but we also like it a lot. I’m from Brazil and have a DD5. Hear people complaining about crowds, dificult finding where to eat, cost and specialy how hard it was with kids. Disney is like this magical place where dreams come true but these parents come back very unhappy. A friend once asked for my help and I said of course, when are you going? And she said in 2 weeks. Nothing planned.


I literally do walk-throughs in my head, having reviewed the map and my TP.

You know, like elite athletes do before the Olympics.

Yes. I am basically an Olympic champion. Basically.


Most people don’t know much, if anything. We are far and away some of the most prepared visitors in the World.


And the thing is, you cannot convince them that you can help!

So much the better for us I guess!


I am a Disney TA and I find that people fall into two categories. Guests who know nothing and understand that they know nothing (my favorite group). And guests who think they know everything and actually know nothing. The people in group 2 have maybe read one blog post about Disney trips and suddenly they are experts. Sorry, but you are not going to convince me that you don’t need an ADR for CRT and that CRT comes with reserved fireworks viewing :roll_eyes:

Also as a former cast member, the questions guests asked made me wonder if they had even researched Disney at all or just kind of showed up. My personal favorite question was from a guest while standing in front of the Snowman Family at Blizzard Beach:
Guest: "How do I get to Blizzard Beach?"
Me: "ummm…you mean the wave pool beach?"
Guest: "No Blizzard Beach"
Me: "Ma’am you are already at Blizzard Beach"
Guest: “I wish Disney would educate their cast members” and turns and stomps away
Me: :woman_facepalming:

Clueless guests do make shifts go by quicker though :joy:


We got the Unofficial Guide for our first ever WDW trip back in 1992 (Mickey signed it, it’s the only character autograph we have) so I wouldn’t say we’ve ever been completely clueless. The tips you get here and on chat are another level though.

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I’ll be very pragmatic about this. Sometimes, ignorance is bliss. Other times, it is a complete mess.

When it comes to Disney, the truth is, knowing too much can sometimes inhibit your ability to enjoy it fully it. (I’ve expressed this, more or less, in other threads from time to time.)

Some of my favorite Disney moments came at times that had nothing to do with planning at all.

Sometimes I wish I could go back to my days of ignorance in this regard.


My boss went to WDW a few years ago. He hated it.
I found out he stayed off site and had planned nothing. No ADR, FPP, tourplans, rope drops., advance ticket purchases, nothing.
He will never come back. so sad. But better for the rest of us.

That’s very true. You can have a fantastic time with no planning, you would miss things but if you don’t know you’re missing them… I do very much enjoy the rare times when I have no plan and I’m just hanging out.

When I went to Disney in June I couldn’t believe how much I had learned about Disney for that trip. It was our first trip and I studied Disney as if I were studying for the bar exam. This site was invaluable. I just wish I didn’t have such a crappy long term memory because now I’m doing it all over again fir November, lol. We had one evening where I couldn’t get my kids b#ck to AK in time to see a show. By the time we went my plan was shot to hell. We ended up walking back and forth, not knowing what to do to kil time to ROL. It was horrible. I was discombobulated, thought I was on a different path and couldn’t figure out where to get to where I wanted to go, yak and yeti. It sucked.


I don’t wish for planning ignorance. I like to think that I plan well and then I am familiar enough with our choices to let go of the plan to embrace magical moments.


What are you talking about? The fantastic time is the planning.

After the planning comes the awful part. You have to go through the misery of travelling thousands of miles to Florida, walk for hours every day in oppressive heat and humidity, go on some rides that break down half the time and aren’t as good as the ones at Alton Towers, get overcharged for everything, until finally the merciful relief of going home and back to the normality of blissfully planning another trip.

If there was some way to do the planning without the misery of actually doing the trip I’d take it in a heartbeat.


I know what those individual words mean, but not when arranged into that sentence.


Don’t get me wrong, I love the planning!

I will point out that my comments did include the word “sometimes” in there no fewer than three times. :wink:

I can be pragmatic…but not insane! :wink:


I’m sure your accountant would appreciate this option as well.