Planning Frustrations

Let me start out by saying that I love most things Disney. The movies, the rides, the parks, you name it.

Begin Rant

That said, this is my first time planning my own WDW trip and I feel like I’m hitting a brick wall when it comes to planning. How are we as Disney fans and planners supposed to make educated decisions about park choice, FPP+ times and ADRs when we only have half of the information. I am 12 days from my ADR date and I am so stressed out.

Will AK have extended hours in November? How late? Only certain days of the week? Will Fantasmic be showing the day I have picked for DHS?

How do they expect people to continue shelling out literally thousands of dollars on a vacation when they aren’t willing to make a decision on their end. I feel like I will need to see a therapist solely for Disney related matters.

I do realize that I could take a “come what may” approach to this but like a lot of people, this could be my only Disney vacation for the next 5-10 years and I want to do it right. Yes, I know I can’t do everything in one trip but at the same time, I don’t want to feel like I have wasted time or missed a major production. That’s the reason I subscribed to Touring Plans. I love everything about this site: the trip reports, the people, the articles and tips, everything.

End Rant

My question: Has it always been like this? Has it always been this difficult to plan things out? What do you think has caused this drive to plan every moment of the day out? Was it ADRs? Was it FPP+?


I think we are in a “special” time for planning just now. SO many transitions underway at the same time and little in the way of solid timelines from Disney.

What I would consider doing is making a couple of plans. If A then X. If B then Y. It takes more time, sure, but then you are ready for whatever eventuality results. Scoff up multiple ADRs, toss the ones you don’t use once your plans are more clear. As long as they don’t overlap you can make as many in a day as you want :wink:


I think WDW has forced us to plan earlier now than in the past. The 180 days used to be 90 at some point and the 60 day FP+ was paper on-site. I’d say the 180 day ADR is a lot of it though & DIS doesn’t always have their info published that far in advance themselves to aid in those decisions.

For your particular issues, I’d make best guesses and plan on some flexibility in your plan. Also remember that you can always change an ADR later. ID which ones are most important to you and make sure you get those - particularly if any are the hard to get ones (BOG, CRT, early morning breakfast pre-open etc.). But know some you’ll be flexible on and can adjust if Fantasmic! doesn’t happen to be playing the day you booked a HS ADR (although if they let you book a F! dinner package, I’d say it’s a safe bet & if you can’t book those, you will be able to at a later date when they come online).

And in general - things will work out. It’s a Magical place and a sub optimal ADR or 2 won’t change that…


How do you dismiss an ADR? Will I have to call Disney to do it or can that be done online?

Nope! You can cancel it right through MDE :slight_smile:

I kind of do it all the time :open_mouth:


Take a deep breath and don’t worry! You can find all of the info you are asking about on or on the My Disney Experience site.

To find out park hours, which one have extra magic hours, and show times like Fantasmic, parades and fireworks, on the My Disney Experience website, go to the Parks and Tickets menu heading and hoover over it. You will see Park Hours for today with a calendar widget. Click the widget and select your date.

I like to plan which park I will go to on which day using the touring plans crowd calendar, which is one of the main menu options at the top of their home page.

Plan your hardest to get reservations first - like Be Our Guest or Cinderella’s Royal Table or Chef Mickey’s.

Once you have your reservations, you can use touring plans to help determine what else to do each day and it will help show you which fast passes to choose.

I am crazy and LOVE to plan all this stuff. Enjoy!

I understand how to use both of these sites. However, neither of them have the answers to the specific questions I have about my November trip.

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The dates are shown through Nov 24 on the MDE site. Are you going after that?

Yes. I am trying to plan around the show schedule and extended hours for AK. I have a rough plan and I have seen the month long schedule for November but it doesn’t include Fantasmic at all for the week I will be there nor does it have AK closing any time later than 5-6.

I think OP is frustrated by the things that no site can tell you right now because of all of the construction and things-in-the-works. I think she has a good handle on the generalities of planning. Which, ironically, may be driving the frustration she is feeling :wink:


My hero!

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Friday, May 20th is the next announcement from Disney about AK and what is happening there. I would expect you will have some more info then. By the way, I leave in 6 days and we still do not know if we can get EE FPP after 6:30 pm (though park is open until 11pm), we don’t know what times, or if there will be FPP available for the Jungle Book show, and we don’t have a dinner plan for the night of 5/28 yet since they haven’t released dinner packages for the show, or let us know if Tiffin’s will even take ADR’s (it supposedly opens that weekend). That trip is next week. There will be plenty of info long before November gets here. I know it is frustrating, but you have tons of time to plan and make changes. Like @OBNurseNH said, make lots of ADR’s and then drop the ones you don’t need. Disney forces us to do this, so don’t let others make you feel bad about having multiple ADR’s.


I think I would be crazy if there were that many things up in the air with less than a week to go. I do plan on taking @OBNurseNH’s advice and getting multiple ADRs at the AK and DHS restaurants I want.

Quick question about packages: are they 2 credits on the dining plan or just whatever the restaurant normally “charges”?

2 credit dinners are 2 credits.

Which one are you referring to specifically?

Tusker House?

I feel your frustration about planning, as I’m in the same boat! I like OBNurseNH’s suggestion too about multiple plans/ADRs. That’s what I’m doing, combined with trying to keep my focus on our bare-bones “must do” list. Keeping my trip plans centered around a short list of attractions/activities and expectations simplifies the planning and has the added bonus of being something I can control (as opposed to the powers that be at Disney, who just won’t listen to me😜). I have also reminded myself multiple times that having a solid plan is more important than which exact ADRs or fpp we have, or crowd levels, or whatever else—and I can come up with a solid plan the week or even the day before, thanks to touring plans. I’ve also noticed that in the past, if I paid attention and noticed when Disney started offering new reservation times (i.e. for some new event or extended park hours or whatever) I’ve had reasonable luck at getting what I want and adjusting plans.

And, tusker house is just one table service credit per person if you’re on the dining plan.

1 credit pp

@larrielaine, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. A few years ago I did what you’re doing: worried that we wouldn’t get back for years, I planned everything, obsessed about ADRs, got up early to get a BOG reservation, agonized over where to stay, I built the vacation up into a once in a lifetime event that had to be perfect.

I was miserable most of the trip. Any glitch caused me great stress. I felt my family didn’t appreciate my careful planning. I didn’t get to see and do everything I wanted.

We were lucky enough to go back, and I decided to relax. If we missed something, I knew we would have a great time anyway. You can’t do everything. You certainly can’t plan for events or restaurants that aren’t open yet. My advice is make your plan based on what’s available now. If something new opens, decide if you want to change it up. You will still have a great time if you don’t see Rivers of Light or ride Frozen Ever After. Promise.


Also, if you go here:

You can view every single restaurant in WDW and see whether it accepts DDP and if so how many credits are necessary.