The Perils of Overplanning and People with Differing Schedules


Do you ever get that feeling that perhaps you’ve put more on your family’s plate than they can handle? I’m just so excited to get back to WDW that I’ve packed the day with attractions and ADR’s big and small (and reasonable breaks, I think). But the honest truth is that my 3 young-adult progeny are going to want to sleep an extra half-hour rather than go to UP! A Great Bird Adventure. :rofl:

They’re night-owls, and I know that if left to their own devices, which I plan to, they’ll wander back to the hotel at midnight or even later. Sigh. No RD for us.

Maybe this is the point where I just make up a plan for them, and a plan for me?( Actually, DH is a late riser and would keep to their schedule- at least until about 10 pm, haha). I also can’t ride the rides that they can. But I WOULD like to get up early and go. My normal wake-up time is 5:30-6 am and I never use an alarm.

Has anyone else done this, where the family takes off on their own? Did your family stick to the plan when you weren’t there? I think I could work it where we meet up for a significant chunk of the day, but not the beginning and ends of it.


No good ever comes of forcing people to get up early. If I was you I would hand them the plan and let them decide at what point they want to join you in the parks.


Yep. I’m wary because it backfired on me before. This time I’m trying to be proactive and PLAN for the sleeping in. They are definitely smart enough to understand the plan, and (I think) what happens if they don’t stick to it.


How old are they? I’m sure they will get up and do RD if there’s anything they really want to get to.


20, 24, 26. One good thing is that I will be getting extra FP through the Club Level program. I think that’s going to save our schedule, otherwise, I’d be a lot more stressed about this. My two eldest would probably get up to do rope drop something awesome like FOP- the youngest… well I seriously don’t know about that! :sleeping:


Well they are old enough to make their own decisions.


Let sleeping people lie amiga! If they don’t see half the attractions that you do, it’s their own choice. Get up bright and early, rope drop. Enjoy. Tell them to ping you once they’re in the park and abandon them with a TP once night falls for you. And all will be happier for sure!


Haha, I think you’re right! Also, I think a little time apart from us would be a good thing. :slightly_smiling_face: Those three have such a good time together, too, and they no longer live under the same roof so it’s a good opportunity for them to bond!

And then I won’t pout because I get to see what I want to see, nice and early.


There you go! Have a great time!!


My boys are older now, 17 and 21 on our last trip. It was the first time I’d had any kind of plan more than a rough idea of what park to visit each day. But because of the changes, and bookimg FPs in advance, I changed tack.

I made TPs for each park. I used EVALUATE all the time to give me an idea of how long things would take. But the plans were loose, with 30-45 breaks every 3-4 attractions. I knew no one but me would get up, so FPs started at 10am. We booked more ADRs than usual because it was over Christmas and NY.

But we have never insisted everyone sticks together, even when they were 12 and 15. Anyone can head off on their own and change FPs if they want to. They have access to the plans in MDE so they know when ADRs are booked for. We agreed each evening what the plan was for the next day, eg: lunch QS at a park, dinner in the villa. I just asked them to let me know if they didn’t want to join us for a meal, whether an ADR, QS or back in the villa. They had charging rights so they could have just got something themselves. No one skipped on an ADR! G

On our first park day, we had breakfast at BOG on Christmas Eve @9:30. FPs were booked from 10ish. We got quite a lot done but after HM, DH decided to head back to the resort before the parade. Youngest watched the parade then headed back, eldest and I stayed longer. We just agreed to meet at Contemporary 4th floor by the monorail station entrance at 4pm for evening plans (DS21st dinner).

Each day was similar, planning to arrive at parks between 10 and 11, FPs booked from then. It meant everyone got to do their favourite rides etc with FPs and could then head back if they wanted to.

I would plan for you. Give them a copy and tell them to let you know if they planned to meet you at a certain point, so you know to wait for them. Remind them how texting works! :joy:


All good advice. I had the first FP starting at 9:30-ish but a bit later is probably better. It’ll be up to them to decide if they want to hit the low-wait sweet spot first thing in the morning, or not. I have noticed a lot of the not-super-headliner rides also become available again in the late evening, when they’ll still be up, so they can go then or maybe find some FP.

The ones they can’t change are the CL extra FP, so those should go later in the day. I would be ticked off if they missed those, since I will have paid extra for them.

And yes, don’t really see them missing any ADR’s, either! I never schedule one for breakfast, we have never been willing to trade sleep/early park time for food. :rofl:


I have to tell you all, on our last visit I had most of a bottle of wine leftover from a nice lunch I had by myself somewhere in WS, the day they all went to Universal. Well, it sat in our room for a couple of days and somehow we never drank it. I think we just never had a quiet moment to relax.

Come the morning of departure, I thought, “Darn it! I am not letting this go to waste!” And went ahead and finished off most of it while we were packing. Then I didn’t care one whit if we stuck to the schedule or not- and the kids were like “Mom, you really need wine for breakfast more often.” :rofl:




This topic is perfect as I’m headed to Disney Nov. 30 with 8 others and have been wondering if I’m going to be off by myself a lot of the time, too. I’m 41, kidless, and my BF is unable to come. My mom, her hubby, my Dad and his gf, all late 60s, and then my sister and her family (my neice is 8 and nephew is 6) are the others going on the trip. My sister and I have done most of the planning but I can’t help but think that I may be on my own a lot (I can’t deal with drama and my sister’s family always seems to bring it. :face_with_raised_eyebrow::roll_eyes:). I can’t wait for Disney, I haven’t been there since 2009, had an amazing trip then as it was just my BF (x BF now) and I do we had a blast!
Anyway, got my Magic Bracelet and luggage tags in the mail yesterday, getting so excited! Any advice or suggestions for a solo, fun 41 year old woman is most welcome!


Family drama can be tough. We went to Disney with my sister & her family and it might have been very hard because they like their ADR’s- three squares a day. We just couldn’t handle all that sitting and missing out on things- plus, we kind of eat to live not live to eat, unlike my sis who is a foodie. Fortunately, we already knew this from having gone to Hawaii with them, so we agreed to disagree and either slept in or played while they enjoyed their meals.

So I think you just need to let them know up front and plan for it. I don’t think anyone will be offended or unhappy if you explain ahead of time what you want to do, then they won’t feel like you’re just tired of them, which they may if you take off right in the middle of the drama. I spend a lot of time by myself, too, since I can’t ride all the rides- if you look around where they are going to be, you can schedule things for yourself nearby while they’re doing something else. There is nothing wrong with that, just let them know in advance.


I have adult kids in their 20s and I think you would all be best served if you made a touring plan for 10am through a dinner ADR. You go into the park at rope drop or whenever your early bird self likes, and have them meet you at the park entrance at 10am. That will give you time to ride whatever your heart desires that you know would make them groan out loud! Schedule your FP for 10/11/12-ish & 1/2/3-ish. Cut everybody loose after dinner to go do their own thing, and you & DH can have some couple time.

On my recent trip with my DS16, he went back to the resort hotel one evening to stare at his dank meme internets while I went over to MK for late closing and a 1-hour post-closing shopping spree. Another morning, I let him sleep in as late as he wished while I did some resort shopping (if he were a bit older, I would have gone on into a park and had him meet me there… but he is still a bit young for that.) It worked out great, we were both happy, and gave us a welcome break from each other for a bit.


Not the first breakfast choice I’d associate with WDW, but I guess you gotta find what works for you :smiley:


Dream up your ideal WDW vacation and try to make as much of it come true amiga! Wild Africa Trek for 1? Yes please! Table for 1 at CG? Yes thank you! 13 times on ToT? Bring it on! Whatever is Disney perfect for you… you can do it!
Enjoy SO much! And avoid all drama. First hint of a fight head out for another attraction!


I agree with others that since your kids are adults I wouldn’t worry one bit about leaving them sleeping! They will be happy to sleep in and meet you later and you will have your glorious morning to enjoy the parks! Win-win!


My boys are 9 and 12 and the idea that you guys are still travelling with your adult kids and taking them to WDW warms my heart! I hope we’ll still be worrying about Fast Passes when my kids are in their 20s!!