Using touring plans vs Free Range - When party is divided

Looking for advice on what to do when Dad (me) wants to use touring plans, and my Spouse (Wife) wants to just “do whatever we feel like”.
Some Background Info.
I have been to WDW over 30 plus times in my life
My wife has only been with me 3 times, BEFORE we had a child.
This will be our first trip back in 6 years.
It will be my 6 years old daughters FIRST trip!!! (I am a little excited :slight_smile:)
Its the second week of Aug.
Staying at the Dolphin.
My daughter and I are cool with getting up early, before Mom, and going to the park. Mom is cool sleeping in and meeting us.
We do NOT have park Hopper.
We are there for 7.5 days.

I am thinking that we use TPs in the AM, then do the “free range” thing in the afternoons, to keep everyone happy and maximize our time / rides.

Please let me know your thoughts or experiences.


I think that sounds like a good plan and a good way to “keep the peace”.

You can always look to pick up more FPs as the day goes on to minimize waiting in lines.

Our mornings are more structured, and our afternoons and evenings are where we go with the flow, let the kids take the lead.


We are headed there next month, too (8/15-28)

Touring plans will give you the most benefits in the morning, especially if you plan to rope drop. By the afternoon we are often tooling around seeing what additional fastpasses are available. If your wife is okay with missing some of the bigger rides because you won’t have fastpasses, then you could definitely plan that way.

You might want to have some backup touring plans for the later days of your trip in case she comes to see it your way :wink: My husband thought I was nuts with all of my plans for our first trip with kids but he quickly came to appreciate them!


Oh, you know I already have all 7.5 days TP out on my dashboard :slight_smile:


When you go a bunch, the strict TP definitely is less of a thing, but taking your DD on her first trip you sure want to make sure you’ve got a plan to cover the things she is going to want to see!

My whole family is on the TP bandwagon so not an issue with us, but last trip we scheduled our 2nd MK day as you did - there at RD, used a solid TP until lunch. Then we wandered, took whatever 4th and beyond FPP struck our fancy, played SOTMK.

Best day ever.

If you want to sell your DW on TPs overall, maybe you could take some time to watch wait times at rides on the app at various times/days/parks before you go. If she consistently sees that wait times really do grow and the parks don’t favor the non-planners, maybe she’ll see the value some more.


I can relate. Wife here - love the TPs, even when we typically travel during the lower peak times. My DH was not a TP believer. Our last trip was with two DDs (9 and 5). First trip in memory for the 9Yo, first trip ever for the 5Yo. We went in early November; I planned.

Day 3 I convince everyone to RD at Epcot for Soarin’. (for some reason we did not have FP. I can’t remember why.) I bribed the children with ice cream and the spouse with Starbucks to get up that early and off we went. Everyone complains - “it’s so early, it’s so hot, I hate waiting.” Walked right on Soarin’ then rode it again 45 minutes later with a minimum wait. My family is starting to see the light from the algorithm. :slight_smile:

Day 4 we go to AK. We stop at a character greeting spot. I casually mention that while yes, the wait is only 10 minutes, if we go do Ride A first which is a short walk away when we come back there will be no wait. My DH scoffs. We wait, meet Mickey and Minnie, go do Ride A, walk back - and guess what? No wait at the character greeting. My DH is impressed.

Day 5 we RD MK. My kids are fully on board now as is my DH. We walk on to 7DMT, then head over to BTMR where the 5Yo and the DH ride 5 times back to back in 30 minutes, just walking/ running around back on the ride. The 5yo is in heaven and to this day - 3 years later - proclaims that moment as one of the best days of her life. My DH is a changed man with respect to RD, TPs and the fine art of planning.

Sometimes family members need to see TPs and RDs firsthand to understand. You’ll wait at Disney, right, that’s a given. It’s how you wait and where you wait that makes the difference. And then having the extra time to do what you want.

We also spent a great afternoon at Epcot visiting all the countries with the girls and they loved it. No plan for that, it just happened and it’s a wonderful memory.

Good luck!


That does sound like the win-win solution. I am more like you and my husband is more like your wife, but he also doesn’t like waiting in lines and has seen the value of rope drop at our local theme park. Our older son prefers to not be scheduled and our younger son likes to get things done, but a lot depends on sleep, food, temperature, etc. My touring plans are more targeted for the morning, and then evenings have a lot of notes around “if we don’t do this, maybe check out xyz instead.” And we’re spending afternoons out of the parks, mostly.

This is our general vacation style, though, that mostly works for us – I do a ton of research and book a few key things that we sometimes have to cajole the kids into (but that are usually hits), have a bunch of other ideas that I’m willing to let go of if they don’t happen, and then we have time when we can play things by ear. Sometimes DH feels over-scheduled, sometimes I’m sad about things that didn’t happen, but mostly we have great adventures.

We’re also headed to WDW next month (8/22-29) and weather is the big variable that’s hard to plan around. I’m hoping that having our walking speed as very relaxed plus a few breaks means there’s enough flexibility in the touring plans that we can roll with whatever comes our way.