Every day, Disney fans set out with the highest hopes and expectations for the best day ever, and every day someone ends up feeling like a Villain has taken control of their day.
Someone woke up at 9 when they wanted to rope drop at 8.
Another person lost their paper tickets before scanning them into the app.
Someone else misplaced their gift card with ALL their hard-earned Disney dollars for the trip.
It is unfortunate, but these things happen. Luckily, they only happen to the unprepared and never to Disney experts, right? WRONG!
Recently, I flew into the wrong airport. Yes, you read that right. This travel planner who NEVER botches a trip botched her own trip! The error cost me three precious hours of my eight-hour Date-Day with my husband at Disneyland! When I realized my mistake, I quickly worked to figure out how to recover from the time & money lost AND make the most out of my shortened trip. Was it everything I had hoped and dreamed of? Nope. Did I still manage to have a decent time? YES! Don’t get me wrong, the day wasn’t what I had hoped for BUT we made it work! When things don’t go as planned, you can still have a good time IF you allow yourself to.
Turning things around
First, let go of ALL those carefully made plans and expectations. Take a deep breath (or five) and let those expectations float away like an escaped Mickey balloon. Now, quickly think about three or four things that really matter to you today. Not tomorrow or for the rest of your trip. Just today. Maybe you want to experience Rise of the Resistance. Conquering all the Disney mountains in a day could be another achievable goal. Perhaps scoring a great spot for the parade or fireworks show is something you want to put on this list.
Whatever your top three or four things are, make those your focus for the day and think about the best way to get those things in. There is no magic formula to this since it will be a bit different for everyone. However, you now have a realistic starting place and an opportunity to move past an awful experience so that it doesn’t consume the rest of your day. It should sound something like this: “Even though ____ happened, we can still have a wonderful day doing _____.”
Next, think of a few smaller and easier to accomplish goals. Ideally, these would be things that don’t require much time or planning. Here are some ideas:
- Visit the Fortune Tellers of Disneyland or Shrunken Ned for inexpensive souvenirs.
- See how many Disney/Pixar characters you can find while riding It’s a Small World. Click here for a list.
- Race rubber duckies at Redwood Creek Challenge Trail.
- Take advantage of the single rider lines wherever they are available that day.
- Go take that group or solo pic you always want to do but never have time for.
- Grab your favorite treat or snack and enjoy it while people-watching.
Sometimes slowing down to enjoy the smaller details of the parks can add an unexpected touch of joy to your day, the trick is you must take a moment to really appreciate them. Savor that first handful of salty, buttery popcorn. Laugh about the powdered sugar all over your faces as you bite into your Mickey beignets. Ask a Photo Pass photographer to help you snap that classic castle pic or ask for suggestions for other fun locations and poses. Really try to be present as you enjoy these simpler things you love about the parks.
In short, when things don’t go as planned: Let go of previous expectations, set new goals, and be present to appreciate the things you do accomplish.
So Many Options!
Sometimes plans fall apart. That doesn’t mean we have to! Remember, a great Disney Day doesn’t come from checking off all the boxes on a lengthy list of to-dos. A great Disney Day comes from having fun with your family, friends, and even by yourself! Taking a moment to reprioritize your day and appreciate the little things can go a long way in turning around a less than magical experience.
If you want even more tips like this, reach out to me today. Together, we can design a magical vacation just for you. We can even plan ahead for any bumps you might encounter along the way! Contact me at MWalker@ConciEARS.com or hit the Chat button on the corner of your screen.