Planning for WDW Newbies

I am very excited about an upcoming girls’ trip to Walt Disney World this April and am knee deep in planning the details. As the resident Disney girl of the group, it is up to me to guide my relative-Disney newbies through a successful and fun-filled Disney weekend. My friends gave me full authority to plan at my will…and it has been stressing me out a bit! There is so much that I want them to see and experience and so little time (we will visit for 3 nights with 3 day tickets). I want to show them why I love Walt Disney World as much as I do, and have really been racking my brain to plan the “just right” trip for them. Here are some of the thoughts that I am trying to keep in mind while setting our plans:


  1. Prioritize!

As any Walt Disney World veteran knows, there is no way to see and do it all in a 3 day weekend. For this trip, it is going to be very important for me to prioritize! I spent some time thinking about the attractions, shows, and dining experiences that would really capture the spirit of the Walt Disney World that I love. There are bound to be tough decisions, but I am trying to keep in mind my objective. I want to give my friends a taste of Walt Disney World…the best taste, not necessarily the whole meal. I need to find the best cross section of classic attractions, thrills, enjoyable shows, and fantastic food to showcase Disney at its finest.

Since Festival of Fantasy is my favorite, it is high on my priority list
  1. Know your audience!

I am traveling with adults, which will definitely be a driving factor in my planning. My friends aren’t huge on thrill rides, and want to enjoy entertainment and dining as well. Knowing this about them will help me tailor our days to their tastes while still showing them all that WDW has to offer. If I were traveling with a family with small children, my focus would be much different, with lots of character interactions. Likewise, if I were planning for a family with teens, my planning would be centered around the top thrills of each park! Taking some time to understand what will be most important and enjoyable to your party can take your trip from good to amazing!

My thrill-averse friends might appreciate if I skipped my favorite attraction….
  1. Give them a break!

Sure, I am a crazy commando tour girl when I am in the parks, but that certainly doesn’t mean my friends will be! Make sure to give your traveling companions time to rest and simply relax. Many people will want some time to chill by the pool, so make sure to plan time for this as well. Most importantly, flexibility is going to be key for the most enjoyable trip. No one wants to be force-marched around the parks against their will! There is no better way to kill a trip than exhaustion, hunger, and blisters. So take it easy! Be flexible! Watch for cues that your party needs to eat or rest! They will greatly appreciate it and their memories of the trip will be that much more pleasant (and you may still be friends when you return home….).

Don’t forget to feed the troops!


  1. Don’t sweat the small stuff!

This one goes hand in hand with all of the other tips above. Sure, it will be hard to decide to leave out one of the nighttime spectaculars, but in the scheme of things, will that make or break a trip? No, it won’t. Your friends want to take a break and head back to the resort, but that means missing the Festival of Fantasy parade. You may be disappointed, but don’t forget…they will never know what they are missing. They can’t miss what they don’t know exists! Prioritizing, taking breaks, and being flexible will surely cause a Disney veteran to feel some anxiety since there is just so much they want to show their friends and family! However, the relaxed pace will help everyone, including the Disney vet, to have a more enjoyable time overall.



I am working very hard to keep these principles in mind while planning this special trip for my friends. I am hopeful that my vision for the long weekend will come to fruition and that they come away from it with an appreciation for the Walt Disney World that I love, as well as many treasured memories of friendship and fun! I will follow up next month to tell how our girls’ trip weekend turned out!



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