Two of My Favorite Things

I’ve registered for RWA Nationals this summer in Orlando. Woot! I’ll be participating in the Literacy Book Signing event and the Indie Book Signing events.

RWA 2017

This year the conference is taking place at the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort.

If you’re like me, you’ve built in time before and/or after the conference to go play in the theme parks. I’m a former WDW cast member and annual passholder. There are a lot of blogs out there with opinions about how to make the most out of your trip at WDW. There are even several RWA authors who are blogging about what to do at WDW. Instead of repeating what they’re telling you (which is all good advice), I’m going to focus instead on what not to do.

Mickey Mouse

  1. Do not skimp on your homework. WDW is huge: There are 4 theme parks, 1 shopping district, and 27 resorts all on WDW property alone – each and every one packed with things to do and see. You cannot just wing-it unless you’re really familiar with the area.

  2. Do not try to do and see everything. Pick three or four things per day that are ¬†important to you or your family and plan to do just that. If you’re bringing kids, keep their ages in mind.

  3. Don’t forget your dining reservations. See above about homework. Decide where you’re going on each day and make your reservations now. Summer is a madhouse. You don’t want to be stuck in a fast food line when everyone is overheated, overtired, overhungry, and there are no seats available.

  4. Don’t undervalue the resort restaurants, even the ones not at the Swan & Dolphin. Some of the best/fun restaurants are not in the parks.

  5. Don’t stay all day in the parks. See above about overheated, overtired, and overhungry. Have fun in the morning, then have lunch, and go back to the hotel to cool off, or go to the pool or take a nap. You can still return to the parks in the evening when everyone is rested and the sun isn’t broiling you from above.

  6. Don’t forget your rain slickers/ponchos/umbrellas. Florida advertises itself as the Sunshine State, but it rains almost every day during the summer, usually in the afternoon (see above about afternoon naps).

  7. Don’t forget about Fast Passes. Since you will have a plan and know where you’re going when, if the rides you choose have Fast Passes, get them. This is especially important for rides such as Splash Mountain, Peter Pan’s Flight, It’s a Small World, Space Mountain, and Soarin’ Around the World.

  8. Don’t leave at the last minute, especially if you have reservations. I once took the WDW bus system from the Contemporary Resort to Disney Springs. The entire trip was one hour for a ride that would have taken maybe half that in my car — assuming I didn’t get lost or get stuck in traffic or behind an accident. Traffic and accidents happen, so plan for it before you rush out the door.

There are a lot of free resources out there where you can get accurate information and advice. I recommend AllEars.net, the forums at Passporter.com, and The Disney Food Blog.  With a little planning, you can have all of the fun in The World.

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