5 Foolproof Disney Planning Tips To Soothe an Anxious Mind

Raise your hand if you’re an anxious mess. 🙋‍♀️

The face of a very anxious gal nearly 24/7

I’ve talked before about how I struggle with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and as much as Disney magic can solve a lot of things, it unfortunately can’t change the chemical makeup of my brain that causes this excessive anxiety. And I know it’s not just me — some other members of our team struggle with anxiety, and we know a lot of you do too. So if you’re prone to anxiety, here are some planning tips to help soothe you before you even start your trip!

The members of the AllEars team are not medical or mental health professionals, but these are a few things we do before heading to the parks! Anxiety disorders are real and can certainly affect your trip, so if you believe you may be dealing with one, you may want to visit a counselor or other professional.

Look Up Menus Ahead of Time

Whether it’s because you get anxious because of talking to the waitstaff, you get overwhelmed with choices, or you have the tastebuds of a picky 5-year-old and are afraid you won’t find anything on the menu that you like, looking up restaurant menus ahead of time is a HUGE help.

Be Our Guest

If you know your group has a table service reservation, or you’re planning to grab something at a quick service spot, you can check out the restaurant’s menu on the My Disney Experience App or the Disney World website (or our website, we have them too!) to get a feel for what you’d like to order. This way, you’re not paralyzed by indecision and can even practice what you’re going to say ahead of time!

Make a Packing List

It doesn’t matter if you’re going for a day trip or a 2-week long trip, your anxious brain will CONVINCE you that you forgot something essential at home, which is why creating a packing list will give you something physical to look at and quiet that voice.

Target Suitcases

I personally suggest making this list at least a week before you leave, that way you can add and take things off as you think of them before and while you’re ACTUALLY packing. You can be as detailed or as vague as you want, but making one will definitely help when you’re panicking you forgot your sunscreen, but then you can see that you checked it off!

Get the Lay of the Land

Not only do you have access to digital maps of all the Disney World parks, but you also have access to our videos, which can show you where EVERY single thing is around each Disney World park!

Don’t wait to get to the parks to look at the map

Getting this lay of the land can be super helpful for your brain when you’ve made a list of the top 3-5 things you’d like to experience in each park and on each day of your trip. You can know exactly where those things are before you even step into the park. Pre-planning is everything!

Always Keep Water and a Snack With You

Dehydration and hunger may negatively impact anxiety (speaking from FAR too much personal experience here, it’s a constant battle), so when you’re in the parks, we recommend having water and some type of snack with you at all times.

A good water bottle is essential!

In my case, my anxiety will block my hunger cues sometimes, and then by the time it does register, I need food RIGHT NOW so it doesn’t get worse. If I have a snack with me, this isn’t a problem, but if I’m in line and can’t get something, I’m about to be in for a rough ride. Bottom line, bring a bag big enough to carry some snacks and your water with you!

Here’s what we pack in our everyday park bags!

Keep Up With AllEars!

Shameless self-plug here, but we genuinely have reporters in the parks every day who report what’s happening back to us, the writers and editors who get that information out to you all. And then we have the incredible YouTube team that films, edits, and uploads the videos that are both entertaining and informational.

The AllEars YouTube Team

This means that if it’s happening in the parks, we know about it! We get important news out to you as fast as we can so you can be prepared for your next trip. Because things do happen unexpectedly — rides close during the day, refurbishments are planned quickly, etc. While our website and videos are a great way to keep up with the news, you can also sign up for our newsletter to get the news ASAP!

Sign up for our newsletter!

If you’re ever looking for quick information on ANYTHING in Disney World, you can also Google search the name of the restaurant/attraction/park followed by “allears” and it’ll pull up the whole tag we have with it. This will give you any of the most recent news about that specific Disney World attraction in one place, so you can check for any recent changes.

Magic Kingdom

So be sure to stay tuned to AllEars for all the latest tips, tricks, and news!

I have social anxiety and I avoid these Disney World restaurants at all costs!

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What else would you add to this list to help with anxiety? Tell us in the comments!

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