I Went to Disney World With 0 Plans, and It Made Me Question Everything I Know

Have you ever just awakened one morning and thought, “I think I’ll go to Disney World today?”

Mickey and Minnie Mouse

Okay, so maybe we ALL have thought that, but then reality sets in and we realize that a lot of planning has to go into a Disney World trip, and maybe it’s impossible to make an impromptu trip. Or maybe you WANT to go to Disney World, but you just don’t want to do all that planning. Believe it or not, you can go to Disney World without a plan, and we’re going to tell you how to do it.

We will first say that this is not something you’d probably want to do if you’re a first-timer at Disney World. However, if you’ve been to Disney World enough to know your way around and know what you want to do, you can do a zero-plan Disney World trip pretty easily. Here’s how.

Be flexible

Okay, so this might be obvious, if you visit Disney World without a plan, the key thing you can be is flexible. Be open to new experiences, rides you don’t normally ride, or even entertainment you might have missed previously. So many magical moments just pop up randomly in Disney World, so here’s your chance to roll with them and maybe experience something new.

You might see DiVine in Animal Kingdom

For example, you may catch Kevin roaming around Disney’s Animal Kingdom or stumble upon the Dapper Dans singing on Main Street, U.S.A. in Magic Kingdom. You may see a character out and about that you’ve never noticed before or you might see a ride with a super low wait time that you could ride quickly. Be open to whatever happens and run with it.

Try to go when crowds are lower

Although there really isn’t much of a slow season in Disney World, it’s easy to avoid the most crowded times in the parks. That means you don’t want to visit on a holiday, around the holiday season, or on holiday weekends.

Christmas Day crowds in Disney World

If you avoid those days, you should be able to easily navigate Disney World without little to no plan.

Make sure you have the right ticket

Make sure you have either a date-based ticket for Disney World or, if you’re an Annual Passholder, you’re visiting Disney World on a good-to-go day, meaning that you don’t have to make park pass reservations ahead of time.

EPCOT entrance

If you have another kind of ticket, though, you may still have to plan to make those reservations before you visit the parks. So make sure you have a ticket that does not require you to do that.

Use Walk-Up Waitlist for dining

No reservation? No problem! Although many of us make our reservations 60 days out for popular Disney World table service restaurants, you could still get into one of those restaurants on the day of your visit by using the Walk-Up Waitlist. Now, there’s no guarantee seats will be available, but if you check early enough, you might just score a table.

No reservation at Be Our Guest? Join the Walk-Up Waitlist

If you don’t want to bother, though, you could easily just dine at Disney World’s many quick service locations and use Mobile Order to order your food ahead of time (or not, if that’s still too much planning).

Buy Genie + (Or Don’t)

You will have to decide on whether you should buy Genie+ or not. This lets you bypass the long standby lines for rides and access the shorter Lightning Lanes, meaning you might be able to ride more rides than just by using standby lines. However, this does require a little planning.

Genie+ Lightning Lane

If you just want to truly wing it, though, you can always just focus on rides with shorter wait times (and keep an eye for wait times going down in the My Disney Experience app) and spend your time checking out parades, shows, nighttime fireworks, and many other entertainment options. You could also focus on meeting characters.

Booking a hotel

The one hiccup in winging it in Disney World could revolve around booking a hotel. Disney World hotels book up pretty quickly and it can be hard to get a room at the last minute. However, it doesn’t hurt to look to see what’s available, right?

Disney’s Pop Century Resort

If you can’t find something on Disney World property, though, you may be able to find a hotel that’s not owned by Disney with rooms available. Many of the hotels in the Disney Springs area come with some of the same perks as the Disney World hotels, so you could score a room last-minute there.

It’s not as much of a challenge to visit Disney World on the fly as you might think it is. It could also give you some different experiences from times you planned your trips out and you might even discover this is the only way you want to visit Disney World from now on. Hooray for spontaneity!

Check back with AllEars again soon for more.

BEWARE. The Last 5 Minutes of Park Time Are the Most Stressful in Disney World.

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Have you ever visited Disney World with little or no planning? How did it go? Let us know in the comments!

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4 Replies to “I Went to Disney World With 0 Plans, and It Made Me Question Everything I Know”

  1. We decided to go one morning and was able to get a room at Port Orleans for two nights and visit magic Kingdom and epcot. It all worked out perfectly

  2. We never go to Disneyworld with a plan. We know what we like, what we don’t, and each visit is its own experience. We do make dining reservations for the “must do” meals if we can get them. (Boma and tea at the GF) We once, years ago, sat in the car in a Downtown disney parking lot (that’s how long ago it was) and called the Beach Club and got a room for the night. We were traveling through from the beach. But I think those days of Disney freedom are gone.