You got your room reservations seven months in advance, your dinner reservations 180 days ahead of time, and made your all your Fastpass+ reservations as far in advance as possible. Your daily itineraries were produced in triplicate and shared with every member of your party, and you downloaded apps to tell you exactly how long a wait to expect for every ride.
Unfortunately, despite your best laid plans, sometimes dumb luck can ruin even the most meticulously crafted Walt Disney World vacation plans.
1. Unexpected weather
Let’s start with the most obvious “dumb luck” concern: the weather. Some of us are stuck with the reality that we have kids… and our kids have vacations… and school vacation takes place during the summer … and summer in Florida is hot, wet, and stormy.
If you’re childless (or don’t really worry too much about pulling the kids out of school for a few days), you can attempt to schedule around the most likely weather hazards. You can avoid the hottest months of summer, and choose a date that doesn’t include hurricane season. But having cut summer and early fall out of your calculations – and, of course, the notoriously busy Spring Break season – you’re stuck with very few options. Winter, many savvy visitors’ favorite time of year, can be lovely… but then again, it can also be really cold as well! Few of us truly enjoy an outdoor stroll through Adventureland when the temperature is forty degrees and there’s a stiff breeze!
2. Unexpected guests
You probably already know that summer, Christmas, and Spring Break are among the busiest times of the year. And it’s possible to plan around those busy times. But all too often even the savviest visitors discover that the “off” week during which they’re visiting is also… MLB Spring Training Week! Marathon Week! Brazillian cheerleading competition day! And instead of the mellow, low key vacation you were expecting you find yourself in a massive crowd of unexpected visitors.
3. Room location
Yes, you can request a particular room. And yes, you can complain and moan if you don’t like the room you were given. But unless you are willing to actually throw another family out of their room because you don’t like the walk, the view, or the ambience, you may be stuck with the Disney version of pot luck. It’s certainly worth your while to ask for a transfer, and sometimes you’ll luck out and get one. But just as often you’ll wind up with at least a night or two staying in a space that isn’t up to your hopes and dreams, and (at least in your opinion) isn’t worth the money.
4. The chance to become a “star”
Lots of Disney attractions include opportunities for lucky individuals to be part of the action. The Indiana Jones stunt show is an excellent case in point as guests can actually become a part of the presentation. The Flights of Wonder show at the Animal Kingdom is another example where volunteers can come up on stage and interact with the animals. But how do you ensure that you’ll be chosen to become the star of the day? Sitting in the front row may help. Waving your hand wildly and leaping up and down may or may not attract the interest of the cast member in charge. When push comes to shove, though, it really is a matter of luck.