It’s that dreaded time of year again: the blackout months.
For Disney Annual Passholders with Silver or Weekday Select passes, June marks the beginning of an annual two month Disney famine, at least when it comes to getting into the parks. While this may not affect DVC passholders who live abroad, for Florida residents who’ve been taking advantage of regular off-the-cuff Disney excursions, the switch to summertime can prove a depressing one.
Finding yourself with a serious case of the blackout blues? Resist the temptation to upgrade your pass. Here’s a few tips to make the time fly—or at least keep your sanity until August arrives…
1. Find solace in crowd calendars (and air conditioning)
Silver and Weekday Select passes have a special appeal for introverts and guests who don’t like massive crowds. Blackout dates generally are the most insanely busy times to visit the parks. While June is unpredictable (but still busy), July is a famously miserable time for the unprepared to brave a Disney trip. A quick look at a crowd calendar like the one updated regularly at TouringPlans.com can give you some encouragement as to what you’re missing.
Namely long waits, surly tourists, and blistering heat waves.
There’s a reason many seasoned park visitors avoid Disney during the summer time. Even if you arrive at opening gate, lines are bound to be longer in June and especially in July. For attractions with outdoor queues, Florida’s impressively sticky heat can sap the energy out of any family or even send visitors scrambling to find First Aid when heat exhaustion kicks in. The increased tension can make kids antsy, and it’s an unfortunate truth that the added stress brings out the cringeworthy habits in many adult visitors. With the parks packed near to capacity, it’s almost impossible to avoid unpleasant encounters with at least some guests.
All in all, remember that during the blackout months, you’re not missing the normal serene experience of visiting the parks on a quiet weekday. So long as the summer holds, here there be dragons…
2. Get your scrapbooking on
While there are plenty of constructive ways to pass the time during the summer months, if you’re looking for a project to feed your Disney fix, scrapbooking might be just the hobby for you. Turn that bursting box of old ticket stubs, celebration buttons, and other Disney mementos into an artful masterpiece. It’s also a great opportunity to print your best pictures, ensuring you have a physical backup should Skynet fall upon us and obliterate all your digital memories.
You don’t have to be Martha Stewart or a Pin(terest)head to put together a decent scrapbook. If you have the budget, get a decent binder and some scrapbook pages that appeal to you. You can even find Disney specific ones. Start simple, like pasting photos into collage templates. You can add mementos for embellishment later. Thrift stores are also great hubs to find odds and ends to dress up your book. When the time arrives for your next trip, you’ll have treasured storage of memories your family can add to for years to come.
3. Enjoy a good web freefall session
Guidebooks used to be the best Disney fanatics could do to feed their vacation blues in between trips. With the explosion of travel guides on the web, one could easily fill hours picking up tips, chatting with other Disney superfans, and learning park history online.
While the best medicine for the Disney blues is some sunshine and fresh air, if you’re really looking for a Disney fix, have a web freefall session. Start on a site or article you particularly enjoy (ahem… perhaps, Theme Park Tourist?) and just see where link-hopping takes you. Learn about the latest park news, trip hacks, and even brush up on your nostalgia. Your next trip will be enriched by the extra knowledge!