Maleficent flaming dragon from Festival of Fantasy parade

Not every Walt Disney World vacation needs months of planning. Maybe you find yourself in the fortunate position of having an extra day to play with on a business trip to Orlando. Maybe you’re a local who wants to surprise the kids or a Passholder with a day off. Whatever the reason, improvised Walt Disney World trips are a blast!

An unplanned, totally-unexpected Disney World visit is definitely a little different than the average week-long family vacation. It can help to go in with some clear expectations, as well as a few ideas how to maximize the fun. Here are 7 of our favorite tips to make the most of your next totally impromptu Walt Disney World visit… oh, and #4 holds a secret that can prove a game changer for any visitor.

1. Let go of the pressure

Girl from Modern Family and mother on Seven Dwarves Mine Train

Image: Disney

An improvised Walt Disney World visit should be an opportunity to cut loose and have fun. Walt Disney World vacations can sometimes carry a burden of stress, especially if your family has been saving for years just to make it happen. The best thing about totally-unplanned Disney days is that this stress can be cast off to the wind. Go into an impromptu Disney day with the realistic expectation that you aren’t going to be able to do everything, and you may have to adapt plans as you go.

There are all sorts of things that could affect your unplanned Walt Disney World visit. For example, if the day you get to go falls during Disney’s busy season, you may be limited in what experiences you can access. Dining reservations and Fastpasses may be hard to come by. If you visit shortly after a major expansion opens, expect some significant shifts in crowds compared the what you’re used to. The key is to just relax and go with the flow.

Let go of the pressure to have a perfect day. Go in with high hopes but realistic expectations. If something doesn’t work out, no worries—your unplanned Disney day was an unexpected blessing in the first place. Take your time and adjust as you go. This is an extremely liberating way to enjoy the parks if you’ve never gone without a strict plan.

2. Consider a theme for your day

Girls laughing while eating at Epcot Festival of the Arts

Image: Disney

As mentioned, you won’t be able to see everything in Walt Disney World in one day. Indeed, you likely won’t even be able to see everything in a single park in one day. With this in mind, it can help to pick a loose theme for your impromptu Disney visit. Unless your theme is “go wherever Tinkerbell takes me”, this can help ensure you leave feeling satisfied at the end of your day.

Love roller coasters? Focus on a tour of Disney’s top thrill rides, whatever long waits may be required. Are you a social media butterfly? Make capturing great photos a key part of your day. Is an Epcot festival taking place? Plan to spend your day touring food stands and trying mini-delicacies. You can plan a day focused just on one park or make park hopping your theme. Heck, you can even do a four-park tour if you don’t mind only hitting a few experiences per park. The sky is the limit! A theme will help narrow down your options so you don’t feel too scattered.


Add new comment

About Theme Park Tourist

Theme Park Tourist is one of the web’s leading sources of essential information and entertaining articles about theme parks in Orlando and beyond.

We are one of the world’s largest theme park guide sites, hosting detailed guides to more than 80 theme parks around the globe.

Find Out More About Us...

Plan Your Trip

Our theme park guides contain reviews and ratings of rides, restaurants and hotels at more than 80 theme parks worldwide.

You can even print them.

Start Planning Now...