By now, you’ve realized a trip to Disney takes an incredible amount of planning.  From deciding how you will get to Disney to your resort, from your park days to your meals, from attractions to how you are getting home, it’s an incredible operation just to go on vacation.  And while your Believe Vacations Agent is your best friend during these times, we can’t plan for delays, postponements or other hiccups in our schedules.  So what happens when it does not go the way you wanted it to go?  That leads us to today’s article/video…

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Welcome to Believe Vacations’ Weekly Post where today, we are going to offer advice on When Plans Go Wrong.  The Hollands from Houston, TX are back for another go at this because their last vacation was full of delays and interruptions.  What did they do? How did they handle it? What adjustments were made on the fly? They were very generous to share their stories and advice on a variety of topics.

What happens if…your arrival flight gets delayed?

The point we will emphasize the whole time is DON’T STRESS.  We love to fly in early and then go directly to the parks when we get there but we also know, delayed flights are inevitable these days.  We do our Genie+ selections before the flight if we have not taken off yet but if there is a delay, we will go ahead and adjust our Lightning Lane times.  Always build in wiggle room just in case.  Once you arrive in Orlando and you board your transportation vehicle, it’s a good half hour to 45-minute drive to your resort, then you have to drop off your luggage, then board transportation to the park, then get in the park, etc.  Give yourself plenty of time and don’t start the vacation stressed out.

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…your room is not ready when you get there?

DON’T STRESS!  Using the online check-in feature allows you to adjust your arrival time.  If you get there and it’s not ready, drop your luggage at bell services and you can head on to vacation. Go to the food court, explore your resort, go to the pool, go to Disney Springs.  It’s Disney!  There are plenty of things to do so you are not sitting and waiting for your room.

We don’t usually pack a “just in case” bag but our last trip was a situation where we should have a bag for situations like lost luggage.  Have the necessary items for health and hygiene and if you can pack some clothes for everyone, you’ll be prepared.

And don’t ever be afraid to go to the front desk and speak directly to a cast member.  Walk up, say hey, ask what’s going on and be polite.  They may look into the situation and get you in sooner and, no guarantees, but maybe a chance for some “pixie dust.”

…your rope drop ride is delayed?

We got to the park at 8:10 for an 8:30 early entry.  They opened the Tomorrowland side and were waiting on the bridge to go to Space Mountain and beat the crowds that would grow during the day.  We get to Space Mountain and it was delayed.  While everyone else went to Buzz Lightyear, we just decided to take our time and went over to Pirates of the Caribbean when it opened.  With kids, we would’ve hit so many more options closer to that side of the park.  But we would’ve been okay grabbing coffee and a donut and resetting the day. Don’t be intimidated by the visual of long lines in the mornings.  The queues inside have not filled up and the line will move very quickly.  Again, DON’T STRESS!

…it is raining all day?

You’re wet but you’re still at Disney! Bring a rain coat or a poncho instead of a a weather-resistant coat.  If you check the weather prior to your trip, bring extra shoes AND socks if you have the backpack space.  Crocs work well also.  And remember, just because the rain stops, the puddles last for a little and you’ll stay wet and miserable all day.

…your ride goes down during Genie+ return time?

This trip, it happened with Rise of the Resistance.  We went over, it was down and then we had options – wait for it to come back up or if it goes down during your window time, you can come back at any point during the day. We decided to make other selections and then use that at the very end of the day as our last attraction.  But that was the plan for everyone else.  So the queue for Lightning Lane was over an hour!  We got out of line and went to Guest Relations and they refunded our money we spent on it.

Another story is that a family member couldn’t do Space Mountain and couldn’t use their “anytime during the day return time” because they had to go to the airport.  So they went to Guest Services and received a refund as well.  So there are options but be mindful of how much time you have left in the parks and if you HAVE to delay, it’ll probably only grow in wait time the longer you wait to cash in on it.

…your departure flight gets delayed?

We do late flights home so we went into the park and then we left around 2pm. We went to the airport, checked in, went through security and the flight was delayed two hours.  We didn’t care to spend extra time in the airport so we checked on moving flights to the next day.  We found a flight, were able to find a value resort at Disney, ubered back and went back into the park for another hour! It was a gamble for sure and we wouldn’t recommend unless you can secure the new flight, lodging and already have park access for the day.  But we were able to get all those and had a much better night than sleeping in the airport.  Think about it – would you rather experience Splash Mountain and Space Mountain or stay and enjoy Gate C5 at the Orlando airport?!

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Final Advice

Pack extra clothes regardless.  We all pack extra socks and underwear but add 2 more outfits just in case.  You can always do laundry but usually that’s all packed up in a dirty clothes bag.  But shirts, shorts, socks, underwear and maybe those extra shoes.

Also, if anything goes wrong, talk to Cast Members. Don’t act frantic but a “concerned” voice about your situation will allow for possible opportunities for “pixie dust.”

Brian Pavlick

Brian Pavlick

Brian Pavlick is a husband and father residing in Maylene, AL. His love of Disney goes back to his early memories of watching the New Disney Channel on cable, occasional vacations to Orlando Florida and attending Disney Institute Management Training classes. He keeps up with Disney news and updates by reading numerous websites, experiencing attractions by watching YouTube videos and introducing his family to classic and timeless Disney movies, attractions and songs.