How to have a laid-back Disney World trip – PREP034

Want to plan a trip that is partially or entirely laid back? It is possible and I have tips today on how to manage touring, dining and more with a laid-back approach.

I also have a quick tip on the right order to make dining reservations in.

These are notes from this episode. There's much more info included in the audio so be sure to listen to the episode for a better explanation.

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A laid-back Disney World trip

  • When to go - avoid peak times surrounding U.S. holidays, lower crowd times are always going to make it easier to be laid back
  • Where to stay - choosing an Epcot-area resort or Magic Kingdom-area resort will make it easier to get to and from 1 or 2 of the parks
  • Make a daily plan - if you don't want to choose parks ahead of time, at least be sure to avoid parks with morning Extra Magic Hours and special events taking place
  • Making dining choices - to avoid having to make reservations ahead of time, rely on Quick Service restaurants and same-day Table Service reservations (many people cancel 24 hours ahead of time so new options will become available last minute)
  • Park touring
    • At Animal Kingdom, make FastPass+ reservations for Expedition Everest, Kilimanjaro Safaris and 1 other ride (such as Kali River Rapids or DINOSAUR). You can ride Expedition Everest multiple times by making use of the single rider line.
    • At Epcot, be sure to get a FastPass+ reservation for Soarin' and ride Test Track in the single rider line
    • For Hollywood Studios, I'd suggest getting FastPass+ for Toy Story Mania, Tower of Terror and Star Tours, and then riding Rock 'n' Roller Coaster in the single rider line
    • Magic Kingdom is the toughest one so I'd suggest spending at least 2 days there, making use of evening Extra Magic Hours and/or attending the Halloween or Christmas parties (some parties will be busy but most won't) to enjoy the shortest lines

Quick tip of the day

If you're getting online or calling 180 days in advance to make Advance Dining Reservations, make them in order of difficulty, not chronological order.

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Are you hoping for a laid-back trip? Do you have questions about how to implement some of these ideas? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

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I always pick up tips or ideas about things I didn’t know with your podcasts.. I did not know about the Sum of All Thrills! So excited to tell my daughter about.


Love the podcast. This is perfect for my family that doesn’t like to get up early or be on a schedule for vacation. Thanks for all the tips.


We are hoping that our trip in December can be a relaxed one. Not racing to the buses by 8 am would be nice some days! You mentioned the single rider lines. Is that something you are suggesting for everyone in your party? So, you all just stand behind in line together, knowing you must likely will not be seated near each other? We plan to go to MVMCP this year. From what I understand there are different activities that are going on, but you will still be able to ride certain rides and not have to miss out on… Read more »


Thank you! Using the single rider line can definitely help us have a “relaxed” trip this time!

Afton Rio

This is how I’m planning my trip in June for my husband and me. I have our difficult reservations made but leaving a lot open for spontaneity.


It seems everyone tells people to avoid the parks that have EMH, when you are visiting during a slow period it’s slow everywhere, there is no need to avoid the EMH parks. You can lay back and relax at any park, I travel several times a year during slow times, mainly weekdays, I do what I want when I want.

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