So here’s the thing,

Disney World has had a dramatic transformation in the last decade.
Not only have they provides us with so much more to experience but they have changed the way we engage in this experience.

This has made us Disney vets struggle to keep up with the times.

I’m an old school commando park tourer…ok the real old school may take umbrage with that. I started learning the ins and outs of the park about 15 years ago on a large multi-generational family trip.

I was 17. Had cousins, aunts, uncles, parents, grand parents and all of us showed up at the park with absolutely no plan.

The adults did, what I now consider so shameful, the thing where they got to the middle of the park, opened up their maps and asked the question: so what do we do now?

I quickly realized then that Disney is not the park to oh so casually engage with.

I took the younger broods and as the dashing call to action leader, some would say hero, that I was, I rallied us youngins and quickly learned about and mastered the paper fast pass system.

Some would say I saved that trip. That without my valiant efforts that trip would have been unsalvageable.

I don’t know about that.
I just did what any person would have done in such a dire situation.

But I decided, after that fateful trip, that never again would I ever embark on a trip to the Kingdom so unprepared.

I then downloaded the first ever podcast that I listened to and discovered both the dis podcast and boards and became an uber plan for subsequent trips.

All this unnecessarily long preamble aside…..

Disney is now a new beast.
The old tricks are not nearly as useful.

My goal is to experience the parks with as little crowds and wait times as possible.

I accomplished this by :
1. Researching quietest time of the year and then pulling my kids out of school to visit then.
2. Researching crowd calendars to visit the quietest park each day of the week.
3. Arriving early before rope drop to beat the lazy people who have the audacity to attempt to relax and sleep in on their vacation.
4. Creating a good tour plan of the park to best efficiently ride each ride and in what order on each day.
5. Mastering Fast Pass.

This worked wonders and I was able to scoff all those mere peasants waiting in their long lines.
But I fear that I too may becoming that same lowly plebian :(.

Disney has managed to make much of those earlier tricks no longer nearly as useful as they once were.

1. They have managed to evenly disperse the crowds throughout the year that there very well may no longer be a quiet time of the year. They have done this with discounts, promotions, and ever increasingly longer events (how is the halloween party going on during my early sept trip?).
2. Crowd Calendars are becoming so unreliable that some experts have given up even offering them.
3. Arriving early is probably still the best trick but the rides are getting extended waits earlier and earlier in the day now.
4 and 5. A good touring plan is also still going to be effective but again not nearly as much as it once was. Since all the amateurs and their mothers seem to be tech savvy everyone seems to know how fast pass works and therefore all of the stand by times of attractions have increased significantly. It used to be easy. Get 3 fast passes for high demand rides, then in morning ride the other popular rides you dont have fast passes for, spend the afternoon and evening using those 3 fast passes and riding the less popular rides.
But the less popular rides now have hour waits at times when it used to have none! I’m looking at you Pirates and Small World.

So what are we to do?

Are we going to just accept this new normal where Disney allows for all of its park guests to have the same equal experience?

I’ve read many a thread now a days where people just say to take it easy. Be less commando and just enjoy your trip.

I have one thing to say to these people:

When was it that your will to live died?

When did you decide to just lay down and give up?

And shame on you!

We are the elite Disney vacationers that will not settle for a trip that does not absolutely include Le Cellulier, Royal Table, and Fast Passes to Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Frozen, and both Pandora attractions. And darnit I expect to have all of that on the same day! Otherwise yes my trip will be ruined!
I can rest and sleep when i’m dead darnit!

So I now implore you fellow Disers. What are the tricks of the trade of the new Elites to better tour the parks?

Got a good firework spot? I want to know it.
Got a good touring plan. Stop being greedy. Share this.
Is there a quiet time?

Whatever you got lets start sharing and claim the parks as our own once again.

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