All holidays are exciting, but a trip to Walt Disney World can take that excitement to the next level for many, regardless if this is your first trip or if you have been before. However, with all this extra excitement come some extra stresses and worries over what many families from the UK & Ireland refer to as a ‘Big Holiday’. While it is accepted that some of these worries are normal, it is important to find ways to deal with them so they don’t ruin (or worse -put you off!) your Walt Disney World Holiday.
To help you keep your holiday stresses in check, I’ve run through a list of worries and concerns that I still work through each time we book a trip to Walt Disney World in the hopes that how I deal with and rationalise my worries can help you keep in control of yours! Of course, different issues will stress different people, and what worries me may not necessarily concern you; what is important to remember however, is that it is always important to find a way to deal with your concerns so that you can fully enjoy every moment of planning and then enjoying the magical moments of your holiday to Walt Disney World.
Can I afford it?
One of the first worrisome questions that will arise will be at the start of your planning process; is this holiday affordable? In reality, the only person able to answer this question is you. All the offers, help, tips and advice can help a great deal at helping you work out how much your trip will cost, but ultimately it is up to you to decide if this holiday will or will not put a strain on your finances. Personally, I feel that there is nothing worse than stresses and worries over finances, so I would urge you to err on the side of caution when budgeting in the cost of your holiday into your general finances; you’ll feel resentful of Disney before you even get there if you feel financially tight in the run up to it. There are many things you can do to ease worries over cost; consider putting the trip back a bit to allow more time to save up, or pick a cheaper hotel/flight/ticket package if you can’t change travel dates. It is also worth being aware of when general offers are released so that you can take advantage of any good deals – for the UK availability for the next year is released in March, which deals are generally released around April time, but this of course is subject to change.
Am I getting good value?
Once booked, may people spend some time continuing to price their holiday to try and figure out if the deal they got really was good value. I even know of some who can get quite obsessive about it and will become upset if they find a better offer elsewhere (and no, its not me!) While this may be a little extreme, many of us do have genuine worries about ensuring we’ve gotten the best deal for our money; after all a Disney Holiday is not cheap and it is understandable that we want our money to stretch as far as possible for us. To try and ease worries about value, try your best to not jump and book the first offer you see. Shop around, get a number of prices and do a bit of research into special offers. It is also worthwhile to remember that sometimes the best value holiday will not necessarily be the cheapest holiday, so it’s important to crunch some numbers and work out what you are getting for your money as sometimes spending an extra £50 per person may get you benefits worth much more than that! If you feel you may become obsessive over the value of your deal, my advice is to stop revisiting your holiday price once you have made the commitment and booked it as this should cut the stress out all together. I also feel it important to not judge someone else’s similar holiday; what works as good value for you may or may not work out the same for others so try not to compare your holiday with someone else’s.
What if my ESTA is rejected?
This is one of those silly worries absolutely every traveller will stress about at some stage. An ESTA the travel document which allows your entry into the United States, and the must be completed at least 72 hours before you travel. Even if you know you’ve no dubious history and (like in my case) you’ve had an ESTA approved before, you may still worry about that ‘what if’ scenario of you being denied entry to the US and your holiday being ruined. To combat this, I recommend applying for your ESTA reasonably well in advance (I do ours 3-6 months before travel) and that way even if the worst should happen, you still have plenty of time to apply for a full Visa or to make other arrangements. It is important to remember that if an ESTA is denied, a full Visa can be applied for, so it’s not really the end of the world. However, a Visa will be more costly so if you are dubious about whether or not your qualify for an ESTA try to keep some extra finances to be prepared for any eventuality. A number of websites are about to help you figure out your eligibility for an ESTA, but if in doubt, contact the US embassy for more information regarding your particular case.
Will I be able to fit everything in?
The big Walt Disney World worry; have I allowed enough time in my holiday to see and do everything? Everyone will have worries over fitting in everything that they want to see and do, and the reality is that this is one worry that can be dealt with quite quickly; unless you are going for the year, you won’t be able to see and do everything! The best thing you can do is make your peace with this early on and jump straight into researching the Theme Parks and what attractions and shows they all offer – this will allow you to make up a priority list of ‘must-dos’. You can then concentrate on making sure you get around everything on your ‘must-do’ list and content yourself with the fact that you’ll just have to make a return trip to see the rest! This can be a little more tricky the larger your travel party gets, but one simple way to keep everyone happy and to fit a little of what everyone wants to do in is the ‘Boss for a Day’ system. Each person gets control for a day of the holiday, giving them a little more say than others over where you go, what rides you do etc…Obviously total control won’t work so pick and choose different aspects to fit into this system to make it work for your party and to make sure no one has any worries about missing out on something they really want to do.
How do I keep my Kids safe?
Parents worldwide can loose sleep over this on the run-up to any holiday, and even more so at the thought of the packed Walt Disney World Theme Park. With rumours of child abductions and attempted abductions happening regularly at the Theme Parks, it is more than understandable that is worry is a true fear of parents everywhere. However, many rumours of abductions at Walt Disney World over the years have proved to be false, so please don’t let the thought of the worst-case happening stop your family from enjoying a truly magical holiday; the reality is they are as safe at Walt Disney World as they are should you decide to take them anywhere else. However, there are a few things you can do to help ease any worries and to prepare both you and your children for what to do in the case of a lost child. Familiarise your kids with Cast Members so they know who to turn to if they get lost, and encourage them to carry something with a contact number on it so they can reach you in these circumstances (you can find plenty of ID Kits available online). Just like any day out with children, do your best to keep an eye on them and, and follow your usual practices of keeping everyone in your party safe and aware of what to do in the event of becoming lost.