Monday, November 7, 2022

Disney FOMO - What To Do When You're Waiting For Your Next Trip


It probably shouldn't come as a surprise, but I spend a lot of time talking, thinking and writing about Disney.  That's why I started this blog, after all.  As I've always said, this blog represents my current life situation, which is someone who is not a local and can't visit the parks all the time, plus someone with a family of young (but getting older by the day) children.

As such, there is often a lag between Disney visits.  If it were up to me (as in, I was independently wealthy), I would be there ALL THE TIME.  At the very least, I would go regularly, even if I didn't spend most of my days there each week.  Things change and evolve at Disney all the time, and I'd like to be there to see these things play out in real time.

Of course, that's not the case in my life currently (though if you know anyone with a few million to burn, please let me know).  We've been very fortunate to be able to visit multiple times in the last few years.  We likely need to take a step back for now to gear up for our next trip, which seems so far away as I sit here today.

That, combined with the fact that I know at least three groups of people personally who went to Walt Disney World in recent weeks (with another one on the horizon next month) and I began to think about how that makes me feel.  Obviously I'm happy for them (no sarcasm - I think everyone should visit as often as they are able) but I also wish I was one of them.  It's a kind of Disney FOMO - what am I missing when I'm not there, and how come others get to see what I can't?

I suspect I'm not alone here - there are far more people who WISH they had a trip coming up than actually DO have a trip planned.  That's just the nature of the beast.  So what do you do when it seems like that tomorrow will never come?  I've had some experience with this, especially during the pandemic closure, so I'll share what I do to cope in these cases.

First, you can read Disney blogs.  You must be doing that already if you're seeing this!  But while I try to paint with a broad brush here and bring you current Disney parks news, I am not on the ground there all the time. That's why I visit other blogs, most notably Disney Tourist Blog, which I consider the gold standard for this type of thing.

By being in the parks all the time, blogs notice subtle changes that only Disney nerds would be interested in (present company included).  And things like crowd reports and park strategies are useful, even when you don't have a trip currently planned.  Understanding crowd patterns as they relate to time of year and weather, plus seeing how ride popularity ebbs and flows, are important nuggets when planning a trip.  If you don't have a trip until this time next year, seeing real world data from THIS year is valuable to how you approach that trip.

I also watch Disney "walk through" videos on YouTube.  The top of the line in this case is 4K WDW. There's no commentary in his videos, save for an occasional note on the screen.  They're just clear, high quality videos that explore all facets of each Disney park, along with the resorts.

My wife thinks I'm torturing myself when I watch these videos, because it just makes me want to be there. And there's some truth to that.  But more than that, it makes me FEEL like I'm there, which is a different thing.  This is a visual version of reading blogs - you can see for yourself what the crowds are like at any given time, and how wait times look for certain popular rides.  Plus you can do this from the comfort of your couch - the one thing you can't get out of them is how it feels to be walking around in ninety degree weather.

The best thing you can do when waiting for your next trip though is simply to plan one.  Even if it's a hypothetical trip, you can use the knowledge you've accumulated to put together a plan.  What would I do in a given week?  How do I incorporate early entry, after hours, holiday parties, etc into that week?  Do I have enough time scheduled for each park?

These are all good exercises to keep you on top of your game.  I think about what we did on our last trip and how we could improve that next time.  There is no perfect answer, but you should get "better" at planning the more often you do it.  Of course, you can also help your friends and family plan their trips too - you ARE the Disney expert in your family, right?

This post is largely tongue in cheek, though the suggestions are real - I do all of these things.  These are first world problems to have, of course.  But when your next trip seems so far away, you can try to keep Disney in your life regardless.  And soon enough, tomorrow will be here.

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