Using social media to plan a Disney vacation
Social media can be a useful resource to help you on your Disney trip. It can also be overwhelming. I’m involved in many Disney groups on Facebook, viewing people’s opinions on various resorts, restaurants and activities. Sorting through the thousands of opinions and recommendations can lead to frustration and confusion.
A key point to remember is that almost everything on social media is an opinion, including mine. Most people will have a couple of experiences at Disney, but will provide their opinion on everything as if it is fact based. I’ve worked at Disney, completed years of Disney Travel Industry training, stayed at all levels of resorts on property and also live within 3 miles of the magic! I experience Disney live and in-person 100+ times per year.
I suggest you use Social Media to increase your knowledge of what you may want to experience, but don’t plan the foundation of your trip on "people’s opinions".
Can you imagine having random people give you opinions on everything you and your family are doing for a week! 😊
The best thing to do is understand your “must do’s” for the trip. Do not ask people’s opinions on these, as they are your “must do’s”.
There are a series of key decisions which will truly drive your overall Disney vacation experience and these include:
What time of year do you visit? Each month brings different experiences, guest levels and promotions.
Do you stay on/off Disney property? If so, which property do you stay in? There are 30 on property resorts and 100+ off-property; each with advantages/disadvantages.
Which type/length of Park ticket do you purchase ? There are 3 (Base, Park-Hopper, Park-Hopper Plus) different kinds each with key features and advantages.
Should you include a Disney meal plan? There are 3 meal plan options and costs; your family’s dining preferences and requirements are critical.
How/when you schedule your Fast Passes, Restaurant & Show reservations. The time has long passed that you show up and “wing it” at Disney.
Your decisions on the above five items will determine 95+% of your family’s Disney experience and most of your total costs.
A qualified and experienced travel agent with extensive onsite Disney experience can guide you through these decisions based on your needs and interests. Most agents experience the most asked about experiences so they can offer opinion. By listening to your family's past experiences, travel agents can offer a better opinions to which activities are best suited for you and your family.
The best thing to research on social media are the individual experiences you aren’t sure about, but aggregate the responses and weigh the positive responses against the negative responses. Use it to get opinions on experiences that you are unsure about, maybe a dessert party or a certain restaurant. Look for feedback that may fit you and your family’s lifestyle and tastes. However, if you try to get opinions on everything from social media, you will inevitably get negative reviews that will make you second guess whether you want to do something or not.
Disney delivers an overall outstanding experience, certainly issues occur, but if you base your family’s trip on your personal needs and interests and make good fact based decisions (not based on social media decisions) on the five key criteria you will have a wonderful vacation.
Good Luck & Good Planning!