In a world where we are constantly glued to our phones, it can be difficult to notice that life still exists outside of our 5.5-inch screens. We’ve previously written about how to unplug at Walt Disney World, but to be honest, we haven’t been great at practicing what we preach. Guilty. Right here.
A Digital Detox at Walt Disney World
But I have to say it guys, we aren’t the only ones. All of you can’t seem to put that phone down either! Ok, so maybe not all of you, but most of you. How is it that you’re at the most magical place on Earth, with endless wonders to be seen, and rather than looking up and all around, instead our heads are all down at a screen? Time for a digital detox. And here’s why we think Walt Disney World is the perfect place for one. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about a full-on, throw-your-phone-into-the-ocean type of detox. We can start with baby steps here. But really, do you need it out all.the.time? Probably not.
Because a Disney Vacation is Worth Paying Attention To
On a recent trip, I had the unfortunate circumstance of not having my camera with me because it was being repaired. So I had to rely on my phone for taking pictures and trust me, after two days, I was over it. So I decided to put my phone away and only check it a few times during the day and honestly, it was amazing.
I realized how much I’ve really been missing on our trips. The fact that Planning a Disney vacation can take as long as planning a wedding, so why did you spend all of that time planning if you’re just going to be on your phone? Why did you spend all that money to just be on your phone? Your fast passes are set, your dining reservations have been planned, and if you’re staying on property your transportation is taken care of. What more do you need? Probably Instructions.
How to Use Your Phone Less on a Disney Vacation
- Read our tips for making sure your notifications are off, away messages set and people know you’re on vacation.
- Check your phone in the morning before getting to the parks to make sure you’ve done whatever you need to do ( posted to socials, addressed any important emails or work crisis, etc)
- Vow to keep that phone in your day bag until Lunch.
- Check your phone at Lunch but only if you NEED to.
- Vow to keep the phone in your bag the rest of the day. Not checking it again until you return to your room that night. Since we’re big advocates for no phones at dinner and watching all the evening things at Disney.. you don’t get a phone check-in at dinner. And it’s safer not to post social media in Live time while on vacation. So you can always share those amazing purple wall pics the following morning during your pre-park phone time.
With the introduction of the My Disney Experience app, it seems even more necessary than ever to be glued to your phone. But that’s entirely untrue. Look at the app in the morning, get a handle on your plans, and get on with your day. We’ve been doing Disney since before the app was created, so trust me when I say its possible. You can even have the concierge print off your itinerary if you want to be proactive. If you need to check the app here or there for wait times or if you forget when your fast pass is, check the app and put the phone away. No need to check email, social media, or texts from people crashing your vacation.
Because Your Life isn’t seen fully through a Lens
We are guilty(or rather I am guilty) of seeing most of Walt Disney World through a lens. I have a passion for photography and I always have. But at some point, do I really need 400 pictures of the Festival of Fantasy parade? Probably not. Grab a few great Disney Pictures, then put the camera down and enjoy what’s going on in the present and the reason that you came: your family, your friends, and the magic that is in the details everywhere. And guess what? You’re going to see and notice a heck of a lot more than you would if you were waiting for that perfect shot, or Instagramming the whole parade for your followers.With Disney Photopass becoming better all the time(hello portrait mode!), it’s super easy to leave the majority of the photo taking to them and not worry about horrible lighting or overexposure of your vacation photos.
How to use your camera less on a Disney Vacation
- Be aware of the lighting. I can’t tell you how many vacations seem to be filled with overexposed sunny skies or dark low contrast photos. If the weather isn’t cooperating, or the lighting is bad, you won’t want to use/share those photos anyway. In a picture-centric society, sometimes we just point and shoot out of habit. Be aware of the days when pictures may not turn out great. No sense in spending time on photos you won’t use.
- Share the photo responsibilities. Get the kids a cute camera so they can take meaningful photos. Even better, grab an Instax where the photos are limited since it’s print film!
Because You Don’t Really Need to be Anywhere Else
Since you are obviously a reader of our blog, of course, you have your Disney Resort chosen, your dining reservations made and you know what your transportation situation is. Walt Disney World is the perfect place for a digital detox because everything is already done. No need to search Pinterest for dinner ideas tonight and your friends on social media can wait to see your fab photos until you’ve returned to your hotel room later at night. Walt Disney World is already so overstimulating that you really don’t need one more thing to pay attention to!
Because Disney Makes it Easy to Forget the Outside World
Now, let’s be real for a minute here though. If you have a passion for photography, vlogging, blogging, or whatever it is that you like to do, we are by no means saying that you should just throw that to the wind! But setting some pre-planned digital detox time it will make a huge difference. I really don’t like working with harsh lighting in the middle of the day, so I will usually set that time aside to just enjoy the experience and put away my phone or camera.
Because you’ll want to remember this vacation
No one ever looks back at a Walt Disney World vacation, saying, “Wow I really wish I would have spent more time on my phone.” So try it out, even if it’s just for a day or a few hours! We promise you will notice more, appreciate more of those magical details and ultimately have a more genuine experience when you aren’t glued to your screens. Happy Detoxing!
Melanie Renee is a photographer, writer, designer and mom. Visiting Disney destinations since 2010, she is also an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. When she's not creating her next coffee recipe, or designing apparel at Polka Dot Pixie Shop, she's seeking beautiful sunsets and planning her next trip .