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  • On Nov 25, 2019
    Anne from MN Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    We will be going to WDW in Feb. for my daughter's Nationals Cheer Competition. Does anyone have experience as to how much time is generally spent at the competition and if there is time to visit the parks on competition days. Thanks.

    Welcome back to the Disney Parks Moms Panel, Anne!

    How exciting that your daughter will be able to compete in the sport she loves at the most magical cheer competition on Earth!  Although I'm a former cheer and dance mom myself, my daughters did not have the opportunity to compete at Walt Disney World Resort.  Fortunately, some wonderful young ladies in my neighborhood are some of the best cheerleaders in our state (World silver medalists!), and have competed at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex multiple times.  I chatted with them to give you an idea of what to expect.

    How much time you will have to enjoy the theme parks largely depends on the competition schedule.  A tentative schedule is usually released a couple of weeks in advance.  Teams compete from early morning until late into the evening.  Most coaches do not permit their athletes to go to the theme parks prior to their competition time.  With practice and warm-up time and awards, a large chunk of the day may be taken up by competition.  If your team competes early in the day, there may be time afterward to visit the theme parks.  If your daughter's team advances to the next round of competition, coaches may set a curfew so the team is well-rested and ready to compete.  As spectators, it is up to you if you intend to only watch your daughter's team and spend the remainder of the day enjoying the theme parks, or if you plan to stay for the entire session and awards.  Many parents felt it was better to plan time relaxing at the hotel pool or perhaps shopping at Disney Springs rather than visiting the theme parks on competition days as the competition itself can be very draining.  Some decided to tack on a few days at the beginning or end of the trip to visit the theme parks.

    I recommend having a conversation with your team's coaches about what the expectations are as far as being able to visit the theme parks and how much time you might have to spend with your daughter.  While some coaches bring teams just for fun, others are all business and competition takes priority over vacation.  For the cheerleaders I know, their schedule was completely full with team activities until the entire competition was over.

    The parents I spoke with also mentioned that it can be time consuming getting to and from the theme parks and the competition venue, and recommended Minnie Van service or a ride-share service such as Uber or Lyft.

    I hope that helps!  Please stop by the Moms Panel again with any additional questions you may have.  Good luck to your daughter and her team!

    Anne Marie
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Meet the Panelist: Anne Marie, Illinois

Hi everyone!  I'm Anne Marie from Illinois.  I love escaping our long Midwest winters with some fun in the sun at beautiful Walt Disney World Resort!  It seems our family of six is always on the go, and that is one reason why our Disney vacation memories are so special.  We get the opportunity to have fun while spending precious time together.  I enjoy helping family and friends plan their Disney vacations, and I'd love to help you plan yours too! Learn More About Anne Marie

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