Walt Disney World is a magical place. But too many guests make timing mistakes that cut into the magic. Here are twelve time wasters, and how to make your vacation as efficient as possible!
12. Too Many Bathroom Breaks
Stopping at every restroom you see will really cut into your touring time! In my family, when we make a restroom stop, everyone goes, just like when you’re on a road trip. That way, you can minimize how many stops you have to make. If you have a potty-training little one, this may be harder, but really try to minimize the bathroom breaks!
11. Debating Where to Eat
I’ve seen it a lot; a family arguing over where to eat. Generally, this applies to the quick service locations, where there are no reservations. Instead, look through the menus online with your family before you’re hungry while waiting in line for a bus/monorail/attraction. Use that downtime wisely to avoid “hangry” arguments later in the day.
10. Criss-crossing the Park
When making your Fastpass+ and dining reservations, consider where you will be in the park. For example, you probably don’t want to have Fastpasses for Turtle Talk with Crush, then Frozen Ever After, then Soarin, followed by a reservation at Biergarten. That’s a lot of walking! Keep the park layout in mind when making your plans to reduce needlessly criss-crossing the park.
9. Not Checking Wait Times
A tangent off of criss-crossing the park, don’t traipse across the park to see wait times for attractions. Instead, use the My Disney Experience app. The wait times listed on the app are the exact same as those posted at each attraction.
8. Not Making Dining Reservations
Don’t rely on walk-up tables being available. Make dining reservations ahead of time. You may still wait a little while to be seated, but it’s much better than waiting an hour or more for a table in a packed restaurant!
7. Unnecessary Fastpass+
Just because you can make a Fastpass for an attraction doesn’t mean it’s a good use of a Fastpass. Remember, you only get three to start with each day, so make them count. Before locking down a Fastpass, check out the current times for possible attractions. That will give you an idea of how popular an attraction is, thus whether it’s worth a Fastpass. Also keep weather in mind. Personally, I don’t make Fastpasses for Kali River Rapids or Splash Mountain during the winter months, just in case it’s too chilly to be that wet.
6. Too Much Park Hopping
I do love park hopping, but to a point. Traveling between the parks can take up to an hour. Doing that once isn’t so bad, but hopping back and forth all day really eats into your park time! Try to limit the hopping to once or twice a day.
5. Too Many Bags
Every bag you bring needs to be checked before entering the park. No, not every single person in your party needs a backpack. Streamline your park bags, and your security process, by limiting the number of backpacks you bring with you. That way you can get through security and into the parks faster!
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4. Deciding on Order at the Last Minute
When you walk into a quick service restaurant, pick up a menu to peruse while you wait in line. Don’t wait until you get up to the register to look at the menu. Instead, walk up to the Cast Member knowing what you want, to expedite your ordering process.
3. Eating at Peak Times
Speaking of quick service restaurants, they get quite crowded at peak meal times. You’ll wait in a longer line and have a harder time finding a table from 11:00am-1:00pm and from 5:00pm-7:00pm. Eat early or late to save yourself time in the quick service restaurants.
Many of the “big” shops in Walt Disney World have the same merchandise. You don’t need to look carefully through the Emporium and Mouse Gear, for example. Do wander through themed or attraction-specific shops, because you’ll find unique merchandise there.
1. Leaving Right After Fireworks
Immediately after the fireworks, in any park, will be a mass exodus. Lines for transportation to resorts or trams to the parking lot will be overwhelming. If you must leave right afterward, plan to watch fireworks near the exit (or in the case of Magic Kingdom, and Epcot, outside the park altogether). Otherwise hang around in the stores or ambiance while the crowds thin out. If there are evening Extra Magic Hours following the fireworks, even better!