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8 Most Complicated Things to Navigate at Walt Disney World

Heading to Disney World soon? You’re probably more than ready to jump into the magic and have the time of your life. However, before you do, there are some things you may want to consider. You see, there are some things that are a little bit complicated to navigate during a trip to Disney World. This is especially true for Disney newbies, but can even be true for those who’ve visited in the past but can’t make it to the World often.

What’s the trick to navigating these tricky things efficiently and effectively? Knowing what you’re up against and learning the ropes before you head in. Lucky for you, we’ve got you covered. Below are the top 8 most complicated things to navigate during a Disney vacation, as well as some tips on how to handle them.

1. FastPass

The thing that tends to confuse people the very most in all of Disney World is the FastPass system. While this system is incredibly awesome and can save a ton of time, we have to admit that it is pretty complicated, especially considering you’re supposed to try to understand it while on vacation. The most important thing to understand about FastPass is that you want to make your reservations for the rides you’d like to experience that tend to have the longest lines. You’ll get three choices per day, and can reserve your choices 60 days before your arrival if you’re staying in a Disney hotel (30 days if not). That information will take care of the most important things; all other info is just gravy.

2. Tiered Attractions

As if the FastPass reservation system wasn’t confusing enough, Disney also decided to throw in tiered attractions. Basically what this means is that the most popular rides at some of the parks are put into a separate, higher tier than the rest. Guests are only allowed to have one FastPass at a time for these upper tier attractions, helping cut back on crowds and keep wait times manageable. The parks that are currently employing tiered systems are Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Epcot. Magic Kingdom does not have tiers.

3. Food Allergies

Food allergies are never fun to deal with, especially while on vacation. Many people with severe allergies fret over this as they plan their Disney vacations. However, the truth of the matter is that while food allergies are hard to navigate no matter where you go, they might actually be easier to accommodate in Disney World than any other vacation destination out there. This is because the chefs at Disney are very good about offering alternative food options to anyone with allergies, and carefully providing ingredient lists for every item they offer. Avoiding buffets will likely make your trip a bit easier if you are trying to work around food allergies. However, this isn’t absolutely necessary, and the chef will be just as helpful at a buffet as any other Disney restaurant.

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4. Scheduling

One of the worst things about a Disney World vacation is the fact that you’re working with a limited amount of time. This means attempting to squeeze possibly months of potential fun into a week or less. Of course, this is nearly impossible and often leads people to stress about their trip schedule. To avoid this stress, try to keep in mind that you’re in Disney World to have fun, not worry about what you won’t see. Leaving things undone just means you’ll have reason to go back again. Of course, this laid-back attitude doesn’t remove the need to go in with at least a loose plan, some FastPasses, and a few dining reservations. As far as those bits of scheduling go, the best option is to schedule whatever seems best to you and then go with the flow.

5. Choosing a Resort

Disney World has tons of awesome resort options, and waiting just off Disney property are dozens more hotels. How is a person ever supposed to choose from all of them? Well, for starters, we do highly recommend staying in a Disney hotel if at all possible. To narrow down your choices on Disney property, consider…

  • Your budget.
  • The number of people in your room.
  • The level of comfort you’re seeking.

This should narrow down your choices by quite a lot, leaving you with just a handful of suitable options. From there, choose the one with the theme you like best, or close your eyes and point to one. They all provide a great experience, and you really can’t go wrong with a Disney hotel.

6. Navigating the Parks

Knowing how big Disney World is, some people get a bit concerned about navigating the property. This is understandable, and navigating can be a bit tricky if you’ve never visited before. To avoid trouble with finding your way, be sure to download the My Disney Experience app, which includes a map. Paper maps are also available at the entrance of every park, and if you need help finding your way, you can always ask a Cast Member.

7. Finding a Viewing Area

Whether you want to watch the parade or the nightly fireworks, finding a good viewing area can be a frustrating experience if you don’t go in knowing what to expect. To avoid this frustration, know that you should arrive 30–60 minutes before the parade or show begins, or even earlier if you want a really good spot. Be prepared to camp out awhile by packing drinks and snacks, as well as towels to sit on.

8. Crowds

Finally, the most annoying thing to navigate in all of Disney World has to be the crowds. There simply isn’t a true slow season in the parks anymore, and people are everywhere you look. Long lines take forever to get through, and when the walkways become crowded, getting from point A to point B can seem impossible. Luckily, there are ways to avoid crowds to an extent. The best advice we can give is to visit during the fall and winter when there isn’t a holiday, and spend time in the parks early and late in the day. There are other tricks, but those are the most effective and easiest to implement.

About Chelsea Gonzales