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Top 10 Worst Walt Disney World First Timer Mistakes

10. Arriving late and leaving early

One of the biggest mistakes that first timers make is that they don’t use their time at Walt Disney World efficiently. It’s very easy to sleep in and take your time getting breakfast, but getting to the parks for opening will let you get into lines quicker before they fill up. At the same time, leaving the parks earlier will cause you to miss out on when the parks empty out later in the evening.

9. Leaving post-fireworks

Along with the same point as number 10, most of the crowds leave Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios after their respective nighttime shows. The mass exodus of people causes a backup to the front of the parks, often meaning waiting for over an hour for the monorail, buses and trams. Also because the crowds leaving, the last few hours of the parks are almost nearly empty. Lines that are normally over an hour shorten to even fifteen minutes sometimes, making this an ideal time to stay in the park, rather than to follow the herd out.

8. Going during peak times

While it’s easier to plan a trip over a school vacation or during the summer, those are also the busiest times of the year. The parks are often at capacity and everything has long waits, and even the water parks can get busy. Going to Walt Disney World during the off season is normally very quiet, and makes for a more enjoyable trip. Even with kids in school, avoiding things like the 4th of July, but still going in the summer will be helpful.

7. Ignoring water parks and Disney Springs

Often your first time visiting. the excitement of the parks will cause you to miss out on a lot of what Walt Disney World has to offer. Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach are a lot of fun, and great on a hot day in Florida. Likewise, Disney Springs is packed with entertainment and shopping that you can spend hours enjoying yourself at a show, shopping in many stores exclusive to Disney Springs, or eating at great restaurants.

6. FastPasses on shows and parades

When planning out your Disney trip, you have the option to book FastPasses for attractions. A mistake you can make is choosing some shows or parades as your FastPasses. When you choose a FastPass for a show, you do not get any real benefit; and when you choose a FastPass for a parade you do get a designated area to watch but it is often just as crowded if not more than other areas to watch. When you’re choosing FastPasses, your best bet is to use them only for rides.

5. Dragging hungry or tired kids around all day without taking a break

When going to the parks especially with kids, it’s very easy to tire them out. Often this leads to kids getting crabby and overall a less enjoyable and magical experience. Your best bet is to arrive early, stay for a few hours, and take a break. Going back to the hotel for an hour or two to nap will make a world of a difference. After that, you are rested and ready to spend the rest of the day at the parks.

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4. Not bringing proper attire and protection from the weather

Something that easily gets overlooked even before you arrive at Walt Disney World is proper protection from the heat and the sun. don’t forget to bring sunscreen, sunglasses, hats, and plenty of water. Florida, especially if you go in the summer can get very hot, and it also rains almost every day, so be sure to bring a light raincoat or ponchos as well.

3. Buying the wrong tickets

When buying your tickets be sure to get the tickets that will you will actually use. Many first timers will buy a park hopper thinking they will go to many parks in a day, but will end up not switching parks enough to justify paying for the extra option. Similarly, Guests will buy the Water Park Fun and More option for their base tickets, but not visit them enough to make up for what they already paid for. The best advice i can give is to buy a base ticket and add on other options such as Park Hopper or Water Park Fun and More as you see fit.

2. Not making dinner reservations at popular restaurants

Walt Disney World has some of the best restaurants, but they can be very popular, often completely booked or you will have to wait hours for a table. The best way to combat this is to make reservations. You can make reservations as early as 180 days in advance, which is especially helpful for restaurants like Le Cellier and Be Our Guest, which are normally very busy.

1. Not doing your research

The biggest mistake a first timer can make is that they simply don’t plan. Many guests will try to “wing it” but will simply not work. Having a pre-made plan will make your trip simpler and easier, and will save from a lot of headaches. It is also helps to look up when attractions are under refurbishment and park opening and closing times. Nothing ruins the magic more than getting to the parks and your favorite attraction is closed.

About Chaz Saldi

Charles Saldi is a Disney College Program alumnus, who worked on Main Street USA in Custodial during the spring 2015 program. He is currently pursuing his Bachelor of Arts degree in History while residing in the New England area. In addition to being a lover of all things Disney, he is also the Social Media Manager for BrittanyEarnsHerEars.com, a blog devoted to documenting personal experiences about the college program by author Brittany DiCologero, and other program alumni.