12 Walt Disney World Experiences You’ll Regret NOT Doing

Mickey Ice Cream Bar
Credit: Disney Dining

A Walt Disney World vacation is a magical experience. But what if you got home only to realize you missed out on some of the magic? You’d feel pretty silly, wouldn’t you? Here are twelve experiences you’ll regret missing once you get home.


12. Not Getting There Early

The parks are generally the least crowded in the first hour of operation. Why? Because most people like to sleep in on vacation. But if you can get up and at ‘em, you’ll be rewarded with short lines for rides, bathrooms, and snacks! Try to arrive at 20 minutes before the park opens, just in case the park opens a few minutes early!

11. Not Taking An Iconic Picture

Did you even go to Walt Disney World if you didn’t get a family picture in front of Cinderella Castle? It might seem overdone, but you’ll cherish these family pictures for years to come.

10. Not Using Fastpass+

Reserve up to three Fastpasses per day before your vacation to ensure you get to ride your must-dos with minimal wait. Guests staying on-property can make Fastpass+ reservations 60 days before check-in, while off-property guests can make them 30 days ahead of time. Either way, choose Fastpass+ times online or via the My Disney Experience app.

9. Not Making Advanced Dining Reservations

Everyone can make dining reservations 180 days ahead of time. Many restaurants, like Be Our Guest, Cinderella’s Royal Table, and California Grill, are virtually impossible to get into without a reservation. Make your reservations ASAP to give yourself the best chance of scoring the restaurants and meal times you want.

8. Not Eating A Classic Disney Snack

Classic Disney park foods like churros, Mickey ice cream bars, turkey legs, or Dole Whips round out a Walt Disney World vacation and make for great traditions. For example, I always get ice cream right before the Festival of Fantasy parade.

7. Not Staying For Nighttime Shows

The various nighttime spectaculars in the parks act as a finishing touch to your park day. With the addition of Rivers of Light, there’s now a nighttime spectacular in each park. Take a midday nap if you’re worried about staying awake for the shows, because they’re so worth it!

6. Not Going To Extra Magic Hours

Really, who wouldn’t want more time in the parks? Extra Magic Hours is when a park either opens early or stays open late, just for on-property guests. You’d be foolish not to take advantage of this perk!

5. Not Using Photopass

Get the whole family in the picture with the Photopass photographers stationed around the park. If you’re an Annual Passholder, Memory Maker is included in your ticket. Otherwise, order Memory Maker to take advantage of those photographers, plus all the ride photos. Or, just ask (nicely) for the Photopass photographers to take a picture with your camera.

4. Not Using Rider Switch

Have multiple kids with vastly different ride interests/availability? In comes Rider Switch. Rider Switch allows Johnny to ride Expedition Everest with Mom while Dad stays with baby Ella. Then, Johnny and Dad can get in the Fastpass line and Johnny gets to ride it again, while Mom and Ella wait. See? This way, both parents get to ride with the big kids. Ask a Cast Member stationed at the attraction about Rider Switch.

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3. Not Riding Magical Express

Disney’s Magical Express picks up guests at Orlando International Airport and drops them off at their Disney resort. It will gather your checked luggage and bring it to your resort. And then takes guests back to the airport at the end of their stay. Sounds great, right? Did I mention it’s FREE? Simply sign up after making your flight and hotel reservations. Disney will send you Magical Express specific luggage tags that you’ll need to participate in the luggage service.

2. Not Meeting Characters

Meeting beloved characters in an integral part of a Walt Disney World vacation. You can get Fastpasses for most character meetings, and also meet a ton of them at various Character meals. So there’s no excuse to not get at least a couple character hugs!

1. Not Getting A Souvenir

I’m not suggesting you blow your vacation budget on souvenirs. But it’s always nice to have a little something to remind you of your vacation. Whether it’s a magnet, a keychain, an ornament, or a hat, a small souvenir will keep putting a smile on your face long after you return home!

There you have it! If you stick to these tips, you’re sure to avoid any Walt Disney World remorse!

About Robin Swanson

Robin’s Disney journey began with Beauty and the Beast bedsheets, a Jasmine dress up set, and a purring Nala plush. As a child in the 1990s, the renaissance and classic animations alike captivated her imagination. In 2008, Robin visited Walt Disney World for the first time, and the obsession really took hold. Since then, Robin has enjoyed visiting the Happiest Place on Earth many more times. She lives in the Chicago suburbs where she is wrapping up a Masters in writing. When not at Disney World, Robin enjoys researching fairytales, eating ice cream, Netflix binging, reading and, of course, planning the next Walt Disney World vacation!