7 Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Disney Vacation

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Walt Disney World is a magical destination for vacations, but if you don’t plan and prepare, it can be a disaster. These seven mistakes can ruin your Walt Disney World vacation if you aren’t careful.

resort check in desks, Disney's Art of Animation Resort, Walt Disney World

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Thinking You Can Just Show Up

A big mistake that many first-time visitors make when heading to Walt Disney World is that they don’t plan. Walt Disney World is not a destination where you can just show up without a general plan.

Take the time before your vacation to do some basic research. Learn what is offered at each of the four Disney Parks. By understanding which rides are located in each of the four parks, you will have an easier time navigating them once you arrive.

Having a plan doesn’t mean you need to have a laminated schedule. This isn’t realistic or helpful. Instead, do some basic digging and gather basic knowledge about Walt Disney World before you arrive. Doing so will have a big impact on the magic.

My Disney Experience

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Not Downloading My Disney Experience

My Disney Experience is the free app of Walt Disney World. It has become an essential part of a Walt Disney World vacation. Waiting to download the app until you arrive at Walt Disney World can cause more frustration than help.

There are a lot of features found within the My Disney Experience. If you don’t take the time to download it before your trip, you will find these features overwhelming instead of helpful. Instead, ensure you (and anyone with a phone) have the app downloaded before leaving on vacation.Take time to browse the app to see what is offered that will be helpful to your trip. From park hours to menus, the app has so much to offer. If you don’t look it over before you arrive, all that help is lost.

Disney Resort Mobile Order

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Not Using Mobile Order

One key feature within My Disney Experience is mobile ordering. This allows guests to order food from quick service locations throughout Walt Disney World via the app. If you don’t know or use this feature, you can waste valuable time waiting in line for food each meal.

Mobile ordering allows you to place your order via the app and select a return time. Doing this lets you skip the lines and quickly pick up your food via the unique mobile ordering windows.

Best days to visit magic kingdom

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Forgetting to Check Park Hours

Walt Disney World is constantly adjusting and changing park hours to meet the guests’ needs. It can ruin your day if you show up to Magic Kingdom, not realizing it has already been open for an hour.

Ensure you check evening hours with My Disney Experience or your resort TV. This will help you know when parks are opening, when early entry and extended evening hours are available, and when parks are closing.

Only double-checking park hours can save your day, causing you to miss park time.

nighttime, magic kingdom in the rain, reflections in the puddles

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Thinking it Won’t Rain

It doesn’t when you visit Walt Disney World; make sure you prepare for the weather. Disney is magical, but it cannot control the weather. Trips can be ruined if the weather is not prepared for beforehand.

This means ensuring you have rain gear for everyone, no matter what the weather app says. Rain clouds pop up suddenly at Walt Disney World; nothing slows down the magic more than being drenched and wet feet.

It isn’t just rain that can ruin a trip, though. Those elements can also ruin a trip if you aren’t prepared for the heat or the cold (yes, it does get chilly). Come prepared with the appropriate gear to help you navigate the elements.

genie looking shocked, genie plus error, cinderella castle in the background

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Not Understanding Genie+

Even if you don’t plan on using Genie+ or purchasing Individual Lightning Lanes during your Walt Disney World trip, it is crucial to understand them. You will quickly be frustrated if you show up at a park without understanding these features that can help you bypass long lines.

Take time to learn about what these features are and make an educated decision on whether they will be helpful to your travel party or not. Nothing can ruin a trip faster than watching others experience a ride while you wait and not understand why.

Disney family

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Not Being Flexible

A huge mistake that can quickly ruin a trip requires being more flexible. Although it is essential to have a general plan, it is also extremely important to be flexible within that plan.

The unexpected happens constantly at Walt Disney World; if you are rushing by, you will miss the extra magic. Allow yourself to slow down and enjoy the hidden magical experiences that will pop up throughout your trip.

It will be those special moments that you remember for years to come.

Those seven mistakes can ruin your Walt Disney World vacation if you aren’t aware of them. Take time to do some planning before you head to Walt Disney World. It will make your trip that much more magical.



About Jennifer Retzlaff

My name is Jennifer Retzlaff and I became a lifelong Disney fan during my first trip to Walt Disney World in 6th grade. From that moment, Disney became a big part of my life. I live in Iowa with my husband and two kids who are growing up too quickly for my liking. I started introducing my love for Disney early to my family with a Disney honeymoon and then trips when our youngest of 18 months. Since then, our family has been to Walt Disney World over five times and we continue to plan and dream for the next trip. I love the magic that Disney brings to people through the theme parks, cruises, adventures and movies they create. As a teacher, I try to bring that magic into my classroom to help kids believe that “If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It.” I recently reached a dream of mine as I joined Magic Vacation Planner as a personal travel advisor. With this team, I can now help others plan magical vacations. As a passionate writer, I also have my own blog at magicalvacationsbyjen which is also where you can follow me on instagram for trip reviews along with tips and tricks for your next magical vacation.