How To Avoid These 7 Walt Disney World Vacation Mistakes

Art of Animation Lion King Rooms Simba 2
Credit: Disney Dining

We have all made mistakes in planning vacations for a variety of reasons. While none of these will completely ruin your Walt Disney World vacation, if you avoid them, it will help to bring your vacation out of the arena of commonly made mistakes. The truly most common mistake is in doing absolutely no research at all before arriving at Walt Disney World. Since you are reading this, I am guessing you are not in that category.

7. Try not to make FastPass+ reservations for outside attractions during the afternoon in Summer. Summer is the rainy season here and we often have thunderstorms in the afternoon. They may not last long, but the possibility that they are going to occur are quite high. If there is lightning in the area, then the outdoor attractions will close, until there is no more danger from the weather.

6. There are days at Walt Disney World that are historically very crowded and expected to close due to reaching capacity. On these days you want to enter the park as early as possible and plan not to leave. Many people get in early in the day and decide to go back to the resort to have lunch or dinner to enjoy a less crowded meal, but then when they try to reenter the park they find out it has been closed due to reaching capacity.

5. Even though you are on vacation, keep your brain engaged. Don’t decide you don’t have to read anything or listen to anything because you are on vacation. These attractions have guidelines that are important for you to listen to and follow. You may have heard of a Guest who ignored the Cast Member’s direction to “keep your hands and arms inside the boat at all times” which we have seen and heard at theme parks everywhere, right? Yet, this Guest dangled his hand down outside the boat and was injured. Everything the Cast Member tells you has value to it, pay attention. Keep your party together. Know how many are in your party before you get to where you board the attraction vehicle.

4. Magic has it’s limits. It does rain here, there are grumpy people here, there are selfish people. Wherever there are other human beings things are not guaranteed to go perfectly. Walt Disney World has been dubbed “Where Dreams Come True” and I think that can be true. You can purchase a vacation that insulates you from most of the other people in attendance here, or you can come in ready to roll with the way things are and decide you are going to have a great time anyway. Come with a realistic outlook and be kind to others, most of them will return that kindness here.

3. Stay on Walt Disney World property. The experience is so different when you are immersed in Walt Disney World. My family has found that the times we spent our vacation at a Disney resort was way better than off property. Staying off property also requires getting more gas to drive into and out of the parks, time spent on the roads, and the money saved was not worth that extra cost and time. Another perk of staying on property is Extra Magic Hours that is offered to resort guests only to enter a specific park one hour earlier than everyone else or stay one hours later than everyone else in the parks. You can get a lot of ground covered that first hour ahead of everybody else and it is fun staying in the parks until the wee hours of the morning. Disney resort guests also have free transportation throughout the parks, resorts, Disney Springs, and the Water Parks. You get complimentary Magic Bands, the ability to make purchases with your Magic Bands, pay for meals, etc. with them. The resorts are charming and wonderfully themed. They transport you to places like old New Orleans, the Caribbean, or a great wooden lodge in a National Park out west. You can see Safari animals from your bedroom windows, or a slide down a Volcano into a pool. The experiences offered at the Disney resorts add so much to what you expected from a vacation.

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2. You may not need a FastPass+ before 10:30AM. Head straight for your favorite attraction right after park opening and you will be able to ride it, and probably a couple more, before you need a FP+. Don’t waste a FP+ on the early morning times if it’s a possibility to just go there and enjoy it. There are exceptions to this of course!

1. Failing to research Disney restaurants and making reservations is a big first-timer mistake. The food is not your ordinary theme park food. Go on the Walt Disney World official site and look at the menus for the restaurants you are considering. There are a few good reasons for doing this. 1. You need to see the prices; 2. You need to see if there is something on that menu that everyone in your party will want to order. It doesn’t matter how good the food is if it is something you don’t enjoy eating. There are good restaurants here and there are really great ones, don’t you want to know which is which? You can even take this to the point that you know what everyone in your family will order off the menu so you can accurately calculate how much money you will need to bring. You will know if you want to bring food to eat in your room in the mornings while you are getting ready and plan on eating lunch or dinner in the parks/resorts. There is no downside to doing some research, especially on the food that is available.

Talk to your party and get a sense of what they all hope this vacation to be, what attractions they would like to visit, what kinds of food would they like to eat? Do you want to purchase the Disney Dining Plan or maybe postpone the trip for a week when they will be offering free Dining plans? No one person can answer all of these questions, each person needs to be responsible for looking at the Disney site and give some of their personal answers to these questions. With just a little work your vacation will be even better!

About Cassie

Cassie L. I am a lifelong Disney fan. I attended Walt Disney World in 1971, and was there during the opening week of EPCOT, and have visited the Disney Parks for than 30 times. I have had the privilege of visiting Disneyland as a child, and then again with my children. My family recently moved from the northeastern United States to the Walt Disney World area. I now have cast members in my family and enjoy hearing the magical stories at the end of a shift. I love visiting all of the parks and getting to try more Disney food and being able to share it with you to help you plan your own magical day at Disney.