A vacation at the Walt Disney World Resort is going to be magical no matter what, thanks to unforgettable experiences throughout the Disney Parks, Disney Resorts, and Disney Springs that welcome Guests to step into an enchanted world and leave reality behind. While there are definitely magical moments to be had, a Disney vacation can also come with a lot of stress.
The majority of this stress can come from making rookie mistakes that end up costing time and money that could have otherwise been spent enjoying the magic. So whether you’re a seasoned pro or a first-time visitor, be sure to avoid these rookie mistakes and have a magical vacation at the Walt Disney World Resort!
Not Making Disney Park Reservations
A relatively new step required when planning a Walt Disney World Resort vacation is making specific reservations for each day at a Disney Park. In addition to purchasing tickets, Guests also have to reserve a spot for the individual Disney Park that they plan on visiting each day, while still maintaining the option to Park Hop after two. It’s very important to make Disney Park reservations for the Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom as far in advance as possible, as busy times of the year definitely fill up and Guests might find themselves unable to visit the spot that they were hoping for.
Skipping Advanced Dining Reservations
There are literally hundreds of dining locations throughout the Walt Disney World Resort, and the table service locations all require Advanced Dining Reservations to guarantee a table. Advanced Dining Reservations can be made starting sixty days ahead of arrival, and they are absolutely critical for popular table service restaurants including ‘Ohana, Be Our Guest Restaurant, Le Cellier Steakhouse, and many more. While Guests can try their luck and get last-minute reservations, why take the risk and lose out on a delicious meal from the desired location?
Not Using My Disney Experience
My Disney Experience is a user-friendly app that has become an integral part of any Walt Disney World Resort vacation. The app features all sorts of useful information including maps, dining menus, attraction descriptions, and more, in addition to necessary tools that Guests can use to plan and enjoy their vacations. Dining reservations, mobile ordering, ticket purchases, Disney Park reservations, and other important information can be booked and edited on My Disney Experience, as well as access to Lightning Lane and Genie+. Guests who want to make the absolute most of their vacation have to download and use the My Disney Experience app!
Being Unfamiliar with the Disney Parks
Guests don’t have to be Disney pros to enjoy a Walt Disney World Resort vacation, but being completely unfamiliar with the Disney Parks is a rookie mistake that can easily be avoided. Guests should be sure to have a general idea about the theming of each Disney Park, what attractions and dining options can be found there, and the general layout before leaving home. This allows them to avoid figuring out a plan, wandering around, or getting lost once on their vacations, which in turn saves time and allows them to see and enjoy more.
Not Understanding Lightning Lane and Genie+
Traditional FastPasses are no longer offered at the Walt Disney World Resort, instead, Guests now can utilize Lightning Lane and Genie+ to save time by skipping the wait on major attractions. My Disney Experience app is where you can sign up for Genie+ and make ride reservations the day of. Disney Genie+ is essentially similar to FastPass, where Guests can book several experiences a day from a list of rides and attractions. Individual Attraction Selection is an a la carte service where individual purchases can be made for popular attractions like Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. Passes for both Individual Attraction Selections and Genie+ open at 7 a.m. each day.
Under Packing or Over Packing
Packing for a Walt Disney World Resort vacation can be extremely stressful, but Guests can avoid extra stress by ensuring that they do not under-pack or over-pack. Essential items like an external charger, rain jacket or poncho, extra shoes, and personal items are must-haves that help avoid any stressful situations once on vacation. Over-packing is an equally problematic issue that leaves Guests with a heavy bag to lug around and less space for the souvenirs that we all guiltily buy too many of!
Missing Out on Underrated Attractions
Every Disney Park is home to incredible and popular attractions that are considered to be must-dos by Guests including experiences like Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, “it’s a small world”, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, Kilimanjaro Safaris, and Expedition Everest. While all of these attractions are amazing and shouldn’t be missed, there are plenty of underrated attractions that go overlooked each day. Guests should make it a priority to enjoy underrated attractions like Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress, Living with the Land, Tom Sawyer Island, Impressions de France, and the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail for wonderful memories that can’t be missed!
Wearing the Wrong Shoes
There is nothing as painful as sore feet after a long day in the Disney Parks wearing the wrong shoes. Guests often underestimate just how much walking a Walt Disney World Resort vacation entails, and it is absolutely imperative to wear the proper shoes each day. Guests should be sure to wear broken-in and comfortable shoes that do not rub or chafe, and also carry extra socks and band-aids, in case any pesky blisters or irritated areas pop up.
Also extremely important while on vacation is the use of sunscreen. The Walt Disney World Resort is located in Central Florida, where high temperatures and humidity, strong sunshine, and extensive periods outside leave Guests very susceptible to sunburns. Guests should be sure to apply and reapply sunscreen often throughout the day to avoid painful sunburns that will put a negative spin on their magical vacation.
The final rookie mistake that Guests tend to make at the Walt Disney World Resort is not hydrating. The extensive waking paired with hot temperatures, high humidity, and sunshine often results in Guests being dehydrated, which can lead to them feeling seriously sick. Nothing ruins a Disney day like not feeling well, and an easy way to avoid this is by carrying around a refillable water bottle and being conscious of drinking consistently throughout the day.