Not-So-Magical Ways to Spoil a Trip To Walt Disney World

A trip to Walt Disney World is truly a magical experience.  From seeing the castle for the first time to eating a Mickey Bar on Main Street, these magical moments are what make up a wonderful vacation.  Unfortunately, there are some not so magical ways that a trip to Walt Disney World can be spoiled, but don’t fear, we are here to help make sure you don’t allow these situations to spoil your trip.


1. Not Planning

One of the top ways to spoil a Walt Disney World vacation is by not planning.  Gone are the days when guests could just show up at Magic Kingdom, grab a map at the entrance and head on in for the day.  Now with four parks, 2 water parks, Disney Springs and so much more a trip to Disney takes some planning ahead.   

Although we realize that not everyone wants to plan their days out, it has become more and more important for guests to have basic Disney knowledge prior to arrival.  Some basic things to know would be: what is offered in all four of the theme parks, what My Disney Experience is and have the app downloaded, what are the park hours while visiting as well as transportation options.  This will greatly help start the trip off in a positive direction.

2. Planning Too Much

In the same breath, planning too much can spoil a trip as well.   Many Disney planners love their color-coded notes and laminated lists but if there isn’t any room for magic to just show up throughout the day it probably won’t.  Make those plans but be prepared to pivot as needed.  Planning will allow you to prepare, but you also need to know that those plans probably shouldn’t be laminated as you will need to adjust as you go.

3. Not Being Flexible 

This is extremely important when in Walt Disney World.  One of the ways to spoil a trip is to not be flexible.  It can be hard to be flexible considering guests often have spent years or at least months thinking, dreaming and planning the trip.  If you aren’t flexible when you get there, it might not be as magical as you hoped.  If the kids want to watch the parade instead of rushing to ride Dumbo, allow them that opportunity.  Running after bubbles for a few minutes can be just as magical as riding rides.  Don’t let those magical moments slip by because you aren’t being flexible.

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4. Not Preparing For The Weather

One way to spoil a trip is to not be prepared for the weather.  Even though it is Florida, it can still get cold during those winter months.  Make sure that you pack layers and even packing a hat, coat and mittens is a good idea.  Having these items can save a trip.  In the summer and fall, rain is almost a daily occurrence.  Getting stuck with wet shoes, socks and clothes makes for a not so magical experience.  Make sure you have rain gear with you during these months as rain clouds can pop up suddenly.  Consider grabbing some cheap rain ponchos at home before leaving as these are typically small and can easily be thrown into a bag.  Weather can easily spoil a trip if you are caught unprepared.  Make sure to double and triple check that forecast ahead of time so you don’t get caught unprepared.

5. Kids Will Be Kids

If you are heading to Disney with kids, make sure you are prepared for them to be themselves even in Disney.  One way to quickly spoil a trip is to try to make your kids adjust to new schedules and expectations while in Disney.  If your kids typically sleep in, don’t expect them to rise early on vacation in order to get to the parks at rope drop.  Have little ones that are asleep by 7:00 at home?  Don’t try to keep them up until midnight each night of the vacation.  Naps still part of the schedule?   Make sure to keep those as best as you can while in Disney.  Forgetting your kids’ schedule or routine while at Disney is a sure way to spoil the trip.  Try to stick to their norms as much as possible as this will help everyone have a more enjoyable time during vacation.

Credit: Disney

6. Not Setting a Budget Before Hand

A Walt Disney World vacation can get expensive.  From resort stays to tickets and dining, a trip to Disney can add up.  A quick way to spoil a vacation is to not set a spending budget beforehand.  If kids are old enough to have their own spending allowance, set that up prior to the vacation.  Let them know what they are allowed to spend before you even get to Disney.   Doing this can prevent some of the meltdowns as you pass through all the stores.  

For grown-ups, the same idea is important.  If you are constantly stressing over how much everything costs or stressing every time you charge something to the room, the trip can quickly be spoiled.  Instead, figure out how much you want to spend on food, souvenirs and miscellaneous stuff that might come up prior to going down.  This can help lessen the stress and help prevent the trip from being spoiled.  

7. Not Having the Right Shoes/Not Preparing for the Walking

When visiting Walt Disney World, guests can walk up to 10 to 15 miles per day of the vacation.  If this isn’t something you are prepared to do, it can quickly spoil the trip.   Step one is to make sure everyone has good walking shoes.  Don’t buy new shoes for the trip and not practice walking in them.  Always break shoes in prior to the vacation.  Also, if kids (or adults) aren’t used to walking a lot, consider doing some practice family walks around the neighborhood to get ready.  Not having the right shoes is a quick way to spoil a vacation.

Photo Credit: Vans

8. Not Practicing with My Disney Experience

My Disney Experience is Disney’s featured Walt Disney World planning app.  Through this app guests can navigate their reservations, open the door to their room, navigate the park, mobile order, view pictures and so much more.  This app is the key to a great Disney vacation.  If guests haven’t set up the app or tried out the app prior to arriving it can be extremely frustrating.  There is so much to offer, but it can get overwhelming and can quickly spoil the magic.  Instead guests should download the app early and start navigating it from home.  Looking at things like wait times, park maps and the overall features offered and making it so much smoother once on Disney property.

A trip to Walt Disney World is a magical experience, but can easily be spoiled if one isn’t prepared.  We hope these tips can help you on your next Walt Disney Vacation have a truly magical time.

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.