Top 10 Ways Rookies Waste Time At Disney World Resort

Disney World can be intimidating and overwhelming for those making their first visit. If you are like many guests, you have saved your hard earned money and taken time off work. If you are careful, you might come to the end of your Disney trip with a little money left over, but once your time is gone, you can never get it back! Here are the top ten ways rookies waste time at Disney World.

10. Leaving the park for meals

Off-property restaurants are less expensive, but leaving the park to save a few dollars will cost you more than it’s worth. By the time you walk to the front entrance, take a tram to your car, drive to find food, then come back to do everything in reverse and pick up where you left off, it will easily cost you a couple of hours, not to mention your fuel. Plus, if you are at the Magic Kingdom you have the added time of crossing the Seven Seas Lagoon. If you need to save money on food, consider bringing your own. You’ll save even more time not having to wait in line.

9. Visiting during busy times

Holidays and summers are Disney’s busiest times of the year. Try scheduling your trip during non-peak times. If you must visit when the kids are out of school, try early June when summer break begins or late August right before they head back. Avoid the Fourth of July, Christmas and Spring Break to make the most of your time.

8. Not using breaks efficiently

When traveling with a large family or group, make sure you make the most out of each stop. With four children of our own, we realized when one of us needs to use the restroom, we all use the restroom. If someone else needs to use the facilities when you don’t, take that time and make use of the nearby water fountain, grab a snack or simply give your feet a rest. Your traveling party will squeeze more in without having to stop every few minutes.

7. Eating at peak times

Should you choose to dine at a Walt Disney World restaurant, your traditional meal times will have the longest lines with the highest crowds. Instead of eating lunch at noon, try eating mid day for a late lunch or early dinner. Another alternative is to get in line for a quick serve restaurant a few minutes before they open. Not only will you save time being at the front of the line, but your food will be that much more fresh. Keep in mind that if you do have to eat at a peak time, you’ll want to take advantage of Mobile Ordering on the My Disney Experience App at select Quick Service locations.

6. Trying to park hop on busy days

Don’t think that because one park is crowded, the other parks must be empty. Fighting crowds back to the entrance to try another park is a waste of time. Disney transportation is certainly convenient, but it’s not necessarily fast. By the time you transfer to another park, don’t be surprised to find long lines not only at the entrance, but throughout the entire park. On busy days, stick with one park.

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5. Not using rider switch

Rider switch, also called rider swap, is a service that allows parents of children who do not meet the height requirement, or who simply do not want to ride, take turns on an attraction without having to wait in line a second time. Disney offers rider switch on over a dozen rides. Just let the cast member at the entrance know you want to use rider switch and they will be happy to give you further instruction.

4. Not using FastPass+

FastPass+ is a reservation system for Disney’s most popular attractions. Be sure to make your selections well in advance for the attractions you desire with the longest waits. You can make reservations for three attractions, but it doesn’t stop there. After using your final selection, go to the My Disney Experience app add another reservation. There is no limit to the number of times you may do this… just until the park closes. Did I mention it’s free?

3. Arriving late and leaving early

You don’t need to be the first one at the park, but arriving early does have an advantage. As the morning progresses, crowds continue to increase. After dinner, crowds will slowly begin to thin out. If you are in line for an attraction when the park closes, you are still guaranteed your experience, so don’t be afraid to stay late.

2. Not having a plan

Don’t walk through the gates without a plan. If you are limited on your time you simply will not fit in everything. Get the free My Disney Experience App. Study the map. Know when the parades are. Decide in advance the “must do” attractions for your party. Avoid repeatedly having to cross the park from one end to the other. A little advanced planning pays off.

1. Not asking cast members for help

Disney’s cast members are the best. They are both friendly and helpful. Don’t spend needless time wandering around looking for an attraction or arguing with your party trying to figure out how something may or may not work. Cast Members are everywhere and they are always ready to serve their guests. Don’t be too proud to ask for help. They will save you time and frustration.

About Tim Forgette

I grew up in southeast Michigan. I took my first trip to Walt Disney World in 1986 when I was just three years old. I am blessed to be the husband of 14 years to my beautiful wife, Rachel and father of four precious children, Lily (10), Elijah (8), Grace (6) and Josiah (5). We have always enjoyed doing things as a family which is why, when we moved to Florida, one of the first things we did was buy Disney annual passes. I enjoy everything Florida has to offer, but absolutely love watching my kids light up when it's time to go to Disney! We visit the Disney parks on average about once a week. When not at Disney, I enjoy participating with my church and community, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.