Walt Disney World Vacation Mistakes You’ll Want To Avoid

Goofy at Tusker House Restaurant

If you are planning a vacation to Walt Disney World, we want to make sure you have a magical experience.  We have some key mistakes you want to avoid on your vacation.

1. Not Staying on Property

When it comes to a Walt Disney World vacation, the mistake you want to avoid is staying off property.  We know it isn’t cheap to stay on property; however, the positives that you gain from being at Disney Resort is something you don’t want to skip on.  First and foremost, it is being in the Disney bubble.  A Disney resort is an extension of the parks and allows you to feel immersed in the Disney magic all day.  This doesn’t mean Mickey and Minnie are everywhere, but it means the customer service you come to expect at Disney will be present at your resort as well.  Free transportation from Disney is also a bonus.  Although it isn’t without faults, we love having free transportation to and from the resorts and Disney Springs.  It is so easy, especially with little ones.  Finally, the Disney resorts provide great amenities such as pools, dining, lounges and so much more.  The poolside activities are typically a favorite of kids young and old.  Don’t make the mistake of not staying at a Disney resort.

Disney’s Pop Century Resort

2. Getting the Wrong Ticket

When planning your vacation to Walt Disney World, make sure you know what tickets you need to accomplish your goals.  If you are hoping to jump from park to park throughout the vacation, make sure to add a hopper to your ticket.  Do you want to go to the water parks?  Make sure to get the water parks and more options.  Also, take a look at the pricing per day prior to purchasing tickets.  Often it isn’t too much more to add another day and if that will allow you some breathing room when going into the parks it might be worth the extra cost.

3. Forgetting to Make Park Pass Reservations

If you are new to Disney or haven’t been in a while, you might not be aware that right now guests are required to make a park pass reservation in order to get into one of Disney’s four main parks (Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios).  If you don’t do this you aren’t going to be able to get into a park even with a purchased ticket.  Although capacity is increasing, it is a good idea to make these reservations as soon as possible to ensure you get into the parks you want throughout your vacation.   Don’t forget this step when planning.

Credit: Matthew Cooper (

4. Not Making a Plan

The days of winging a Disney vacation (was that ever a thing?) is long over.  In order to truly enjoy a vacation at Walt Disney World some planning needs to be done.  Like we mentioned earlier, you need to determine which parks you want to go into prior to heading down and from there think about what you want to accomplish in the parks.  It doesn’t mean you need a minute-by-minute schedule (that would be a mistake) but know what the top 3-5 rides, shows, foods everyone wants to experience and go from there.  Don’t let the first time you see a map of the park be when you walk into the park.  Have a general overall plan and understanding of what you want to accomplish before arriving on vacation.

5. Getting Caught Hangry

Disney does have food at every corner; however, right now you need to plan ahead when it comes to meals.  If you are wanting a sit-down meal, you will want to make reservations at the 60-day mark on the My Disney Experience app.  If you are planning on doing quick-service meals, you are still going to need to do mobile order while in the parks.  You will be able to select a time, order your food and then let them know when you want the meal prepared.  Time slots are limited so if you know your family will be hungry at 12 each day, go ahead and schedule that mobile order early on in the morning to allow you to ensure that pick up time.  Don’t get caught hungry as it is a quick way to ruin the day.

Ronto Roaster Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

6. Being Surprised by Rain and Weather

It will rain in Florida.  Sometimes you might luck out and it is a drizzle and sometimes you might think you are in the middle of a monsoon but either way there is a good chance you will experience rain at least once during your vacation.  Make sure you are prepared by having rain gear along with you.  There is nothing worse than wet clothes and shoes and then trying to walk around the parks.  Also, make sure you are aware of the temperatures.  It does get cooler in the winter months so be prepared with coats and mittens (yes even in Florida).  Also, we know that right now we are in the middle of the heat and humidity of summer.  Make sure you are prepared for this as well with cooling cloths, fans and water bottles.  Being surprised by weather can be a real downer on vacation.  Make sure to go in prepared.

7. Wearing the Wrong Shoes

You have probably heard it a million times- you walk a lot in Disney.  This is absolutely true and because of that you want to make sure you all have the right shoes.  There is nothing that will ruin a Disney vacation like blisters and sore feet.  Make sure everyone has comfortable shoes that they have tried out before the vacation.  Also, consider bringing more than one pair that way you can switch out and allow your feet a break if a pair isn’t doing as well as planned.

8. Not Taking in the Moment

Probably the mistakes you won’t want to make on your Walt Disney World vacation is not enjoying the moment you are in.  It is hard sometimes to just slow down and enjoy the moment when there is so much to see and do in the parks.  Allow yourself to really take in the magic that surrounds you in the parks, resorts and Disney Springs.  There is so much magic all around and sometimes it is missed because you are rushing from ride to ride.  Take time to just enjoy one another and be in the moment.

There are many things that can ruin a Walt Disney World vacation but we hope these notes will help you have a great vacation.

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.