Nothing ruins your perfect trip to Disney World like making a big mistake before you even get there! But the good news is that you can prevent that from happening, as long as you know what not to do. In this article, we will be going over the worst mistakes people make before visiting Disney World. And to make sure we captured the best tips; we got these answers from frequent Disney World visitors.
The first thing people mistakenly do is over-planning. It is one of the most often things mentioned and its one of the worst mistakes that you can make. Overplanning can cause issues because it can create unrealistic expectations of what all you can get done.
However, there are some things you should absolutely plan. Those would include hotel reservations, park tickets, park reservations, dining, and character meet and greets. You’ll want to have a general idea of what you want to get done each day but being too rigid will only create unnecessary stress.
One of our best tips is to ask each member of your group, what are your 2 to 3 rides per park that you really want to do? Make sure you have those on the list but make sure to build in some flex time for snacks, meals, rests, or just staying in a land you really like a little longer.
An Example of a Magic Kingdom Park Day:
- Breakfast at Resort
- Magic Kingdom Park Reservation
- Genie + Reservations start at 7am
- Bus to MK at 8am
- Must Do Rides
- Peter Pan
- Space Mountain
- Haunted Mansion
- Big Thunder Mountain
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- Must Do Rides
- Lunch – Quick Service
- Character Meet & Greet
- Mickey Mouse – Town Square Theatre
- Dinner – Crystal Palace 7pm Reservation
This outline will help to make sure you stay focused on the must do’s and arrive to your dining reservations, but it also allows flexibility throughout the day. Ex. You just got off Big Thunder Mountain and your family wants to explore Tom Sawyer Island. You can fit that in without any added stress.
So, while it may be very tempting, please fight the urge to over plan. No matter how much time you spend on the plan, once you arrive in the park things always change.
While over planning has its downsides, under planning may be even worse. There have been a lot of changes at Walt Disney World over the last few years and some of these will ruin a trip if you don’t plan.
As an example, during the pandemic, park reservations were implemented. Now, it’s not enough to buy a ticket and show up at Magic Kingdom. You must make a park reservation for the day that you will be at Magic Kingdom. Disney World is also very strict about this and there have been people turned away at the park of their choice and now they have to start their day at EPCOT, Animal Kingdom, or Hollywood Studios. I’m sure you can understand the frustration of not planning or being aware of this requirement.
So, whether you haven’t been to Disney World in a few years or have never been, there are a few topics you should be aware of before going. We recommend watching some YouTube videos to quickly understand the process.
- Park Reservations
- Individual Lightning Lane Selections
- Dining Mobile Orders
- Dining Reservations
Wearing New Shoes
If you have bought new shoes, you will soon realize that was a big mistake. This is a safety announcement just for your feet.
While going on a Disney trip, you might feel compelled to get new shoes, just make sure you break those shoes in. And a pro tip is to carry your most comfortable shoes with you. It’s also a good idea to bring an extra pair of shoes with you just in case the first pair gets soaked while in the rain.
It’s not unusual to walk 20K plus steps during a day. This is not the time to get blisters from new shoes. You’ll thank us later!
Not Preparing for the Long Walks
Depending on your current level of activity, you may want to start daily walks now to prep for the amount of walking on your Disney World Vacation. In our experience, if you currently get around 10K steps a day, you shouldn’t have any issue on the trip. You still may be sore by the end but you’ll be fine most days.
Depending on the length of your stay, you’ll also want to build in non-park days that are great to get off your feet and relax.
Not Researching Transportation Options
First-timers don’t understand how big Walt Disney is and how long it takes to go from place to place. Even if you have been to Disney world there are changes on any given day that can come up. Ex. The Skyliner is down but you need to get back to The Boardwalk. How would you get there? There are actually a few options; bus, friendship boat, walk, or Uber. Most of the theme parks and resorts will have several transportation options, so it’s important to understand those. If ever in doubt, just ask a cast member on the way out.
Prepare for Unpredictable Weather
Florida weather can be unpredictable no matter when you go. It’s always a good idea to plan for rain, but have you prepared for colder weather?
If you’re going between October and February, it’s a good idea to throw a lightweight jacket or sweater in your suitcase. Unless, you want a sneaky way to buy a $70 Spirit Jersey!
“Don’t have unrealistic expectations, because a lot of magic is in those little moments”.
Make sure to prepare yourself so that changes in your plan don’t ruin your trip. Doing this will make things more flexible for you and you can enjoy the little things and have a great time. No matter how long your stay is, you’ll never get to do everything you have planned. The best mindset is to take the day as it comes and make the best of it.