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10 Ways Rookies Waste Time At Walt Disney World

10. Transportation issues

By transportation issues, I either mean things like getting lost, or using less efficient forms of transportation when other options are available. For instance, if you’re going from Hollywood Studios to Epcot, the boat or Skyliner might be the more scenic option, but the bus will most likely get you there quicker. This could also mean walking to the Contemporary instead of taking the monorail—it’s only one stop and can potentially be quicker. than waiting for a monorail on a busy night. As for getting lost if you’re driving yourself, well, this is something that can sometimes be unavoidable during vacations. You’re in a different place, you don’t know quite where you’re going, everyone in the car with you is giving conflicting directions. My advice if you’re unsure about driving is just to take your time and read the signs on Disney property carefully. Orlando is full of all kinds of crazy drivers, and taking your time rather than speeding is definitely the safer way to go here.

9. Not using Fastpass (or using it poorly)

By not using Fastpass at all, you’re automatically wasting more time than the person next to you on the monorail who did book Fastpasses. Fastpass can significantly lower your wait times for attractions, and it is literally a waste of time not to use it at all. In addition, it’s also a waste of your time to use Fastpass poorly. If you are going to use Fastpass, don’t make selections for the times of the day when there will be short wait times anyway (near park opening or closing) and don’t use them for shows as the advantage of having the pass is not worth it.

8. Quick service meals during peak lunch rushes without Mobile Ordering

Quick service meals might not be so quick when it’s summer tourist season at 12:30 PM in the Magic Kingdom. To offset this rush, pack some light snacks in your bag or stop for a small snack in the late morning, and postpone a sit down lunch until after the rush dies down. It doesn’t make sense to spend time waiting in long lines for lunch during the rush when you can wait a little bit longer and avoid it all together. Even better – take advantage of Mobile Food and Beverage Ordering with your My Disney Experience App. This allows guests to order and pay for their meal prior to arrival, push a button when arriving, and pick up food from a different pick up window!

7. Rushing out of the park after the fireworks

This point might seem a little contradictory, but let me explain. When you rush out of the Magic Kingdom after Happily Ever After, have you ever noticed how many other guests are doing the same thing? Rather than spend your time waiting in a long line for the monorail, ferry, or bus after the post-fireworks rush, stick around in the park a little bit longer and spend your time there instead. Even if the park is closing soon, you can easily stroll through the shops on your way out instead of hanging out in the monorail line.

6. Not making advanced dining reservations

This point is plain and simple—not having dining reservations made in advanced means that you could potentially be spending a good chunk of time waiting to be seated at some of your favorite restaurants. Avoiding this is easy, make reservations in advance for all your favorites, and you’ll have little or no wait when you arrive.

5. Shopping at big stores in the middle of the day

By big stores, I basically mean the Emporium  and anything on Hollywood Blvd or Discovery Island. These stores, that are all conveniently located on your way out of the park, will be open after the parks are technically closed. This means that it would be a better use of your time to do other things during the day and shop at these locations on your way out.

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4. Too many table service meals

Some guests, especially first timers, plan on having more table service meals and less quick service meals or snacks. While Disney does have some excellent table service options, eating in a restaurant like this can easily take up a lot of your time.

3. Going to certain attractions at the wrong time of day

One prime example of this is Spaceship Earth. It’s busier in the morning because it’s on the way into the park and most guests go right to it. If you’re not using a Fastpass, plan to go at least in the middle, if not the later part of the day. Any Adventureland attraction can be another instance of this—the later in the day you go, the shorter the line typically gets.

2. Researching the parks at the parks

One reason why it’s so important to do research on the parks before your Disney vacation is because you don’t want to spend your time there figuring out what the parks have to offer. Of course, any cast member will be happy to help you if you have questions, but to make your trip more efficient, you should really have some idea of what there is to do before you arrive at the parks.

1. Making plans while on vacation

I’m not saying you need to have every tiny detail of your trip planned in advance, but you should know the basics like what night you’ll want to see what fireworks, or how many days you want to have a table service meal. It doesn’t make sense to take valuable time out of your vacation to have to stop whatever you’re doing and discuss what exactly you’re doing for the rest of the week.

About Brittany DiCologero

Brittany is a graduate of St. Anselm College, where she earned her bachelor of arts degree in History. She completed two Disney College Programs, one at Dinoland U.S.A., in Animal Kingdom, and one at Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show at Hollywood Studios. She is the author of “Brittany Earns Her Ears,” a memoir about her experiences on the college program, and she currently resides in Massachusetts.