11 Rookie Planning Mistakes That Can Totally Ruin Your Walt Disney World Trip

There are various planning mistakes that guest make that can definitely make your vacation less enjoyable. If you are in the middle of planning your vacation, then you definitely have to check out this list of top 11 rookie planning mistakes:


11. Not planning your budget (and forgetting key expenses).

If you will be considering a Disney vacation, then you will definitely want to also consider all of the costs. It is best to line out your budget up front ahead of booking the vacation. You will also need to be sure that you include all the necessary expenses including food, gratuities, add-ons, special ticket events, etc.

10. Failing to plan ahead for Florida weather.

During the majority of the year, the weather in Florida is typically very warm and sunny. There is also a high probability for afternoon rain showers when you visit Walt Disney World. It is a good idea to be sure that you plan ahead to bring comfortable, breathable clothing. If you will be there during winter months, it is a good idea to have a hoodie and potentially a warmer outfit or two just in case it gets colder in the evenings.

9. Skipping out on research prior to your trip.

You definitely need to spend time researching the different parks, attractions, height requirements, etc. The more information that you have, the smoother that your vacation will be since you will have a rough idea of what attractions are priority for your family as well as where to find them all.


8. Failure to make dining reservations in advance.

Dining at Walt Disney World is extremely popular. There are many locations that book up almost instantly, even when reservations open up 180 days in advance. You will definitely want to make your dining reservations as soon as you can so that you know you get the times and locations that you really want.

7. Making too many dining reservations in a single day.

It is definitely a rookie mistake to make a breakfast, lunch and dinner dining reservation every single day. This is only a good idea if you think you will really be that hungry and want to plan your days around eating. I usually recommend guests to book a breakfast and dinner reservation and try to just snack or split quick service items to get through lunch. This lets you enjoy the delicious meals as well as keep more of your day open for the fun of the parks.

6. Staying off property instead of at a Disney resort.

There can definitely be cases and reasons for staying off property, but I typically recommend for guests to always first consider staying on property. There are so many great perks to staying on property that you won’t want to miss out on. There is free transportation, free airport pick-up and drop-off, Extra Magic Hours and more. I can’t imagine going to Walt Disney World and not staying at one of the amazing resorts.

5. Failure to make FastPass+ selections as soon as possible.

Guests are able to make FastPass+ selections 60 days in advance if they are staying on property and 30 days in advance if staying off property. You will definitely want to make your reservations as soon as possible so that you get the most popular attractions to minimize your wait times.

4. Using FastPass+ for unnecessary attractions.

You definitely want to do research in order to determine which attractions you want to use your FastPass+ selections on. There are various shows and attractions that don’t have that much of a wait, so they aren’t the best choices for FastPass+. You want to make selections that will help to minimize the amount of time spent waiting so that you get the best value out of them.

3. Not planning ahead for all of the walking.

You will walk many, many miles throughout the course of your Walt Disney World vacation. It takes miles to walk the main loop of each of the theme parks, so with all the lines and walking back and forth, you could end up walking over 10 miles each day depending on how much you plan to do in a given day. You will want to plan ahead with comfortable shoes that are well worn in to help alleviate blisters. You may want to practice doing more walking before your vacation, too!

2. Skipping character dining opportunities (and not being prepared for them).

There are so many great character dining experiences all over Walt Disney World within the parks and inside the resorts. You don’t want to miss out on the fun, even if you don’t think you will enjoy the character meet and greets. It is also a good idea to have a camera and maybe an autograph book ready while you are there, too! The kiddos will definitely love collecting autographs!

1. Failure to research all of the ticket options and add-ons.

There are various tickets and add-ons available with the vacation packages. Guests can choose Park Hopper or Water Park option to their park tickets. There are also add-ons like Memory Maker that allow guests to have unlimited downloads of their vacation photos. These options and add-ons can be added to your vacation package when it is first booked.

About Christy Caby

I am a diehard Disney fanatic! I fell in love with all things Disney from an early age and that only increased once I first visited Walt Disney World! It led me to complete a yearlong Disney College Program working at merchandise locations within Disney’s Hollywood Studios (Disney-MGM Studios at that time) and I worked for Disney Parks & Resorts Technology in Project/Program Management. Now I get to write about Disney and help others plan their magical vacations! Disney holds a special place in the hearts of my entire family as my husband proposed there, we honeymooned there, took trips while pregnant with each of my boys and have visited with them many, many times from 8 weeks old through now. One of my favorite memories from each trip is always the look on my kids’ faces the first time they see the castle. I’d love to help you plan your magical vacation! Request a free quote at or look for me on Facebook at Have a magical day!