We all have to start somewhere with a Disney vacation. We aren’t all born Disney experts. If you are new to Walt Disney World then you will definitely want to check out this list of rookie mistakes so that you will be well prepared for your Disney vacation. Here is our top 12 list of rookie mistakes that people tend to make at Walt Disney World:
12. Sleeping in too late in the mornings
I know that it is your vacation and you want to relax, but you miss out on so much if you sleep in each morning. The parks are less crowded in the morning, and it isn’t at hot out. There are also great interactions and shows at some parks that only take place in the morning.
11. Not making Advanced Dining Reservations as early as possible
Guests are able to start making dining reservations 180 days in advance of their date of arrival. You will want to make your dining reservations as early as you can since dining at Disney is extremely popular. Some restaurants are difficult to get into later and the best dining times will book up fast.
10. Not packing necessary items for the Florida weather
It is typically warm in Florida. Light clothing that is comfortable and doesn’t hold onto a lot of water is extremely helpful. You will be so much comfortable as you sweat and deal with regular Florida rain. You will also need lots of sunscreen and maybe hats and sunglasses to shield from the sun (unless you want to buy those there). If traveling during the winter months, it is usually a good idea to pack a light jacket or hoodie, too.
9. Scheduling too many dining reservations in a single day
While it is definitely important to make dining reservations, you want to be careful not to overdo it. We don’t typically recommend more than 2 dining reservations in a single day. We have done 3 before and it felt like you were constantly adjusting your schedule around where you were going to eat and it made it more difficult to be spontaneous and enjoy the parks.
8. Not planning enough time to get to places
You will always need to give yourself enough time to get from your resort, then to your destination. You will have to factor in walking time to the transportation at the resort, waiting for the transportation to get there, travel time to the location, wait time to get through security and the park entrance (if necessary) and walking time to the location. If you have dining reservations at a park, depending on the location you may need to plan to leave 60 to 90 minutes in advance of the reservation.
7. Not spending enough time pre-planning before your trip
It is definitely helpful to have a rough idea of your plans for each day, making dining reservations, make FastPass+ selections, familiarize yourself with the parks and more. There are a lot of great resources including sites and articles where you can do some pre-planning and put rough ideas together.
6. Failure to set up a My Disney Experience account prior to vacation
My Disney Experience is extremely important for a Disney vacation. This is where you link your resort stay, park tickets, dining reservations, FastPass+ selections, Mobile Food and Beverage Ordering, and more. If you don’t have this set up, you will have a hard time coordinating your day and making use of all of the different services that Disney has. You can do so much within the application. You can also download the mobile app to your phone so can access everything right from your phone while you are there.
5. Leaving the stroller at home, when it is needed
If you have any doubt at all as to whether your kids can handle walking all day, every day during your Disney vacation then you should probably bring the stroller with you. If you don’t bring it, renting a stroller at Walt Disney World can be quite expensive each day. The amount of walking can be hard on grown adults, so the kiddos especially get tired out!
4. Didn’t pack comfortable shoes for the entire family
I can’t stress enough the importance of comfortable shoes for everyone. You will want comfortable tennis shoes or sandals that have been worn in well so that you don’t get blisters and know they are comfortable. You will be on your feet so much, and will quickly become miserable if your feet start having problems.
3. Using FastPass+ selections on attractions that don’t really need it
If you aren’t overly familiar with the attractions, you may not know which attractions are extremely popular and which ones aren’t. It is a good idea to do some searches on the most popular attractions so that you know which attractions will save you the most time using FastPass+ and which ones it won’t be needed for.
2. Carrying purchases and souvenirs around with them
Disney offers various package options so that you don’t have to carry purchases in the park and risk getting them lost or stolen. There is the resort delivery option where you can have your packages sent to your resort if you are staying at a Disney resort. You can also have packages sent to the front of the park and then just pick them up before you leave. If you want to buy something large that you may not be able to get on the plane, then you can also ship packages home, too.
1. Spending too much time park hopping
Park hopping can be great depending on the circumstances, but too much can be a bad thing. If you spend a lot of time park hopping, that also means that you will spend a lot of time waiting and riding Disney transportation (which can also be fun) and not enjoying the parks. If you have small impatient kids, this may become extra tiring and frustrating for them.