5 Mistakes To Avoid When Planning Your Walt Disney World Vacation

Transportation Ticket Center
Credit: Disney Photo Snapper

Common planning mistakes happen to the best of us. For many, it takes trial and error to find what works and, unfortunately, what doesn’t work when planning a vacation to Walt Disney World. Hopefully this list of 5 mistakes to avoid will help you in planning your next vacation and help take it a step or two closer to being perfect!


5. Not looking at park maps and other Walt Disney World Resort info before you go.

There is so much to do at each of the parks, and many of the shows and encounters aren’t the rides that get the most attention and notoriety. You are surely to miss out on many amazing experiences if you don’t do your research to determine what all is out there so that you can plan accordingly. This is also true for activities and amenities that are available to you at your Disney resort. Each resort has many themed and fun activities that you may miss out on without a little bit of research and working them into your plans. Make it a family activity to review everything and put lists together of the “must see” attractions for each member of your family. It involves everyone in the process and then you don’t miss anything.

4. Lack of Disney transportation Knowledge.

When making dining reservations and planning your days, it is important to understand transportation options and how to make good use of them. If you make the first early morning reservation at a resort that isn’t your own, you will need to determine if you will need to drive or if there is transportation options that can get you there. It is also important to know the transportation available at each park, various areas within Walt Disney World and the different resorts. This will help ensure that you get around as efficiently as possible, which can be a huge time saver to preserve those precious Disney minutes.

3. Failure to book dining reservations and FastPass+ as early as possible.

Dining reservation booking windows start at 180 days in advance of your stay. FastPass+ reservations start at 60 days in advance of your stay for resort guests and 30 days in advance for everyone else. Knowing and tracking these days is extremely important. These two steps can help save you a ton of time on your vacation. Disney Dining is extremely popular and many of the restaurants don’t even allow walk-ups because the restaurant gets completely booked in advance. If they do allow walk-ins, you will likely wait for a very long time. This is time that you could be spending enjoy the parks and attractions. It is better to plan out your dining options in advance and snag them as early as possible so that you can rest easy knowing that you can have dinner and make it in time for the evening fireworks and other fun. As for FastPasses, some of the attractions are so popular that they are gone almost instantly. You want to snag yours for the popular attractions so that you know you can experience them without the wait and on the days when you plan to be in particular parks. It is definitely a mistake not to put in some planning and effort into this to make your vacation go much smoother.

2. Not considering all resort options available to you and what it means for your stay.

It is important to research all resorts, and definitely compare amenities and locations if you are considering staying off property. I am definitely a fan of staying on property and there are many reasons for that. It is more convenient, saves time, provides a wealth of perks and amenities and you stay surrounded by Disney magic. Just keep in mind Disney charges a parking fee for overnight resort guests. Prices per night vary depending on which resort category you are staying at so add this to your budget. Failure to weigh out all of these options when making your choice can and will directly impact your vacation and how enjoyable it is for the entire family. Even when choosing between Disney resorts, it is important to consider the different themes, activities and prices to make sure that the resort you choose is the best for your family. Disney vacations can be quite expensive, so it is understandable that you definitely want it to be the best possible.


1. Over planning your trip.

Yes, there is such a thing as over planning. Some folks try to plan down to the hour or half hour to plan each and every attraction, what order you will visit them in and predict how long it will take you to go from place to place, etc. This is just too much. When you do this, you don’t leave yourself any room for spontaneous moments and interactions. You also find yourself watching the clock all day and following a plan instead of just enjoying the moment and going with the flow. It is definitely important to do some planning, but don’t take it too far, or you will feel like your days are too rigid. Find a good balance between planning and being spontaneous and free.

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!