5 Things We Expect From A Walt Disney World Vacation

Tiana and Naveen Cinderella castle
Credit: Disney

We all have ideas of what we expect when we finally book that Disney vacation. Maybe you are fortunate enough to visit Walt Disney World twice a year, or maybe you have booked your first trip after saving your extra funds and watching for airline deals. Either way, there are expectations that seem to be consistent among all Walt Disney World vacationers. Some of the expectations may be considered good or bad, but by knowing what to expect you know how to better plan for your vacation. You can plan ahead as much as possible to tailor your trip to meet your needs.


1. Impeccable Guest Service:

There are very few who haven’t heard about Disney’s guest service and the emphasis they put on the treatment of their guests. Disney cast members go above and beyond to ensure that guest feel appreciated and that their stay is customized to their needs. After you book a Disney vacation, you receive a magnet with important dates, like when to book dining reservations and FP+. You also receive a customized booklet that helps to plan your vacation based on your resort selection and the time you are going. You also receive your Magic Bands and Magical Express check-in information. It appears that Disney really has thought of everything. They do such an amazing job with guest service to prepare you for your trip that it sets your expectations pretty high for the service that you will receive once you arrive on property. Disney helps set those expectations so high that they have a lot to live up to in order to meet these high expectations, and even better, they usually do!

2. Disney Magic:

We see commercials where happy children are interacting with characters and experiencing magical moments. We dream about all of the moments that we might be able to have with our families. We read up on Disney vacations and hear about all of the magical moments, including the amazing pictures in front of the castle, the Disney stickers, the happy faces glowing under the lights of Happily Ever After, the adrenaline from riding Tower of Terror, the Mickey shaped food, happy people everywhere…. and we set high expectations for the moments that we will make with our families. We have our list of attractions, dining and shows that we plan to experience and expect that it will be nothing short of magical. Again, since the expectations are so high and continually built up by Disney, it is rightfully so that we would have these high expectations! Disney is known for quality and they strive to live up to it.

3. Characters:

What would Disney be without the characters? Some people may not want to admit it, but most of us get at least a little jump in excitement level when around the characters. They represent our favorite movies and childhood idols. We love our Disney friends and expect that we will see them throughout the parks. I have met a lot of people who expect that they are just wondering around the parks for random interactions. This isn’t the case, and I am thankful for that. Chaos would ensue if Elsa and Anna were wandering around the parks trying to meet different guests. I think that minimally we all expect that we will see them (with neat, organized lines to meet them) and get to witness or participate in character interactions. These interactions are considered a staple in the Disney experience!


4. The Price Tag:

It’s no secret that a Disney vacation can be pricey. There are lots of ways to save money on Disney vacations, but the price is definitely a factor for most families. Families go into the vacation with budgets for souvenirs and dining, knowing that some come with a price tag that may seem experience for a lot of guests. This expectation has been long set by Disney, so it should be no surprise to any guest once they arrive. You have plenty of time to mentally prepare for the price tag and sometimes sticker shock that comes for some of the food, merchandise or experience. Disney does do a great job of trying to offer various experiences at different price levels to help all budgets find their magic at Disney World, and have an amazing time. Try not to let the costs get you down!

5. Waiting in Lines:

Everyone knows that any theme park equals lines. You wait in lines for the rides, to be seated for a show, to get a Mickey ice cream bar, to get a hamburger…. from the moment that you get off of the airplane and make your way to the Magical Express the lines begin. Whether you have been on a Disney vacation before or not, you expect to wait in line. You make plans and schedules to try to minimize the amount of time that you spend in lines so that you get the most of your time at Disney, but you know it’s inevitable that there will be waiting in lines. You accept it and come to accept it. It really is better that this is a common expectation, that way you aren’t disappointed or frustrated when you have to wait in lines. The best advice is to plan ahead, especially with small children, so that you can make waiting in line more entertaining. Plus, Disney queues aren’t like queues anywhere else! Disney is so over-the-top with immersing guests in the experience that they do their best to make the queues part of the show and the experience so that wait doesn’t feel as long.

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!