If you haven’t been to Disney before, or you haven’t been able to go very often, you may not know the ins and outs of how to ensure that you use your time efficiently at Disney World so that you fit everything in. Don’t worry, we all have to start somewhere. It can take coordination plus a little bit of trial and error to determine what works best for your family. I am hoping that these tips will help you get the most out of your next vacation so that you can see and do more. Here are 6 ways that rookies waste time at Disney World:
6. Failure to plan
Planning is key when it comes to a Disney vacation. There are many people who don’t want to spend too much time planning for vacation or having too structured of a vacation, but there is minimal planning that is advisable to save time and help ensure the vacation is efficient. Minimally you will want to make sure that you plan out dining experiences and reservations and FastPass+, and compare to Extra Magic Hours days and the days that you plan to attend particular parks. These experiences book up fast, so this helps to ensure that you at least have basic plans in place so that you can reduce a lot of last minute stress.
5. Sleeping in or leaving early
The slowest times to visit the parks are park opening and a little after, as well as closer to park closing. There are so many guests that like to sleep in on vacation and/or get to bed early from being so exhausted. If you can adjust your schedule to rest during the middle of the day (also the busiest part of the day), you can take full advantage of the two slowest parts of the day so that you can get the most of out your visit to the parks with less lines and crowds to deal with. It makes for less stress and you can get much more accomplished in the time.
4. Eating at peak times
We all know that the times that we all usually eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. The problem with that is that it is the same times that EVERYONE is programmed to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. If you can adjust your eating habits to eat during off-peak times, you can end up saving a lot of time. Whether you are planning table-service restaurants or quick-service experiences, it is still more efficient to eat during off times. The locations aren’t as busy and you can get in and out faster. For table-service, you will likely be able to find reservation times easier for popular locations since the peak times fill up first.
3. Not utilizing FastPass+
FastPass+ is a very helpful tool that when utilized can save a ton of time and allow you to fit a lot more into your vacation. You want to snag FastPass+ for the most popular attractions that usually have the longest lines. You also want to grab the times during the busiest parts of the day (the middle of the day) so that when most lines are long, you can get right on the ride, and then during the non-peak times of the day, you still don’t have a super long wait. It can take a little bit of coordination, but it is well worth it. This is part of the planning tip that I mentioned before!
2. Too much park hopping
Rookies may try to jump from park to park to catch different things or to get to dining experiences, because the dining experiences weren’t coordinated with park hours and experiences so that everything was as efficient as possible. Park hopping can be very helpful and can still allow you to get a lot done, but too much or park hopping during peak seasons is a bad idea. You would end up spending your day on the buses, monorails or boats and not seeing the attractions and shows that you want to see. It’s a great plan if riding Disney transportation is your goal, but not so great if you want to spend your time in the parks. The best plan to is do one park early, take a break during the busy part of the day (or keep going if you don’t need a break) and then hop to another park for the second part of the day.
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1. Not utilizing My Disney Experience
The My Disney Experience app is one of the most powerful resources available to you. From the app you have all of your dining reservations, FastPass+ selections, Mobile Food and Beverage Ordering, wait times, park maps, etc. at your fingertips. This allows you to glance and plan your next stop based on what times and what plans you already have so that you don’t spend time walking aimlessly between locations and use your time efficiently. Many people complain that they don’t want to constantly be on their phones. Well, in our experience, we aren’t. We check the times and FP+ quickly while waiting in line to map our next stop or two and then the phone goes back away until we are ready to check again. If you get used to the user interface for the application before your trip, you’ll be able to efficiently check everything and not spend your vacation buried in your phone so you can enjoy the experience with your family.
Not seeing the 2nd show option, or later shows.
If there is an option to see the second or later shows (for shows that are show several times a day), pick those. There are usually less waits at these shows, they don’t usually fill up and you won’t need to use a FastPass+ option. There are many guests that hit the first show out of fear of missing it, they plan to leave earlier or to cross it off of their list, which leaves the later shows as less full options for the other guests. Be sure to consider this in your vacation plans.