We dream of a Disney vacation, usually for months and months before the date arrives. Then on your vacation you start to feel like your vacation is a failure, but why? Sometimes we can be our own worst enemies when it comes to planning and executing vacations, and even the magic of a Disney vacation is no exception to that. If you find yourself doing or not doing one of the following things, maybe you could make some changes to the way you plan to help ensure you have the best vacation ever.
Here are 7 sure-fire ways to ruin your Disney vacation from my experience:
So you have OCD and you want to plan every minute of your vacation so that you fill every possible second with non-stop magic…. I can relate to that. I think we all totally understand where you are coming from and agree with good planning to make sure you have done your research and know what you like to do. There is a fine balance here. If you over plan every second of your day, you will find yourself missing out on the magic and on fun that can’t be planned. You will also find yourself hoping from reservation to reservation and not enjoying all that Disney has to offer. That being said, you definitely should take the time to do some planning, as lack of planning is also a sure-fire way to ruin your vacation. You should find that happy medium where you cover the main things that you want to see and do. Then you have room for a little magic and spontaneity.
2. Always Go, Go, Go:
You want to see and do everything there is to do at Disney World, so you don’t have time for breaks or to take a rest day at the pool or Disney Springs. Well, that would be a mistake. You should make time to relax and recuperate at the hotel. Multiple days experiencing the hustle and bustle of the parks can be taxing on even the fittest and most athletic of guests. It is good to give your body and mind a little bit of downtime and experience the other side of what Walt Disney World has to offer. The resorts are experiences on their own with multiple things to explore. This is the same for Disney Springs. There is much to see and do at a slower place with a more relaxed feel. Your body will thank you for it, and maybe you won’t get home from vacation feeling like you need another vacation!
3. Fail to Make Dining Reservations:
Disney table-service experiences are extremely popular. Guests are able to start making reservations 180 days before their date of arrival, and there are many guests that are adamant about doing this. I am the same way. You don’t want to over plan your vacation, but if you know there are experiences that are must-sees for your family, it is highly recommended to make those reservations as soon as they are available. They you don’ t have to worry about anything and just show up 15 minutes before your reservation time. If don’t have a reservation, it is very likely that you won’t be able to get in at all or minimally you will wait for a while to be seated. This is precious fun time that you are missing out on. We all know that kids aren’t exactly the most patient beings, and then add to the fact that they have been waiting in lines all day and they are hungry… that is bound to end poorly. Save yourself the heartache and determine your 180 day mark and make your reservations early. You can always cancel them if plans change.
4. Fail to Reserve FastPass+ Experiences:
This is the same issue that you encounter when you don’t make dining reservations. FastPass+ selections open up 60 days prior to your resort stay and 30 days prior to visits for non-resort guests. These selections allow you to bypass the stand-by line during the time selected for the attractions that you select. You can select up to 3 attractions at 1 park, per day in advance. This is a huge benefit and will limit the amount of time you wait for some of your favorite attractions. It is in your benefit to prioritize these to get the attractions that historically have the longest wait times so that you have the opportunity to see and do more in the parks. The most popular attractions run out of FastPass+ distributions really fast, so determine your FP+ reservation date and reserve as soon as possible to have the best chance of getting what you want.
5. Forget About Sunscreen:
For those that didn’t know, Florida is known as the Sunshine State. The sun shines bright and strong, even in traditionally colder months for other areas across the globe. It would be a rookie mistake to forget to apply sunscreen and apply it often. You are likely to be spending most of your days out in the sun whether in the parks or lounging by the pool. If you were to get a bad sunburn, it could definitely wreck the rest of your trip. You wouldn’t want to have to wear a jacket in order to cover yourself up in the Florida heat. It wouldn’t make for a very comfortable experience, so it is better to be overly cautious and apply sunscreen at least every hour. Make sure the rest of your family lathers up, too.
6. Failure to Plan Your Wardrobe for the Weather:
It makes for a much better experience when you have comfortable, breathable clothes to wear in the parks and comfortable shoes. The temperatures can get extremely hot, well into the upper 90’s. You will want clothes that you will be the most comfortable in, in these elements. Dress clothes, overly tight clothes or lots of layers may not be comfortable in the parks. That being said, some months can get chilly when guests would expect it to be warm. Do your homework and check the expected weather. It may be a time when you want to bring a light hoodie or pants in case there is a cooler day. Shoes are probably the most important item to plan. You will want comfortable shoes with good support. Strappy sandals, flip flops, dress shoes, heels, etc. may present comfort problems, cause blisters and even cause aches and pains that can make the rest of your trip miserable. Plan ahead and get more out of your vacation!
7. Sweating the Small Stuff:
What they say is true, attitude is everything! If you set yourself up for unreasonable expectations or expect too much out of your vacation, you set yourself up to fail. Keep a positive attitude and take joy in the little things that make Disney the vacation destination that everyone raves about. Don’t let yourself get upset or angered over things that you don’t have control over, or that don’t matter in the grand scheme of your vacation. There will be various frustrations on your vacation, as there is with any vacation, but do your best to focus on the positives so that you keep spirits high for your entire family. If one person is angry or upset, it affects the rest of the family, and you want to have the best trip ever! When stress or disruption happens, take a deep breath and put everything in perspective. If you’re like me, you can practice a little retail therapy. There are plenty of stores to pick from!