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8 Mistakes Rookies Make At Walt Disney World

Guests look forward to a Walt Disney World vacation from the moment they begin planning. With so many different theme parks, water parks, dining options, and fun experiences to be had, planning for a Disney vacation can be a little overwhelming. Many rookie guests often make mistakes while planning their vacations which can come back to haunt them when they finally find themselves in Disney. By doing some simple planning and research at home, guests can save themselves tons of time, money, and stress once in the parks making a vacation much more enjoyable. Here are eight planning mistakes that rookies make when preparing for a Walt Disney World vacation.

8. Not Researching

Guests should spend some time at home just researching the parks and resorts and learning a little bit about Walt Disney World. By having an idea of what each park is about and what attractions are found there, guests can be confident in which experiences they must have and which can be skipped over. Guests with kids should also do some research on the height requirements and intensity of attractions. No guest wants to be surprised when an attraction is either too frightening for their child or have to endure a letdown if their child isn’t tall enough to ride.

7. Not Making A Plan

One of the biggest time savers for a Walt Disney World vacation is making a tentative plan before leaving home. Guests should decide which park they want to visit on each day and have an idea of what attractions or meals they would like to enjoy as well. Guests can save time each morning by simply following the plan and heading to their park of choice instead of spending time trying to decide what to do for the day.

6. Not Booking FastPasses

FastPasses are something that rookies sometimes overlook and they are one of the biggest assets in enjoying a Disney vacation and saving time. FastPasses are reservations for attractions which allow guests to return to the attraction at a given time to ride with little to no wait time. Guests who are staying on property at a Disney Resort can book FastPasses sixty days before arrival and guests who are staying off property can book FastPasses thirty days in advance. FastPasses are a great way to be able to spend little time waiting on line for popular attractions that can otherwise tend to have wait times over two hours. Great attraction options to utilize FastPasses for are Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, Slinky Dog Dash, Avatar Flight of Passage, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and Soarin’.

5. Not Making Dining Reservations

Advanced Dining Reservations (ADRs) for Walt Disney World restaurants can be made up to one hundred and eighty days in advance and they are absolutely necessary for popular dining options like Cinderella’s Royal Table or the California Grill. Many times rookies think that they can just walk up to a restaurant and that there will be plenty of open seating, however this is often not the case. Guests looking to ensure that they can dine at the restaurants of their choice and not have to waste lots of time waiting to be seated as a walk up should definitely make dining reservations as early as possible.

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4. Not Staying On Property

Rookies might think that saving money by staying somewhere off property is worth it, but it’s a mistake! By staying at a Disney Resort, guests are entitled to free airport transportation on the Magical Express Buses, free transportation to and from the parks, and the chance to book FastPasses earlier. Staying on property keeps guests close to the magic at all times and makes life easier all around. Plus, there is a resort to fit the preference and budget of every guest!

3. Not Using Extra Magic Hours

Guests who stay on property at a Disney Resort are also entitled to utilize Extra Magic Hours which allow them to enter into one park an hour early and stay in a different park up to three hours later than the general public. These extra hours are a great way to experience popular attractions with lower wait times thanks to limited crowds. Rookies staying at a Disney Resort might not know about Extra Magic Hours or know which park has them scheduled for the day and can lose some really valuable time!

2. Not Knowing How To Get Around

A rookie mistake on a Disney vacation that can waste a lot of time is not knowing the lay of the land. Before leaving home, guests should research their resort and be aware of where the lobby, food court, bus stop, pool, and amenities are located. Guests should also have a general knowledge of where things are located in the parks. Knowing the general location of things saves tons of time that would otherwise be spent looking at maps or wandering around.

1. Trying To See It All

Perhaps the biggest rookie mistake of all is trying to see everything on a single Disney vacation. With so many amazing attractions, restaurants, and entertainment there is literally no way to see it all and guests can end up stressed out and exhausted by trying to do so. Rookies should accept that there is no way to see everything and instead focus on the experiences that they know they want to have and enjoy them to the fullest!

About Caitlin Kane

Caitlin Kane first started visiting Walt Disney World when she was two years old, and despite spending most of that trip quarantined with the chicken pox she managed to fall in love with the place. Visiting WDW every year since, she especially loves learning all about the history and small details of the parks and eating/drinking her way through the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival each fall. When she's not in Disney, Caitlin lives in New York and spends her time counting down the days to her next trip.