Credit: Disney

Mistakes to Avoid on Your Disney World Vacation

When planning a Walt Disney World vacation there is a lot to consider.  Trying to determine which Disney resort to stay at as well as which theme park to visit on which day can be a lot to figure out.  As you are planning , we have a few mistakes that you will want to avoid so you can have the most magical Disney vacation possible.

Credit: Tricia Kennedy

Not Making Park Passes Early

Since reopening in March 2020, Disney Guests have been required to make park pass reservations.  These reservations allow Guests to book a theme park of their choice for each day of their ticket.  Disney uses this to help control crowd levels in the parks.  Although we haven’t seen all the parks being booked solid in a while, it is still super important to book these park passes as soon as possible.  Once you have tickets loaded into My Disney Experience, you can select your theme park choice.  Keep in mind that currently, Disney’s Hollywood Studios is still the hot theme park so make sure you snag that one first.  Disney has also made it easier to modify your theme park reservations in the app which is a great option if plans do change.  Just make sure you get these figured out as you won’t be allowed into a theme park without one.

Purchasing a Park Hopper But Not Using It

Park hopping is an option that Guests can add to their theme park tickets.  This addition allows Guests to travel between the four theme parks throughout their Disney vacation.  With the opening of the theme parks, park hopping is limited to after 2:00pm.  Keep this in mind when determining if park hopping is right for you and your family.  If you have little ones, it might be hard to move between parks easily or it might be during nap time making it not worth it.  Really think about your touring plans before spending the money to buy a park hopper.

Credit: Disney

Not Setting a Budget

It is super easy to get to Disney World and forget all about your budget that you previously worked so hard to make.  Extra snacks and small souvenirs all add up quickly.  Make sure you set a budget and stick to it while visiting.  A big step is making sure you kids know what their souvenir budget is ahead of time so they don’t constantly ask about buying everything.  Disney is strategic and has gift shops everywhere so going in with a plan can really help limit the constant questions about getting something each time you exit a ride.  This is important for adults as well.  It is easy to get wrapped up in the magic and forget about the budget you set beforehand.  Think about getting gift cards to help manage spending as well.  No matter what your budget is, make sure you have one and work together to stick to it.

RELATED: A Budget-Friendly Walt Disney World Vacation: How to Make it Happen

Not Spending Time at Your Resort

Disney resorts are part of the magic and should be enjoyed just like the theme parks.  If you are spending the money to stay at one of Disney’s amazing resorts, make sure you schedule some time to enjoy it.  The pools at the Disney resorts are some of the best you will find and kids will love them.  When you are making your vacation plan, make sure you put in some time to relax and enjoy the resort.  Disney resorts also will offer movies under the stars which are a fun way to wrap up an evening.  Grab a snack and then watch a favorite Disney movie while at Disney World.  The Disney resorts also often offer crafts for kids to do.  Don’t skip these as they become a fun souvenir.   If you don’t do anything but sleep at your Disney resort, you are really missing out on some of the Disney magic.

Credit: Paula Kennedy

Not Planning Food

Dining at Disney has become a little more tricky since the parks reopened.  It has always been important to book dining reservation early on in order to ensure you have the best chance to get your top choices.  These reservations can now be made at 60 days prior to check-in, a big change from 180-days.  The other part that needs to be planned now more than before is quick-service dining.  Before you could choose to stand in line to order with a cast member or use mobile ordering on the My Disney Experience app.  Now at most quick-service dining locations it is required that Guests use mobile ordering.  Because of this new feature, it is important that you plan ahead.  Times are limited and peak times fill up quickly so placing your lunch or dinner order early is an excellent choice.  Also, it can take a while for your food to be made so you don’t want to wait until the last minute to place an order.  Use time waiting in line to get your order placed early so you are prepared when hunger strikes.


Not Double Checking Park Hours

Disney is constantly adjusting park hours as they get a better feel on the Guests numbers.  Make sure you are checking the app for the most up to date hours.  Disney  has been known to change hours the day before so you will want to check before heading to bed to make sure you are in the know.  You don’t want to be surprised and think you are showing up early only to learn the park opened earlier than expected.  Also, make sure you are aware of any special events that might close the parks early to regular Guests.  This can impact where you want to make those theme park pass reservations for.

Don’t Over Plan

Finally, a mistake many of us need to avoid is over planning.  It can be easy to think that you can fit everything into your theme park day, but that just isn’t the case.  Everything will probably take longer than you anticipated so adjust your plans accordingly.  When making a plan, instead focus on 3-5 must-dos for the day and go from there.  This can really help limit stress as you are visiting the parks and allow you to enjoy the magic in the moment.

We hope that letting you know about some of these Disney mistakes you will want to avoid will help you plan a better Disney vacation.  These are mistakes we have made in the past and have learned from ourselves.  We hope you can use them to help you have a magical trip.

About Jennifer Retzlaff

My name is Jennifer Retzlaff and I became a lifelong Disney fan during my first trip to Walt Disney World in 6th grade. From that moment, Disney became a big part of my life. I live in Iowa with my husband and two kids who are growing up too quickly for my liking. I started introducing my love for Disney early to my family with a Disney honeymoon and then trips when our youngest of 18 months. Since then, our family has been to Walt Disney World over five times and we continue to plan and dream for the next trip. I love the magic that Disney brings to people through the theme parks, cruises, adventures and movies they create. As a teacher, I try to bring that magic into my classroom to help kids believe that “If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It.” I recently reached a dream of mine as I joined Magic Vacation Planner as a personal travel advisor. With this team, I can now help others plan magical vacations. As a passionate writer, I also have my own blog at magicalvacationsbyjen which is also where you can follow me on instagram for trip reviews along with tips and tricks for your next magical vacation.