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Top 10 Walt Disney World Vacation Mistakes

A trip to Walt Disney World can be a magical experience, but also a stressful one. Guests spend a lot of money to visit Disney, and thus want to get as much out of their trip as possible. There are plenty of ways to enjoy a vacation and have magical experiences, but there are also plenty of mistakes that guests make while planning and enjoying their actual trip. Let’s look at some of the biggest mistakes guests make with their Disney vacations and how to avoid them.

10. Not Booking FastPasses –

FastPass+ is a system that allows guests to book reservations to attractions before arriving for their Disney vacation. If guests are staying on property, they can book their FastPasses sixty days in advance, is they are staying elsewhere they can book them thirty days in advance. FastPasses allow guests to bypass the majority of an attraction’s line and save tons of time in the long run and three can be booked per vacation day. Guests who don’t take advantage of FastPass+ end up spending tons more time waiting in line for attractions and less time actually enjoying them, so be sure to book FastPasses well in advance and for attractions that generally have the longest wait times like Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, Slinky Dog Dash, Avatar Flight of Passage, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and Frozen Ever After.

9. Not Researching Attractions –

It sounds like a homework assignment, but researching attractions is a critical part of a Disney vacation. Guests who don’t research attractions before arriving at Disney are often overwhelmed with their options and not sure where to go first. Doing prior research can help to determine what attractions are most popular and should be visited first, which attractions seem like the most interesting and must dos, and also what attractions to avoid. It can be critical for parents with small children to do some research to know which experiences might be too scary for the kids or for which they might not reach the height requirements. This research takes some time at home, but it saves tons of time in the parks.

8. Forgetting Sunscreen –

Walt Disney World is located in Central Florida where the sun is strong and the temperatures can easily soar into the nineties in the hottest months. Sunscreen is imperative on any Disney vacation. Guests who apply in the mornings and reapply throughout the day are spared bad sunburns which can be uncomfortable and ruin the fun of a day in Disney.

7. Not Making Dining Reservations –

Disney World has some amazing dining locations that are so popular that they are frequently fully booked for each meal. Dining reservations can be made up to 180 days in advance and are critical if guests want to dine in one of the more popular restaurants like Toledo, Storybook Dining at Artist Point, Be Our Guest Restaurant, California Grill, or Le Cellier. Guests who don’t take advantage of dining reservations may find themselves booked out of a restaurant that they wanted to try, which is no fun for anyone.

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6. Not Using Disney Transportation –

Guests who have their own cars at their Disney Resorts might have good reason to drive them to and from the parks each day, but unless it is completely necessary it is a mistake to not use Disney transportation instead. Disney offers up various ways to get to and from the parks and other locations like Disney Springs depending on what resort guests are staying in. Featuring buses, monorails, Skyliner, boats, and ferries, Disney transportation is efficient, clean, and the most direct and easy way to get around property.

5. Not Leaving Enough Travel Time –

With the recommendation of using Disney transportation also comes the warning to always leave enough time for travel between places. One of the biggest mistakes that guests can make is assuming it won’t take long to get from one point to another which can result in missed dining reservations, FastPass reservations, or even missed tours. While Disney transportation is generally very efficient, it is necessary to build in at least an hour to get from one place to enough, and guests should always work in this travel time in their schedules.

4. Zigzagging Across The Park –

While sometimes it is necessary in order to utilize a FastPass or head to a dining reservation, zigzagging across the park often wastes tons of time. By working from one attraction to another one nearby, guests cut down on time wandering throughout the park and trying to decide what to do next. It’s better to have a plan than to be constantly zigzagging back and forth a park all day long.

3. Doing Too Much –

Sometimes guests are set on getting the most magic possible out of a Disney vacation and overdo it by getting up early, going all day, and staying out late at night. With tons of walking in the hot Florida sun, it can be easy to get tired out and guests who don’t take the time to relax a little can get burned out early on in their trip. By getting too tired early on, guests are likely to be fatigued and grumpy throughout their Disney vacation, and end up not enjoying it as much as they could have. This mistake can easily be avoided by taking time to relax each day either by the pool, with a nice meal, or by taking a nap at the resort.

2. Not Staying Hydrated –

This mistake is one that can turn dangerous if a guest becomes too dehydrated. With the intense heat and tons of walking in Disney, it can be easy to become dehydrated which can lead to feeling sick or even fainting. Guests should constantly be drinking water or other hydrating beverages to stay feeling healthy and ready to enjoy the parks. It should be noted that there are water fountains usually located by each restroom and counter service locations are allowed to give free glasses of ice water to guests.

1. Not Using Single Rider Lines –

If a guest is planning to experience an attraction alone or doesn’t mind being separated from the rest of their party, then they should definitely utilize the single rider lines. Single rider lines can drastically cut down a long wait time and can be found at attractions such as Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run, Expedition Everest, Test Track Presented by Chevrolet, and the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith.

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.