Home » 9 Mistakes EVERYONE Makes at Walt Disney World

    9 Mistakes EVERYONE Makes at Walt Disney World

    Everyone wants to tell you what to do during a Walt Disney World vacation. I’m as guilty of it as anyone. Today, I want to try something different, though. Let’s talk about mistakes to avoid during your dream Disney trip. Here are nine mistakes to avoid at Walt Disney World.

    1.   Don’t spend all your time at one park

    The Walt Disney World complex has four theme parks, two water parks, and some miniature golf courses. It also has lots of activities at the various resorts. While Magic Kingdom is great and Epcot is close to perfect, you don’t want to spend all your time at either of these places. Try to balance your time such that you get to see a bit of everything.

    2.   Don’t have unrealistic expectations

    Just because you balance your time well doesn’t mean you’ll get to see everything, though. I spent about 40 days at Walt Disney World over the past three years, and I still didn’t do all the things that I wanted. My theme park tourist bucket list remains sizably long. Anyone going for a first visit should accept that you’ll have a wonderful time and do a lot of amazing activities. It just won’t be everything that you read about while planning your trip. Speaking of which…

    3.   Don’t go without a plan

    If you’re a local, that’s one thing. You can safely show up at Disney whenever you want and then go with the flow once you’re there. If you’re only able to go once a year or less, however, you really want to be sure you’re maximizing your time. The best way to do that is by booking FastPasses ahead of time. Also, if you have kids, let them be a part of the planning! Have the children pick the attractions that excite them the most. You’ll have everyone anticipating the vacation while saving yourself a lot of aggravation on day one of your trip.

    4.   Don’t dress uncomfortably

    Look, fashion is different for everyone. Maybe you have a favorite Disney shirt or dress that you want to wear at the parks. That’s totally fine. I simply want you to understand that the parks are spacious, and Florida has both heat and humidity. You’ll do a lot of walking (and I mean a LOT a lot), oftentimes in scorching weather. By picking a dark outfit that absorbs heat or an uncomfortable ensemble, you’re making yourself miserable.

    5.   Don’t forget sunscreen

    This thought process ties into the same discussion. While Disney theme parks do provide as much shade as possible, park planners can only do so much. The blaring Florida sun will leave you with a long-term reminder of your visit if you don’t use sunscreen. Sunglasses are an important luggage item, too. You’ll wear them a lot.

    6.   Don’t arrive fashionably late

    The early bird doesn’t get the worm at Walt Disney World. You get something even better. Disney calculates their customer behavior under the premise that a satisfied park guest experiences nine attractions per day. That sounds like a good number, but savvy tourists can do much better.

    One of the tricks that can help is rope drop. It’s the time when the park gates open in the morning. With an empty park, you have the opportunity to rush to your favorite attractions, riding a couple of them before huge lines form. Since these queues fill up quickly, however, every minute counts. To get the most out of your day, arrive 10 minutes prior to the park opening. Then, head straight to your preferred attraction. With any luck, you’ll ride it within the first 20-30 minutes of the start of your Disney day.

    7.   Don’t visit during the holidays

    This philosophy primarily applies to first-time guests and anyone who hasn’t visited Walt Disney World in many years. The thought process is simple. An irregular or first visit is complicated enough. You don’t want to add to the list of potential problems by fighting a mob.

    Holiday crowds have become such a problem that Disney introduced surge pricing to balance the situation. Alas, it hasn’t worked great since the parks have had near-maximum occupancy on several recent holidays. I understand that you don’t have to use as many vacation days by visiting during a federal holiday period. Everyone else understands this as well, meaning that you’ll feel like a face in the crowd if you go then.

    Play the situation smart and choose an off-period on the calendar for your first trip. The park visit will feel more personal.

    8.   Don’t stay at a cheaper place farther away from the parks

    I don’t like to tell people how to spend money, but I do believe that you should think of your vacation as an investment. You’re spending a specific amount of money each day you’re at Disney World. When you’re wasting lots of time on the interstate and must stay at the park the whole day, you’ve increased your stress level. Also, you’re not saving as much as you think due to the hidden economic factor of opportunity cost. Disney resorts are cathedrals. Treat yourself to a stay at one of these places. You’ll have a more enjoyable trip…and a less stressful one.

    9.   Don’t yell at the cast members

    You may not have the perfect trip. A few situations will crop up that surprise you…and not in a good way. The way that you address these situations depends on your personality and your crisis management skills. I have no right to suggest how you should deal with any unexpected problems. I’m simply making a small request here.

    No matter how aggravated you get during your park visit, please remember that the cast members aren’t to blame. To the contrary, you should think of these workers as your guardian angels. They are the ones who can save the day when all seems lost. Befriend a Disney employee and relay your tale of woe. Even if you yell, cast members will try to help you anyway, but it’s the old maxim that you’ll get more flies with honey.

    Plus, cast members are truly wonderful people who work for a modest wage that’s less than their market value. They do so to provide guests like you with magical memories. Treat them with the courtesy that these fine folks deserve.