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While there are plenty of supernatural myths that surround Disney parks, these stories are largely made up to scare young children and entertain cynical adults. However, even though myths of this sort are essentially harmless, there's a far more dangerous type of fiction that is unfortunately a little too common: bad advice.

No matter whether you heard the following "tips" from a friend, online poster or even a poorly-informed Cast Member, don't take them to heart as they are complete fiction and can potentially ruin what could have been an awesome visit to Walt Disney World. 

1. Guests don’t always need dining reservations 

Image: Theme Park Tourist, Flickr (license)

While theme park food in general is often regarded as a terror of the deep fried variety, Walt Disney World has earned a reputation for having high quality options, particularly in the realm of table service dining. However, even though there are nearly 100 sit-down restaurants all around Walt Disney World’s parks and resorts, that doesn’t mean you can just drop in and dine the same way you might at an Olive Garden. 

The vast majority of the table service restaurants at Walt Disney World fill up with reservations weeks in advance and while guests may be able to find walk up availability, it is rare that you’ll be able to eat at both the location you wanted at the time you were hoping. In fact most walk up availability happens in either the early afternoon (when most guests are still burning through their FastPass+ reservations) or during each park’s nightly spectaculars (Fantasmic!, Wishes, etc.) And even then, seating is not guaranteed, and many guests will simply be turned away from full restaurants. 

Image: Theme Park Tourist, Flickr (license)

Though most guests probably don’t want to deal with making reservations in advance, unless you are planning to rely solely on quick service dining during a Walt Disney World visit, you absolutely must make reservations in advance, as soon as you are eligible. Disney may be the happiest place on Earth, but they have no problem turning you away from a completely booked restaurant and believing otherwise could leave you very hungry during your vacation. 

2. There are easy ways of getting out of paying for parking

Image: Theme Park Tourist, Flickr (license)

Parking at a Walt Disney World theme park is not a pleasant experience. First you have to surrender $20. Then you have to wait in what is typically a very slow moving line to get to a parking space that feels like it is a million miles away from the nearest tram stop. However, even though parking at Walt Disney World is a hassle, guests who try and "outsmart" the system to get a cheaper or closer parking spot may find themselves quite disappointed, as many of their parking lot avoidance techniques will ultimately cause more headaches. 

By far the most popular parking avoidance technique involves guests parking at Disney Springs (which has free parking) and then using a resort shuttle followed by a park shuttle in order to get to their chosen park. Though this might seem like a good idea in theory, the transportation involved can take between two and three hours each way (depending on how busy the resort is), which can make things very difficult if a guest is trying to get back to their car at Disney Springs after Magic Kingdom closes at 12AM. 

Image: Theme Park Tourist, Flickr (license)

Some guests also try and park at resorts in order to get a better spot without paying that pesky $20 fee. While guests can generally park at a resort if they have a dinner reservation or are visiting a watering hole like Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto, each hotel reserves the right  to refuse parking for non-hotel guests for any reason and if a guest is parking with the express intent to avoid paying for parking at a theme park, they run the risk of their vehicle being towed.

While Disney has historically been fairly lax with its enforcement of parking violators, with guest levels rising every year, those who are looking to get around the rules may not enjoy the same leniency in the future.  

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Comments

Here's a fun tip. Before we bought DVC, we would rent a townhouse in Windermere. Instead of driving all the way down south to pick up World Drive, we would simply come in the back gate (Center Drive) off Reams Road. We could get from the townhouse to the MK parking lot in ten minutes. If you've ever driven south on Floridian Way you may have noticed a "turn here" sign a few hundred feet before the MK toll booths. Not knowing where we were going the first time, we followed the sign and turned left. The result is we completely avoided the toll booths and thus the toll. This is a legit left turn, sign and all. With the new parking construction I expect this hidden perk to go away but it saved us a couple of bucks over the years.

In reply to by znelson (not verified)

I've always noticed this entry to the MK parking lot and wonder how many people use it. We stayed at Port Orleans French Quarter this year and used the 'back way' to get to the MK parking lot, so convenient!

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