Hello! Welcome back to my blog, if it’s your first time here then welcome in general! Today I’ll be talking about the most common mistakes people make at Walt Disney World. Some of these I’ve learned from personal experience and others I have seen other people do and end up missing out on making the most of their trip…
Not Planning Rest Days
For the most part, Walt Disney World is not a relaxing holiday as such, it’s the kind of holiday you need a relaxing holiday after! I know you probably want to be making the most of every second you spend at Disney but be sure to plan for rest days, you will need them!
Wearing The Wrong Footwear
A single day at one of the Walt Disney World parks can see you averaging between 10-15 miles of walking. It’s so, so important to make sure you wear comfortable shoes!
Not Packing For Florida Weather
Florida heat is relentless, but so are the sporadic thunderstorms and flash downpours! Be sure to pack a foldaway raincoat/disposable ponchos or a light umbrella just in case. Alternatively, you can just embrace the rain for the few minutes that it falls and dry off pretty quickly in the heat (like we did!) Here’s a video of the downpour we experienced in the UK Pavillion at Epcot (figures!)
Not Using The My Disney Experience App
I know it can be temperamental, but trust me, this is the main hub for everything you need to know about what’s going on in Walt Disney World at any given moment. You can check wait times, book dining reservations, shop for merchandise, book FastPasses and modify your plans all in this app. Disney has rolled out various updates since I went last year and it seems to work much better now, so make sure you’ve got it downloaded so you can check what’s going on!
Not Booking FastPass+ In Advance
If you’re staying on Walt Disney World property for your vacation, you can book up to 3 FastPasses per day, 60 days before you are due to arrive. If you are not staying on-site, your booking window opens up 30 days prior to arrival and works in the same way. This really puts you in the best chances of scoring those hard-to-get FastPasses (such as Flight Of Passage or Seven Dwarfs Mine Train) so to ensure you get to ride the best rides, I highly recommend that you book your advance FastPass+!
Booking The Wrong Fastpasses
When booking your FastPasses, be sure not to book them for the ‘wrong’ attractions. Rides such as It’s A Small World in the Magic Kingdom or shows like Beauty and The Beast in Disney’s Hollywood Studios really don’t require a FastPass, even though they offer them. This is because of the number of people that can get on the ride/see the show at once makes the lines move so much quicker anyway, so don’t waste a FastPass on these! Save your FastPasses for the more popular rides and attractions with longer wait times.
Not Completing Advanced Online Check-In
Trust me, you’re going to want to do this. We did online check-in for our last trip back in September 2018 it still took 20 minutes by the time we actually got to the front of the queue at the resort. Save time by linking your credit card to your MagicBands and choosing your room preferences online before you arrive.
Not Trying The Various Snacks Available
I know that everything in Disney is overpriced, however, most of the snacks available are actually really good value. The portions are huge because hello, it’s America, and there’s often enough to share. Make the most of your trip and try some of those iconic Disney snacks!
Not Doing Your Research
When we went on our first trip last September, we were told by some friends to check out Animal Kingdom’s Rivers of Light show, however, when we got to WDW, there was no mention of Rivers of Light anywhere. It’s not advertised as a nighttime spectacular, you can only find the times for this show online under the Animal Kingdom section on the website. moral of the story, make sure you do your research so you don’t miss out!
Rushing/Being Too Rigid With Your Plans
Don’t be too rigid/strict with any plans you may have made. Rushing around Walt Disney World from one land to another to catch your next FastPass will only leave you feeling exhausted, and that’s not fun! Try to be as relaxed as possible with your plans, so many things can happen that may result in your plans needing to change ( rides breaking down or the weather for example) so it’s best to be as lenient as possible. If you’re going to be late for a Dining Reservation, just call the restaurant in advance to let them know, Disney tends to allow 15 minutes before they will offer the table to another party, however, we had a reservation at Ohana on our trip last year that we ended up being 45 minutes late for (thanks to the weather!) they still got us in as soon as we arrived. Of course, there’s no guarantee that they will always let you in but remember, Disney’s biggest aim is to make sure you have the best possible time, so if that means trying to squeeze you in for your reservation a little bit late, they will do everything they can to make it happen!
Not Making Use Of Morning Extra Magic Hours
The morning extra magic hours are great because most people tend to stay for the evening magic hours rather than get up early before the park opens, meaning they are generally quieter! Also, getting up early means you make the most of your day and you can get a few rides in before it gets too hot in the afternoon and it starts to get busy.
Leaving The Parks Straight After The Fireworks
Leaving the parks right after the fireworks is a big no! Reason being? EVERYONE is going to try and leave straight after the fireworks. The buses will be jam-packed and might even have to leave without you so then you end up having to wait even longer for the next bus. Why not stick around in the park for a while after the fireworks? This will give the transportation queues time to calm down and if you’re in the Magic Kingdom, you might even get to witness the ‘Kiss Goodnight’ (this is the final announcement at Cinderella’s Castle to wish guests goodnight and usually happens around 30 minutes after the park closes)
Not Exploring Other Resort Hotels
You may not know this but you can actually explore any of the resort hotels on Disney property even if you’re not staying there. This way you can get a feel for all the other great places you could stay, explore Walt Disney World and even try some of the exclusive snacks and food at each resort (The All-Star resorts have the best cupcakes!)
It’s no secret that Walt Disney World is expensive, and it’s only going to get more so. Some tips to make it a little cheaper are to get a ride to the nearest Walmart/Publix/Target and buy some snacks/merch there, it’s much cheaper and you will most likely get more for your money. You can also bring some of your store-bought snacks with you to the parks and to eat in your resort hotel for those days where you might want to save a bit of $$. We like to set ourselves a little budget for each day we are at Disney (be sure to account for tips in your budget too!)
Not Using Your Magic Band
MagicBands are the best thing since sliced bread in my opinion. You can pay for everything on your MagicBands and keep check of your expenditure on the app which saves having to carry cash/cards around with you and keeps you travelling light. You can tap in/out to all your FastPass+ rides and participate in various interactive games around the parks too. They just make everything so easy and convenient! The only downside to MagicBands is the fact that they make shopping so easy, you might end up spending a lot more than you budget for!
Carrying Your Purchases Around With You
If you are staying on-site at Walt Disney World, you can arrange to have any merchandise you buy in the parks sent to your resort hotel room to save you carrying them around the parks all day. Likewise, if you are staying off-site, you can get your purchases sent to a designated location at the front of the park to pick up when you exit. It’s completely free to do and means you can go on all the rides without worrying about where you will put your shopping bags! Just let the cashier know when making your purchases that you would like to utilise either of these options and they will sort it all out for you.
Is there anything you think could be added to the list/anything you learned from your own experience? Let me know in the comments and I’ll see you real soon!