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Don’t Make These Rookie Mistakes at Disney World

Disney World Mistakes

Disney World mistakes are easy to make if you’re a first time visitor. Avoid these rookie pitfalls to have the best Disney Trip ever.

Ignoring Crowd Calendar

Crowd calendars are key when planning a Walt Disney World get-away. Crowd levels at Disney World can vary widely from day to day, depending on what events are happening. Things like a Princess Marathon or a Pop Warner Playoff can drastically effect the number of people in the parks. Figuring out which days are more likely to be less crowded than others can be an overwhelming task. Thankfully there are som great online resources that take the guess work out of it.

Touringplans.com is my personal favorite. It does require a yearly fee of $14.95 to access a lot of the info on the site, but it WELL worth the investment. There are tons of resources available in their site, including a reservation finder that can help you snag hard to get seats at the most popular restaurants.

If you really need a free version, Undercovertourist.com has another quality crowd calendar. Theirs contains lots of info and can really help you plan your trip well.

No touring plans

Visiting Disney Parks is not what it used to be when we were kids.  In the 80s and 90s, you could waltz into a the Magic Kingdom without a plan and ride to your heart’s delight.  Those days are LONG gone.  With the ever expanding lands available to visitors, Disney World is more popular than ever with travelers.  Expecting to just show up and do stuff is definitely a recipe for disaster.  Fortunately, you can avoid making this king of Disney World mistakes if you do just a little planning.

There are plenty of resources out there, but again, I recommend Touringplans.com for the best resources to build a perfect itinerary for your trip.  As the name suggest, planning your tour of Disney Parks in their bread and butter, and in my opinion, nobody does it better.

No dining reservations

Walt Disney World offers some of the finest restaurants you can find anywhere, but don’t expect to just walk up and get a table.  Unless you want to eat fast food for your entire visit to Disney Parks, you NEED to book your table service dining in advance.  Ideally 180 days in advance from your trip.  This is when Walt Disney World allows guests to begin booking their dining experiences.

Not preparing for rain

Florida is a gorgeous state with glorious weather, but during any given week, you can probably expect a rain shower or two.  Be prepared in advance, and don’t let a little rain keep you from enjoying your time at the parks.  Being prepared with ponchos and other rain gear ahead of your visit really pays off when you are there.  Check out my post on what to bring in the perfect Disney Parks Bag to find some great deals on some essential gear. 

Refusing to use the My Disney Experience App

Of all Disney World mistakes, this one is definitely one made more often by non-tech savvy visitors.  DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT go to Disney without downloading the My Disney Experience App to your smartphone!  This tool is invaluable to visitors, helping you do everything from make more fast pass reservations, to find show times, to look at parks maps, to order food, and more!  To go on a trip without first familiarizing yourself with the app and how it works would be tragic.  My Disney Experience is available in the App Store and Google Play for FREE!!!

Sleeping In

This is one of my personal pet peeves when it comes to Disney World mistakes.  DON’T WASTE YOUR MORNING SLEEPING IN!!! So many people do this, which is why being at the parks as soon as they open still makes sense.

Disney World Resort Guests also get access to Extra Magic Hours, when the parks open early or stay open late just for resort guests!   Why would you miss out on this extra perk when you get to ride SO much before the parks fill up with all the late risers!  I know it’s your vacation, but for heaven’s sake, don’t waste it in your hotel room!!

Mis-Using Fast Passes

Ahhh, the Fast Pass!  Mickey Mouse’s gift to humanity!  These little gems have revolutionized the way people visit Disney World.  You basically get to make a reservation for a ride.  They are fantastic!  But don’t make the Disney World mistake of using them for something you don’t need them for!  There are lots of rides, like It’s A Small World and Mickey’s Philharmagic that you are unlikely to need a fast pass for.  Don’t waste those valuable passes on these rides.  Touringplans.com has a great resource to help you learn what fast passes are essential, and which ones you need to skip.

Trying to see EVERYTHING

Disney World is a massive place.  It would probably take you over a month to see and do EVERYTHING the parks offer.  Don’t expect to be able to do it all.  There will be some things you miss, and that is TOTALLY OK!  Seeing something new is one of the best things about return trips to Disney World!  Try to be realistic in your planning and you won’t be disappointed in the end.

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