We love Walt Disney World, but during our first trip with just our little family, I made three mistakes that almost ruined the entire trip.
Mistake #1: Over-planning
Trying to get the most for our money, I spent hours and hours trying to plan the perfect experience for all of us. I read every review, studied every crowd calendar, and worried my Disney travel agent to death, trying to get everything JUST right. I was practically obsessed, my Pinterest boards were overflowing with all things WDW related. I spent days making sure our kids had the perfect costumes to wear to Cinderella’s Royal Table. It was all I talked about for months, driving my husband insane with all the minutia of it.
I initially had our schedule down to 30 minute increments, but upon discussing it with a wise, WDW seasoned friend, she advised me that this plan would NOT work, and that I would likely ruin our time there if I was rushing us from ride to ride, not stopping to enjoy the Disney magic. Once we were actually there, I was SO glad I took her advice! There were moments I hadn’t planned for that made the best memories during that trip.
Definitely do some planning, fast passes and restaurant reservations are a MUST, but don’t forget to leave room for some magic in that itinerary!
Mistake #2: Lack of Flexibility
During our five days in the parks, I had made plans and reservations for every single day we were there. Our park days started on a Monday and by Wednesday, we were all exhausted. My plan had been to spend that day at Animal Kingdom, a park none of us had ever been to before. We had an 8 am breakfast reservation, and a 5 pm dinner reservation in the park. After breakfast and a couple of rides, none of us were having any fun. We were all just dragging ourselves from location to location, complaining about the heat and how tired we were. I was determined to see it all!! But at about 11:30, my husband said, “Honey, we’re all miserable. Can’t we just go back to the resort and rest for a while?” The kids, to my shock, immediately agreed. I started to protest, when he interrupted (reading my mind on what I was going to say), and added, “It’s not much of a vacation if we’re not having any fun.”
That was all it took for me to realized that I needed to loosen up on the reins a bit here. We left the park and went back to our hotel. We all napped, then I took the kids swimming for the afternoon while my husband got some extra rest. I canceled our dinner reservation, and we wandered over to the Grand Floridian and ate dinner at their quick service restaurant. We finished up our meal on the patio just in time to catch the fireworks from the Magic Kingdom. We all look back on that as one of the BEST nights of that trip. After resting that day, we were able to enjoy the rest of the week without exhaustion.
Sometimes, especially if you’re family isn’t feeling it, you’ve got to be a bit flexible with the plans.
Mistake #3: Perfectionism
When it was finally time for our big trip, I was a bundle of nerves. I had my heart set on the “perfect” trip. I was more nervous about something that might go wrong than I was excited about all the things that were going right. During the middle of our first day at the Magic Kingdom, my husband made me sit down and take a breather. He told me to stop stressing it all and just enjoy it. I tried to take his advice that day, but it was difficult for me to let go. Later that night, after SEVERAL incidents that had not gone as planned (including a 3 hour delay for a princess make-over and someone else’s projectile vomiting kid on a crowded bus), I decided to give up the perfectionism. My kids were having fun, even if things weren’t going as exactly as I had meticulously planned them.
Once I let go of that ideal trip, things went much more smoothly. Or maybe I just didn’t notice the bumps in the road because I was too busy enjoying the scenery.
It’s super easy to fall victim to any of these three habits when on a Disney vacation. Any one of them can make for a difficult, if not terrible trip to see Mickey Mouse. Be sure to keep in mind what’s most important: spending quality time with your family in the most magical place on earth!
Planning your Disney Vacation? Check out my other articles that will definitely help you out!