Eight Rookie Mistakes to Avoid at Walt Disney World
Your first visit to Walt Disney World won’t go perfectly. No vacation does. But MickeyBlog wants to help you avoid some mistakes that could cause you to have a lot less fun. Here are a few more rookie mistakes to avoid during a trip to Disney.
Cutting the Time Too Close
When you’re home, you’re in control of your arrival and departure times. You have a firm idea of how long you’ll need to drive to work, restaurants, and stores because you’ve done it so often. Importantly, you’re driving and know that you can hit the gas pedal and zoom through a few yellow lights as needed.
Walt Disney World works much differently. When you’re in the Disney bubble, you’re ceding control of your transportation times. You don’t get to decide when the buses and boats arrive or leave or even how many stops they make.
Something you’ll struggle to understand until you’ve experienced it is the mercurial nature of Disney transportation. Sometimes, you must wait longer than expected for a ride. Similarly, you won’t know where everything is at Disney. You’re sure to get turned around a few times.
All of these situations potentially make you late, and being tardy at Disney has consequences. You might miss your FastPass window or be late for an Advanced Dining Reservation. For that matter, you might miss fireworks or the parade. You certainly don’t want that.
Always allow for a time buffer in your plans. I’d suggest an extra 15 minutes. By doing this, you’ll give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination without feeling desperate.
Eating at the Wrong Places
I went through an extended gap between my childhood visits to Walt Disney World and the ones I’ve taken as an adult. Once I was old enough to be in charge of my own decisions, I suddenly realized that Disney is overflowing with quality restaurants. And it also has a few that are frankly nothing special.
When you’re a rookie, you can eat very well as long as you do a bit of research. Learn which restaurants are worth your time and money. Also, read some articles to learn which places may short wait-times or last-minute Advanced Dining Reservations available.
Your meals will sustain you while you’re burning a ton of calories at Disney. You must eat smart and manage your time efficiently.
Leaving Too Early
I understand that it’s easy to get tuckered out during a hectic park day. However, Disney is somehow more magical at night. The bright lights at the four parks combined with the majestic Disney landmarks will hypnotize you with their grandeur.
Also, each park presents some kind of nighttime fireworks exhibition. All of them are well worth your time. You totally miss out on their greatness when you exit too early.
For that matter, I should add that lines for popular attractions grow shorter as closing time nears. You might sneak in a ride or two that you hadn’t expected. Remember: You can catch up on your sleep once your trip is over and you’re back home.
Not Downloading My Disney Experience
Are you someone who feels lost without your phone? Or are you a technophobe who hates that everyone’s always looking at their phones? Wherever you stand on this issue, you’re going to need My Disney Experience.
This Disney app has become the hub for all significant aspects of a park day. You can schedule FastPasses, order food, or even shop for merchandise online. In fact, it’s so useful that it ties into the next avoidable rookie mistake, too.
Not Using Disney Maps
Do you remember that feeling on your first day of school when you didn’t know where any of your classes were? Disney can seem like that whenever you visit somewhere new. You’ll need a map.
When you don’t read a map, you’ll struggle to understand some of the pathways through the parks. While Walt Disney World features some of the smartest theme park designs ever, you can’t help but feel lost sometimes.
Grabbing a map will help you skip this aggravation. And I have great news! My Disney Experience comes with detailed maps of the parks. So, you don’t even need a physical map, just your smartphone and the app!
Remembering an Umbrella
Don’t laugh. Prepping for rain may seem like a common sense thing when you’re at home. When you pack for a vacation day at the parks, however, you might forget some essentials due to the hectic nature of the preparations.
Let me say this clearly. Central Florida receives a ton of rain. A lot of it seems to come out of nowhere on a previously sunny day. You should always pack an umbrella or rain slicker. Otherwise, you’re certain to get caught off-guard, leaving you with messy hair and wet clothes in your vacation photos.
I cannot stress this point enough. You’re making a mistake when you don’t stay at an official Disney resort. As a way to entice guests to spend all their time at Walt Disney World, the company provides many spectacular amenities to those staying onsite.
You’ll receive access to Extra Magic Hours, get your Magic Bands for free, and take Magical Express to and from your hotel. In addition, you’ll receive the best possible free transportation, a combination of buses, boats, gondolas, and monorails.
Any financial savings that you may find by staying off-campus will get canceled out by the time you’ll waste traveling to the parks. You’ll have to stay all day rather than take some relaxing breaks at your Disney hotel, too. It’s just a bad idea.
Your smartest strategy is to contact a MickeyTravels agent. These highly skilled professionals know all of the ins and outs of Disney vacations. They can find you the best prices on a Disney hotel room that’s right for you. Best of all, their services are entirely free to you!
Trying to Cram Too Much into a Short Stay
Walt Disney World is a composite of several different vacation destinations. During your visit, you’ll choose between four theme parks, two water parks, two entertainment districts, and a sports complex.
At least six of those require a minimum of a half-day to appreciate fully. Three of the parks are impossible to explore entirely in less than a day. Some friends have told me that they plan to spend two days at Walt Disney World and feel surprised when I scoff at the notion. It’s ludicrous.
When my wife and I took our first Disney vacation together, we stayed for seven nights. During our flight home, we marveled at how we’d barely scratched the surface of things we wanted to do.
Walt Disney World is a playground for children and adults alike. You owe it to yourself to spend a minimum of five nights here. And more is better. When you try to take on too much, you’ll feel frenzied the entire trip and thereby reduce your enjoyment.