Have you ever encountered a stressful situation at Disney and lost your cool? Disney World can be taxing, especially if you haven’t planned ahead, if the park is super busy, or a number of other unforeseen circumstances. In any case, we’ve pulled together a list of the top 10 things that can make you crazy at Disney along with solutions to these situations.
10. You can’t get on any ride with less than a 40 minute wait.
Is it peak season? Or simply just mid-day? Either way, you’re likely to find that most rides have a lengthy wait. We’re not just talking about a 2-hour wait for the most popular ride in the park; most rides accumulate hefty lines at some point in the day. If you were unaware of what to expect, you’re probably on the verge of a nervous breakdown because you just spent roughly $100 to wait in many long lines.
Solution: Arrive at the park first thing in the morning to stay ahead of the crowds. Check out our article, How to Beat the Lines at Disney for more tips.
9. You can’t get the FastPasses you want at the kiosk.
You insisted that you weren’t going to decide on what rides you would visit in advance of your trip, and here you are, standing at a FastPass+ kiosk in the park. You’re shaking your head, wondering where all the “good” FastPasses are. Unfortunately, they were reserved by people who did it in advance.
Solution: If you want to reserve really popular experiences and optimal times, you’ll have to do it in advance using My Disney Experience.
8. You’ve walked up to several restaurants for dinner and none can seat you.
In general, you really need to book dining reservations in advance. For the absolutely most popular places (think LeCellier, Be Our Guest, Cinderella’s Royal Table, etc.) you will want to do that up to 180 days in advance of your trip. I’ve never had a problem booking one or two “last minute” (meaning, the week of my trip) reservations for my party of 2 guests for the majority of “average” popularity places. However, it’s still highly recommended that you book every sit-down meal ahead of time.
Solution: Book reservations in advance, always. If you don’t want to have every single meal planned out in advance, enjoy some of the counter service restaurants when you want to eat “on a whim.” Some of them are really quite good!
7. It’s really, really hot and humid.
Heat is one thing. Florida heat plus humidity is something else entirely! It is much more uncomfortable than dry heat. You will want to be prepared for this, especially if you are travelling during the summer months. If you do not tolerate heat and humidity well, you’ll want to be especially prepared.
Solution: Drink plenty of water. Bring a hat that provides good coverage. Don’t skip the sunscreen! Consider using a cooling towel around your neck- as the water in the towel evaporates, your skin is cooled. Also, take plenty of breaks in the air conditioning, or take a break at your resort during the hottest hours of the day.
6. Your MagicBand isn’t working correctly/charging right, etc.
Perhaps it’s just my nervous nature, but I like to carry backup with me. Yes, your ticket info is on your Magic Band. Yes, your credit card info is stored there too. Personally, I like to bring backup- just in case- and I’d recommend that, at least on the first day you use it. While I’ve never had a problem with ticket information on my Magic Band, I have had the experience of my charges being linked to the wrong credit card (to someone else in my traveling party). All Magic Band inquiries can be taken to Guest Services or your resort’s front desk.
Solution: Carry your ticket and/or credit card as backup, just in case, at least on your first day. Once you’ve confirmed that things are working correctly, you’re free to roam sans wallet.
5. You have a blister/headache/other ailment.
On your Disney vacation you’re probably walking more than you’re used to (5-10 miles per day, potentially), eating differently, and perhaps experiencing different weather. Naturally, it’s bound to happen- a headache, a stomachache, exhaustion, dehydration, or a blister. Any of these things could put a serious damper on your day (or week) if not taken care of.
Solution: Prevention is your first line of defense. Wear comfortable shoes, don’t push yourself too hard, etc. Bring bandages in the event that you do get a blister (I like the waterproof bandage tape that can be cut to size), and medicine for whatever typically ails you. When you start feeling poorly, take a break! Pushing yourself is not likely to make anything better.
4. Your kids (or adults, for that matter) are cranky.
Going to Disney World is a vacation, but one that can be very activity-heavy and busy. At some point, someone in your party is likely to get cranky, for whatever reason.
Solution: If the excitement and laughter surrounding you in the park isn’t enough to break you out of your funk, then your next solution to try is to take a break! Grab a Mickey ice cream bar and sit down somewhere cool. Try to relax. If you/your child is still cranky, then by all means, leave the park! Crankiness is a sign that you’re simply pushing yourself too hard. A nap or a dip in the pool might work wonders. A young child who is cranky might even just need a quick nap in his or her stroller- pull down the stroller shade and let them have that needed rest.
3. WHERE. IS. THE. BUS!?!?!
Free transportation to and from the parks? Perfect! Except, it’s not perfect. Whether you just missed the bus you wanted to catch, or the bus arrived full to the brim, or the bus simply isn’t showing up- no matter what the issue, it’s likely that your blood is beginning to boil. I have definitely seen people lose their cool over bus issues! I may even admit to being one of those people.
Solution: Expect that there will be issues. I’m not saying that you should be negative, but know that the system is not perfect. Try practicing patience. If a bus does not arrive for a long time, alert someone at your resort or Guest Services so they can find out what the issue is. You may also avail yourself of other options; some parks can be walked to, depending where you are staying. There is also boat access to certain parks from some resorts. If the bus is your only option, let someone know about the problem and then just hang tight.
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2. Someone just stood RIGHT in front of you during a parade. You staked out this spot an hour ago!
The unwritten rule that I follow for parades is, if a small child can’t see, I let him or her in front of me between myself and the rope. I try to make eye contact with the parent to let them know, “Yes, your child is right here in front of me and it’s fine.” Usually the parents stand close by and there’s no issue. After all, I can see perfectly fine over a child. If an adult tries to push in front of you or your child, I think it’s perfectly acceptable to say “Excuse me, I’ve been waiting here for quite some time to get a good view. Would you mind moving over?”
Solution: View parades from less popular locations (not Main Street, U.S.A.) where you are less likely to have people butt in front of you at the last minute. Be polite but firm if someone does come in front of you, and be flexible and allow little ones in front of you when possible.
1. Your child is lost.
This is truly a reason to “lose it!” In the rare event that you cannot find your child, rest assured that Cast Members throughout the park are trained to handle this situation. Children are treated as if their parents are lost, not them. This takes a bit of the anxiety off the child. “Lost parents” can go to any Cast Member for help. Children who are not found within 10 minutes are taken to the Baby Care center or Guest Relations to wait while the parents are located.
Solution: Before your trip, put a sticker or bracelet on your child with your phone number on it. Keep a close eye on your child, and carry him or her in especially crowded areas if necessary. If they happen to wander off, stay as calm as possible and notify a Cast Member. For more details, read our article “What to Do If Your Child Is Lost At Disney”.
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