Have you ever heard someone say they “hate Disney” or they “aren’t a Disney person”? I hear this all of the time when I talk about being a Disney Fanatic, and it often makes me wonder. How could anyone possibly hate the happiest place on Earth? But when I visit Disney, I can see evidence of why people might not be enjoying themselves as much as they could. Here is our list of 6 errors Disney novices sometimes make that can ruin an otherwise magical vacation.
6 Ways You Might Be Doing Disney Wrong!
6. YOU FAIL TO PLAN PROPERLY OR ENOUGH
If there is one tip that I cannot stress enough, it’s to PLAN PLAN PLAN for your upcoming trip. This means reserving your meals, reserving your Fastpasses, and having a general idea of a schedule for each day of your vacation. Disney is not something you can do “on a whim” if you expect to accomplish much of anything while you’re there. Lack of proper or adequate planning will inevitably lead to long waits for rides, long waits for food, and considerable disappointment.
5. YOU FORCE CHILDREN TO DO THINGS THAT SCARE THEM
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched well-meaning parents cajoling unwilling children onto attractions that they are clearly apprehensive to experience. If your child is saying they are afraid to do something, you’d best heed their warning and skip it for now. Forcing a child onto a ride that ends up terrifying them is a recipe for disaster. They may become reluctant to try any new ride, and your family will be left spending a lot of money to do a lot of nothing.
4. YOU VISIT DURING THE HOTTEST OR MOST CROWDED TIMES
While Disney is almost always busy, there are certain seasons and times of the year that are far more crowded than others. Major school holidays (like Christmas, New Year’s, and Easter) as well as the summer months (late June through mid August) are times when the crowds will be at their highest levels. Higher crowd levels mean longer waits for attractions, more people trying to eat at the same time, and more people utilizing Disney transportation systems. While it’s possible to have a wonderful time on even the busiest of Disney days, less experienced Disney visitors may find these high crowd level times very frustrating and ultimately not much fun. For first time visitors and Disney novices, the best times to visit are early fall (especially September and early October) and late January through early February. Crowds will be smaller, parks will be much easier to navigate, and the weather will generally be more cooperative.
3. YOU TRY TO DO EVERYTHING IN A SINGLE VACATION
Walt Disney World is a sprawling vacation destination including 4 major theme parks, 2 water parks, and a large shopping area. Unless you have a full two weeks or so to spend on your vacation, it would be virtually impossible to “do it all”. Most families, with an average stay of 5-7 days, will not be able to ride every ride or see every show. And that’s OK! As your children get older, their desires and interests will change. Base your priorities for each vacation on the priorities of your family and you can’t go wrong!
2. YOU FORGET YOU’RE ON VACATION
A Disney vacation may not be “relaxing” in the same way that a tropical island vacation may be, but it would still be wise to remember that this is, first and foremost, a vacation. I know that a Disney vacation can be expensive, but that doesn’t mean you have to be busy every single second of every single day to get your money’s worth. There is something to be said for allowing your family to have some downtime. This may be in the form of time at the pool, shopping at Downtown Disney, or touring some of Disney’s beautiful resorts. Rushing around constantly for six or seven days straight may not be everyone’s idea of fun. So take some time to stop and smell the roses (literally or figuratively). Your family will thank you.
1. YOU TRY TO PINCH EVERY SINGLE PENNY
While Disney can be done on a budget, you should do some research to see which opportunities to save make sense and which are just a waste of time or exercise in frustration. Case in point: many people believe that eating inside the theme parks is outrageously expensive and insist on leaving the parks to eat off property. While it is certainly true that a family can eat for less money at a local chain restaurant than at a table service restaurant within the theme parks, the time spent traveling to and from these off property locations may steal hours of touring time from a family’s vacation. Time lost in the parks is also money lost. It may be more prudent to eat less expensive Disney food at their quick service locations than to leave the parks to eat. You also don’t want to have to deprive yourself or your children of that Mickey Mouse ice cream bar or special souvenir because you didn’t budget for the extra few dollars. Leave some money in your budget for some extra special treats.
Have you ever seen someone “doing Disney wrong”? Leave us a comment below!
BONUS TIP: Consider planning and booking your next Disney trip with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner you can trust like Mickey Travels. They’ll help you get the best price for your vacation, share expert advice and their services are totally FREE! It’s genius!