Going to Disney World is so exciting that many rookies just don’t know everything that they need to look into or avoid to keep from wasting time in the Disney parks. The first time I went, I spent so much time trying to cram everything in during my six day trip that I was too tired to take anything in or enjoy myself! The more trips I took, the more I realized what I should or should not do when going to the parks to save time and get a better experience. Here is a list of 8 time wasting mistakes rookies make at Walt Disney World.
8. Standing in line to buy tickets
One thing that many rookies don’t know is that you do not need to stand in line to buy tickets! Tickets should be purchased ahead of time either through the Disney site, with your travel agent, or from an authorized third party. If you are going to stand in line to buy tickets that means that you are wasting valuable time that could be spent experiencing the attractions or meeting your favorite characters.
7. Not booking FastPasses
It is so important to book FastPasses ahead of time. Resort guests are able to book theirs 60 days in advance and everyone else can do theirs 30 days in advance. Failure to do this runs the risk of not being able to get a FastPasses for the more popular rides, but it also means that you will be stuck waiting in line for a fast pass kiosk to see what is left that day. Rookies should know that the moment they are able to book their passes, they should do it!
6. Not making Advance Dining Reservations
Often times many people won’t book Advance Dining Reservations, but failure to do so means that you may not be able to get a table at a restaurant that you have been waiting to try. Even if you are able to get a table, advance dining means you sit down within minutes, but without the advance dining it means that you can wait up to an hour or more! That is an hour that could be spent exploring the parks, so make those advance dining reservations!
5. Sleeping in
A major mistake that rookies can make is sleeping in! Yes, it is vacation, and sleeping in is okay sometimes, but Disney is a marathon – not a sprint! Rookies cannot expect to sleep in and think that they’ll still be able to ride every ride they wanted to or meet the characters they have been dying to meet. Sleeping in is okay, but rookies must be prepared to have some early mornings or late nights to fit in the things they want to do. Check out “You Snooze, You LOSE! – 6 Things You’ll Miss If You Sleep In at Walt Disney World.”
4. Not having a plan
Many people think that they don’t need a plan going into Disney World, and while it’s great to be spontaneous, this unfortunately isn’t realistic. With attendance at an all-time high and fast passes being utilized by all guests, it is very important for rookies to have some idea of a plan so that they aren’t wasting time running around to different attractions and having to wait hours to do them.
3. Riding the headliners in the middle of the day
Many rookies like to go slow and take it all in, and that’s okay, however a huge mistake is waiting to do the bigger rides in the afternoon. Maybe you slept in, did a breakfast at 10am and are now ready to ride the attractions. But you are among hundreds that have done the same! Rookies should know that if they wake up early and head to the parks for open, they will end up riding more rides than if they waited until the middle of the day to start their attractions.
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2. Eating during peak hours
There are thousands upon thousands of guests at Disney World every day, and we are all programmed on a similar hunger clock, which means that we all want to eat lunch between noon and 2pm. The problem with this is that now there is a mad rush of people filling the quick service areas and tables and lines upon lines of people wanting to eat at the same time. One great way to avoid this is to eat around the peak times! Rookies should try eating around 11am or 3pm to avoid the rush and save lots of time for more of the exciting attractions that Disney has to offer.
1. Not using the My Disney Experience app
This is absolutely the very biggest mistake that rookies can make when traveling to Walt Disney World for the first time. The My Disney Experience app does it all – save your fast passes and allows you to change them, shows your dining reservations, where characters are, the menus of different restaurants, and so much more!! Having this app not only helps rookies stick to their plan, but it is extremely useful for when the plan doesn’t end up working out. Is the ride you have a fast pass for down for unexpected maintenance? Turn to your app and see where the nearest characters are or what the wait times are for nearby rides! This app is free, simple to use, and is the single best tool that rookies can use to maximize their time in Walt Disney World.
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 Walt Disney World deal, share expert advice and their services are totally FREE! It’s genius!
Photo courtesy of Disney Photo Snapper