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8 Ways You Might Be Doing Disney World Wrong… Really Wrong!

A Disney vacation requires a lot of research and careful planning, and even a seasoned Disney vacationer can run into some problems along the way. Just relax, and know that anything that you’re doing wrong can be easily prevented. Read on to see my 8 ways you’re doing Disney wrong, and how you can fix it:

8. Staying off property

The decision to stay on or off property has pros and cons either way. The biggest pro to staying off property is generally the price, however for me the convenience of staying on property makes the extra cost worth it. I also enjoy being at Disney even when I’m at my resort when I’m on a Disney vacation, and the resorts that are off property simply don’t have the same feel to me as a Disney resort does. This point is purely a matter of personal preference, though if price were the biggest factor, I would choose to compromise and stay on property but in a value resort. Check out “Disney Resorts 101: What You Must Know About Staying On Property At Disney World”.

7. Not making dining reservations

Some people don’t like to decide where they’ll be eating dinner a couple of months from now, and I totally understand that. But unfortunately for some Disney restaurants, you need to make reservations well in advance to guarantee yourself a table. There are a couple of plus sides to making dinner reservations so far in advance though: you’ll already know where you’re eating, so you won’t have to spend time while you’re in the parks wondering what’s for dinner. You’ll have the peace of mind that no matter how busy the park is you’re guaranteed to have a table. And you’ll have something to look forward to. Maybe you’ve wanted to eat at Biergarten for a while but you’ve never gotten around to it until you’re next trip, now you have a little something extra to be excited for. Having reservations already made can also give you time to look over the menu where you know you’ll be eating to determine how much money you’ll be spending on food. Check out “Disney Dining Reservations 101 – 5 Things You Need To Know”.

6. Letting the little things get to you

One of the major reasons why guests (adults and children alike) tend to have meltdowns while in Walt Disney World is because they’re stressing out over things that are really not that big of a deal. Things like the weather for instance, are out of your control. If you’re cranky because it’s raining, or because it’s hot and humid, the best solution is frankly to deal with it and move on. Complaining about something you can’t change isn’t going to make it any better, it’s only going to bring down the mood of your trip. Besides, a rainy day at Disney is still better than a sunny day at home.

5. Not using Fastpass (or making poor selections with it)

Making Fastpass selections in advance can be difficult because it means that you don’t really know what will be busy enough to need a Fastpass for. When deciding what to get Fastpasses for, think about what attractions you want to do most, and then consider which of those attractions typically have the longest wait times. I’d advise against using Fastpasses for shows, as these usually do not have as much of a benefit as a ride would have. Read 3 Major FastPass+ Tips & Over a Dozen Attractions You Should Never Waste a FastPass+ On for more information.

4. Sleeping in and/or going back to the hotel early

Sleeping in occasionally is perfectly fine, however sleeping most of the day away is not. By sleeping in, you’re missing valuable opportunities to ride some of the biggest attractions with shorter wait times, and you’re putting more pressure on yourself by trying to fit more in later in the day. Going back to the hotel early will give you the same problem, you’d be missing opportune moments to hit the attractions while they have short waits. You’ll love You Snooze, You LOSE! – 6 Things You’ll Miss If You Sleep In at Walt Disney World.

3. Purchasing the wrong tickets

Sometimes guests are simply uneducated about the different ticket options, which results in them unintentionally purchasing tickets that do not work well for them. The biggest problem I generally see with this is purchasing park hoppers when you don’t need them. Sometimes I see people who purchase park hoppers, and end up getting tired and going back to the hotel instead of going to another park, or just staying in the same park all day because they feel like it. You’re not getting your money’s worth at all by purchasing a park hopper and staying in one park, so make sure you understand the different ticket options and make an informed decision before you commit to one.

Bonus Tip!

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2. Not doing your research

Guests who don’t do any sort of research at all for their Disney vacation will have a more difficult time. They’re going to need to stop and ask lots of questions, and chances are they’ll spend some time reading up on what the parks have to offer when they could be enjoying the parks during their vacation. You don’t need to become a professional overnight, just do some basic research into how the transportation system works, what Fastpass is like, and the basics of what each park has to offer.

1. Wearing yourself out

A Disney vacation is tiring, so you’ll want to make sure you aren’t wearing yourself out. Give yourself plenty of time to relax throughout the day (or week) and know that it’s perfectly okay to head back to the resort to take a nap or hit the pool for a little bit. You’ll have a much more enjoyable time when you’re well rested and ready to go.

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About Brittany DiCologero

Brittany is a New England-based writer focused on the history of the Walt Disney World Resort. She is the author of "Red, White, and Disney: The Myths and Reality of American History at the Walt Disney World Resort," and "Brittany Earns Her Ears."