9 Rookie Planning Mistakes That can Totally Screw Up Your Disney Trip
Every now and then, a vacation doesn’t go as planned. When you’re at the happiest place on earth, you want to make sure you aren’t going to be miserable. Be sure to avoid these rookie mistakes on your next Disney World vacation!
9. Don’t wait until last minute for dining reservations – Dining reservations at Walt Disney World become available 180 days before the date of your planned reservation – 190 days if you have a resort reservation already in place. The reservations open up at 6:00 a.m. on Walt Disney World’s website, whereas their call center doesn’t open until 7:00 a.m. While not every dining location has a high demand that would require this, various locations – such as Cinderella’s Royal Table and Akershus Royal Banquet Hall – can become booked incredibly fast. If you think your restaurant of choice will have a high demand, be sure to wake up early so you can get online at 6:00 to get your reservation.
8. Ask about cancellations at restaurants – If you didn’t get a dining reservation, nothing became available, or if you felt like trying to eat at one of these places on a whim, try asking about cancellations the day of at the dining location. For example, I was able to get a table for three at Be Our Guest on Thanksgiving by asking about cancellations – and there had been plenty! The worst that can happen is that the restaurant doesn’t have any, but if you were really hoping for a certain location, it can never hurt to ask. Who knows – you might just get a table! For dinner cancellations, ask at around 4:00 p.m.
7. Prepare for Florida summers – Florida summers are extremely hot and extremely rainy. Be sure you bring plenty of bottles of water or have some money set aside solely for cold beverages and snacks so you and your family can stay hydrated. On the other hand, Florida summers are infamous for how rainy they can be. Intense thunderstorms are a daily occurrence in Florida, so be sure to come prepared with rain coats and/or ponchos so you don’t scramble to either leave the park or buy one alongside all of the other guests who didn’t prepare for rain.
6. Prepare for Florida winters – While it can be pretty warm in the winter in Florida, it’s not always 85 degrees Fahrenheit and sunny. It’s common to see guests in shorts and tank tops at the parks in the winter, but once the sun goes down it can actually get pretty cold! While it’s not about to snow or drop to an extremely low temperature, be sure to bring a jacket or some jeans to avoid any surprise wind chills that might come through.
5. Bring pain medication and a quick pick me up – Even though there is a nurse’s station at all of the Walt Disney World theme parks, sometimes they can be extremely busy. If you want to avoid potentially waiting a long time, be sure to pack your own ibuprofen, antacids, and something like a protein bar in case you need it. This way you can stay healthy without having to divert from your schedule.
4. Bring a phone charger – Being at a Walt Disney World park can sometimes mean very long days depending on your itinerary. A phone charger is an absolute must, especially if you plan on taking a lot of pictures with it. There are charging stations in various locations throughout the parks, but for ultimate convenience, a portable charger or a phone case with a battery pack in it to charge your phone is preferable.
3. Allow yourself time to wait in lines – Plenty of Disney first timers don’t expect to wait in line as long as they do. Some wait times can be only ten minutes, but sometimes they can go upwards of a few hours. Some characters can take longer periods of time due to interactivity, so give yourself time to wait in line for attractions or characters because it can take longer than expected. Using FastPasses can help with this issue.
2. Use My Disney Experience – My Disney Experience is a mobile application that you can also access online with your Disney World account. My Disney Experience links to your Magic Band or admission ticket, your hotel reservation, your FastPasses, and your dining reservations. You can make plans, select your FastPasses ahead of time, make dining reservations, and add other members of your party to your Friends and Family list. My Disney Experience also lists wait times for rides and characters and lists character locations. My Disney Experience is a very convenient way to manage your Disney world vacation regardless of how often you visit.
1. Pack comfortable shoes – Don’t make the mistake of wearing the wrong shoes otherwise you will need your own fairy godmother! No one wants blisters at Disney and you are going to be doing a ton of walking around the parks to get from Point A to Point B. Don’t buy a brand new pair of sneakers for your vacation without breaking them in a few times before hand. Otherwise, you will be in a lot of pain all day!
If you take this advice to heart, you will be able to enjoy your Disney vacation to the full extent. Don’t be a rookie and ensure that you and your family have a magical day!
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!
Jessica is a multimedia journalist and lover of all things Disney, including Marvel and Star Wars. Jessica is an Annual Passholder at Walt Disney World and visits approximately once a month. She loves any excuse to Disney Bound or cosplay at the parks and you can probably find her on The Haunted Mansion.