‘Time Wasters’ at Walt Disney World You Might Want To Avoid
Your time at Walt Disney World is precious, especially if you aren’t an Annual Passholder or Disney Vacation Club Member who attends the resort frequently. Only you can decide how you want to spend your time; however, here are some things you may want to avoid spending time on during your Disney vacation.
1. Going To Other Parks
This will vary depending on how often you get to Disney. There’s so much to experience at Walt Disney World that we personally don’t recommend giving up one or more full days to go to other places (like Universal, Sea World, etc.) if it’s your first or only trip to Disney, or if you go there very rarely. If you are already staying at Disney for any length of time, remember that every additional park day is cheaper than the previous one. Once you buy 4 days of park tickets, the 5th, then a 6th, and a 7th cost considerably less per day than your first few days.
2. Too Many Character Breakfasts
Before you get the tar and feathers, hear me out. I love meeting characters more than the average adult and complete “get” the magic of it. Truly, it’s what the Disney experience is all about- especially for children. That being said, the morning is the best time to experience the parks- lines are shorter, the heat is more tolerable, and your family isn’t fatigued yet. Planning one or two breakfasts on your week long trip is a fine idea- but planning one for every morning isn’t your best use of time. Try to mix it up with some character lunches or dinners and other regular meet and greets.
3. Waiting In Line
Whether you get up early (which I will always recommend) to arrive at the park before opening, or you use your FastPass+ selections wisely- or preferably both- please don’t waste more time than necessary waiting in lines. Having a plan about what to see and do is immensely helpful. Knowing that people regularly stroll into the park at 11 am and then spend over an hour waiting to ride Space Mountain pains me! Get to those popular attractions early.
Disney does have a few miniature golf courses (Winter Summerland and Fantasia Gardens), and while they are heavily themed and probably great fun, you may not want to spend time traveling to those courses during your trip unless you have a great deal of extra time.
5. Every Meal As A “Sit Down”
Disney has some spectacular dining, and sit-down meals are a great way to take a break and relax. However, you might not want to plan for too many sit-down meals. The time spent having 2-3 dining reservations per day is quite a bit. You have to plan your day around your reservation times, which limits your flexibility. One dining reservation per day is much more manageable. There are loads of great counter service options that you can take advantage of on the fly, like Sunshine Seasons at EPCOT or Columbia Harbor House in the Magic Kingdom. And yes, you can still “sit-down” while you eat.
6. Whole Day At Disney Springs
Disney Springs is a fun excursion and step off the beaten path. That being said, I wouldn’t necessarily plan to spend a whole day there. In addition to your time, you’re sure to be spending lots of money when you go! Also, the bus transportation to Disney Springs is often some of the most crowded and slowest you’ll find, so keep that in mind if you try to plan a “quick” trip.
It’s hot, it’s crowded, your child is cranky, and your feet hurt- dwelling on these things won’t make anything better. Some people are opposed to going back to their resort for a nap, swim, or shower, but I think that relaxing (especially mid-day) is time well-spent. And if it keeps you from feeling tired, cranky, or ill, then it is undoubtedly worth doing.
8. Attractions That Don’t Interest You
I’m definitely a “do everything at least once” proponent, but there’s also something to be said for not wasting time on something your family just won’t enjoy that much. Knowing something about the attractions before you go on your trip will help you make decisions about what to spend your time on. Realizing that your young child simply hates fireworks and choosing to do other activities in the evening is smart, too! And just because everyone has told you how great a certain parade might be, if you just don’t like parades, don’t do it! This is your vacation and you should do what you want.
9. Deciding What To Do Next
I love itineraries. You don’t have to have one, but at the very least, I’d recommend planning what parks you’ll visit each day. You have to do that with the FastPass+ system anyway. I’d also make a list of the attractions that are very popular (and have long lines) so you can go to them early in the day before they get extremely crowded. A simple list that includes what park to go to (and when it opens), which attractions are most popular and should be done first, an idea of where to eat, and what can be saved for later in the day, along with a list of your FastPasses for the day, can save you valuable time that might be spend standing around saying, “Ok, what should we do next?”
10. Getting Lost
You took the wrong bus, or the wrong monorail, and now you’re confused and a solid 30 minutes farther away from reaching your destination. The Disney Transportation System isn’t all that confusing, but it’s still simple enough to make an error. Be mindful of signs to avoid this time waster. It doesn’t hurt to have an idea of how the system generally works, so you don’t have to figure it out while you’re using it for the first time. Little bits of studying in advance can make getting around much easier and less time-consuming!
I hope you’ve enjoyed our list of time-wasters. But remember- just like one man’s trash is another’s treasure, we realize that one of our “time wasters” might be your favorite activity! What do you avoid spending time on on your Disney vacation?
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Meredith Smisek is a kid at heart and works as an elementary school guidance counselor. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, dog, and parrot. Meredith's hobbies include cooking, playing ukulele, and "talking Disney" with anyone she knows who is planning a trip to Disney or has just returned.