Going to Disney World is usually a pleasant experience, but it can also be a headache if you haven’t prepared for it. First time visitors can make frequent mistakes, but thankfully these are easily corrected once you know what to avoid and what you should do.
10. Not doing research on the parks
Guests should know what the park hours are, what attractions are at each park, if any will be closed, what restaurants are there, what meals are offered, and what entertainment is available. Without this information, you’re wasting your time figuring it out as you go and can end up missing something that’s on your to-do list.
9. Not having a budget
It’s also important to have a spending limit for your trip. Not just for the hotel and tickets, but for food and souvenirs as well. Before you even leave for your vacation, decide as a group what your spending limit will be and how you plan on splitting that up throughout your time at Disney.
8. Not having a plan
Along with doing your research, having a plan is essential to having a smooth running Disney vacation. While you don’t need to have everything planned out, you should know what parks you plan on visiting on which days of your trip. Know ahead what attractions you absolutely must visit, what characters you just have to see, and plan your days around getting them done.
7. Not factoring in travel time
Whether you’re traveling via Disney’s free transportation service or your own car, you need to make sure you factor in travel time. This includes traffic, parking, waiting in line or having multiple bus stops. Just because you’re ready to leave doesn’t necessarily mean your transportation is. This especially needs to be taken into consideration if you’re trying to make a specific time for a dining reservation or Fastpass.
6. Not being prepared for the weather
It rains in Florida and the sun is strong. Not being prepared for either can put a damper on your vacation. The rain is easily taken care of as ponchos are sold in every Disney gift shop if you don’t have your own, but you should know that there is a chance of rain when you go and have a plan for what to do. Likewise, the sun is incredibly strong in Florida and if you’re not wearing sunblock, you can get badly burnt which will make the rest of your trip miserable.
5. Not leaving room for souvenirs in your suitcase
If you’re driving, this may not be so much of an issue, but you’ll still be limited on space. If you know you’ll be taking home souvenirs with you, be sure to leave some extra space in your luggage when you travel down. This way you’ll have a place to store all your Disney gear without juggling several shopping bags. If you’re flying, you should also keep in mind the weight restrictions on carry-on bags and that excessively heavy checked bags can cost extra.
4. Taking too much into the park with you
Some guests arrive at the Disney parks bringing everything they own with them. During the day, this becomes heavy and a pain to carry around. Limiting what you bring into the parks makes it easier to move around and can also help make your bag check go a little quicker. Take only what you need and leave the rest in your hotel room.
3. Not making dining reservations
Any table service restaurant will require a reservation made in advance. With the parks getting busier each year, even the restaurants that weren’t as busy before are now filling up. If you wait until your party is hungry to check out the restaurants, you’ll likely find a wait time over an hour long. Character dining experiences especially need an advance reservation and the earlier you can get those in, the better.
2. Not using Fastpass+ properly
With MagicBands, guests can now pick their Fastpasses ahead of time instead of making a mad dash to the kiosk when the parks open. However, not using them properly can be a big mistake. If you can, try to avoid any unnecessary walking back and forth across the park. You should also not book them too closely together or too close to your dining reservations. Having a full meal and then rushing through dessert so you can make Space Mountain is not the best idea.
1. Wearing brand new shoes
This is a common one. You may have got brand new shoes especially for the Disney parks, but if you didn’t take the time to wear them in first, they’ll become incredibly painful. Blisters form easily and can ruin the rest of your Disney vacation. If you do plan on getting new shoes, get them ahead of time so you can wear them around for a while to break them in. Your feet will thank you.
If you can avoid all these common mistakes, you’ll have a much more enjoyable Disney World vacation.
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