When you’ve just booked your first Disney vacation, you’re bound to be full of expectations, excitement—and possibly a little stress. Here are ten errors to avoid, so that you can have the first of many wonderful Disney vacations!
10) Trying to diet. Now is not the time to abstain from chocolate milkshakes and bread pudding. You’re on vacation, and Disney’s magic can be found in its food as well as in its parks!
9) Trying to skip the crowd-pleasers. Yes, there will probably be a line if you want to go on Expedition Everest, and yes, it will be almost impossible to get a picture in front of Cinderella’s Castle without a crowd in the photo. However, you shouldn’t give up on attractions and iconic photos just because other people want them too! You might be able to convince yourself that Splash Mountain and the Tree of Life are not essentials, but when you’re back home describing your vacation, you’ll probably reconsider and regret missing out.
8) Having too many priorities. There’s no need to have every day of your Disney schedule planned, but you will probably have at least a couple attractions or rides in each park that you will not want to miss. Try to keep this list small! With FastPass+ for your major goals and restaurant reservations for your meals, you can leave the rest of your day open for all of the adventures, magic, and snacking that may come your way!
7) Underestimating the value of a good Disney show. Roller coasters are great—but so is The Festival of The Lion King. If musicals aren’t your thing, try not to completely abandon them at Walt Disney World; there is a huge variety in their styles and lengths, from street performances to stage shows. Who knows? You might find yourself singing along or laughing more than you might have expected!
6) Staying together constantly. A Disney vacation is always fun when you go with your friends or your family—but keep in mind that a shared vacation is not always a more harmonious one. Sharing the Disney experience with your loved ones is definitely one of the highlights of a Disney vacation, but this does not mean that your entire group must stay together and do everything at the same time. Everyone has different tastes, and tension can build if you’re straining to maintain constant togetherness. Splitting up (unless you have small children or specific circumstances) can actually help everyone relax and get their own personal to-do’s out of the way! Splitting up will also give you a taste of the solitude and freedom that can come with an individual vacation, so you can test the experience for any future trips.
5) Beginning a vacation without any physical preparation. Transportation like the monorail is great for getting between parks, but you will still be doing a lot of travel on foot at each Disney location. Start power-walking ahead of time to avoid any unexpected blisters or aches!
4) Making every Disney location a priority. The water parks, Downtown Disney, and the BoardWalk are definitely fun, but they are not necessarily crucial to the quintessential Walt Disney World vacation. There is no need to visit every single part of Walt Disney World just because it’s on the list. It’s your vacation! You can pick and choose where you want to go!
3) Sunblock, sunblock, sunblock. You’re not going to feel like stopping for sunscreen applications during your Disney days, but a sunburn can put a damper on your Disney vacation and cause permanent damage to your skin, so do yourself a favor and reapply whenever you have a free moment. Hats, sunglasses, and cover-ups don’t hurt either! Remember the backs of your knees; traveling through the parks (and especially on stairs) becomes increasingly more painful and unpleasant when you can barely bend your legs.
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2) Avoiding improvisation. Street shows, pleasant rest areas, surprise character interactions—Disney is full of unexpected magical experiences if you are open to them. Leave the busy schedule in your regular life, and enjoy Disney’s chances to live in the moment!
1) Expecting perfection. Sweat, spills, sunburns—a Disney vacation can have almost as many unexpected setbacks as a typical vacation. Being in Walt Disney World does not mean that you should try to feel ecstatic all day! Just relax knowing that it is much easier at Walt Disney World to cheer up a grumpy companion or take a break on a slow ride than it is anywhere else.
The expectation and excitement that comes with a Disney vacation can make it all the more distressing when problems arise, but by slowing down and embracing Disney’s opportunities to surprise yourself, you can have a magical first time at Walt Disney World!
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