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Top 20 Disappointing Experiences At Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World is meant to put smiles on faces of all throughout the length of your stay. Sometimes however, our smiles can turn into big frowns when things don’t exactly go our way. Some of these inconveniences can be out of our hands and there is nothing we can do about it. Some of them can be handled to the best of their ability, but nonetheless, can be disappointing in the long run. Here are the top twenty biggest disappointing experiences at Walt Disney World.

20. Monorail Closing/Refurbishment

The monorail is such an iconic way to travel around Walt Disney World. It is often one of the things guests can’t wait to experience on their next trip. When monorails are closed or being refurbished, it can be a downer for guests who have been looking forward to going on it, or for those guests that made plans to stay at a Magic Kingdom Resort, and were depending on this as their mode of transportation. While this can be disappointing, remember that you can always take the complimentary bus or ferry rides to the parks. It may not be your preferred method of travel, but it can be very fun and will get you to the parks!

19. Late Busses

We all tend to be in a hurry when trying to get to our destination at the happiest place on earth. With so much on the agendas of guests, we try to fit in every possible experience to enjoy the magic the Disney has to offer. When busses are late it can cause a delay in several plans, especially dining reservations or missing your fastpasses. Late busses also cause a lot of frustration and can make guests a bit cranky. The good news is that if you are running late for a dining reservation, or missed your fastpass, cast members are very understanding and will use their pixie dust to accommodate you. Just let them know that you had a transportation issue and they will do their best to handle it from there. If you are upset about missing time at the parks, understand that issue happen from time to time and there is nothing we can do. Plan extra time for your next bus ride so that you can ensure you’ll get to your destination on time. As long as everyone is safe, that is all that matters.

18. Ride Refurbishments

It’s no doubt that Disney has some of the most iconic rides in the world. We often look forward to riding our favorite rides over and over when we visit because we love them so much. Nothing makes a smile turn into a frown quicker than hearing that your ride is closed for a long period of time and that you wont be able to enjoy it while you’re there. There really isn’t a great time to close a ride for refurbishments considering that Disney is open 365 days a year and there will always be guests. This is one of those ‘out of our hands’ situations. The best thing you can do is remind yourself that you are at the happiest place on earth and there are many, many more experiences that will provide joy too! Don’t let that thought take over your day.

17. Rainy Weather

Florida weather is very, very unpredictable. One minute the sun is shining brightly without a cloud in the sky, and then five minutes later, there is a thunderstorm and flooding everywhere. Us Floridians are used to this madness, but tourists from other states or countries may not know how frequent it rains here. Rainy weather at Disney isn’t fun. Pools close, shows and parades get cancelled, guests feel stuck under shade, and pictures don’t look so great. The bad news is this happens frequent. The good news is that chances are it will clear up soon. Even on rainy days, Disney is always fun to be at no matter what. A great way to deal with this inconvenience is having an alternate plan. Plan to enjoy all that Disney has to offer indoors and bring your poncho!

16. Missing Magic on Your Memory Maker Pictures

Photographers at Disney always go above and beyond to take great pictures that make great memories. One of the perks of having Memory Maker are all of the extra ‘magic’ pictures where you pose a certain way (not really knowing why) and then seeing your picture later and realizing that a picture of a character her been placed perfectly into your picture for that magic touch. There are a few times where the extra magic hasn’t been added into your shot which can be a bit disappointing. While this may not sound like such a big deal you’d be surprised how many guests are bummed about this since it has become quite a popular feature. My suggestion for a problem like this would be to call Disney directly and see if you can speak to someone that can assist you with possibly getting the images redone.

15. Being Selected For A Metal Detector Screening

While I personally don’t think this is a disappointing thing, many have expressed their frustrations with the new system on social media. Since there have been issues in our society lately with violence, Disney took it upon themselves to add metal detectors when entering the parks. At this time, there are only a few metal detectors, and guests are chosen at random to be checked upon entering. This annoys many because it does take a little more time than normal to get into the parks. There are long lines in the bag check areas, so to be pulled again for an additional search can make families very unhappy. Safety is a huge concern not only at Disney, but also for our entire country. If you are upset about this, remember that safety is priority and it is better to be checked than for an incident to occur. It will only take a few more minutes of your time, and you will be on your way in no time.

14. Show Cancellations

Shows at Disney are unlike any other. They infuse beautiful costumes, beloved music, fantastic dancing, spectacular fireworks, and pure magic. Some of these great shows can be cancelled due to poor weather (if they are outdoors), or technical issues. Show cancellations are such a bummer because they are incredibly spectacular. Just like the ride cancellations, keep your chin up and explore all of the other great attractions that Disney has to offer.

13. Parade Cancellations

Just like ride and show closures, parade cancellations can be just as disappointing. If you plan on visiting the same park later in your vacation, check out the parade on a day that the weather isn’t affecting it. If not, as I have previously said, enjoy everything else at the parks.

12. Too Many Crowds

If you haven’t been to Disney in a while, you may not have remembered or realized how much the crowds have grown over the years. There is barely even a slow season anymore at Walt Disney World due to all of the activities that are going on all of the time. Even if you go during the so-called ‘slow season’, expect to be around a large crowd. This is another one of those things that is out of our control, so as Elsa would say, let it go.

11. Stuck on a Ride

I can think of some pretty annoying things that can happen at Disney, but none of them come close to getting stuck on a ride. Having to be sitting in a certain position for a long time can be frustrating (especially if you’re uncomfortable). Not to mention having to listen to the same song over and over again (which would drive anyone bonkers). Some guests even have to climb out of their vehicles and be escorted out of the ride, leaving little to the imagination. Sometimes getting stuck on the thrill rides can be quite scary as well. This is a huge disappointment, but remember that safety comes first, and Disney is pretty good about making it up to you with a voucher or fastpass for another ride of your choice.

10. Getting Sick

Being under the weather is never a good thing, but being under the weather at Disney is even worse. There are times you may feel you need to go back to your resort room and just relax instead of having fun, and ultimately, you will miss out on all of the action at the parks. There are also times where guests get so sick they have to go to a doctor or hospital nearby. While this is a very disappointing situation, remember that health comes first and while it came at a bad time, it’s more important to get back to health!

9. Having a Bad Dining Experience

Dining is a huge part of enjoying Disney World. There are so many restaurants to choose from and enjoy. Sometimes, service or food (in general) is a huge disappointment. Whether the restaurant didn’t exceed your expectations, or something didn’t go as planned, remain calm and try to focus on your vacation. Remember to let a manager know what happened so that they can try to work something out with you. Remember that Disney always goes above and beyond to please visitors and they will always try to assist with unhappy guests.

8. Discontinued Menu Item

We all have our favorite snack or treats at the happiest place on earth, but when they become discontinued, it can be very disappointing! I used to love this mac’ and cheese hot dog served at Hollywood Studios, and when I found out it was no longer being served, I was crushed! The good news is, there are so many yummy items to choose from in other areas of the parks and resorts, that I was able to find some new favorite treats and turned that frown upside down!

7. Not Being Able to Meet Your Favorite Characters

Meeting beloved characters is always a highlight for children and adults (otherwise known as big children), but waiting in line to meet them can be disappointing. For one thing, lines for characters (especially the popular ones) can get very, very long. There are also times where the cast member assisting the characters has to kindly let you know that you may not enter the line because the character is leaving. With so many characters to meet, it can also be hard to see them all. I recommend grabbing a fastpass (if you can) to ensure that you meet some of your favorites, or arrive early to get in line first.

6. Dealing With Rude Guests

You’d be surprised how many guests throw their manners out the window when visiting the parks. I have been appalled so many times by people who shove, skip lines, talk during shows, and are just plain rude. It can be very, very hard to bite your tongue and not cause a scene when wanting to speak your mind in a disappointing situation like this, but it is important to be a role model to your children and others. I always just walk away or inform a cast member of the situation if it is very serious.

5. Theft

Tourists carry expensive electronics, cash, credit cards, and more items that thieves look for. This is such an unfortunate situation, especially when you are on vacation and trying to create memories with your families and friends. I have heard such sad stories about important items stolen from others right in the middle of their vacation. If you ever have something stolen from you, make sure to check the lost and found and report it to Disney security.

4. Spending More Than Your Budget

Most families create a budget for what they want to spend at Disney, but we all know how easy it is to fall into the trap of spending more than what we want. At the moment it may not seem too bad, but after coming back home and settling back in to normal routine, it can cause anyone to worry about how the credit cards will get paid. It can be difficult to stay on budget and not want to splurge on everything at the parks and resorts, but keep in mind that there are bills to pay at home, so try to stick to your budget as closely as possible.

Bonus Tip!

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3. Bad Pictures

We all want to capture the moment perfectly when we’re on vacation and have a great background, but nothing is more disappointing than not being able to take a picture the way you pictured it would come out in your head. Whether it is kids not looking at the camera, someone with their eyes closed, a giant crane in the background (if you have been to the Magic Kingdom lately, you know what I mean), random people in the shot, etc., it can be frustrating when things don’t work out with this. Luckily, photo apps and programs make miracles happen with being able to alter photos. Try this if you aren’t pleased with your shots.

2. Parks Closed

Sometimes parks are closed unexpectedly or very early on in the day. For example, if there is a private function or special hard ticket event the parks will be closing much earlier than normal. On holidays, such as Christmas and New Years, the parks tend to reach capacity at early hours in the morning, causing many guests to turn their cars back around and having to head to another park or area. If you had your heart set on visiting a park and it closes early, or you don’t get to accomplish everything on your to-do list due to a shortage in hours, it can be very disappointing for guests.

1. Hotel Refurbishments

Even though guests are informed about renovations being don’t at resorts before they book their stay, it can be disappointing to not be able to enjoy all that a resort has to offer if you’re staying during a renovation time period. I have also noticed that prices don’t tend to go down much when these renovations are taking place. Before you book your stay at a resort you have your eye on, be sure that you ask exactly what areas will be closed when the renovations take place so that you can determine if it will really impact your stay there.

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!

Photo courtesy of Disney Photo Snapper

About Natalie

Natalie is an elementary school teacher and a native Floridian who lives and breathes all things Disney. Her love for Disney started at the age of two during her first visit, and has continued to flourish into her adult life. She loves to share her Disney passion with her students and believes Disney is so special because there is no other place to forget about your worries and be a kid again, which is why she refuses to ‘grow up’.