Disney World Vacations are always known for bringing out positivity and smiles on guests of all kinds. When planning a Disney trip, everyone wants to make sure their vacation at the happiest place on earth will be magical and carefree. We all know how vacation screw-ups can be a damper to our trip, so here are ten tips to avoid these mess-ups!
10. Creating A Budget
Disney is one of the easiest places to spend money left and right. It can be so difficult to stay under budget when there are so many activities, restaurants, and merchandise surrounding you. Without a budget, you can easily swipe that credit card way too many times or scan your magic band (which is linked to your credit card) without seeing the damage you’re actually creating in your account. Having a budget can help with making sure you don’t go overboard. A great tip to avoid overcharging is carrying cash. Give yourself a certain amount of money that you want to spend that day. Once you use up all of your cash, you will be aware of how much you spent and how much you may/will need to charge if you have more expenses. Leaving your magical vacation to come home to an un-magical bill is not what anyone wants!
9. Purchasing Tickets Ahead of Time
Not only does purchasing tickets ahead of time help with avoiding huge wait lines at guest services, it also allows you to schedule your fastpasses early! This is an option that most park guests are taking advantage of now. Since fastpasses are being taken left and right, there is a high probability that by the time you purchase tickets at the window and attempt to register for fastpasses at the park, your favorite rides will be unavailable. Purchasing tickets ahead of time can also help with your budget. If you are budgeting a certain amount from each of your paychecks, this is one area you can pay off early and it’s one less thing to worry about spending for at the parks.
8. Making Dining Plans
Dining is a huge part of making memories at Disney World. There are so many unique experiences to choose from whether you’re in the parks or at your resort. Since Disney offers reservations for restaurants up to 180 days in advance, guests are scurrying to secure their visit to their favorite restaurants early. Due to the popularity of themed/signature dining, there is a high chance that your favorite restaurant may be unavailable if you wait to check it out when you arrive. If you don’t want to eat a quick service meal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, making dining reservations is essential to making sure that you and your family get a chance to experience true Disney dining.
7. Finding The Best Resort
There are a plethora of Disney World resorts on property, but they are all vastly different. It would be a good idea to check out various resorts before selecting whichever one you see first. Disney resorts vary in pricing, dining options, recreation activities, convenience in location to the parks, theming, and atmosphere. If you are traveling with children and want to find something more kid-friendly, you may look into one of the value or moderate resorts. If you are traveling with your significant other or some friends, you may want to look into one of the deluxe resorts. It all depends on what you’re looking for, but it’s definitely worth the research!
6. My Disney Experience App
Now it’s easier than ever to stay in the loop and have everything ‘Disney World’ at your fingertips. The My Disney Experience App is a great way to keep up with your entire itinerary. Keep track of wait times, link dining reservations, view park maps, access showtimes, and even view photopass pictures. Once you link your theme park tickets, you can also select fastpasses here too. Your family and friends traveling with you can also be linked to your account so your plans will be visible to them as well! This also allows you to select fastpasses for your whole party rather than just yourself. The My Disney Experience App also allows you to view restaurants and cuisine near by! Having this app is a great way to be informed at all times.
5. Creating An Itinerary
Gone are the days of being able to be spontaneous with your plans. With the new changes in technology with advanced fastpass selections and dining reservations, it can be quite challenging to think that when you arrive to the parks you will be able to ride and dine wherever you want to without hearing “Sorry, we’re not available right now” or “The wait time is 120 minutes”. Having a plan helps to achieve everything you want to experience on your next trip. If you do want to do spontaneous things, be sure not to expect that everything will be available to you.
4. Doing Research
Be Our Guest is one of the most popular restaurants at the Magic Kingdom. Getting a dining reservation here seems to be harder than meeting the president himself nowadays. I have seen so many people rant and rave about grabbing a reservation here, and then much to their dismay, they realize the children’s menu isn’t what they’re looking for when they arrive. This is just one little example of what could have been avoided by doing some research. Before planning your itinerary, ask yourself some questions like: Is this restaurant worth it? Will my child like what is offered here? Is this park suitable for my entire family? Should I spend more time at Epcot or Hollywood Studios? Questions like this require a little bit of research, but it will save you a whole lot of time. Another area of concern is the height requirement for rides. Several guests complain that their children can’t get on a ride they have been waiting for since they made their plans. Try measuring your child’s height before you leave so you know which rides to avoid visiting so your little one doesn’t get their hopes up. The internet is perfect for finding the answers to all of these questions! Another thing to research is Florida Weather. See what the weather patterns will be like when you go so you can pack accordingly.
3. Leaving Plenty of Time For Transportation
Staying at a Disney resort has plenty of benefits, but one of my favorites has to be the complimentary bus rides to the parks and Disney Springs. When taking the busses, make sure to allot plenty of time in your plans because the busses can be delayed if there is a large crowd of guests wanting to ride too. I have missed several dining reservations and shows because of underestimating how long the bus ride will take. Even though it arrives every 15-20 minutes, the amount of guests and weather delays can ruin your plans. Not staying at a Disney resort? You should still make sure you plan enough time to drive to the parks or resorts. Often times the roads and parking lots can be extremely packed and getting from the lot to the actual park can take some time too.
2. Remembering Cast Members Are People Too
Regret doesn’t settle well with me, and I am sure we have all had our moments where we wish we could take something we said back. Often times guests become irate with cast members over waiting too long for food, not being able to get their child on a ride because of a height requirement, being stuck on a ride, and all sorts of other reasons. Cast members are people too. They are just doing their job and often times have nothing to do with the rules and regulations of the park. Next time you want to get angry, remember to direct it to the person responsible and remind yourself that some things are unchangeable.
1. Your Expectations
Everyone associates Disney with ‘all things magical’. Disney definitely offers tons of magic, but sometimes guests can have super high expectations, and let’s face it, sometimes they just don’t exist. WE can’t all be chosen for the Grand Marshall on the parade or be given a death certificate at the Haunted Mansion. We can’t always expect to get a free room upgrade, or to be offered free fastpasses for no reason. If this were true for everyone, it wouldn’t be so magical anymore. Be happy with being able to experience the happiest place on earth and the rest will fall into place.
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