Disney World is a pretty incredible place, and it’s hard not to have a good time while you’re there. That said, there are some mistakes that really can ruin your day, even if you do happen to be in the most magical place on earth. Obviously, you don’t want to make such mistakes on your vacation. However, if you’ve never been to Disney before, it can be difficult to know what those mistakes might be in order to ensure you avoid them. This is where this article comes into play. Below, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most common Disney mistakes that can really put a damper on your vacation, if not ruin it entirely. Avoid these issues and you’ll likely be good to go.
1. Not Grabbing a Park Reservation
The first thing you need to do after you decide you’re going to Disney World is to grab a park reservation. This wasn’t the case pre-pandemic, so it’s an easy thing to forget. That said, if you don’t have a park reservation, you don’t get into a park, meaning this is one of those mistakes that can really mess up your entire trip.
2. Forgetting to Make Dining Reservations
Obviously, you have to eat while on vacation, and most people want to eat well. This means quick-service food likely isn’t going to cut it for every single meal. In this case, dining reservations are critical, as many Disney restaurants have very little walk-up availability, if they have any at all. Additionally, because seating in restaurants is limited right now, dining reservations are more limited than before, meaning you will want to make yours the full 60 days in advance if at all possible.
3. Trying to Squeeze In Too Much
We get it, you want to see and do everything you possibly can while in this amazing place. That said, trying to squeeze in every single ride, attraction, and experience will likely do more harm than good. You see, Disney World is an enormous place, and one could easily spend weeks or even months here without doing it all. Trying to do everything in a few days or even a week will only be stressful and leave you feeling disappointed. Instead, pick a few key things you must see and anything else you get to do will be gravy.
4. Not Looking at a Map Before Your Visit
We don’t recommend planning every tiny detail of every day of your trip. That said, it really is a good idea to look at some maps and get familiar with the parks before you visit. Know how to get around, which rides and attractions you absolutely must see, and decide where you’ll go first and which path you’ll take through the park. This prevents wandering around and wasting valuable park time.
5. Skipping Resort Days
While Disney parks are overwhelming, their Resort Hotels are amazing. Give yourself a break from the hustle and bustle of the parks and allow yourself time to relax and fully enjoy your resort by scheduling in a resort day or two. Not only does this extend your vacation without adding onto your ticket cost, it also helps ensure you return home feeling refreshed rather than worn out.
6. Touring in Huge Groups
Going to the parks with family and friends is fun, but try to keep your tour group on the small side, or be prepared to split up into smaller groups throughout the trip. Trying to navigate Disney World with a large group of people is stressful, and in some cases it even feels downright impossible. Keeping groups small allows you to enjoy the company of friends without feeling like you’re constantly wrangling people and waiting for others.
7. Planning to Zig-Zag
We mentioned looking at a map and planning your day a bit before you go. What you don’t want to do however is plan a route that zig-zags the parks. You’re going to be doing a lot of walking as it is, and adding in a bunch of trips back and forth across the parks is going to make you feel extra tired at the end of the day. Plan a route that takes you in a circle around the park and stick to it as much as possible.
8. Getting Dehydrated
Florida is hot and sunny, meaning hydration is key. However, since you’ll be so busy having fun, it is very easy to forget to drink water, leading to dehydration. Don’t do this. Carry a bottle of water at all times and sip it throughout the day. Keep it filled by asking for cups of water at quick-service locations, and add flavor drops if you need to improve the taste.
9. Packing Uncomfortable Clothes and Shoes
As mentioned earlier, you’re going to be doing a lot of walking in what is likely to be hot weather. Uncomfortable clothes or shoes are not ideal for this situation. Make sure you pack clothes you wear regularly and like. During the summer, focus on lightweight, breathable clothing. In winter, pack a mix of hot-weather items and cool-weather items, and always carry a jacket. No matter the time of year, make sure you pack at least two pairs of comfortable shoes that you can walk miles in.
10. Forgetting Day-Bag Must-Haves
The final big mistake that many people make? Forgetting day-bag essentials. Items such as a mask or two, a water bottle, your phone, a charger, sunscreen, sunglasses, and hair ties are important, and forgetting them could really mess up your day, so keep a day-bag checklist and pack your bag the night before.