Disclosure: Affiliate links within. Purchasing and/or clicking on some of the links in this post helps support Family Travel Magazine®. I am a former member of the Disney Parks Moms Panel and have been on some complimentary press trips at Walt Disney World, but all opinions are my own.
A Walt Disney World vacation is almost guaranteed to be a fantastic time. But with such a big vacation, there are definitely some mistakes that some guests make. Over the years, I’ve seen families make a variety of Walt Disney World planning mistakes – some of which I’ve made myself. Here are 9 mistakes that guests to Walt Disney World make – read them before your next trip!
9 Walt Disney World Planning Mistakes
They didn’t plan ahead
Planning ahead is easily the most important thing that you need to do before your family vacation. Many guests feel that they can just “wing it” when they arrive. They don’t want to feel tied down to specific plans but are then disappointed when they arrive and find out that they can’t do everything that they want to do. Check out these tips on what to do before you go to Walt Disney World, and be sure to at least plan some of your vacation.
They didn’t include family members in planning
When you plan dining reservations 180 days in advance, and FastPass+ reservations 30 or 60 days in advance, it’s easy to just make the plans on your own. But when you arrive, you may find that your family members are disappointed that their favorite activity/restaurant isn’t included. Ask everyone what their “must-dos” are before you make plans.
They didn’t plan in a break
It’s so easy to go, go, go, but you need to plan in some breaks. When my kids were younger, we would leave the parks after lunch and head back around dinner. You’ll also want to take advantage of your resort’s pool, so be sure to relax.
They carry too much during the day
Yes, you want to have everything you need for the day. But remember that unless you use a locker, you’ll need to carry everything for the whole day. A moderately heavy bag in the morning feels like an unbearably heavy bag by the evening. So pack wisely.
They don’t arrive early enough
The parks are traditionally slower in the morning, and if you arrive early, you can take advantage of that. On our recent Thanksgiving weekend trip, we got 3 rides in on the Rock N Roller Coaster with no line at all, right at 8am.
They keep young kids out too late
I know it’s tempting to see everything, especially the fireworks. But young kids are often exhausted after a busy day, and start to melt down if they are overtired. Skip the fireworks if your kids can’t stay up that late without consequences.
They didn’t drink enough water
I made this mistake myself on our last trip. You’ll be doing a LOT of walking, and the hot Florida sun can definitely dehydrate you. Whether you buy water there or fill up reusable bottles, be sure to drink enough.
They wore the wrong shoes
Again – you’ll be doing a lot of walking. On the slowest day of our recent trip, we walked 7 miles. So make sure that you are wearing comfortable shoes.
They didn’t do their research
Since you’ll be making your plans in advance, you’ll also want to do research on all of the attractions, restaurants, hotels, and shows that are available to you. Know before you go, so that you are happy with your plans once you arrive. I also recommend downloading the My Disney Experience app, which will definitely make things easier.
If you are going to Walt Disney World, I recommend the following hotels. Note that I have stayed in some of these resorts as part of press trips, but all opinions are my own.
- Disney’s Beach Club
- Disney Swan and Dolphin
- Disney’s Art of Animation
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
- Gaylord Palms
- JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes
- World Center Marriott