Disney vacations are almost like an art form. The more you practice, the better you get. This is why seasoned Disney travelers have all the expertise that allows them to avoid the common mistakes that rookies make in the parks.
Newbies are bound to make a few mistakes during their first visit to Walt Disney World or Disneyland. But by doing some research, they can avoid some of the most common errors that Disney guests make. Remember, if you’re not properly prepared for it, the happiest place on earth can resemble a nightmare.
Check out these 10 mistakes all rookies make their first time at Disney!
10 Hoping To Wing It
There are some things in life you should wing, while other things should always be planned in advance. A Disney vacation is just one of those things that should always be thoroughly outlined. You don’t realize it until arriving at the parks, but they are incredibly overwhelming. In the best way possible, of course, but there is so much to see and do that it’s very easy to get overstimulated.
You will always get the most out of your Disney vacation if you plan ahead. This means using maps and apps and doing your online research.
9 Not Arriving Until Late Morning Or Afternoon
Night owls might not like this one! There are certain times of the day where the Disney parks are just better than others. Early morning is usually the best because there are fewer crowds, which means shorter lines and wait times. Plus, there’s a unique ambiance in the early morning that can’t be experienced at any other time.
Because of this, it’s a mistake to get ready at a leisurely pace and not arrive at the park until 10 a.m. or later. You’ll miss the beauty of the morning in the parks, and you’ll also have to contend with larger crowds.
8 Spending Less Than A Day In Each Park
As we mentioned, the Disney parks are massive. When you visit the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, you’ll have a sea of parks to choose from, from the Magic Kingdom to the Animal Kingdom and everything in between.
There is so much to do in each park that it’s not wise to spend less than a day in each one. How to Disney advises that it’s a mistake thinking you can get through two parks in one day. Not if you want to experience the parks properly.
7 Believing The Posted Attraction Wait Times
At any given attraction within the Disney parks, there are waiting times posted at the front. They might say 10 minutes or 80 minutes. The Disney app also posts waiting times. While these can be a good indicator of an attraction's popularity, please take them with a grain of salt.
For the most part, Disney likes to post longer waiting times than there normally would be. Perhaps, Disney prefers that its guests be pleasantly surprised rather than disappointed. The real times are usually less than what’s posted.
6 Wearing Uncomfortable Shoes
If there’s one mistake that you really don’t want to make, it’s wearing uncomfortable shoes to the Disney parks. The parks are much bigger than most people imagine, so there’s actually a lot of walking involved. Not only will you have to walk to reach different attractions, but you’ll also have to stand in lines throughout the day. None of those are fun if you’re wearing uncomfortable shoes.
Rather than wearing uncomfortable shoes or new shoes that need to be broken in, always wear a pair of trusty walking shoes that support your feet.
5 Trying To Save Money By Staying Out Of The Resort
When planning a trip to Walt Disney World, a lot of guests will opt to stay out of the resort grounds to save money on accommodation. This may be preferable for certain guests as everybody’s situation is different, but it’s a mistake to think that this will definitely save you money.
Accommodation may be cheaper off-site, but chances are you’ll have to make up for those costs in transportation. Plus, Orlando applies standard resort fees which can increase your accommodation rates. This applies everywhere, although quite a few Walt Disney World properties are exempt.
4 Not Reserving A Table For Dinner
One of the best things about the Disney parks is the vast selection of dining options available. There are all kinds of establishments scattered throughout the parks, some of the more expensive ones even resembling scenes from classic Disney movies. If you want to eat at these restaurants, you always have to book.
When we say book, we mean you should make the reservation as soon as you buy your Disney tickets because some restaurants are reserved months in advance. Even though some establishments take walk-ins, you might find that there is a wait of longer than an hour.
3 Visiting For The First Time During A Holiday
Holidays at the Disney parks can be a blast. Disney around Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve can be a truly magical experience, with extra bells and whistles not found during the ordinary times of the year. That said, visiting during the holidays isn’t recommended for first-timers.
The Disney Tourist Blog explains that the parks are even more overwhelming than usual during the holidays. They’re much more crowded, there are even longer queues, and there’s much more to pack into your itinerary. Visiting during this time is the equivalent of jumping in the deep end.
2 Lugging Around The Items You’ve Bought
It’s normal to go a little crazy in the souvenir stores lining the streets of the parks, especially if you’re a mad Disney fan and it’s your first time visiting. But you don’t have to carry the things you buy if you’re staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel.
The resort offers complimentary transportation and delivery of the items you purchase, regardless of which Disney hotel you’re staying at. Simply ask a Castmember to help you get your new belongings to your resort and they will take care of it for you!
1 Not Planning For The Weather
The Disney parks have been described as the happiest places on earth, but if there’s one thing that can ruin the magic, it’s the weather. While the weather in California tends to be pretty mild, the weather at Walt Disney World is the opposite.
Florida weather means unbearable humidity pretty much all summer, combined with rain and thunderstorms that come in as the seasons change over. Winter can also be freezing. It’s best to research the weather forecast and plan accordingly.