6 Disney Vacation Mistakes To Avoid

One of the undeniable reasons that Walt Disney World is such a popular vacation destination is that it appeals to a broad range of travelers. As such, I try very hard not to promote one style of travel over another. That being said there are some definite Disney travel mistakes that you can make. Let's take a look at a few of the biggest "don'ts" people make on Disney vacations, and get a few ideas of how to work around it.


Epcot during the Flower and Garden FestivalEpcot during the Flower and Garden Festival


Not Making Dining Reservations

The gold standard here is to have it all together and make your reservations 180 days in advance. That's the only way to get the most popular reservations such as Be Our Guest, Cinderella's Royal Table, and Chef Mickey's. However, not everyone can wrap their head around figuring out where to eat six month ahead of time. That's OK. Just be aware that if you are going to want to eat at table service restaurants (those are ones where you have a server attend to your meal), and you are going during regular or peak season, you need to make advance reservations as far in advance as you can.


Mama's Kitchen Brigade Poses For A PictureMama's Kitchen Brigade Poses For A Picture


Not using FastPass+

Walt Disney World Resort Guest with valid ticket media are able to make FastPass+ reservations (that is to say reservations to get on attractions faster) the booking window opens 60 days from your arrival. If you are not staying on site and have valid ticket media you can make reservations 30 days in advance. The earlier you make them, the more flexibility you'll have in terms of timing. If for some reason you aren't able to purchase your Park tickets in advance, you will have to wait until the day you get there and accept that there will be fewer spots available. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't use them though! It is still worthwhile even the day of. Check out our previous post on Top 5 Tips To Make The Most of the Walt Disney World FastPass+ System.


Schedule Rolling FastPass+ On Your PhoneSchedule Rolling FastPass+ On Your Phone


Leaving The Park Right After The Fireworks

You have never seen as many people moving in the same direction towards the same place as at a Disney Park right after the end of the fireworks. Do not get caught in the mass of people, hang back and enjoy the Park a little longer. This is a fantastic time in Disney Parks for nighttime photography, stealing a romantic moment, and depending on Park Hours getting in a few last rides before heading back to your hotel. If you go with the crowds you will just end up waiting an excruciating long time for a bus, why not stretch out your fun?

Alternatively - if you aren't a fireworks fan, right when they start is also a great time to head to the buses. There are a couple of spots outside the Magic Kingdom gates that are pretty great for a fireworks view. It's worth noting here that the crowds departing the Park right after a parade can also cause long waits at the buses, boats, and monorail.


Celebrate the Fourth of July at the Walt Disney World Resort!Celebrate the Fourth of July at the Walt Disney World Resort!


Not Taking An Afternoon Break

Disney Guests cover a lot of miles on their feet, and by mid-afternoon many folks who thought they would "go go go" are just hot, tired, and cranky. Not the best state of mind to have on vacation. Luckily there are many ways to take an afternoon break to recharge. A popular choice is to head back to the hotel for a nap, shower, or a swim. On the other hand, if you want to stay in Park this is the perfect time to duck into a show, or relax at a table service meal. Both of these options allow you time off your feet in an air-conditioned setting. If you want to get in a quick snooze, check out our previous article Top Spots For Naps At Walt Disney World.


Of Course You Can Always Nap At Your ResortOf Course You Can Always Nap At Your Resort


Assuming You Can Do It All

Walt Disney World is HUGE, and one of the biggest mistakes that you can make when planning a Disney vacation is to assume that you can do it all in one trip. The advice I like to give people is to pick 5 things each day that must be done, everything after that is bonus fun. So how does one tackle the Walt Disney World Resort in its entirety? It takes time, careful planning, and returning again and again.

Not Being Flexible

Things will go wrong at some point, and when that happens it's best to stay calm and roll with the flow. There will be crowds, it will probably rain, your favorite ride might shut down, and those buses can take forever. There is no two ways about this one, Disney Cast Members will do their very best to help you have a magical vacation, especially if you remain calm and explain what's going wrong without yelling and threatening them.


You Can't Do It All In One TripYou Can't Do It All In One Trip


A Walt Disney World vacation is somewhat of an American right of passage. Take your time when planning and once you are there remember to relax and enjoy yourself. It doesn't matter if you dream of lounging by the pool and visiting the spa, or opening and closing the Parks every single night, a magical time is in store.

JeffC wrote on Fri, 07/20/2018 - 23:31:

JeffC's picture

Excellent advice!! Our top non-mistakes are being flexible and taking mid-day breaks to go swimming (and change socks!).

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