Disney World truly is a magical place, often dubbed the happiest place on Earth. However, like any grand adventure, it’s not without its challenges. Reflecting on my past visits to Disney, there are moments I wish I could redo. With a few different choices, my experiences could have been even more magical.
In this article:
My Biggest Disney Regrets
Seasoned Disney park-goers often share their wisdom, and it’s worth more than a casual listen. Don’t just take their advice with a grain of salt—treat it like a nugget of gold or a sprinkle of pixie dust. This wisdom can help optimize your upcoming Disney vacation and make a world of difference.
Here are the 10 mistakes I’ve made while visiting Disney World and what I’ve learned to do differently each time for a truly magical experience!
Not Taking a Break
When you visit Disney, it’s essential to remember that meltdowns can happen to anyone, not just kids. With the overwhelming excitement, long hours, and bustling crowds, it’s completely normal for adults to feel the pressure and become overwhelmed at times.
That’s why taking a mid-day break back at your resort becomes even more crucial. It not only gives children a chance to recharge but also offers adults a much-needed breather to regroup and refocus. By allowing yourself and your group this time to decompress, you can avoid potential meltdowns and ensure that everyone feels their best to enjoy the rest of the Disney experience.
Remember, Disney is a place of wonder and magic, but it can also be physically and emotionally demanding. So, taking care of yourselves and recognizing that everyone, regardless of age, may need a break, will contribute to a more enjoyable Disney vacation.
Investing In a Park Hopper
While a Park-Hopper ticket may seem useful for gaining access to other parks, mainly for a must-do dining reservation that happens to be available on that day, it’s actually quite an expensive add-on. Moreover, it’s not always entirely necessary, considering how expansive and full of activities each individual park has, which can easily keep you occupied for an entire day. If you’re not going to make good use of your Park Hopper ticket, it’s not worth investing in it.
Each Disney World park offers a plethora of attractions, entertainment, and experiences that can easily fill your day without the need to hop between them. By immersing yourself fully in one park, you’ll have the opportunity to explore everything it has to offer without feeling rushed or missing out on anything.
Instead of investing in a Park Hopper, use the money wisely to enhance your experience within one park. Savor the magic, take your time to appreciate the details, and create lasting memories without the added pressure of trying to cover multiple parks in a single day.
Not Making Dining Reservations
While it might be acceptable to anticipate some casual wait time when walking up to any sit-down restaurant, particularly during dinner hours, those expecting the same experience at Disney World are in for a surprise, especially at the most sought-after restaurants, and even at the less-exclusive ones.
While you might get lucky with a walk-up, don’t rely solely on chance—making advanced dining reservations (ADRs) is the way to go. Disney opens ADRs 60 days in advance, and if you want to secure a spot at a more coveted location, it’s essential to plan ahead.
However, if making dining plans and sticking to a schedule isn’t your preference, you still have a great option: Quick Service dining. Disney World parks boast some fantastic Quick Service locations, providing a more relaxed and flexible way to enjoy your meals without the need for reservations.
Not Wearing the Right Shoes
It’s important to be prepared for a lot of walking during vacation. For most of us, when it comes to a Disney vacation, it’s more walking than we’d typically do in a normal week at home. And if you’re not walking, you’re probably standing in line. That’s why it’s crucial to have high-quality walking shoes and to leave those trendy sandals, heels, and ballet flats that offer zero support back at home.
Before you get too excited to find the best shoes for Disney and slip them on at the park gates, hold on a moment! That could be a huge mistake and a recipe for painful blisters. Instead, give yourself some time before your trip to break in those new shoes properly.
Skipping Out on Grocery Delivery
Staying at Disney World can indeed be quite expensive, especially when you factor in the cost of eating out for every meal. However, there are smart and easy ways to cut back on those expenses and save some money. One of the best strategies is to pack your own food or have groceries and snacks delivered straight to your Disney World resort using convenient services like Instacart and Amazon Prime Now.
For instance, having a case of bottled water delivered is a fantastic money-saving tip. Water inside the parks can come at a steep price and is upwards of $3.50 or more for soft drinks. By having your water ready, you’ll save significantly on beverage costs throughout your stay.
Another great idea to save money is to eat breakfast in your room. Instead of paying out of pocket every morning, you can enjoy a meal prepared in your hotel room, cutting down on your overall food expenses. By being resourceful and planning ahead with food options, you can make your Disney World vacation more budget-friendly without compromising on the magic and fun.
Ever heard the saying, “the early bird catches the worm?” Well, this adage holds especially true for those heading out to a Disney park. While sleeping in might be one of the best perks of a holiday, doing so means you’ll miss out on some of the lowest wait times for the park’s most popular attractions.
To make the most of your Disney experience, set your alarm and rise and shine bright and early. Arriving at the parks right at rope drop gives you a head start, allowing you to make a dash to your favorite rides without the long queues. Using this early morning strategy not only ensures you get to enjoy your must-do attractions first thing but also opens up more time for additional activities throughout the day.
So, while it may be tempting to snooze a bit longer during your vacation, being an early bird at Disney pays off with shorter wait times and a chance to create even more magical memories throughout your day.
Not Having an Itinerary
Vacationing at a theme park is already an adventure in itself, but when it comes to Disney World, it’s in a league of its own. Simply showing up without a plan wouldn’t be the wisest choice. With numerous activities, dining options, rides, characters, and shows to consider, knowing where they are located in the vast park can greatly improve your time there and reduce stress.
Crafting a simple Disney itinerary before you go allows you to prioritize what’s important to you and ensures you won’t constantly worry about what to do next. Additionally, having reservations for must-do activities, like character meet-and-greets or popular dining spots, can significantly decrease the amount of time you’ll spend waiting in lines.
By planning ahead and organizing your Disney vacation, you’ll be able to make the most of your time, experience all the magic you desire, and create wonderful memories without unnecessary stress.
Snubbing Genie Plus
Disney’s introduction of Genie+ has been met with mixed feelings among visitors. Some might not be the biggest fans, especially with it replacing the previously free Fastpass system. However, opting out of using Genie+ in an attempt to save a bit of cash could significantly impact your Disney experience.
Just like the previous Fastpass system, Genie+ allows you to skip the regular lines and access Lightning Lanes that get you on rides much faster. While the new system may come with a cost, it can substantially enhance your time at the park by reducing wait times and maximizing your enjoyment of the attractions. In a recent change to the Genie+ system, Disney World is implementing per-park pricing for the service.
Weighing the benefits and convenience it offers against the price can make it a valuable addition to your Disney adventure. So, consider the advantages of Genie+ when planning your visit to make the most of your magical experience at Disney!
Bringing An Inadequate Park Bag
When venturing into Disney World, having a well-equipped Disney park bag is crucial. Despite the temptation to pack light, it’s best to be prepared for a day full of adventure. Basics like water, sunscreen, sunglasses, medications, hand sanitizer, and extra clothing should be included in your park bag. These essential items will not only save you from splurging on costly purchases within the park but also guarantee a more enjoyable and comfortable experience throughout your visit. So, make sure to have your Disney park bag ready before you embark on your magical day at the parks!
Not Researching Restaurants
Disney World is a paradise for food lovers, and it’s tough to imagine anything less than magical, especially when you constantly hear about all the delicious culinary options it offers. However, as much as Disney excels in providing amazing dishes and snacks, not every option is equally fantastic. In fact, there are some Disney World snacks you should skip!
That’s why it’s essential to do your research and find out what the best Disney World restaurants are before your visit. Don’t settle for standard theme park fare like hamburgers, hot dogs, and pizza if you want to have an extraordinary dining experience!
In a nutshell, remember this: Disney magic is all about planning. Avoid those simple yet pesky mistakes that could turn your dream vacation into a Disney disaster!
Worst Dates to Avoid at Disney
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