Every guest wants their Walt Disney World vacation to be as magical as possible and filled with fun from the first moment to the last. With four parks, two water parks, Disney Springs, and over two dozen Disney Resorts to explore, there are countless opportunities to enjoy and cherish from each Disney vacation. While time spent at the Walt Disney World Resort will be magical no matter what, there are definitely a few rookie mistakes that guests make when planning their trips. These rookie mistakes can cause frustration and loss of time on vacation which ultimately ends up taking away some of the magic. By recognizing these rookie mistakes and avoiding them while trip planning, guests are sure to have an absolutely amazing Disney vacation. Here are six rookie mistakes that many guests make when planning a Walt Disney World vacation.
Editor’s Note: We understand that with the phased reopening of Walt Disney World, some of the advice in this article may not apply if you visit while park hours are reduced, capacity limits and physical distancing are in place, and some of our favorite experiences—fireworks, parades, and character greetings—are temporarily suspended. (You can read everything you need to know about the phased reopening by clicking here). We will continue to share articles that give guidance on a “normal” vacation to Walt Disney World, along with any special changes or instructions you may need to be aware of during the phased reopening to provide the best tips we can regardless of when you are visiting. ~ Chad & Cindy
1 – Choosing the Wrong Resort
The easiest way to ensure a comfortable Walt Disney World vacation is by choosing the right Disney Resort. While this may seem like a simple task, there are over two dozen options to choose from which can make things complicated. Guests who want to make the right decision should begin by figuring out how much they would like to spend on accommodations each night. With that number in mind, guests can then narrow down their resort choice to one price category. Disney Resorts are broken down into three price categories with Deluxe being the most expensive, Value having the best deals, and Moderate falling somewhere in the middle. Guests who choose the perfect price category for them can then have a much easier decision choosing between only several Disney Resorts instead of many.
2 – Not Booking FastPasses
Editor’s Note: During the phased reopening of Walt Disney World, FastPass+ is temporarily suspended.
Saving time on a Disney vacation is a great way to see more and explore more. FastPasses are offered at all four of the Walt Disney World theme parks and act as reservations which assign guests a specific time to visit an attraction to enjoy the experience with little to no wait. FastPasses can be booked by guests staying on property at a Disney Resort sixty days in advance and by those staying elsewhere thirty days in advance and all guests are entitled to book three FastPasses per day ahead of time. Guests are smart to book FastPasses for popular attractions which tend to have long wait times as they can then enjoy that experience without losing tons of time to standing in line. Some of the best options to book FastPasses for are: Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, Avatar-Flight of Passage, Space Mountain, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Frozen Ever After, Test Track Presented by Chevrolet, Soarin’ Around the World, Slinky Dog Dash, Toy Story Mania, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith, and Kilimanjaro Safaris.
3 – Not Booking Advanced Dining Reservations
Editor’s Note: During the phased reopening of Walt Disney World, the dining booking window is 60 days.
Walt Disney World is home to some of the most amazing dining locations ranging from quick service to full service. Guests who plan on enjoying a meal at a full-service restaurant definitely need to make an Advanced Dining Reservation (ADR) as far in advance as possible. Advanced Dining Reservations can be made up to one hundred and eighty days in advance and are absolutely necessary for popular locations like Le Cellier Steakhouse, ‘Ohana, California Grill, and Be Our Guest Restaurant.
4 – Not Having A Plan
A rookie mistake that many guests make when planning their Walt Disney World vacation is not making a plan before leaving home. By simply knowing which park or parks that guest plans on visiting each day, plenty of time is saved making the experience more relaxing and enjoyable. Guests who know where they are headed each day can plan ahead for FastPasses and Advanced Dining Reservations as well as hop right on Disney transportation each morning instead of wasting time trying to come up with a plan each day.
5 – Skipping the Relaxation
A Disney vacation can be as tiring as it is magical. With lots of walking, early hours and late nights, strong sun, high Central Florida temperatures, and plenty of humidity, exploring the theme parks can be downright exhausting. Guests who want to avoid feeling like rookies should definitely plan on scheduling time to relax in each day of their vacation. Simply relaxing for a few hours each afternoon can recharge guests and leave them ready to head back to the parks and continue totally enjoying their vacations. Some great ways to relax in Walt Disney World are lounging poolside at a Disney Resort, napping in a Disney Resort room, or pausing to enjoy a full-service meal.
6 – Skipping the Underrated
Rookies who head to Walt Disney World might only have eyes for the very popular and thrilling attractions found in the theme parks. While those attractions are pretty awesome and shouldn’t be skipped, there are plenty of other attractions and experiences which are considered underrated yet are still amazing in their own ways. Guests who want to make the most of their Disney vacations and enjoy all that the parks have to offer should plan on enjoying underrated attractions like Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room, Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress, the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover, Journey into Imagination with Figment, Impressions de France, Muppet Vision 3D, the Maharajah Jungle Trek, and the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail.
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