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9 Rookie Mistakes Guests Make at Disney Resorts

Disney resorts are absolutely amazing accommodations for your vacation.  It doesn’t matter which resort you stay at, you are sure to have a fantastic time, as long as you don’t make some of these mistakes.  Here are our top nine rookie mistakes that guests make when staying at Disney resorts:


9 – Not taking advantage of free parking at the theme parks.

If you will be driving or renting your own car while you are staying on property, then you will definitely want to be aware of the free parking that is available.  You will be able to park for free at each of the theme parks at Walt Disney World.  You should never have to pay for parking at the parks unless you want the preferred parking or valet parking.

8 – Fail to set up a My Disney Experience account.

It is very important to make sure that you set up your My Disney Experience account before your trip.  You will be able to link your resort reservation, all of your dining reservations, and more.  With your reservation linked to your account, you will be able to make sure your Magic Bands are linked and select your color and personalization for them.  You will need your Magic Bands when you get there, so this is an important step. Even if you don’t use the Magic Bands, you’ll need the My Disney Experience app to unlock your door, use Mobile Order, and more. You’ll also need the app to purchase access to the new Lighting Lane.

Photo Credit: Disney

7 – Fail to complete advance check-in online.

Once you have your My Disney Experience account set up and everything linked, you will be able to complete the online check-in before your trip.  The early check-in will allow you to link a credit card to the account and complete all the registration information.  With this complete, you can avoid the check-in line at the front desk.  You will receive a text message when your room is ready with the room details, and then use your Magic Band to access the room.

6 – Forgetting to bring room decorations.

Many guests like to decorate the windows in the resort room, especially at the moderate and value resorts.  If you think your kiddos will want to do that with window clings and other fun decorations, then you will definitely want to bring those with you so you can decorate when you get there.  It is a lot of fun and our kiddos definitely seem to enjoy it.


5 – Not planning a pool day at their resort.

Guests love the parks and all of the different attractions, but it is also important to take some time to relax at the resort.  The pools at Disney resorts are fantastic and definitely worth a visit.  We highly recommend that guests plan a pool day around the mid-point of their vacation so they can relax and enjoy the resort.  There are also various pool activities and games during the day to keep everything upbeat and fun.

4 – Didn’t check out the scheduled resort activities. 

There are various activities and scheduled events that take place at each resort.  The activities vary from tours, stories, campfires, yoga, and more.  It is a good idea to look at the calendar when you arrive so that you can plan out the activities that your family will be interested in so that you don’t miss out on anything.  Some of the activities only occur on certain days of the week, so you don’t want to wait to check out the schedule.

The campfire at Fort Wilderness Campground & Resort

3 – Not learning the transportation options and schedule.

You will definitely want to become familiar with what transportation options you have at your resort and your schedule.  You can also do research in advance on this so that you can have an idea of the fastest ways to get to places.  This will save you a lot of time and headaches once you are actually there on vacation.

2 – Not knowing about the Disney Dining Plans.

Editor’s Note: At this time, Disney Dining Plans have been temporarily suspended, however, Disney has confirmed they will return.

We absolutely love the Disney Dining Plan options.  This key add-on turns a Disney vacation into an all-inclusive experience.  You can pre-pay for your dining based on your budget and preferences so that you don’t have to worry about the sticker shock of food costs once you arrive.  In many cases, it can save you money if you plan accordingly.  You also get snack entitlements and a Rapid Re-fill mug for your resort.

1 – Not Taking Advantage of Early Theme Park Entry

One of the newer Disney resort guest benefits allows guests to enter any theme park thirty minutes early. Thirty minutes isn’t a lot of time, but it allows resort guests to get in line for the most popular attractions ahead of non-resort guests. Basically, resort guests get a huge advantage by being the first ones to line up. Thirty minutes later, wait times at the most popular attractions, such as Slinky Dog Dash and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, are already over an hour and sometimes even two hours at the official park opening. You’ll spend less time in line if you can get there early! It’s a fantastic benefit!

For a no obligation, FREE Quote on a Disney vacation package, please contact our travel partner Magical Vacation Planner at 407-442-0227 (407-442-0215 for Spanish). You can also request a FREE quote online by Clicking HERE.



Hi! I’m Kristin, and I am a wife and mother of 2 young boys (ages 5 and 2). I first fell in love with Disney when my mom took me when I was a child. After that I proceeded to go to WDW for my senior trip with my friends, and I completed a year in the Disney College Program (working in merchandise at Mickey’s of Hollywood at Disney’s Hollywood Studios). I shared my love of Disney with my now husband and sucked him in. We vacationed at Walt Disney World 2-3 times per year. We decided that what maked more sense was just moving to Orlando so that we could live the Disney life and be here for all of our favorite events and seasons every year. That is exactly what we did! Now we are at the parks a couple times a week and go for most events and major holidays. We can’t get enough and get to experience Disney in a whole different way.
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