Biggest Mistakes People Make at Disney World in 2024

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We’ve made lots of mistakes at Disney World and want to help you avoid making the same mistakes we’ve made.

Some of the most common mistakes people make during their Disney trip is spending too much money, waiting in long lines, and missing out on special offerings. You can easily avoid these mistakes with a little research and planning.

You can also avoid these mistakes by using a Disney Vacation Planner.

Pro Planning Tip: We recommend using Jessica Lieb with ET Family Travel to book your Disney vacation!

1. Not Checking the Disney Calendar

Disney has special events that take place throughout the year. Parks may be more crowded or close early due to these special events. To get the most out of your park ticket, check the Disney Calendar to schedule your trip around or to include special events.

The Magic Kingdom will close early on select nights from August until October for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.

2. Not Purchasing the Right Ticket

Purchasing the wrong ticket can be costly. Be realistic about your schedule when purchasing park tickets.

You don’t need a Park Hopper Ticket if you plan to spend the entire day in each park. However, the Park Hopper ticket is a good investment if you only want to do specific attractions in multiple parks.

3. Not Understanding Genie+ and Lightning Lanes

Genie+ and Lighting Lanes are fairly new additions to Disney, so, understandably, you may not be familiar with how they work.

Genie + is a paid service you can add to your My Disney Experience account that allows bypass the standby line on many attractions. Genie+ is available on most rides in the parks. However, a select few high-demand attractions require Individual Lightning Lanes.

Familiarize yourself with how the Genie+ service works and how to use the My Disney Experience App features like the custom tip board, letting you know wait times for your top attractions.

4. Not Preparing for the Weather

Florida is hot and humid most of the year. It also rains frequently during the summer, so packing appropriately for the weather is a must.

Pack clothing that will keep you cool and comfortable. Toss a few ponchos in your bag because you never know when a Florida thunderstorm will pop up.

If you’re traveling in the winter, you may need to pack a jacket or even a coat.

5. Not Making Advance Dining Reservations

There are some really unique and fun restaurants at Disney World.

If you really want to eat in Cinderella’s castle, you will absolutely need an Advance Dining Reservation. You will most likely be unable to walk up to a table service restaurant and get a table.

Guests can make dining reservations months in advance. If you need to cancel, you can do so up to 2 hours before the reservation time. If you fail to cancel your reservation within that time, you will be charged a $10 per-person fee. (Some exclusions apply)

6. Not Being Prepared to Walk… A Lot!

Disney parks are large. You should expect to do a lot of walking during your vacation. Wearing the proper shoes is a must.

If you aren’t typically an active person, you may want to increase your daily walking in preparation for your Disney trip. Additionally, you may want to pack blister cushions and anti-chafing balm.

7. Not Using All of Your Disney Dining Plan Credits

Purchasing the Disney Dining Plan is a great way to save money and worry less about the cost of food. However, when you prepay for dining credits, you need to ensure you are using all of your credits.

Before you purchase one of the Disney Dining Plans, think about how much your family will eat during your trip. Not using all of your dining credits means you are paying for something and not using it.

8. Not Planning Breaks

Disney World is huge, and it will take several days to explore the parks and other offerings. You want to get your money’s worth, but you won’t enjoy your trip if you are exhausted.

Consider taking a mid-day break from the parks, especially if you have young children that need to nap. Maybe even plan for a resort day, where you don’t visit any parks but enjoy all of the amenities of your resort.

9. Not Packing Everything You’ll Need

Being prepared for the unexpected can save you a good amount of money.

Disney allows guests to bring food and drinks into the parks. This can save you a lot of money since eating at the parks can add up. 

Bring a backpack with items you may need throughout the day like sunscreen, ponchos, water bottles, or pain relievers.

10. Not Familiarizing Yourself with the My Disney Experience App

Disney has developed the My Disney Experience app to provide you with a plethora of information. It’s very helpful to familiarize yourself with this app before your trip.

You will be using this app often as it is where you will find park maps, park times, bus times, Genie+, mobile ordering, wait times, and more.

Take time to explore the app before you leave for your Disney vacation.

11. Not Using Mobile Order

Avoid waiting in long lines to order food, easily place a mobile order using your My Disney Experience app. The Mobile Ordering Service allows you to order your food without waiting in line.

To place a Mobile Order use the My Disney Experience app to select your preferred restaurant. Select an Arrival Window, place your order and pay. When you arrive at the restaurant select the “I’m Here, Prepare My Order” button and they will begin preparing your food. You will get a notification in the app when your food is ready, go to the counter with the “Mobile Order Pick Up” sign to receive your food.

Mobile Ordering safes you time. You can order your lunch while you’re waiting in line for a ride.

12. Not Bringing Your Own Food

If you want to save money at Disney you can bring in your own food into the parks. Disney allows guests to bring in food from outside their parks.

You can easily have groceries delivered to your hotel room with services like Garden Grocer, Walmart Grocery Delivery and Instacart.

Pack sandwiches, snacks, and drinks into the park. If you don’t want to carry your food around all day you can rent a locker in the park to store your food.

Packing a picnic lunch or snacks can help you stick to your vacation budget.

Book Your Disney Vacation

Ready to book your Disney World vacation? We recommend using Jessica Lieb with ET Family Vacations to find you the best deal on your Disney vacation. Jessica can save you money on your trip. Plus, her services are 100% FREE FOR YOU!

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