Mistakes Guests Make on Their Disney Vacation


Your Disney vacation should be a magical experience, but planning one can be overwhelming. Many people assume they can show up to Disney World and do all the things without any forethought. They quickly learn that is a mistake. As a travel agent who specializes in Disney, my job is to make sure you don’t make any of these common mistakes.

Staying at Disney Resort hotel is an amazing experience but you want to make sure you are taking advantage of all of the perks available to you. You are sure to have a fantastic time, as long as you don’t make some of these mistakes.  Here are the top mistakes that guests make when staying at Disney resorts:

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

Not Using Free Parking at the Parks.

If you are a Disney World resort guest you can park for free at all of Walt Disney World’s theme parks. You can obviously use the free resort transportation but you may find that driving to the theme parks can save you time and give you more flexibility. Unless you prefer or require preferred or valet parking, you should never have to pay for parking at the parks.

Note that guests staying off-property are still required to pay for daily parking at the parks.

Not Familiarizing Yourself With My Disney Experience.

Before you leave, take time to set up and familiarize yourself with the My Disney Experience app. The app will contain your resort reservations, park tickets, and dining reservations. You will also use the app to unlock your hotel room door, Mobile Order food, and navigate through the parks. You’ll also need the app to purchase Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lanes.

Don’t wait until you arrive to download the app. You need to set up and familiarise yourself with many features so you can spend less time on your phone and more time enjoying your vacation. You can also keep an eye on ride wait times and review restaurant menus ahead of time.

Not Completing Online Check-in

Once you have set up your My Disney Experience account, you can complete the online check-in before you arrive at Disney World. Early check-in allows you to link a credit card to your account and complete all the registration information. Avoid the long lines at the front desk and head straight to your room.

When your room is ready, you will receive a text alert. Then, you can head to your room and open the door using your MagicBand or mobile device. Unless you have an issue with your room, you can avoid the front desk by using online check-in.

Forgetting to Book Table Service Reservations in Advance

Failing to book your Advanced Dining Reservations (ADR) is one of the most significant Disney mistakes you can make. Booking early is essential to enjoy sit-down meals on Disney property. Many reservations fill up fast, especially for Signature and Character experiences.

Make your dining reservations online around 5:45 AM EST, 60 days before your arrival date. If you don’t book right away you can miss out on popular reservations. I can help you with this to ensure you have a magical trip.

Not Preparing for the Weather

Florida is known for its heat, but the weather can be unpredictable. If you visit during the cooler months, bring a jacket and layers of clothing. The Orlando weather forecast can change frequently, so be prepared for rain and pack a sweatshirt or jacket.

Not packing for the weather can ruin your trip. You may have to spend money on clothes, rain jackets or more comfortable shoes. Save your money and pack a variety of options to be prepared for anything.

Not Planning a Rest Day

Guests love the parks and attractions, but it’s important to plan a rest day during your trip. Disney’s pools are amazing and worth a visit. Plan a rest/pool day in the middle of your vacation to rest your body and fully enjoy the resort amenities.

There are also plenty of pool activities and games throughout the day to keep everyone entertained and make the experience even more enjoyable. If your trip is longer than 4 days you should plan a day to rest.

Not Participating in Resort Activities

At each resort, there are a variety of activities and scheduled events to enjoy. These activities range from tours to stories, campfires, yoga, and more. It’s a good idea to check the calendar upon your arrival so you can plan the activities that your family will be interested in and not miss out on anything.

Some activities only take place on specific days of the week, so it’s best not to delay checking the schedule. You may want to plan your rest day around a specific activity. While many of the resort activities are free some of them do require a small fee.

Not Utilizing Disney Transportation

Familiarize yourself with all of your resort’s transportation options and schedule. Researching in advance will give you an idea of the fastest ways to get to places, saving you time and headaches during your vacation. Taking the bus, skyliner, monorail or boat is an easy way to get around Disney.

Not all resorts offer every transportation option, so consult your travel agent to find the best resort for your needs. There are even a few resorts within walking distance of theme parks. Knowing your transportation options can help you choose the best resort.

Not Considering the Disney Dining Plans.

The Disney Dining Plan turns a Disney vacation into an all-inclusive vacation. The Dining Plan allows you to pre-pay for your dining, so you don’t have to worry about the surprise of food costs once you arrive. The Dining Plans are only available for Disney resort guests to purchase.

If you choose to purchase a dining plan, make sure you understand how to use it and get your money’s worth. While the dining plan may not be right for everyone, it can be a great way to save money and remove financial stress.

Not Utilizing Early Park Entry

If you’re staying at a Disney resort, you can enter any theme park 30 minutes before it officially opens. Taking advantage of Early Park Entry allows you to beat the lines for popular attractions like Slinky Dog Dash and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. This is a huge perk for resort guests!

While all guests can enter the park early only resort guests benefit from Early Park Entry. Resort guests will be asked to verify their reservation to access certain areas of the park. All other guests must wait until the park officially opens for the day.

Not Using a Travel Agent

Planning a Disney trip is unlike any other, which is why many guests turn to travel agents for help. Many people are either underprepared or over-plan for their Disney vacation. Prioritize your top attractions, remain flexible, and be prepared for changing weather and crowds.

Using a travel agent is free and will help you avoid making many of these mistakes.

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Mistakes Guest Make at Disney World

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