18 Rookie Mistakes Made by Disney World First Timers

Let’s be honest we have all made travel mistakes, and it is especially easy to make mistakes when planning your first Disney World vacation. This is not a typical trip to your local amusement park. There are a ton of things first timers don’t realize about a Walt Disney World vacation. Let’s take a look at the top 18 mistakes made by rookies at WDW.

  1. Not planning ahead – I am sure I sound like a broken record but Disney World requires planning! Do your research so you aren’t surprised.
  2. Not setting a realistic budget – There is no way around it; Disney World is a pricey place! Setting a budget and sticking to it is really important. If you are using a MagicBand for payment it is especially important to track what you are spending. There is nothing worse than getting a credit card bill after your trip that is much higher than anticipated.
  3. Not checking for discounts – throughout the year Walt Disney World offers many discounts such as free dining or room discounts. Make sure you are checking for these when booking your travel.
  4. Not buying your park tickets ahead of time – waiting until you get to the parks will get you the most expensive park ticket prices.
  5. Not staying on Walt Disney World property – you can find really cheap places to stay in Orlando off property. However, you can actually end up pretty far away from the parks and with traffic it can be a big pain. Even if your offsite hotel offers a shuttle to the parks they are often unreliable. There is also nothing like staying on Disney Property and you can do so affordably by using the value resorts.
  6. Not checking park hours – park hours change daily and are different for each park. Make sure to check this before your trips.
  7. Thinking you can get seats at restaurants with no reservation – while this is occasionally possible, most restaurants require advanced dining reservations which can be made up to 6 months in advance. If you don’t like making plans that far in advance a great tip is checking the My Disney Experience app the day of to see what is available and picking from there. Often times you can find some great options since you must cancel 24 hours in advance or you get charged.
  8. Not using My Disney Experience – MDE is an app that allows you to make dining reservations, FastPass selections, check park hours, wait times, and your upcoming plans. It is a fantastic resource for your trip. Make sure to familiarize yourself with it prior to your trip.
  9. Not reviewing the park maps prior to your trip – it can really help to look at the maps before hitting the parks. Disney World is HUGE and can be really confusing to navigate if you don’t know where you are going.Screen Shot 2019-04-29 at 5.25.00 PM.png
  10. Thinking FastPass+ costs money – unlike Universal FastPass at Disney is completely free. Make sure to utilize at it on the MDE app!
  11. Not taking advantage of Extra Magic Hours – Extra Magic Hours allow on site guests to get into the parks early or stay late. Make sure to check online for these times and use them to your advantage. The parks are much less busy during these times giving you time to ride E-ticket attractions at lower wait times.
  12. Not taking breaks – I get it, Disney World is expensive and you want to get as much out of the parks as possible. But, doing parks from open to close is exhausting, especially during peak heat season. Make sure to plan for breaks, whether that be going back to the room for a nap or a pool break, taking a long sit down lunch, or finding a nice shaded spot to hang out in the parks it is important to plan for down time or it can make for a miserable time.
  13. Not packing accordingly – sunscreen, contact lens solution, deodorant, all things you can find at Disney World but, it will cost you! Make sure to pack these with you so you don’t have to spend the extra money.
  14. Not knowing park rules – there are a lot of rules you may not realize about what you can bring into the parks. Specific stroller sizes, selfie sticks, glass containers, ice, and other items you may not think of. Make sure to check the Walt Disney World website for restricted items and activities. You wouldn’t want to have to go all the way back to the car or resort.
  15. Not preparing for Florida weather – Florida isn’t just sun and shine all of the time, it rains sporadically nearly every day in spring and summer so you should bring a poncho. In fall and winter it can get cold! I have been in the 40’s and low 50’s so bring layers. It is not fun walking around without a jacket and pants when it’s that cold.
  16. Not knowing height requirements – make sure to check height requirements for each ride if you are traveling with kids. You don’t want to walk up to a ride and realize your kid is too short. It is better to know that ahead of time to avoid meltdowns. It is also important not to try to stuff shoes or make your child look taller. The restrictions are there for your safety and it is not a good idea to try and work around those rules.
  17. Not wearing sunscreen – The Florida sun is no joke. Even if it seems cloudy or you think you are covered up enough you should lather up on sunscreen before heading to the parks. Nothing is worse than getting a bad burn on your first day!
  18. Remember you can’t do it all! Don’t put so much pressure on yourself to do everything, Disney World is huge and it is impossible to do every single thing. But no matter what you do you will have an amazing time, its Disney after all!

Posted by

Hello! My name is Cori. I am a huge Disney and Harry Potter Fanatic. I travel to Disney multiple times a year, whether it's Disney world, which I go to the most, Disneyland, a Disney Cruise, or one of the many other wonderful Disney Experiences. I also love to travel to new places and visit Universal every once in awhile to see Harry Potter. I spend a large amount of time researching all things Disney, so I thought it was only fitting that I start a blog to share my thoughts and findings, and I could not be more excited.

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