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25 Biggest Disney World Mistakes to Avoid at All Costs

There is no doubt that Walt Disney World is the most magical place on earth, but that doesn’t mean that a trip there is without its challenges. In fact, no matter how many times you’ve visited, there are many common mistakes that even the most seasoned Disney vets make.

walking down Main Street USA Magic Kingdom Disney World

Going on a Disney World vacation is a learning experience and almost all first-timers fall into the same mistakes. Unfortunately, for some, this means a bad overall experience and not much desire to ever return.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can avoid the mistakes.

In this post, I am going to go over all the worst mistakes that most guests make. This is going to be especially useful if it’s your first visit, but even if you’ve been dozens of times, you are going to learn some new tips and things to avoid to make your trip even more magical.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of mistakes guests make, but it’s a pretty good start and if you avoid the things we’ve listed here, you are going to have a better trip than 95% of the other guests.

waiting in line for Test Track Disney mistakes

We’ve made all these mistakes before so you don’t have to. So instead of wishing for a do-over after the fact, here is my advice so you don’t ruin your Disney World vacation.

Before we get started here are some other articles that you will find useful for saving money at Disney World:

Also, don’t forget to sign up for our FREE Weekly E-Mail Newsletter. There we bring you the latest Disney vacation planning tips including how to save money, where to stay, and the best things to do. You can sign up here: Join our E-Mail Newsletter!

Mistakes Before You Leave

Packing for Disney World in March

In this section, we are going to touch on the biggest mistakes guests make BEFORE they leave for their trip. These are mistakes generally made during the planning stages of your trip. All of these mistakes are for both guests who are seasoned Disney World travelers and newbies alike. 

Even if you are a regular visitor, sometimes it’s just to get these important reminders! 

The reason they are so important is that these mistakes can affect your trip tremendously when you actually arrive at Walt Disney World, costing you significant time OR money. Let’s get into these now!

1. Going During Major Holidays

While the holiday time can be incredibly fruitful for many guests coming to Walt Disney World for a vacation, for others unknowingly, it can be BRUTAL! Why do I say that?

Cheapest Time to visit Disney World

The holiday times are generally the most EXPENSIVE times of year to visit Walt Disney World. 

How expensive? It can easily double the cost of visiting during another trip during an off-peak travel period. 

Sure, some guests feel that the cost of visiting during the holiday time is non-negotiable, perhaps if they have small children or they have limited amounts of vacation time off from their work. 

Others LOVE visiting during the holiday times due to the Disney Special Events. And while the reasons can differ from person to person, it’s still going to cost you a pretty penny.

In addition to the cost of visiting during the major holidays, the parks will also be PACKED. Expect attraction queues to be twice as long in some cases. These are the busiest times of the year for a reason. 

That’s why we suggest viewing our Disney World Crowd Calendar to see which times of year are busiest if you are looking to visit during slower times.

2. Buying the Wrong Ticket Type

people going through the entrance of Hollywood Studios

Another frequent mistake of guests coming to Walt Disney World is getting the wrong ticket type. What do I mean by this? Walt Disney World has many different ticket types from park hopper options to water parks & sports options to park hopper plus, etc…. It can be confusing even for seasoned Walt Disney World visitors! 

On top of that is attempting to figure out how many days you need to visit and attempting to maximize the savings of the different ticket types. We’d suggest reading our WDW ticket guide here to help you understand all of the different options and figuring out what the right ticket to get for your individual needs. 

It is ESSENTIAL to get this right, purchasing the wrong tickets can easily cost your family hundreds of dollars. 

For example, Park Hopping allows you to visit the different Walt Disney World theme parks during the same day. If you want to visit EPCOT AND Magic Kingdom in one day, you can! Without park hopping privileges you’re confined to one park per day. 

However, there’s a way to maximize savings by opting against the park hopper option if you’re going to be there enough days that you don’t need to park hop. In that case, just stick to one park per day and watch the savings rack up.

With careful planning you can easily figure this out and whether you need the park hopper option on your Disney Park Passes.

3. Not Taking Advantage of Big Discounts

Current Disney World Promotion offers

Disney REGULARLY runs big discounts throughout the year for guests to save significantly on vacation packages and room-only rates. For guests that aren’t aware, you can easily book a room for the full rack rate, which can be quite a bit more than the discounted rates you can easily find. 

How do you know if there are any big discounts to take advantage of? The best way is to read our Guide to Walt Disney World Discounts.  There we have the latest discounts being offered and if they are advantageous to you.

Then check Walt Disney World’s direct site to see if there are big promotions during the planning stages. Check this page here, it’ll give you the updated promotions. 

Currently, some promotions save guests in many instances up to 35% off current room rates! This can be an enormous savings and save your family hundreds of dollars on your hotel EASILY. 

Never would you want to not check this page or make sure you are locked into the latest and greatest discounts. To ensure you get the best discounts, we’d suggest booking with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, such as Show You the World Travel. 

They’ll make sure you’re locked into the best rates, and they make the entire process so much easier!

4. Not Staying at a Disney World Hotel

beach at Crescent Lake Disney World lookin at Boardwalk Resort

While this isn’t as non-negotiable as it’s been in the past, due to a significantly lessened Disney Resort experience, we still absolutely recommend staying on-site! 

This is especially true for guests who are visiting for the first time or for guests who have never stayed in a Walt Disney World Hotel or are first-time visitors.

There is intrinsic value in staying within the “Disney Bubble” that cannot be replicated when staying off-site. The full feeling really cannot be conveyed through written words on a screen, and must be experienced in-person by actually staying within a Disney World Hotel. I mean that, I truly do!

guest room Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort DVC

In addition to the special ‘Disney feeling’, guests staying within a Disney World Hotel will also be privy to special perks such as

  • Free parking in the parks and at the resort
  • Additional park hours via Early Theme Park Entry and Extended Evening Hours
  • Free transportation around the Walt Disney World Resort via buses, boats, Disney Skyliner and the Disney Monorail 
  • Ability to purchase the Disney Dining Plan
  • Easy access to Disney Parks with some resorts within walking distance 
  • Priority on Lightning Lane rides, giving you the opportunity to book Individual Lightning Lane passes before non-resort guests
  • 60-day window on making Disney Restaurant Reservations, unlike the only 30-day window for non-resort guests

These are just to name a few! Staying at a Disney World Hotel is a highly-themed experience that adds to the specialness of a Disney World Vacation!

5. Not Renting DVC Points

Disney's Beach Club Resort kitchenette

As I’ve written about in our Guide to Renting DVC Points here, this is ABSOLUTELY one of our favorite ways to stay at Walt Disney World. It allows you to stay at the most magically-themed Deluxe Resorts for a tiny SLIVER of the price you’d normally have to pay at the same resorts.

For instance, we frequently stay at the Beach Club Resort. Standard rooms at the Beach Club start in the $500-$700 a-night range if booking rooms directly through Disney World’s site. 

However, by renting DVC Points, you can get a Deluxe Studio, which are essentially standard hotel rooms for somewhere in the $300-$350 range per night! This is an enormous savings!

This is just one small example and the results are similar no matter where you stay and can be even more drastic when looking at a larger sample size. But how exactly is this done? 

Disney Vacation Club owners (Disney’s Timeshare Program) rent out their points if they are unable to use them. For instance, if I owned a DVC Timeshare and I couldn’t use it this year I’d have a set amount of points that I would need to use by a certain timeline.

lobby Disney's Boulder Ridge Villas at Wilderness Lodge Resort DVC

By renting out their points, a guest can allow someone else to pay them for those points and the ownerI can then book a Disney Resort Room for another guest. 

It’s a win-win, the owner gets paid instead of losing their points for nothing, and the renter gets to save significantly on a Disney Resort Room! It’s a lot simpler than it sounds! 

You can do this either yourself, if you know someone who has a DVC ownership or you find someone online, or by using a larger rental size such as David’s Vacation Rentals. We’d recommend using David’s at least the first time because they’ll make it incredibly simple for you and have amazing customer service.

This is the absolute BEST way to stay at Disney World Deluxe Resort Villas!

6. Not Getting Used to My Disney Experience App

My Disney Experience app Disney World

While the My Disney Experience app has a learning curve attached to it, we absolutely recommend you get familiar with it prior to getting to Walt Disney World. Trust me, you’ll be doing essentially EVERYTHING on it. 

Things like ordering food (Mobile Orders), looking at park maps, making ride reservations and making dining reservations, it’s all done on the MDE app.

You’ll be shocked at how frequently you’ll be on the app once you arrive, and you’ll have wished you spent more time figuring it out and learning the ropes before you got here. It’ll save you time on your trip because you’ll know EXACTLY where to go and what to do. 

Download it, fiddle around with it, and explore the different sections of the app.

7. Not Scheduling Enough Resort Days

splash pool dumping water at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort

If you’re only going to be in Walt Disney World for a couple of days, we understand the idea of maximizing all of your time in the parks. It’s essentially a MUST. But for everyone else who is coming for 5 days or longer, schedule some resort time or even resort days! You’ll need it. 

We understand so many have itemized itineraries and practically minute-to-minute schedules for exactly how they plan on spending their days. We’ve been there, and finding time to relax in these kinds of scenarios are few and far between. It’s a mistake, I’m telling you! 

There’s nothing worse than getting back from your Walt Disney World Vacation far more tired and exhausted than when you left. No matter how good of shape you are in, the days can be incredibly long and tiresome for both the young and older alike. From the Florida sun to the long queues in line, it’s EXHAUSTING! 

Instead, much of the best family time we get when we come to Walt Disney World is at the resorts! We’ve made the mistake too many times of not scheduling enough resort time and we regret it every time.

If you have the opportunity, try to schedule resort days in-between park days. If you’re rested, you’ll GREATLY appreciate your park days even more. And if you’re like us, you might even like these days MORE than your park days.

8. Going for Too Few Days

fountain at front entrance to EPCOT and Spaceship Earth

Another big mistake is visiting for too few days! Trying to cram EVERYTHING into a couple of days is impossible, it really is! Our family visits a few times a year, and we still have not done everything or tried everything. 

Guests that are in the parks almost on a daily basis have still not done everything, so how can you expect to?

Walt Disney World is a HUGE SPRAWLING campus of 25,000 acres and nearly 40 square miles of property. There is just simply too much to do in too short of time. Enjoy the time you do have by giving priority treatment to the ‘Must-Do’s for each trip. 

I’d suggest making a list of the most important things that you want to do while you’re there and then prioritize getting those things done. This list should be manageable and not overwhelming. Then on a future trip, you can do whatever you didn’t get to on this trip!

You’ll enjoy that SO much more than having 100 things written down as you attempt to run around like a crazy person trying to get everything done. It won’t be enjoyable!

9. Not Planning for the Florida Weather

Rain at Disney World

Nothing can kill a person’s hopes and dreams like that Florida sun. It’s NO joke, I’m serious. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve had a huge plan of things we’ve wanted to do in the course of a day and then all of a sudden… it hits us! 

Those early afternoons can be brutal if you’re not better prepared for the Florida weather, especially during the hotter times of the year. Certain parks (Animal Kingdom I’m talking to you), can be intolerable if you’re planning on walking around and exploring at 1 or 2:00 in the afternoon while it’s 100 degrees and you’re getting baked alive. 

In addition to packing essentials like sunscreen, sunglasses, and plenty of water, I’d encourage you to do your best at planning smartly during these times too. What do I mean by that? 

Plan smart by perhaps having more indoor activities during the heat of the day or when it’s raining. Consider having some sit-down lunches, enjoying the inside entertainment such as the different shows, planning indoor rides, etc…during those time periods.

Or better yet, go back to your resort in the heat of the day to enjoy the many amazing Disney World Resort pools! This is our family’s favorite thing to do when it’s hot as we can enjoy the sun while being in the pool. And then as the sun cools down, we often head back to the parks in the evenings!

And if the sun wasn’t enough, did I mention it rains in Disney World A LOT?  The afternoon torrential downpours and thunderstorms can come on in only a matter of minutes. This can lead to the closing of attractions and the resort pools.  Not to mention when it’s hurricane season at Disney World. So again, always have a backup plan.

Mistakes in the Parks

So there are the mistakes made PRIOR to getting to the parks, and then there are the mistakes made once you get to Walt Disney World. In this section, we are going to focus specifically on the mistakes that are made once you are actually in the Disney Theme Parks.

10. Waiting to Do Priority Attractions

riding Rise of the Resistance in cannon room

We almost always recommend guests to go on the rides that are most important to them ASAP! Some people think they will go on their favorite rides towards the end of their trip, but this is an accident waiting to happen! Why? 

Unfortunately, unexpected things happen all the time that are OUT of your control that can completely hamper your ability to get on those attractions. Things such as sickness, ride closures, wait times, etc… can make it IMPOSSIBLE for you to get on the ride you really want to get on! 

There would be nothing worse than ending your trip on a sour note with you unable to get on your favorite attractions, or the new one you’ve been waiting to try out. We’ve sadly seen this happen too many times. In short, get on it as soon as you can. 

And if you happen to have another opportunity to ride later in your trip, even better! 

To pay as much for a Disney World Vacation only to not get to do what you really wanted to do would be a major disappointment, especially if you can’t go back for many years.

11. Not Wearing the Proper Shoes

Animal Kingdom Crowds

Many guests would be SHOCKED to hear that the average Walt Disney World guest walks anywhere between 7 and 10 miles PER DAY! And while we personally love to walk, especially considering that we are stuffing our faces every chance we can, for others it can be a little bit of an unexpected shock to their feet. 

That’s why we HIGHLY recommend you get comfortable shoes for your trip. I’ve seen people wearing sandals and then not be able to walk at all the next day.

Get high-quality sneakers that still have a lot of treads left in them. In fact, we often plan to get new sneakers a few weeks prior to a Disney World trip and break them in.

Getting blisters or cramps in your feet can be awful, especially while you’re waiting in line and getting the proper shoes can make a WORLD of difference.

12. Not Taking Advantage of Early or Late Park Hours

TRON Lightcycle Run upload conduit at night with lights

Guests staying at a Walt Disney World Resort have access to Early Theme Park Entry and Extended Evening Hours (Deluxe Resort Guests only). These additional opportunities present highly sought-after time stretches where you can maximize the amount of attractions you can get on! 

For instance, Early Theme Park entry allows you to get into all of the four theme parks 30 minutes prior to the rest of Disney World’s non-resort guests. These 30 minutes can be incredibly beneficial to ensure you can get on 1 or 2 rides with virtual no-wait times. 

Extended Evening Hours is another provision but it stretches into the evening hours instead of the morning. Unlike Early Theme Park Entry, Extended Evening Hours is ONLY for Deluxe Disney World Resort guests. This allows guests staying at those parks to enjoy a couple of additional hours after park closure. 

We HIGHLY recommend taking advantage of these, if you can, to have less competition for the rides and more enjoyable experiences. 

Of course, this requires some planning, so just check the Early Theme Park Entry time each day in addition to finding out which parks have Extended Evening Hours on which nights. Then plan your itinerary and schedules around these.

13. Not Waking Up Early Enough in the Morning

walking through World Showcase EPCOT without crowds

An alarm clock at Disney World can hit you like a ton of bricks in the morning especially if you were out late the previous night. I know the long days can be tiresome, BUT the early morning hours are essential to maximize your park days. Why? 

The first couple of hours at the parks are the quietest with the least amount of people in the parks. Generally, by 10:00 am or 10:30 am, the parks really start getting full and the wait times skyrocket. If you didn’t get to the park until then, you missed a terrific window to maximize a minimal amount of crowds. 

That’s why we recommend getting up early, getting to the parks PRIOR to Early Theme Park Entry, and taking advantage of those first few hours. 

If you’re tired, head back to your hotel in the late morning or early afternoon for a needed rest. That’s when the crowds are busiest and the Florida sun is the worst anyway! 

The sooner you just come to grips with the fact that you won’t be getting a lot of sleep at Disney World, the sooner you can move forward and make the best out of it.

14. Not Taking Breaks in the Middle of the Day

swimming at Disney's Port Orleans Resort Riverside pool

While every group can’t take breaks in the middle of the day, WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT if you can. Some guests staying outside of Walt Disney World have long commutes and driving back and forth is a bit of a pain in the butt. 

But if you have small kids, have mobility issues, or just a lack of relentless energy, a midday afternoon break can make a HUGE difference in the enjoyment of your trip. You’ll get back to the park feeling refreshed and ready to maximize the rest of your day. 

If at all possible, we recommend figuring out which park you plan on spending the most amount of time at. For instance, if you have small kids you’re likely wanting to be at Magic Kingdom the most. Perhaps consider staying at one of the Magic Kingdom Resorts to make it as seamless and practical for you to leave during middays.

Staying at one of the EPCOT hotels is also a great option if you plan on being there multiple times.

I’m telling you: this is a LIFESAVER!

15. Not Learning About Virtual Queues

Disney Virtual Queue

Many guests have no idea of something called  the Virtual Queue and they’ll likely not start worrying about it until it’s too late. This is a BIG mistake. Definitely, read my Disney Virtual Queue Guide so you’ll be WELL EDUCATED on it before you get to the parks. 

Currently, there are two attractions that require Virtual Queues: Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind in EPCOT and TRON: Lightcycle Run at Magic Kingdom. These are always subject to change at any minute. 

While you can also ride these rides if you pay the additional cost of an Individual Lightning Lane, using the Virtual Queue system can save you some time and money.

Guests enter the Virtual Queues through the My Disney Experience app where they get a ‘Boarding Group’ to ensure they can ride the attraction that they desire. At 7:00 am each morning these Virtual Queues open, and it’s essentially first come first serve. 

I repeat, PLEASE have a plan for getting into the Virtual Queue on the days you’ll want to experience one of the Virtual Queue attractions. 

My post will give you the exact plan for making sure you can get into these queues. It’ll 100% help!

16. Not Learning About Genie+ Ahead of Time

Hollywood Studios Genie+ Toy Story Mania! entrance

Similar to Virtual Queues, Genie+ is another term that guests are going to want to get familiar with. It’s a paid upgrade charge for guests to essentially have a FastPass system of sorts. For all the details and learning exactly how it works, check out my post here. 

While we greatly miss the FastPass system of the past, Genie+ can be a good investment in certain situations. While we normally steer clear of it, there are absolutely times we purchase it. I explain my favorite times to get it and my favorite parks to utilize it in the article I referenced above. 

Genie+ allows you to reserve attractions throughout the day allowing you to get into a ‘Lightning Lane’, which is essentially a faster wait with far fewer people in front of you. 

It’s essentially a paid FastPass system that will cost anywhere from $15-ish all the way up to nearly $40 per day per person. The cost of it is dependent on the time of year and day of the week you are visiting. 

You also need to know that it’s more expensive during peak travel periods such as during the holidays and on busier days of the year. Remember, you’re going to want to have a GOOD plan IF you decide to purchase it. Don’t just get it blindly, that’s the most important point to remember.

17. Underestimating Transportation Times

Bus stop at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

Just because it’s Disney Transportation doesn’t mean it’s fast! For guests that frequently stay at the larger Disney World Resorts or one of the Disney World Resorts that shares transportation know EXACTLY what I’m talking about. 

Always plan for Disney Transportation to take LONGER than you expect. For instance, if you want to get to a Disney World Theme Park by 8:00 am, don’t go out to the bus at 7:45 am expecting that the bus will be perfectly waiting for you to get there to bring your right over. It’s a LONGSHOT! 

Disney Buses generally come to each park every 20-30 minutes and that’s IF you get on the first bus. You might head down to the bus stop and you might have JUST missed the bus.

Disney Skyliner EPCOT Station

That means you’ll have to wait another 20-30 minutes for the next one plus the drive over to the park. In short, plan on worst-case scenarios and if you get there a few minutes earlier, that’s not a bad problem to have! 

Besides the buses, you also need to know about the Disney Skyliner, the monorail, boats, and Minnie Vans.  Do some research and find out which is the best one to get you to your destination in the most timely manner.

For example, if staying at one of the Disney Skyliner Resorts, that will be your best choice for two parks, but you’ll need buses for the others.  At the Monorail Resorts however, you also have the option to take a boat or even walk.

Dining Mistakes

In this next section, we are going to talk about the next BIG mistakes that guests frequently make when it comes to enjoying Disney World dining. These mistakes can cause you a lot of wasted money that are completely unnecessary!

18. Not Getting Your Own Groceries

holding up bags groceries from delivery

Getting your own groceries at Disney World has been a regular occurance in our family now for many years. That’s not to say we eat meals in our hotel room or anything like that. Actually FAR from it.

However, getting our own groceries is perfect when it comes to having essential things such as water, juices, snacks, alcohol, and whatever else your family needs! 

Disney World charges over $4 for a bottle of water these days, just having the ability to bring your own water bottles into the parks or having them in your room can save you SO much money. And the best part of all is getting your own groceries is SO simple and easy now. 

There are a number of different apps you can use on your phone or websites you can order from. Food items can be at your resort within an hour in many instances. To find out what we do, check out our post here.

19. Not Taking Advantage of the Refillable Mugs

Refillable Mug Mickey and Minnie at Disney World resorts

The refillable mugs are still one of our favorite deals at Walt Disney World! For $21.99, guests can get endless amounts of soda, teas, coffee, etc…at any Disney World hotel food court, quick service locations, pool bars, or gift shops. 

While you can’t use them at the Disney Theme Parks, they are amazing for use at the resort, and worth it if you are spending any time there.

You can save SO much money using these mugs, especially if you’re a coffee drinker! If you plan on drinking anything other than water, I wholeheartedly recommend you purchase a refillable mug, at least for one person in your group.

20. Wasting the Disney Dining Plan

Dinner at Topolino's Riviera Resort

While the Disney Dining Plan isn’t as advantageous or as much of a no-brainer as it’s been in the past, it can still be a good deal in certain situations. However, that is ONLY if you know exactly how to use it to fully maximize its value. 

Don’t just get it and then use it recklessly or without any thought or plan. Always have a plan when using it! Never leave money on the table when getting the Dining Plan. For an in-depth look at exactly how to use it, and when to consider purchasing it, read my Disney Dining Plan Guide here.

21. Not Making Advance Dining Reservations

Piglet waving hi at Crystal Palace restaurant Magic Kingdom

The days of getting into many Disney World restaurants without Advance Dining Reservations (ADRs) are LONG gone. It’s possible you can still get into some restaurants without reservations, especially if you’re a smaller party. 

But if you’re desiring to get into some of the most popular restaurants, you’ll likely kiss your chance goodbye without reservations. 

If staying at one of the Disney World Resort Hotels, absolutely begin making your ADRs at the 60-day mark to give yourself the best chance of getting into the most popular restaurants. If you don’t get the places you want, try again within 24 hours prior to see if any last-minute reservations pop up. This happens frequently!

22. Only Eating Typical Theme Park Food

seafood pasta dish at Flying Fish Disney's Boardwalk Resort

Disney World has gotten a bad rep in the past and guests think they can only get your typical theme park food. Whether that’s stale hot dogs, burgers, chicken nuggets, etc. And while they absolutely still have some of that for families or kids who are picky eaters, the Disney food options have gotten SO much better and more varied! 

Disney World has some of the best restaurants we’ve ever experienced, and we’ve had a chance to eat all over the world at truly terrific restaurants. They are a food mecca these days, but knowing where to eat is crucially important. 

Whether or not you plan on breaking the budget for high-class dining experiences or eating at quick-service restaurants, it doesn’t matter. There are some GREAT options for every budget and every palate at Walt Disney World, so be adventurous and try something new. 

READ: Best Disney World Restaurants

23. Eating Sit-Down Breakfasts

breakfast at Disney World of eggs bacon and potatoes

In general, breakfasts are our LEAST favorite sit-down meals in all of Walt Disney World. That’s not to say they are awful or aren’t worth it occasionally. But they can seriously affect our chances of maximizing our day and stop you from utilizing the peak part of the morning hours.  

As I mentioned earlier, the first few hours of the day are the BEST to maximize the amount of rides with minimal wait times. By scheduling a breakfast at 9:00 am or 9:30 am you’re essentially losing that time. If you still really want to do breakfast on a park day, I’d encourage you to maybe do it a little bit later at like 10:00 am or 10:30 am. 

That way you’ll still have a little bit of time to get to a few attractions prior to breakfast, plus the meal you ate can tide you over through lunch as well. It’ll be great value as it’ll essentially be a 2-in-1 meal! 

READ: Best Places at Disney World for Breakfast

The Two Biggest Mistakes

In this last section, we will touch on the two biggest mistakes guests make and that’s under planning and over planning. There’s a balance needed when it comes to each extreme. Why and how to avoid making either of these CRUCIAL mistakes, let’s begin…

24. Under-Planning

Moana Journey of Water EPCOT with Te Fiti figure

The old days of spontaneity and completely winging it in Disney World are gone. Guests longing for those days are unfortunately going to be hit hard when they see foreign concepts such as My Disney Experience, Genie+, Advance Dining Reservations, Virtual Queues, and the list goes on and on! 

These types of people are going to be frustrated when their days are wasted with hours of attempting to figure out things or unnecessarily waiting in lines. The reality is that some planning is 100% needed these days in Walt Disney World. And to be honest, Disney World planning is FUN! 

Why enjoy just the 5 days or the 7 days in Walt Disney World when you can enjoy the days and months prior to your trip?! This is a HUGE part of the fun and figuring out exactly where you want to eat, and which parks you want to go on which days. It’s only completely understood AFTER you do it. 

We understand some can get away with less planning and still have a great time, and there is some level of fun in unpredictably and just going with the wind without a stressful second-by-second plan of maximizing our dollar. 

It’s certainly a balance. But you need to figure that out PRIOR to your vacation. Absolutely plan the essential things such as dining and the general plan for your park days otherwise you will end up being severely disappointed.

25. Over-Planning

Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular Hollywood Studios

The other extreme is over–planning. Our family tends to be guilty and a little unbalanced when it comes to our planning. Anyone need a spreadsheet?

We personally find planning to be part of the journey. And anytime we can begin having fun with a Disney World trip means an opportunity to lose our focus on the more serious pressing everyday matters of our life! 

However, sometimes we need to reign it back a bit because we find ourselves being tied down too much to a particular plan and agenda that we can lose the fun of it all. This can cause you to miss those individual moments of fun while being too predominantly occupied with “what’s next?”

That kind of thinking isn’t great to have on a Disney World trip and you need to live in the moment and savor the magic!

Pirates of the Caribbean ride Magic Kingdom

So please be careful with over-planning too. I know you want to get as much as humanly possibly jam-packed into each day, but it just isn’t worth it. It’ll cause you to lose your enjoyment.

And it can cause some family members to not enjoy their Disney World vacation as much as the super-planners. 

Each traveler or family member has different interests and concerns. Some people view a vacation as a time to relax and get some R&R from their everyday lives. 

Running them around like a chicken without its head won’t do anyone any favors especially if you plan on bringing them back for a future Walt Disney World vacation, which is the goal isn’t it?! 

It’s a balance. Plan some and leave some open for spontaneity.

How to Avoid Making Mistakes at Disney World?

Roy Disney and Minnie Mouse at the entrance of Main Street USA Magic Kingdom

When it comes to planning a Walt Disney World vacation the absolute BEST way to ensure that you have the very best time is by using a highly seasoned Disney World Vacation Planner. These planners have SO much time and experience in maximizing the needs and desires of every member of the family. 

Not only that but they don’t cost you a single penny! Why would you not want to use a Disney World Vacation planner? The ones that we recommend above them all are our friends at Show You the World Travel. The experts they have there are UNBELIEVABLE. 

I’m telling you once you book a vacation with them once, you won’t want to book a vacation any other way. It’s simple and painless, and they’ll make your vacation better than you ever thought possible!

Ready to Start Planning Your Disney Vacation?

Mickey Mouse partners statue Magic Kingdom

If you feel overwhelmed planning a Disney vacation, use an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner such as Show You the World Travel. They are experts on every Disney location and can tell you where to stay, what to do, how to save money, and give you personalized service for your most magical vacation ever!

That wraps up our look at the biggest mistakes most people make when going to Walt Disney World. We hope that we helped you learn some tips that will help you save some time and money while on your next trip.

If you are thinking about going to Walt Disney World in the coming future, here are some other popular articles where you will find all the info and tips you need to plan your trip.

Your Thoughts

I want to know what you think about our tips on what mistakes to avoid on your next trip to Disney World…

  • What is the biggest mistake most people make at Disney World?
  • What other tips have you learned over the years that can help others have a better time?

Let us know in the comments section below!

If you enjoyed this article, as always I appreciate it if you’d share it with others via social media.  I work hard at making this website into a useful resource for you and your family to plan your visit to the Disney Parks and I hope it can help you! Thanks 🙂

George Mells

Sunday 10th of March 2024

I realize that your concentration is on the Disney World complex and it is very useful. However, do you or someone else create the same kind of information for the Disneyland/California Adventure parks? I know most of the advice like Genie+, hours to visit and time management still applies but there have to be some difference. For the record, my last time at Disney World was in the early 90s ( I was there the day Space Mountain opened in the 70s) and I was at Disneyland in Sep 2019.

Ziggy Oskwarek

Friday 15th of March 2024

Hi George, thanks for the comment. Unfortunately, I haven't had a chance yet to write an in-depth guide to the Disneyland Resort in California yet, Walt Disney World takes up most of my time. As soon as I can I will work on it!


Saturday 9th of March 2024

This article had a lot of great ideas and suggestions. Thanks for that. Although I have been to Disney many times, there is always something in your articles that help on my next trip.

Ziggy Oskwarek

Friday 15th of March 2024

Hi Lorena, thanks for your words. I'm happy the article helped you, that's always my goal! :)