When visiting WDW resort for either day or a week-long vacation, it is important to have a game plan. There is so much to do, a lot of ground to cover, and a ton of people all around you. It will make your time in WDW so much more enjoyable and efficient if you can avoid some mistakes that most rookies and first timers do when visiting the parks!
A lot of the mistakes on this list are things that I did when I would first come to visit the parks. After doing research, getting more familiar with the resort, and a ton of trial-and-error, I found I was doing way more than I needed to! So, below is a list of 10 rookie mistakes to avoid when you visit WDW resort. This list is in no particular order, just a compiled list of things to think about.
- Not coming to the parks prepared. A backpack filled with “Disney survival” items will be your best friend during a park day. Including items such as bandaids, deodorant, extra socks, ponchos, a portable phone charger, and ziplock bags will be helpful throughout the day. Be sure, however, to not use a backpack that is too large or too heavy, as it will become a burden!
- Not bringing water or snacks. Contraire to popular belief, you are able to bring your own food and drinks into WDW – and I highly suggest it. Everything in Disney is so expensive, it will help in the long run if you cut down on costs by packing a few bottles of water and snacks in your backpack.
- Not using Fastpass+ reservations. As I’ve mentioned before in a previous blog post (BEST RIDES FOR FASTPASS+ RESERVATIONS!), utilizing Fastpass+ will cut down on your wait times in the parks and make your day more efficient overall. Be sure to utilize the booking window and book the reservations smart to get the best out of this tool!
- Not taking advantage of the My Disney Experience app. This app is definitely a life saver when in the parks. With an account, you can use this app to check wait times on all rides throughout the park, check showtimes for entertainment and spectaculars, utilize a digital park map that will give you directions to a specific location, and so much more. However, it will eat your phone battery if you leave it constantly running in the background, so be sure to close it out after every use!
- Not booking dining reservations ahead of time. This was the biggest mistake I made when visiting my first time, and something that I will never do again! For table service restaurants, unless you want to wait over an hour to sit down and eat it is so important to make dining reservations ahead of time. Keep an eye out for a future blog post where I talk about the best table service restaurants in each park 😉
- Park hopping. Although this is a fun concept that I have done several times, park hopping in my opinion is not worth paying for or doing. Doing multiple parks in one day takes so many experiences away from what is possible, especially with the now normal crowd levels. In my opinion, choose one park per day and make the most of that experience! It will make your vacation much more enjoyable.
- Wearing the wrong shoes. Of course you want to look cute heading to the parks, but give your feet a break! Avoid shoes with no support such as sandals and flip flops, and be sure to not wear brand new shoes. Birkenstocks and running shoes will truly be your best friend. There is no damper on a Disney day than multiple blisters or hurting feet!
- Underplanning. This goes along the lines of making Fastpass+ reservations and dining reservations. Be sure to at least have a game plan of which park you plan to visit each day, where and when you’d like to eat, and your can’t miss attractions and experiences.
- Overplanning. Opposite of number 8, it is so important to be sure not to over plan. Weather, crowd levels, and other factors can cause plans to veer from what you’d like, so be sure that your entire day isn’t planned and that you are willing to be flexible with your ideas.
- Staying in the parks from open to close. This is also something I am guilty of doing many, many times. On a four-day park vacation, we would be in the park from rope drop to close, and were completely drained. Other than the fact that it is a long day in itself, the heat can become unbearable in central Florida and you’ll find yourself walking 15-17 miles at the least. Instead, hit rope drop, stay until lunch time, go back to the resort and relax around the pool or take a nap, then head back before dinner time to enjoy the rest of the day. It really makes all the difference in an enjoyable experience!
So there you have it! My list of top 10 rookie mistakes to avoid when visiting WDW! I hope you enjoyed today’s post. Be sure to like the post, and follow my blog! See ya soon 🙂