5 Mistakes First-Timers Make at Disney World (And How to Avoid Them)

Jennifer Flodin Disney World, Plan Your Trip 1 Comment

While Disney World might be the happiest place on earth, it's also one of the busiest places on earth.

Disney World draws millions of visitors every single year. In 2017, Magic Kingdom alone had over 20 million visitors.

Since Disney World is so incredibly busy, it's easy to swept up in the overwhelming hustle and bustle.

Here are 5 mistakes that many first-timers make at Disney World. And, of course, I'll be giving you tips on how to avoid these mistakes!


Let's get started!

Mistake #1: Walking in Without a Plan


You shouldn't walk into any of the Disney parks without having at least an idea of what you'd like to do.

This sets you up for failure right from the start.

In order to ensure that you get to do the things that are most important to you, you'll have to identify what those are.

The last thing you want to do is get home and realize that you missed something awesome that you would have rather done than something else.

I don't recommend that you map out your entire day, but you should have a list of things you'd hate to leave with doing.

Don't make the list massive. But, you can include 5-10 must do activities/rides.

This will help you manage your time according to what you value most.

Mistake #2: Not Booking Your Fast Passes ASAP

Fast passes are here one minute and gone the next. You don't have much time to waste when it comes to reserving them.

It's not one of those things you can just forget about and get to eventually.

You need to set a reminder on your phone.

If you're staying on Disney property, you can reserve fast passes 60 days prior to your check-in date.

If you're not staying on Disney property, you can reserve fast passes 30 days prior to visiting the parks.

Make sure you set the reminder for a time you can actually sit down and make the reservations.

If you're usually busy until 5 pm, set the reminder for sometime after 5.

The reminder does you no good if you don't take action.

Mistake #3: Not Making Dinner Reservations

If you plan on eating at a full-service restaurant for lunch or dinner, you need to make reservations if you are interested in getting in.

Sometimes you can wait for a table, but when the restaurants get a certain number of names on their wait list, they stop accepting walk-ins.

Here's a list of restaurants that take reservations.

I highly recommend that you try to make dinner reservations. Also, you should make them before you even leave for the park for the day.

This means that you'll need to know exactly where you plan on eating.

You can make reservations for any meal that day starting at 5:45 am. (Eww.)

I won't suggest that you get up that early for obvious reasons; however, it's important that you make the reservations ASAP.

Mistake #4: Paying for Water


Okay, so maybe that headline is a tiny bit dramatic.

I can think of a few good reasons to buy a bottle of water, even if it's astronomically over-priced.

Still, you don't have to buy bottled water nearly as often as you likely will be tempted to.

Instead, you just need to walk up to a snack stand that has a soda fountain and ask for a cup of water. They will give you a small cup of water for FREE. And, you can ask for as many as you want.

Additionally, Disney World does have water fountains scattered around. They might be few and far between, but they're there.

You can either bring your own water bottle to fill up or you can save that super expensive plastic one you bought at lunch and refill it.

Honest hour: When you get free water, it's tap water, which totally sucks in Florida. I've gotten used to it, so it doesn't bother me anymore. Just wanted to throw that out there, though...

Mistake #5: Carrying Too Much Shit


It's good to be prepared, but don't be over-prepared.

Taking too much shit into the parks with you is a recipe for disaster.

You'll have to carry around a hot, heavy backpack all day.

I'd encourage you to bring as little as possible.

While packing your day bag, ask yourself if you'll really need everything that you pack. Also, think of the worst case scenario if you don't bring certain items and ask yourself if you'll survive without them.

It's important to be honest with yourself. Otherwise, you'll be miserable carrying around a bag full of stuff you won't even use.


The most important thing you can take away from this post is to plan!

If you don't plan ahead of time, you get left with whatever is left, and that's not what you want.

You want to make this trip a magical experience. So, you'll have to put in some effort.

However, once it's planned and you've reserved everything (fast passes and reservations included), you can sit back and enjoy your vacation knowing that everything has been taken care of.

Plus, you know that you're getting to see exactly what you went there to experience, which is amazing! So enjoy it!

5 Mistakes First-Timers Make at Disney World (And How to Avoid Them)

Comments 1

  1. The number one mistake is assuming you will enjoy yourself. Think of it more as a rite of passage and something to feel proud that you have accomplished.

    I suspect that NASA did less planning work to send man to the moon than is needed for the typical WDW holiday.

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