Being an avid Disney Fanatic who has been visiting Walt Disney World since 1974, people are always asking me for help booking their vacations. I hear horror stories of people who booked their Disney trip by themselves or with a travel agent who doesn’t have much personal experience. There is so much to see and do at Walt Disney World that you can’t just show up and wing it. Here are the 5 rookie mistakes I see people make when planning a Walt Disney World vacation.
1. Buying only a 2 or 3 day park tickets
There are 4 theme parks to visit! Walt Disney world is roughly the size of Ottawa – there is no way you’re going to see it all in a couple of days. Trying to cram everything in to 2 or even 3 days makes for very long days and stressful times, especially with little ones. If you experience an attraction that you love, don’t you want the opportunity to do it again and not be stressing about the next thing on the itinerary?
2. Not buying a hopper pass
Yes… this is one that some disagree with – but I really believe that a hopper pass is worth it. For example – Fantasmic is only happening on Monday and Wednesday the week you’re there – guess what days will be busiest at Hollywood Studios? With the hopper pass you can enjoy another park during the day and then head over in time for the night time entertainment elsewhere. The flexibility of the hopper pass is extremely valuable in my opinion, and you won’t realize how much until you’re there.
3. Not staying on property
Yes, there are some fabulous Deluxe resorts on property, but if those aren’t in your budget you should explore the Value and Moderate resort categories. These resorts are on Disney property, they are well themed, convenient and affordable! That’s right – these resorts will give you all of the benefits of staying on property (including extra magic hours) but there is real savings in the transportation. Disney’s Magical Express will pick you up at the airport and take you to your resort and back again when the vacation is over. The transportation all over the property includes buses, monorails, boats and the Skyliner! It’s all included, there is no need to rent a car!
4. Missing fastpasses & dining reservations
If you’ve never been to Walt Disney World – how would you know what you want to see? Fastpasses can really help you make the most out of your days in the parks and avoid some of the lines at the more popular attractions. Dining reservations? If all your little one wants to do is meet the princesses – arrange to have a meal where they will come to your table to meet them! Having a travel agent who specializes in planning Disney vacations can help you with all of that. There are a lot of myths about using one, but I can guarantee you that the RIGHT agent can help you plan the BEST vacation.
5. They over plan!
I know, that kind of contradicts what I said in point 4, but there’s something to be said for just enjoying the moment. If you want to eat with the Princesses – then yes, you need a reservation. However, planning all of your attractions in a strict itinerary takes all of the fun out of being there. I’ve seen many families racing around the park to make sure they are ‘on schedule’ and it really takes away from all of the wonderful things they could experience if they took a moment to slow down!
A Walt Disney World vacation can be an amazing experience making memories you will treasure forever. Knowing how to get the most out of your vacation will give you time to enjoy the magic!
Have you made any of these mistakes? We’d love to hear what tips you have, comment below!
Explore some of the resorts we have reviewed here