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5 Disney Planning Mistakes to Avoid Making

No matter how many times we go to Walt Disney World, there are some mistakes we seem to continue to make repeatedly. We want to share these planning mistakes so you don’t make them on your Disney trip.

No matter how much you plan and research, mistakes happen during a vacation. We hope to share the more significant mistakes GUests often make and how to avoid them.

Family planning for Disney

Planning Too Much

Getting wrapped up in everything you “have” to do during your Walt Disney World vacation can be extremely easy. It is easy to think you can do it all, but we are here to tell you that you must change your thinking.

Walt Disney World is so big and has so much to offer that no matter how long your trip is you won’t be able to see and do it all. If you plan your days to be so full, you will spend the whole vacation rushing from thing to thing instead of enjoying the magic of Disney.

We do think having a plan is important at Walt Disney World. Think about the 3-5 experiences you want to do daily. Make those a priority, and everything else will be extra fun. Break your days into morning, afternoon, and evening and think about what you want to do during that chunk of the day. This is a much better strategy than planning minute by minute.

Having a general plan allows you to get to your must-do experiences while also leaving time to enjoy the magical ones that pop up suddenly throughout the vacation.

Contemporary Resort
Credit: Disney

Not Enjoying Your Disney Resort

As you plan your vacation, don’t forget to enjoy your Walt Disney World Resort. So many times, families don’t leave any time to enjoy their Disney Resort and are part of the Disney magic.

Not only do the Disney Resorts have amazing pools where Guests can enjoy activities such as trivia and games, but there are so many other experiences at the Resort.

Schedule time to enjoy your Disney Resort. Maybe this is heading back during the afternoon for a swim. If you have a more extended vacation, consider scheduling a whole day to enjoy the Resort. Scavenger hunts, crafts, and movies are often outside under the stars.

During your vacation, slow down and enjoy what your Walt Disney World Resort offers.

Garden Grill Restaurant

Not Thinking About Food

If you want to enjoy some of Disney’s excellent table service restaurants at Disney Springs, Disney Parks, or Disney Resorts, don’t forget to make advanced dining reservations. Guests can start making reservations sixty days before their arrival.

Although this might seem extreme, many of Disney’s most popular dining locations book up two months ahead. The only way to guarantee you can dine at a restaurant is to book advanced dining reservations. To ensure you have the best chance at these, you will want to do so the morning your advanced dining reservations open up.

Related: The Most Difficult Dining Reservations at Disney Right Now

Even if you don’t plan on having meals at a table service location during your trip, you will still want a food plan. Ensure you know how to use mobile ordering through the My Disney Experience app. This is the most convenient way to order food at Disney’s quick service locations.

Disney has many outstanding dining options for Guests to choose from during their vacations. Make sure you take time to plan before you arrive.

Disney Skyliner and Disney Monorail
Disney Skyliner and Disney Monorail

Making Reservations All Over

Now that you know you need to make dining reservations for Disney’s table service locations let’s talk about another mistake Guests often make when planning their Disney trips. When making their dining reservations, Guests tend to make them without thinking about where they are located.

Walt Disney World is huge, so you need to be aware of where experiences are located throughout the Walt Disney World Property. Consider planning your meals and Park days around one another. If you want to eat at Beaches and Cream one evening, think about enjoying that time at EPCOT. If a meal at Sanna at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is a must-do, plan it around your day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Thinking about where dining is located can save you a lot of satisfaction and time during your vacation.

Photo Credit: Disney

Not Leaving Time for Transportation

This mistake ties right into the previous one. Many Guests don’t realize they need to allow extra transportation time around Walt Disney World. Although we are incredibly grateful that Disney offers free transportation, we also know that it isn’t always fast.

When using Disney transportation, especially the buses, ensure you allow at least sixty minutes to get anywhere. Even though it might only be a few miles, the overall transportation experience can take much longer than anticipated.

If you are in a hurry, consider looking into ride share or Minnie Vans. These can be a lot more convenient and a lot faster. Look into these options if you want to get between Disney Resorts after a night-time show or if your schedule is tight for a reservation. Rideshare and Minnie Vans can save you much time in these situations.

Those are the five planning mistakes you will want to avoid when preparing for your Walt Disney World vacation. No matter how often we visit, we continue to make these mistakes during our trips. We hope you will now have strategies for avoiding them during your upcoming Walt Disney World vacation.


Jennifer Retzlaff

Jennifer became a lifelong Disney fan during her first trip to Walt Disney World in 6th grade. From that moment, Disney became a big part of her life. She quickly started to introduce her love of Disney to her family with a Disney honeymoon and then family trips when her youngest was 18 months old. She loves the magic that Disney brings to people through theme parks, cruises, and adventures. As a teacher, she tries to bring Disney magic into her classroom to help kids believe that “If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It.” She is also part of the Magic Vacation Planner team as a personal travel advisor. With this team, she can now help others plan magical vacations. She loves bringing her love to Disney to readers with How to Disney.

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