PlanningThe ParksTips

6 Big Planning Mistakes To Avoid When Heading to Disney

There is so much that goes into planning a vacation to Walt Disney World.  Figuring out where to stay, where to eat, and what to ride it can be overwhelming.  As you are planning for your magical trip, we want to make sure you avoid these planning mistakes.  These are ones that we easily make as we get wrapped up in all of the magic.

Take a look at these mistakes that we have made when planning a trip to Walt Disney World so you can avoid making them during your Disney vacation.

Rain Gear
Credit: Amazon

Not Preparing for Weather

Even though we might think that Walt Disney World is in a magical bubble, it really isn’t.  Weather happens even in the Magic Kingdom.  This means that rain, flooding, and even low temperatures all happen at Walt Disney World.

A big mistake that you will want to avoid is not being prepared for the weather.  Ignore what the weather app is telling you and come to the Disney Parks prepared.  Know that rain storms pop up suddenly and you will want protection.  Pack that rain jacket, poncho, or umbrella so you can keep on moving even in the rain.  Don’t assume that it won’t rain because there isn’t a cloud in the sky.  These storms are sneaky and will surprise you.  Always have that rain gear ready to go when visiting.

During those hot summer months, make sure you come with cool items.  We have a lot of suggestions here regarding staying cool at Disney.  Pack those cooling towels, fans, and sunscreen so you are ready to battle the elements.

If you are visiting during the winter season (yes Disney does have a winter season), make sure that you pack layers and winter gear.  It is miserable to be on Big Thunder Mountain when it is cold and the wind is blowing.  Having a hat, mittens, and even a winter coat can make those moments magical.

Don’t make the mistake of ignoring the weather.  Show up with items to keep you dry, cool, and warm when needed.

Disney family
Credit: Disney

Not Splitting Up

It doesn’t matter if you are traveling with a party of two or a party of 15, be okay with splitting up throughout the vacation.  Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you have to stay together throughout the whole vacation.  Not only is this hard to do with bigger groups, but it can also become frustrating.

Allow your group the opportunity to split up and experience different parts of the magic on their own.  Even with the four of us, we take time to pair up with each kid to experience things 1:1 with them.  Now that they are older, they even can go off together leaving some adult time as well.

Being okay with splitting up is key to a successful Disney vacation.  No one is used to being together 24/7 so take time to spend time apart.  This is also fun because you can share stories when you come back together later.

Caribbean Beach Resort Pool
Credit: Disney

Forgetting to Take Breaks

A mistake that we no longer make is not planning in breaks.  Breaks are so important to a successful Disney vacation.  These breaks are key to keeping everyone happy and rested throughout the trip.

First, make sure you take time each day to take a break.  This doesn’t have to be anything big, but it does have to allow you to relax.  We often head back to our Disney Resort for a swim and nap, but not everyone enjoys this.  If you prefer to stay in the Park, we have suggestions here on how to take a break in a Disney Park.

The next mistake you won’t want to make is not scheduling a break day.  If you are staying for a whole week, taking a midweek break is key.  Disney is magical, but it is also a lot of work.  Take time in the middle to sleep in and enjoy that amazing Disney pool.

By taking these breaks you can really keep everyone fresh and ready for the fun.

Disney World Map

Zig-Zag Everywhere

You walk a lot at Walt Disney World and there is no need to add additional steps by zig-zagging across the Parks.  Take time to learn a little about where different rides and attractions are located so when you start to plan or start to use Genie+ you aren’t running back and forth throughout the Parks.

Think about what you want to accomplish in the Park that day and then try to make a plan so you aren’t adding extra steps.  This can become extremely frustrating so avoid it with an overall plan.

Coral Reef Epcot
Credit: Disney

Too Many Table Service Meals

Disney offers a wide variety of great table service meals.  One mistake that you can make though is booking too many for your vacation.  Table service meals can last up to two hours.  If you are booking more than one a day, this can really cut into your Disney Park touring.

The table service meals are also a lot of food.  By scheduling a variety of them in one day, you are going to be eating a lot of food that you probably don’t typically eat a home.  Doing this can really make you miserable, especially in the heat.

We love the table service options throughout Walt Disney World, but we try to focus on only a few each trip to avoid overeating and spending too much time eating.

Credit: Inside the Magic

Planning Too Much

We obviously love planning Walt Disney World vacations.  A mistake that we can easily make is planning too much.  If every minute of every day is planned out it not only takes away some of the magic but also becomes stressful.

Having a list of must-do experiences in each Disney Park planned out is key.  This can help guide your day, but it also leads room for fun and magic to happen along the way.

These are mistakes that we often make at Walt Disney World that could easily be avoided.  We hope that you will now know how to avoid them during your Disney trip.


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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