PlanningThe ParksTips

6 Mistakes Most First Timers Make at Disney

It can be a lot to keep track of when it comes to planning a Walt Disney World vacation.  If it is your first trip to Walt Disney World, you might be feeling overwhelmed and not sure what to do.

Here at How to Disney, we have a lot of tips and tricks to help you have a magical vacation at Walt Disney World.  The problem is that there are still some mistakes that first-time visitors to Walt Disney World seem to keep making.

Since we don’t want you to be one of those first-timers who make these mistakes, we are going to bring them to your attention and provide suggestions on how to overcome them.  Take a look at the six mistakes most first-timers make at Walt Disney World.

credit: amazon

6.  Not Realizing How Much They’ll Walk

Most people have been told, have read, and have a basic understanding of how big Walt Disney World is prior to heading down on their vacation.  They know there are four main Theme Parks, Disney Springs, and a variety of Resorts throughout the Walt Disney World Property.

The key concept that first-timers don’t really grasp is that there is a lot of walking that goes into getting around the Walt Disney World Resort Property.

Guests visiting Walt Disney World average between 8 and 15 miles per day.  As most of us don’t walk that much in a week, it can take a toll on our feet and our body.

Take time to prepare for all of this walking.  Start walking more at home so your body gets used to it.  Also, use those walks as a time to break in shoes.  Don’t make the mistake of showing up at Walt Disney World with brand-new shoes.  Although they might look adorable, they won’t make your feet very happy.

While on vacation, bring with you items that can help with issues (blisters) show up.  There are some amazing bandaids that focus on blister relief.  We also bring with us chaffing sticks, extra shoes, as well as moleskin.  These all help us navigate all the walking that we will be doing.

Disney Skyliner
Credit: Disney

5. Knowing How Long Transportation Will Take

As we have already mentioned, Walt Disney World and the Walt Disney World property are huge.  Those visiting Walt Disney World for the first time often don’t understand how much time it can take to get from place to place.

The four Disney Parks are spread out from one another meaning traveling between them takes a while.  Even with direct buses, transportation can take anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes to get between the Disney Parks.

Transportation between the Walt Disney World Resorts can take even longer if you are relying on Disney transportation.  Disney suggests planning 90 minutes of transportation time if traveling between Resorts by bus.

Knowing how long transportation takes is important as you plan out your days in a Disney Park.  If you are wanting to rope drop Magic Kingdom one morning and it opens at 9 am, you don’t want to be getting to the bus stop at 8:45 am.  Being aware that a bus might take 20 minutes to get you to Magic Kingdom means you will be at the bus stop closer to 8:00 to 8:15 giving you plenty of time to catch the bus and get into Magic Kingdom.

Understanding Disney transportation is important.  Take some time to learn about it and how to get around.  We have a good post HERE that can help.

Rain in Disney
Rain in Disney

4. Weather Happens So Be Ready

We often see first-timers show up in a Disney Park without any weather items.  This is a big mistake as not preparing for the weather can really impact a Disney experience.

No matter what the weather app tells you in the morning, chances are always possible for rain at Walt Disney World.  Because of this, make sure that you throw in that rain gear each day.  Having an umbrella, rain jacket, or poncho can allow you to keep on going even in the rain.

Being aware of what rides and attractions keep going during the rain is also important.  We have a post HERE focusing on rides in the Parks that are fun in the rain.

The heat and humidity in Flordia are two other weather items that first-timers aren’t prepared for when they arrive on vacation.  It is important to make sure you are ready to take care of yourself in these elements so your trip isn’t ruined.

Credit: Disney

3. Booking the Wrong Lightning Lanes

Genie+ is the new add-on feature found in the My Disney Experience app.  My first-timers have been adding this feature to their packages, but aren’t getting the most out of it.

Genie+ allows Guests to book Lightning Lanes (actual entrance to an attraction) throughout their Disney Park day.  This allows Guests to skip the standby line and therefore save time in line.

The mistake that first-timers are making is that they aren’t picking the best Lightning Lanes.  Even though there are a variety of attractions included with Genie+, it doesn’t mean that they all need Genie+.  In each Disney Park, there are specific rides and attractions that would be a bigger benefit if Genie+ was used.

Take some time to read about Genie+ and all it has to offer so you know what rides and attractions should be booked using this feature.

mobile order
Credit: Disney

2.  Forgetting About Mobile Ordering

Another big feature found in the My Disney Experience app is mobile ordering.  This feature allows Guests to order their food at select dining locations through the app.  It is a great way to spend less time in line when it comes to food.

First-timers often either don’t know about the feature or are too overwhelmed to use it during their trip.  Mobile ordering can help ensure you a dining time and location as well as save you time in line.  Make sure to read up on it and know how it works.

Tired in Disney World

1.  Thinking They Can Do It All

A major mistake that first-timers make is thinking that they can do it all during their Walt Disney World vacation.  No matter how long a trip may be, it is impossible to do everything at Walt Disney World during one visit.

It is important to set realistic expectations and have some top must-do experiences for each day.  This makes sure that you are getting in the most important experiences while leaving room for exploring and having fun.

These are the seven mistakes that most first-timers to Walt Disney World make.  Hopefully bringing them to your attention will help you avoid being one of them.

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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