PlanningThe ParksTips

Honest Truths About Disney You Need to Know

We love Walt Disney World. We find it magical and enjoy our trips each year. Even with all the love and magic, there are some harsh truths that we have to face. We want to pass along these truths so you can prepare for them before your Walt Disney World vacation.

walt disney world
walt disney world

Walt Disney World is Huge

The truth is that Walt Disney World is massive. If you aren’t prepared for how big Walt Disney World is, you might find yourself extremely frustrated and overwhelmed. Walt Disney World is the size of some small cities such as San Francisco. Because of how big it is, you must prepare for some transportation time.

As you make your plans for dining and other experiences, make sure you allow for transportation time. Disney suggests planning an hour to get to the Disney Parks and ninety minutes to get between Resorts. This is when relying on Disney transportation.

If you want to avoid some of these wait times, you can use Minnie Vans or different ride-share services such as Lyft or Uber. These can get you to your destination much faster, but make sure you add this extra cost to your budget.

Keep in mind that Disney Parks is also extremely large. Consider where experiences are located throughout the Park when making your touring plans. You want to avoid constantly having to walk back and forth. This is especially important for EPCOT and Magic Kingdom. It is hard to navigate these Parks because of how big they are. Think through where experiences are so you aren’t spending unnecessary time walking around.

Be aware of this fact so you can be prepared for the extra transportation time you will need.

Crowds at Disney

Walt Disney World is Crowded

Way back when there used to be times when we would see slow seasons for Walt Disney World. Those times are distant memories right now. Even though we might see some lower crowds every few days, the slow seasons aren’t the same as they used to be.

We saw what many were called revenge travel through 2021 and into 2022. Following COVID, people wanted to get out of their houses and travel. Because adults and kids can do many things remotely, many families had more flexibility to visit throughout the year instead of only being able to travel during the holiday or school breaks.

Because of all the special events such as After Hours, runDisney, EPCOT Festivals, and Holiday Parties, the reality has become that Walt Disney World is now always crowded. If you go into the trip aware of this, you can make a plan to help you navigate those crowds.


Walt Disney World is Complicated

The harsh reality is that a trip to Walt Disney World is more complicated than ever. So many decisions have to be made ahead of time that planning can feel like a job. Guests must make Park Pass Reservations to ensure their spot at one of the four Disney Parks. This means that you sometimes decide almost a year ahead of time where you want to be each day during your vacation. We are grateful that we can now modify our reservation when available, but this adds another layer to the planning to-do list.

Guests who want to eat at some of Walt Disney World’s table service restaurants must make those reservations 60 days ahead. Again, this means determining what you want to eat two months before vacation.

Genie+ is a new layer to the planning process that can be complicated for many. Guests who wish to bypass the standby lines must invest in Genie+ each day of their trip. To get the most out of this investment, Guests need to learn about how Genie+ works. Even after you know about Genie+, you will still need to book your return times during your vacation.

Finally, since the Magical Express has been discontinued, you have to future out how you will get to your Walt Disney World Resort. There are many options, but it takes a little research to determine which is best for your travel party.

We have many posts on How to Disney to help with some of these issues that make Disney complicated.

Rain in Disney
Rain in Disney

Walt Disney World Weather isn’t Perfect

Even though we wish that Walt Disney World was in a magical weather bubble where it was always the perfect temperature, and the sun was shining, this isn’t reality. Walt Disney World has pop-up rainstorms often, and you will need to be prepared for them.

Make sure you have ponchos and tiny umbrellas for those summer storms that come up suddenly throughout the day. Consider bringing extra shoes and socks if you know the day will be rainy. Having something dry to change into can be a considerable mood-changer.

Be aware that it will also be hot and humid throughout the year. It can be challenging even if you are excited about the heat and sunshine. Ensure you have sunscreen, cooling towels, fans, and other times to help you navigate the heat.

Disney is magical, but the weather still happens. Take steps to make sure you are ready for the weather so you can enjoy your vacation.

donald in front of everest entrance

Meltdowns Will Happen at Walt Disney World

The final harsh truth we want to be sure of is one that no one wants to think about, but it is true. Meltdowns will happen even at Walt Disney World. Even though Walt Disney World is magical, it can also be overwhelming. Because of this, breakdowns can and often do happen.

Set yourself up to avoid significant meltdowns by planning. Make sure you consider taking breaks throughout your trip. Allowing everyone some downtime can make a substantial difference in the overall experience.

Don’t go in thinking that it will be a perfect trip. This isn’t reality. Instead, plan to keep everyone on their regular schedule and allow for breaks. Doing this will help set everyone up for success and steer away from those meltdowns.

Those are some of the harsh truths you need to be aware of when it comes to Walt Disney World. Even though we love Walt Disney World, some things cause frustration. We hope you’ll be more prepared for your trip by sharing them with you.


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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