A Disney World vacation is something people dream about and look forward to for years! With that anticipation comes a lot of pressure for it to be *AMAZING*. Here are the top 5 things to avoid doing on your Walt Disney World vacation.
1. Over-planning! This is something I must admit- I have been guilty of. I can attest to the fact that over-planning and the pressure of meeting reservation, after fastpass, after reservation steals the magic of those spontaneous moments that occur at Disney World and really make your vacation special. Quite frankly, it also sets you up for failure and frustration if you try to plan out every single minute of your day and will result in a stressed out family. Conversely, under-planning can be a frustration as well. You will need to plan where you want to eat (and get Advanced Dining Reservations) and reserve your fastpasses in order to accomplish much of what there is to see at Walt Disney World. So some planning is needed but be sure to leave breathing room for that spontaneous street performance you want to watch, that dole whip pit stop you just have to make, or that splash pad on a hot day that fills your children with laughter. You and your family will need those little breaks from zooming through the parks and standing in long lines and it will make your vacation so much more enjoyable.
2. Sweating the small stuff. This one is huge!! So, you’ve been planning this dream vacation for forever AND throwing quite a bit of money in Disney’s pocket. That means everything will be absolutely perfect right? After all it is “the most magical place on earth”. Nope. The world does not stop and bow to us simply because we are on vacation. Disney World is always busy and when surrounded by thousands of people your family is bound to run into a fellow guest that is rude/cuts in line/doesn’t cover their mouth when they sneeze/yell-talks at their family when they are mere feet apart. When they do cross your path it can be frustrating but don’t let it stress you out! Don’t let one rude person steal the joy of the rest of your day. Ignore the behavior as best you can and keep it moving. The day will be better for it. I always ask myself “will this matter in a year?” and if it wont then just let it slide.
Things that are seemingly in your power to control can also go not as planned. Maybe your family got a late start and you arrive at the park later than expected, you may miss a fastpass time, your favorite attraction could be shut down for maintenance, you get stuck on a ride and miss the parade, and the list goes on. Don’t let it bum you out! Embrace it and be spontaneous! Treat it like an adventure and move onto the next exciting attraction. We were once stuck on Pirates of the Caribbean for over an hour within sight of the end of the ride. Cast Members finally put on waders, got into the water and pulled us to the nearest exit. We got to see the backside of Magic Kingdom that the public rarely gets to see and the whole experience made for a great story. We used our hour to really examine the ride details near us and joke around making the best of it. Meanwhile, the family behind us griped and complained for an hour about how they were missing their lunch reservation. We both had the same experience but who had a better day? We did! All because we chose to look at the bright side. And i am very confident Disney still allowed them to dine given the circumstances.
A small snag in the day stays small, as long as you let it! Don’t allow small, fleeting bad moments steal the joy of the rest of the day and the joy of those around you- it’s vacation, enjoy it.
3. Not Checking Current Park Hours and Showtimes. Park hours are subject to change last minute and firework showtimes can even change. At special times of year like Christmas and Halloween Magic Kingdom holds themed parties on select nights that require an extra hard-ticket to attend. This closes the park down to regular guests early- often around 7pm. If you attend Magic Kingdom on a Special Event day and don’t have a park hopper ticket your Disney Day is cut short! So be very aware of special events and park scheduling.
4. Not getting enough rest. This goes for everyone in the family. Walt Disney World is a very exciting, action packed, busy vacation. Children’s typical sleep patterns are often disrupted and exhaustion can spell crankiness for the littles as well as grownups. So if your schedule allows, pick a day in the middle of your vacation to skip the parks. Sleep in, enjoy your resorts pool. Even leisurely hop the various Disney resorts the grounds are beautiful, the restaurants are good, and you still get that Disney feel with little to no crowds. Another good option is to do a Character meal at one of the Disney Resorts on your rest ‘no park’ day. The kids still feel like they’re at Disney World and everyone gets to relax. I recommend O’hana Breakfast with Lilo and Stitch at the Polynesian Resort. They serve breakfast until 11am so you can still sleep in! Advanced Dining Reservations are highly recommended. A visit to Disney Springs in the afternoon/evening is also a great option.
5. Wearing new shoes! This hopefully wouldn’t ‘ruin’ your vacation, but it will make it much less enjoyable. We’ve all been there, vacation is coming up and we want to look nice and be comfortable. So it seems like new shoes that look great and are in better shape than our normal go-to footwear would be a great idea. Don’t do it! We average 5-7 miles of walking per day at Walt Disney World and have learned the hard way no matter how nice our new shoes look Disney World is not the place to break them in. This results in blisters on top of blisters and spending $5 on a pack of band-aids at the nearest gift shop. So instead bring 2 pairs of tried and true shoes that you can alternate for the happiest vacation feet possible.