Is it your first time visiting Walt Disney World? Are you feeling overwhelmed by what to expect and about what you need to plan? Don’t worry we are here to help you! Disney is such a fun and magical spot but in order to get the most out of your vacation, there are few tips you should keep in mind, all of which we have outlined below! We have outlined the best ways to avoid the common Disney World first-timer mistakes.
If you need some more basic trip planning information we recommend that you order your FREE Disney Vacation Planning Video.
Not Packing for Florida Weather
Florida weather can be a beast so make sure you pack accordingly. In the summer (April-October) bring shorts, tank tops, and plenty of sunscreen. If you are visiting in January and February be prepared for the possibility of some real cold snaps. There are times when you actually need a winter coat, hat, and mittens. Even if you are used to the cold I find the high humidity here in Florida makes the cool weather have a sharp edge that really necessitates the cold weather accessories. Always check the ten-day forecast before your trip.
Underestimating the Florida Sun
The Florida sun is not forgiving, make sure to use sunscreen even if you normally tan. Also, watch out for dehydration. Drink plenty of water, Disney has many free water fountains around all the parks. If you are thirsty, you are probably already dehydrated.
Plan your Fastpass+ Ahead of Time
Fastpasses go quickly! You will want to make sure you book yours 60 days out if you are staying at the Disney World Resort or 30 days out if you are not. There is a lot to understand when it comes to MagicBands and Fastpass+ we recommend reading MagicBands What You Need to Know for all the details!
Going During Major Holidays
There are a lot of amazing special events that happen at Disney World around the holidays. This does not, however, mean you should visit on the actual holiday. For all holidays, major and small, expect heavy crowds at all of the Walt Disney World theme parks.
Eating Burgers, Hot Dogs, Pizza
Disney has really changed a lot over the years and has a lot of great dining options outside of your standard burgers, hot dogs and pizza. The Sunshine Seasons over at Epcot offers fish, pork, and chicken which are great hearty options. Flame Tree Barbeque serves up some delicious ribs. If you need some inspiration read our guide to the best fast food to eat at Disney World.
One of the best ways we recommend getting more done at each park is to arrive for the opening. If you do take advantage of getting there early we have been able to squeeze in up to 5 attractions in our first hour of arrival. If you sleep in and get there an hour or two after park open we can guarantee you will wait in line for every ride.
Not Scheduling Transit
This is imperative when park hopping! Did you know you can end up waiting up to 20 minutes for a bus to arrive? You should also keep in mind that depending on where you are going travel time from point A to B can be 10 to 15 minutes as well. You don’t want to miss your dining reservations.
Buying the Wrong Tickets
When you are purchasing your Disney World tickets make sure you only purchase what you and your family really need. For example, if you choose to add water parks on to your ticket make sure to check that one of the water parks isn’t close for refurbishment. Each year Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach close for a period of time for their refurbishment. Not adding the park hopper option to your tickets is a great way to save money on your vacation. If you have toddlers or younger children traveling with you odds are it’s going to be hard to visit more than one park a day when you factor in nap time. Plus the fewer bus trips when you are dealing with a stroller the better! For more information on tickets for Disney World read our guide.
I have heard many first-timers lament that they didn’t take the opportunity to plan more. There is so much to do at Disney that it can be overwhelming if you aren’t prepared for what to expect. You don’t have to plan right down to the last second but we recommend at least thinking out where you want to eat and which parks you want to visit on each day. One of the best ways to start is to follow Planning Your Disney Trip in 10 Steps.
While we do recommend planning out your details on your trip, we don’t want you to go so far to the extreme that you don’t take advantage of enjoying the small stuff. Stop and enjoy the street performers or grab a Mickey Premium bar and watch as the tourist stroll by. Remember this is also your vacation! Relax and enjoy don’t over do it and wear yourself out so much that you need a vacation from your vacation!
Not having a Dole Whip
This is the best treat that Disney World has to offer, at least in my opinion. If pineapple soft serve deliciousness served in a cup isn’t your style make sure you at least enjoy one of Disney’s iconic snacks. We covered the Top Ten Snacks on the Disney Dining Plan if you are wondering just what these iconic Disney snacks include.
Wearing the Wrong Shoes
An average guest can easily walk over 5 miles during a full Disney World Park day! Can you imagine how your feet are going to feel after that? Blisters have to be one of the worst things to get during a Disney World Vacation. You may now be wondering what is the best shoe to wear to Disney World? We know it’s different for every individual so I would stick with your go-to comfiest shoes you own. Also, make sure that you break any new shoes in before you go. If you want more suggestions on shoes, read Top 5 Best Shoes to Wear at Walt Disney World.
I have been visiting the parks annually since my parents first brought me at just a year old. Recently I was able to fulfill my life long dream of being a Florida local and moved from the wintery Northeast to the sunshine and fun of central Florida. Now I am hoping to share my Disney knowledge with you so you can have the best vacation possible!