Walt Disney World Rookie Mistakes- Five Things to Avoid

There is always a set list of rookie mistakes first time Walt Disney World visitors make on their trips. With the sheer size of Walt Disney World and the advance planning required, it can be easy to fall into these common rookie mistakes that first time guests can make. Here’s our top five rookie mistakes to avoid making on your first trip to the Most Magical Place on Earth!

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1. Sleeping In and Arriving Late to the Parks

Disney Parks vacations are not the time for sleeping in! This is a humorous joke in my family as they describe me as akin to a drill sergeant in the mornings as I usher my family out the hotel door at the crack of dawn.

But there’s a good reason for not sleeping in on your Walt Disney World vacation! If you arrive early to the parks, prior to official opening, you can be there for Rope Drop and have the chance of walking on to popular attractions. Rope Drop is a term Disney uses for allowing guests to line up at the ‘roped off entrances’ to each popular land. If you are at the front of the line, you can rope drop attractions that normally have long lines in the afternoon.

No one like standing in long lines and getting to the parks early is a great way to avoid that from happening.

2. Not Making Advanced Dining Reservationshttps://disneyworld.disney.go.com/dining/magic-kingdom/cinderella-royal-table/

Dining is a big deal at Walt Disney World with so many fantastic sit down restaurants, character dining experiences, dinner shows, and more all offered in each of the parks and hotels. Because dining is such a big deal, one mistake you want to avoid is not getting advance dining reservations.

Having a dining reservation means you have secured a seat at some of the most popular restaurants and this avoids disappointment when you arrive and realize there’s no chance for walk ups. Most popular dining experiences at Walt Disney World fill up quickly so having advance dining reservations is a must.

3. Buying Tickets Right from Disney

One of the best ways to save money on your Walt Disney World vacation is to buy your tickets from a third party company that allows you to get great discounts on tickets, hotel stays, and more!

For the lowest prices on multiple day Walt Disney World discount tickets (and other parks in Orlando and Southern California), we recommend Get Away Today! They are Disney’s largest travel partner, have incredible customer service, and provide exclusive prices just for Mickey Visit readers!

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They also offer complimentary concierge services for Walt Disney World which means you can let one of their agents take care of your vacation planning by booking all your dining and FastPass+ reservations! This really takes all the stress out of planning a Walt Disney World vacation. Rather than waking up at odd hours of the night to book all your reservations, why not let their travel agents take care of it for you- for free! You can read all about these services in their guide on Get Away Today’s website. 

4. Not Planning for Bus Travel TimeDisney Bus in Disney Springs

And the last most common rookie mistake Walt Disney World visitors make is not allowing enough time for transit between their hotel and theme parks.

The large scale of Walt Disney World makes the resort a town in itself which is part of the charm to many guests that stay on-site. Walt Disney World is 30,000 acres in size with four theme parks, two water parks, and more than 25 Disney Resort hotels and campsites. This means you will spend quite a bit of time on buses, boats, the Minnie cars, or the new Disney Skyliner as you travel between your hotel and the theme parks.

Plan accordingly in the mornings so you can still get to the parks in time for rope drop and account for the travel time it will take you. The same goes for park hopping or making dining reservations, always add extra time to allow for transportation delays and any unforeseen issues. You can read all about transportation at Walt Disney World in our guide to help you feel prepared.

5. Not Taking An Afternoon Break

You definitely want to build time into your day to take an afternoon break to head back to your resort for a swim or a nap! The weather in Florida can be hot, humid, and rainy regardless of what time of the year you visit so taking a break in the afternoon will make your entire group happy.

Plus if you take a break in the afternoons, this is when lines tend to reach the longest and the sun is the hottest. If you return to the parks for dinner the weather will start cooling down and your entire family will be in a much better mood. It’s tempting to power through and do a 12 hour day at the parks but it’s just not always the ideal option for families!

Plan Your Walt Disney World Vacation Now!

Don’t let the Walt Disney World crowds chase you away! Start planning your Walt Disney World vacation now! Subscribe to our FREE Deals newsletter where you will receive lots of helpful planning information, exclusive Disney deals, and access to the lowest priced Disney tickets anywhere. You can find more information on planning your vacation here:

Disclosure: We have used all the products recommended on Mickey Visit. We may receive compensation when you click on links to some products featured.

About Lindsay Brookshier

Lindsay is a college English instructor and has years of writing experience through various nonprofits, charities, newspapers, and online magazines. As the content director of Mickey Visit, she oversees article content and leads our fantastic team of writers to meet guest vacation needs. You can still find her writing weekly content to help make your Disney Parks trip fantastic here on Mickey Visit and Disney Dose- you can also view her recently featured posts on Disney Parks travel on Visit Anaheim, Nerd Wallet and SFGate. Lindsay comes from a dedicated Disney family and enjoys taking her son to the Disney parks as often as possible.

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