Visitors to Walt Disney World are immersed in a world of magic and imagination that leaves them spellbound and gives them memories that last a lifetime.
Because of the captivating quality of the theme parks, it’s easy to get distracted and forget things or make costly errors.
Guests make eight (8) common mistakes when visiting Disney World. They forget their dining or activity reservations or don’t make these reservations at all. They also wear uncomfortable clothing, arrive at the park late, do not plan for the weather, forget to factor in rest time, and do not check the theme park schedule.
This article discusses these missteps in more detail and what parkgoers can do to avoid them.
1) Forgetting a Dining Reservation
Making reservations for restaurant dining is usually necessary at all Disney World theme parks.
Often, restaurants cannot accept walk-in guests during their busiest times.
When booking a table, guests must agree to late or no-show policies, and some establishments have a $10 per person cancellation fee for guests who cancel within two hours of the reservation or do not show up.
Other restaurants are more accommodating to guests who cannot make their reservation or forget they have one, so visitors should review the reservation policy at each location before booking.
2) Not Making a Reservation for Character Dining
Disney Character Dining is a popular activity at Walt Disney World where guests enjoy a delicious meal with their favorite Disney Characters.
With Character Dining, parkgoers enjoy more time with the Cast Members than they would in a standard Meet and Greet, so not booking a reservation can lead to disappointment.
With only a handful of restaurants offering these Character Experiences, the available time slots fill up fast, and visitors must plan well in advance to secure their spots.
The reservation window for Character Dining opens sixty days before a scheduled and reserved visit to the parks, and many guests book their tables as soon as possible.
3) Forgetting a Reservation at the Droid Depot or Savi’s Workshop
Building a droid at the Droid Depot or a lightsaber at Savi’s Workshop are two one-of-a-kind activities guests can do at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Visitors must make a reservation in advance because spaces are limited for these popular experiences.
Building a customized droid from scrap parts in the Droid Depot is something any true Star Wars fan would love to do.
However, guests who miss their booking will be charged full price ($119.99) anyway – and won’t go home with a new friend.
At Savi’s Workshop, visitors choose their Jedi path and build customized lightsabers in their desired style.
Like the Droid Depot, no-shows at Savi’s Workshop are on the hook for the full activity cost, which is $249.99 per person.
A few same-day reservations may be available up to two hours before a time slot.
Walk-ins are only an option if space is available.
Forgetting these bookings is a costly mistake, as there are no refunds for no-shows.
Visitors who think they might miss their reservation should cancel at least 24 hours in advance.
4) Wearing the Wrong Shoes or Uncomfortable Clothing
Nothing is worse than walking around Walt Disney World in the wrong shoes.
Guests typically visit the theme parks for at least two or three days, so wearing inappropriate footwear can make the trip painful and take all the joy out of the experience.
Parkgoers may stand on their feet for hours while waiting in lines and walking from place to place, and visitors should expect to walk at least seven miles daily, depending on the park.
Shoes should be breathable, not pinch or rub the feet or toes, and have a cushioned sole.
Visitors should also wear comfortable clothes.
Florida’s weather can be hot and humid, and breathable clothing that prevents chafing while sweating is necessary.
5) Arriving at the Park Late
The first hour or two after the Disney World parks open are the best hours to visit.
The crowds are smaller, and the most popular rides have shorter lines.
The theme parks are clean and sanitized by the time the parks open, and the outside temperatures are comfortable, especially in the summer.
Disney Resort hotel guests can take advantage of Early Theme Park Entry, allowing them to enter the parks thirty minutes before regular opening time.
With even fewer people in the parks that early, visitors have short lines for rides.
Visitors who arrive an hour or two after the theme parks open often get there as the temperatures are getting warmer and the crowds are getting bigger.
A late start at the park means fewer opportunities to see and experience everything they offer.
6) Not Planning on Rain
Florida is hot and humid most of the year, but many visitors don’t realize that May through October is the rainy season, where it rains almost daily.
Walt Disney World guests who visit during these months are almost guaranteed to get caught in a downpour.
Visitors should plan to carry a rain poncho or waterproof jacket in their bag.
Guests can also purchase umbrellas and ponchos at many of the shops.
Phones, cameras, and other electronics do not always survive sudden downpours.
Parkgoers should carry a waterproof bag for cameras or a small plastic bag for cell phones to keep the rain from ruining these devices.
Florida also gets rain outside the rainy season, but less often.
Guests may be able to avoid wet weather if they visit between November and April.
7) Not Scheduling Breaks or Rest Time
Walking around Walt Disney World requires some stamina.
Visitors should plan breaks during the day to sit down, rehydrate, eat a snack, and rest their feet.
Scheduling down times is particularly necessary for families with children or elderly parkgoers.
Failing to plan a rest period into the day’s activities can result in grumpy, tired children (and adults), headaches from dehydration, or even heat exhaustion.
Places to Rest at Each Theme Park
No matter where they are, Disney guests can find a place to rest and recharge without missing out on fun activities.
At EPCOT, Spaceship Earth and Living with the Land offer visitors a place to sit indoors while enjoying a calm, slow ride.
At Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress and the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover give guests a few minutes off their feet as they slowly ride around.
The Hall of Presidents also provides visitors with a 25-minute show where they can sit and relax.
When visiting the Animal Kingdom, the Na’vi River Journey is a slow, dark ride where guests can unwind.
Visitors can also take a break in the cool, dark theater and watch the show Finding Nemo: The Big Blue… and Beyond!
At Hollywood Studios, the best place to rest is at Muppet*Vision 3D, where guests sit in cushioned seats and enjoy a show.
8) Not Checking the Calendar Before Visiting
Visitors to Disney World should always check the Five Day Calendar before deciding which theme park to visit each day.
The schedule occasionally changes, and guests will want to avoid a theme park that may close early.
The calendar also lists which rides or attractions may be closed each day.
Parkgoers who want to ride something specific should check the calendar to ensure their desired attraction is open for their visit.
Visitors to Walt Disney World, even seasoned veterans who have been several times, can make mistakes when visiting the parks.
It is easy to get wrapped up in the enchantment and wonder and either fail to make a reservation or forget a reservation made months in advance.
Sometimes guests want to wear the perfect outfit or shoes for their magical day, but they need to ensure these items are comfortable and appropriate for walking all day in Florida weather.
Guests may arrive late to the park and face massive crowds and long lines.
Instead of pacing themselves and scheduling breaks, they overdo their itineraries to make up for the lost time.
Visitors sometimes forget to check the calendar before arriving at the park, only to find that it’s closing early that day.
All of these mistakes are common, and people make them every day – anyone who can avoid any or all of them will enjoy a truly magical Disney experience.
Table of Contents
- 1) Forgetting a Dining Reservation
- 2) Not Making a Reservation for Character Dining
- 3) Forgetting a Reservation at the Droid Depot or Savi’s Workshop
- 4) Wearing the Wrong Shoes or Uncomfortable Clothing
- 5) Arriving at the Park Late
- 6) Not Planning on Rain
- 7) Not Scheduling Breaks or Rest Time
- 8) Not Checking the Calendar Before Visiting