As a frequent visitor to the Disney Parks, and a former cast member, I’ve always held a special place in my heart for WDW. Attracting millions each year, the most magical place on Earth isn’t immune to real-world problems. After countless trips to the park, I’ve compiled a Top 10 List of issues that many visitors don’t anticipate, and hopefully you’ll be better prepared than I was!
1. Getting Sick
Between the roller coasters, changing climate and the throngs of people, catching a cold or feeling under the weather isn’t entirely impossible. Some of those motion simulators are no joke! It’s a good idea to bring basic medications like motion sickness pills, or pain relievers, and any other medications you might need to make it through a busy day of park hopping. If you’re in a pinch, you can always visit the First Aid centers situated in the parks if you’re not feeling up to par.
This happened at Guardians of the Galaxy. My stomach didn’t feel the best after our trip through outer space and we had to bypass an evening at Beaches and Cream to go back to the hotel for an early night.
2. Getting Stuck on a Ride
While Disney rides undergo rigorous safety checks, mechanical issues can happen (everyone remembers how often Rise of the Resistance broke down during its first month of operation, right?). You might find yourself stalled mid-ride, sometimes requiring a ‘walk-off’ evacuation. While there’s no way for you to prevent a ride malfunction, please remember that it’s not the fault of the cast members who help you off the ride.
Sometimes getting stuck is great – but you can’t control what you can’t control.
Related Article- Best Attractions to get Stuck on
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3. Ride Shutdown or 101
The term “101” is Disney code for a ride temporarily closing for various reasons, be it technical or due to inclement weather. While closures are generally pretty brief, they can throw a wrench in your meticulously planned park day. If you’ve booked a Genie+ reservation for a ride that’s down, talk to a cast member and they’ll do what they can to help you out.
Just know that the outdoor rides will tend to close as soon as inclement weather approaches. Big Thunder, Expedition Everest and even Barnstormer will go 101 at the sight of lightning.
4. Menu Changes
Imagine booking a reservation months in advance, only to find that the menu has completely changed since you made the reservation! Always have a backup dining plan and check the menu a couple days in advance of your booking. Remember that you can always cancel or change a reservation up to 24hours in advance of your dining reservation. If you forget to do that and still end up not wanting to eat somewhere, you can still check in for the reservation but not need to dine there. Simply let the cast member know when you sign in that there’s been a change of plans for your party and you won’t be dining there today. We’ve found that generally the cast members have cancelled the reservation for us without charging us for a last-minute cancellation.
5. Merchandise Out of Stock
Popular merchandise often runs out of stock. And just because you see it in one store, doesn’t mean it’s going to be in all of them. If you see something that you really like, it’s best to buy it there and then. If you don’t want to carry it around the park all day, you can have it shipped to your resort, or held for you at guest services at the front of the park for you to grab on your way out.
Still trying to figure out how they had sold out of everything except size small t-shirts at the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.
6. Food Carts Not Open
While the food carts or smaller food locations around the park often have seasonal treats and delicious snacks, some may only open for restricted hours or might stay closed depending on the crowd levels or weather conditions. This is another case of “get it when you can” because you can’t guarantee that it’ll be open for the duration of your park day; looking at you, Gaston’s Tavern.
7. Out of Stock: Food Edition
Believe it or not, even some food items can go out of stock, particularly those that are season-specific or tied to special events. If there’s a particular treat you’re dying to try, make it a priority early in your visit.
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8. Getting Hurt
From minor bumps and scrapes to more significant injuries, accidents can happen. Thankfully, Disney is well-equipped with First Aid centers and staff trained in emergency response. Make sure you’re familiar with their locations.
The other thing to keep in mind is how your body will react to the elements in Florida. Stay hydrated and be aware of symptoms before they become a larger issue – like sore feet, headaches and the best one…sun stroke!
9. Unpredictable Guests
Walt Disney World is very popular and you’ll encounter an array of personalities and experiences. While many are there to have a good time and relax in the Disney Bubble, others may not be having a magical day. Prepare for long queues, and occasionally, less-than-polite neighbors.
You may also find yourself in a situation that you can’t control – be aware of your surroundings and if you need help to combat a situation, ask the nearest cast member.
10. Cast Members Not in Character
It’s rare, but you might encounter a cast member who’s having an off day or is caught discussing personal matters. Remember, they’re human too, but if you feel like the behavor of the cast member was inappropriate, feel free to notify Guest Services.
This won’t happen too often, but with the heightened prices and lowering of standards within the parks, Cast Members may be stretched thin and it may rub off on your interaction.
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Bonus: Buses Running Late
Disney’s internal transportation system is notoriously full of issues, not the least of which are delays. Factor in extra travel time, especially if you have dining reservations or Genie+ reservations to honor.
You will be late if you trust the buses.
Now that you’re armed with a list of potential setbacks, you’re better prepared to handle any curveballs on your next Disney adventure. Remember, the more you plan for things to go wrong, the less something will go wrong!