Hi, I’m Dustin and I really like vacations to Walt Disney World. Pretty self-explanatory, but in case this is your first interaction with me and the StepsToMagic website…it’s important for me to start with the elephant in the room.
A lot of my articles focus around what to do and what not to do, but let’s put things into a basic category that will hopefully help you if this is the only article that you read.
Here are the Top 10 Ways to Ruin a Disney World Vacation
IF YOU DON’T SET A BUDGET
For anyone who thinks that they can go to Disney and wing it…you’re going to be paying too much! Knowing that you’ll be spending money will help you budget before you arrive and in the long run will help you justify certain expenses.
An example of this type of planning would be estimating how much your vacation is going to cost you…and then re-allocate funds to things that you can pre-book at a discount and put the savings onto a Pre-Paid visa card for extra fun.
Related Article – Free Stuff at Disney
OUT-WALKING YOUR FAMILY
Personally, I’m on adrenaline throughout my vacation. This means that I can put 25-30k steps into a single day without really feeling it until I’m on the plane home…but it’s not something that every person can do.
Remember that folks walk at different levels and may not be acclimated to the Florida heat as quickly as you’d like to think. Keep track of the breaking points by asking open-ended questions and stopping in the air-conditioning often!
NOT DRINKING WATER
This is a given for seasoned travellers to Disney, but first-timers or ‘super heroes’ may forget to hydrate and then ruin their entire vacation because they didn’t keep track of their water levels. I’m a fan of drinking as much water as possible and visiting the restrooms more often than getting the dreaded headache of doom!
Remember that you can get free water at Quick Service restaurants and Starbucks locations OR you can fill your Swell Water Bottle and always have that ice water available!
Related Article – Free Water at Disney
NOT USING FASTPASS+
It’s included with every park admission, so once you’ve got your tickets…head over to DisneyWorld.com and link them into your MyDisneyExperience account. You’re able to book 3 attraction reservations at a single park per day on your ticket, so even if you’re only going for a single day, why not use it?
Related Article – Fastpass Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make
NOT EXPERIENCING TRUE DISNEY MAGIC
Running from attraction to attraction doesn’t allow you to truly take in the entirety of what makes Disney different than other theme parks. Stop and smell the roses by hanging out on a park bench or spend some time on the infamous Hub Grass in front of Cinderella’s Castle.
THINKING THAT YOU CAN WALK UP TO RESTAURANTS
Oh the time of being able to walk up to restaurants is so far in the rear view mirror that you’re just setting yourself up to be disappointed.
Know in advance what restaurants you’d want to visit and then book them 180 days out to guarantee that you’re going to get them all. Remember that you can always change or cancel at least 24 hours in advance without a single charge.
Related Article – ADRs to get ASAP
FORGETTING TO TAKE PHOTOS
I tell the story about having two separate family photos from my first trip to Disneyland because we didn’t ask someone to take our photo…so one was taken by my mom and the other by my dad.
Photopass has changed that, but knowing that Disney photographers will take a photo with your camera without question will make your trip memorable!
No one wants an entire trip-worth of selfies!
Related Article – Best Photopass Locations
DON’T BE PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE
If you don’t say something, you’re not giving Disney the chance to “make things right”.
The number of folks that I’ve spoken to that had an issue with a server or a poor housekeeping situation and didn’t say anything would shock you. Remember that Disney has the opportunity to make your trip better, but if you keep things to yourself and not ask for help…you’re missing out a chance to see what makes Disney different.
GO LEFT AND WALK AWAY
This is another part of etiquette that you may not know. If you’re stuck in a line at security and another guard opens a line…know that each table has two lines and the folks who are in front of you didn’t pay for your tickets.
If someone stands in front of you during a fireworks show or crowds you while you’re watching a parade, you’re able to walk away and not fret. Remember, it’s your vacation!
Related Article – Unwritten Disney Rules
NOT EXPLORING YOUR RESORT
You would be shocked at how many people don’t know what their resort has to offer and don’t take advantage of the services.
From the pool to food offerings and daily programming or special tours…each hotel has something different to showcase and your concierge/check-in desk would love to share more.
BONUS – FORGETTING TO SMILE
We have so many images where right before we took the photo…and sometimes we actually have to pinch/poke each other or say a funny joke! Sometimes you’re going off of a couple hours sleep or you’re getting hungry, but the goal is to take advantage of the situation at hand and create your own magic:)
Hope this helps your Disney World Vacation Planning!