5 Big Mistakes to Avoid in Disney World

by | Mar 20, 2024 | WDW Blog

We’re sharing the five things that the Disney pros always avoid when they’re visiting Walt Disney World Resort.

Every day, thousands of people visit Walt Disney World, and while there’s not necessarily a wrong way to take on the parks, those who have been to Disney multiple times will tell you that there are ways to make your trip easier. Whether it’s avoiding long lines, paying less, or saving time. 

So, what are the things that you should be avoiding on your next Disney World trip? And, how exactly do you avoid them? Here are five insider secrets on how you can visit the parks like a pro even if it’s only your first time there! 

Standing in Long Quick-Service Lines 

Have you ever seen a family who waited a little too long to decide where they were going to eat lunch and now both the adults and the kids are cranky waiting in the long quick service line for food? Or worse, has that been you and your family?

It’s easy to forget that you need to stop for a meal in the middle of all the Disney activities, but you don’t have to listen to your stomach rumble while you wait in the never-ending line to order – at least, the pros never do!

disney pros columbia harbour house

Photo by Brett Svenson

Nearly every Disney World quick service restaurant now offers mobile ordering through the My Disney Experience app whether it’s in the parks or the resorts. This gives you the ability to place your order before you even get to the restaurant (or, even better, before you’re even hungry). All you have to do is select the quick service restaurant that you want to eat at in the app, choose a pick-up window, and place your order. When your pick-up window time arrives, they’ll prepare your order and you can get to eating avoiding the line entirely.

Making Two Table Service Reservations For One Day

With over 200 restaurants throughout Disney World, there’s no shortage of places to grab a bite. And, they’re all good so it can be tempting to book reservations at as many restaurants as you can to fit them all in. But, this is actually one of the biggest first-timer mistakes.

Le Cellier at the Canada Pavilion at EPCOT disney pros

Photo by Cliff Wang

Dining at a table service restaurant in Disney World usually takes about 1.5-2 hours. So, if you’re sitting down for a meal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, that’s three to six hours of park time gone. Instead of trying to eat it all, narrow down your reservations to a maximum of one table-service restaurant per day and fill in the rest of the meals with quick-service restaurants or snacks. This will give you the ability to sit down and relax for a meal while still giving you plenty of time to go on all the rides, meet all the characters, see all the entertainment, and everything else the Disney parks have to offer!

Paying Full Price For Hotel Rooms

It’s no secret that a Disney World vacation is expensive. But, paying full price for your hotel room is one thing that you can easily avoid. Disney almost always has some sort of hotel promotion going on whether it’s a percentage off your hotel room or money on a dining card that can be used towards the food you eat during your trip.

However, it’s important to read the fine print on these! Not all hotels qualify for discounts and the deals are date-specific. So, do your research and find the Disney World hotel that will save you the most money, and consider shifting your travel dates to get the best deal. The more money you save on your hotel room, the more money you have for Dole Whip and merchandise!

Staying at Resorts That Aren’t Convenient

Speaking of Disney World Resorts, where you stay can have a huge impact on how much time you waste getting between your hotel and the parks. While all Disney hotels have convenient and free bus transportation to and from the parks for all guests, some resorts are better than others.

For example, staying at a resort on the Disney Skyliner route means that you’ll be able to get to both EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios fast. And, staying at a hotel on the monorail loop will get you to and from Magic Kingdom and EPCOT without the hassle of getting on a bus. Plus, some hotels are even within walking distance to parks like those on Disney’s BoardWalk or those near Magic Kingdom.

disney pros skyliner

Photo by Laurie Sapp

While these hotels do tend to cost a little more than others for the added convenience, long-time Disney-goers will tell you that the extra cost is worth the time that you save. And, if you do your research beforehand to secure a hotel discount, you’re able to save money and time!

Over-Scheduling The Day

There’s certainly no shortage of things to do in Disney World and you might feel like there’s a lot of pressure to do it all. However, the secret to an enjoyable and relaxing Disney World trip is not to do it all.

Instead of packing your park days with activities from open to close and scheduling something for every waking moment, leave some gaps in your plans. This will give you more flexibility in case the wait times for rides are longer than you expect or, maybe you’ll stumble upon Peter Pan running around Fantasyland in Magic Kingdom and you can spend some time letting your kids skip around with him instead of rushing off to the next thing on your to-do list. And, you might even want to sleep in a few days of your trip!

Sometimes the best Disney memories happen when you’re going with the flow…so go with the flow every once in a while! Well, now you’re ready to plan your next Disney World vacation like the pros. Remember to do your research, don’t overplan, and – hey – remember to relax a little!

Posts by Jenna Saxton

Jenna is a contributing writer at WDW Magazine and stay at home mom. When she's not chasing her toddler around the parks, you can find her out for a run or curled up with a book. She has contributed to multiple Disney and travel blogs including Eat Sleep Cruise, 365 Atlanta Traveler, Disney Food Blog, and AllEars.

Authored by
Jenna Saxton

Jenna is a contributing writer at WDW Magazine and stay at home mom. When she's not chasing her toddler around the parks, you can find her out for a run or curled up with a book. She has contributed to multiple Disney and travel blogs including Eat Sleep Cruise, 365 Atlanta Traveler, Disney Food Blog, and AllEars.
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