Four Walt Disney World Planning Mistakes You Never Want to Make

Every Walt Disney World Resort visitor has been there, and even Disney regulars still experience it. It’s that moment when you realize “uh-oh, I’ve made a Walt Disney World mistake that not even faith, trust, and pixie dust can fix!”

Walt Disney World Resort

Let’s keep it real — we’ve all had that “what was I thinking?” moment while planning a Walt Disney World vacation or when in the parks. When it happens, take some comfort in the fact that we’ve all made mistakes during our first, or even our fiftieth, Walt Disney World visit. No amount of planning can make for a “practically perfect” visit, but there are many vacation planning mistakes you can avoid, whether you are a Disney newbie or a Disney expert!

Here are FOUR Walt Disney World mistakes to avoid — and how to prevent them!

Not Utilizing FastPass+

Disney FastPass+ allows you to reserve access to select Disney attractions, entertainment and shows at specific times before you even leave home. Essentially, FastPass+ allows you to bypass long standby queues. Less standing around in lines = more time having fun!

FastPass+ Sign for Frozen Ever After

Learn everything you need to know about FastPass+ here!

FastPass+ service is absolutely priceless — quite literally. Disney FastPass+ is included with the purchase of a Disney World theme park ticket or annual pass. Yes, friends, FastPass+ is FREE to use!

You can make up to THREE FastPass+ selections, per ticket, in advance of your arrival. Once you’ve used those three initial FastPass+ selections, you can make additional “on-the-go” selections (one at a time) via the My Disney Experience app. Mind = Blown! Yes, friends, you can use more than three FastPass+ reservations per day!

Slinky Dog Dash FastPass+ Queue

Failing to make FastPass+ reservations is not the end of the world, but you’ll likely spend a lot more time in lines than you want if you don’t. Because FastPass+ is included with your tickets and relatively easy to book, it makes sense to get those FPs booked when your 30 or 60-day window opens!

Click here to learn 5 more FastPass+ tips you probably haven’t heard yet.

Not making Advance Dining Reservations

As a bonafide Disney foodie, there is not a single Disney dining mistake I haven’t made. However, I’ve learned that not making Advance Dining Reservations is plain unforgivable!

ALL Walt Disney World Guests can begin making ADRs 180 days in advance of their vacations starting at 5:45 AM ET.

When you make ADRs, you can rest assured that a table will be waiting for you at some of the most popular Walt Disney World dining locations. Yes, there are also a variety of magical quick-service dining and snack options available, but for those times when you want a sit-down, one-of-a-kind meal, ADRs are the way to go!

You do not need to be a Disney Resort hotel Guest in order to make ADRs 180 days in advance, but if you are, you get the added benefit of being able to make ADRs 180 days in advance — for up to ten days! This is indispensable when trying to grab a reservation at extremely popular locations, such as Cinderella’s Royal Table.

Not using complimentary Disney Transportation

Using Disney Transportation can save you time, money and the hassle of driving to and parking at the Walt Disney World Resort theme parks and hotels. Why wouldn’t you want to maximize your budget and time while at Walt Disney World? One of the greatest benefits of being a Disney Resort hotel Guest is FREE transportation!

Epcot Monorail

Did you know that there are currently 5 complimentary transportation options at Walt Disney World? Guests staying at select Disney Resort hotels can travel to and from the theme parks and resorts aboard the world-famous Monorail system, Disney Skyliner, bus transportation, and water transportation. Guests who fly into MCO can travel to their Disney Resort hotels aboard Disney’s Magical Express.

Forgetting to use the My Disney Experience App 

The first thing I tell friends to do when planning a Walt Disney World vacation is “make a My Disney Experience account.” Your My Disney Experience account will be the “central hub” for your Disney vacation planning.

My DIsney Experience App

The perfect accompaniment to your My Disney Experience account is the My Disney Experience app. It, quite literally, puts the magic of My Disney Experience right at your fingertips! I’ll go out on a limb and say it — this may be the most magical app in the World! 

Here are just a few of the things you can do with the My Disney Experience app: 

  • Buy and link Walt Disney World Resort theme park tickets.
  • View, make and manage FastPass+ selections.
  • Get attraction wait times and find Character Greeting locations.
  • Manage Advance Dining reservations.
  • Get turn-by-turn directions for the entire Walt Disney World Resort on the GPS-enabled map.
  • Preview, download and edit your Disney PhotoPass photos and videos.
My Disney Experience App

I use the My Disney Experience app every single time I visit the Walt Disney World theme parks. I suggest packing a portable charger and/or battery pack, as this invaluable app tends to drain my phone’s battery rather quickly. 

Have you made any of these mistakes in the past? Let us know in the comments below, and don’t forget to subscribe to the AllEars newsletter to stay on top of all the breaking Disney news!

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2 Replies to “Four Walt Disney World Planning Mistakes You Never Want to Make”

  1. I think that the biggest Disney planning mistake that people make is playing Disney’s game in the first place. Disney has obviously trained you well! Planning every minute of your vacation 6 months in advance, creating spreadsheets and schedules to keep track of it all is utterly ridiculous. It destroys the spontaneity and joy that a Disney vacation should have. As a plus, you get to walk around the park staring at your phone! Good for you, have fun with your spreadsheets and your phone, I will vacation someplace else.

    By the way, I am a big Disney fan who visited the parks at least once a year (sometimes twice a year) from 1980 to 2017. Then I quit. Fastpass, ADRs, and My Disney Experience destroyed the guest experience and sucked all the joy and magic out of a Disney World Vacation.

  2. I should point out that military families are screwed by Disney’s Fastpass+ system. When military families buy tickets on base, they actually purchase a “voucher” that is converted to tickets after they arrive. You cannot use the voucher to make Fastpass+ reservations. When the men and women serving our country, their spouses and children arrive at the parks to convert their vouchers to tickets, the Fastpasses are already gone. I guess this is Disney’s way of supporting our troops. They should be ashamed of themselves.