9 Dead Giveaways It’s Your First Time in Disney World

If you haven’t been to Disney World yet, you might not know much about planning a Disney World trip or what to do once you get there.

Hey, Mickey!

It’s okay! We were all first-timers at some point, although if you ARE a first-timer, but don’t want to appear to be one, there are probably some things you should avoid doing.

So what are the signs that someone is visiting Disney World for the first time?

You think you can do everything in one trip

One of the biggest mistakes first-timers in Disney World tend to make is underestimating just how big Disney World is and just how many things there are to do. You could stay at Disney World for a whole month and still not do everything. If you think you can, you are definitely visiting for the first time.

There’s no way to do EVERYTHING in Disney World

This is where planning comes in. You’ll need to research all there is to do (and you can find a lot of info right here on AllEars) and figure out what your priorities are. Don’t try to do it all because you can’t.

You didn’t check the weather forecast before your trip

Disney World pros know that the Florida weather can be hot, windy, rainy, and even chilly, at times. First-timers are the ones we see in shorts in January and those bringing sweatshirts to the parks in August. We’ll know you didn’t check the weather before you arrived.

Rainy day in Animal Kingdom

So keep an eye on the forecast before your trip so you can pack accordingly. But you’ll also need to be prepared for those unexpected storms that can pop up, too — bring a poncho or umbrella and waterproof shoes, just in case.

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You go for Beverly at Club Cool

If you’re heading to EPCOT, you’ll probably visit Club Cool, where you can taste sodas from around the world. The biggest rookie mistake is going directly for Beverly (and you might even have friends in the know who will try to trick you into tasting Beverly).


If you want to taste it…just to see what all the fuss is about, fine. But Disney World pros steer clear of this bitter aperitif every time. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

You don’t allow enough time for transportation

One of the best perks of staying on Disney World property during your trip is that you can take advantage of Disney World’s free transportation. There are buses, boats, a Monorail, and the Skyliner, all designed to help you travel from your hotel to the parks and Disney Springs. However, you may not understand that you need to allow for extra time if you’re taking transportation at Disney World.

EPCOT Skyliner Station

You want to allow for plenty of time to get to where you’re going, especially if you have a reservation at a specific time. Buses can get stuck in traffic (and occasionally break down). The Monorail even goes down occasionally. The Skyliner won’t run in bad weather. Sometimes even the boats are closed. Be sure you allow plenty of time to get to your destination.

You don’t check the Disney World calendar before your trip

If you’ve never been to Disney World, you might just assume the parks are open every day and that all the rides are always open. That isn’t the case. Sometimes, theme parks close early, and rides often close for refurbishment.

Haunted Mansion closed for Refurbishment (August 2023)

That’s why you need to keep an eye on our Disney World calendar before your trip. You’ll want to know about any closures and refurbishments ahead of time that could affect your trip.

What To Do When Rise of the Resistance Closes

You wear the wrong shoes

If you’ve never visited Disney World before, you might end up being VERY surprised by just how much walking and standing you’ll do on your trip. First-timers might not know to bring shoes that can handle all that. If you bring the wrong shoes, you’ll know it soon enough, because your feet will be in pain.

You will do a LOT of walking in Disney World

We’re always recommending specific shoes that we’ve used in Disney World, so make sure you get a pair that can handle all the stress that will be put on your feet. You’ll also want to make sure they’re broken in BEFORE your trip. We also recommend bringing two pairs — rotating your shoes instead of wearing the same ones day after day seems to help.

The Best Shoes to Wear to Disney World

You expect to just walk into table service restaurants

One of the BIGGEST signs that will pinpoint Disney World newbies are those people who think you can just walk into a table service restaurant and get a table. Note that most Disney World visitors make advance dining reservations months in advance, and those restaurants fill up quickly.

If you want to dine at Be Our Guest Restaurant, make a reservation

Now…you DO have a chance of grabbing a table through the Mobile Dine Walk-Up Waitlist, but there are no guarantees that tables will be available through that feature. If you want to eat at a specific table service restaurant, your best bet is to make a reservation 60 days out. If you didn’t do that, though, our best tip is to keep checking your app for availability on the day you want to dine. Plans change, people cancel reservations, and sometimes you have a pretty good shot at a last-minute table.

Disney World Restaurants You Need to Try!

You wait until you get to the park to look at the map

We cannot say this enough: Disney World is huge and navigating around the parks can be difficult if you don’t know where you’re going. Don’t wait until you get to the parks to look at the map. You can find maps, including interactive ones, online on the Disney World website and the My Disney Experience app. Familiarize  yourself with where things are before your trip.

Don’t wait to get to the parks to look at the map

This could keep you from doing a lot of unnecessary backtracking while you’re in the parks. Of course, if you do need help getting around, you can always use the map features in the My Disney Experience app or ask a Cast Member for help.

You don’t know how to use My Disney Experience before your trip

My Disney Experience is the official app for Disney World, and you need to know how to use it BEFORE your trip. Why? You’ll be using the app for a LOT of things in Disney World, including checking into your hotel and unlocking your hotel room door, scanning your tickets at the park, using Genie and Genie+, checking wait times, seeing your plans, and more.

Screenshot from My Disney Experience

If you don’t know how to use the app when you arrive, you’ll be wasting a lot of unnecessary time trying to figure out how to use it.  So practice ahead of time and be ready to roll once you arrive in Disney World.

This Is Officially the BEST Secret Feature on the Disney World App

Even if you are a first-timer in Disney World, you don’t have to look like one. Be sure to check back with AllEars often for more tips and resources to make your Disney World trip as magical as possible.

16 Items Disney World First-Timers Need

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What’s a thing you see Disney World first timers do all the time? Let us know in the comments!

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