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Ah, Walt Disney World, the happiest place on earth. Turns out, it also can be the most chaotic. When you’re not meeting your beloved Disney characters such as Alice, Winnie the Pooh, and Mickey, you’re waiting in long lines to meet them and ride the attractions. To keep yourself sane and avoid making the same mistakes that other tourists are making:
Not using a backpack
Especially if you decide to bring lunch into the park, (which I highly recommend!) this is a life saver. When we ventured through the park I had my lunch and my sister’s in my pack. Also in my backpack, I had sunscreen, one extra water bottle, an extra pair of socks, snacks upon snacks, an extended battery pack… which leads me to my next point.
Overfilling a backpack, if they have one
Ironically, I also fell victim to this. The first day at the park, the forecast predicted a small chance of rain showers. I apparently thought that I would melt in the rain, so I packed my rain jacket along with a dozen other things that I didn’t need!
Here’s a list of things I thought I needed, but should’ve left at the hotel:
- Sandals to change into – Let’s be real. I’m wearing my sneakers the entire day and booking it around the park!
- Socks – Again, I’m going to be constantly on my feet. I won’t have time to change them and I can just wait until we get back to the hotel.
- A first aid kit – A good idea in theory, but I would only pack band-aids and pain medication next time. If you’re in a pinch, ask a cast member for help and they’ll point you in the right direction.
- A rain jacket Especially in the summer when it feels like a bazillion degrees, forego the rain jacket. The rain is actually quite refreshing and it’ll help you cool off for a bit.
Not wearing comfortable shoes
This is a common point in my posts. It’s been mentioned in tips for beginner hikers, how to dress fashionably while traveling, tips for hiking fashion, etc. Having proper footwear is key to keeping you comfortable and help you conquer all the top to-dos on your vacation bucket list. Wear your trusty kicks, run around the park and have a blast!
Not using the app!
This app is a gold mine of information! On it, you can see the average wait times for rides throughout the park, where characters are and you can make reservations at restaurants, among so much more!
Not using fast passes
Fast passes are a faster and more convenient way for riders to ride big-name attractions like Expedition Everest, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. Riders get a special ticket to go through an expedited line to board the ride first. You claim these special tickets at kiosks across the park.
How you use fast passes has changed in recent years. When I visited you were able to an unlimited number of fast passes throughout the day. You could also hold multiple fast passes at one time.
Now, park-goers must make their selections ahead of time. Each day park-goers get three fast passes. Once they’ve redeemed these three or the allotted time runs out, they can redeem at the kiosks in the park. But only one at a time. To read more about the new rules and regulations visit DisneyWorld.com.
To avoid long lines, try hitting up the roller coasters and major attractions in the morning before the rush. Prioritize all this before entering the park and you’ll guarantee a fun-filled and successfully jam-packed day.
Not staying at a Walt Disney World hotel/resort
By staying at a hotel you’re offered some amenities that accommodations off the magical campus can’t. One of which is Magic Hours. By staying at select Disney resorts or hotels park-goers have the option of staying later at the Park. There’s a schedule of what lands will be open late and the hours. Often times the parks are open until midnight! For a limited time, there are “extra” extra magic hours offered to newest land Pandora — The World of Avatar.
There are other amenities that the hotels offer such as dining plans and transportation to some of the park areas.
Not utilizing their time wisely
When it comes to doing Disney well, a lot of planning is required. Many hope to just wing it while they are at the park. But with components such as the park hopper and Magic Hours, it’s worth sitting down for a few hours to conjure up a plan.
There’s usually a lull in the afternoon when parents take kids back to the hotel to take naps, so use this time wisely.
This again emphasizes getting up early to meet the afternoon rush and staying late to use Magic Hours.
During the day if you start feeling tired and exhausted, pop into one of Disney’s many shows to enjoy the air conditioning and some much needed time off your feet. And no, they’re not all just for kids!
If you’re limited on time, try the essential one-day Magic Kingdom itinerary for Walt Disney World.
Not finding your favorite character
I completely regret not taking a picture with one of my favorite Disney characters. We took some pictures with Mickey and Minnie and Tigger and Pooh, but I wished we took the time to scout out my personal favorites. Characters that top my favorites’ list are Ariel, Belle, Peter Pan and any of the Alice in Wonderland cast!
Not waking up early for the welcome show
Video via iThemePark
It’s a little morning pick me up and you get to hit all the roller coasters until the park gets packed. Get ready to get in that morning cardio, no gym required!
And not staying up late for fireworks
Yes, days at Disney parks can get long if you wake up for the early morning show and then staying late for Magic Hours, but all the hustle is worth it. Enjoy the fast-paced hustle and bustle of the happiest place on earth!
If this wasn’t enough tips for you, visit former castmember Kylee’s blog to learn about more mistakes to avoid when visiting Disney Parks!
More magic for you!
If you’re looking to score some discounted tickets to Disney Parks, including the hopper pass, check out Best of Orlando.
Some of the deals include a 4-day hopper park pass, with one day of free admission for $405! That’s listed well-below Disney World’s prices!
Orlando is also a great city to explore not only for families and adults but for members in the LGBTQ community. For a queer guide to Orlando, visit Queer in the World.