Biggest mistakes people make at Walt Disney World

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

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.

This post contains affiliate links.

Quirky Globetrotter

Hi! I'm Martha! The mastermind behind Quirky Globetrotter a feminist travel blog. Quirky Globetrotter is devoted to telling narratives devoted to female solo travel and hidden gems worldwide with an emphasis on intersectional feminism and how that impacts travel on a global and local level.

36 thoughts on “Biggest mistakes people make at Walt Disney World

  1. I haven’t been to Disneyworld, and as an avid Disney fan it makes me so sad! It is next on my must do list in the U.S. and I will definitely be using these tips! Thanks!

  2. This advice is brilliant, having been to Disney myself a few times now I can 100% agree with all of this! The post should more likely be good ‘Disney for rookies’ haha

    1. Agreed! I’ve learned that the hard way, ha! I think we over prepare for the worst, but in reality, most of those situations we concoct in our heads won’t happen.

    1. Disney is a great place to feel young again! Stay tuned for a blog post about how Disney isn’t just for kids, but adults too! 🙂

  3. Fast Pass…Yes, use it ! It can cut down on ride times and let you see more of the park. And I also agree with you: do not underestimate the power of comfortable shoes. You will be walking all day or standing in line. Make sure you pack an already broken in pair and don’t forget to bring bandaids to treat possible blisters 🙂

    1. Ditto! Yes, and I heavily stress the already broken pair! It’s not fun limping around because a new pair of shoes destroyed your feet!

  4. I am yet to get to Disney World in the US, but have been to smaller versions in both Hong Kong and Paris and these tips are invaluable!

    1. I would love to go to Disney in Hong Kong and Paris! I bet it’s a completely different experience than Walt Disney World and Land.

  5. My parents never took us to Disney as a kid and as a result I don’t have that same attachment to it that most other Americans seem to. But you clearly have done your research, this list is super in depth and wicked helpful!

  6. This is great! I grew up in Orlando and anytime someone asks for tips I tell them everything that you mentioned Great post!

  7. Oh my God. I never used a fast/express pass, and never checked in a walt disney or universal studios hotel. I will keep this in my mind next time.

    1. It’s a little complicated to understand at first, but the concept is great! Saves a lot of time that you’d otherwise be spending standing in lines!

    2. Hi Ronalene! I did a lot of research before I went to Disney to try to avoid the lines and these two things really saved me so much time. I definitely would also recommend downloading the app, which was a lifesaver! Happy travels!

    1. Isn’t that the worst when you’re lugging around 20+ pounds of unnecessary stuff? ha! And thank you for the nomination!!! xoxoxoxoxoxo

  8. I have always wanted to go to Disney World and it is my aim to go one day. Thank you for sharing these tips because I will take them with me!

    1. Disney World is so much fun! I’ve been twice. I want to back again someday with my kids. I’ve gone once every 15 years so I might make that my tradition and hit up the Disneys all over the world!

  9. I am desperate to go to Disney World, so these tips will come in handy for when I eventually make it! Lovely photos too 🙂

  10. This is such a helpful list. We haven’t braved Disney with our Littles yet, but we can’t wait to make it happen. I had no idea you could bring lunch. That is so amazing. It will save us so much money when we go. I’m sure I’ll bring too much crap, but I’ll do my best to stick to your recommendations. Thanks for sharing.

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