Walt Disney World isn’t a small place. There is so, so much to see and do. If you are a veteran to the parks, you know that you can’t possibly fit everything that Walt Disney World has to offer into one trip. If you’re a first timer, you may have heard this, but may not fully believe it: You can’t fit it all in.
Perhaps you are on a once-in-a-lifetime trip and you want to cram as much in as possible. You might be thinking that you’ll just recover after your trip and you’ll fly high on adrenaline while down in Disney. Let me be the first to caution you against this type of thinking. If you plan to run from dawn to dusk, non-stop, you might be in for a crash and burn.
As a matter of fact, this is potentially a recipe for disaster and creating in you a desire to never return to Walt Disney World. I know because I’ve done most of the things I am going to suggest you not to do. I have a tried and true list of no-nos and the reasons why they create a totally exhausted park goer.
1. Cramming it All In
As mentioned above, Walt Disney World has endless opportunities for fun and excitement. I have been to Disney almost more time than I have years in my life, and I can say that no two trips have ever looked the same. Each one has had some sort of unique dinning, ride and entertainment opportunities.
If you try to head into your trip planning to do every single ride and each of the four parks, dine at all the amazing character and non-character restaurants and catch-all the amazing shows, you are going to be so burnt out by day three of your trip that you might vow to never return. Or you’re just going to want to sleep for three days straight. If you have kids, you know this won’t be possible.
Instead of setting yourself up for a crazy, exhausting itinerary, take a step back. Sit down with your fellow travelers and decide what are everyone’s must-do attractions. Then make a list, schedule fast passes and plan your day so everyone can go on at least one personally selected ride. Second, have everyone pick their must do restaurant. Set aside one main meal each day and start checking off the list of places you want to go. In all honesty, the food at Walt Disney World is filling. I don’t recommend more than one sit-down restaurant a day.
2. Unnecessary Line Standing
It’s no secret that the lines at Walt Disney World can get super long. This is especially true for the popular attractions. To get around this, talk to an experienced park goer and learn how to utilize the Fastpass+ system. Fastpass+ will help you make the most of your day at the parks. Experienced park goers can help you to identify which rides are worth waiting a little longer for and which rides you just need to wait out for shorter stand-by lines.
For example, I have consistently been able to walk on the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover without waiting in line. If you are a new park goer, you might think a 15 minute wait is not big deal. In the scheme of things, it’s not a bad wait at all, but if you only have a limited amount of time in the parks, you don’t want to be spending any unnecessary time waiting. Odds are, at some point in the day, the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover will have a super short wait time.
Walt Disney World resort offers Fastpass+ reservations and they are huge time savers! If you plan to stay on property, you’ll be able to book your Fastpass+ reservations 60 days ahead of time at 7 am EST. If you stay off property, you’ll be able to book at the 30 mark. You’ll be able to select three rides or attractions at each of the parks to utilize a Fastpass+. Instead of standing in the Stand-by cue, you’ll be able to enter the Fastpass+ cue and get to the front of the line quicker. Once your three Fastpass+ selections have been completed you can add additional reservations one at a time.
If you aren’t strategic with rides and wait times, you might spend a large portion of your park time standing in line. You’re going to be crabby and frustrated when you realize you only rode two to three rides at the end of the day. Be sure to do your research so you don’t get yourself in an unpleasant situation.
3. Not Taking a Midday Rest Break
If you’ve read my previous post, you know I am a big fan of taking a midday rest break during my park days. The rest break gives you and your family members a chance to rejuvenate and get ready for a fun-filled afternoon and evening at the parks. Especially in the hot summer months, I love knowing we can escape the parks for a quick swim break and nap. Without this little break, we usually end up with some super crabby people on our hands.
4. Wearing Uncomfortable Shoes
Have you ever heard of Disney bounding? It’s a super cute concept of wearing Disney character inspired outfits to the Disney parks. It love it and love being seeing the different bounding outfits. One problem with bounding can be the footwear. Specifically, this is an issue for women. Heels and unsupportive flats look so cute with the bounding outfits, but can seriously wreak havoc on your feet.
If you aren’t heading to the parks for a quick jaunt, or as someone who regularly visits the parks, it might be in your best interest to bound with a pair of comfortable shoes in mind. There are some super cute shoes out there than can fit for a variety of Disney bounding outfits.
The staples to a good pair of shoes? Broken in, but very supportive. If you bring a brand new pair of shoes with you for your trip, odds are you might sprout a few blisters. Be sure to wear the shoes around your home before you leave and then build your outfits off of them if they work well!
5. Sugar Overload
Disney is a land filled with so many cute and creative, sweet treats. Rice Krispie treats, ice cream bars and ice cream sandwiches all take the shape of Mickey Mouse. They basically beg to be bought. It is so hard to resist all the sugar loaded snacks all over Walt Disney World. I believe you shouldn’t completely resist, but be sure to monitor your’s and your kiddo’s sugar consumption. If by the time you reach 2pm all you’ve had to eat are a Rice Krispie treat, a Mickey Bar and a Starbucks, you can bet by 3pm you’re going to be crashing and crashing hard. Coming off of a sugar high is never fun.
6. Not Eating Real Food
To combat all that sugar, (because let’s be honest, you’re not going to resist very hard. I don’t blame you.) you need to fill your body with good food as well. Disney has done a great job of moving away from strictly ‘theme park foods’. Gone are the days when only hot dogs, burgers, french fries and funnel cakes were available. Disney’s food options greatly expand beyond that! As a person who mostly follows a whole foods, plant-based diet I have a very easy time finding lots of vegan options in the parks. There are salads, sandwiches, pastas, and so on that you can devour as you work your way through the parks.
Pro Tip: Sit down for a meal or grab a decent quick service meal and then add-on that Mickey Bar as dessert. You’ll still get your treat but you’ll have a buffer for all that sugar. Plus, be sure to do the same for your kiddos. There is nothing worse than having kids come off of a sugar high!
7. Not Drinking Enough Water
On the topic of food, be sure you are drinking a ton of water on your Walt Disney World trip. A combination of having the hot sun beating down on you along with a ton of miles of walking can make for a pretty dehydrated individual. You can bring empty water bottles into the parks in order to help you stay on top of your water consumption. Additionally, you are able to ask for a free cup of water and ice at any quick service restaurant or food kiosk that offers water in Walt Disney World. You are basically within arms reach of water and any given time within the parks.
(Let’s just pretend I’m following my own advice and say that my son had a few glasses of water following this drink!)
There ya go! A few ways to totally create a sour mood on your vacation. Don’t despair, follow the advice after each heading and you’ll be on your way to a super happy, magical trip in Walt Disney World!
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