As the old adage goes, “by failing to prepare, you prepare to fail.” Seems a little serious for such a happy place like Disney World. But, a lack of preparation and basic research can turn the happiest place on Earth into the most stressful place. Visiting Disney World is an investment of money and time — avoid wasting both by avoiding these Disney rookie mistakes.
1. Assuming Florida weather is perfect
Yes, it is called the Sunshine State and for good reason. Florida has over 100 sunny days each year and over 220 partly sunny days. But interspersed with the sun are afternoon thunderstorms, extreme summer humidity and huge temperature fluctuations. It’s always a good idea to have an umbrella or poncho for those pop-up afternoon storms. During the Fall and winter months, Florida can see temperatures fall from the high 80s to below freezing (yes, it does get below freezing!) in a matter of days. Check the weather forecast before you go to make sure you’ll be prepared for whatever Florida throws at you.
2. Not doing your dining plan homework
While the Disney Dining Plan offers tons of convenience, it’s not always cost-effective. All of the Disney restaurants and food stands have menus online with prices. Check the menus to see what you and your family will eat and what that would actually cost. Then, compare it to the Dining Plan cost. For many guests, paying out of pocket saves you a lot of money. Doing your research on restaurants and dining also lets you pick your favorites. Once you have a list of must-eat options, make reservations for those so you’re not disappointed by long waits when you get there. Guests can make reservations as soon as 180 days before the trip and up to the day of their visit.
3. Missing the first 2 hours at the park
Let’s be honest — Disney isn’t necessarily going to be a relaxing vacation. It can be, but for most families, the trip to Disney is about seeing and doing all you can. The first two hours that the parks are open are optimal times to enjoy fewer crowds and shorter lines. Being there when the park opens means less sleeping in, but pays off with opportunities to see and do more. Many Disney experts will tell you that the first two hours and the last two hours are the best. So, if your crowd needs some downtime or extra sleep, visit early, head back to your vacation rental during the busy afternoon hours and come back for the last two hours.
4. Take advantage of the Magic Band
Putting everything at the tip of your fingers (at least your wrist!), the Magic Band saves you stress during your visit. The band is your paper ticket to get in and your hotel key when staying at Disney resorts. Use your band to access your dining plan credits and purchase other food. You can also use your Magic Band to reserve Fast Passes and pay for souvenirs. Thanks to the Magic Band, you don’t have to carry cash or credit cards. Plus, kids love getting their bands in the mail before the trip and having them to wear at the parks.
Most of Casiola’s vacation rentals have screened in lanais with sparkling pools and relaxing hot tubs. Even if you think you won’t need it, plan a day (or least an afternoon) at the pool or visiting other Orlando sites. Your body and mental state will thank you! Casiola vacation rentals also enjoy prime locations, many just minutes from Disney. This makes it easy to take breaks in the middle of the day and use your time efficiently.