5 Common Walt Disney World Mistakes First-Time Guests Make

At one point or another, we’ve all been first-time Walt Disney World Planners. Even professional travel planners, like myself, had to start somewhere. And I’d be lying if I said I never made the same mistakes.

You don’t have to be like me. Don’t make the same mistakes I did.

5 Common Walt Disney World Mistakes First-Time Guests Make

Not Putting Down A Deposit

If there’s anyone that understands the desire to visit Walt Disney World, but has a hard time pulling the plug, it’s me.

I had a hard committing to spending that much money, especially on a vacation. I spent more time I care to admit “planning” my first vacation without ever doing anything about it.

To this day, I still say that my biggest mistake was not putting down a deposit.

And it’s the same mistake I find others making a lot, as well. I would convince myself I needed more time to “think about it”, so I would request a 3-day hold on a room (it’s free).

I’d “think” so much that my 3-day hold would run out, releasing the room to be scooped up by another Guest.

Disney only sells a certain amount a rooms per deal, so if you’re serious about going to Disney, just put down a deposit.

If you later decide that you need to cancel your reservation, you get 100% of your money back. Nothing is ever set in stone, so you can change plans as often as you need to without being penalized.

And I’ve found that once the reservation has been made, my ambition to save increases. I’m convinced I never would have saved as much as I did, had I never just put that deposit down. And that’s because I was so excited I wanted to do everything I could to go.

Related Post: We’re going to Disney World For Free – Learn How You Can Too!

Not asking for help when you need it

The best decision I ever made was asking for help while I was planning my first Walt Disney World Vacation. It wasn’t until after I started talking with my Travel agent that I realized just how much I didn’t know.

And really, it was because of my Travel Agent that I felt confident enough to take that plunge and put the deposit down. I loved knowing that everything would be properly taken care of. Yet, I also had the freedom to make my own Dining Reservations and Fastpasses (which I did).

It was the best of both worlds. I got the best deal that was out there (solely thanks to her), personalized answers to my questions, freedom to choose what I wanted, and it didn’t cost me any extra money.

Related Post: Why I Became A Disney Travel Agent

What A Travel Agent Doesn’t Tell You (But Probably Should)

Not looking for better deals

Many Guests think that once a trip is planned, that’s the price you have to pay. Like I said earlier, nothing is ever set in stone. Everything can be changed, including what you pay.

Disney is constantly releasing deals to save you money. Common promotions include room only deals, package deals, and their popular Free Dining promotion.

If these savings get released after you already booked your vacation, just call them up and they’ll adjust the price. They won’t do it automatically.

If you don’t have time to be the researching deals all the time, or don’t know how to apply those savings, that’s where the magic of having a Travel Agent comes in.

Believe me when I say I am always looking for the next deal!

Not doing your research

Walt Disney World is large with many different things to do and see. Even if you’re going to Walt Disney World with a “wing it” approach, there are basic things that you should know ahead of time.


Walt Disney World is huge! If you’re using free transportation, you should understand how it works and know how to get from Point A to Point B.

Related Post: Park Hopping – Finding Your Way Around Walt Disney World Without Getting Lost

  • For example: If you’re staying at the All-Star Resorts and you have a breakfast reservation at ‘Ohana at the Polynesian, how are you going to get there?

If you’re driving your own car/rental, where can you Park your car?

  • For example: Magic Kingdom does not have it’s own Parking Lot. You will need to park at the Transportation and Ticket Center and take either the Monorail, Ferry, or Bus to the Magic Kingdom.


If you will be using MagicBands, you should understand what they are and how to use them, especially if you made fastpasses or purchased the Dining Plan.

The Parks

You should also have a basic knowledge of the parks you’re visiting. If you’re going to Hollywood Studios and you tell your kids they will be seeing Harry Potter, they’re going to be very sad when they can’t find him. (Trust me, it happens)

The Rides

Due to Florida weather, many of Walt Disney World’s rides are indoors. You’ll see Cast Members at every entrance and a sign with general health information and height restrictions.

But, if you have a child that is afraid of certain things, it would be a good idea to see what the rides are like before getting in line. YouTube has lots of on-ride videos, so I always suggest checking some out before you leave for vacation.


With all of the things that you can plan ahead of time, it’s easy to over-plan your day. You want to see and do everything, especially if it’s your very first time in a Disney Park.

Dining Reservations and Fastpass+ is the main cause of over-planning.

My suggestion is to focus on what matters to you most.

If you’re a foodie, then schedule your meals and stay flexible with the activities and attractions you do during the day. Have some time to kill between lunch and dinner reservations? See if there are any fastpasses for nearby attractions and just do what has shorter lines. You’re already in the area, so you won’t feel as rushed.

If you like the attractions, focus on making a good fastpass schedule and be more flexible with your dining options. This may mean more quick service restaurants or searching last minute for an available table at whatever table service restaurant you happen to be near. You’d be surprised at what is available last minute.

If you plan too much, you’ll miss out on the simple joy of just being in a Disney Park. Some of my best memories are things that I didn’t plan on doing, but I’m so glad I did.

So, enjoy your time at Disney. And remember, it’s ok to relax.

Pandora Drum Circle, Animal Kingdom

Have you ever made any of these Mistakes?


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