There are lots of things in Disney World that fans mark as must-dos, or things that are a rite of passage.
But, there are also some things that people never want to do again. We even have a list of snacks the DFB team never wants to eat again. And there are some things that Disney fans might outright regret having ever done. So, we asked you, our readers — “what’s the biggest regret you had after your last Disney World trip?” And there’s LOTS to be learned from their responses.
1. Not Staying Longer or Having to Leave at All
One of the responses we got the MOST was that people regretted not staying longer. Some specifically regretted not setting aside enough days or time to explore one park or another. Others didn’t just regret not staying longer, they regretted having to come home at all! One person said they regretted going back to work and not hiding out in Disney to stay there forever.
We totally get that feeling. In an ideal world, we’d all be on vacation at Disney World, eating our favorite snacks together every single day. But, there’s something we can all learn from these responses.
If you’re already feeling like your Disney World trip is going to be too short and you won’t have enough time for everything. Or, you’ve regretted not staying more days in the past, consider whether you’re able to add a day or two onto your stay so you don’t regret not staying longer.
Click here to see some hotel discounts available at Disney World right now that might make adding another day a bit more affordable!
2. Not Enjoying the Resort More
While spending time in the parks is great, there’s also lots of fun (and relaxation) to be had at your Disney World resort. Quite a few of you said you regretted not scheduling in a break/resort day during your trip. Or, you just regretted not spending more time at the resort in general and not taking advatntage of its amenities.
Some specifically mentioned that they regretted not spending more time in the pool or just taking time to relax. So, if you’re planning your next Disney World trip, consider whether you should schedule in more resort time for your family. Whether you spend time at the pool, walk around the hotel’s grounds, or take advantage of the movie nights and other fun activities you can participate in there, there’s lots to do outside of the parks!
3. Not Riding Certain Rides
Everyone’s got their favorite ride. Maybe you only ever ride that once, or maybe you like to ride it at least 5 times during your trip. Maybe there’s a new ride you’re just dying to try or a classic you love to see. Some people regretted not getting to ride their favorite rides more than once. Others regretted not riding specific rides like Big Thunder Mountain Railroad or Slinky Dog Dash.
Some of you said you forgot to ride certain rides and totally regretted that. With so much going on during your vacation, it can actually be quite easy to forget some rides while rushing around. Some of you also regretted not being able to ride Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. Even with the changes made to the Boarding Group distributions, getting on Rise of the Resistance can still be INCREDIBLY tough!
Others regretted not waiting in slightly longer lines to ride some fan-favorite attractions. It can definitely be tough when you forget or miss your chance to ride an attraction.
Our advice? Try to make a short list of everyone’s MUST-DOS. Check that list throughout the day to see what’s left. And, if you absolutely LOVE one ride and want to ride it 3 times (and that’s what will make you happy), make that your priority. But also, keep an open mind. Sometimes rides can go down due to technical issues and they may not be available for the rest of the day. So, you’ll want to stay flexible too.
4. Not Staying at a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel
Staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel can be quite expensive sometimes, but it also has some great benefits like Disney theming, Disney transportation to the parks, and more that help you stay “in the magic.” Quite a few of our readers actually responded to our question by saying that their biggest regret was not staying on property. Sometimes taking a Disney bus back to your hotel at night, using that Disney soap, and then waking up to Mickey waffles is the most magical part of the trip.
Others specifically regretted what type of hotel they stayed at. One of our readers said they regretted staying at a “fancy” hotel and missing the Disney theming. What hotel you stay at — whether it’s on or off property — can really impact your vacation depending on what type of experience you’re looking for. If you like over-the-top Disney theming, you might want to look at resorts like Disney’s Art of Animation that will totally check that box for you. If you want something a bit fancier, but still want those Disney touches, then consider some of the Moderate or Deluxe hotels.
Overall, you’ll need to look at all of the amenities offered at the Disney hotels versus any off-property locations you’re looking at, and compare the costs too, to decide what’s best for you. But, consider whether some things, like Disney transportation and other Disney touches make the extra cost of a Disney hotel worth it.
5. Not Taking Your Time
One of the responses we got the MOST from all our readers is that they regretted not taking their time in the parks. So many responded and said that their biggest regret was rushing through the parks. Or, as one reader perfectly put it “doing too much, going too fast & not taking my time to enjoy each moment.”
Another reader said they regretted not taking more time to explore Disney World by themselves to just “wander and take it in.” This is such an important thing to consider. When you’re in Disney World, you can often feel that push to ride everything, eat everything, and be everywhere.
Sometimes it’s not until you finish your trip that you realize you didn’t take enough time to just be. To sit on Main Street, U.S.A. and smell the popcorn, to watch the birds fly overhead at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, or just watch guests scream and laugh as they drop on the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.
But, making time for that can be hard to do when there’s so much else to see. If you want to avoid having this be your own regret, consider adding more days to your vacation so things don’t feel as rushed. Or, maybe you can set an alarm to go off on your phone once a day to remind you to soak it all in. Make a point to stop and just take a moment. You might notice a detail you’ve never seen before or witness a magical moment, and it’ll make your trip that much more special.
6. Not Eating More!
There is SO. MUCH. GOOD. FOOD. at Disney World. LOTS of you responded to our question by saying that your biggest regret was not getting to eat more of it! One reader said their biggest regret was not letting themselves enjoy all the treats because they wanted to “stay fit.” Calories don’t count in Disney World, right? That’s what we’ve always believed and we’re sticking to it!
One reader said they regretted going to their usual spots and not trying any new restaurants. Another regretted booking a table service dinner at EPCOT during a food festival. Ouch. That’s a rough one. If there’s a food festival going on and you want to sample some of those treats, booking a table service dinner or lunch might not be the way to go.
How can you avoid having this regret? Stay up to date on all the latest Disney foods by following us here at DFB. Check out our photos and reviews, and make a list of the things you want to try before you head to the parks! That’ll help you keep track of what you want to sample. And, be sure to check if there’s any kind of limited time offering or festival going on with special food items you should totally enjoy before they’re gone.
7. Not Taking More Photos
Making memories, making memories, taking pictures is making memories. Taking pictures really can help you remember all of the special moments you enjoyed during your vacation long after it’s over. And with cameras on our phones, it’s easier than ever to just take those out and snap a couple of pics. But, sometimes you can get caught up in your vacation and totally forget! Quite a few of you said that you regretted not taking more photos during your Disney World vacation.
This is a tough one for sure. You don’t want to spend the whole time on your phone taking pictures and not actually be “present” for your vacation. But, we totally get wanting videos and photos to remember those special moments.
So, our advice is to work to find a balance. You probably don’t need to record full video of every single ride you go on (there are LOTS of videos online for that). Focus on taking videos and photos of the special moments you experience or of your family that you’ll enjoy for years to come. And, if you catch yourself experiencing everything through the lens of your camera, maybe put it down for a while or ask someone to take over camera duty!
8. Not Getting That Souvenir You Wanted
Another really common response we got is that readers regretted NOT getting that souvenir they had their eye on. Some regretted not buying some holiday ears. Others were sad they missed out on Donut ears. One reader said they regretted not buying a couple of souvenirs in the parks, thinking that they could get them online.
Another also said they regretted not getting an item in the parks only to later realize it was a parks exclusive item! While we’ve seen quite a lot of Disney Parks merchandise become available online, there are some things that only pop up in the parks and sometimes don’t make their way to the internet. Although dropping some serious cash for lots of Disney souvenirs can be a big spending trap, if there’s something that you see in the parks and you want it, see if it’s online BEFORE you leave the park.
You don’t necessarily want to spend hundreds of dollars buying everything you see. But, you also don’t want to go home wishing you had that one shirt or pin, only to later realize you can’t find them anywhere else.
9. Not Planning Ahead, But Also Planning Too Much
Sometimes planning a Disney vacation is just as fun as the vacation itself. And, planning things out can help certain parts of your trip go a lot smoother. But, plan too much, and you could spend your whole trip following an itinerary that doesn’t leave any time for other things that pop up. Some of our readers said that not planning or scheduling out their days was their biggest regret. Others said that planning TOO much or spending too much time worrying about sticking to the plan was what they regretted about their trip.
One reader said they wished they had left more room for spontaneity. With so many things to do and see at Disney World, planning ahead can really help the trip not become overwhelming. But, you don’t want to plan out every second. You also have to remember that YOU own your plan. Don’t let your plan own you! Things change. Rides may become unavailable. Menus might change and that snack you had on your must-try list might be gone. Or, a show might pop up that you didn’t know about during the time you had scheduled to ride Splash Mountain.
On the flip side, you could not plan anything and feel overwhelmed or forget to visit some attractions you REALLY wanted to. So, it’s all about finding a balance! If you’re going to plan out a lot of your trip, be sure to plan IN time to do unexpected things. And remember to stay flexible and have fun!
10. Not Visiting Certain Resorts or Parks
This can factor into a lot of the things we mentioned above, like not spending enough days there or not planning. But, some of the regrets our readers shared were about not making the time to visit specific places. Some regretted not going to Animal Kingdom during their trip, or not making a stop at magic Kingdom or Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Others regretted not visiting more resorts. While resort hopping is a bit different now, you can still make reservations at hotel restaurants or place a mobile order there and go visit your favorite places.
So, if you love visiting Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, or you have been meaning to go to EPCOT but haven’t set aside a day for it yet, be sure to take a good look at your vacation plan. See if you need to carve out more time to visit your favorite spots, and make time for what makes your trip magical to you.
What are some other regrets our readers shared with us? Well, there were LOTS. One regretted waiting in a 2-hour line to get into the Mexico pavilion (ay caramba!). Another regretted not getting masks to match every outfit. We’ve got lots of masks here at DFB to make sure you don’t have that regret! One reader regretted not going on the Disney Skyliner, while another regretted not bringing more snacks for their hotel.
One said their biggest regret was not setting a spending limit. Another walked 36,000 steps their first day in flip flops!!! OUCH. Make sure you think about what shoes you’re packing for your next Disney trip! One reader regretted not taking a picture of where they parked — we’ve all been there. Others regretted not drinking enough water. We cannot emphasize this enough — DRINK WATER in Disney World, and remember you can get it for FREE.
We’ve all got our Disney regrets. The important thing is to most of your trip despite them, or make the most of your next trip after having learned some valuable lessons from them. We’re working to bring you all the newest Disney information, tips, and tricks so you hopefully don’t have too many Disney regrets your next trip. Stay tuned to DFB for all of the latest Disney updates.
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What is your Disney World regret? Let us know in the comments!