Going to Disney World can be QUITE the adventure.
You’ve got to think about Park Passes, advance dining reservations, and so many other things. There are a lot of things that people do “right” like strategically planning their Park Hopping or using awesome features on My Disney Experience to make their whole trip SO much easier, like Mobile Merchandise Checkout. But, there are some things that people do in Disney World that make ZERO sense. Today, we’re breaking those all down for you so you can make sure you don’t do these things in Disney World the next time you visit!
1. Wasting Snack Credits or Spending Too Much on Snacks That Aren’t Worth It
At the moment, the Disney Dining Plan is not available and Disney has not yet announced its return. But, back when the Disney Dining Plan was available, one thing that people did ALL the time that just doesn’t make any sense is waste snack credits!
Some guests would get to the end of their Disney World trip with 34 snack credits left, and just 2 seconds to go spend them all on packaged treats at the very last minute!! Now, if that was your plan all along because you cannot LIVE without a hefty supply of Mickey Rice Krispie Treats (same, honestly), then power to you. But, there used to be SO many ways that you could get a better bang for your buck with those snack credits.
You used to be able to use snack credits at EPCOT Festivals and even get some fairly expensive items with your snack credits, instead of just grabbing a $2 snack or a bottle of water. Basically, our motto is “no snack left behind.” You’re paying for those snack credits in advance, so you might as well use them for things that are totally worth it.
While the Dining Plan isn’t available now, another snack mistake we see people making is spending big bucks on snacks that just aren’t worth it. There is a LOT of food available in Disney World, so it can be hard to know what to pick.
Generally, we’d say to skip pre-packaged snacks like chips and things that you can get anywhere else outside of the parks. Instead, you’re likely better off spending your cash on unique items you won’t find anywhere else, Disney World cult classics, and Disney’s tastiest treats. Check out our video with the 25 BEST Disney World snacks for 2021 below!
2. Trying to Sneak Kids on Rides They Aren’t Tall Enough For
Another thing that people do that makes LITERALLY NO sense is try to sneak their kids onto rides they aren’t tall enough for. We’ve heard and seen it all — socks in the shoes, lifts in the shoes, buying thicker shoes to add a few inches. And truly, all of it generally ends in tears, anger, and frustration for the parents, kids, and Cast Members.
Many of those Disney rides with taller height requirements are absolutely, super duper fun. So, in a sense we can get why some people want their kids to ride them. But, there are safety restrictions and height requirements for a reason on those rides! Essentially the rides can be dangerous to ride if the rules are not properly followed. These safety restrictions are in place to keep everyone safe. By trying to get around them, people are potentially placing their children at risk.
Instead of trying to sneak a child in or having to deal with the disappointment of not being able to ride on a popular ride, we recommend doing a little prep work. Measure your child’s height BEFORE you go to Disney World. Then, check the height restrictions for those popular rides. That way, you’ll know in advance what they can and can’t ride.
If they can’t get on a big ride that the rest of the family gets to go on, consider making that time extra special for them by taking them to get a favorite treat, get a little souvenir, or ride another attraction — that way they can still have a magical time and won’t feel left out of the fun.
3. Dragging Your Kids on Rides They Aren’t Ready For or Are Scared For
This sort-of goes hand-in-hand with the sneaking your kid on a ride they aren’t tall enough for, but another thing people do that makes ZERO sense is taking their kids on rides they clearly do NOT want to go on, are scared of, or just plain aren’t ready for.
Let’s put it this way — if your kid is TERRIFIED of the tiny roller coaster at your local fair, putting them on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad or Expedition Everest will NOT end well in all likelihood. It’ll likely just end up in tears, screams, and an overall bad experience. It can also make a child fearful of trying that ride in the future.
Now, kids can be very unpredictable. One of my cousins was READY for Thunder Mountain when they first rode it, while my other cousin was terrified. At the end of the day, their reactions sort-of ended up being the reverse for the ride. If you’re unsure of how your kid might do on a ride, consider watching videos of the rides at home. There are full ride-throughs of basically every Disney World attraction available online. That can help them get a sense of whether they might be afraid of it or not.
And, you might want to consider starting small. If your kid doesn’t have much roller coaster experience, maybe you could start with The Barnstormer. Then, consider moving your way up to Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Big Thunder Mountain, and Space Mountain. And then move on to things like Expedition Everest and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. That’ll give your kid time to see how far they really want to go.
4. Being Rude To and Ignoring Cast Members
Being rude to Cast Members and/or ignoring them is something we see people do that just makes no sense at all. Sometimes you have a bad day, sometimes a Cast Member has a bad day, and sometimes, unfortunately, your bad days collide. We get that things might not always go perfectly in Disney World. But, for the most part, Cast Members are there to HELP!
They can’t control the weather or traffic or when rides experience technical difficulties. Yelling at them really won’t take your problems away. Instead, it’ll probably make you feel worse and it’ll make the Cast Member feel bad too.
And remember, Cast Members have a LOT of pixie dust up their sleeves that they can sometimes use to make your day extra special. They can sometimes upgrade your room, or give you other special goodies. But, yelling at them will likely NOT make them feel inclined to add some extra pixie dust to your day.
At the end of the day, our main advice is this — just be nice! The Cast Members are telling you to do things or follow certain rules to keep you and everyone else safe, and to keep things running smoothly.
And if you have an especially awesome encounter with a Cast Member, be sure to let their supervisors know, tell someone at Guest Services, or send a Tweet to @WDWToday (the official Disney account) with #CastCompliment to make sure their kindness is recognized.
5. Waiting in Line for Counter Service
Waiting in line for Counter Service restaurants in Disney World is pretty much a thing of the past! So many restaurants all around Disney World now offer (and many essentially require you to use) Mobile Order. With this service you can order your food ahead of time, set a pick-up time, and then skip the lines and hop straight over to a pick-up area.
Lots of people forget to use Mobile Order or might not even know about it. But, it can really help make your trip easier and make things more convenient for you.
Especially now where Mobile Order is essentially required for many spots, however, there can be some extremely long pick-up lines. Also, if you wait to order until later in the day, you might just find that an order at you place at noon won’t be available for pick-up until much later.
Our advice? Consider placing your mobile order ahead of time, much earlier in the day. If you already know what you want, place your order in the morning. You’ll likely have more pick-up times to choose from.
And consider scheduling your pick-up time to be during an “off-time” — i.e. not PEAK lunchtime. If you schedule your pick-up time to be a bit earlier or later than that typical lunch rush that takes place around noon, you’ll also generally find shorter pick-up lines, making your experience that much better.
Also, be sure to go through the My Disney Experience app and look at the Mobile Order process and make sure everything is set up properly so you won’t have to worry about that at the exact moment when you want to place your order in the park.
6. FastPass Woes
FastPass+ is not available right now in Disney World, but when it was we saw a number of guests making FastPass reservations for rides they didn’t really need them for, or for times that they didn’t really need to use them at. There are just some rides in Disney World that (generally speaking) you don’t really need a FastPass for, like the Mad Tea Party. You’ll get better use out of that FastPass reservation if you use it for things like the big mountains or even Peter Pan.
Also, you might not need those FastPasses for times when the lines are typically a bit shorter — like really early in the morning or very late at night. If you “rope drop” a park, you can generally ride a few attractions with a minimal wait before the main crowds get there. You’ll likely need those FastPasses a bit more for later in the day when EVERYONE is in the park.
As we mentioned, FastPass is not available right now. And now, in light of that, we’re seeing people do some other things that don’t make sense. Specifically, one BIG thing that people might be doing now that doesn’t make sense is NOT planning for how to tackle those big rides without FastPass. Without the benefits of FastPass, you might need to re-think some of your trip planning strategies to make sure you can still get on all of those must-do rides!
7. Only Going to the Parks When They’re Busy
Generally, there are both times of the year and times of the day when the parks are the busiest. You can usually see some large crowds forming in the middle of the day. You might also encounter some large crowds on weekends, and especially on holidays.
We get it because sometimes these are the only times you have available to visit Disney World. But, if you can either try to plan your next trip during a slightly slower season or try to make it to the parks earlier in the morning or later in the evening when there can sometimes be lower crowd levels, that could help you beat the crowds and get on those rides faster!
8. Miss Out on Disney Resort Hotel Perks
You’re paying fairly big bucks to stay at a Disney World hotel, so you might as well take FULL advantage of it and really enjoy all of those hotel perks! For example, Disney World hotels offer free transportation to and from the parks. They also have free transportation to and from the airport through Disney’s Magical Express, although that will be going away in 2022.
Previously, hotel guests could also take advantage of Extra Magic Hours. Those aren’t available at the moment, but Disney has announced Early Theme Park Entry will be a perk available to select hotel guests in the future.
Disney hotels also have great pools, unique entertainment like movies under the stars, FREE activities like scavenger hunts at times, activities that you can sometimes participate in for a relatively small fee, and fantastic restaurants for you to check out.
We know it can be difficult to even find the time to do these things when you’re going NON-STOP from park to park, ride to ride, etc. But, if you’re paying to stay at these resorts, you should totally consider really taking advantage of all they have to offer.
9. Overpacking Your Park Bag
Overpacking your park bag can be a MAJOR problem for a few reasons. First, security. Right now, an updated security process is being used in Disney World that doesn’t require you to take all of the items out of your bag, so that makes things a bit easier. BUT if something in your bag sets off the sensor, you might need to step to the side to have security check through your bag. If you’ve got 12 bags you’re bringing with you or TONS of stuff in your bag, it could make that process a bit of a headache.
But, that’s not the only potential issue. Carrying around an overpacked, likely heavy bag ALL day long around a theme park is less than ideal. It can really weigh you down, become difficult to take on and off to get into those ride vehicles, and just be a bit of an issue. Plus, if your bag is packed to the brim, you won’t have any space to hold souvenirs!
Ideally, what you want to do is pack the essentials, but pack as lightly as you can so you don’t have to carry around an extra 10 pounds of miscellaneous items (that you really don’t need) all day.
10. Forgetting to Bring KEY Things in Your Park Bag
On the opposite end, another thing we see people do that makes no sense is FORGETTING to bring park essentials! Masks are required in Disney World, so you’re going to need to bring at least one of those. But really, you’ll likely want to bring a few in case yours gets wet, gets dirty, or just gets sweaty!
You’ll also likely be using your phone a lot to take photos, check wait times, check-in for your dining reservation, etc. This means your phone will likely run out of battery at one point or another. It’s SO important that you either pack phone chargers and an external battery source, or that you get one in the parks and carry it in your bag to make sure you can still do all the things you need to do on your phone to make your trip run smoothly.
You’ll also want to remember to pack ponchos or other things to deal with the Florida rain, wear comfy shoes, and bring other essential items. BUT you don’t want to overpack either. It’s a fine balance really. But, don’t worry — we’ve got you covered with our list of the 12 ESSENTIAL items you need in your park bag!
Those are just SOME of the things we see people doing in Disney World that make NO sense. Hopefully, this list has helped you to NOT do some of these things in the future. Check out our video below from a few years ago about 8 things people do in Disney World that make ZERO sense!
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What things have you seen people doing in Disney World that make ZERO sense? Let us know in the comments!