Filed under: Walt Disney World (FL)
It happened again this weekend. I was on the monorail heading to the Magic Kingdom when I overheard a family talking about where they wanted to go for dinner. They all agreed that the Beast’s Castle looked like the most fun so they’d go there. Then they struck up a conversation with another family and found out there was a restaurant IN Cinderella’s Castle! They decided that’s where they would show up for dinner later that night. Yep- one of the hottest tickets in all of Walt Disney World and they were planning to stroll up like a dinner at Denny’s. I couldn’t help mentioning to these folks that they might want to check at Guest Services if there were reservations available but they dismissed my suggestion. The other family agreed they should be fine to get in by just approaching the podium whenever the felt like it.
Have you been in this situation before? Holding your tongue because you know that people are giving bad advice… and there is nothing that you can do about it. I find myself in this position really often. I’m surprised how often I hear advice that is bad or just plain wrong! So today I’m going to cover some of the absolute worst advice I’ve heard. I’d love to hear from you in the comments if you’ve heard something worse or if you’ve unfortunately fallen for one of these before. Thanks in advance for sharing!
Don’t waste your time doing anything besides Disney when you’re in Orlando. Wow, I love Disney! I live for Disney! If you cut me I bleed pixie dust, but even I don’t agree with this statement. There is so much to do and see when you’re here. Why not visit one of the other parks? Or spend a day at the beach or Kennedy Space Center? Or have I mentioned the awesomeness that is Gatorland? If you’re on a budget it’s totally understandable to limit your trip but if not at least see what else is available. Orlando might just surprise you!
Get there in the afternoon to avoid the heat. This is one I hear all the time and it’s honestly terrible advice. Of course, I don’t practice what I preach. I get to the parks in the afternoon all the time but I also don’t do very much when I get there as the lines are all very long at that point. Not to mention, during the hotter months it’s still incredibly hot in the afternoon. If you’re going in the summer it’s a better idea to go first thing in the morning and head out BEFORE noon. That way you get the coolest temperatures of the day and the shortest lines.
You can get tickets cheaper at… I always shy away from shady sounding ticket offers. Sure there are reputable travel agencies that offer slight discounts but if anything sounds too good to be true it probably is. Disney isn’t cheap and I understand the temptation when you can’t drive 2 miles in Kissimmee without seeing neon signs advertising discounted tickets. Just keep in mind you might have to sacrifice an entire day of your vacation on a timeshare sales pitch to get that price on your tickets.
You should go all day every day. I think it’s important to accept you’ll never do everything at Walt Disney World during your trip. I feel sorry for people that try to go all day, every day during their vacation. It’s a frantic pace, I don’t know how people do it! More often I think people try and fail at this strategy. A better idea is to go in the morning, take a nap, and then head back in the evening. When you’re walking back in refreshed be sure to look at the haggard people heading for the exit.
The best time to go is… The honest truth is there is no “best” time to visit Disney World. There are peak times, slower times, hotter months, colder months, and different festivals and events throughout the year. Everyone will have a time they prefer but there isn’t a universal “best” time. Do your research and decide what makes sense for your family. Our crowd calendars are a great resource for tracking how busy the parks will be during different times of the year.
Wing it! Planning what time of year to visit brings me to some of the absolute worst advice I’ve heard.. to just be spontaneous on your Disney vacation. In a perfect world this would be a great idea! But we live in a world where reservations for Cinderella’s Royal Table open up for booking 180 days in advance. Especially with the addition of Fastpass+ it’s becoming increasingly impossible to have a great time at Disney World without a game plan. If you want to wing it Disneyland is a bit easier with dining reservations but you’re Touring Plan will be just as important to not get stuck in long attraction lines.
There are shorter lines during parades and fireworks. Depending on the season this can be true. However, if the lines are short enough to really empty out during the night time events then you likely would have time to ride them during the day. During busier times if Space Mountain had a 90 minute wait all day then the wait might get down to 70 minutes during Wishes. Is it really worth saving 20 minutes to miss the parade and fireworks? It might be for someone like me that can go see them any night, but for most people I would think the fireworks are more important.
You have to stay on property / off property. I just wrote another article on this topic but it continues to be an area where I hear a lot of bad advice. There are good reasons for both sides of the debate and they should be weighed against what you’re looking for in your vacation. Here are some of the things you should consider when making this decision.
It’s the Sunshine state!! Yep, that’s a name that we earn with beautiful, clear, blue skies. But you have never seen rain until you’ve seen crazy, sideways, Florida rain! In a matter of minutes the sky can turn black and dump more water than you thought possible. In the summers you can almost time your watch with our afternoon downpours. A rain plan is a must when touring the parks. I’ve determined after many years of trial and error that a nice rain coat, crocs, and a baseball cap will get me through any storm. If you can brave through the weather you’ll be rewarded with much shorter lines. Some attractions (like the HauntedMansion) will let you ride over and over with no wait when it’s pouring!
Photopass is a scam – just bring your camera! I will start this one with admitting that I used to be a person that gave this advice. I have a great camera why would I pay Disney’s crazy prices just for photos? But I ate crow a couple years ago at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. My entire extended family was able to attend and the photo I wanted more than anything was all of us with the seven dwarfs. Earlier in the night I had just taken a PhotoPass card because it was easier than declining over and over. At the end of the night I was looking through all my photos and realized my lens was zoomed in on my seven dwarfs photo. The photo was garbage and I was broken hearted. Later that night I found the PhotoPass in my pocket and pulled it up online. There it was – my dream photo!! And it would have been a bargain at twice the price. So now I will say PhotoPass is my insurance policy. 😉
So there are ten of my favorite pieces of bad advice. What are yours? I’d love to hear! Please share in the comments below. As always thanks so much for reading.