Don’t Make These Top Walt Disney World Mistakes

2016 Diseny World Vacation Packages

Top Walt Disney World Newbie Mistakes

Don’t make these Disney park mistakes on your trip to Walt Disney World.  These are the top 10 mistakes new travelers make at Walt Disney World.

  1.  Cram it all in.  No matter if you have a seven day Disney World Vacation or just a three day get-a-way.  Most Disney World first time travelers try to cram in a weeks worth of parks, shows, shopping and resorts into just a few days.  Sure you want to get your moneys worth, but relax and plan out your Disney vacation so you can enjoy it.  Don’t go to a Disney park every day from before the sun comes up until the parks close.  Enjoy your resort for a day, take a pool day, or wonder over to Epcot from your Disney Epcot resort at night and watch Illuminations and have a relaxing dinner around World Showcase.  A Disney vacation does not have to be about lines and how many times you got to ride Toy Story Midway Mania.  Enjoy it, create memories and come back home refreshed and start planning the next trip to Walt Disney World.
  2. Not booking your Disney dining in advance.  At Walt Disney World there are many things you need to book well ahead of time.  Disney Dining reservations open 180 days before your vacation and they book up fast.  So you need to know what park or resort you will be in.  Also FastPass+ ride and attraction reservations open up for you at 60 days before you arrive if you are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel.  There are many extra that need advanced planning, so make sure you are on top of all the different booking windows.
  3. Not working with an Authorized Disney Vacations Planner.  Sure you can plan everything on your own, but you can also get an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner to plan everything for you.  And best of all there are agencies that will assist you at no extra cost when you book your Disney vacation package with them.  So take advantage of this planning help, tips, and advice.
  4. Underestimate the time needed for Disney transportation.  Disney World has monorails, buses, and boats.  These are all included in your Walt Disney World resort reservation.  But it can be confusing to learn how the Disney transportation system works.  It can be difficult to get from one Disney resort to another Disney resort, because the Disney buses go from resorts to the parks and not resort to resort.  So you might be better off taking a cab or Uber for a dinner reservation at another Disney resort if you don’t have a car.
  5. Don’t research their hotel.  Make sure that the hotel you are staying at is close to Walt Disney World and that the hotel is reputable.  Know what the extra hotel fees are and the actual travel distance to and from Disney World.  Does the bus only travel to and from your hotel every few hours?  Does the bus stop at other hotels before going to Disney World?  There are nice places to stay off Disney Property, just make sure you book one.
  6. Bring poor footwear.  Do not pack new Tennis / Walking shoes.  Bring some nice sneakers that you have been wearing.  Better yet, bring two pairs because they will probably get wet.  Be ready for some major walking, start walking before your trip to get ready for the parks.  Bring your FitBit and rack up those steps.
  7. Booking too many dining reservations.  We know you want to dine at all of the great restaurants at Walt Disney World, but table service dining reservation probably is a good number for your first trip to Walt Disney World.  This keeps you from having to constantly get ready for the next dining reservation.
  8. Not planning for the weather.  Put on the sun screen.  You can burn really quickly in Florida and that’s no way to spend a Disney World Vacation.  Also be ready for those afternoon thunder storms.  Winter does come to Florida too, and pack for those cool nights.
  9. Not budgeting for their vacation.  You can stay at a Disney Deluxe Resort, a Moderate or a Disney Value Resort.  Whatever you pick, make sure it fits into your budget.  Also remember that there will be additional vacation costs, like snacks, souvenirs, transportation, etc.
  10. You will have to listen to this weeks Mouse Chat show for #10.


Listen to our full Mouse Chat show here.  The top ten mistakes Disney first time travelers make.


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Author: Steve Griswold

Steve Griswold - You can follow Steve Griswold and "The Real Life Griswold Family" here on Mouse Chat - a Weekly Disney Podcast covering everything from Disney World, Disneyland and Disney Cruise Line. Also follow the Griswold Road Trips - Disney Edition show at: and on Twitter and Instagram @GriswoldVac Media Contact: Steve Griswold Phone: 678-815-1584 Email:

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  1. Just started listening to you guys this week after I found your podcast listed under the top charts on iTunes. I am a huge Disney fan, coming from a Disney loving family. Loved listening to your show about the top mistakes made- and just wanted to add to your comment about staying off property. While my mother is a DVC member and we frequently stay in hotels when we visit, my mother moved from NJ to Celebration, FL about two years ago. Celebration is a town located right outside of Disney and was originally designed by the company and definitely portrays the same standards as people are accustomed when they stay on Disney property. That being said, the Bohemian hotel located right in the center of Celebration is a great place only about a five minute drive to Disney property. It’s also in walking distance to the restaurants and stores in the center of town. A nice alternative especially for couples, as it has a unique and contemporary design.

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    • Hi Lexi,

      I remember when that hotel opened at Celebration and have been in the lobby but never have stayed there. I think we might need to book a night there for a review one day. I think it might have been called something like the Celebration hotel when I saw it. I love that entire Celebration downtown area. Thanks for the tip.


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  2. Uber is fantastic at Disney! You can get a car in less than 5 minutes, it’s significantly cheaper than taxis, and you can pay with your phone. We were staying at the Wilderness Lodge and wanted to go to the Food & Wine Festival without taking the buses, etc. Uber picked us up and dropped us off at the Boardwalk Hotel, so we could walk and enter via the back entrance near France as we only wanted to spend time in the World Showcase. Then Uber picked us up in the same place – again, a 5-minute wait (instead of leaving with the masses at the front of the park at closing and waiting who knows how long for a bus) and only $10 each way. Highly highly recommend!

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    • Thanks Erin. Uber sounds like the way to go for some quick affordable transportation around Walt Disney World. I did download Uber last time I was there and was super close to using it. I think I just need to take my first Uber ride and then I’ll be hooked.


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  3. First time podcast listener, & loved the top ten list, I would love to surprise my girls w/a trip to Disney! I have a 20,almost 18 & a 6yr old daughter all who have never been to Disney . I spent 1day there when I visited my friend who lived in Orlando when I was 17yrs old, & my 2older daughters & I went to Sea World for the day when they were 6 & 4yrs old. Is it feasible to plan a $contious trip that they’d all enjoy w/such a big age difference!?

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  4. Definitely be sure to plan extra time for travel with the bus system! Our first trip to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party ended horribly! We waited for over an hour for the bus to take us to Magic Kingdom. We called a taxis in anticipation of it’s early arrival, and after waiting an additional 30 minutes, we gave up! We ended up getting another ticket for a different day to the party (thank you, Disney!) and had a fabulous time after planning adequately for our travel time! 😉

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  5. I ubered at WDW IN December 2014… Great prices- much less than the cabs! I would Uber again! Thanks for another fun filled podcast…. Wish I was headed to WDW again soon. 🙂

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  6. Love this podcast and hope first time Disney goers hear it. I have recommended it to my brother who will be a first time mouser over spring break 2016 but I’m afraid they are too green to even know to listen and take advice. I will promise to relay your top 10! Thankfully they are doing most of it right.

    The product For blisters and skin Rubbing irritation is Body Glide – runners know this product well. Great for blisters and other “rubs”. They have a Great travel version looks like deodorant stick. It works immediately and is a life saver.

    Would love to hear your thoughts on Disney cruises. We are Long time Disney goers to both fla and ca parks but taking our first cruise – Alaska. Does it require same pre planning? Thanks!!!

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    • Hi Kathryn,

      Thanks for recommending us to your brother. We are happy to help. If you are looking for details on an Alaska cruise also please let us know. We can help you with a Disney Alaska Cruise or any other cruise line you want to get a quote with. Please send me your details at and we’ll get you all set up.


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  7. Just started listening to podcasts and you guys are my favorite. I am the youngest in my family at 23, and know more about Disney than anyone else. I never got the chance to do the College Program, but would have loved to if I could. My family became DVC members in the past year and are using our points for a trip during the winter holidays! This will be our second time down around that time of year and our first on Disney property in a very long time. I’ve been keeping the magic in our trips for a while now with Disneybounding! I still find ways to feel like a kid every time I go! You guys are the best at keeping me up to date! And there’s still so much I don’t know! Thanks for keeping my Disney addiction going!

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  8. I just started listening to this podcast after I saw it was number 1 on iTunes and I am obsessed! I love planning Disney world trips almost as much as I love taking them. You all have my dream job. I love hearing your tips and opinions about what’s great at Disney and what isn’t. Keep them coming!

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  9. Hey mouse chatters I just wanna say I love the podcast Im a 37 m who just discovered Disney world less than two years ago and have been back 5 times since so I agree it’s very addicting and I spend more time than I probably should planning my next Disney trip and your podcast has really helped me discover things I may not have known about or tried without the helpful reviews and suggestions from your show
    The thing I appreciate the most is none of you are scared to say if something is terrible or just terribly expensive and not worth it so I don’t feel I’m being sold on whatever is being pushed at the time
    Thank you all for everything you do on the show and especially puntastic sharpie I really do appreciate your humor
    Mike in Alabama

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  10. Is Magic Kingdom going to start selling Astroglide in Tomorrowland? 😉

    Always love the show, you guys!

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  11. When it comes to resorts, I have stayed at Pop, All Stars, and I have been blessed to be able to stay at Beach Club, Boardwalk, Bay Lake Towers, and other deluxe hotels! Beach Club is my favorite but I will say Pop is just as magical and has that amazing Disney atmosphere that any deluxe resort has! For big families or small families or even just a couple, Pop is awesome! Also, one and done people are crazy to think that way… I am 26 and I have gone every year since I was 14, sometimes twice a year and I live in the Midwest. Disney is addicting but well worth multiple trips! Love the tips guys! Can’t wait to hear more!

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  12. Hi Mousechatters! I really appreciated all the fantastic tips in this week’s show! In less than a month, I am heading for my first Disney World vacation in over 15 years (my first as an adult) – and I have absolutely loved all the tips and info from your podcasts as we plan our trip.

    Leading up to our trip, I have been taking long walks in the shoes that I plan to wear to make sure they are comfortable for long distances. One tip I wanted to add is that in addition to good shoes, you can buy running socks that have extra support in key places (like around the toe and on the back of your heel). I first discovered these when I started running at the gym, and I have found they work fantastically for extra support when walking as well. They can get a bit expensive (my favorite brand is Feetures which run about $15 a pair on Amazon) – but for me personally the added comfort is worth every penny. Thought I would share!

    Keep up the great work!
    Caitlin from Houston

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  13. Hi Mouse Chat Gang!

    I have been listening/binging on the show for a couple of weeks now. I enjoy the news, tips, and the chemistry of your group.

    Your last episode provided a lot of great tips for the first time traveler, and great reminders for the the experienced Disney guest.I agreed with all the tips, but I must say that I agree most with the comments about proper footwear, and ramping up the exercise before a trip. I bought a standing desk/computer on wheels for work that I use before a trip just to spend more time on my feet. It’s not the walking that gets me, its the standing in line.

    Since this episode was geared to the first time visitor, I would love to hear your list of the top mistakes that an experienced Disney visitor makes.

    My wife and I have recently discussed how tiring it is to plan our Disney vacations. We go at least once a year. I think we will give our newly found experts at Pixie Vacations a try for next years trip. PLEASE TAKE THIS BURDEN FROM US!!!!

    I must also add that I got some very strange looks at work when I laughed at the Astroglide comment (headphones were in).

    Thanks again for the great show! My wife and I really enjoy it! By the way, did you guys know you are top ranked on Podcast Republic? Congratulations!


    Your New Mouse Chat Fan,

    Neal Chewning

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  14. Full disclosure: I am friends with The Puntastic Sharpie. But I wanted to let you know I love listening to this podcast, and I am not even a Disney fan. If it was not for Sharpie dragging our family along I can honestly say we would have never gone to Disney or stayed at a Disney resort. All that to say, I listen because I enjoy listening to you guys. I enjoy hearing about how excited you guys are about the new things happening at Disney or sad about changes to your favorite sites at Disney. This was a favorite episode so far with the awesome puns in the beginning and recommendation for astro glide. Keep up the good work.

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