Everyone has had that kind of vacation before, the sort where nothing goes right. You can read about ours HERE and while some things like injuries or illnesses just can't be planned, there is nothing like having a vacation go wrong because of something YOU have done and could have prevented. No one wants that! You've worked hard to save and go, so why ruin it for yourself? I admit, #5 is too easy for me!
Here’s our top 5 ways to ruin your Disney vacation.
1. You Arrive Late
After sleeping in and a leisurely breakfast, you finally load up and head to the parks. The gates opened at 9, but it's a Saturday, or maybe a random Tuesday. Everyone else is sleeping in, or at work, right? You pull into the parking lot around 11am and plan to stroll around and jump into that headliner ride everyone's talking about. Maybe you'll even ride it a few times before lunch at noon.
You pull in, surprised at how many cars are already in the parking lot. It takes longer to get through security than you thought, and by the time you finally make it to the ride you wanted to go on, the wait says 120 minutes. How did that happen?
It happened because experienced park goers know that you can do more, and ride two to three times more often in the first few hours of park opening that you can almost the whole rest of the day. That means, the lines are shorter, the crowds are less and around 11am, that's when the people who slept in late, maybe had a longer drive, or are planning a late night at the park arrive.
2. You Have No Idea What You Want To Do
It's 10am. You've done that must do ride, in fact, you did it twice because the line was so short, but now, you and your friends can't agree on what you would like to do. Mary wants to walk around and see what catches her eye, while Jeff wants to do everything in Tomorrowland before moving on to Adventureland. No one can agree, and as you start walking in circles, the line that was only 30 minutes long on your last lap through Fantasyland is now 60. In fact, all of the lines are so long now, no one wants to wait in them, so you keep walking around, hoping to find a shorter line, but you can't. Finally, you all get so frustrated, hot and tired you leave the park, around 2pm, feeling like it was a waste of time, and money because all of the lines are way too long and you only got to ride one ride. It’s not fair, and Disney’s a their of money and time.
You get on the bus to go back to your resort with the same family you rode over with, but they are laughing and happy, talking about all the rides they did. How is that possible? Didn't they see all the ridiculous wait times for the lines? Yet, they did so much! How did that happen?
It happened because while you started off right, knowing what you wanted to do, from there you couldn't agree on what to do next and didn't really have a plan of where to go and when. That time spent arguing and aimlessly wandering, hoping to find a short line only made the lines longer, and you feel more frustrated. A plan, even the most basic of plans, can make sure that you go from attraction to attraction, without long lines and frustration.
(Need some ideas? You can go HERE to check out our FREE Animal Kingdom touring plan, and follow the links to the other parks for more FREE touring plans, as well.)
3. You Don’t Eat/Drink Because It's Too Expensive
It's well after lunchtime and the everyone is hungry, but that Mickey pretzel your kids wanted was $6! No way! Nevermind it could feed two of them. You'd love to sit and take a break in the air conditioning at Cosmic Ray's, but it's $10 for a burger and fries, plus the drink is $3? How is it everything is so expensive? Meantime, you get crankier and crankier, everyone's out of energy. People are complaining, and tired, hot and thirsty. Someone gets dizzy from the heat, and you have to stop off at the first aid clinic. There are loads of people walking around eating, drinking, not caring they are spending way more than you think they should. What a great trip, huh? How did that happen?
It happened because going into a theme park of any kind, you know prices are going to be a little higher. There are a lot of ways to still stay fed and hydrated and keep your energy levels up without calling on your inner Scrooge. Disney will let you bring in your own food and drinks! Load up your backpack and cooler, you can read about that HERE or maybe you should be on the Disney Dining Plan, where all of your food and drink is prepaid, so you get a better deal! You can read about that HERE . It's important to stay hydrated, you don't want to get Sunstroke, but if theme park beverage prices are too much for you, bring your own and save hundreds with this one tip!
4. Expect Pixie Dust
The person in front of you gets an extra pair of fastpasses. Your friend just two hotel doors down got extra towels, some of them even made into cute shapes. In the food court a woman is giving out stickers to just about everyone. What's going on? You are with your kid on the Trisaratops Spin at Animal Kingdom, and when the ride is over, they let a woman and her baby stay on without getting back in the line. Later, you are waiting outside of the restaurant you booked six months in advance at 6am. You've been waiting 20 minutes and they still don't have a table. Someone walks up, and asks it there's room for their group of three. They go in, and you are still waiting. Angrily, you demand to speak to the manager. You've paid the same as everyone else, so how come YOU aren't getting this special treatment? How come YOU are having to wait? How did that happen?
It happened because Pixie Dust is the little extras that Disney's Cast Members sprinkle around. It's going to be random, and there's no way you can "make" it happen to you. Pixie Dust can be an extra fastpass, maybe a Mickey Ice Cream bar, a button or stickers! The towel animals in your hotel room, extra soaps and towels, or maybe even the pin that someone gives your child. Disney always, always is giving out Pixie Dust to someone, and it really does make you feel special, but you can't expect it all the time. In your hotel room, even if you leave a tip (read more about tipping HERE) you can't expect to get towel animals, or your bathmat turned into Minnie's bow. There are so many different people working at Disney, and so very many guests, while I guarantee that you will truly feel like a special guest at Disney, you might not get Pixie Dust sprinkled on you, and if you do, it might not always happen how you want. The best way to have Pixie Dust happen, is to be polite. Be a good guest and remember that most of the people you are talking to are just like you. They work hard for a small salary. They are trying to help tens of thousands of people have a good vacation, cleaning up endless piles of soggy towels, dirty toilets, and other stuff. If you genuinely have a problem, then talk to someone calmly, and try and get it fixed. They want to make sure you have a good experience so that you enjoy your vacation and come back one day, not leave angrily. Also, treat others kindly, because when you do, you'll find your trip is much more enjoyable, with, or without Pixie Dust.
5. Don't Rest
It's nearly 3pm and you've been going strong since the Extra Magic Hours started at 8! Last night you shut the park down at 11pm, and you are on a roll! Tired? Heck, you've got no time for that, you've got Disney Magic in the air, water in your backpack and a whole lot of get up and go! The others are starting to wilt, begging for a break to sit down, but not you! You shut the park down, third night in a row then at 6am the next morning, try to get out of bed, only to find you just can't drag yourself out. What's going on? You've got to get that bus! All you need is a little coffee maybe, but you can't even roll over to get out of bed. How did that happen?
It happened because even Superman needs a break for a while! Ever wondered why he's Clark Kent most of the time? Being a superhero is hard work! That's a LOT of walking, and even the most trained athlete is going to need a break. Theme parks are sneaky, it's deceptive how much you can walk in a day, usually more than 10 miles (put a pedometer on your phone, you’ll be shocked!) and if you aren't giving yourself rest now and then, while you might be doing good for a few days, at some point your body is going to protest, and force you to stop like it or not!
So you’ve read our top 5, are you guilty of any of these? Have any other ways you think could ruin a trip? We want to hear about them!