Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Five things NOT to do at Walt Disney World

I see many posts giving folks suggestions for planning their trips to Walt Disney World Resort, but today I wanted to give you a quick list of five things NOT to do when planning your magical vacation.

1. Do not over plan.  I get it. Really, I do. You’re on vacation and you want to squeeze in as much fun as possible. But over planning will wear you out … and make for cranky kids too!

I recently had a friend who started the day with breakfast at O’hana at the Polynesian Resort, then headed to Animal Kingdom for a few hours before heading back to Magic Kingdom for fireworks.  I was exhausted just listening to her.  Jumping around takes time and energy.  It’s better to stay in one area for the day.

2.  Don’t forget to pack your snacks and water bottles.  For one reason or another, many folks don’t bring their own snacks for the day.

“Even if you are okay with the higher prices inside the parks, it’s extremely helpful for little ones to have a quick and easy snack on hand,” said my friend Amber (mom to five) at AmberLikes.com.  “Longer lines during peak seasons may also surprise visitors.”

3. Don’t waste time in the gift shops during the day.  Did you know that many gift shops stay open after the parks close?  I suggest you wait to do your souvenir shopping at the end of the day, once the rides have closed. In fact, the shops along Main Street USA stay open for one hour after the park closes!

Bonus tip: I have even suggested to friends to purchase their souvenirs BEFORE their Disney trip and surprise their kids each morning with a little gift to start the day! Dollar Tree and Target both have huge selections of Disney items, and you can even purchase discounted park merchandise on the Shop Disney app.

4.  Don’t get stuck on a certain restaurant.  You try and try to get a specific reservation.  It’s unavailable and you are frustrated.  But don’t fret. It’s not the end of the world.

My friend Ana at World in Our Backyard suggested, “Don’t get stuck on Be Our Guest or Cinderella’s Royal Table when there are so many great options across Disney.”

She makes a great point. Explore new restaurants. You may find a new favorite!  (Hint: I love using AllEars.Net to explore the various dining locations and menus.)

“Instead of Be our Guest, perhaps try the French food at Les Chefs de France,” suggested Ana.  “Looking for a fun princess breakfast? Check out Bon Voyage at Trattoria al Forno, and see a prince or two!”

5. Don’t skip the PhotoPass photographers.  PhotoPass is a great service.  The photographers are set up in some great spots.  However, the prices for the service can be expensive.  Don’t feel like you have you are not able to use the PhotoPass photographers for your vacation pictures.

You can simply tell the PhotoPass photographer that you didn’t purchase the service, and politely ask him or her to use your cell phone or personal camera for your pictures.  I do this often. They don’t mind.