I have already shared my list of Disney Do’s for anyone who considers themselves a Disney rookie and is need of help planning their vacation to the most magical place on earth. Following suit, I’ve now created a list of Disney Don’ts, because, trust me, those new to Disney will want to know all of the do’s and don’ts before stepping inside each park.
1. Don’t Buy Bottled Water
Buying bottled water is a big mistake. Some people might like the taste of bottled water compared to tap water, but do you know how much money you can save if you get cups of free water (yes, free!)? Most quick and counter service restaurants will give you free cups of ice water (typically if they serve fountain drinks). All you have to do is ask! Another tip: some quick and counter service locations have water stands set up for all park-goers.
2. Don’t Buy Souvenirs On Your Last Day
You can buy souvenirs whenever you want, but, personally, I don’t like to do it on my last day. I prefer to browse what’s available at each park at the start of my trip, before I decide on what souvenir(s) I want to take home. After I get a good feeling of what’s available and where, I snatch up my souvenirs and pack them (in my carry-on, especially if they’re breakables) for safe travels. By not buying souvenirs on the last day, I don’t have to waste time looking around or standing in line to pay. It saves me time to spend my final day at Disney exploring the parks, riding attractions, and eating yummy treats.
3. Don’t Wear Uncomfortable Shoes
I can’t stress this enough — wear comfortable shoes. Disney is all about the walking. According to my Health app on my iPhone, during my last trip to Walt Disney World I walked, on average, between seven and eight miles every day. So, yeah, you want to make sure your feet are happy at Disney — or you will regret it.
4. Don’t Cut Line
This is basic human decency and common sense, but I’ve seen it happen. Please, do not cut line. It’s rude and totally uncalled for. Everyone is in the same boat waiting for an attraction that probably has somewhat of a wait time. There’s no need to cut line. You will get on the ride like everyone else. And if you want to get to the front of the line faster? Get a FastPass.
5. Don’t Save Spots In Line
This is one of my biggest pet peeves — and I see it all the time at Disney. Unfortunately, there are certain individuals who get in line without their entire party and save spots. Believe it or not, but there are some people who want to go do other things rather than wait in line (who doesn’t?) so they send someone ahead of them to save spots. Do not do this. Personally, I think it goes against proper Disney etiquette and if you don’t want to wait in a long line, you don’t have to. 1. You can get a FastPass. 2. You can show up early to hopefully snag a decent spot in line.
I understand if you, your child, or someone else has a bathroom emergency they may need to exit for a moment and then jump back in line, but saving spots because someone is too lazy to wait, they’re in line at a different ride, using another FastPass, standing in line for food, etc. definitely isn’t OK. If everyone you’re with isn’t ready to get in line, then wait for them and get in line together.
6. Don’t Plan Too Much All In The Same Day
It’s easy to overbook your day. There is a lot to do at Disney, but you can only do so much. Between park selection to attractions to shows to restaurants to meeting characters, you may want to try and cram everything in all at once. You don’t want to plan too much or you’ll be completely overwhelmed. Plus, you’ll just be in a rush all day to get to everything on time, which makes for a stressful day of running around. Taking your time is a must at Disney. You want to feel like you’re on vacation, not running a marathon.
7. Don’t Push Yourself
This goes with #6. Pushing yourself will just lead to a stressful day — and you’ll be exhausted by the end. Planning to spend an entire day (morning to evening) at a park is possible, but I recommend taking a much-need respite whenever possible. I always go back to my hotel during late afternoon to cool off and to nap. This way, I’m ready for a full evening of activities. During hot days, it’s best to take a moment to regroup, otherwise you’ll end up overdoing it.
8. Don’t Wait Until The Last Minute — For Pretty Much Everything
Whether it’s booking a trip to Disney, scheduling FastPasses, making dining reservations, or grabbing a seat for a parade, you don’t want to wait until the last minute. Planning ahead and making a loose schedule will benefit you in the long run.
9. Don’t Miss Out On The Popcorn Deal
First of all, Disney popcorn is the best popcorn — and I am willing, ready, and able to debate this with anyone who disagrees. Because it’s one of the top Disney snacks, everyone should take advantage of the refillable popcorn bucket deal.
If you know you’re going to be eating a lot of popcorn during your stay at Disney World, you should definitely invest in the popcorn souvenir bucket, which typically costs $10, except for premium buckets (when available), which are usually a bit more. Once you do, you can have it refilled at any stand and at any park, no matter where the original bucket was purchased for only $1.75. Disneyland also has special popcorn deals from time to time, as well. Basically, keep your eyes open for popcorn, because it’s totally worth it.
10. Don’t Pack Your MagicBands In Checked Baggage
If you’re heading to Disney World, be sure to put your MagicBands in your carry-on bag. You’ll need them to check into Disney’s Magical Express, the complimentary motorcoach service shuttling you from the Orlando International Airport to your hotel and resort. They also act as your hotel room key, so it’s important to keep your MagicBands close!
There are so many tips and tricks that come in handy for a Disney vacation and hopefully these do’s and don’ts will make your trip go smoothly.