1. Not pre-ordering food when you can.
Be Our Guest offers pre-ordering if you have reservations. For a long time we did not utilize this. When we did for the first time it saved us tons of time from not needing to wait in line, and agonizing over our choices. Let’s be honest. The food is delicious, but from the size of the menu I doubt that I will change my mind from what I pre-order. The menu is not so extensive that you will have regrets thinking “Oh, if I had just gotten this instead.”
2. Following the advice of others on meal times. ( Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner )
Getting advice from others is a life saver sometimes. Yet, sometimes we let it take what could be a joyous occasion away from us without us even knowing it. Once again with the theme of Be Our Guest…. we did not do breakfast there for a good while because of seeing so many reviews saying they felt it wasn’t worth the use of a quick service meal or the money spent. When we decided to take the plunge we were very pleasantly surprised! The food was great! (We pre-ordered too.) The wait time for our food was very short since they knew our time of arrival and our food choices. We enjoyed a nice breakfast in one of our favorite restaurants and all left with full tummies. So my point is, don’t always take others advice for your own. You and your family are different from everyone else. Sometimes you just have to try things out and if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work.
3. Not planning out what to do during special ticketed events.
We have only done one special ticketed event, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. It was a disaster. With three kids that all wanted to do different things, we didn’t get to do much (to say the least). It had rained when the party was starting so many things got pushed back and characters weren’t out that were supposed to be. These things happen. We had an idea and a vague plan of what to do. None of that was followed. The rain totally threw off the whole little vague plan I had. So we ended up spending lots of money for a really not so magical night. My advice to any ticketed event is to have a good plan. Unforeseen things may always happen, but with a better laid out plan you can avoid wasting your time and money!
4. Letting the “Complainers” ruin your day.
If you have been to Disney you know what I’m talking about. If not…. you will. Complainers. They are everywhere, even the most magical place on Earth. They are the ones that like to argue with cast members even though their kid is obviously 3 inches too short to ride Splash Mountain. Of course they should get to ride anyway because they paid to come here and they should get what they want. Never mind the safety of the kids. Ugh. If you listen as you are going by others and pick up on vibes from folks, you will see lots of ugly talk and actions going on. Not to say I haven’t complained myself about how my kids act sometimes or that I’m hot, but if you listen and take in those vibes of these complainers it will ruin your whole day! You will get the grumps yourself and then start being one of them too. It can happen so easily. Yes, I have joined in with them before after hearing so many complaints. In retrospect… in ruined the magic of what I was waiting to do. It has sucked the fun out of meeting some favorite characters, the joy from watching my kids light up while riding a favorite ride. So take it all with a grain of salt and remember, we all have struggles and you are there for fun and YOUR family. So do your best to ignore them and carry on with a smile on your face.
5. Forgetting to pack sunscreen to the park.
I know, this seems almost too easy. Duh, who would forget to have sunscreen in the park? Well, we always apply before heading out each morning and I have forgotten to add the sunscreen to the bag afterwards. To fix this, I now pack two. One for the room and one for our park bag. If you are going to be out all day, it’s a great idea to reapply. No one wants to spend their vacation hurting from sunburn. (Side note: Don’t forget to apply liberally to your nose. Take it from me.)
6. Packing a change of clothes for young children.
Now on any normal day I have a change of clothes for our youngest, however there have been times I have forgotten to restock that extra outfit. Unless you have it in your budget to buy clothes as needed I suggest packing an extra set or two of clothes and undies for your littlest ones. You never know what’s going to happen. Maybe they can’t take riding Dumbo in circles….maybe that ice cream was too much. Who knows? Accidents happen. It’s always best to pack an extra change of clothes instead of having to drop a pretty penny on a new outfit while there. Not to mention the stress of having to go buy the clothes while you are in the midst of cleaning up whatever caused you to need the new outfit to begin with.
7. Not doing things I really wanted to do.
Regret. That horrible feeling of “what if” and “why didn’t I do that while I had the chance?”. If you see something you really want to do or buy, do it! I’m not saying go into debt or spend what you don’t have, but if you are really wanting it, go for it! We have been several times and each time I’ve always wanted to do the henna in EPCOT. Until our last trip I would never pay for it. I kept saying “Is it really worth the money…. I could do this with it instead…. I could use it on the kids.” Our last trip I did it! I got that henna and I loved it! I adored that little elephant on my hand. I stepped out of that zone and did something that I had been wanting for so long and I loved it! Sure I could have done something else with that money, but then again you always can, can’t you? It brought me joy and that is what mattered. It made my kids happy to see me happy. I think as parents we try to skimp on ourselves and get for the kiddos. It’s easy to forget that it’s mom and dad’s vacation too.
8. Trying to get it all in.
We have been to WDW six times. Have we seen and done it all? Nope. There are so many things to do at Disney. Can you squeeze it all in to one trip? Kinda Sorta Maybe. Will it suck the life out of you? For sure. I don’t think anyone can get it all done in one trip. Maybe a longer trip, but for folks like us, who get about 5 days, there is no way- especially with kids. I’m sure you can get way more in without kids. I wouldn’t want to though. I enjoy that time with my kids and love every minute of it. Now if you don’t have kids, you roll on and enjoy yourself at super speed! Remember, you are there to have fun and relax a bit. If trying to get everything done is stressing you out, it’s not much of a vacation anymore. We learned this the hard way. If you’re tired, take a break and rest (watch a show if you still want to experience something). Go back to your resort if you can and take a nap. Whatever recharges you. It’s not worth catching the grumps and making yourself miserable.
Now, with all these things I did wrong… here are some that were done right!
1. Purchasing Memory Maker
When we finally purchased Memory Maker, I was floored! Not only did we save time in the parks from having to ask for the photographer to take our picture, but we got magic shots as well. Biggest bonus? We were all in the picture! No missing mom. No missing dad. We were all there now. Previous vacations it was like mom or dad was a ghost from our photos. Memory Maker is totally worth it if you want to have pictures to remember the trip by.
2. Following our hearts.
I touched on following others advice and how that can make you miss out of things earlier. I learned a couple trips in you just have to follow your heart for your own fun. Everyone and every family is different. While one family may enjoy eating all character meals and hardly riding rides yours may enjoy only quick service and jumping from one ride to another. You know what works for you and your family. Once we started doing this, our trips became so much more enjoyable. We used to worry about trying this and that out instead of doing the things we knew we would love. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that we don’t like to try new things, but pace yourself. Don’t miss out on the fun that you know you will have for something that you may or may not enjoy. My hubby and son love the roller coasters, so we always make sure they get to ride at least one a day. The girls and I like characters and the slower rides, so we compromise. The boys do what they want and we do our thing and meet back up. Everyone is happy and no one is grumpy while sitting around waiting.
This one is kind of a given, but I stand behind it. I cannot imagine a trip without having Fastpasses. They make the day go so much more smoothly and no hour long wait for your favorite ride! I cannot stress enough how big of a help these are. We save time and often enough we have been able to snag extra fastpasses once our first three have been used. If you like waiting in line, be my guest. I will take my fastpasses and run. Just be sure to schedule around your reservations if you should have any.
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