When we think of our Disney vacations, we think of pixie dust, Mickey & Minnie, and utopia; but it’s important to remember that, though Disney works hard to make the resort a magical place, you are in fact in the real world with real family members, real crowds, real employees, and real machines. These things are fallible, and things can go wrong.

Avoid these five things, and you’ll likely avoid ruining your otherwise magical Disney vacation.

1. Plan Nothing

Disney World is home to big, crowded parks and resorts, and it’s easy to get lost, confused, or overwhelmed. With MyDisneyExperience allowing guests to make reservations for attractions and dining months in advance, planning nothing will mean you will wait in long lines and may not even be able to accomplish certain activities.

Know before you go. You should know the parks, have at least a basic idea of what your group wants to do, and know which of those activities are very popular.

Too little planning can leave you feeling like you're falling out of the pack.

Too little planning can leave you feeling like you’re falling out of the pack.

2. Plan Every Minute

If you are an obsessive-compulsive planner, you might need to tone it down for your Disney Vacation. Disney has a great app called MyDisneyExperience. As I mentioned above, this app allows you to have access to everything in the parks right from your laptop, tablet, or even smartphone.

Instead of planning your vacation by the minute, use the app to plan your FastPass+ attractions, schedule your Advanced Dining Reservations, and find out which parks are offering Extra Magic Hours on which days. Plan which park(s) you’ll visit on each day, where you’ll eat, and what you’ll do, but be sure to leave plenty of time in your schedule for delays, bathroom breaks, unexpected wait times, and spontaneity. Plan your work and work your plan, but be flexible.

3. Have Unattainable Expectations

Disney World is indeed a magical place with many incredible experiences that aren’t possible anywhere else in the world, and you will likely have a very good time during your vacation. Disney has high standards for their attractions and Cast Members, but machines and employees can disappoint.

When you're dealing with real people, tempers can flare up at some point.

When you’re dealing with real people, tempers can flare up at some point.

If you go to Hollywood Studios just to ride Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster and it happens to be down, check out one of the other attractions or shows then check back to see if it reopened or just hop back on the bus and head to another park. Remember, any downtime on a ride isn’t benefitting Disney, and they want to get it back up and running as quickly as possible. The delay is most likely for your safety.

Even more, Cast Members can cause problems if they don’t meet your expectations. Though they go through rigorous training, CMs can have bad days, too. If they don’t treat you how you think you should be treated or you aren’t satisfied with their service, Guest Relations is the place to go. On the other hand, if they do something great, Guest Relations is happy to hear about that too!

4. Look for Trouble

On the other hand, if you go looking for trouble or with a skeptical view, that feeling will likely be fulfilled. If you expect fun, you will have it. Keeping in mind that CMs and attractions are imperfect, realize that little disappointments (like an attraction being closed) will happen. Be flexible with your plan and don’t look for things to complain about.

5. Focusing too much on money

It’s important to have a realistic budget since you have very real bills and a life to return to after your vacation, but you should be flexible with this, too. Worrying about whether that Mickey Ice Cream Bar will make or break your budget will most definitely ruin your vacation.

Try to save money at the outset by taking advantage of free dining and room discounts and even considering things like Tables in Wonderful (which offers dining discounts) and Annual Passes. Also, placing money in envelopes or giving everyone a “food allowance” for the day or souvenir allowance for the whole vacation will help you stay within budget. Again, don’t stress if lunch or a souvenir went a few dollars over Jimmy’s allowance. Maybe splurging one day could lead to saving the next.

What are your tips for not ruining your Disney vacation?

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