Six Ways to Wreck a Disney World Vacation

A vacation to Disney World is typically a magical experience for the entire family. In fact, it can be hard to truly ruin a Disney vacation, but it can happen.

Here are six ways to wreck a Disney World vacation, and how you can avoid these scenarios:

1 – Too Little Planning

For most families, going to Disney World is not like going to the movies for an evening. It is an extended, expansive, and expensive undertaking. Just like you wouldn’t show up for a tour of Europe with some planning on what you will do and when, you should not show up at Disney World without some level of planning. Disney World is a huge place, with literally hundreds of things to do. You need some idea of what you are getting into before you show up.

Tip: Check out some web sites or a guide book to get some ideas and make at least a high level plan before you leave for your vacation.  We have a great set of “Disney 101” information here.

It is possible to ruin a Disney World vacation.
It is possible to ruin a Disney World vacation.

2 – Too Much Planning

In the same way that some people do no planning and end up overwhelmed, it’s also possible to do too much planning and end up overwhelmed. Yes, you want to know what you are getting into on a Disney vacation. Yes, planning can be a great part of the fun. Make dining reservations, decide what parks you will visit when, and read up about the best ways to use Disney’s FastPass. However, don’t go too crazy. If you try to plan every event, every meal, and every minute, you are likely to focus too much on keeping the schedule and checking the boxes and not enough on enjoying the moment, exploring, and taking in a few surprises or hidden treasures along the way.

Tip: Leave time in your schedule for exploring and spur-of-the-moment fun.

3 – Too Little Resting

Unless you are a professional athlete or your job involves constant walking, you are likely to be more physically active on your Disney World vacation than you normally are. It is not unusual to be on your feet for 14 hours a day, walking mile upon mile. While this is probably healthy and will help you burn off some of the excess calories from the food at Disney World, you are also likely to get worn out. Unless you are staying at Disney for a month, it is literally impossible to see and do everything. Don’t try. Instead, set aside some times to rest.

Tip: Plan time to hang out by the pool or to go and watch a movie. Your feet and your overall energy level will thank you.

4 – Too Little Variety

Many of us are creatures of habit. We get up at the same time, do the same things each day, and go to bed at the same time. That’s okay;  it helps us manage our life, but when you are on vacation, you have an opportunity to do some things differently. If you are a regular visitor to Disney World, plan to visit some attractions you’ve never seen before. Take a behind the scenes tour to see how Disney makes the magic. Check out a restaurant you’ve never visited. It would practically be a crime to go to Disney World and see nothing new, and eat nothing but hamburgers and French fries.

Tip: Look for new and different things to try at Disney World. Shake it up a bit.

Be sure to look for something new.
Be sure to look for something new.

5 – Too Little Attention to Weather

The Florida weather is amazing. If you are staying for more than a day or two, you are almost guaranteed some sunny skies at some point, but the weather can also be very intense, even for people who like to spend time outside. Plan to invest in some sun screen; the strong Florida rays can burn even seasoned skin, and a sunburn is a sure ticket to a ruined vacation. That being said, if you are visiting in the winter time, be prepared for cooler evening temperatures. Wear layers that you can add and subtract as the temperatures vary throughout the day.

Tip: Protect yourself from the sun, and be prepared for changes in temperatures.

6 – Too Much Seriousness

With so much time and money invested in your Disney vacation, some people become surprisingly uptight. They want to see and do it all (remember the point above; that’s impossible, so just forget about it right now). They lose patience with Disney Cast Members, other guests, and their family, or they just become grumpy if something doesn’t work out as expected. Leave Grumpy to Snow White. Remember that you are there to have fun. Do a moderate amount of planning, plan for the weather and for rest, and explore a bit. If things go wrong, move on.

Tip: Relax! You are almost guaranteed to have fun!

Have you ever over planned, or under planned, a Disney vacation?