Avoid These 10 Mistakes That Can Wreck a Disney World Vacation

have a great Disney World vacation

Updated for 2016!

Vacations are designed to whisk you away from reality and give you a break from the ho-hum of every day. A trip to Disney World is very pricey, and if you are not one of the lucky ones who make multiple trips each year, then you are saving and planning for your next your trip for what could be years. Or perhaps it just feels like years. If you make all these plans and pay all this money, how could you possibly screw it up?


People do it all the time.

120 Walt Disney World DO NOTs: Tips From Real People on How NOT to Screw Up a Disney Vacation!

why you can't always do what you want at Disney World

1. You didn’t bring enough C.A.S.H.

We are not all using Disney Visas or MagicBands (formerly known as “room keys”) with charging abilities. Before you tell me that everybody has a credit card, Statistic Brain.com reports 1/4 of Americans have no credit card at all. Maybe that’s you, or maybe you’re currently trying not to use your credit card? Ever leave your MagicBand in the room or in your car? (Let me raise my hand in guilt on that one.)

You may need cash to make some of your purchase while in Orlando.

I’ve read quite a few Facebook discussions centered on how people didn’t take enough cash to pay for things that required actual physical money on vacation. Imagine not having access to money when you need it.  Ever had trouble locating an ATM in the parks? There are ATMs on Main Street, U.S.A, at the Magic Kingdom and at the entrances to all the other theme parks. But if you are on the other side of the park, that can be a mighty long walk, and your feet will be really angry with you later.

Preventable walking = exhaustion = general miserableness

how much cash do you need on vacation to Disney World

With a large degree of certainty, you will need cash for

  • toll roads
  • dining tips – possibly
  • bell hop tips
  • Mouse Keeping tips
  • anybody else who needs a tip
  • parking – possibly
  • late night snacks when you don’t have your room key or Visa with you (oops- ask me how my hungry kids knew this!)

Tip – If you bring ca$h, be sure to tuck it away somewhere so it’s safe from loss or theft. I have a friend that keeps money locked in her glove compartment, because wallets get misplaced, and credit cards can get denied.

Speaking of a Visa card…

Let me reiterate what I said before; everything is expensive at Disney. Do your research, and make sure you have enough money to get you through. I’m not suggesting you rack up a huge Visa bill, but if you generally pay for everything in ca$h, having a Visa available for emergencies is definitely advisable.

Over 20 Disney World Tips for Parents With Younger Children

wy bring cash on vacation at Disney World

2. You do want you want no matter what.

You do everything, see everything, and ride everything you want to do no matter what the group wants to do. You are large and in charge.

Yes, I realize your vacation is costing you an arm and a leg, and I know some of you may not make it back to Orlando for a good long time. The word good here isn’t actually meant as good. But if you want to have good memories from your trip, you’ll need some flexibility. Plans change, even plans that were made six to eleven months in advance.

You can’t do it all. You can’t see it all.

If you have used the new Fastpass+ system, scheduling your passes 60 days before your trip, only to realize plans were changing, then you know you may need some flexibility.

Being inflexible = unhappy campers = questionable memories 

You won’t make everybody in the family happy by the choices you make, but you can head off a lot of trouble just by being flexible and accepting of the changes that come your way. Look for finding a way to reach a happy medium if you are traveling with a large group or people of differing ages and heights.

Do You Have a Favorite Disney Child, and Would You Admit It?

getting along with family on vacation

3. You don’t rest enough.

I know the general notion is to arrive when the parks open and stay all day long. I read comments on the Internet all the time about sleeping when you get home from Orlando. “I’ll sleep when I get back.” Chances are, you know someone who follows that same philosophy – run yourself ragged on a Disney vacation and rest up at home.

Nearly every single planning book I have ever read suggests you arrive first thing in the morning.  My dad followed this touring plan when I was growing up in the mid-70s, way before they even had real books or Internet touring guides, and by midnight, we were all completely exhausted. I had a blast, but waking up the next morning was truly brutal. I really don’t suspect my mom had much fun at all, and my parents haven’t been to Disney in 20 years. I’m going to attribute their current lack of interest to Over-Did-Disney exhaustion.

Many of our readers spend all day in the parks, from sun-up to way past sun-down, and they’ll do this for a week straight. This plan works for some, but it certainly it doesn’t work for others.

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how not to get too tired on vacation

I’ve spent enough time in the Disney theme parks as an adult to see some of the biggest meltdowns from both kids and adults I have ever witnessed in a public place. (You can read about that here, and I’ve been told my quotes are startling: If You Do This on a Disney Vacation, You May Totally Regret It Later.) Tantrums and disagreements in your hometown grocery stores have nothing on meltdowns at Disney.

Lack of sleep + days on end = exhaustion= miserableness. 

Take a cue from your family, and if they can’t handle a 16-hour day in the parks, day after grueling day, change things up.

  • Go in during the morning, go back to the hotel and rest or swim, and come back late that afternoon.
  • Sleep in, do Disney Springs mid-day or swim, and go to the parks late that afternoon.
  • Take a day off and just swim and hang out.

Use this link for a whole list of activities for days when you have no park tickets:  Disney World Tips for Kids: “Free Day” Fun Activities

True, this modified touring schedule may not provide as much park-time as you had hoped for, but it’s better than tears, frustration and shouting. I’ve seen it. Vacation Melt-Down Syndrome is like Disney Villain-kinda ugly.

How to Pack the BEST Disney World Theme Park Bag Ever!

why you need sleep on a Disney World vacation

4. You skipped the sunscreen.  

Think a sunburn won’t happen to you? Web MD.com quotes the CDC as reporting more than one-third of adults and nearly 70% of children admit they’ve gotten sunburned within the past year. While there are lots of shady places, you will be in direct sun for the majority of your WDW vacation. “Sunny Orlando” is exactly why you’re here, right, to soak up some of that warm southern sun?  I’ve read somewhere that most people who visit the First Aid Stations at the Disney parks arrive because of sun issues.

How soon a sunburn begins will depend on your skin type, the sun’s intensity, and how much time you spend exposed to the sun. And it can sneak up on you. Serious sunburn can cause the following:

  • Fever, sometimes higher than 102 degrees
  • Chills
  • Severe pain
  • Sunburn blisters
  • Dehydration (dry mouth, thirst, reduced urination, dizziness, and fatigue)

How much fun will that be to deal with on a vacation you’ve been planning for the last year?

The Best of the Best Disney World Shopping Guide
Disney World sunscreen and sunburns

Cheapskate Sunscreen Tips:

  1. Bring sunscreen from home if you don’t want to pay a hefty amount for a bottle from the Mouse, preferably a bottle with an S.P.F of 45 or more.
  2. Make sure you bring a new bottle, because sunscreen can expire, and then you’ll wind up sunburned despite your best efforts.
  3. Apply your sunscreen at least 30 minutes before you head out of your hotel, as sun products need time to take effect.
  4. The sun is at its peak from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., so these are not the best hours to be out in the sunlight, if you can help it.

Burned skin = pain = itchy peeling skin = general miserableness

Spending time tending to a sun burn is time you are not spending playing at the resorts and theme parks. And time is money, honey!

10 Cheapskate Reasons to Vacation on Disney Property

why you don't want to get sunburned on vacation

 5. You skipped the hand sanitizer.

You skipped washing your hands. You didn’t use hand sanitizer. Someone in the family picked up a nasty bug from one of the thousands of Disney visitors that run their sweaty, sticky, dirty, germy hands all over everything. And now you are all in big trouble.

I know there are people who think hand washing in the sink with soap is the only route to go, while other people prefer hand sanitizers. I’m not going to get into the middle of that debate, but I will point out there is no bathroom in line for Space Mountain, and that stand-by wait can last up to 120 minutes or more. You’re standing in line to greet the Frozen gals, stand-by lines that were lasting over four hours after their initial park arrival way back when, and you don’t think the kids will put their hands in their mouths as they eat a snack, in line? I’m so old, I won’t even tell you my age, but I’ll readily admit I touch everything on vacation from Pirate castle walls to Christmas decorations in gift shops.

And so will your children, if they put their phones down long enough.

Soap and water won’t help you in long line, on monorails or boats, or unable to locate a restroom within what feels like half a mile.

tips not to get sick at Disney World on vacation

80 percent of common infections, including the H1N1 flu virus, can be spread through contaminated hands. James Scott, a microbiologist at the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health said, “A hand sanitizer cleans your hands much better than soap and water, so it reduces the bacterial burden to a much greater extent than soap and water. And your hands tend to stay cleaner longer than if you were to use soap and water.”

Hands = exposure to germs. Germs can = all sorts of illnesses = vomiting miserableness 

I am the first one to admit I abhor most hand sanitizers, and I teach public school, so I have to use it every day.  I hate the smell and the texture, but mainly I really dislike the smell.

I have found $1.50 bottles of Bath & Body Works hand sanitizer to be the best thing going. They come in kid friendly colors, scents like cupcake and strawberry, and you can find them on sale for $1 every now and then, making these a fabulously cheap investment for your vacation.

Easy Way to Save Time at Disney World? Hand Sanitizers!

take hand sanitizers on a Disney World vacation

6. You didn’t train for the amount of walking you will do.

Let me raise my guilty hand again, despite knowing how important this one is, because I never seem to walk enough regardless of my good intentions. I pay for it on vacation.

If you think you’ll be casually strolling a couple of miles a day through the parks, I hate to break it to you…10 to 15 miles a day is the norm if you go from sun up past sun down.  Thing we’re exaggerating? We asked our  Cheapskate Princess Facebook Fans how many miles they walked on average every day; use this link to see their results: How Many Miles Will You Walk on Vacation in the Disney Parks?

And to handle that amount of mileage, you will absolutely need to do some training.

You will walk your little tootsies off, and so will your kids. They need to be training for Disney as well. I actually paid my own children $.10 for every mile they walked in a three-month period for a trip years ago. Think that’s crazy and indulgent? It cost me $20 at the most and saved me stress, headaches, and tears, both theirs and mine.  It saved my back too, because I didn’t have to physically carry them through the parks.

Get out and do some walking now, and your body will definitely thank you later.

Tired feet + aching muscles = unhappiness and miserableness 

Walking ahead of time is so important, we devoted an entire article to it. I can not over-estimate how much you need to read this one Disney tip. It’s mega Mickey Ears important.

The Most Important Thing You Can Do For Your Disney Vacation? It’s a Four Letter Word!

Avoid these Walt Disney World vacation Mistakes

7. You vacationed during the worst possible times to travel.

Can you imagine how many people planned their first Disney trip for the worst time of year to go, thinking it was the best? When someone tells me they hate Disney and never want to go back, I immediately ask when they traveled. Guess what? It’s almost always Christmas, anther busy holiday, or summer. I’ve vacationed in Orlando during all those times, and I can’t blame them for disliking the huge crowds. The blame comes with improper planning.

Huge crowds = long lines = standing and waiting = miserableness  

The general Disney rule of thumb is that if the kids are out of school, this is the most crowded time to go, even if scheduling-wise, this is the best time to actually leave town for the vacation. Here are several articles to help you with specific times to visit Disney.

How to avoid the worst times at Disney World

8. You arrived pretty clueless. 

Ok, speaking of planning, Walt Disney World is seriously huge. Resorts, theme parks, water parks, mini-golf, Disney Springs, and so on and on. It’s really too much for you to do in one vacation. There is an entire row of travel books dedicated to Orlando and WDW in Books-A-Million. Why? Because going to Disney these days requires planning and reading and scheming.

What was manageable when the Magic Kingdom opened in 1971 is now a race to do it all, see it all, and survive to buy the t-shirt, if you can afford it.

Do your research.

  • How tall do kids need to be to ride certain rides? Ever watched a child have a tantrum because they couldn’t get on a ride? It’s awful.
  • What are the least busy days for certain parks?
  • What time do the parks open and close while you will be there?
  • Where are the best restaurants for your diverse group?
  • When can you schedule your Advanced Dining Reservations? This varies depending on your accommodations.
  • When can you schedule your three Fastpass+ rides? This varies depending on your accommodations and or your type of tickets.

Boathouse restaurant Disney Springs

Poor planning = wasted time = miserableness

Do your research. Will you feel relaxed planning this vacation? Not always, but it pays to be prepared.

Here are some great websites that can help you plan your next vacation: The Top 10 Best Disney Vacation Planning Web Sites.

This is a great article on where to find cool Disney Parks maps online for free: FREE Disney Virtual Vacation; Check Out the Walt Disney World “Parks” Maps.

Use this link to a guide for our best planning articles: Cheapskate Princess Vacation Planning Tips.

ideas to have a great Disney World vacation

9. You wore the wrong shoes.

I am a people-watcher by nature, so I get a vast amount of amusement when a pretty girl, holding hands with her date, teeters and then totters by me wearing four-inch high heels. Was this a surprise outing to Disney?  Those flip-flops with no arch support for miles of walking, was that really the best you could do for 12 hours of theme parking? House shoes? Yes, I have also seen them shuffling down Main Street. You would really be surprised by the number of high heels you will see in the parks as well.

 Walking miles + uncomfortable shoes = blisters + sore feet = unhappiness and miserableness

Bring your comfortable athletic shoes and wear moisture wicking socks to protect your feet from blisters. Bring a couple of band-aids in a backpack.

But just as one vacation plan won’t work for every family visiting Disney, shoes are the same way. What I wear may not be right for you. Certain brands of flip-flops can be great, and some of my readers love their house shoes and their Birkenstocks.  As long as you are prepared to walk miles and miles and miles in whatever shoes you bring, you should be fine.

A smart planner will definitely leave the Disney Princess heels at home. What shoes would our readers suggest you wear on vacation?

What are the Best Shoes to Wear on a Disney World Vacation? We Asked the Fans…

wear the right shoes on a Disney World vacation

10. You left your patience at home.

Vacations are stressful. No matter how much planning you put into your trip, there may still be a time when things go wrong. If you want to make it worse, just leave your patience at home.

You are paying a lot of $$ for this journey, and you’ve invested a lot of time and energy into planning what you know with utmost certainly will be “the perfect vacation.” The problem is almost nothing is ever perfect. And if you go into your trip with the mindset that everything will be perfect, you could be in for a big disappointment.

Crazy expectations + lack of patience = freaking out + tantrums = miserableness for you and everybody around you

Deep breaths, calming thoughts, and a “This too shall pass” attitude will be needed if/when things fall apart. We have some tips for the adults on how to keep your calm during vacations.

A Cheapskate Princess Guide to Less Stress on Vacation

ways to enjoy your Disney World vacation

There are a LOT of great comments our readers have left since we published this article in 2012, so be sure to read those as well. 

To see more of our Cheapskating Guidesuse this link.

Thanks for stopping by. We hope that you can bypass easily avoidable mistakes on your upcoming Disney trip, and we’ll see you applying sunscreen and lacing up those running shoes!


Amanda Major Cheapskate Princess


Disney’s Cheapskate Princess


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Use this link for a free no obligation vacation quote from Julie, Elizabeth, and Erin, our Disney Vacation Planners with Destinations in Florida travel.

You can also e-mail them at cp@destinationsinflorida.com.

Great Perks for your Walt Disney World Vacation at Destinations in Florida


Amanda Major Cheapskate PrincessAmanda Major is the creator of cheapskateprincess.com. She remembers her first visit to Magic Kingdom like it was yesterday, because she had a ham sandwich tucked in her shorts pocket. The whole family snuck in their lunch; you can’t make that kinda stuff up. 40 years worth of trips to Orlando later, she is still trying to save money on vacations.

Amanda is a Disney Vacation Club Member and Annual Pass holder. Her amazing husband, band director Carl Major, plus three teen children and two dogs keep her busy. Amanda teaches Leadership to high school seniors in the almost-costal town of Foley, Alabama. Read about her cheapskating local vacations with this link. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, walking somewhere, or paddling a kayak. Life is indeed a blast. 

We hope we can help save you some some money too. Use this link for a free no obligation vacation quote from our Princess Travel Experts with Destinations in Florida travel, Julie, Elizabeth, and Erin. You can also e-mail them at cp@destinationsinflorida.com.


  1. Lauren says:

    While I agree with most of these points, I just have to point out that for some people, flip flops are the most comfortable shoes they own – at least for me. The thought of my feet cramped into sneakers for hours is brutal. My toes would hate me. I have one pair of flip flops with fabric straps and a pretty thick sole (not the plastic thin kind) that I’ve owned for YEARS. I walked Disney in them last year and didn’t have any issues at all. Just wanted to point out that what might not be comfortable for you, may be comfortable for someone else 🙂

    • Lilliy says:

      I have to agree. Flip Flops are my best friend there. I could not stand sneakers when I did wear them in cold months. They were killing my toes also. But I agree w/ most others. We are park commandos so we dont rest…lol

    • lisa says:

      We like flip flops too, but on one of our trips my husband and I both walked right through the bottom of ours. Had to go into the trash when we got to the room. And if you get caught in the rain (which we always seem to do) they can cause terrible blisters that wouldn’t occur if they were dry. I say its trial and error!

    • Silvia says:

      I’m also a flip-flop kind of girl, so when we were planning for our Cancun vacation last year, I researched for the best flip-flops for walking. I bought a brand called FitFlops. I made sure to break them in a whole month before we went. Best decision ever. I used them the whole time. Even through the rain and the sand, they always felt great. My feet thanked me for making the switch to FitFlops. I haven’t worn normal flip-flops since. Just thought I’d share. 🙂

    • Rhino says:

      If you wear flip flops, which I do sometimes, don’t forget to use sunscreen on top of your feet.

    • Tom M. says:

      I always had a pair of flip flops in my bag in case of a downpour or Kali River Rapids. But now I where Crocs. I always thought they looked goofy but they are extremely comfortable and I don’t have to worry about getting my $80 running shoes wet. It’s a win win. As long as no one I know sees me wearing them. Lol.

      • Anonymous says:

        We wear crocs as well, looking goofy is fine with me as long as I can walk

      • Carol says:

        I only ever wear Crocs due to bad feet. But I’ve gotten blisters in them at Disney.If you have bad feet and constantly getting shots in them, my suggestion would be to talk to your Podiatrist. Everyone should know what works for them. I’d die in flip flops with no arch support. I’ve talked to a few people there that swears by those sandels by Keen I think the name is. That was both Men and Women.

    • Jenn says:

      Agreed. Teva Mush are SUPER comfy for me, but I REALLY recommend Oofos. You can get them at Amazon, but the only place I’ve seen them in stores is actually at the running store at Downtown Disney/Disney Springs. I’m not gonna lie: they’re ugly. Like Crocs ugly. But they are SO comfy!

  2. Julie says:

    All excellent points. Disney is one of the reasons I always have hand gel and avoid touching hand rails like the plague.

  3. These are great tips! Having a plan of attack is the one I like the best. I make a detailed plan for each day but we don’t have to follow it to the T but it helps to have a game plan

  4. Thomas Valley says:

    One note about your sunscreen tip: Make sure to pack your sunscreen from home in your checked luggage. Otherwise, the TSA will take it out of your carry-on, frown at you, and you may get a more, er, thorough pat-down. Most certainly they’ll take away the big bottle of sunscreen.

    • Heather says:

      I would suggest going to the travel size area of walmart and get a little one…. under 3.4fl oz for your carry on. Just in case you get there and want to swim before your luggage does… PS pack a swimsuit and change of clothes in your carry on as well…. just a little tip…. it made one Disney vacation very rough…. so now pack it everytime I travel.

  5. Tina says:

    I think the worst thing to do at Disney is spend your whole day at the park, from opening to closing.
    I’ve done it. I never wanted to do it.
    It tires me out, makes me so tired that I want to go straight home and never return.

    I love Disney, and I could handle it with a morning visit to ride my fun rides and an evening visit to see the shows. That way, I could relax at my resort and not feel stressed all day.
    What’s also not fun is spending a whole day at your resort- then a whole day. I rather mix it up. I want to vary it a little. Of course, if you fly, it’s fun to spend the first day at the resort.

    • Amanda says:

      Agreed Tina. We pay so much to go, it’s hard to keep from overdoing it. I am a big proponent of that mid-day nap. Thanks for reading! ~A.

  6. lisa says:

    It only takes getting the stomach bug at Disney once to cure you of ever wanting to touch anything again. Happened once and hopefully it will not happen again. We all carry our own bottle of sanitizer and we are constantly reapplying it. I’m sure I sound like a paranoid freak mom to most, but two days spent in the bathroom is a waste of time!

    • Heather says:

      Did you know that hand sanitizer won’t kill the noro virus that causes the stomach flu? Yep. Soap and water will, though. It’s a good idea to wash your hands when you can and use sanitizer other times.

  7. Sharon says:

    These are great tips to remember. One thing that my husband and I did (the second time) was to give our kids their own spending money. We gave them each a set amount of cash for the whole week (we helped keep it safe). They had to use it for all their souvenirs and snacks (we paid for regular meals, of course) but when their money gone it was gone. They put more thought into what they really wanted and got to use their math skills on vacation. Our daughter ran out before the week was over and tried to borrow from her brother. He on the other hand came home with money. We didn’t try to do everything in one day either. We took midday naps. We all still have fond memories of that trip, even our daughter

    • Toni says:

      When the kids were little I would give them their money in Disney Dollars. That way they couldn’t spend it before we got there! You can only get Disney money at the parks or on-line now. The Disney stores don’t carry it anymore. And if you order it on-line,there’s a $14.95 shipping charge!!! Each time I go I pick some up for birthday gifts/Christmas gifts, etc. And if they have any left when they get back home you can spend it at the Disney stores or keep it for the next trip!

  8. kathy cremeans says:

    We just returned from our 20+ trip to Disney. Love the atmosphere but forget how hot it is and how stifling the humidity is. Had to work to have fun. We try to pace ourselves and had five days to spend at the parks. However, because of the heat, humidity and crowds we only used four days. We will never book more than three days I
    n a row, to exhausting!!

  9. Robin says:

    I am one of those who like to open the park and spend the day. I love it, but have to admit that now that I’m older I have to schedule in a hotel day after two days of walking. 🙂

    • I’m 48 and spended 16 days with maybe 4 hour sleep at night. It was possible. Just the last walk from Lynx Bus to WoW – Resort (that charged me twivpce!) was sometimes HORRIBLE and the last meters I really sayed “not ONE meter more!” Surprisingly next morning all was refreshed again always! It WAS FUN! But TAKE 2 Pair of Shoes and change every day!

  10. Lindsey says:

    Rest is a big deal, as is patience. I saw the worst child abuse cases at Disney. A man through his child to the ground and as my family got help, our vacation was ruined. It’s all I can think about when I think of Disney. It makes any fight I’ve seen back home seem little. If you’re not happy in your hometown as a family, Disney will bring that out.

  11. Amanda says:

    ABC News ran an article on soap vs. hand sanitizer. “The CDC says you should use a hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol. As for soap, the antibacterial soap worked only slightly better than the regular soap. The Food and Drug Administration recommends using only regular soap because of worries that germs will develop resistance, and people will develop laziness from high-tech soap.

    But I can’t wash my hands on a monorail, standing in line at Splash Mountain, or on a bus, so in those instances where I can’t get to a sink, I’m sticking with hand sanitizer.

    Thanks for reading! ~A.

  12. Grace says:

    All these tips are valid. My husband and I saw Disney one year before we brought the kids to scope things out. We were able to enjoy sans kids and learned first hand where and when to go to the parks. I one thing we learned is that parents bring kids when they are too young. All the family remembers is the heat,the tried and the vomit. Our kids were 9 and 12. Everyone was happy

  13. Holly says:

    As a veteran of many Disney Vacations, I have worn both flip-flops and sneakers. I love walking around in sneakers, but I made the mistake one day of wearing them on Splash Mountain and Pirates of the Caribbean. I now carry flip-flops in my bag because I ended up with huge blisters. I just wear flip flops for the water rides and then put my sneakers back on.
    I also have no shame in leaving the park for the middle of the day. We save money by eating at the hotel and save our sanity by taking a nap, posting pictures on Facebook, or swimming in the pool.
    As someone who has worked for Disney, I have seen the meltdowns. Not pretty. Save your sanity, it’s the happiest place on earth, why would you want to ruin the experience by having a meltdown.
    What my family does is make surveys of one ride we ABSOLUTELY want to ride on, ones that we would like to ride on, ones that we would ride on if it was someone else’s absolutely ride and rides that we wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole 🙂
    Overall, these are good things to realize as Disney is expensive and you want to make the best of it.

  14. Sandra says:

    We go to DisneyLand at least three times a year. The only shoes I bring are crocs. Lightweight and most of them are very comfortable. U can get them wet and run around in them blister free. I have worn crocs for the first time at Disney and no problems. I wouldn’t recommend it but I have done it. Twice lol! I would wear them around before u go just in case.

  15. Laura says:

    I used to live in Orlando, and it might be worth mentioning the afternoon rains that often pop up and can be pretty intense. I would highly recommend a poncho. By the time you can find shelter or a place to buy one there, you will be soaked to the bone and the storm will be over.

  16. Anonymous says:

    We just got back from Disney and everyone of your tips is spot on! We traveled with a large group and PATIENCE is a must! Unnecessary walking and proper shoes is also key. I wore sneakers the first day and still got blisters.

    This is great advice for anyone planning a Disney trip.

  17. Laura Harris Mitchell says:

    If you have any tips about visiting WDW specifically in February, I would love it if you could reply to my comment telling me. My husband & I are taking our children to DW for their first time. We actually are leaving today. We live in Houma, Louisiana, but we are currently at my inlaws home in Mobile, Alabama. It is about eight hrs from Mobile to Orlando. We are staying at the Wilderness Lodge Resort, so we cannot check in until 3:00 pm. We used a travel agent, so our itinerary is eventful but not overloaded! Want to thank you in advance.

    • Claire says:

      I would love to know how your trip went! I live in Mandeville but I am from Houma. I am planning a trip for Feb 2016 during Mardi Gras break with my 3 young daughters.

  18. Penney Ippen says:

    make sure you have a really good case to protect your phone! We knocked
    Mine out of our selfie stick, and the screen was shattered! Doesn’t hurt to make sure you have insurance
    On your phone too!

  19. Klynn says:

    Many valid points! Obviously each family has different needs, likes, etc. We like to visit every year or two, but often can only do a few days, so we typically do spend all day in the park. And yes! at the park hopper, it’s totally worth it! As for shoes ,one suggestion I have – whether your prefer flip-flops or tennis shoes, is to change your shoes. Do this either mid day, or at least make sure you wear a different pair of shoes the next day. Example, if I think I’m going to get wet that day, say for instance on Splash Mountain, that is the day I wear flip-flops or Chacos. Then the following day I would wear tennis shoes. I really think switching shoes out helps give your feet a break and cuts down on blisters. And most definitely a tried and true (every single time) tip – be at Hollywood when it opens and go straight to Toy Story. You won’t have to use a fast pass if you go there straight away.

  20. Rhonda says:

    This is a great list. When we go to WDW, we arrive on Sunday afternoon. We go to Ohana that night then start next day. We go two full days to the theme parks, then take a day off to hang around our resort. We sleep in, swim, play tennis, eat off-site, then we are ready to go for two more days. We are huge Disney people, but my kids love the resort days too. As long a we get to stay, its always two days on, one day off.

  21. Dennis o says:

    Go to Walmart and get some of the cheap ponchos, usually under $2. If you buy the official Disney ponchos they will set you back $15 each. Poor way to spend $60 for a family of 4.

  22. Paula says:

    These tips are great. Thanks to bloggers like you, I was fully prepared for almost every contingency. Only thing I would add is to triple check your flight info before you check out. Don’t take the word of the desk clerk. Check with the airline. We almost missed our flight home. Luckily the resort put us in a cab (that they paid for) to get us home.

  23. Jessie says:

    I live 40 minutes from Disney World, and I go like very chance I can get, which is usually once every two weeks. (I have a pass) And I can definitely say these are all great tips! Especially for those who have never been before. The hand sanitizer one is great because I’ve gone just to people watch and you DON’T want to know what some people do before touching things that literally everyone is going to want to touch. But if that’s not your style, I honestly just bring a travel pack of baby wipes sometimes. It can be less messy. Ever been bumped into when going to squirt hand sanitizer? Either I miss my hands completely, or I get it all over something else, like my clothes. But on the topic of what shoes to wear, definitely pick what’s most comfortable for you, (Which for me is any pair of flip/sandals I own) but make sure they are broken in! If you’re planning on doing some walking before your trip to train, wear them! That way, you’ll know how they feel after a couple of miles for sure.

  24. MatterhornYeti says:

    I just came back from WDW. I’ve also been to Disneyland Park. Backpacks full of snacks and drinks are essential. Bandaids for blisters, an extra pair of socks in case you first pair gets soaked from a ride like Splash Mountain.

    I went back to the hotel during the afternoons for some rest, then back to the park later.

  25. Disney Dream says:

    If you wear flip flops to the parks be sure to keep them on your feet, even if they get wet and slippery. Cast is required to tell you to put your shoes on if you are walking barefooted. You should never walk without shoes in the parks. Disney works hard to keep the parks clean and safe, but you never know what might be under your feet. I have seen people spit on the promenade at Epcot (and much worse!).

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