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    More Mouse: My Disney Top 5 - Walt Disney World Guest Mistakes

    My Disney Top 5 - Walt Disney World Guest Mistakes by Chris Barry

    Chris Barry is back with another Top 5 list.

    Read it here!


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  3. #2

    Fatspass? I'll refrain from more jokes.


  4. #3
    Registered User MajorMickey's Avatar
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    I agree. Fastpass is incredible. Especially now that you can set them up 60 days in advance. Our last trip we got to Epcot at opening, casually walked to the Land and down to the Sunshine Seasons. We were the only ones there. We got our breakfast and sat in a section completely alone watching the throngs of people coming down the stairs trying to get to Soarin. When we finished, we walked right onto the ride. No more breaking up the party as one of us had to run to get Fastpasses for the group. Same went for the Studios and Toy Story Mania. Years of experience and reading these sites with the great tips really pays off.


  5. #4

    Of course, #2 only applies to the current FastPass system. With FastPass+, you can't get a "last-minute" FastPass, and you are limited to only 3 per day all in a single park.


  6. #5
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    For a group with no children, a good mid-day break could be enjoying a sit-down restaurant. It's cool, well-themed, and you can just walk outside to get right back into things after the meal.

    Regarding staying behind at closing, my style differs from yours. If I'm getting to a park before opening or to an airport early the next day, I just want to get out of the park and to bed at closing. You almost always meet interesting people on the transportation back to the hotel, and it's fun to share stories of the day with them.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Buckimion View Post
    Fatspass? I'll refrain from more jokes.
    Thanks Buck. I must've gotten a little bleary eyed writing late at night. It's been corrected.

  8. #7

    Definitely agree with he take a break portion. Whether it's completely taking a break, or taking a long enough lunch and a sit somewhere quiet in the park (there are several quiet spots in any of the parks) is essential. Just sitting on a bench and watching the hustle and bustle can be fun and relaxing.

    Another mistake is a financial one, and it is not planning ahead for the little things. We all know about the big expenses- tickets, hotels, airfare- I'm talking about the 10 small things you buy every day at 4 or 5 bucks a pop. Bringing refillable water bottles, snacks, a raincoat (so you don't have to buy a poncho) and the like can save you a couple hundred bucks at then of a week long trip.

    Don't forget there is Disney stuff outside the parks. You don't have to go into the parks every single hour of every single day. We all love Disney (we wouldn't be here if we didn't) but there are other things to do in Disney World and Orlando in General. Admit it- the parks can be too much with so much going on- after a few days it's exhausting. Boat bay lake, tour the hotels, hang out by the pool, play miniature golf with the family, play a few rounds on one of the three golf courses, take a run, see a matinee at downtown Disney... Having that time away from the parks makes it easier to enjoy them when you're there


  9. #8

    Another mistake people make, related to item #5, is they think that if the park opens a 9:00 then that is when the parking lot opens. Or it's when the gates to the park itself open. Most people don't realize that you can get into the park itself before that time and be ahead of the game and the stated opening time is "rope drop" when the rope that prevents you from accessing the rest of the park is, well, dropped.


  10. #9
    Out of this world for Disney DwarfPlanet's Avatar
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    mkelm44 hit on something that we do all the time, add to #2 not just a mid-day break but also mid-week breaks. We usually get the 4 day military tickets but plan 6-7 days on being there not counting travel days. During that time we will take a break from the parks. Things we did last year was take the monorail all around the parks and stop at the different resorts to just look and shop. For the first time we rented a boston whaler out of the Polynesian and rode around the lake for an hour and a half. It was fun and relaxing. Plus visiting Downtown Disney. Or just simply relaxing at the pool.

    "Although we think it's DOPEY that Pluto has been downgraded to a dwarf planet, which has made some people GRUMPY and others just SLEEPY, we are not BASHFUL in saying we would be HAPPY if Disney's Pluto would join us as an 8th dwarf. We think this is just what the DOC ordered and is nothing to SNEEZE at."

  11. #10
    Registered User DisneyGator's Avatar
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    These are great tips! My biggest problem is with #5. Being from CA, getting up at 7:30 to get the MK by 9 is like getting up at 4:30 my time. It's tough and usually takes us a few days before we can get to the park by 9:15.

    And I love the old fastpass system. We used it just like you. Grab a fastpass for a ride only 45 mintues from now, hit another ride or grab a dole whip, then walk right into the fastpass. And this reason alone is why I think Fastpass+ will royally suck! No impromptu fast passing - only 3 FPs a day. It will change my WDW experience, and NOT for the better.

    Finally, I love strolling out of the parks late. It's a lot easier to do when you don't have kids, but even with kids, it's so relaxing to wait just a little bit and have the park to ourselves.

    Working for Disney. No, no. Working (in a Modesto office) for (the money to take a trip to) Disney (World/Land)

    WDW Trips: June 2002, Feb 2004, Dec 2006, Dec 2008, Jan 2010, Feb 2011, Dec 2012
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  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by MajorMickey View Post
    I agree. Fastpass is incredible. Especially now that you can set them up 60 days in advance. Our last trip we got to Epcot at opening, casually walked to the Land and down to the Sunshine Seasons. We were the only ones there. We got our breakfast and sat in a section completely alone watching the throngs of people coming down the stairs trying to get to Soarin. When we finished, we walked right onto the ride. No more breaking up the party as one of us had to run to get Fastpasses for the group. Same went for the Studios and Toy Story Mania. Years of experience and reading these sites with the great tips really pays off.
    I'm so curious how FastPass+ is going to work out for us. I guess I'll just have to plan a trip soon to check it out!
    Chris
    Last edited by cbarry; 01-10-2014 at 02:07 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrandonH View Post
    For a group with no children, a good mid-day break could be enjoying a sit-down restaurant. It's cool, well-themed, and you can just walk outside to get right back into things after the meal.

    Regarding staying behind at closing, my style differs from yours. If I'm getting to a park before opening or to an airport early the next day, I just want to get out of the park and to bed at closing. You almost always meet interesting people on the transportation back to the hotel, and it's fun to share stories of the day with them.
    Hey Brandon,

    I do think a midday lunch is often overlooked. One of my favorites would be The Crystal Palace at Magic Kingdom. I do agree about meeting people on Disney Transportation. We've had some good conversations as well.

    Chris

  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mkelm44 View Post
    Definitely agree with he take a break portion. Whether it's completely taking a break, or taking a long enough lunch and a sit somewhere quiet in the park (there are several quiet spots in any of the parks) is essential. Just sitting on a bench and watching the hustle and bustle can be fun and relaxing.

    Another mistake is a financial one, and it is not planning ahead for the little things. We all know about the big expenses- tickets, hotels, airfare- I'm talking about the 10 small things you buy every day at 4 or 5 bucks a pop. Bringing refillable water bottles, snacks, a raincoat (so you don't have to buy a poncho) and the like can save you a couple hundred bucks at then of a week long trip.

    Don't forget there is Disney stuff outside the parks. You don't have to go into the parks every single hour of every single day. We all love Disney (we wouldn't be here if we didn't) but there are other things to do in Disney World and Orlando in General. Admit it- the parks can be too much with so much going on- after a few days it's exhausting. Boat bay lake, tour the hotels, hang out by the pool, play miniature golf with the family, play a few rounds on one of the three golf courses, take a run, see a matinee at downtown Disney... Having that time away from the parks makes it easier to enjoy them when you're there
    Great tips there mkelm44. We've had some fantastic times aside from the parks. Sometimes they're our favorite memories.

  15. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by sasmmb View Post
    Another mistake people make, related to item #5, is they think that if the park opens a 9:00 then that is when the parking lot opens. Or it's when the gates to the park itself open. Most people don't realize that you can get into the park itself before that time and be ahead of the game and the stated opening time is "rope drop" when the rope that prevents you from accessing the rest of the park is, well, dropped.
    An excellent point and always one to remember.

  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by DwarfPlanet View Post
    mkelm44 hit on something that we do all the time, add to #2 not just a mid-day break but also mid-week breaks. We usually get the 4 day military tickets but plan 6-7 days on being there not counting travel days. During that time we will take a break from the parks. Things we did last year was take the monorail all around the parks and stop at the different resorts to just look and shop. For the first time we rented a boston whaler out of the Polynesian and rode around the lake for an hour and a half. It was fun and relaxing. Plus visiting Downtown Disney. Or just simply relaxing at the pool.
    I have to admit...we've never taken a whole day away from the parks. We've done a lot of what you said outside of the parks as well, but then always seem to find ourselves back inside one way or another!

  17. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyGator View Post
    These are great tips! My biggest problem is with #5. Being from CA, getting up at 7:30 to get the MK by 9 is like getting up at 4:30 my time. It's tough and usually takes us a few days before we can get to the park by 9:15.

    And I love the old fastpass system. We used it just like you. Grab a fastpass for a ride only 45 mintues from now, hit another ride or grab a dole whip, then walk right into the fastpass. And this reason alone is why I think Fastpass+ will royally suck! No impromptu fast passing - only 3 FPs a day. It will change my WDW experience, and NOT for the better.

    Finally, I love strolling out of the parks late. It's a lot easier to do when you don't have kids, but even with kids, it's so relaxing to wait just a little bit and have the park to ourselves.
    Hey Gator,

    Can't imagine WDW with jet lag. That must take a while to get used to.

    I'm trying to think if we actually have used more than 3 FastPasses in a given day...I'm sure we have, but it's probably not too common. We rarely need them in the morning hours. As I said above I am curious to see how it's going to work the next time we're down there. I don't like planning everything out in advance.

    There's nothing like World Showcase 30 minutes after Illuminations ends. It's amazing how empty it can get so quickly. It's always one of my favorite strolls.

  18. #17

    I'd say there are different mistakes that are bigger than some of these.

    #1 - Not making advance dining reservations. Dining is a huge part of the fun of WDW, and a lot of people don't know (or don't bother) to make reservations well in advance.

    #2 - Not allowing for enough time or buying the right passes. A lot of people think four days is plenty for a WDW vacation, or they think they don't need the park hopping option. When we take first-timers with us, we generally encourage them to stay seven nights (eight days) and buy eight-day parkhoppers. You don't feel like you have to spend every waking minute in the park this way, and you have enough time to actually slow down and enjoy yourself. People who try to cram in all of WDW in four or five days end up exhausted and cranky, we've found.

    #3 - Not taking advantage of the "perks." If you're staying on property, use the Extra Magic Hours. Especially the evening ones. Use Disney Transportation to get to Downtown Disney, even if you have a rental car. Always ask if there's a discount for annual passholders, Disney Visa Card holders or DVC members (if you belong to any of them) -- you'd be surprised how many places offer discounts that you might not know about.


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    Number 4 only applies if you are a resort guest going to the park in which you are closest to... and even then I personally don't recommend anyone doing it. (IMO)

    Especially, you are not staying on property, it makes no sense at all to leave. Two hours alone is travel time, "a break" you are describing is four hours or more for anyone off property at the least. If you did this at Animal Kingdom, they will be closed by the time you get back, Epcot & Hollywood Studios will only have a few hours left before closing and Hollywood studios ALL of the shows will have had their last showing. Only the Magic Kingdom when they are open very late can you really feasibly do this or Epcot if you are staying at one of the Epcot resorts and use the back entrance.

    It's very easy to take a break whichever park you are in. You can relaxing at the park your at watching entertainment, grabbing a bite, or people watching. Very easy to do, and even with kids there are many kid relaxing things at all the parks.

    All the parks except for Animal Kingdom take the entire day to see anyway, you are going to miss something. For the same reasons, I am not a fan of park hopping either for the same reasons of taking a break (i think you recommended that also in previous articles). Travel time between parks takes way to long counting walking to the entrance, waiting for the bus, tram, monorail, boat or a combination of them, you spend a large portion of your day in traveling time even if you are staying on property. Forget about it if you are not a resort guest and are driving between parks yourself.


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    I have never been and number 5 was great. I would of never thought to go to another park that wasn't extra magic morning but it makes so much sense. We live in the Seattle area so rain wouldn't bother us it was nice to hear the park clears out in the rain. These tips are great for some one who has never been thank you.

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  21. #20
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    Chris, I really liked this list. I'm completely with you on all items. I'd add one more -

    Don't jump in the first line you see at any attraction or quick serve restaurant. A lot of people don't realize that most cash registers at dining spots serve two sides. You can have 20 people lined up on one side, and no one at all on the other side. You might catch a few nasty looks by going right up to the register, but it's perfectly acceptable behavior. The same thing goes at attractions. Many times people will be lined up on the right when the left is wide open.

    It goes back to that "people are sheep" idea - if there's a line, people will tend to get in it. But a lot of the time there is an open lane that's very usable.

    Dan
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  22. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by cbarry View Post
    Hey Brandon,

    I do think a midday lunch is often overlooked. One of my favorites would be The Crystal Palace at Magic Kingdom.

    Chris
    When I'm at Magic Kingdom, I like to ride the monorail over to the Grand Floridian and have lunch at the Grand Floridian Cafe. At lunch, that restaurant is cool, quiet and peaceful while all the in-park restaurants have a zoo-like atmosphere. The food at this restaurant is quite good and you can even get a beer. I didn't even need a reservation at lunch. Interestingly, the cost for lunch at this sit down restaurant isn't much more than lunch at a counter service place. Although, you will have to tip your server; well worth it for me and my family.

    It's been a few years since I have visited WDW. So, I'm not sure if the Grand Floridian Cafe is still open for lunch. If it is, go there for lunch!

    Another mistake people make at Disney parks is not doing any research about the attractions. People unfamiliar with Disney parks are typically accustomed to Six Flags parks where you can walk around and see every attraction. These people walk around a Disney Park and have no idea what's there. They often miss attractions simply because they don't know about them. One of my coworkers even told me, "Magic Kingdom is pretty much a walk-around park; not many rides at all other than Dumbo and the tea cups." He couldn't see the other attractions so he didn't know they were there!

    Not having any kind of plan is also a mistake. I often see people stopped in the middle of a walkway with an open map saying, "What do you want to do now?". Have a plan! You don't have to stick to it. But it sure is nice to follow it when you don't have any other ideas.

  23. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klutch View Post
    When I'm at Magic Kingdom, I like to ride the monorail over to the Grand Floridian and have lunch at the Grand Floridian Cafe. At lunch, that restaurant is cool, quiet and peaceful while all the in-park restaurants have a zoo-like atmosphere. The food at this restaurant is quite good and you can even get a beer. I didn't even need a reservation at lunch. Interestingly, the cost for lunch at this sit down restaurant isn't much more than lunch at a counter service place. Although, you will have to tip your server; well worth it for me and my family.

    It's been a few years since I have visited WDW. So, I'm not sure if the Grand Floridian Cafe is still open for lunch. If it is, go there for lunch!

    Another mistake people make at Disney parks is not doing any research about the attractions. People unfamiliar with Disney parks are typically accustomed to Six Flags parks where you can walk around and see every attraction. These people walk around a Disney Park and have no idea what's there. They often miss attractions simply because they don't know about them. One of my coworkers even told me, "Magic Kingdom is pretty much a walk-around park; not many rides at all other than Dumbo and the tea cups." He couldn't see the other attractions so he didn't know they were there!

    Not having any kind of plan is also a mistake. I often see people stopped in the middle of a walkway with an open map saying, "What do you want to do now?". Have a plan! You don't have to stick to it. But it sure is nice to follow it when you don't have any other ideas.
    Hey Klutch,

    The monorail escape is a great lunch option. You don't even have to go to the sit down restaurants at the resorts. The counter service at each monorail hotel is just fine especially for lunch.

    We've been to the Grand Floridian Cafe twice for dinner and both times we loved it. It wasn't crowded at all and the food was delicious. We walked over from the Polynesian once and the other time, we monorailed it over from Epcot, had dinner and then hopped back onto the monorail for a evening at the Magic Kingdom. A great, often overlooked dining option. The Shrimp and Grits and the Grilled Pork Chops are excellent. They are indeed still open for lunch.

    Interesting observation on people missing things in a Disney Park. I think you're absolutely right. Imagine missing Haunted Mansion or Pirates because they "don't look like a ride" from the outside.

    Chris

  24. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by danyoung View Post
    Chris, I really liked this list. I'm completely with you on all items. I'd add one more -

    Don't jump in the first line you see at any attraction or quick serve restaurant. A lot of people don't realize that most cash registers at dining spots serve two sides. You can have 20 people lined up on one side, and no one at all on the other side. You might catch a few nasty looks by going right up to the register, but it's perfectly acceptable behavior. The same thing goes at attractions. Many times people will be lined up on the right when the left is wide open.

    It goes back to that "people are sheep" idea - if there's a line, people will tend to get in it. But a lot of the time there is an open lane that's very usable.
    Thanks Dan. There we go agreeing again!

    I've had that happen so many times at Disney counter service restaurants. People go where the masses go.

  25. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by letshavefun View Post
    I have never been and number 5 was great. I would of never thought to go to another park that wasn't extra magic morning but it makes so much sense. We live in the Seattle area so rain wouldn't bother us it was nice to hear the park clears out in the rain. These tips are great for some one who has never been thank you.
    Maybe I shouldn't be posting a tip like this! I'd like to keep the non-Magic Hour Parks quiet! I'm kind of banking on the masses not heeding my advice.

  26. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbarry View Post
    Maybe I shouldn't be posting a tip like this! I'd like to keep the non-Magic Hour Parks quiet! I'm kind of banking on the masses not heeding my advice.
    Too late I'll remember this But I totally know what you mean. There's a hotel at Disneyland that was always questionable to lots of people but I loved it and would give it rave reviews. Now it has gone up so much in price I don't stay there anymore.
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