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Confessions: 6 mistakes I’ve made planning WDW trips – PREP011

Confessions: 6 mistakes I’ve made planning WDW trips – PREP011
6 mistakes I've made on Disney World trips - PREP011

Over the years, I’ve made some mistakes when planning Disney World trips.

Today, I’m sharing 6 of those with you, including 1 that I made earlier this year.

I’m hoping you’ll learn from things I’ve done wrong and avoid doing the same on your trip.

I’ve also got a tip for you on where to order Disney gifts that can be shipped to your house.


These are notes from this episode. There’s much more info included in the audio so be sure to listen to the episode for a better explanation.

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6 mistakes I’ve made

Over the years, I’ve made several mistakes when planning Disney World trips. Here are 6 of them.

Mistake #1: Not allowing enough time for transportation
Allow for at least 1 hour to get anywhere. Having your own car or taking a taxi can reduce that but you should still allow 30-45 minutes each way.

Check out my guide on how to navigate with Disney transportation for more info.

Mistake #2: Choosing dining that’s not close to where you are
In the 6 step planning process, I advise you to make a daily plan and then choose your dining. The reason I suggest that is so you are making dining choices based on where you’ll be and not running around to your dining reservation.

Mistake #3: Planning too much
Be realistic about what’s possible, pare down your plans and allow for some unplanned time.

Mistake #4: Not including all family members in pics
Use PhotoPass photographers to take your pics and/or hand your camera to the photographers to take your pics.

Get more info on how PhotoPass works.

Mistake #5: Booking flights based solely on cost
Consider flight schedules and reduce the number of connections if at all possible. Use to research the reliability of flights before you book.

Read my tips on finding the best flights for your trip.

Mistake #6: Not using resort check-in
You don’t have to be taking Magical Express to use resort check-in when flying home from your Disney World trip. Anybody flying home on a participating airline can use resort check-in which will allow you to bypass bag check at the airport.

For more detailed info on Magical Express and Resort Airline Check-in (including which airlines participate), read my guide that covers all of the info.

Quick tip of the day

Disney Florist isn’t just available when staying on-site at Disney World; you can also use Disney Florist to ship things to you at home. Get ideas from their Celebrate at Home section.

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Shannon Albert

Romo Ruz

Monday 29th of February 2016

I have been three times since the Fast Pass started. The first year was a complete failure. Always looking at the time and the land we were on and walking from one side of the park to the other instead of enjoying the attractions. Once we even walked out a Character Dancing Thingy in front of Country Bears Jamboree so we can go to a FastPass in Under the sea. The second and third time were completely different. We stayed for 14 beautiful and great days onsite with ten days of tickets plus Extra Magic Hours, so we enjoyed the parks in no rush at all. We selected the 3 FastPasses during the morning and in one land; the next day we choose another land and the FastPasses were for rides there. The rest of the day we enjoyed all the other rides, shows and parades. The fourth Fast Pass was chosen depending were we where and which ride had the longest waiting period. I planned and planned and it worked. We are already planning our September 2016 trip and another during Christmas. Can't wait.


Friday 19th of June 2015

just want to add a mistake we made early this year... letting your FASTPASSES control (& almost ruin) our day we found ourselves going from fastpass to fastpass & not enjoying ourselves. Finally we decided to just have fun, fit in our FASTPASSES as we could & ignore them if that worked better. Hope this makes sense. It worked for our large multigenerational family those 3 FASTPASSES added a whole new level of stress for this official grandma planner #stilllovedisney

Craig Williams

Tuesday 6th of January 2015

Hi Shannon, Hello to all the people who read and give me your feedback on this post also. I love these podcasts so far and I intend working my way from the very first up to the newest one before I take my family with two children aged 10 and 7 in September for the first time. I feel that now is the age where they would appreciate the main Disney Land as we live in Wales in the UK and have done Disney Land Paris 3 times in the last 10 years and feel that it would be magical to take them Florida. I wanted to add this comment here as I am not sure if I have made a mistake or not but we have decided to stay off site on international drive by Wet and Wild to give us different options to do things in the evenings such as going for meals and we have also got tickets to the Universal parks. We do have free buses into Disney every day but after having listened to the podcasts up to this point is making me think that maybe I should have considered staying at a Disney Hotel and maybe going up to I drive on a few evenings if we wanted. I know people do stay on I drive but it sounds like there is a lot more flexibility whilst staying on site. Can anyone tell me what they think of staying on I drive and heading into Disney everyday on the free buses provided and also give me any recommendations on things to do on I drive such as places to see and eat as I wanted to experience a bit of the USA also. Thanks to everyone who takes the time and responds to this.



Friday 22nd of November 2013

Great podcast as usual. I recently made a big mistake with Resort Airline Check-In Service that I would like to share.

We typically fly Southwest, which does not have assigned seats. Passengers are able to check in online up to 24 hours ahead of the flight, and get put into their boarding groups based on the order they log in. They explain it better than I can: "At Southwest, we have a quick, easy, and efficient boarding process. Check in to get assigned a boarding group (A, B, or C) and number (1-60). This is your spot in line. Remember, the earlier you check in, the earlier your boarding position. Sit back and relax until we call your group. When your group is called, stand by the column with your number on it, and wait to proceed down the jetbridge."

I always get right online for check-in at the 24 hour mark before our departure, and do pretty well getting into boarding group B, and sometimes even A.

But on our last trip, since we used Disney's Resort Airline Check-In Service (3 hours! prior to our flight), I completely forgot about the 24 hour mark. We were literally the last people to check in, and my 6 year old son and I ended up in the second to last row of the airplane! I thought we would keep walking down that aisle until we walked out the back of the plane, haha. It worked out fine after all, but for a few moments, I was afraid we would not even find 2 seats together.

So, if you are flying Southwest, you still need to check-in online for your boarding order 24 hours ahead, even if you are using Resort Airline Check-In Service for your luggage, and regardless of whether you are using Magical Express!


Tuesday 8th of October 2013

I cannot believe I just learned about the resort baggage check in for departure from the most recent podcast! I honestly thought this was only and ME perk. We are car people and don't take ME, so I am beyond amped about this! Thanks Shannon for this great reminder.