Some of the worst Disney World advice I’ve heard – PREP048

Anytime a mainstream media source tries to give advice on how to plan a Disney World trip, I cringe because I know they are going to mess it up.

Today, I have 5 bits of bad advice that I've heard a lot and some good advice that you can use instead.

I also have a quick tip on choosing FastPass+ reservations based on how fun the line is.

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.

5 pieces of bad advice

There's a lot of bad advice floating around but here are 5 things I often hear that aren't good:

  1. Choose the park you'll visit each day based on some arbitrary factor like which bus arrives first or the weather. I would suggest being more strategic about it and using the PDF of best/worst parks per day that are posted on the monthly dashboards.
  2. Save money on park tickets by purchasing from a ticket broker. Deep discounts on park tickets are hard to find so be leery of these operations which are selling used tickets which may not work and could get you in trouble.
  3. Park at Downtown Disney to avoid parking fees. There are not direct buses between Downtown Disney and the parks so park in the parking lot where you'll be spending the day instead of spending 90 minutes getting to and from to save a few dollars.
  4. Wing it in the parks. Not a good idea to go into the parks without a plan. I suggest being structured from park opening through lunch and then being spontaneous the rest of the day. My touring plans are set up with that in mind.
  5. Yell "Andy is coming" to make the Toy Story characters drop. No, this is too dangerous for the characters and won't actually work.

Quick tip of the day

Many people ask me if they should avoid choosing FastPass+ for rides that have good queues. I don't generally suggest that as a good strategy but you might consider doing that for Haunted Mansion (which has a separate line you can enter to explore the interactive elements) or Dumbo (which has an indoor play area for kids to enjoy while they wait).

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What other bad advice have you heard? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

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25 Comments on "Some of the worst Disney World advice I’ve heard – PREP048"

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I need some advice about our first trip to WDW. My son will have just turned 6 when we go. He normally doesn’t need a stroller anymore, but with all the walking everyone keeps talking about, should I get one for him?

Only you can decide if your youngster has the stamina to endure a day without a stroller. There is a lot of walking, but also opportunities to sit. We would plan to mix in some of those opportunities and take advantage of a rest — at the Magic Kingdom, for instance, we would scatter Country Bear Jamboree, Carosel of Progress, Hall of Presidents and Mickey’s Philharmonic as opportunities to enjoy a short rest, cool down & get a break from walking.

Worst advice ever: do what someone else does! Quite frankly, you need to do what works best for you and your family, and that may be the opposite of someone else. It’s great to consider advice and helpful hints from others, but you have to determine if it will work for your family. For instance, the dining plan is a must for my family because we enjoy having a sit down meal every day. However, for our good friends who hate spending an hour or more eating, the dining plan is a waste of money. So, I would say listen… Read more »

Don’t plan your child’s first trip for Christmas Day. Everyone can be disappointed. While the parks are fabulous during the Christmas season, Christmas Day through New Years is their busiest time. Enjoy yourselves and travel during the beginning of December. Also, make time to see the Candlelight Procession. Favorite. Disney. Event. Ever!

I think the worst piece of advice I read is to rent strollers the size of mini coopers. Ive been to Disneyworld at least once a year for the past 30 years. I brought kids as young as 9 months and toured the parks using umbrella strollers. Although unpopular these days, they are inexpensive, lightweight, breathable, and don’t take up aisle space on crowded buses once collapsed. Not to mention more sanatary and they dry fast after a Florida rainstorm. I’m sure Amazon could deliver on to you at your resort (check with guest services) much cheaper than you can… Read more »

Just returned from Disney March 7th 2016. A toy soldier was walking too fast in Hollywood Studio for me to snap a photo. My husband yelled “Andy’s coming” and he froze! My son got a picture with him 🙂

We just went to Disney in Feb 2016 and I have a couple bits of advice contrary to advice I read on Pinterest posts: 1) DO bring some bottled water rather than depending on the restaurants to provide cups of water. You’ll probably have to stand in a long line to be waited on for water which is a waste of precious time. 2) Mid-day, even off season, the line to the Fastpass kiosks is a long line in itself, so don’t think you’ll be able to get another FPs in a matter of minutes. One last thing: one of… Read more »

We buy bottled water to be delivered to the resort. It is waiting for us at the baggage claim. That way we can use our snacks on the meal plan for, well, snacks. And the water is less expensive than buying it in the park.

Buy a guide book – Not! I see this all the time. No guidebook can keep up with the changes that happen at WDW. It’s websites like this and others that are your best source for the most up to date information. Now if you want a book for the pictures…

“Stay offsite, it’s cheaper.”

Ummm, not really. When you factor in the time cost of driving into the compound each day, plus the ACTUAL cost of parking, there is not much difference. In fact, staying on property also allows you to book FP+ earlier than everyone else AND you can take advantage of EMH if you’d like. Additionally, the convenience of the buses and theming of the hotels is an experience not to be missed.

Staying offsite is actually cheaper for large families. I tried booking a family suite for our family of 6 and it was 10 times more expensive than staying at a condo offsite. Yes, we will have to pay to park every day, but $20 a day is no comparison to the $200 extra a night it would cost us to stay in the bubble. Advice is not always good for every family.

We are on our way home from Disney World. We stayed offsite which allowed us to have a kitchen to cook meals. We did not have to pay for parking at Hollywood Studios and since we went in the morning when it was cool our parking was right up front so we didn’t have to fold up strollers and wait for tram/bus.
We were able to get FP just fine for all the popular rides.
The money we saved allowed us to do extras like character meals and BB Boutique

It actually it much cheaper in a lot of cases. Like anything else, do your research and math. Sure parking costs money but you can save a lot in other ways. Families need to do their research and decide what is best for their situation.

when starting the DW planning – i thought this site and everyone was on drugs – seriously its a park, you go you attend, why stress- after attending and seeing how hectic and enormous the park is, i thank god my wife planned………all i can say to people is whilst you need to be flexible, have a plan, do the research ask the questions and know you cant be prepared for it once you arrive the scale is still bigger than you can ever fully appreciate

My husband thought the very same thing. He’d never been to WDW before and just had no idea. After our trip, he was very thankful that I had done all the “crazy” planning.

Worse advice EVER. “Get new shoes, don’t wear them before hand, it will make them ugly.” – Yes someone told me this. No I didn’t do it. I knew better. I did buy new shoes but I also wore then for about a month to make sure I wouldn’t get blisters while walking around All DAY. Now six months out from my next trip and I just bought my new shoes for this trip.

Worst advice? It’s Florida! Wear Flip-Flops! Listen carefully to me people, you are essentially WALKING A MARATHON all day. Pick shoes that are comfortable and appropriate for MARATHON walking and standing. If you wear flip flops, crocks, or sandals, you will get blisters, your back and legs will hurt, and you will generally hate life. Also, you will most likely injure your foot as some point in an accident that could have been avoided with proper footwear. usually it’s buy someone hitting you in an electric wheelchair that shouldn’t be driving an electric wheelchair. Many a person I have taken… Read more »

My friend has a pic of her at Disney World in the morning. Dressy flats, skinny jeans, and a cute top. She looked silly and like an amateur. This is not the time for fashion. As I tell my family, “It’s Go time, People!”

Not true. I’m an avid WDW goer…10th trip in Nov. I wore flip flops nearly everyday in June. I welcomed wearing them over tennis shoes/Sperry’s as it rained ever.single.day.
That said I’m a dance teacher and I’m on my feet daily. Walking the 12 miles didn’t affect me at all(nor my husband).

I too wear flip flops to DW. I also dress cute. I lived in Orlando for 5 years and had an AP so we were there all the time and went every year as a child with my family and now take my family about every 18 mths. Dressing nicely doesn’t make you and amateur. There are plenty of ways to dress well that work for the parks. As for footwear its going to be different for everyone. I wear sandals or heels almost everyday in my normal life. So if I wore tennis shoes to the parks my feet… Read more »

Love this post Jillian! ITA! I too wear flip flops or my Tory Burch leather flat sandals. I walk all day and my feet feel great. Those shoes are what I live in 90% of the year, since we are in Houston. I dress nicely but not too fancy- my daughter makes me appear in all the pictures with her during meet and greets. I don’t need 100 photos of me looking like crap! We leave for our 8th trip in ten years in December, so I’m hardly an amateur!

WOW- Was never my intention to offend anyone.
I just can enjoy my genuine family time when I’m not so worried about how I look on these particular occasions. I can focus more on the experience with my kids when I’m comfortable.

I always wear my Reef flip flops at Disney. We go from opeonig to close. So my advice would be to wear what is comfortable for YOU.

I had very comfortable and broken in Birkenstock sandals that I took for our trip a few years ago. I’m glad I through in my Crocs. By the second day my feet were swelling from the humidity and heat. Due to work I was use to walking and being on my feet for 8 hrs a day. My Crocs were a relief (also my work shoes) plus they dry so much faster after Splash Mountain.

Only where flip flops if that is your true comfort shoe, same thing goes with clothing choice. I am at the parks as a guest twice a month, and I do a fair amount of work at the parks….I personally never where flip flops, I like a more supporting shoe, so I have a good pair of ecos I where…because that is what I am comfortable in. And great write up on the blog! Very well done.

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