15 Ways to RUIN a trip to Disney World

Thursday, May 8, 2014

15 Ways to RUIN a trip to Disney World

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Disney Vacations are my families favorite vacations. No where else can a family play together and create such priceless memories. But did you know there are actually ways you can ruin your family vacation to Disney World? I am going to share 15 ways you can ruin you trip to Disney World to help you avoid these common pitfalls.
Magic Kingdom is a great place for a family vacation unless you do one of these 15 way to ruing your disney vacations. Here are some disney world vacation tips and planning you need to hear.

Updated February 2016

Ruin your trip to Disney World by . . . 

Here are 15 sure fire ways to ruin your families next trip to Disney World. You will ruin your trip if you . . . .

Don’t Set a Budget

Disney can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. Know your budget before you go and stick to it! Try booking a room at a value resort – chances are you’ll pretty much just be sleeping there anyway! Go during value season in the September, January, or May to get better rates and often times promotional pricing like 30% off rooms or free dining plan.

Push Your Kids Too Hard

Some things are not appropriate for all ages or kids and that’s okay. Don’t hear me wrong, I am all about exposing kids to new experiences and encouraging them to just try it. But if your kid is terrified of bugs – taking him to It’s a Bug’s Life is just cruel. The Haunted Mansion has happy spooks, but can still be frightening to young or sensitive children. Please don’t push your child to try everything just for the sake of doing everything.
15 ways to ruin a trip to Disney World - disney vacations

Missing the Shows

Think you are going to Disney to just ride rides – think again! Sure Disney has great rides, but Disney also has some of the most unbelievable shows you’ll ever see. There are a a wide variety from parades to show stopping fireworks, to the acrobatic Lion King Show and the Finding Nemo Puppet Show. They are all amazing. Don’t miss Top 7 Shows at Disney World.

Forget to Hydrate

Florida is hot. It is very easy to get dehydrated at Disney World (especially for kids) because you just plain forget. By the time you remember you may have a headache, are grumpy, or have other symptoms. So make sure to drink up at every meal, fill up at every water fountain (near all restrooms), and carry a water bottle if possible.

Tusker House Donald Safari Breakfast

Skip Making Dining Reservations

Sure you’ve heard me (and countless others) tell you to make dining reservations early – 180 days before your trip for best availability.  But you decided to wait…. now you are stuck with not getting to eat at your favorite restaurant, missing a special character meal, or having to run all over the park to get to the only restaurant that had availability. Your reservation is fully refundable until 48 hours before hand so just go ahead and make the call today!

Be Afraid to Try Something New

Just because you don’t usually like rides that go around doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t like Dumbo. Just because your kid usually only eats mac & cheese at homes doesn’t mean you can’t encourage them to try some new yummy food. Disney is about lots of new sights, sounds, smells, and tastes. Dive in and explore something new with your kids!

Monster Univerisy Character Interaction at Universal Studios

Not Being in the Moment

Sometimes we parents can get so focused on what needs to get done that we miss special moments – a child’s face when seeing a favorite character, our kids walking hand and hand along the path, a silly giggle from our preschooler, and more. You are at Disney to build family memories to last a lifetime. So stop thinking and start living in that moment.

Not Avoiding the Crowds

Lots of people like being at the most magical place on earth – it is bound to get crowded! Try to minimize crowds by going at low season (Sept/Oct, Jan/Feb, and May), go early in the day and then go back to your hotel after lunch time, take advantage of magic hours, and use your Fastpass+ wisely. [The Best Rides to Pick for Fastpass+]

Priceless Memories at Disney Family Vacation

Miss All Your Hotel Has to Offer

Some of our best memories are swimming at our hotel pool, eating a pizza back in our room, or exploring our resort. The parks are great, but don’t forget to enjoy the amazing resort you are staying at. It is a great way to beat the afternoon heat and crowds!

Rushing Through the Park

In your mission to see everything you just might miss it! Don’t forget to slow down and take the time to enjoy the things that make a trip special. Have an ice cream Sunday on Main Street, trade pins with cast members, watch the parade, go on that favorite ride twice (even if it means missing another ride), sit down and have a relaxing lunch, stop to visit with a favorite character, and you never know what other surprises you may find!

Character Interaction with Snow White at Epcot Disney World - disney vacations

Forget your Kids are Still Your Kids!

If your kid needs a nap at home or they "loose it" – they are going to need a nap on your vacation or they will loose it. If your kid is a picky eater at home, he will be here too. If your child throws temper tantrums – he just might do it at Disney too. Changing the environment doesn’t mean your child is going to change their behavior. Although chances are spending some quality time with you just might help the situation!

Don’t Use your Fastpass+

With Disney’s new Fastpass+ you only get 3 picks per day. They are precious and you must use them! They will help you cut down on waiting and allow you to see more! Read How to Set-up your Disney Fastpass+ AND What Rides to Pick for Disney Fastpass+

15 ways to ruin a trip to Disney World

Forgetting to Capture the Moment

Don’t get home and realize you forgot to get some special pictures of your family vacation. You don’t  have to capture every second, but you want to capture some highlights for you and your kids to remember your trip by. Get pictures in front of the castle, with favorite characters, next to favorite rides, laughing, being silly, and whatever else moves you. Just don’t forget to take pictures!

Don’t Let Things Go

Sure, Disney is the happiest place on earth…. but not everything is perfect all the time. You can choose to dwell on these facts or to make the best of it. Now I’m not saying don’t speak up or not let Disney get a chance to make it right. But I’m saying one bad server doesn’t define your night. One person pestering you at a parade doesn’t have to ruin the parade for all of you. Just act like a duck and let it roll off your back.

15 ways to ruin a trip to Disney World - magic kingdom

Forget to Smile

You are having fun – SMILE! When someone smiles, those around them smile too. So start the smiling, laughing, and memory making to create your own one-of-a-kind magical Disney vacation!

I wanted to add that our family has a wonderful vacation at Disney because we follow these tips I've just shared. The first picture was the one (seriously only 1 in 7 trips to Disney) time we were having one of "those days".  The baby was just tired & hot and the other two weren't thrilled with the sun in their eyes. 

What are other Ways to Ruin a Trip to Disney World?

I’d love to hear them in the comments section!

More Disney World Planning Tips


  1. If you are going in a group, my sisters family and I usually go together and sometimes add more of our extended family, take your family members up on their offer to watch your kids for a few hours or whatever they may offer and enjoy a "date" at Disney. There are different things you will see and do without the kids.

  2. I am a NP at a walk in clinic near Disney. The #1 complaint, especially in warmer months isa child (or adult) with "swimmer's ear." This is an ear canal infection from swimming in the pools. It is very painful and has ruined many family's vacation. Use swimmer's ear drops after EVERY swim to rinse out the ear canals. This dries the ears and is a preventative treatment not after ear pain develops. For several swimmers miss your own with a mixture of 1/2 rubbing alcohol and 1/2 white vinegar.

  3. This is very helpful. We are going for our first time at Christmas time and i know i will be overwhelmed. Thanks!

  4. Now I want to go to Disney again! Thanks. I love that place too. We never, ever set a budget though ( in 2.5 years of non stop travel), we just spend as little as possible while having all the fun we want to have. That way you never have to say no, the budget doesn't stretch to it, just no, that's not enough fun for our dollar.