8 Easy Ways to Completely Wreck Your Disney World Vacation

You go on vacation to get away from reality and take a break. But are Disney World vacations actually relaxing? No, not the way the majority of families do it. My Disney trips are hardly ever relaxing, and I pretty well know exactly what to plan and how it should be done, primarily from years of trial and error, emphasis on the error. A trip to Disney 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 your trip for what could be years. So if you make all these plans and pay all this money, how could you possible screw it up?

Easy. People do it all the time.

1. You wore the wrong shoes.

I am a people watcher by nature, so I get a huge amount of amusement when a pretty girl, holding hands with her date, totters by me on Main Street wearing 4 inch heels. Was this a surprise outing?  Those flip-flops with no arch support for miles of walking – is that the best you could do? House shoes? Yes, I have also seen them scuffing down Main Street, U.S.A.

Bring your comfortable athletic shoes and wear moisture wicking socks to protect your feet from blisters. Bring a couple of band-aids too, but leave the heels at home.

2. You don’t have any idea where you are going or what you are doing.

Walt Disney World is seriously huge. Resorts, theme parks, water parks, mini-golf, Downtown Disney, and so on. It’s usually 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 tell the tale and buy the t-shirt, if you can afford it.

Do your research.

  • Know how tall kids need to be to ride certain rides. Ever seen a kid have a tantrum because they couldn’t get on a ride? It’s bad.
  • Know what parks you want to visit on what days, times they open, where to eat, and what to see.
  • Do your research. Relaxing, planning this vacation? No, but it pays to be prepared.
Need some good websites to help your planning? Here are some Mouze favorites.

Cinderella castle tiles,

3. You don’t rest enough.

Yes, I know the general notion is to arrive when the parks open and stay all day long. Walt Disney World with Kids 2012  and the Ultimate Guide to Walt Disney World  both suggest you arrive first thing. My dad followed this touring plan when I was growing up mid-70s, and by midnight, we were all exhausted. I had a blast, but getting up the next morning was brutal. I really don’t suspect my mom had much fun at all. I know she was exhausted, and they haven’t been to Disney in 20 years. I’m going to attribute that to 70s-Disney-exhaustion.

I’ve spent enough time in the Disney parks as an adult to see some of the biggest meltdowns from both kids and adults I have ever witnessed in a public place. I know you paid a lot of money for the trip.  I know some of you are not quite sure when you’ll come back. But take a cue from your family, and if they can’t handle a 16-hour day in the parks day after 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 Downtown Disney mid-day or swim, and go to the parks late that afternoon.
  • Take a day off and just swim and hang out.

True, it’s not 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 ugly.

My favorite non-stress, taking it easy activity? I love to ride the monorail.

Hop on a Monorail for FREE Walt Disney World Resort Activities

Walt and Mickey, Walt and Mickey statue, Mickey Mouse statue, Disney statue, Cinderella castle

3. You went during the worst possible time to go.

Yup, you planned your 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 went, and it’s nearly always Christmas or July. I’ve been there during both, and I can’t blame them.

Need to know the best time to visit Walt Disney World? Here’s our suggestions.

When is the Best Time to Go To Walt Disney World?

4. You didn’t use hand sanitizer.

You didn’t use hand sanitizer, and 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 in big trouble.

I am the first one to admit I abhor most hand santitzers, and I teach public school, so I have to use it every day.  I hate the smell and the texture but mainly the smell. I have found $1.50 bottles of Bath & Body Works hand sanitizer to be the best thing going. Kid friendly colors, scents like cupcake and strawberry, and you can find them on sale for $1 every now and then.

Mickey Mouse cChristmas, Mickey Mouse wreath, Disney Christmas decoration, Disney vacation

5. You didn’t “train” for the amount walking involved.

I have covered this one topic in an entire article, and you should definitely read it.

Think You’re Ready for a Disney Vacation? Here’s a Mileage Tip You Seriously Need to Know

If you think you’ll be casually strolling a couple of miles a day, you need to consult item number one up top and do some more Disney research. 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 one Disney vacation. 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 carry them through the parks.

6. You neglected to wear sunscreen.

While there are lots of shady places, you will be in the sun for a lot of your vacation. Sunny Orlando- that’s why you’re here, right?  Bring sunscreen from home if you don’t want to pay a hefty amount for a bottle from the Mouse, and make sure it is a new bottle. Sunscreen can expire, and then you’ll wind up burned despite your best efforts.

7. You are going to do everything, see everything, ride everything, no matter what the group wants to do.

Yes, I know Disney is expensive. Yes, I don’t know when you might come back either. But if you want to have good memories from this vacation, you’ll need some flexibility. Plans change, even plans that were made six to eleven months in advance. You won’t do it all. You won’t see it all. You won’t make everybody in the family happy by the choices you make, but you can head off a lot of trouble on Main Street just by planning ahead and being flexible.

8. You didn’t bring enough C.A.S.H.

We’re not all using Disney Visas or Disney Resort room keys with charging abilities. Several Disney Moms fans mentioned they didn’t take enough cash to pay for everything on vacation, or they had trouble locating an ATM. 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’s a mighty long walk. (See number one above.)

If I haven’t mentioned this by now, everything is expensive at Disney. I know I have mentioned it; I just really wanted to say it again- 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 having a Visa available for emergencies is advisable.

So there are 8 things to avoid so you have a great Disney vacation. Be sure to pick up a cupcake while you’re there…they are a Mouze favorite!

Thanks for stopping by for a photographical Disney ride, and we’ll see you studying your Disney map.

Be sure to visit Mouze Kateerz on Facebook and Mouze Kateerz on Pinterest.

Like to read about Disney topics? Here ya go…

The Polynesian Resort: Are You Ready for the Fabulousness of Club Level?!

You Love Disney World More Than They Do. Here is What You Do About It.

The Disney Princess: Fabulous Bead Jewelry Starting at Just $7

How to Take a Baby to Walt Disney World and Have Fun!

What You Should Know About Disney World’s Extra Magic Hours



  1. Gospel- every word.

  2. Great tips Mouze! Thanks for the pointers!!!!

  3. People were floored when we said we were doing 9 days at Disney for our first Disney vacation (which was supposed to be a once in a lifetime trip) and now for our second one (in 2 yrs!) we are going 15 days. “That is a long time!” they all exclaim! But we figured it out and for about an extra $500 we got to spend 5 extra days (we were at a value resort off season on free dining) we were easily able to take a relaxed pace, take days off from the parks, and really enjoy the trip. It was definitely worth the extra money to be able to relax a bit and we never felt like we were rushing. Sure, we really had to scrounge to find the extra money, but I can’t imagine how stressful the trip would have been without those extra days (with a 12-mo old and 3 yr old!!!!)

  4. Ditto everything, especially the walking. I wore my pedometer for fun and found out we averaged between 7 and 10 miles EACH DAY, and that was with a touring plan that didn’t backtrack much. While manageable with frequent breaks (I did it with an ankle injury), we were all exhausted every evening. Wear tennis shoes, take breaks, and don’t backtrack.

  5. Karen Sferra says:

    I agree with everything you mentioned. But, I have to say, we do not take a break and go back to the hotel, we are out from the time the parks open, till they close and we love and enjoy every second of it! Our breaks are when we sit down to eat our meals or just sit somewhere and relax in the parks. I know this isn’t for everyone, but we love doing it his way. We haven’t been there in 5 yrs, hoping to go this yr or next so I hope I can still make it since I am 5 yrs older! lol

  6. This is amazing. I don’t think you missed a word. Something from personal experience to add – know your group (regarding resting enough). We can take our kids to the park every day if we follow our family policy: only wake up early a couple times in a week; leave the park by 2pm for naps; only head back to the parks a couple evenings in a week. Sometimes the adults stay longer, but they always have an opportunity to nap the next day.


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