Disney First-Timer Pitfalls: Five Mistakes Made by First-Time Visitors to Disney Parks

Disney trip planning expert Trekaroo offers practical advice for first-timers to Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort.

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First-timers to Disney parks

By utilizing FastPass and FastPass+, families can virtually walk on rides most days, in most parks.

Pacifica, CA (PRWEB) April 01, 2014

Families taking their first Disney vacation look forward to all the magic of the parks, but after picking up their shiny ‘First Time Visit’ buttons from City Hall, what are the next steps to making the most out of their Disney vacations? Trekaroo provides helpful insight onto how to navigate Disney parks with the Ultimate Disney Vacation Guide, filled with practical information first-time families can use to plan their trip. Want the CliffsNotes version? Learn what not to do as a Disney newbie by avoiding the following common pitfalls:

1. Sleeping late in order to ‘hit the parks in the afternoon

It's a common scenario: families want to catch Wishes fireworks or World of Color, so they have lazy mornings and hit the parks later in the day. Newbies to touring Disney parks often make the mistake of sleeping in, hoping it will lead to charged batteries for late night Disney fun. In reality they arrive to find long lines at all the popular rides.

Why this is a pitfall:
The best park touring takes place in the first hour a Disney park opens.

What to do instead:
Get up early and hit the park of your choice by rope drop. Enjoy your ‘must-do’ attractions in the first hour, either riding stand-by or using FastPass or FastPass+. Take advantage of cooler morning temperatures and your kids’ fresh energy. Just before lunch, head back to your resort accommodations, for a rest and a swim. Then return to the park before dinner for your evening entertainment.

2. Assuming long lines and crowds are par for the course

Nope, they’re not! Not even during busy seasons, such as Spring Break or during holidays. By utilizing FastPass in Disneyland Resort and FastPass+ in Walt Disney World, families can virtually walk on rides most days in most parks.

Why this is a pitfall:
Parents who visited Disney parks before the days of FastPass have been conditioned to believe ’this is the way it is’.

What to do instead:
Get there early and utilize the FastPass system. Ride stand-by until the park fills, then rely on your scheduled FastPass tickets for afternoon rides, when the park is busiest. It’s also helpful to set a family limit on wait times before entering the parks. A good rule of thumb: never enter a standby queue longer than 30 minutes.

3. Getting sidetracked by Extra Magic Hours.

Families staying on-site at Disney resorts enjoy an extra perk: Extra Magic Hours either before or after a park’s regular operating hours. Sounds great, right?

Why this is a pitfall:
Disney doesn’t assign Extra Magic Hours at whim; it’s one of many ways the theme parks manage crowd control. While the park offering an Extra Magic Hour will be less crowded during that hour, it will later become the most crowded park of the day.

What to do instead:
By all means, enjoy the Extra Magic Hour. But if you do so, plan to park hop immediately afterward, to a different Disney park. If you see from the park schedule (available online or at every Disney resort) that a particular park is offering an evening Magic Hour, ‘hop away’ from that park by early afternoon.

4. Waiting in line to greet characters:

Character Meet and Greets are a huge part of the Disney experience for many families, especially those with young kids. However, when parents see the line wrap around Fantasyland to greet Pluto, much of the magic is lost.

Why this is a pitfall:
Families often don’t know where the characters are in Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Nor do they realize that most Disney character meet and greets are now accessible with FastPass.

What to do instead:
Use a FastPass to see a favorite character, or better yet: book a character meal. Families are guaranteed character time, while enjoying some down time and a fun meal. For the ultimate in Disney productivity, book a character breakfast inside a park before it opens. Families will be let into the park before its official opening, enjoy their character meet, eat breakfast, and be deposited into the center of the park just at or before opening!

Ready to plan your Disney trip? Trekaroo Disney Days features insider tips just like this and a chance to win one of two trips to Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World, complete with tickets and lodging! Enter the SendMe2Disney photo contest.

Trekaroo is the fun way to get the inside scoop on everyday travel with kids. With thousands of kid-friendly activities, hotels, and restaurants, Trekaroo unearths delightful discoveries near and far. Learn more about Trekaroo and connect with additional travel-savvy families on Trekaroo.com.


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