So, Walt Disney World is obviously one of the most magical places on earth. You’ll find tons of advice on the internet( like this blog) about how to find the best Disney deals, the best time to vacation, and what foods you should eat. Well what about all the stuff no one tells you? That may actually affect your disney vacation? That might not be all magic and pixie dust? We’ve been in shock at some of the things we’ve seen while on vacation.
We’ve compiled a little list of things no one will tell you about your trip to Walt Disney World to help you prepare for some of those unexpected little moments. So let’s dive right in, shall we?!
1.You’re Going to See A Lot of Bad Behavior.
Regardless of what your idea is of “bad behavior”, you’re going to see it happen. Whether its whole families cutting in line (this happens allll the time) to people blatantly arguing with Disney Cast Members about Disney policies to mothers actually changing their infant on the ground in the middle of Fantasyland (Yes we’ve seen this happen), you’re going to see a lot of behavior that you probably just don’t agree with.
Our suggestion? If its not affecting your vacation or well-being, accept the fact that you are surrounded by people all over the world with different cultural norms and move on. Its not worth your time to get upset over it.
2. You’re Probably Going To Get into an Argument
Magic is everywhere. There’s delicious food, fun Disney characters, what could possibly go wrong? Well everything.
Here’s the thing, the average American Family spends about 18 hours a week together. If you’re from the U.K., that number jumps up to 38 hours per week, but that’s still nothing when compared to how much time your family will spend together at Walt Disney World. All day, every day.
Factor in the sometimes sweltering heat, overstimulated kids and overly exhausted parents trying to get everything they want their kids to experience in a small amount of time (let it go-you’re not gonna see it all), and you’re bound to have an argument at some point.
Trust me, we’ve been in arguments (we are sisters though, its what we do) and we’ve seen and heard plenty of arguments while there.
Our suggestion? Let go of the things you can’t control. You’re going to miss your Fast Pass because your husband wanted to stop for a churro? Trust us, its going to be ok. And try to take some time to decompress. Head to the Boardwalk to relax on the beaches, let your kids go on a Pirate Cruise so you can get some alone time or take an early morning walk while everyone is still asleep.
And if you do get in an argument, brush it off and move on with your day. You’re in the Happiest Place on Earth, after all. Enjoy It.
3. The Strollers at Disney are Everywhere
The stroller struggle is real
Seriously guys, there are strollers everywhere. And people use them as bulldozers. Ok maybe not, but that’s what it seems like.
We didn’t take G to Disney until she was 8 so we never used a stroller and I can’t begin to imagine how difficult it must be to maneuver through crowds using a stroller at Walt Disney World. But people will push their way through you with their stroller like its their job. We know this isn’t everyone. And yes, we know the family struggle is real too. So everyone, just be aware.
Stroller parking, however, is an entirely different story! Stroller parking at Disney is everywhere. But it creates traffic jams, clumps of people in the middle of the midway, blocking entrances, etc. You get the idea. Avoid being in these areas at all costs and find another way to get to where you need to be.
4. The Motorized Scooters at Disney are Everywhere
You will probably get run over at some point.
Ok, I’m exaggerating, but seriously be careful. Between the aforementioned strollers and a lot of people who are renting an ECV ( an electric conveyance vehicle) or motorized scooter for the first time in their lives there’s a lot of poor driving out there! And it’s through no fault of their own half the time. There’s only so much space at Disney and people will run into you (or your kids) without an apology and keep going on their merry way. Its happened to us and everyone else I know…..it can happen to you.
Our suggestion? Pay attention. Plain and simple. Navigating the crowds at Walt Disney World is not the time to have your face glued to your cell phone while walking.
5. There Might Be A Line, But Maybe Not…
There are lines for just about everything at Disney, but then sometimes what you think is a line, isn’t actually a line. Crowd mentality isn’t always correct. That line in the bathroom? Check the far side of the restroom to see if there are other stalls. Most people walk in, see a line and stand in it. Because they don’t know there’s another side. We see this happen A LOT in the restrooms in the Tangled area, at Main St. and in Norway. Worse yet is when you are standing in a line and then realize the end of it is actually somewhere down the midway, and you actually just cut in front of 50 people. Just be respectful and aware. You won’t figure it out all the time, but know that this is pretty common at Disney.
6. Cast Members Don’t Always Have the Correct Answer
Walt Disney World has a lot of employees. They’re called Cast Members. They couldn’t run without them. So while you really need to respect all the Disney Cast Members, IF you’re not getting the answer you think you should be getting, you can always nicely ask someone else!
Let me tell you a story about the Citrus Swirl Float. Once upon a time, like 2 weeks ago, I saw that Sunshine Tree Terrace was offering a Citrus Swirl Float. I saw this on Instagram so I had photo proof! Disney Food Blog had even done a review on this new item. I don’t like citrus swirl because I think the frozen OJ is too sour for my liking. So I thought the float would be good because the soda could balance it out a bit.
I was really excited to try it, went up to the counter and ordered and the cast member told me they didn’t offer that. So I asked if I could just order a citrus swirl and an orange soda and he could put them together and he said no. Sad and disappointed, I went back to Instagram and asked around to see when people had gotten theirs 5 hours ago. So how suddenly did they no longer offer it? They obviously had it at one point. Why didn’t they have it now?
I went back the next day, and ordered the citrus swirl float again, this time from a different cast member at Sunshine Tree Terrace and it was delicious.
Why is there this inconsistency? According to the one cast member I talked to, there were just a lot of new people. This is no surprise for a theme park! I’m not saying you’re always going to get the answer you want, but if you feel like you’re not getting the right answer, it doesn’t hurt to ask someone else.
7. Cast Members are Just Doing Their jobs
While we are on the subject of cast members, I hate that I even have to say this, but they deserve nothing but your utmost respect. You Should Treat Cast Members Like Gold. We have seen grown men actually get into arguments with Disney cast members over something as silly as ducking under the ropes to get into line.
Guess what, we’ve also seen cast members call security and have those same people removed from the park for not listening and wanting to make a big deal over something so minor. Disney has rules for a reason. If you don’t like them, find somewhere else to vacation.
Keep in mind, the cast member’s don’t make the rules. There are policies and procedures just like anywhere. So any aggression you may have against them for calling you out on something you shouldn’t be doing anyway has nothing to do with them. They’re trying to do their job and keep you and other guests safe.
In addition to that, take the time to actually talk to them! Cast Members can give you much more insider information than any of these Disney blogs, vlogs or websites. They’re there to help! Because they like being around people. Look up, smile, ask a question or see how their day is going. Trust us, they’ll appreciate it. Case in point, after a long chat with a cast member working a Fast Pass (FP+) line on our last trip, he actually thanked us for smiling and talking and said guests forget they’re people too. Keep it in mind.
8. No One is Paying Attention to You
In a world of, look at me, look at me, trust me, no one is looking at you. They’re worried more about themselves. Be silly. Take funny pictures. Twirl on the hub grass. Dance to the Move it, Shake it parade if that’s your jam. And if someone does notice you, you’re probably never going to run into them again anyway. Be carefree and fun, and stop worrying about all those other people. It’s your vacation!
9. You Can’t Control the Disney Weather, Other Disney Guests or Anything Really
You need to Relax. Ok so I know you hear this over and over again, so how is this something no one tells you? I don’t mean relax like take a break and go to the pool. I mean relax, like, be chill.
There are going to be a lot of things that probably don’t go your way, weather that may ruin your plans, or make you feel like you’re dying from heat exhaustion, and there will potentially be a lot of simply frustrating situations that may happen on your trip.
Accept the things you can’t control and make the best of your rainy day. You’re at Walt Disney World, take the time to appreciate the creativity and care that went into creating this place. Look for Hidden Mickeys if you’re stuck queues, stop and grab a snack from Main St if you are held up by the parade, and if it happens to be storming all day, find a an attraction to visit that may have never gotten your attention.
10. You’re Never Really “Late” For Anything
I say this with the hope that you will take this as lightly as its meant to be. Don’t be late on purpose, but if you happen to get stuck by the Parade, or the monorail is broken down, leaving you to find other transportation, don’t stress out! Always try to be on time when you can whether its for a dining reservation or a fast pass window, but trust me when I say, if you’re apologetically late, they’ll forgive you. Disney cast members are the best people; they’re understanding, want to help and do have ways to make sure your day is magical, even though you may feel like it’s falling apart.
11.Your Perfect Disney Vacation Won’t Be Perfect
Whether you’ve planned this trip on your own or with a travel agent, chances are you’ve spent a lot of time making sure this vacation is perfect down to the last detail. Everyone, including us, will give you tips about how to have the perfect vacation at the happiest place on earth. But here’s a little secret….It’s ok for everything to go wrong.. because perfect is actually kinda boring.
The truth is that something, or everything, will probably go wrong. And that’s OK. Some of the best experiences and stories you’ll have can come from things going wrong. We’ve been stuck on broken down rides, caught in the rain, late for dining reservations, missed seeing characters, violently ill, using band aids like water and more. But it always all ends up ok. Remember, its a vacation! So no matter what happens, keep in mind the ultimate goal is to enjoy yourself. And if nothing else you’ll have fun life stories to tell afterwards.
12. You Make Your Own Magic
Your Disney Vacation is only as magical as you make it. We know that sort of contradicts going someplace magical if you have to make your own magic. But here’s the thing, you are the one who decides how to fill your day and who decides how to feel about it. Sure there may be fighting and hating and injuries and wardrobe fails, and makeup fails and rude people and more. But you alone can decide how to make it an amazing vacation. There really is something for everyone at Walt Disney World. Don’t love crowds? Head to the Boardwalk for a stroll near the beach, or Fort Wilderness for some nature or hang out at one of the monorail resorts to get away from it all. You don’t even have to be a guest to at the resort to go sit in the lobby or look around on resort grounds, access to the resorts is free. Can’t stand the parades? Perfect, plan ahead and get to a ride before the parade starts, the queues are always lower during the parades.
Don’t consider yourself a Disney lover but were dragged by your family? That’s ok! There are so many things to do at Disney that aren’t in-your-face-Disney. Like sports? Head to the ESPN Club. Like Animals? Head to Animal Kingdom and stroll through the Gorilla Falls Forest Exploration Trail. Like Sailing? Rent a boat ,canoe or kayak, over at the Disney Resorts. Go off the beaten path!
The truth is, a Walt Disney World vacation can be as magical(or frustrating) as you allow it to be. Embrace it all, take the good with the bad, and remember at least you’re not at work. 🙂