There’s an awful lot to see and do at Walt Disney World. In fact, if you’re a first-time visitor, you’re probably going to be overwhelmed with all the choices…even if you have a week to play! There’s simply too much to be done in a short period of time. That being said, you aren’t going to want to waste your time doing the unnecessary stuff, but unfortunately they don’t give you a list of the don’t-dos at check in.
So, here’s my own list of the five things that you really don’t need to do at Walt Disney World:
(1) Look around every single shop. There’s so much shopping at Walt Disney World that it’s really incredible. At first glance, you might think that there’s just an endless supply of Disney items pouring out of Orlando, Florida. In actuality, many of the shops carry duplicate items, so you might find yourself looking at the same stuff over and over again. A good strategy for shopping is this: (A) for park-specific stuff, hit the largest store in the park, which is usually just a short walk from the entrance, (B) for ride-specific stuff hit the smaller stores near the exits of the ride, and (C) for general Disney stuff and gifts for those back home, hit The World of Disney at Downtown Disney. The only exception to this rule is the shops at the world showcase in Epcot, which all have unique items from their home countries.
(2) Make an Advanced Dining Reservation for every meal so you hit all the great restaurants. The availability of ADRs over the phone and the highlights on those Food Network Disney shows might have you thinking that you can’t miss any of the great restaurants offered by Disney. Unfortunately, the truth is this: if you hit them all, that’s all you’re going to do…even if you have a week! It’s true…if you worry about getting around and making it to all of your reservations, you won’t have enough time to enjoy the rest of the park. This is especially true since some of the culinary highlights of Walt Disney World are at the different Disney resorts. Pick a few that really look good and leave the rest for your next trip.
(3) Stay in the parks all day. With so many shows, parades, attractions, restaurants, and shops, it may feel like the only way to really experience Walt Disney World is to stay in the parks from opening until closing time. Unfortunately, this is a fast way to get worn out and sick, like so many people do on vacation. A better bet, especially if you’re a first-time visitor who has some kids in tow, is to hit the parks in the morning and then head back to the resort around lunch time to rest and get your second wind. Head back out in the evening once you’ve rested up so you can catch some more rides before the parades and fireworks. Remember, the resorts are part of the Walt Disney World experience, so you should take full advantage of the pool, food court, and those comfortable beds.