Noob Mistakes You Made During Your First WDW Visit


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We made 3 mistakes the first trip. We drove instead of springing for airfare. Didn’t make that mistake again. Plane tickets are worth every penny. We got the dining plan, and even though we aren’t shy about putting away some food, it was too much. We were those suckers trading snack credits for cheap candy on the way out the last day. Lastly, we stayed in WL. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great place, but we did 8 days in a row in the parks from rope drop until close. I still have no idea what over half the place looks like or what all is there. We stay in Pop these days, since we spend every waking moment in a park.


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Not planning for rain, even in March. First day in Magic Kingdom was just all rain and no rain gear. Got some overpriced MK shop raingear. Didn't even think to go BUY some off property as we were staying off property anyways. Was kinda hard to take it all in with rain all day. Tried MK again another day and it was still rainy all day long. We extended our trip then by 1 day after staying with the future mother in law by grabbing a Super 8 motel for 1 night before driving back home so I could experience MK for the day when it was sunny and see the magic of MK fireworks. Got back just in time to go to bed and work the next morning but it was all good. We got engaged that trip and she said yes so I was riding high for a solid week.
Have better rain gear ( and cheaper) and have some ideas of what you can do when it rains all day.


Well-Known Member
Not so much a "mistake," but if I had our first visit to do over again, I wouldn't have invested in the Disney dining plan (standard). The four of us couldn't remotely eat enough to make it worth our while, and having to make so many table-service ADRs limited our touring flexibility. (Now that both of my kids are over 9 and would have to pay adult prices, the DDP would be even worse for us.)

*Caveat: On a couple of subsequent visits when the DDP was offered "free" (at a discount), we were able to use it very successfully, but I'd never pay full price for it again.

Honestly, other than that, between the Unofficial Guide and this forum, we got so much great advice before our trip that we didn't have any other "noob" mistakes or missteps! Unless you count stepping foot inside Stitch's Great Escape... that's a few minutes of our lives we'll never get back.
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Active Member
The story that my whole family continues to torture me endlessly with:

When I was 9yr old we went to WDW and my mom gave us all $50 for souvenirs, which is a lot for 1989. I spent it all in the gift shop at the Disney Dolphin DAY ONE. Lol.

I remember getting a plastic Alice in Wonderland container full of little candies and a stuffed flamingo hahaha. I had some serious regrets for the rest of the trip.


New Member
I didn’t master the paper Fast Pass system until my third annual trip. I did each trip after that and until they stopped them. With that system, we had more FP’s than we could use each day and gave them away when leaving the parks. Oh yeah, I didn’t learn about the supervisors button on the back of the FastPass machine until my second trip.


As an adult - letting the kids buy souvenirs/toys right away. All they wanted to do was go back to the room and play with them. Commando plans with young kids - bad idea. Not researching restaurants enough. Way underestimating how long it took to go from point a to point B (conversely at DL this was a pleasant surprise - lunch in the other park in 15 minutes no problem).


It wasn't on my first trip, but I had no idea how great it was to stay inside the park.
We stayed outside until 08, and just drove in each day.
We saved $, a lot of $, but the experience was so much better once we bit the bullet and stayed at PO.

Good decision- taking my 75+ year old momma to high tea at the Grand Floridian. It was the highlight of her trip. And not that expensive!


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1998 (my past life)- Going to Epcot, never getting, or finding a map, and completely missing the Universe Of Energy side of Future world. We did do The Land, The Sea, Honey I Shrunk The Audience side...then walked around World Showcase once.

2014 ( present life) - Left at 9am everyday, went to a park, and returned to resort at 9-10pm. Took no real breaks the whole week UNTIL..because of me wanting to run to buses at the end of the day, My wife got a huge blister on ankle.


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We just didn't plan as well as we could have that first trip. Now, we know when to book dining and fast passes. We know which parks we're going to on which days. Doing this allows us to maximize the fun. We don't stand in lines. I think I've queued, at most, 30 minutes for a ride, and even then only a handful of times in every trip since our first visit as a family. Some people don't like to vacation on schedule like that, which I get. My response is that a Disney trip is not a vacation, but a fun trip.


Active Member
My noob mistake was walking around with my eyes closed, apparently. Not until I reviewed all of the attractions in the Unofficial Guide did I even realize Lion King existed (before it moved), ditto Mickey's Philharmagic, Majarajah Jungle Trek. These are some of my favorite things, too, that I missed.


New Member
My mistake might have been bringing kids. That was to Disneyland in Anaheim and Paris. It was a whine festival because kids whine. So I'm planning a solo trip to Disney World. My 82 year old father wants to come, which would slow me down by about 90%. Maybe next time. I told him I'll check it our first. ;)


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trying to do too much on a daily basis. getting up for opening, staying until closing day after day. thats too much for the fittest of people.

other than that we managed to do enough research to enjoy. we had the luxury of the internet as our first trip was around 11 years ago. we still missed so much the first time round though.


Well-Known Member
I think we drove around for more than an hour trying to figure out the confusing roads on property that often aren't marked with names or where exit signing saying exit next right actually mean the second right and other odd quirks.
Haha I still get mad at the stupid signs. They’ll have three signs spread out over a couple of miles leading up to the exit for a particular resort. Then when you actually need to exit, there suddenly aren’t any signs anymore telling you where to go.

Hula Baloo

Active Member
The first time my group went to Disney during Christmas, we had no idea they did a lighting of the castle. We happened to show up to MK 5 minutes beforehand, heard the announcement and decided we would stay to see what it was. Blown away and now we do it every year.
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