Mistakes Made On First Trip

Misha72683

Mouseketeer
Joined
Feb 6, 2013
My bff and I were talking last night about Disney, about our last trip and our next trip and we both agree that we know so much more. Reading on the Disboards was great and had me prepared for some thingz, but we still made amateur mistakes. Admittedly, some of those mistakes were because I ignored advice I was given here.

Things we'll do different next trip:
- dedicated pool/Downtown Disney day. We only had one short visit to the pool and only spent about an hour at Disney Springs. Next time, we'll set aside a specific non-park day.
- made dinner reservations the day we did F&W. We just did not a get chance to maximize the F&W booths and there was a lot we didn't get to try. Next time we know not to make a TS (at least not a buffet) reservation on our Epcot day.
- more time at MK. I didn't realize how big this park was or how much time it really rquires. We did one full and one half day and it wasn't nearly enough. So much we didn't get to do.

Anyone find that they made rookie mistakes on their first trip?
 

strat68

Mouseketeer
Joined
Feb 1, 2016
The only real mistake, which you mentioned, was not taking a day off. For us it is a must. Sleep in, take it easy. But with FP+ sleeping in does not cost you as much since your are guaranteed 3 FPs for the day. We'll just make them later.
 

mrsjoannh13

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 13, 2015
Not building in a pool day.

Scheduling dinners too late with a toddler and 2 older folks. 5:30 pm was apparently too late. Who knew?

Thinking we could fit in more than 3- 4 attractions before aforementioned toddler and older folks needed a nap.

Going to Disney Springs. Waste of time. No one liked it and all agreed it was a waste of time away from the parks. I'm sure everyone's opinion will vary here, but for us it was what I'd consider a mistake.

Upgrading to the Deluxe Dining Plan. Too. Much. Food. And we still had 20+ snack credits left on our last day. It was good to be able to buy souvenirs to bring home, but a waste of money.
 

ELSA711

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 11, 2015
Traveling with my family of 5 I have learned that what I learned last year, won't apply to this year :)
I make our plans and schedule what I can but honestly, we are blessed that we get to go once a year or every other so we know there will always be a next time.
Looking forward to our next family trip of 2+ weeks next summer. Wow! Bet I'll learn some good lessons that trip. We've never gone with peak crowds and peak heat!!!
 
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bluezy

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 7, 2008
Not buying tickets for every day of our stay. We planned a down day in the middle of our trip -- sleep in, spend some time at DTD, swim so we didn't buy park tickets for that day. By 3:00 we were wishing we could head to a park for a few hours that evening. We now buy tickets for every day we're going to be there (except departure day since we leave at 6:00 a.m.) and enjoy the flexibility of being able to go to the parks even just for a few hours some days.
 

PrncessA

Dis_Mom_
Joined
Jan 16, 2009
Some of it changes each time we go.

Our first trip in 2009, the day off was a disaster, and we wished we were at the parks. On on 2014 we didn't take one, and we missed it. In 2015 we took one, and wish we had taken a bit more. Granted, our trips are longer each time.
 
  • JudieB

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Feb 28, 2016
    I think almost everyone here will agree that the biggest mistake we make on our first, second, twelfth, fortieth... trip is to not slow down a bit. There's no possible way to see and do everything in one trip, so enjoy the time you have and experience what's in reach. (And then plan to go back and experience some more next time - wink.)
     

    rwdavis2

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 2, 2007
    Not buying tickets for every day of our stay. We planned a down day in the middle of our trip -- sleep in, spend some time at DTD, swim so we didn't buy park tickets for that day. By 3:00 we were wishing we could head to a park for a few hours that evening. We now buy tickets for every day we're going to be there (except departure day since we leave at 6:00 a.m.) and enjoy the flexibility of being able to go to the parks even just for a few hours some days.
    For future reference, adding a day is always an option.
     

    Sona99

    Loving living in Florida
    Joined
    Jan 20, 2016
    One of my biggest mistakes was overplanning. Be at X by TIME and then go do X and then... and then...

    Sometimes it's just good to have a few basic plans (dinner reservations, for example) and let the rest of the day flow more.

    And on top of it all, realize that you can't do everything, see everything, and be everywhere.
     
  • Nebraska_Disney

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 15, 2009
    We started going on longer trips. We got tired of feeling rushed to do as much as possible, so we go at a slower pace, but stay longer. Instead of a 7-8 day trip we now do 9-11 day trips.

    We only go to Disney Springs to buy stuff to bring home. If the choice is be there or a park/pool, the later wins out every time.

    We also have a general plan (arrive early, midday break) and just have fun. If you over-plan, you can take the fun out of it.
     

    EdmondD

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 23, 2014
    In 2002...we went to parks nine straight days (5WDW, 3Universal, 1Sea World) with an eight-year-old. It was too much, for all of us...open to close each park day. We've definitely slowed down.

    We did not pack proper rain gear.

    We stayed off site at a pretty horrid Days Inn.

    We took for granted that the parks would always be that lightly crowded late in the evening, or that there would always be a "slow" time. :-)

    We carried with us the Dummy's Guide...or main source of info!?

    Aside from all that, I actually think we did some pretty good touring and approached the parks well. In fact, the routes we took through the parks that very first time are pretty much what we still do today (with slight changes with the advent of FPP).
     

    NeedMoreMickey

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 1, 2010
    My biggest mistake was who not what. 1983 honeymoon trip stayed at Poly, we rented little boats to drive around the lake. When my boat broke down my (then) husband went back to dock and got help. When the CM came to tow me in he told me that my husband said that girl’s boat broke down. Red Flag being called that girl on your honeymoon. Next trip was in 1986 as a single woman was with my sister and parents.
     

    imthemamahere

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 14, 2014
    In 2002...we went to parks nine straight days (5WDW, 3Universal, 1Sea World) with an eight-year-old. It was too much, for all of us...open to close each park day. We've definitely slowed down.

    We took for granted that the parks would always be that lightly crowded late in the evening, or that there would always be a "slow" time. :-)
    These two would be my biggest lessons learned. (Though we don't typically do rope drop.) Our first trip with our son, then 2 1/2, we tried to do to much, and by 1pm, he was bawling in his stroller in the middle of Magic Kingdom. We turned around and went back to our resort to figure out a better way, decided to be more relaxed, move more slowly, and take time to ENJOY what we were doing - and he was all smiles from that point on. So were we. We all enjoy taking things in at our own pace. :)

    I've also learned that there isn't really a slow season anymore... we've gone in the fall during traditionally low seasons, and each time we go, the parks are busier, the lines longer, etc. So we're sharing our once-quiet vacation times with a whole lot of new "friends!"
     

    KaSe

    Disney-crazy mom & part-time ninja
    Joined
    Mar 2, 2016
    The biggest mistake we made on our first trip? Taking my husband with us. :rotfl2:

    OK, OK, that was kinda mean. But he doesn't like crowds, doesn't like all the go-go-go, etc. We had fun, but he was the one most likely to be grumbling midday or ready to head back to the room first (he wouldn't even wear his birthday button! :eek:.) He has many fine qualities, and there are other low-key places we can vacation with him, but my daughters & I learned we all had more fun on Disney trips if the three of us went on their fall break while he was still working (he teaches in a neighboring district that's on a different school schedule) -- and he's happy to hug us goodbye, pick us up at the airport, and look at all our pictures when we get home. So, I guess what I'm really saying is be sure your party is made up of people willing to spread the pixie dust and leave Grumpy at home. ;-)
     

    Luv2Run

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 7, 2014
    Our biggest rookie mistake was not making dining reservations for our sit-down meals. My parents and I waited almost 90 minutes for a table for lunch at Liberty Tree Tavern and again at Biergarten during our first visit. Back then, looking at the park map I couldn't differentiate table service from quick service, let alone look up their menus to see what food they offered to determine if we'd even like it. Nowadays, I always book our sit-down meals at our 180-day mark, but even if I want to add an ADR, it's nice to be able to log in to MDE to do a quick search. Thank goodness for modern technology!

    Back then, I also believed you could only eat at certain restaurants if you were on the DDP, so when they asked if we were on it (and we weren't) I got petrified at first and thought that we had to leave. I also used to think that only people staying at that particular resort hotel could eat at their restaurants. Now I just shake my head and laugh at how naïve I was about that - I mean, it's not inconceivable to think that was how it worked, but it's awesome that that's not the way it is and we can eat wherever we want! I just kick myself for not educating myself sooner about the ins and outs of dining at Disney.
     

    yaya74

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 18, 2006
    Scheduling dinners too late with a toddler and 2 older folks. 5:30 pm was apparently too late. Who knew?
    5:30pm is too late?? That's the time of
    Most of my dinner ADRs...my kids are 8 and 4 and we have dinner around 5pm at home. I plan to leave the park right after lunch (early lunch around 11:30am, leave the park for nap then back to park for dinner) If I make Dinner ADR for 5pm, I wonder if we will get enuf time to rest at the resort.....
     

    sunshinemelody

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 15, 2015
    My biggest mistake was who not what. 1983 honeymoon trip stayed at Poly, we rented little boats to drive around the lake. When my boat broke down my (then) husband went back to dock and got help. When the CM came to tow me in he told me that my husband said that girl’s boat broke down. Red Flag being called that girl on your honeymoon. Next trip was in 1986 as a single woman was with my sister and parents.
    Whoa! Not a way to spend your honeymoon or the rest of your life for that matter. Good on you for dumping his rotten bum!
     

    marchingstar

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 18, 2014
    A few others have said their biggest mistake was a 'who'--mine was too! Lucky for me it wasn't DP. She and I have a few Disney trips under our belts. We disagree sometimes but agree on elements that seem crucial to me: how much time and money we devote to WDW trips, what kinds of planning go into it, and what to do if we disagree.

    After getting back from our May 2015 trip, a (then dear) friend said going to Disney was a lifelong dream, and we all agreed to plan a trip together for November. There were warning signs that things wouldn't go well (most notably, said friend didn't seem to have any interest in the actual planning--we would suggest restaurants, activities, try to talk about hotel preferences, and she just agreed to everything before quickly changing the subject) but the trip was a bit of a disaster. It's what I imagine travelling with a sullen teenager to be like, except she's an adult who would never explain what was wrong, only pout and passive aggressively complain about things on her phone to her boyfriend at home. Long story a little less long, we were constantly changing plans to suit her but nothing seemed to make a difference. Most nights either DP or I would cry from frustration--one time I actually broke down crying at dinner I was so frustrated (and I'm not a crier!).

    The best decision we've made: in the middle of the trip we realized there was simply no way to make her happy, and by focusing all our energies on trying to please her we were turning Disney into something we resented! So we left her at the hotel one day and went to MVMCP together--it was an absolute blast. I think it'll just be DP and I travelling to the World together (hopefully with some little ones one day!). And we've learned a lot about travelling with anyone else--make them participate in the planning work, and make sure to plan some time apart.
     


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