Winging it once you arrive simply won't do when your destination is Walt Disney World. Without some type of advance preparation, you'll likely find yourself so overwhelmed upon arriving in Orlando that you'll miss out on exactly what it was you came for in the first place -- fun.

The Six Biggest Disney mistakes

1.Overplanning. Disney World minutiae opens a rabbit hole deeper than Alice’s.

2.Underplanning. You must plan a little or pay a price: To eat at the best sit-down restaurants or enjoy a character meal, it’s wise to reserve 3 to 6 months out.

3.Overpurchasing ticket options. Don’t bite off more than you can chew.

4.Wearing inadequate footwear. It’s said you’ll walk 10 miles a day.

5.Neglecting sunscreen and water. Even Florida’s cloudy weather can burn. One bad day can ruin the ones that follow.

6.Pushing kids too hard. When they want to slow down, indulge them. You came here to enjoy yourselves, remember?

Disney Planning timeline

Six months/180 days ahead of arrival:

Two months/60 days ahead:

  • Book Fastpass+ reservations (if you’re staying on-site).
One month/30 days ahead:
  • Book Fastpass+ (if you’re staying off-site).

One week ahead:

  • If desired, purchase Memory Maker (it sometimes costs less if purchased at least 3 days ahead of arrival).

Twenty-four hours ahead:

  • Cancel unwanted restaurant reservations by now or pay $10–$25 penalty.
  • Or, if a restaurant was previously full, check for availability again now.



Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.