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1. NOT MAKING DINING RESERVATIONS AT THE 180 DAY MARK
If you have any intentions of eating at Be Our Guest, Cinderella's Royal Table, Chef Mickey's, or any other popular restaurant, it's crucial you make your reservations as soon as your window opens up. I'm talking on the hour. Dining reservations open at 7 am EST 180 days before your arrival date, so be prepared to get up early. Getting that coveted dining reservation is worth it, though!
2. NOT MAKING FASTPASS+ RESERVATIONS AHEAD OF TIME
Unless you're dying to see Anna and Elsa or ride 7 Dwarfs Mine Train and not wait at all, it's less crucial to make your fastpasses as soon as your window opens (at 6 am EST 60 days from your arrival if you're staying on site, 30 days if you're not). The earlier you make them, though, the more flexibility you'll have in terms of timing. At the very least, do NOT wait until the day of to make your choices! It's a waste of precious time planning things out when you could already have a game plan, and your choices will not be ideal.
3. LEAVING THE PARK DIRECTLY AFTER A PARADE OR FIREWORKs
As soon as a parade or fireworks end, there is a mass exodus. It's a MESS, and ain't nobody got time for that. Spend your time getting in a few additional rides or shopping and let people leave instead of trying to fight the waves. The crowds will frustrate you, and you'll just end up waiting for a bus or a spot on the monorail, anyways.
4. NOT CHECKING WAIT TIMES AND "WINGING IT"
Even though I plan out our ride schedule down to 30 minute increments (Not joking. But we don't wait for rides, either, so it's worth it), I know most people do not enjoy that and do not want to feel so scheduled. At the very least, though, you should make it a habit to check the My Disney Experience app and get a feel for wait times before you just blindly tackle a park. Let the wait times guide you, don't settle for long waits and instead come back later, and you can maximize your time in the park with little effort.
5. ARRIVING AT A MORNING EXTRA MAGIC HOURS PARK AFTER THE HOUR HAS ALREADY ENDED
If you're staying on site, you have access to extra time in certain parks on certain days, sometimes in the morning and sometimes in the evening. These are called Extra Magic Hours, or EMH. Many people make plans to go to the morning EMH park but then don't arrive until hours after it opens. There are two problems with this. First, the park with EMH tends to become the most crowded park for the day. Second, it's worthless to go to the EMH park and NOT use the EMH. And yet so many people do it. If you can't arrive at least 30 minutes before the park with EMH opens, it would be better to head to another park, which will likely be a bit less crowded.
6. NOT TAKING AFTERNOON BREAKS
If you will be at WDW during the summer, it's crucial to take afternoon breaks, both because it is the hottest and most crowded in the afternoons. Instead, arrive at park opening, enjoy the coolest and least crowded time of the day, go back to the hotel in the afternoon to swim and rest, then return in the evening for dinner, fireworks, and some late night rides.
7. NOT ENJOYING YOURSELF!
Plans won't go the way you hoped. It will rain, your favorite ride might shut down, and you'll end up waiting 20 minutes more than you expected for a bus. Make like Elsa and let it go...let it go...
You're at Walt Disney World! Take a breath, listen to the music, smell those Main Street smells, and enjoy yourself. It might not all be perfect, but it will definitely be magical if you let it.