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My Disney Mistakes - Part 2: What NOT to Do While at Walt Disney World

by Rebecca Pearson, PassPorter Guest Contributor
Last modified 12-26-2013

Continuing with my series on epic fails that I've made while at Walt Disney World, I'd like to share a few more with you:

1. Forget to consider the order of attractions. You might already do this when planning your day, but may not consider the type of motion the rides have. I'm not usually prone to motion sickness, and can "hang"with my adventurous kids on any attraction. On our last trip, which was during the hot summer, we visited Epcot. Prior to lunch we rode Mission: Space, on the orange side for the first time, as we usually do green. It was more than I expected, and I felt a little dizzy afterward, but was able to shake it off after sitting in the after ride area while the kids played. We headed back out in the heat to Soarin' to use our FastPasses, and although Soarin' has never bothered me before, the effects from Mission: Space orange, followed by the heat and the walk to Soarin', made me a little dizzy. Again, it didn't last long, but it affected me and it never had previously. We then headed to the Garden Grill for our lunch reservation. If you've never been before, the Garden Grill is circular, and very slowly rotates. Again, after the effects of the last two rides, even the Garden Grill made me dizzy. After about 5 minutes I adjusted fine, and was fine for the rest of the day afterward, but this type of planning for how I scheduled rides had never occurred to me before.

2. Don't take stock of your belongings. Normally I try not to carry much while touring the parks, but I do sometimes carry a small cross body bag and my camera bag. One day, I left my new DSLR camera in the bag on a table in Fantasyland. We sat down briefly to snack on something and it was a very hot day. We decided to head to the Hall of Presidents to cool off and enjoy the show. We were waiting for the show to start and I realized I didn't have my camera. In a moment of panic, picturing someone walking around with my brand new camera, I grabbed the kids and bolted out of the Hall of Presidents. I told them to stand outside, not to move, and wait for me. And I ran. Sprinted as fast as I could past Peter Pan's Flight, where I had to stop and speed walk because there were so many people. I remember seeing people looking at me quizzically, but I didn't care. I ran behind what used to be Dumbo and got to the tables, where luckily my camera still sat. An older couple asked if I was okay, as I panted in the nearly 100 degree heat. A cast member watched from a ways away, and it then occurred to me, that rather than running through the park in the heat, I should have said something to a cast member at or near the Hall of Presidents, to see if they could contact someone in that area or security. My kids were more than relieved to know that I wouldn't be freaking out since I found my camera and we proceeded to watch the next show so that I could cool off. I know it's a theme already, but use the cast members! Trust the cast members!

3. Forget your children! I almost left my son on the bus. Well, in fairness I did leave him. Yes, I am that person. My kids are older, and have been to Disney more than a few times, so in the parks I'll allow them to go ahead together to get FastPasses for us or grab snacks. We've never had issues because they know their way around and I trust they are safe at Disney. However, we tend to stay at a different resort each time, and don't tend to spend much time there, so they don't get as familiarized with the resorts. On our last stay we stayed at Caribbean Beach in a pirate theme room. After a long night at the park, we were on the bus on the way back. Dillon, who was 10, almost 11 at the time, was sitting in the back of the bus with us, but a couple of seats away. At our stop, which I assumed he knew as Trinidad South, my daughter and I got up and got off of the bus. After walking a few feet, just as the bus was going to pull away, I realized he wasn't with us. He was still on the bus! Again, I panicked and ran toward the bus, which quickly stopped and opened the doors. Turns out he had drifted to sleep, which I hadn't realized, because there were still quite a few people on the bus, and I assumed he would stand up and follow us at our stop. No matter their age, don't get too comfortable, and hold their hand or keep them in front of you or in your sights at all times. While I'm sure nothing would have happened had the bus not stopped, I'm not sure he would have been able to know where to get off had he woken up. I know Disney would have handled it properly, but I would have rather avoided it altogether.

4. Underestimate downtime and pool time. On our first trip especially, but even our next few after that, I always tried to pack in so much activity and never planned for a resort day or any downtime. We'd squeeze in some pool time after the park on a night or two, but generally I'd just promise the kids that we'd swim the next night, while they longingly asked as we walked by the pool if we could swim that night or the next day. I always meant to let them swim, but we always spent that time in the park, and ended up hitting the pool for just a short time on our last day prior to flying home. We wasted some great potential pool time, at some great pools, and after specifically and FINALLY planning a pool day on our last trip, we will definitely plan at least one "down" day on every upcoming trip. Do not underestimate the appeal of the resort and the pool. You need a break and so do the kids.

5. I cried over a broken flip flop. Seriously. I have favorite flip flops that I wear all summer and wear while touring the parks. Most people recommend tennis shoes, but I find flip flops to be more comfortable. What I didn't plan for was for my son to step on the flip flop as I was walking in front of him, prior to even leaving our hotel room, causing the strap to rip, on the first day of our vacation. I literally started crying over these broken flip flops, and my kids looked at me like I was crazy. Despite bringing other footwear, my various shoes would bother my feet in different ways, and I eventually went to the mall to buy another pair of flip flops. If there is something you absolutely need to have, bring a back-up so you, or worse yet your kids, don't cry over losing something they love.

Again, I'm embarrassed by some of these, but hope you enjoyed them. Next up, more sincere fails.

About the Author: Rebecca Pearson is the proud mother of two children and is known for her "epic fails" in her every day life that inspired her to write this article. She has been to Walt Disney World seven times in the past seven years!

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Updated 12-26-2013

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