Top 10 Disappointing Situations at Disney World
We are huge fans of sharing the best of Disney, but there are times when the magic just isn't existent in a certain situation. Can you imagine spending time, money and energy to book a trip to Walt Disney World and find out that your favourite attraction is down for refurbishment? There are things that come up that are out of our hands that are just annoying, and there are ways to prepare for each and every single one of them. There are lists like ours on the interwebs, but our goal is to provide a solution or "work-around" for each of them:)
Here are our Top 10 Disappointing Situations at Disney World
Not able to meet a certain character
Meeting your favourite character is more than a fun couple of minutes in a trip...it's something you'll share with family and friends for years! It's more important to plan in WDW vs Disneyland, as the characters in Anaheim are actually "free-roaming" vs the characters in Orlando, who are "staged" at a backdrop with Photopass Photographers.
Want to meet Mickey Mouse? Get a FastPass+ reservation at the EPCOT Character spot or at the Main Street Cinema.
Want to meet the princesses? Get a reservation for Akershus in Norway or Cinderella's Royal Table. If you don't want to do a character meal, then plan out a morning from 11am-2pm in the World Showcase.
Want to find random characters? Check the daily schedule provided at the entrance to every park and at most retail locations. The times guide shares when and where characters are meeting.
TIP: Don't expect to have Photopass Photographers at your character meals, as Disney can't provide the legal rights to folks in the backgrounds at these restaurants. Make friends with the table next to you and swap cameras for the characters!
Guests come in all shapes and sizes, with different backgrounds and a variety of reasons as to why they are in Walt Disney World.
We saw a couple yell at a Cast Member standing at the FastPass+ return, for a reason that we couldn't understand. As we were the next guests behind them going to Seven Dwarf's Mine Train, we overheard the guy tell his companion that he does that all the time and that yelling and embarrassing cast members is how he doesn't have to stand in line.
So after the ride, we found the cast member who he did this too and she then found a manager to explain the situation, who then provided the details of the guests to security. Now because we were sitting right behind them on the train, it just so happened that our on-ride photo was used for good;) We felt that it was our duty as a guest to protect those who's job it is to provide magical experiences!
TIP: There are always going to be rude people in the world. It's up to you to decide to ignore or to do something. Remember that Disney World is a safe place for everyone, and if you see something...it's important to share that with a Manager (blue ID card) or security, as they are connected to the radio network.
Late / Overcrowded Busses
This happens often, and the only thing you can do is expect it going into your trip and plan around it.
When buses are late, it can cause delays in your plans for getting to a park for a reservation or can cause serious frustrations for everyone on board (or waiting to board). If it's raining, multiply that feeling by like a thousand percent!
TIP: If you're staying at Pop Century Resort, remember that you can also take the Art of Animation Resort buses. Also, if you encounter a long line at the bus transfer stations...think about the time you'll be wasting in line and remember how much you spent on your trip already. This may provide you with the motivation to order an UBER (never a taxi!!!!)
The postcard image is our goal, and that's the photo that we THINK we take. Family members who are blinking, guests who walk in front of the camera, and the worst...a Photopass photographer who forgets to upload the image to your account because they're new. (Yea, that happened to me!)
All of these are things that can happen...and it's important to upload your personal photos daily to make sure that you don't lose them (and check for any issues), just in case you have to go back and re-shoot them.
TIP: Don't trust that the PhotoPass photographers know how to 'pose' your party. Go in with a "Pose Bingo" printout, which will allow you to have multiple ideas for poses...and the photographer will enjoy the variety in the "Ok, smile!" script;)
Haunted Mansion needs a little TLC to keep that ghostly image that we all love, but what happens when they need to do some deep-cleaning? Well then you'll see an attraction come "off-line" for a period of time...and it may take guests for a loop if they're not paying attention. Back in the day, Disneyland would close on Mondays to perform preventative maintenance. This allowed for the rides to have a longer shelf-life, compared to current mechanical requirements. Although completely out of our hands, it's important to stay up to date and realize that attractions do require this attention.
TIP: If you know an attraction will be off-line for your trip, don't include it in any of your planning. Just consider it "dead" to you and it'll be an easier pill to swallow for your family vs getting their hopes up and dashing them last-minute.
We don't have President's Day in Canada, so when we booked a trip in February 2015...it got a little "much"! Make sure that you check out the crowd calendars at Touring Plans.com, as every state and country have different holidays that may affect the crowds during your vacation.
TIP: Start your plans EARLY in the parks and leave mid-day for a nice little nap! Oh...and UBER...it'll help so much if you are staying at a Resort (like All Stars Sports for example) and there are a ton of cheerleading squads for a competition waiting for the same bus!
Becoming ill or feeling under the weather during a vacation is always frustrating, but it doesn't help that you're at Disney and the magic is so close! There are times when you have to just sleep it off or situations when you'll have to miss out fun by visiting a doctor or hospital nearby. How do you deal with this? Communicate! If you have reservations, call 407-WDW-DINE and let them know that you're ill and can't make your ADRs, as this will save you stress about losing your deposits.
TIP: Call your concierge when you're feeling sick, as they can help out more than you'll even imagine! They can arrange for medical attention, provide you with guidance on who to call and when...and be able to make sure that the rest of your family has options instead of sticking around the resort room.
Annoying Dining Experiences
We spend months planning the perfect Dining schedule, and sometimes something goes south. It may be the service, food or maybe you had just built up the experience into a magical dream sequence that couldn't be delivered. The most popular situation involves a server that completely forgets about your table, and it's incredibly frustrating when it's happening.
TIP: Our suggestion is to walk towards the washroom, and on your way back take a "scenic route" to find a manager and get them to help you out DURING the situation...because if they apologize for it after, you're not giving the service team the opportunity to "make it right". Remember, it's YOUR vacation! :)
To be honest, this is one of the most annoying situations that can happen IF you're not prepared for it. Florida weather is incredibly unpredictable and really can come out of now-where. One minute you're at the Canadian Pavilion getting a bracelet engraved with "NOITANIGAMI" ('Imagination' spelled backward) and the next you're wondering how you can run into a tsunami of rain and wind without getting your camera soaked!
TIP: Bring a poncho or plastic bag in your backpack at all times, just in preparation of keeping your electronics dry. If you are in the area of a show or indoor attraction, take some time and relax. We love things like Mickey's Philharmagic, Finding Nemo: The Musical, the China or Japan Pavilion's Shops, or the Great Movie Ride!
There are times during the year that parks may close early in the day, and it's completely normal if you're prepared for it. There may be a special function, a special hard ticket event or capacity issues (like Christmas or New Year's Eve). The best suggestion we have is to check the official WDW website frequently and to be prepared to be flexible.
TIP: We got a 515pm ADR at Cinderella's Royal Table on an evening that the Magic Kingdom was closing early for Night of Joy at 7 pm. It was a perfect situation as most guests either didn't come to MK that day or left early in the day to make their way to another park for the evening. We chose to go to Disney Springs after our dinner, so it worked out perfectly!