10 Things We’ll Never Do Again at Disney World

Every Walt Disney World fan has a bucket list, but the smart ones also have lists of things we’ll never do again. This isn’t like our list of easy first-timer mistakes. Rather, these are things we’ve done and said to one another: “Wow, that was a stupid move on our part. Let’s avoid that at all costs in the future.” (Updated December 10, 2023.)

Truthfully, there are very few things at Walt Disney World that we’d never do again. Our bucket lists far longer than our “never again” lists, because most things at Walt Disney World are worth of a second chance. Menus at restaurants change, hotels are overhauled, and attractions are tweaked or re-imagined over time.

In fact, since we originally published this a few years ago, a lot has changed. Perhaps we should take the immortal words of celebrated thinker Justin Bieber to heart and “never say never.” Thankfully, Walt Disney World tends to listen to guest feedback and correct mistakes and experiences that score poorly on guest satisfaction surveys. Over the years, we’ve had to remove several things from this list because we’ve done them again (sometimes inadvertently or not by choice) and had dramatically different–and better–experiences…

To that point, we’ve removed different entries from the list:

  • Dinner at Chef Mickey’s – We have a daughter now. There isn’t a single character meal at Walt Disney World that we won’t be doing in the near future. And you know what? I’m looking forward to (over)paying ~$150 for the three of us to do dinner at Chef Mickey’s again!
  • Pay to Stay at Grand Floridian – The price is still absurd, so it’s likely we won’t be doing this much (especially given that we can use DVC points instead). With that said, our reason for not paying to stay at Grand Floridian was the mid-tier Marriott caliber rooms. Those are currently in the process of being transformed into something far, far nicer.
  • Genie+ at EPCOT – The addition of Frozen Ever After and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure to the Genie+ service, plus better availability for other attractions and a lower price at EPCOT takes this off the list. We still favor Early Entry or Extended Evening Hours, but we’re no longer as ardently anti-Genie+ at EPCOT.
  • New Year’s Eve at Magic Kingdom – The last two times we did NYE or December 30 (basically the same) at Magic Kingdom, it went far better than expected. Of course, reservations are going away in 2024, so this could change again for the worse, but we wouldn’t hesitate to do it again…for now.
  • Busy Buses at Coronado Springs – This was a huge problem in 2020-2022, due to a mixture of staffing shortages, reduced capacity on transportation, and Gran Destino Tower adding a ton of rooms to the resort. Thankfully, we didn’t experience the issue this year, presumably because pent-up demand is exhausted and resort occupancy is down. It could still be a problem from time-to-time, but not enough of one to make this list.

Another thing to note is that this list only covers things that are within our control to never do again at Walt Disney World. Over the years, the company has made the “choice” for us, by eliminating a lot of things that we’d otherwise love to do again. For example, we’d love to see a night parade or winter icicle lights on Cinderella Castle, but it seems that Disney might deny us the opportunity. We’ve also now taken our final ride on Disney’s Magical Express and redeemed our last FastPass.

Those are things we will technically never do again at Walt Disney World, but are very much not in the spirit of this list, which is more like “NEVER AGAIN!” What won’t we do again at Walt Disney World? Here are the top 10 things…

BONUS: All Stars During Youth Events – This is one we’d still strongly recommend that you avoid, so we’re not fully removing it from the list. However, in the last year-plus, I’ve stayed at All Star Sports during two youth events (couldn’t pass up the price, even if I knew I was playing with fire) and it honestly wasn’t that bad.

Part of this is probably that the worst youth event, the Pop Warner Championship, is no longer hosted at Walt Disney World. Another component is that we’ve heard Disney has become more ‘diligent’ about communicating to chaperones that groups need to be quiet after a certain hour. Maybe another is that the kids these days are better behaved??? (Nah.)

In any case, this becomes a ‘do as we say, not as we do’ entry on the list. If there’s a major youth sporting event at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex, you should probably avoid all of the All Stars, but Sports at the very least. Basically, if you’re thinking of booking a Value Resort between February and May, consult this calendar–it can be a planner’s best friend and help “save your sleep schedule.”

Assembling this many under-supervised teens in one location is like feeding a Gremlin after midnight. There’s some sort of chemical or hormonal “thing” that happens, and then all hell breaks loose. Due to the reputation and complaints over the years, Disney security has done a better job in dealing with the teens in recent years (impromptu midnight practices are quickly broken up so I no longer have the need to literally yell “get off my lawn” to the kids), but this is still a scene to be avoided.

10. Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along – This is a tricky one. We came of age during the Disney Renaissance and are huge fans of Beauty and the Beast as a result. On top of that, we’re new parents who cannot wait to share the movie with our daughter. However, we also hate the Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along with the fiery passion of a thousand burning suns. I’ll spare you that rant again, but there’s a reason the Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along made our list of Things We Skip at EPCOT and is dead last on our rankings of all 91 attractions at Walt Disney World.

So this is a delicate needle to thread–making Megatron a big fan of Beauty and the Beast, while preventing her from ever learning of this atrocious show’s existence. One of my big fears is that we will suceed at the first, but fail at the second…which is a recipe for disaster. Instead of never doing this show again, we will do it every single time we visit EPCOT. It’ll become the attraction we do more than anything else at Walt Disney World. Our frequent viewership alone will single-handedly prop up guest utilization numbers and inadvertently help keep this show around. We will become the villains.

Here’s hoping that Walt Disney World has the good sense to retire this abomination before Megatron is of age to become “addicted” to entertainment and starts calling the shots, forcing us to see this sing-along endlessly. In the meantime, other parents, you’ve been warned: avoid Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along at all costs. It’s worse than the worst direct-to-video sequel, and even the authors of bad fanfic could’ve penned a better script.

9. Magic Kingdom on Monday During Party Season – This actually isn’t only Monday, that’s just the most succinct way of wording this. Magic Kingdom crowd dynamics during Party Season have been one of the key discussion points of our August through December crowd calendars for several years.

We’ve been strongly recommending that readers visit Magic Kingdom during the day on Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party nights, and then bouncing to another park at around 4 pm. Conversely, we’ve recommended avoiding Magic Kingdom on non-party days. The rationale for all of this is laid out in Least Crowded Days at Magic Kingdom, we aren’t going to belabor that point yet again.

One point we haven’t made nearly as much is the “danger” of visiting Magic Kingdom on a Monday (the busiest day of the week) at points during Party Season when it’s the only day during a 3-4 day stretch without MNSSHP or MVMCP. This is a double-whammy. Not only are the crowds consolidated away from the party-shortened days, but it’s also what’s regularly the busiest day of the week at Magic Kingdom. (See Best & Worst Days of the Week for Each Park at Walt Disney World.)

This happened on the Monday of Thanksgiving week, and it was an absolute nightmare. But we actually experienced it earlier during the Party Season on a Wednesday, which was the only day in a 5 day stretch without an event. Same can happen on select Saturdays. All of those days are absolutely brutal, and should be avoided.

If you do make the mistake of going–perhaps even on purpose as you want to see Magic Kingdom at night and it’s your only option–at least heed this one piece of advice: stay far away from Main Street before, during, and after the fireworks! It’s the only opportunity in a several day stretch to watch Happily Ever After, meaning that about 10x the number of guests who can safely fit on Main Street for the fireworks will want to watch from there. Seriously. It can get downright uncomfortable and feel unsafe. Watch from behind Cinderella Castle instead.

8. Genie+ at Animal Kingdom – This replaces Genie+ at EPCOT on this list, which I still wouldn’t purchase or recommend to the vast majority of guests due to the ridiculous amount of backtracking it requires (and among attractions that are incredibly spread out). However, the inclusion of Frozen Ever After or Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure does remove it from ‘worst things you can do at Walt Disney World’ status.

Genie+ has become more popular at Animal Kingdom in the second half of 2023 due to the introduction of per-park pricing. Consequently, Animal Kingdom is now the “cheapest” park and many guests view it as a “good deal” as a result. We beg of you: do not be fooled by this. 

Even on busier days, you do not need Genie+ at Animal Kingdom with even a scintilla of strategizing. Regular readers of this site know this, as we’ve hammered home time and time again that Genie+ is a waste of money at Animal Kingdom. This is discussed in countless posts, including in our Best Time-Saving Strategies for Walt Disney World, which says all you need to know for DAK is “don’t go during the middle of the day and stand in long lines.”

Seriously, that’s about it. Arriving early or staying late work perfectly fine for beating the crowds because most guests still treat it like a half-day park and attendance is significantly lower at Animal Kingdom than any other park at Walt Disney World. As a result, a lower advertised base price for Genie+ by virtue of Animal Kingdom is almost meaningless. This is especially true on days when Animal Kingdom is under $20–crowd levels are never bad enough on those dates to justify Genie+ in the first place!

You shouldn’t waste your money on Genie+ at DAK. Most Lightning Lanes at Animal Kingdom during the off-season are the paid equivalent of a “Bonus FastPass” for PhilharMagic. It might make you feel good, but you’re arguably being played. There’s a reason the price of Genie+ is typically lowest at DAK, and that’s because the service offers far less value and far fewer people use it there.

Oh, and don’t be fooled by high standby times for Na’vi River Journey or Kilimanjaro Safaris, thinking Genie+ will be worth it for Lightning Lanes at those two rides alone. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve done these after 3 pm when a posted ~60 minute wait was actually under 15 minutes.

7. Pinocchio Village Haus Lunch Rush – We covered this one recently in Magic Kingdom’s Biggest Love-Hate Restaurant. After a fast and furious morning racing through Fantasyland, it’s common for kids and parents alike to hit a wall, needing food immediately or risking a meltdown. Enter Pinocchio Village Haus. Literally, they all enter Pinocchio Village Haus because it’s the nearest restaurant when the clock is ticking on a nuclear meltdown.

The core demographic of Pinocchio Village Haus during the midday rush is “hangry families that are 90 seconds to midnight on the WDW Doomsday Clock.” This is exactly why merely mentioning it can send shudders down the spine of longtime fans. We’ve almost all been there, with the war stories to tell about Pinocchio Village Haus and eerily similar not-so-fond memories of the restaurant.

Pinocchio Village Haus is the most infamous Magic Kingdom large-scale eatery, but it’s a similar story with the other high-capacity counter service restaurants. We’ve wandered aimlessly at Cosmic Ray’s trying to find a table and had people literally run into us rounding corners at Pecos Bills. The moral of the story is not to avoid these restaurants entirely–as they each have redeeming qualities–but to not do it during the lunch rush when it’s bonkers. Go early or late to save your time and sanity.

6. Pandora or Star Wars Lands Midday – There are a few components to this. First is crowds, which are always chaotic and take away from enjoying the details that define both Pandora – World of Avatar and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. These two lands absolutely beg to be explored, and stressed out crowds and people going in every which way impede anyone’s ability to truly soak up these lands. The environments and layers of lived-in detail and storytelling are so key for appreciating both.

Plus, the long lines during the middle of the day certainly don’t help. This isn’t just triple-digit waits for the attractions, either. Walkways and shops become congested, and it’s more difficult to see everything as a result. At Galaxy’s Edge, good luck meeting the Mandalorian and Baby Yoda if you’re trying to do so midday!

Second, you’re running a risk if rain is in the forecast. Both lands are huge, but also have few indoor areas that are large and easily accessible if the weather takes a turn for the worse. Adding insult to injury, they are a bit isolated from the rest of their respective parks (or in the case of Galaxy’s Edge, right next door to another popular land with very little covered space). In short, if it starts raining in either and you’re not already inside, you will get wet. Your options for quickly ducking indoors are limited if not nonexistent.

Finally, there’s the simple reality that Pandora and Galaxy’s Edge are best at the beginning and end of the day. The morning light flitters through the trees, kisses the mountains, and gives greater depth and dimension to the rockwork. It’s like going from standard television to high definition, as all of the details are clearer and stand out.

Both lands also take on new dimension once the sun goes down. Pandora’s bioluminescence and organic life comes alive in the evening, and it truly feels like another planet. The setting is enchanted, and evokes what I can only imagine an alien forest is like. At night, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge has a spooky and serene sense to it, except in the marketplace where a variety of beautiful light fixtures give added texture and depth to everything.

This might seem like an exaggeration, but you truly have not experienced Pandora or Galaxy’s Edge if you’ve never done them at night. It’s not just like standard to high def–it’s more like going from listening to the radio to watching in IMAX.

BONUS: Midday Standby at Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance – Similar idea as the above, but the problem here is unique enough to warrant its own (bonus) entry. Wait time inflation at Walt Disney World is a real thing, and we think it has gotten worse with the launch of Genie+ and Lightning Lanes. Whether that has nefarious motivations or not is a different debate for another day. (See Why Certain Walt Disney World Rides Can Have WORSE Actual Wait Times Than Posted.)

We can safely say that Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is notorious for having the least-accurate wait times in all of Walt Disney World. Quite often, especially around park opening and late in the day, the wait times are significantly inflated. We’ve experienced posted wait times that are more than double the actual wait times we’ve experienced. (There have been instances of triple posted vs. actual wait times!) However, that is not always the case.

One thing we’ve learned is that doing Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance via standby during the middle of the day is playing with fire. This is especially true when the posted wait time is over 120 minutes, we’ve found. The reason for this is because the Galaxy’s Edge headliner–and #1 attraction in all of Walt Disney World–is still prone to breakdowns. The longer the line, the higher the likelihood of a ride breakdown.

But that isn’t the only issue. After all, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance has been unreliable since opening, so you’d think that Walt Disney World could build a ‘cushion’ into posted wait times to account for the downtime to some degree, right? (They do. That’s precisely why the wait times are often significantly inflated!)

The real problem is that Disney sells Individual Lightning Lane access to Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, and that does not take downtime into account. Meaning that when the ride reopens, there is a huge backlog of guests who have paid $20+ per person to skip the line at the attraction. And guess what? They are still entitled to that, resulting in a Lightning Lane to standby ratio that is way more skewed to Lightning Lane than normal. This causes the actual standby wait time to skyrocket…and that’s on top of whatever downtime you might’ve endured.

There are two takeaways here. First, don’t do Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance during the middle of the day when wait times are the highest as you’re betting big when it comes to ride breakdowns. Second, if the ride does go down while you’re in the standby line, get out unless you’re very close to the front of the line (you’ve already spent at least 30 minutes in the caves). Don’t make yourself a victim of the sunk-cost fallacy! For more advice to doing the attraction with lower wait times, see our Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance Ride Guide.

5. Summit Plummet – Despite my claim for years that I’m good on this, when we visited Blizzard Beach this year, I did Summit Plummet again. Almost as soon as it began, the realization washed over me like water that I had made a terrible mistake. To borrow the immortal words of Roger Murtaugh: I’m too old for this slide.

This is the only attraction on this list, and the reason for that is that we think people should judge attractions for themselves, because everyone has different preferences. (For example, there are probably a few of you who don’t like Country Bear Jamboree. That’s fine–some people don’t like masterpieces like The Godfather and Citizen Kane, either.)

For me, Summit Plummet at Blizzard Beach water park is something that’s moderately enjoyable and I’m glad it exists, because it looks really cool and is a great water slide concept…but once was enough. From the insanely long line to the feeling of pure terror to the crazy wedgie, I’m good on it for one lifetime. Actually, I’ll probably do it when I’m 65, against my better judgment once more, just to feel young and reckless again. 😉

4. “Improperly Pack” – This is somewhat of a blanket statement because it’s a mistake I’ve made repeatedly in different ways. Basically, I have a propensity to simultaneously under and over-pack, and bring clothing for the weather I want rather than the weather that’s actually forecast.

For example, I have a tendency to pack shorts and polos for winter trips–a mistake I’ve made as recently as last year, even despite having written our Winter Packing Tips for Disney. For early fall trips, I’ve been known to bring jeans and button-downs, even when the weather is still sweltering. Beyond that, I leave behind practical items I end up missing to avoid overpacking, while bringing pointless stuff “just in case” that I never use.

Unfortunately, I don’t have an elephant-caliber memory…or I try to convince myself that “it’ll be different this time” (for reasons unknown), only to have history repeat itself. In other words, I say this is a mistake I’ll never make again…but I almost certainly will. Fortunately, there’s now a UNIQLO at Disney Springs, and that store has bailed me out many times!

3. Food & Wine Festival on a Weekend – We want to start out by saying that we really enjoy Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival…but we don’t love it on weekends. Ever been to a UCF frat party? Well, if you answered “no”, it’s not too late!

Weekend evenings are prime time for college students with disposable incomes to descend upon the Festival to get sloshed. For them, it sure beats drinking Old Style in a dank basement (like we did in college), but that atmosphere plus the huge crowds can make this the least pleasant time to be at Food & Wine Festival.

Weekdays during the festival are far more enjoyable. It’s also far more enjoyable to attend Food & Wine in mid-November when the temperatures and humidity are more bearable, but we invariably attend in September because that’s usually when we visit for Halloween.

BONUS: Italy Booth – If not “required” for the sake of research, we’d never do the Italy booth at any festival ever again. The kiosk is notorious for high prices, elementary school cafeteria-inspired cuisine, and just a startling lack of ambition. If you enjoy paying $10 for a sample-sized version of microwaved TV dinners, Italy is a great option. If not, stay far away.


2. Rainforest Cafe – How this restaurant still has multiple locations around the United States, much less multiple locations in Walt Disney World, defies logic. The food is awful, and the ambiance reminds me of 1980s-relic ShowBiz Pizza Place, but “modernized” for the 1990s and devoid of character/charm.

The dark cloud that hangs over Rainforest Cafe almost extended to cast a shadow over T-Rex Cafe for me. Fortunately, I gave that a chance because dinosaurs, and was pleasantly surprised. If you are thinking, “but our kids love Rainforest Cafe!” consider taking them to T-Rex instead.

1. Leave Early – Nighttime is when the parks come alive with beautiful lighting and enchanting ambiance. It’s also when the weather starts to cool and lines start to die down. From a practical perspective, nights are now more advantageous than mornings, with lower wait times in the last couple of hours of the night than in the first couple hours after rope drop.

On top of that, one of my favorite “attractions” is strolling through World Showcase after Epcot’s fireworks end, just soaking up the ambiance, listening to the music, and seeing the stunning architecture. I’d rather do this for an hour than spend 8 daylight hours in the park. Same goes for wandering along the Rivers of America in Magic Kingdom or being bathed in the neon glow of Tomorrowland.

BONUS: Sleep In – We stress this so much on the blog that it’s probably becoming cliche. However, it’s good advice–especially if you’re staying on-site and are eligible for Early Entry. There’s no better way to beat the crowds at most parks (see our Top Time-Saving Strategies for Walt Disney World for a rundown of the best & worst ways to avoid long lines.) Basically, we would never not be tired at Walt Disney World again. Well, that’s not true–midday naps are a game-changer if you can manage them.

Beyond a couple of other restaurants that are blacklisted (for now), attractions we avoid for personal reasons, and lands that are dead to me *cough*Dino-Rama*cough* that’s about it. Hopefully you can learn from some of our mistakes…or find solace in knowing that we have made these same mistakes as you. Think of this as a support group for those who have been awoken at 2 a.m. at All Star Sports by a cheer practice or who have dropped $200 on a family “dinner” at Rainforest Cafe. Share your own “NEVER AGAIN!” items in the comments–venting can be therapeutic!

Planning a Walt Disney World trip? Learn about hotels on our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews page. For where to eat, read our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews. To save money on tickets or determine which type to buy, read our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips post takes a unique look at clever items to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Ride Guides will help. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know!

Your Thoughts

What things at Walt Disney World would you never do again? Is any restaurant, resort, or ride beyond redemption for you? Any time of year you’d never visit? Do you agree or disagree with our list? Would you do any of these things again? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!

571 Responses to “10 Things We’ll Never Do Again at Disney World”
  1. Kristen December 13, 2023
  2. Lisa December 13, 2023
  3. Keith December 12, 2023
  4. Meghan Richter December 12, 2023
  5. PetsdeSoeur December 11, 2023
    • Tom Bricker December 12, 2023
  6. Jenny December 11, 2023
  7. Gail December 11, 2023
    • Maggie December 13, 2023
  8. Meghan December 11, 2023
  9. Henry December 11, 2023
  10. Cliff S. December 11, 2023
    • mickey1928 December 12, 2023
  11. Melissa Plaisance December 11, 2023
  12. Anne December 11, 2023
  13. Dee December 11, 2023
  14. James December 11, 2023
  15. B December 11, 2023
  16. Jared W December 11, 2023
  17. riz December 11, 2023
  18. James December 11, 2023
  19. Amanda December 10, 2023

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *