Leaving before the fireworks
By late afternoon, you’d most likely be begging for a hot soak. Grin and bear it for a couple more hours. Disneyland’s nighttime fireworks are always such a spectacular and immersive production. For excellent viewing real estate, you’ll have to sit and save your spots anyway -- at least one-and-a-half hours in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle or 45 minutes along Main Street USA -- giving your tired feet a bit of respite. With a dreamy score, dazzling light displays, and sometimes even fog and snow to round the fireworks off, it’s the park’s most iconic moment for a reason.
Blowing an afternoon at Disney Springs
Someone in your group will inevitably suggest a trip to Disney Springs, the outdoor waterfront area that’s free to visit and easily accessible through Disney World’s network of shuttles. Sure, you may have to indulge your party’s weak link by tagging along, but just know that it is, plus or minus, a glorified high-end mall that tends to be overcrowded, unnecessarily pricey, and fakely bourgeois. There’s an Uggs store. A place called Filthy Rich that shills knockoff celebrity jewelry. A forthcoming “an estate-style wine bar.” Certainly, you’ll survive -- there’s a candy store and enormous Lego sculptures and people to ogle -- but in general, the place exudes ersatz aspirational luxury with none of the Disney magic.
Not spending any legit time in Orlando
Even if you are driving, the only part of Orlando most Disney guests ever see is the highway from MCO to Buena Vista Parkway. So, naturally, visitors assume it’s a city made up entirely of gas stations and chain restaurants. But the theme parks also pull in a ton of creative, outgoing people who have built a thriving, authentic city in Orlando proper. Areas like Mills 50 and Audubon Parkway have filled in with creative restaurants, breweries, and hip cocktail lounges where the exceedingly friendly locals will be happy to greet an inquisitive traveler.