The Disney Vacation Club may be ”Disney’s best kept secret” but another closely guarded secret is that even the most seasoned Disney travelers, guidebook authors, and enthusiasts don’t know everything about Walt Disney World. How could we? Disney World is constantly making tweaks, both big and small to create a magical place that guests will want to return to time and time again. One of the best parts of my job as a Disney travel guide author is discovering new things about Walt Disney World from friends in the Disney community.
Since it’s nearing the end of the year, I thought it would be a good time to reflect on my favorite Disney tips and tricks I learned over the past 365 day (in no particular order). Unfortunately, in some cases I don’t remember where I heard about the tip but I thank whoever passed it on!
1. Pack the Funnies. We’ve all been at Disney and gotten caught in a shower. The ever-stylish poncho may protect your clothes from getting drenched, but what about your shoes? The thought of putting my feet into wet sneakers makes me go, “Ick,” plain and simple. Marc Lorenzo, a Disney World Moms Panelist, shared a simple and inexpensive fix with me. Stuff some crumpled newspaper into your wet shoes and in the morning, they’ll be dry and comfortable.
2. Muffle the Sound. I love the fireworks at Walt Disney World but they can be LOUD. Some kids are uncomfortable with loud noises but it would be a shame for them to miss out on the splendor of the nighttime entertainment in the Disney parks. Shannon from Meltdown Free Disney shared one of my favorite new tips – Guest Relations at the theme parks has complimentary earplugs.
3. Pack a Chammy (chamois) Cloth. No one likes a wet (pick your favorite euphemism) bottom, behind, tush, tokus. Ginger from The Mouse Connection recommends packing a chammy cloth for wiping off wet benches. Love the idea!
4. Pretty Princess. I don’t have girls so I don’t have to worry about doing the princess thing but I can’t walk more than a few feet at Walt Disney World without seeing an adorable little girl dressed up like her favorite princess. Unfortunately, those outfits can be expensive. I thought the tip about purchasing discounted princess costumes (and presumably other costumes) from the Disney store around Halloween was very clever.
5. Safety First. I’m a big proponent of using Child IDs while on vacation at Walt Disney World and always bring them for the kids. What happens if I forget their Child Identification? Lisa from Pixie Vacations and MouseChat let me know that Guest Relations has some for just such an occasion.
6. Postcards. With today’s technology, I sometimes think writing letters and postcards is a lost art. Although I knew each Disney resort had a mailbox for letters and postcards, I didn’t know that the theme parks had a mailbox. Bruce, from The Unknown Magic Within Walt Disney World shares the locations.
7. Got Milk? Guests staying at a Walt Disney World resort can purchase a refillable resort mug that lets them fill up at the beverage station at their resort’s quick-service location. My family has never used one so I was surprised to read that filling the mugs with milk was a no-no. Thank you to Nancy from The Affordable Mouse and Chip and Company for this tip.
8. Character Autograph. Here’s a simple tip. When you meet the characters, be sure to open your autograph book to the page you want them to sign. With their costumed hands, it can be tough for them to open the book.
9. Beware of Dog. Not really, but the giant dog nose in the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Adventure Movie Set Adventure apparently sniffs and even sprays a mist. I can’t wait for my kids to check this out on our next trip.
10. Don’t Lose Your Money or ADR. There are times the parks close early for special, hard-ticket events such as Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party or Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. There are also some restaurants, such as Cinderella’s Royal Table, that require a credit card guarantee when you make your Advance Dining Reservation (ADR). Chip and Company’s Chris cautions on picking the correct ADR time during these evenings. If you do not have a ticket to the special event and your ADR is after the park closes to guests without tickets, you will not be allowed entry to the restaurant and your credit card will still be charged for meals that require a credit card guarantee.
It’s not possible to know all there is to know about Walt Disney World but it sure is fun trying!
This article was featured on the Dismarks Disney Blog Carnival #14! Check out the carnival for more Disney articles from some of the best Disney Bloggers.
Lisa M. Battista is the author of Beyond the Attractions: A Guide to Walt Disney World with Preschoolers When she’s not chasing after her little ones, you can most likely find her at the beach or in the kitchen trying her hand at a new recipe. You can follow her on Twitter @DisneyExplorer or become a fan of Beyond the Attractions on Facebook.
- Narcoossee’s: A Hidden Gem at Walt Disney World (chipandco.com)
- November Article Round Up. (chipandco.com)