Category Archives: Tips and Tricks
Last trip to Walt Disney World I was busy taking pictures, streaming video on U Stream, and texting like crazy. Funny thing is, I wasn’t the only one doing this. There were tons of other people using their phones for pictures and video. After a few hours of that and even the best cell phone battery will be completely drained.
What would be nice is if Disney had little Cell Phone/Camera Hot spots where you can sit down for a few minutes and charge your high tech electrical devices. What am I saying this is the company that doesn’t even have wireless hot spots available. Which is my biggest pet peeve at Walt Disney World.
When your battery is dead you basically 2 options other than going back to your room to charge your phone. This first tip is usually what I end up doing. It was funny this past weekend to see one of Chris’s Facebook messages that she was doing the same thing.
Most bathrooms at Walt Disney World have a electrical outlet some place outside. One of my favorite spots was the restrooms near Splash Mountain there is a small infant play area underneath the Disney Railroad. In Epcot I found some outlets near Boulangerie Patisserie which was nice cause I had a snack and let my cell phone charge.
Basically any place I saw an open outlet I would pop a squat and charge my cell phone. Sometimes Disney employees would give me a dirty look but fortunately nobody said anything to me. Its a great opportunity for a break or a quick snack through out the day.
Your second option and better choice would be Quick Charger from any electronics store. Most run from one or two AA batteries and attach via your mini usb adapter. A quick charger is easy to use and if you pair that with rechargeable batteries you can save yourself alot of money. Many of the Quick Chargers have a ton of connection options so no matter what cell phone your using they have an adapter.
Maybe someday Disney will have Kiosks to charge your electronics but for now here are a few options for you. If you have a quick tip let us know in the comment section below.
I take quite a few pictures every time I travel to Walt Disney World, more than 1700 last visit. So far (knock on wood) there have been no major disasters. I generally end up taking home all of the photos snapped during the vacation. There are lots of things you can do to lessen your chances of a “photo free” vacation.
- We always pre purchase the Photopass CD and use it at every opportunity. You not only save $50 by buying ahead of time, if you don’t feel you have enough pictures taken by Photopass when you review them on line you can get a complete refund. Here is their website: http://www.disneyphotopass.com/previsitoffer.aspx. You should always ask the Photopass photographer to take a couple of shots using your personal camera also, as a backup. They are generally happy to do it.
- Always, always, always have enough battery power. Digital cameras are notorious battery hogs and if you don’t have enough you may miss some great pictures or be forced to pay Disney prices for batteries. I always take 4 complete sets of rechargeables and a charger to Walt Disney World. I put a fully charged set in the camera each morning and take another fully charged set in my pack. I also carry two spare sets of lithium Energizers just in case. Yup!!- I’m a bit obsessive about this item it’s that important. Don’t forget spare batteries for your flash unit if you use an external type unit.
- A lot of people buy the largest memory card their camera can handle and use it to take all of their pictures to avoid changing cards. There are a couple of precautions here. If you lose or damage the one card you have used your pictures are gone forever. Also, if you buy a bargain card (generally a Class 2), as more and more pictures are added to the card it takes your camera much longer to initialize (you could lose opportunity pictures) and often requires longer between pictures because of processing time (uses more battery power also). If you are willing to use one large card (I use a Class 6, 16 Gig) make sure you buy a Class 6 card or faster as they become available. I also carry a backup Class 6, 16 Gig card (there’s that obsessive streak again). Expensive – yes, worth it – YES!!
- Make sure you keep your lens clean, especially if you use a smaller point and shoot type camera where your fingers can accidentally smudge the lens. I lost several pictures a couple of visits ago when I was using a small camera and didn’t notice the smudge on the lens. Very disappointing.
- Probably the best thing to do is download your pictures each day to a laptop computer. Most people (me included) do not carry a laptop on vacation but for those who do this is an outstanding solution.
These are just a few suggestions I hope will keep you from losing your vacation pictures. Above all , be organized with your camera and accessories and they will serve you well. Enjoy your visit to Walt Disney World!!
While writing an article yesterday I started thinking about our last Disney World Vacation. I thought about the places we have to visit, things we like to eat, then I wondered about traditions we like to do before we leave. After pondering my own weird and unusual traditions I opened this question to our Facebook Family.
I will start off with some of my strange Disney Park Traditions and then move on to yours..
- I have an obsession with the soaps & shampoo from Walt Disney World. I have quite the extensive collection and I make sure on my trip to snatch up the soaps and shampoo and hide them so I get new ones everyday. Then when I leave I use those soaps and shampoos at other hotels to feel like I am back at Disney..
- Also when we visit we HAVE to ride all the different forms of transportation at the parks. I plan for us to come to the Magic Kingdom almost a different way. By bus, monorail, and ferry, and motor launch I am obsessed with the the transportation.
- I have a bunch more but I will spare myself the laughter and mocking..
Ok now our Facebook Fans answers.
- Chris W - On our last day, we go to the MK. When we leave, we always turn around in front of Town Square, look at the castle and wave good-bye to Mickey. This has to happen.
- Jaime G - when we go to MK we always stop at the Main street barber shop and get the boys hair cuts (they both had their first haircuts here….6 years apart) and we have to get some color and pixie dust added in too!
- Kristy M – Because we drive we don’t do a park on our last day, but we always go to a late breakfast at Chef Mickey’s to say our goodbyes. It makes leaving a little more enjoyable. We also always have Thanksgiving lunch at Beaches and Cream and all we order is a Kitchen Sink. We also always have to start the trip at MK. The other parks are great but we have to start with MK.
- Lisa P – The first thing we do after we check in the hotel is walk over to EPCOT and have lunch at Les Chefs De France then go over and ride Journey To Imagination. Once we have done that we know our vacation has begun!
- Kelly L - We honk the horn while passing under the Welcome to Disney World sign that goes over the road as we drive in!
- Carrie A – Upon arrival to the resort we place bets on what color monorail we see first. When it’s sad time it’s the same routine – breakfast at Kona Cafe, one final ride on the monorail, BBB for the girls, a few hours at MK, sitting backward in the rental car so we can watch the “Welcome to DW” sign become part of the horizon, a quick argument over something stupid because our nerves are shot after 10+ days with each other 24/7 and neither of us want to go back to reality, and then off to the airport we go.
- Cynthia S – Have to walk the magic kingdom and the World Showcase Clockwise. I don’t know why….
- DeAnna W – we round the corner in town square, stand there at the entrance of main street looking at the castle and I throw my hands up in victory & say “we made it – we’re here!” then we all laugh & walk on -but I do it every time with a tear in my ey…e because thats what my dear sweet dad always did when we were young. Then its off to Pirates of the Caribbean & everyone has to join in singing “Yo Ho” at least once. That’s when its really real- i AM there! we also yell like mad when we go under the Disney World sign for the 1st time. I must have a pastry every time from Boulangerie in France. I must visit the Christmas store in Downtown Disney. I can smell the cinnamon before I even reach the door & i always take home a new ornament for the tree. Whew! thats just a few!
- Jessica S – Every time Eric and I go to Disneyland and have a few extra bucks, we buy taffy from the candy shop in Main Street. It’s $2 for a small bag (one scoop). The taffy is SOOOOO good! We love it. We get a small bag and pour it in to pick out the pieces we really like. (Banana is our favorite.)
- Pamela W - We always ride Its a Small world first. One year is was closed for refurb & had to do Peter Pan instead & it just wasn’t the same. This was the first ride that my children ever rode at WDW. We also always eat at Flame Tree Barbeque at AK.
- Jameson K - We always go to Downtown Disney on our last day to try to milk the last of the Disney magic we can. So, what if we don’t get home until 4 a.m.? Totally worth it!!
- Marion D – When we arrive at Disney, we sing “When You Wish Upon A Star” as we drive under the Welcome To Disney Sign. If you start the moment you see it in the distance, you finish “where dreams come true” as you cross under. Love it!
- Tammy K - Oh, that Welcome to Walt Disney World sign, get’s me every time – I just got goose bumps thinking about it. Every time we go, I call my niece and fellow Disney Addict, Carrie, and “ride” under the sign with her….stupid, but very exciting.
- Sharon C - Last day – The Magic Kingdom, turn around at the train station and look at the castle and say “I love you, I will miss you, and I will see you soon!” Then breathe a long sigh…………….
What are some of your Disney Traditions or Rituals you like to do when you visit the Disney Parks? Let us know in the comment section below.
Three things that I really get excited about are Disney, creativity, and saving money. When I can combine all 3, it is a red-letter day in my book. Today, we’re going to talk about how to have your own red-letter day by helping your child make their own Disney World autograph book.
Yes you can buy a generic Disney World autograph book when you get to the parks, or even at home before you leave but really, why? Why spend as much as $11 on a way to collect your child’s character autographs, when you can make one for less than half the cost…and have a blast doing it! So get your scissors and glue sticks out and get ready to have some creative Disney fun.
(Important note before we go further: DO NOT PANIC if you feel like you are not creative! The great thing about a project like this is there is no right or wrong, and no one is judging you! Creativity is all about what your child…and you…like. So no worries, and just have fun with it, ok? )
So, let’s get started! First, you will want to buy a small spiral or post-bound book, and cut out Disney pictures that your child can glue on, use some letter stickers to say whatever you want it to say (or print out from your computer and cut them out if you want), give your child markers, glitter pens, whatever you have at home, and allow them to decorate as they like. Add anything you have at home: tie ribbons to the spirals, add buttons, stickers, gems, you name it. Voila. A Disney masterpiece.
There are two keys here to making this successful:
- Use items you have at home. Yes, you can buy all kinds of fantastic items in the scrapbooking aisle of your local craft store….but that is not likely to save you money here. It will look great, and be a lot of fun, but it will not be cheaper. (Note: The autograph book shown in the photo does use scrapbook supplies and is pretty elaborate, but don’t feel like yours needs to look like that…..just use it for ideas and inspiration!)
- Allow your child to be creative. There is no right or wrong way to do this. As I used to tell my preschool art classes (and their parents) it’s about the process, NOT the product. It really doesn’t matter if it’s not perfect. Really. Does your child like it and are they proud of it? Then it IS perfect.
To finish it all up, you may want to invest in some sort of fixative to protect pictures on the cover, if your child uses a lot of these. Be sure to read the label of what you are buying, or talk to a craft store associate FIRST, to make sure that the fixative will protect the pictures, and not destroy them.
But other than the notebook, and maybe fixative if you need it, there really is no other cost. Isn’t that awesome?
Beyond that, the thing I absolutely love about this kind of project, is it channels all that “when are we going?” energy that kids have into something that helps them get ready to go to Disney too. Creating your own autograph book is something that your child will bring to Walt Disney World with them. Imagine how proud he/she will be when giving it to Mickey to autograph!
Nancy, her husband and college-age daughter live in the Baltimore MD area, but consider Walt Disney World their second “home”. She started her site, The Affordable Mouse, as a way to share ideas about how to plan affordable Disney vacations. Her favorite things at Disney World (in no particular order) are Soarin’, most of the food in World Showcase, Illuminations…and that special “Disney magic” found in the most unexpected places.