Category Archives: Tips and Tricks
So the Disney Mom’s Panel is Now Accepting Applications for 2011. Here is part of their official press release
Have you and your family experienced Walt Disney World® Resort? Are you a self-proclaimed “go to” person on all there is to see and do? Well, if so, then we’d like to hear from you!
We are currently looking for individuals to become part of the Walt Disney World® Moms Panel. These individuals will join the panel of moms starting in January of 2011. As with the current panel, this new team will be invited to share views of their own Walt Disney World® vacation experiences, as they answer questions and provide advice to families planning a trip to Walt Disney World® Resort.
Applications will be taken from 9:00 am Eastern Daylight Time on September 13, 2010 through 11:59 pm Eastern Daylight Time September 17, 2010 or when we have reached 20,000 applicants, whichever comes first.
I posted this article earlier today here.
While I love the Disney Mom’s Panel I notice the increasingly number of MEN on the Mom’s Panel. This past year there were 6 guys on the Mom’s Panel. You can check out the complete list here.
So at what point does the Disney World Mom’s Panel become the Disney World Mom’s & Dad’s Panel. I mean I was cool with one guy in there, way to go whatever your name is you got in. Now it is kinda getting a little out of hand. Why not defect from the Mom’s Panel and create the Disney World Dad’s Panel???
Don’t get me wrong I am all about equality but at some point you need to just start up a new group or change the name to something that includes both the men and the women. I mean if there are 6 guys out there wanting to help people and answer questions I know you could find 12 more. Personally I thought about applying but being a guy on the Disney World MOM’s Panel just doesn’t do it for me…I would kinda be embarrassed to tell people that. Not that there is anything wrong with it
I mean it could be fun to have some manly men who want to talk about manly Disney things. A man’s and a woman’s perspective of the parks are totally different and it would be nice to be able to choose instead of heaping them all together.
Either split them up or merge them together with a new name, either way it is better than what is out there now..Oh well its just my opinion. Let me know what you think in the comment section below.
So you’ve already bought Magic Your Way park tickets when you decide an annual pass is a better deal. Did you know that you can take that ticket to Guest Services and upgrade it to an annual pass? The full value of that ticket will be applied to the pass and you’ll just pay the difference. So say you bought a $200 ticket and your AP costs $489. You’ll just pay an additional $289.
Your AP will be backdated to the first date of use. So say you have a 7 day ticket and you the first day you used it was September 1st. On day 7, you decide to upgrade. Your full value of that ticket will be applied regardless of how many days you used and your AP start date will be September lst.
Two big caveats:
If you bought tickets from a discounter like Undercover Tourist, you’ll only be given the discounted value of that ticket unless (and this is huge) you use the ticket first. This probably seems counter-intuitive, but it kind of makes sense. All you have to do is use your UT discounted park ticket once (or more) during your trip and you’ll be given the Disney value of that ticket. So say you paid $180 for your discounted ticket. If you bought this ticket through Disney, it would be worth $200. Don’t scan that ticket at least once and you’re only getting $180 applied to your AP, which is the value of the ticket that Undercover Tourist sold you. Use it once (or more) and you’ll get the full $200. That’s a savings of $20 to you. Many people who buy APs take this route to save a little bit of money.
The other caveat is that you must (in theory) upgrade your ticket within 14 days of the first use. You can even do this once you get home, although it’s probably better to take care of it in the parks. After your 14 days, you’re not technically allowed to upgrade. Having said that, I know for a fact that people get home and are allowed to upgrade a few days out of that window. Very much of it depends on the cast member and because of this, I’m not recommending it. However, one CM told me as long as it’s within the same month, you’re allowed to do it.
Rather than just one quick tip, I wanted to offer suggestions of things you can do both prior to and during your visit to Walt Disney World so you will feel as good at the end of your visit as you did at the start.
- Begin a walking regimen at least 60 days in advance of your visit to get used to extended bouts of walking, a way of life at Walt Disney World.
- If you are planning on getting new footwear for your visit, get them when you start your walking regimen so you can break them in – super important!!
- Two or three weeks before your visit, increase your intake of water to make sure you are initially hydrated and your body becomes accustomed to the intake (cuts down on bathroom stops). While actually at Walt Disney World make it a point to stay hydrated.
- Plan rest periods each day. A dip in the pool and a short lie down will make a world of difference.
- If you are on a somewhat extended visit, plan a rest day in the middle. That means either no park visit or a short half day with the rest of the day at your resort or at something a bit more mundane like miniature golf, a movie, etc.
- Please don’t “Commando” tour – take time to look around and smell the roses.
These are just some things that we do and have found that we generally feel wonderful at the end of the visit. Have a wonderful trip!!
You have decided to go to Walt Disney World fellow Oldie but you need to find information so you know when to go, where to stay, and what is happening while you are there. Fear not, there is enough information available on the internet to make your head spin all the way around several times. There is almost too much information out there but if you approach the internet logically you can find exactly what you need. I could list literally hundreds of sites but I’m going to introduce you to those that I have found to be the most useful. To begin with, you are at one of the best and most current right now: http://www.chipandco.com/. The site is updated with the most current information available literally on an hourly basis so what you get is the best general information available. Let’s get to the best of the rest!!
Overall super planning site: AllEars is a site I visit almost daily. You can find it here: http://allears.net/index.html. This site has been around for over 15 years and is full of planning type information covering every area from general planning to accommodations to dining including menus from every restaurant on site. It’s an outstanding website.
Subscription sites: There are several available but the two standouts are Tour Guide Mike and Touring Plans. They are located here: http://www.tourguidemike.com/ and here: http://www.touringplans.com/.
Naturally, there is a fee for each site and all of the details are on the site. I personally use Tour Guide Mike every trip because I do not do detailed touring plans and am far more interested in the tips on the site and the Least Crowded Parks charts.
Discussion Boards: Of all of the Disney discussion boards on the internet I think you get the best information at the Passporter Boards. The folks there are super friendly and well informed. You will never be criticized for asking what may seem to an experienced Disney traveler, a simple question. You will get a welcome and an accurate answer. You can find these boards at: http://www.passporterboards.com/forums/. Great people with tons of knowledge.
Just to give you an idea of just how much is actually out there you can take a look here: http://www.disney-links.com/ and here: http://disneybloggers.blogspot.com/. It’s a bit scary but if you stick to the sites mentioned above until you become familiar with what is available you will then be able to make better use of these sites. If you love a good Disney News Scroll check out Disney Detectives too.
Happy info hunting and as always, enjoy your visit to Walt Disney World my Senior Buddies!!!
There is something truly amazing about taking young children to Disney. Seeing the magic through the eyes of a child who sees everything innocently and as a real magical experience, of course as long as everyone remains happy and relaxed during your trip. Nothing can ruin a magical vacation faster than a cranky child.
Here are ten tips for a happy Disney Vacation with toddlers.
- Daily magical surprise – Leave a magical surprise out for your child to find when waking up to help set the mood for the day. It doesn’t have to be anything large or expensive. If you know you are going to see a certain character that day for breakfast, or if you going to be seeing a certain show lay out something that relates to what you child will see that day. I find Dollar Tree stores or Walmart has small gifts, stickers, etc you can pick up pretty inexpensively to help you child get excited about that days ventures. If you have the money get them some new Disney shirts to show off that day..Who doesn’t like new clothes?
- Change of Clothes – Speaking of clothes..I am sure at some point through out the day you toddler is going to get wet or dirty. Hopefully you are at the age where they have outgrown a diaper. But now the fun begins..the uh oh stage. I am sure at some point you had an accident and messed your clothes. Throw a quick change of clothes in a zip lock bag and no matter if they have an accident or get dirty waiting in line you are covered.
- Moving at a toddlers pace – My wife and I are pretty hardcore when it comes to visiting the parks before we had kids. But now that we have a little one who loves to get into everything we have to slow things down a lot! When visiting the parks have 5 things you think your child would want to see and then give them an opportunity to explore. Try not to have a set schedule, take your time, relax, and have fun. If you can at least get the 5 things you wanted to see out of the way then it was a good day.
- Your John Hancock please – While getting tons of souvenirs would be great if you had a money tree. Realistically you just dropped some serious cash on getting to Disney and most families have or are on a budget. A fun way your child can remember their trip is Autographs. Other than buying or making a book the autograph is free. Most characters have stamps now that look great and include a logo your child can relate to. Also when you child holds out their autograph book to get their signature it is so cute! Be sure to take tons of pictures to maybe add to their book later.
- Playgrounds the lifesaver – Almost all the Disney Parks have a playground..I know what your thinking why would I goto a playground when essentially the whole park is one big playground. Well waiting in line, sitting down to eat, and just being a toddler those little rascals seem to build up energy. What better way for you to relax for a few minutes and let them expel some of that built up energy before you go and tackle that next line or meal.
- They are never to old – Most parents assume since you toddler has been walking for a while now they will not need a stroller. But their little bodies can’t cover ground like you or I can, so even though it might seem like they have an endless supply of energy sometimes they need a break. Umbrella strollers are usually under $20 and make great storage for when you child is walking around. Not to mention leaning on it when you have tired feet is a great. If you can’t bring yours along you can rent one from Disney for the length of your stay for a hefty ransom.
- Say Cheese – When it comes to taking pictures don’t get freaked out when your child gets scared seeing Mickey Mouse standing over 5′ tall. Unless your toddler is cool as a cucumber all the time and spits nails it gonna happen. If you have to have that picture of you little one with Tinkerbell take them back while they are passed out in the stroller, it will be something funny you can pick on them about when they get older
- Gimmie a break – Snack breaks, lunch breaks, nap times. Be sure to rest often. I am sure this isn’t your last trip to Disney. Like most people you will be back again, or if you are visiting for any length of time you will be coming back to that park. So take the time to relax! Take frequent breaks use those snack coupons. Explore. Go on a boat or monorail ride…Have fun did I mention this is a vacation.
- Don’t over do it – Nothing weighs you down more than loading up on carbs at a meal and heading out try to burn all those calories back off. I am no health nut nor am I a trained dietitian but I do know eating a plate full of yummy pancakes or loading up on at a All You Can Eat Buffett makes my pants fit tight and limits my maneuverability Combine that with chasing after a toddler and you are asking for it..Be sure to keep water and juice on hand to limit dehydration, a cranky toddler makes for a bad day.
- Double your pleasure -I love the parent/child swap feature at Disney (call it whatever you like). Child swap is available on most attractions at Disney. With a child swap the first person tells the cast member you have a child swap, and most times they issue you a pass, after getting the child swap pass, they will actually stand in the queue (either the FastPass or the standby line). After the first person has completed the ride, the pass is then given to the non-rider who will enter through the exit to enjoy the attraction without having to wait in line. The benefit of child swap, in addition to being available on most attractions, is that with this pass a second person can ride each time. Also the parents who are with the toddler can actually walk around and go do something else. Text messaging on your phone makes a great way to let the other parent know its their turn.
Well I hope these tips help to make your next Disney trip more enjoyable. If you have any other trips be sure to share them with us in the comment section below.