Category Archives: Tips and Tricks
O.K. I’m 64 years old and I still want my picture taken with Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, etc. There are a number of ways to do this and if you want specific characters in specific costumes, i.e. farmer outfits at the Garden Grill you have to go to those places. You can also hunt them down in the parks and wait in line for a quick shot and off you go to search out another one. This method can quickly overcome other plans and the character pictures become an obsession.
I’ve found that a stop at the Epcot Character Spot at park opening gets you a series of character shots with all of the “biggies” in a short time. It’s located right next to Club Cool on the west side of the Fountain of Nations and opens at park opening. Characters are there most of the day and each character has a Photopass photographer with them. If you get there early enough there is not much of a line.
Make sure and bring your own camera and hand it to the person helping the Photopass photographer. They will take pictures while the photographer is working. I found this to be important last trip because our shots with Mickey were missing in our Photopass shots but I had them in my camera. We have found that normally Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Goofy and either Donald or Chip ‘n Dale (oftentimes both) are there. As you can see, you can get a lot of pictures in a short time and it’s indoors and air conditioned. Give it a try!!
There is nothing more refreshing than getting on a water ride on a hot day. While being soaked and walking around in wet clothes is not the greatest feeling it does cool you off. Now imagine you are enjoying your Disney vacation and like most people you have your cell phone in your pocket.
Forgetting its in there you head over to a ride like Splash Mountain and you get drenched not only does your clothes get soaked so does your cell phone.Now you have a couple hundred dollar paper weight.
Here is a little trick my family and I like to do to save from the headache of killing your cell phone by getting it wet.
Pack a few Ziplock bags.
When you know your going to get on a wet ride just pop your cell phone or camera in a ziplock baggie to keep it safe and dry. Ziplock bags take up little to no space in your pocket and can be used for many other things throughout the day.
Just a little trick we learned from experience. I killed my cell phone once at the parks and it cost me $50 even with the cell phone insurance just to get a new phone. All of that hassle and headache could have been fixed with a simple ziplock bag that costs a couple of pennies.
Hope that helps..
If you have a quick tip for keeping your stuff dry let us know in the comment section below.
With a baby on the way for my wife and I at the beginning of next year being the Disney Nerd I am I have started to plan for our October 2011 Disneyworld vacation. That being said we are going to have to make sure to pack that diaper bag to the gills with items.
Before I start the list here is a question I have to ask…Back Pack or Diaper Bag? While for the ladies a stylish bag may match your outfit your probably not going to get your spouse to carry it around for you. For us a backpack has tons of pockets for storage, and is gender neutral so everyone can help haul the load.
Here is the list of items we like to pack in our bag. Many of the items most parents already keep in their bag, others might surprise you.
- Drinks – Around our house we use the No-Spill tumblers. When we travel to Disneyworld we bring a few of these with us. We fill the sippy cup up at every mealtime.
- Change of clothes – We try to carry with us a full change of clothes including socks and underwear. You never know! If you put them in a ziplock bag that keeps gives you storage for soiled outfits, and it keeps the odor in. Parents know what I mean. Zip Lock bags are a life saver!
- Snacks – We usually buy the variety boxes of cereal for snacks for our little ones. They are small, portable and great even for parents to munch on. No matter what you like be sure to pack some snacks.
- Tissues and Baby Wipes – Even as the kiddies progress from Infant to Toddler flush-able baby wipes are a must! Walmart sells a convenient travel pack that fits nicely in a backpack.
- Books – Before you leave for your trip buy some new books. Helps when your waiting in line for a ride or for food. The old books you have at home will not do, as I am sure you and your children have read them 1000 times.
- Mini Disney Characters – Our little one loves these, they travel well, and come in every Disney flavor Be sure to buy a new set before you go. The newness factor helps keep your little one busy while you wait.
- Medicine – Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Band Aids, etc. Make your own little first aid kit to bring with you.
- Good walking shoes – Please for the love of God don’t let your child walk around all day in flip flops. A good pair of walking or running shoes will help the whole family feel better at the end of the day, and not completely wiped out.
- Toys – I mentioned the Disney Characters above but we try to also carry a few other things to play with. Play Doh is a great toy and lots of fun while sitting at the table, coloring book, travel games are just a few suggestions.
- Portable DVD Player - Great for nap times in the room, I picked one up at Walmart for $50 and it is such a lifesaver.
- Pin Trading Lanyard – Just something we like to do while at the parks, cheaper than most toys at the gift shops and kids love to trade and hunt for their favorite characters.
The Baby Care Station has many of these items in case you forget them which can be a lifesaver.
What are some things you bring along with you when Traveling to Disney? Also do you have a diaper bag or backpack?
Let us know in the comment section below.
A lot of my tips come from careful study and planning but this one was a total accident. A lot of visitors love to watch Wishes (Hallowishes etc.) from Main Street USA for many reasons. Some think they will get out of the park faster, but unless they watch from the far end near the train station they will not. Others like the crowds (not me) and still others just have to see the fireworks framing Cinderella Castle. I can appreciate the last one but I’m not quite that fussy as long as I see the fireworks.
On one particular evening we were searching for a spot on the Tomorrowland Bridge but found it just as crowded as the Hub. Apparently not everyone has to see the Castle framed by the fireworks. We headed towards the Hub to see if we could get to the other side and just at the end of the bridge there was a small path off to the left that looked like it could be a shortcut. We took the path and about 1/3 of the way down we happened to look toward the Castle and the view was perfect. We decided to try viewing the fireworks from that spot and were surprised to find that we could see all of the fireworks and even more surprising there were only five or six other people standing there. That spot is where we will stand from now on!!
If you are coming down Main Street USA, the path is off to your right just after you cross the water coming into the Hub area. Hush – don’t tell anyone and enjoy the fireworks!!
There’s more to Disney World than just parks, fun resorts, and good food. There’s a lot of magic that the average visitor doesn’t see. Here’s just a few fun ways to find more magic in less obvious places:
- Keep your trip a secret and surprise the kids. Make sure you have kids who are open to surprises. For some kids, surprises equal meltdowns.
- If you’re driving, “premiere” the latest Disney DVD release on your way down. Showing the kids a new Disney movie is a great way to temporarily silence the “Are we there yets?”
- See the Christmas lights that guests put up at the Ft. Wilderness campground. Tents, RVs, and cabins all get the holiday treatment by guests, some of whom stay the entire season. It’s one of the most festive, happiest displays anywhere.
- Take a behind the scenes or segway tour. If you’ve got an annual pass, you may be entitled to a discount.’
- Learn the story behind an attraction and then ride it. Whether it’s the art of Mary Blair or some obscure fact about the Haunted Mansion, it’s sure to add something to your experience.
- Celebrate a special occasion by parasailing over Bay Lake. You can sign up at the Contemporary Resort.
- Resort hop. Have lunch, look for hidden Mickey’s or just find a quiet corner and cuddle up with a book.
- Check out Celebration, the town that Disney built. It’s a fun place to shop and eat lunch.
- Try one of the best character meals on property at 1900 Park Fare. Cinderella is the guest of honor, but it’s her horrible, hilarious step-sisters who steal the show. Watch out–they’re terrible flirts!
- Watch the fireworks from the beach at the Polynesian.
- Enjoy the queue of a ride you don’t plan on riding. The Tower of Terror has one of the best queues around.
- Stop and watch a wedding at Sea Breeze Point.
- Enjoy a leisurely stroll from the Polynesian to the Grand Floridian.
- Grown-ups can take advantage of Disney transportation and spend an evening drinking around the world. Remember, you don’t have to drink at every country!
- Be more fabulous in the parks. It might sound a bit high-maintenance, but is the Florida humidity making your hair a little crazy? Some deluxe resorts have salons that offer blow-out services for reasonable prices.
- Spend a morning volunteering with Give Kids the World, an organization that provides free Disney vacations to children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.
- Run a marathon. There are races for ever level.
- Go to a Disney fan meet-up. Chances are your favorite blog, Disney forum, or podcast has one. It’s a great opportunity to meet other fans and talk Disney. They can be as simple as meeting for a Dole Whip to a whole week of events.