I’m sure many of you reading this have felt at least one point in your life that your car can pretty much drive itself to and from work every day. You jump in, turn the key, put it into drive, and then think of your day and let your subconscious take care of everything else.
Day in and day out we all go through routines that become so second nature that we tend to not pay as much attention to what we do, as we should.
When we do this we sometimes take for granted all the little things we do and may not realize that perhaps there may be some value to what we do and this value should be passed on to others.
Those of us who are fortunate to visit Walt Disney World fairly often are especially guilty of taking a lot of things for granted and upon leaving Orlando last week I reflected on a few things that I do on every trip and made some notes that I would like to share with you.
You may practice a lot of these tips when you travel to WDW but if you don’t I hope some of my habits can work for you…my goal is to save you time, money, and stress.
The focus here is on flying to and from Orlando and the little things I’ve learned over the last 35 (Yikes!!!) years.
“¢ I am a member of several of those car rental clubs that allow me to bypass the counter and go right to my car. Although this does not save much money it does save me precious time. I don’t have to wait in line and I get to choose the car I want. Some agencies choose the car for you. Being able to go right to the garage and get my car can save me time…especially if there is a line at the counter.
“¢ When I get into my resort room at Walt Disney World I don’t bother unpacking until I get back from the park that evening. I take everything out of my luggage and either hang up my clothes or put them into drawers. Now here is something I have started practicing years ago. At the end of the day I will remove what I have worn and neatly fold it and put it in my luggage for the trip home. Thus I am packing a little bit every night so I don’t have to go crazy the night before or the morning I travel. Plus by taking my time and folding everything I make good use of my luggage’s space.
Now let’s talk about leaving Orlando. It’s tough enough to leave Mickey and the gang so why not figure out how best to do it with as little stress as possible?
“¢ If you do that little nightly packing routine then you can spend a late night in the parks the night before you leave Orlando. On the day you leave put your luggage near the door and do a “sweep” of your room”¦drawers”¦under the bed”¦bathroom”¦everything. You don’t want to leave anything behind”¦I have.
“¢ For those of you who do rent a car and elect to return the car with a full tank, you may be interested in the following tip. There are Hess gas stations on WDW property but I prefer to NOT use those because of not one but three reasons.
o First many people use the Hess Stations on WDW property and it’s not always easy
to find an available gas pump”¦it can be crowded.
o Secondly I prefer to fill my tank a bit closer to the airport.
o Finally, and probably something we all can agree to, is that I prefer to find the
most economical gas station to fill my tank.
So keeping that in mind I suggest you get on Rt. 417 N off Buena Vista Drive near Bonnet Creek Parkway. On the way to the airport you will pass the Caribe Royale on your right and just beyond on your right you will find a Hess gas station. This station tends to offer gas at an average of 5 cents less per gallon than those Hess stations on Walt Disney World property. Need I say more?
“¢ Before I forget, if you have not rented a car from Orlando’s International Airport in the last 30 days or so you need to know that there have been some changes. Be sure on your next visit to pay attention to the signs as to where your agency’s cars are parked.
“¢ Now here is something I have been practicing for the last five years and I personally think this is one of those routines that I think I have taken for granted…until last week.
After dropping off my rental car I went to the terminal and, as usual, I use the Skycap to check-in my luggage.
On this particular morning the airport and my airline in particular, was very busy. The lines on the inside of the terminal were so long that conservatively speaking I think it would have taken at least 45 minutes to check in my bags so as per my usual routine I went outside to the Skycap.
Yikes there was a line of about 20 people waiting to do the same thing.
However, as I have always found, if you use some effort and some powers of observation, you can find a way around these things.
What I noticed was that if I walked about another 20 yards or so I could go to another Skycap station in which only three people were in line.
In no time I had my bags checked and was on my way to go through security.
It was well worth the time and money to save time.
As I walked by the huge line of passengers waiting to check their bags at the inside counter I wondered why more people did not use the Skycap.
“¢ When I go through security, especially when I have lots of technology with me (cameras, laptops, etc.) I try to be proactive so things will go quickly.
I take my watch, change, wallet, and anything else that might be an issue and put them in a carryon piece of luggage. I do this before I get in line”¦everything is in a safe place.
“¢ As I approached the security area, I noticed that the lines on the Terminal A side were long”¦almost too long.
The lines on the Terminal B side were not as long, I check that side every time as well”¦and so I went over that side”¦and found that the lines were very short and I was able to get through security rather quickly.
When I made it to the gate I sat down and figured that all these steps may have saved me as much as one hour in traveling time.
All these routines have become second nature to me when traveling to Walt Disney World.
I hope some of them can help you.