Tips for Disney Parks & Cruise Lines

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I just thought I'd let people know that there is a Circle K gas station that, while not specifically on the way to the airport, is not difficult to get to. Essentially, if you are taking the 417 from WDW, you will normally exit onto Boggy Creek Road and turn left to get to the airport. To get to the gas station, turn right off the exit ramp and follow the road about 1-2 miles. The Circle K will be on your right at a traffic signal. The gas here is normally $0.10-$0.15/gallon cheaper than the Car Care Centers. - Pam K.

I always loved purchasing the antenna toppers -- I must have at least 50 for all the seasons. But our cars no longer have antennas. So I found a new use for them. I purchased a package of inexpensive pens and put them into the toppers. Presto! A cute Disney pen for every season. - Barb Carpenter

Categories: Souvenirs

I have an ECV tip, this one geared toward one-day-only visitors to Epcot. My spouse and I are both mobility impaired, so we rent ECVs for our trips to Epcot. (We have the "Epcot After 4" annual pass and go at least once a month.) Neither of us is very strong, and disassembling and reassembling a portable travel ECV and loading and unloading from our SUV is difficult and energy-sapping. We solved this problem by renting from an off-site vendor. Even with delivery and pick-up, it's less expensive than renting at the park. We have the scooters delivered to the Walt Disney World Swan. We collect ECVs and take a pleasant drive along Disney's Boardwalk to the International Gateway entrance to Epcot. This entrance never seems to be crowded, and you enter the park between the United Kingdom and France. When your day is done, drive back to the Swan, park the ECV in the designated area and collect your car (we valet park). - Colleen E.

Categories: Health, ECVs

As great as zipper-top bags are for holding snacks, you might want to think about hard plastic storage containers for them or something equally sturdy. I've witnessed a squirrel literally rip a hole in a reusable supermarket bag to get at the chips inside, no matter how many times we shooed him away. Anytime you're in a show or a ride with a long line the squirrels and birds have PLENTY of time to mess with your stuff that you've left in your stroller or scooter. - Aren

We like to stay on property and get a new MagicBand each time. In order to keep track of which band is for which trip I have started to use my initials, the initials of the resort I'm staying in and the year as the name on the back of the band when I order them. For example, I stayed at Old Key West this spring so the "name" on the back is "CJH OKW18." Next year we are going to Animal Kingdom Lodge so that band will be "CJH AKL19." It's a good way to track your bands. - Joe Hardwick

For those who love to sleep with "white noise" but find the bathroom fan too loud, I use an app on my phone that has white noise. It lasts all night, and you can find this sort of app with a black screen so as not to be disturbed by the light. - Brenda

Categories: Packing

I put Velcro on the bottom of the antenna toppers, so I can attach them to places in my cubicle at work. I can now decorate for every season. My fellow workers think it is a great idea. It helps them remember their Disney trips. - Jack

Categories: Souvenirs

We just returned from a cruise and parks trip -- two days in the parks, then a four-day cruise, then two more days in the parks. We packed separate suitcases for the cruise and the parks days. We left our "parks" suitcase with bell services and they even transferred it to our next hotel. It was there waiting for us when we got off the cruise. Saved everyone time and energy of having one fewer bag to get on/off the ship. Another part of the Disney magic! - Sue and John Bower

Categories: Packing

Consider putting the kids in their pajamas before returning to the parks for the evening. That way when you get back to your room they can just get into bed! Less work for Mom and Dad and it makes for an easy transition to bed for the tired little ones! - Diane

Categories: Kids

Since dresser drawers are few in the rooms, bring along one of those hanging closet organizers for each child with at least seven slots. You can place your child's shorts, t-shirts, socks, underwear, etc. in the cubes thus saving on drawer space. - Barbara D.

Categories: Resorts, Other, Packing

Going through the metal detectors at the park entrances, you have to remove celebratory buttons and put them in the little bins with other metal objects. This can be a pain, especially if you're park-hopping! Consider wearing buttons on a lanyard or bag strap to make it easier to take them on and off. - Gilly R.

We visited Disney's Hollywood Studios last week with our daughters, 16 and 2. While my 16-year-old loved the park, my 2-year-old found it very scary. If you have a little one who is timid, you may want to prepare them for this park or skip it all together. The Star Wars theme and characters are everywhere here. We were standing in line to meet Disney Junior characters when Star Wars music started playing and the characters marched right by us. She was terrified. We had to get out of line. Then we were stopped by a few stormtroopers while leaving Toy Story Mania. She started crying saying she wanted to go home... I saw several children crying when they had to walk by Darth Vader or a stormtrooper... I like Star Wars. But the constant shows that you can hear throughout the park with ominous-sounding music, the sound of scary voices (Kylo Ren and Darth Vader), and intimidating (to a small child) characters were just too much. Hopefully they will keep it localized to just the Star Wars area once it opens. - Jennifer D.

Categories: Kids, Hollywood Studios

If you're looking for Kosher food while visiting Walt Disney World, you'll find it now at Satu'li Canteen in Animal Kingdom (no longer at the Kusafiri Bakery). And it's also at both Liberty Inn and the Electric Umbrella in Epcot. By the way, the vendor for Kosher food has changed. It is no longer Weberman -- they now use Sterling. Thanks for the great site! Hopefully these updates will help others. - Josh

Categories: Food & Beverage

I just returned from a terrific stay at the Grand Floridian and wanted to share a unique experience if you're looking for something extra-special. My husband surprised me with an Intimate Dining Experience. It's a two-hour dining experience for up to four people, even if staying off-property, with a choice of locations throughout the resort, personalized menus and a butler. Ours was on a balcony of the Grand Floridian with a view of the lagoon and fireworks. It was arranged directly through the front desk at the Grand Floridian. - Denise D.

Disney's Hollywood Studios - We discovered the delicious blue crab wonton appetizer at the Hollywood Brown Derby recently. It's a generous portion of crab, bundled along with cucumber, tomato and a slightly hot wasabi aioli in a deep-fried wonton wrapper. It was the perfect start to a wonderful meal. - Linda

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