Tips for Disney Parks & Cruise Lines

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While we have been to Disney World numerous times for the Halloween party, we have found that instead of going to the parks that day, since your Halloween party ticket is also park admission, we use that day to swim, shop at Disney Springs, do laundry and nap. The park allows admission after 4 p.m. with your party tickets and you have plenty of time to put on your costume and all night to party without being tired from a day in the park! - Diane H.
Categories: Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party
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We always carry a cinch sack to the parks. To help us get through the security bag check a little faster, my husband put all our items in two large zipper-top bags before we put them in the sack. Several security guards commented that it was a great idea. It made their job easier by being able to just look at the bags instead of digging through the cinch sack. - Chrissie
Categories: Theme Parks, Security
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Fuel Rod is a company that for a one-time fee gives you a portable charger and three adapters that fit most phones. After that one-time fee, you can continue swapping it for a charged Fuel Rod at other Fuel Rod stations as often as you need. Disney has these Fuel Rod exchange machines in all the parks and at Disney Springs -- often located in shops or restaurants. Using the My Disney Experience app, the Play Disney app, and just texting others in your party, phone batteries can run down pretty quickly. Our family of four used the Fuel Rod to keep our phones charged throughout our trip. There are also exchange stations in most airports and many other locations. We noticed that the one-time fee at Disney was $30, but in our local airport it was only $20, so if you decide to use this service, it might be cheaper to buy it before leaving home. - Linda H.
Categories: Mousecellaneous
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If you're already on the bus on the way to the park and realize you forgot to use deodorant, go to a cashier at one of the main stores. I stopped in Magic Kingdom at the Emporium and they had a mini size deodorant. I think it was $3. - Linda

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is a good tip to keep in mind for many similar toiletries and over-the-counter medications (aspirin, antacid, etc.). At the main store in each park, like the Emporium or MouseGear, they keep a selection of these sorts of items out of sight. Just ask a cast member and they'll send you to the proper counter so you can purchase them.
Categories: Packing, Health
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My husband and I like to travel, and Disney trips are high on our list of things to do. Through the years as we traveled we realized there are a lot of expenses that are obvious and can be budgeted for, and others that are not so obvious that can impact that budget. So I started to make a list of all those hidden expenses. Charges for parking at hotels, tips for shuttles to and from the airport, tips for housekeeping at hotels, tips for meals (this one can really add up), and other things. After we had our list, we set out a coffee can and every time we came in the door we put any ones or other bills in the can. You would be surprised how quickly it all adds up! I would then figure out how much I would need for each category, such as room tips and then I will roll them up and label them and set them aside. For meal tips, we figured how much we would spend on food each day and then we would figure 20 percent of that for each days meal tips. I also made an extra roll for things I might have missed. I can't tell you how much this helped our budget and eased our minds. It's sometimes taking care of the little stuff that can make a big difference. - Randi B.
Categories: Budget
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Please stop feeding the wildlife! Birds, squirrels and yes, even alligators. Even with multiple changes and signs we still see this occurring every visit. Please also secure your food in your stroller, or the animals will have a buffet while you are on a ride. - Bonnie C.
Categories: Mousecellaneous
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I recently returned from Walt Disney World and was at Animal Kingdom on a very hot and busy Saturday at lunchtime. I kept finding long lines of people standing in the sun waiting to place orders. Not wanting to wait in one of these lines, I decided to try Mobile Ordering. It was beyond easy and I am not savvy with electronics. If you ever made reservations on My Disney Experience then they have your credit card on file. The menus are easy to see, but what was even better was I placed my order and a few minutes later I walked into Satu'li Canteen and got my order in two minutes -- no waiting in a long line and blaring sun. I am sold on this now. - Bonnie L.
Categories: Food & Beverage
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Did you forget or lose your charging cable for your cell phone or laptop? Try the business center at the hotels with convention facilities (Yacht & Beach Club, BoardWalk, Coronado Springs, Swan/Dolphin) to see if they have replacements available. Failing that, ask at the front desk or lobby concierge at your Disney resort if there are any cords in their Lost and Found -- they may just have one that fits your device that you can borrow temporarily! (Don't ask me how I know this...) - AllEars® Editor Deb Koma
Categories: Mousecellaneous
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No room for your refillable mug in your suitcase? Clean it out and put small gift items (or even clothing) inside to save room. - Kristy B.
Categories: Packing, Souvenirs
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During our visit last month, it seems I got pulled aside to go through the metal detector at every park security check. Unfortunately, I brought one belt with me to Florida and it had a big metal buckle on it which set off every metal detector at every park, meaning I had to get hand-wanded alot. Next trip, I will go online prior and order a belt with a plastic buckle, thus making my trip through security at the airport, and Disney, a much faster and smoother process. I encourage others to do the same. - Tom
Categories: Security, Theme Parks
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If you have MagicBands from a previous trip to Walt Disney World more than three years ago, and think you can use them again, DON'T. While the bands may work at the front desk or to make purchases, they may not work to open your resort door. This happened to us and it took two trips to the front desk before a cast member asked how old the bands were. She issued new bands and the problem was resolved. The batteries in the bands last just a few years, so don't take a chance with them! - William K
Categories: Magic Bands
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If you have been unable to get a FastPass+ for any ride prior to arrival, keep checking throughout the day. We managed to get the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train for late evening at around 7:30 p.m. on the same day. People change/cancel plans throughout the day. And if you change yours, don't forget to cancel your FastPass+ reservations and make someone else's day! - Pauline
Categories: FastPass+
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I'm planning a trip to Disney's Aulani, and I just learned that they now have the Daily 'Iwa, Aulani's daily activity schedule (sort of like the Disney Cruise Line's Navigator) online. This is a great way to try to plan your stay with all of the activities that are offered around the resort. The Daily 'Iwa shows events for the next 10 days, so check it just before your trip! You can find it HERE. - Debbie
Categories: Resorts
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A few weeks ago, a reader named Barbara asked for advice on bringing a service dog to the parks. As usual, AllEars® readers came through with lots of helpful tips and ideas!

Jody H. and many others pointed out: Look into paw protection. The asphalt and walkways get very hot and will be very hot on dog paws. Also, take shade breaks when possible and keep water on hand. I hope you enjoy the parks!

Tammy K.: Please remember the asphalt gets very hot, which could be harmful to soft dog pads. We don't notice because we have shoes on. Please consider some type for foot covering while walking with the dog in the parks to avoid injury. Also in general they can get very hot and overheated from fur especially if they are not used to being outside all day so please have a constant supply of water for your service dog. You can find easy to use refillable pet squirt bottles at the pet store. Lastly make sure to take your dog to see Pluto for a sweet picture of you all together. Happy Worlding!

Gina: My father was blind, and he and his guide dog, Newley, made many trips to WDW with my son and I. Here are the most important tips I can think of: 1.) Make sure you're out of the park or in a remote part of the park before fireworks begin. They train these wonderful animals to ignore distractions as much as possible, but the fireworks are really too much for them. 2.) Cast Members are so great about guiding you to the closest service animal ‘relief area', getting them a bowl of water, and assisting with ride lines and show seating. 3.) Don't think your service animal can't ride anything! Newley rode most everything with us, roller coasters and thrill rides aside. His favorite, for some reason, was always the now-gone Snow White's Scary Adventures. He would rest his face on the edge of the car and intently watch everything going by. We have so many great memories with my dad and Newley… Pictures of Newley adoring Pluto from years ago keep resurfacing on the internet from time to time, and I'm so grateful we all had those amazing moments together at our happy place.

Becky: With all of the things that Disney does well, the one thing I found to be challenging when in the parks with my service dog was finding the designated potty areas. They could have done a much better job with this. They are very small, often extremely difficult to find and sometimes grouped in with smoking areas. Make sure you take the time to review the park maps before heading out to the parks so you have an idea as to where they are... If it is hot you need to be cautious about your dog's paws. I've seen dogs there with booties on, but that is not something my dog would tolerate so I use Mushers paw wax on her paws. It's a wax that is used for sled dogs, but it not only protects their paws from cold and snow but also from heat... For the rides that your dog can not ride there are some options. First, would be a ride swap, which is just like rider switch with a child. You go to the cast member at the entrance to the ride and tell them you need to do a ride swap. Someone from your party will wait with your dog while the others ride and when they come off the ride someone else will take the dog and the person who waited with the dog and one other person will ride. The second person who rides with the person that waited with the dog can be someone who rode with the first group. The other option I've heard of but did not try is that for certain rides they have a crate available to keep your dog in...The disability access pass was a huge help to us. It would have been difficult to wait in long lines with my dog; it made ride swaps pretty simple and gave us the breaks we needed for my dog and for me. Taking your service dog to Disney will be a different type of trip than you have taken in the past. The pace will be slower. Lots of people will ask you questions and want to pet your dog, so be prepared for that. You'll hear many many times, "I miss my dog so much. Can I pet yours?" Have a wonderful vacation! And don't forget to get your dog their "First Visit" button to put on their vest.

Lisa N.: In June 2017 my husband and I went to the world with my service dog. Some of the best experiences are when you meet characters. My dog, Jack, loved Pluto and absolutely adored Elsa. Be sure to get PhotoPass so you have great memories captured! We stayed at Animal Kingdom Lodge and Port Orleans Riverside... Although legally you do not have to have your dog wear a vest, I find it best that they wear one. You can attach potty bags, collapsible water bowl, and people will respect more that the dog is indeed a service dog. I always carry a copy of my dog's up-to-date vaccine record in case needed. Finally, have a great time! Pace yourselves and your dog and you will have many magical moments to remember!


Categories: Mousecellaneous
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Even if you start out the day with a fully charged phone, there is a good chance you will need to recharge it, especially if you are using My Disney Experience (app) or taking Uber/Lyft. These apps tend to really eat up your battery in a hurry. Bring a portable charger or a charging cable. Remember that switching your phone to airplane mode will help it charge faster and also will save your battery in a pinch (but, of course, you won't receive any texts on airplane mode). - A.D.
Categories: Mousecellaneous
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