Disney World EPCOT Tips
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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
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.
Save yourself and others time going through park security by bringing in a drawstring backpack instead of a backpack with multiple zippers. Security tends to look into every zipped compartment, including things like zipped camera bags, sunglasses cases and cosmetic bags within the backpack or purse. Use clear, zipper-top bags for storing smaller items. - Sarah Zwickey
I use an ECV to get around the parks. Several years ago I rode Toy Story Midway Mania [at Disney's Hollywood Studios] and was given a car with a push-button cannon. It made a world of difference as I am spastic and cannot pull the string fast enough to ever score very well. When they built the addition to the ride, they started routing me to the new "regular" load platform since I can walk a bit, but it only had regular cannons and the ride lost its magic. On my most recent visits I asked if they still had the push-button cannons, and lo and behold they sent me to the "old" handicapped load platform. It was such a wonderful experience, and shout out to cast member Melissa -- she let me ride twice because it wasn't crowded. In fact when I went back two months later, she recognized me and said hello. It made both trips absolutely magical for me. So if you are handicapped and can't pull the string, ask the ride attendant for the button car. There is only one car with the buttons so I'm adding to my future wait time, but it makes the ride so much more enjoyable! - Melissa Henderson
My tip for any park, in regard to parking, is to take a photo of the parking row (ex. Goofy 12) so that you don't forget where you are. As a bonus you'll have a unique photo collection when you get home. I had all of my parking row photos printed out and put in a collage. - Jacquie Peskett
Here's a tip if you're staying in a Disney resort hotel. If you decide to take a nap or a shower, and some members of your group are still out and about but may return while you're unavailable, do NOT lock the deadbolt on your room door. The Magic Bands will not open the door if the deadbolt is engaged and your family or friends will be left standing in the hall until you hear them pounding on the door to get in! Ask me how I know! - Deb
My tip is regarding going through the security lines at the parks. We carried a small backpack everyday. I had put my cards and money and a few other items in a clear cosmetic bag. When it was my turn I would pull out the clear bag and set it in front of the backpack so it was easier for security to search the rest of the backpack. I had more than one security person tell me what a great idea it was to put things in clear bags because it made their job easier to do their search. I was happier to get through that line faster and get into the parks. Love the tips and information I find on your site. I always suggest it to people planning a trip. Thank you. - Laurie T
I carry a mini-backpack into the parks and I keep everything inside in separate, small, clear plastic baggies. Sunscreen in one baggie, tissues and wipes in another one, etc. Several security officers complimented me on the plastic bags. They said it made it so much easier to check my backpack. Also, with only two compartments to check (that I had opened for them as I approached the counter), I breezed through. Other guests had huge backpacks with multiple zipped compartments and then opaque zipped bags inside, and those guests took forever in bag check. And if you have a choice of lines, look for one with no strollers -- stroller parents bring so much more stuff into the parks than adults with older kids or no kids, so their lines move more slowly. - Stacey I.
My daughters love Phineas & Ferb's Agent P's World Showcase Adventure at Epcot. Last week we played and were happy to see we can now use our own phone. You download a free app at the original kiosk. Other missions can be played without walking back to the kiosk, and there is no cellphone to return later in the day!
I have read several tips about using water mister fans in the parks, but my family has found a way to cool off that we think works just as well with the added benefits of being cheaper and more convenient. We use the small (about 4" tall) pump-type bottles one can usually find in the "travel and trial size" section at the grocery store or pharmacy. The bottles are inexpensive ($1-$2) so it is not a big deal if one is lost (as happened to me on Tom Sawyer Island) and require no batteries. They are very lightweight, just a couple of ounces even when filled with water, and small enough to fit into a pocket. One or two quick spritzes on the face, back of the neck, arms and legs is all it takes to make even the hottest day enjoyable. To make it even better, the bottles can be used for other things after vacation is over, which really can't be said about the mister fans. - K.
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. - Chris
A tip "for when you are almost on the ride and it gets stopped for bad weather": This happened on our last visit. We were just about to board Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and the ride was stopped due to storms. Although the wait was around an hour, my wife and daughter got chatting to others in the queue, and soon one of the girls opened up a game app on her phone. It kept quite a few people busy and the wait just flew by. It's worth loading a couple of games onto your mobile device for delays like this, especially if you have young children, to keep them occupied. - Tony M.
To survive large crowds, I suggest that you go out early, at the time the parks open. Bring just a snack for breakfast if you can't manage to get up early enough to eat breakfast at your resort. You then will have 3-4 hours of park time before lunch. Since lunch is when the crowd volume really picks up, this is when you should go back to your resort to refresh and relax by the pool, or you could go shopping. Then go back to a park after you eat dinner. Leave the park before any fireworks shows to avoid long waits at the bus stops. Of course, if you want to experience more, then you will have to get out in the crowds. I've been so many years (at all times of year) and I've learned my lesson. The one thing that will drain your energy and make you more ill and fussy, is fighting a crowd daily. That's no vacation. Find time to rest and relax. - Melody Moore
We were in Disney World last month and noticed that there are new ways that the MagicBands interact with various attractions. At Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, there is an electronic poster in the queue that displays the name and home city of guests. At Mission: Space, there are video screens in the post-attraction room that will display the names of the guests who finished the ride, along with their hometown and their mission projection. At Space Mountain there are video screens along the moving walkway that display the names of the guests who finished the ride. At the end of "it's a small world," look for the video screen to display the names of the guests on the boat. There may be more attractions that may also implement this technology, so keep your eyes open in the queues and in the post-attraction areas. - Brian Kehoe
Epcot - I wanted to make people aware now that Soarin' is closed that Sunshine Seasons closes at 7 p.m. We were going to Epcot for the evening and were hoping to have dinner at Sunshine Seasons because they are so great for people with food troubles. Oh well, we will just have to go in earlier now. - Pam Sigler