Disney World Mousecellaneous Tips
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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!
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.
Here's a tip for solo travelers, teens, or anyone who needs some down-time: Consider downloading anticipated new music or bringing along a new book or e-book. Disney related or not, you'll associate it with your trip. It's good for long road/air trips, waiting in line, or just for some down-time between parks. - Pogo
Be prepared if you're doing The Pirates' League. Our dear son finally was old enough to participate in the Pirates League. We were gung-ho to select the Zombie Pirate look. The day of the reservation the cast member at the registration was steering many of the guests away from the "full make-up" because of the heat/humidity. We were so glad she did. Not only was my son constantly touching his face the whole afternoon, but the dark eye make-up was a bear to remove before bedtime. I had purchased travel-size make-up remover wipes before our vacation since I knew my son was going to have make-up on. The make-up artists do give you one wipe and make-up removal tips, but it took almost a whole package of wipes plus a lot of elbow grease to remove the black eyeliner, etc. I wish I had packed cold cream or Vaseline in addition to the make-up remover. - Judi Sifuentes
We've run a tip about distilled water before, but Albert G reminds us: Before my last trip in December 2016 I looked everywhere to find out where I could purchase distilled water for my CPAP machine without going offsite. We used the Magical Express and didn't have a car. Taxi cab and Garden Grocer seemed a little expensive for a gallon of water. Even the Disney Mom's Panel said that there is nowhere onsite to purchase distilled water. I decided to ask a cast member at Pop Century and found that they indeed do stock distilled water by the gallon, it's just not out on the shelves. You have to ask and they will be more than happy to get it from the back, and the cost isn't bad. I got sick on my previous trip without water in my machine. I'm not sure if all the resorts sell it, but it's worth asking for.
Many people do not know, but Disney now sells battery power packs through FuelRod in at least one location in every park (there are four in Magic Kingdom), Disney Springs and ESPN Wide World of Sports. They're about $30, but that price gives you a lifetime membership to any FuelRod terminal around the country. Their chargers can be switched out for fresh ones a limitless number of times per day. - Amanda
Remember to bring spare power packs for your phones. Because of so many people being in the parks, phones die quickly because they are constantly looking for a signal... even with the WiFi in the parks, it still takes up a lot of battery power. I think people tend to forget that these "smartphones" die so quickly. - Anna Kirch
Thank you so much for your WDW at large info! Like many others, I have tons of anxiety before amusement park visits, but your site put me at ease. Since it was so helpful to me, I wanted to share my experience at Disneyland Resort. I am a 310-lb. woman with large legs, hips and bottom, size 24/26. I was able to ride everything at Disneyland just fine. Yes, some rides such as Star Tours and Goofy's Sky School weren't super-roomy, but I fit with no problem. The tip of pulling out the seat belt before sitting down was very helpful. My advice: relax and go have a magical time! - Kate L.
Please remember to keep your patio doors locked and secure your valuables, even when staying in the relative safety of a Disney resort. An article in the Orlando Sentinel a few days ago reported that the Orange County Sheriff's Office recently arrested two suspects trying to enter a room at Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa through a French door. There have been more than 20 cases of electronics stolen at that resort and others near by since late December. According to the article, Disney has been working closely with law enforcement throughout the investigation and has put additional security patrols in place. Disney has also encouraged its housekeeping team to ensure patio doors are locked, and literature has been left in the rooms to remind guests to lock all doors and secure valuables. - Editor Deb Koma
My family and I have always enjoyed looking for Hidden Mickeys around Disney World. I had a great idea for a Hidden Mickeys activity for the readers. We all hate when our trip to Disney is over and we have to go back to the real world, but that's no reason we have to let go of the magic. While visiting Chicago, my wife and I were standing outside a restaurant and I noticed a Hidden Mickey on the sidewalk in a grate around a tree. I'm sure if we look around we can find Hidden Mickeys all over. Just a thought. - Mike L.
In last week's tips, Gretchen Foster wrote about the difficulty of finding birthday cards on Disney property. The Japan pavilion in Epcot has a wonderful selection of all types of greeting cards. One of my grandsons has a summer birthday and I was able to find the perfect card there and slipped in a Disney gift card. - Carol Trainor
I loved your article last week on birthday trips. However, people should be aware that it's difficult to buy greeting cards, wrapping paper, gift bags or ribbon on-property (I don't know why). If you are going to bring gifts that need to be wrapped, bring your own cards and wrapping from home. Also, don't bring pre-wrapped packages if you are flying as they will almost always stop you at security and make you unwrap it. - Gretchen Foster
So I get home and save the MagicBand we got in March, but I'm not really sure what to do with it. Then my brilliant boyfriend came up with a great use. Since it snaps into various sizes he suggested using it to hold extension cords or electrical cords. Great way to recycle! - Grandeb from NJ
EDITOR'S NOTE: You can bring your Magic Band back for your next visit. They last approximately two years.
For $.79 at your local Target store you can purchase a clear plastic coupon holder in the office supply department. It's 5" x 7" in size, has a Velcro closure, and is perfect for holding your tickets, money, etc. It keeps everything from getting wet on the water rides and is easy to find in your backpack! I never go to WDW without mine! - Noreen Rachuba
EDITOR'S NOTE: Magic Bands eliminate the need to carry many cards, but for those you do, this is a great suggestion.
We just returned from a great five days down at WDW... One thing I discovered this trip was how many cards I ended up carrying around: park ticket, hotel room key, Disney Visa redemption card, Photopass card (or cards, because we always end up with more than one), Fastpasses... whew! That's a lot, and that's not even counting what's usually in my wallet, like a credit card and ID. I was constantly afraid I would lose something. My uncle (I have to credit him on this one) came up with a great solution: he picked up a small business card case (around $5) at an office supply store to keep all of his important cards in. He always had his Fastpasses ready to get in line while the rest of us were still digging through our pockets. I've already picked one up and it's in my "things to take to Walt Disney World" pile for our next trip! - Nathan Jones
EDITOR'S NOTE: Magic Bands have eliminated a few cards to carry around the parks. However you will still want to carry your Annual Pass card (for discounts), photo ID, and if you have it, your Tables in Wonderland Card