Tips for Disney Parks & Cruise Lines
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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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
I have found that the best thing for preventing motion sickness are the wristbands marketed for this purpose. They are great because you can put them on right before the ride or even after you start feeling a little ill. Before I started using these I couldn't go to any of the 360-degree movies or on simulator rides. Now I am able to really enjoy these rides. - Susie S.
If you're going to have different sleeping arrangements in the hotel than you do at home (two kids in a bed, the whole family sleeping in one room), start preparing your kids in advance. Let them figure out who they're comfortable sleeping next to and if it will work, so they are not miserable at bedtime. Of course, they'll be so tired they may not care, but a little prep may help! Our 2-1/2-year-old pretty much only sleeps well in his crib, with a dark room, silence, and no one else in the room. So, we have to get him used to having one other person next to him in bed and other distractions in the room during the wind-down time. (Dad's snoring, too, yikes!) - Kara
If you plan on getting new shoes for The World, break them in on nightly walks, when your feet are puffy at the end of the day. I've also worn my new kicks, shoes, socks, sandals, etc, on my treadmill for a half-hour a day. Not only does it help break them in, but it's an easy way to figure out if the shoes really fit well, where they rub, if my toes are squished, if my feet will be sore in the following days. Figuring this out at home sure beats being miserable on vacation. AND, it helps prep my body for all the walking that I'll be doing. (BONUS: My new shorts will fit better, too!) - Kara