Tips for Disney Parks & Cruise Lines
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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
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
Don't forget to bring a blanket or two from your little one's crib/bed at home, and put it in the room crib if you're getting one. At least that gives them the smell of their own bed and a little comfort from home to help them adjust to a new place. It'll only take a few trips to adjust your little travelers to a life outside their comfort zones. - Kara
Word of warning if you have short children. Walt Disney World is very strict about height restrictions. They have figured out through physics what is the minimum height needed. Don't promise your child he/she can go on a ride unless they are 44" tall or whatever the height restriction for a particular ride is... or wait until they are tall enough. Safety should be the #1 concern. - Ruby
Alec at the DVC lounge saw me reattaching my MagicBand. He said to keep the band secure if you received a slider with the band (such as the DVC member slider or Passholder slider that Disney provides), place it on the section of the band that has the holes in it, and move it toward the big Mickey. Put on the band, then move the slider toward the small Mickey (at the end of the section of the band with the prongs on it). Slide it until it is holding together the two sections of the band. This way the band will stay secured on your wrist. Thanks, Alec, for a great tip. - Charlie Kiamie