Tips about Disney Cruise Line, Epcot and Mousecellaneous

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.
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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.
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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
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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!

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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.
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My niece made a breakfast reservation at Askerhus in Norway for 9:15 a.m. We were sent to a special queue to check in and entered before the park opened at 9. When we arrived at the restaurant, we were told we could go on the Frozen ride before everyone else got there. It was fantastic! - Helen Friedlander
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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
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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
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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
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
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
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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.
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