Tips about Disney Cruise Line, Mousecellaneous and Planning

As a DVC member we like to use our perks as efficiently as possible. We order all our drinks and snacks from the grocery service Water Butlers a week before we arrive. They are extremely efficient and our order is always perfect. Then when we go to the park we don't waste time standing in line for expensive water and snacks. We even buy the Mickey ice cream bars from them for waaaay cheaper than at the park. Sunscreen, batteries, and shampoo are also in every order. Play smart!

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Early entry/rope drop for Frozen or Remy's is nice but be aware that the rest of World Showcase doesn't open until later morning. So plan that you will need to go to the front of the park for things to do until later morning. I had planned to tour the pavilions & gift shops but very few were open until later and by that time it was raining.

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Don't sleep on the lounges at the MK resorts as a dinner alternative. We ate at both Steakhouse 71 lounge in the Contemporary and Tambu lounge in the Polynesian. No reservation required, and you can still get the most popular menu items with no crowds! We enjoyed both, practically had the place to ourselves and it was a great way to relax during the hottest and most crowded times of the day at MK around 5pm.

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Whenever my family and I go to Disney, we have my little brother who is 6. But last time we went he was 4. So one thing that we did when he wasn't tall enough to go ride a ride, my grandmother and my mom, would go and take him on another ride while we were riding a ride that he was not tall enough to ride. - Jude

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In every park, there is always that one ride that will have LONG wait times. Save it to the end. When in MK in May '21, we got in line for Splash Mtn just before the park closed. As we left, we were able to get amazing park pics at night. In Jan. '22, we did the same thing in AK where we walked on DINOSAUR an hour before park close and got in line for FOP. Knocked out two great rides and closed Animal Kingdom - something many people don't do. We ended up waiting 65 minutes for FOP. Super helpful

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Disney, in general, is great with allergies! While my daughter only has a peanut allergy, for folks with traveling parties with more significant or less common allergies, you can contact a special division ahead of time to assist in keeping you and/ or your party safe. You can speak to the chef at any restaurant (sit down), and they can assist in providing offerings that are tasty and safe. Even special events, such as the after hours parties or previous Halloween/ Christmas parties have allergy-friendly offerings!

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First things first, Florida is HOT. The hottest parts of the day? Around Lunchtime to early evening. Unless you are used to working outside 12-14 hours a day in the heat, do yourself a huge favor and take time for an afternoon nap. When my spouse and I go to Disney we generally get up and rope drop the park and hit it hard until lunch time. We take time for a sit down lunch then evaluate how we are feeling. If we are hot, tired, and/or cranky, we hop on a bus or call a Lyft to take us back to the resort for a nap (neither of us are big swimmers but this is also an option for those who are as its a good way to cool off) and to get away from the crowds for a couple hours. After we feel cool and rested (this could be an hour or two or 4) we grab a coffee or soda (and refill our waters) and head back to the parks and go until closing time. We have found that when we do this and take the time to rest, we feel much better and much more pleasant toward each other. We fought less, and we didn't wind up with the "Disney flu" that a lot of people talk about getting from running themselves ragged on their vacations. Remember you are on VACATION!! Enjoy it. If you aren't enjoying it because you are tired then what was the point?

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How many of us get up at 5 a.m. to catch the flight to Disney and by midnight at the parks, we are wiped out?

We fly in the day before our reservations begin, and spend that day at Disney Springs and stay at a cheaper hotel. We go to bed early, wake up and catch the bus to our resort. It's a game changer!

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Since masks are required at Disney right now. If you aren’t use to wearing a mask all day at work (like some people have to do), I would suggest practicing wear your mask at home more, to and from your car when going to the store. Get your kids use to wearing it longer and longer each day. And wearing them the correct way covering your nose and chin. Yes they are hot and uncomfortable but think about the people who have to wear them all day (medical professionals, cast members, clerks in the store etc). If they can do it, you can too. Just get use to them.
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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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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
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