Tips about Food & Beverage 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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I recently returned from Walt Disney World and was at Animal Kingdom on a very hot and busy Saturday at lunchtime. I kept finding long lines of people standing in the sun waiting to place orders. Not wanting to wait in one of these lines, I decided to try Mobile Ordering. It was beyond easy and I am not savvy with electronics. If you ever made reservations on My Disney Experience then they have your credit card on file. The menus are easy to see, but what was even better was I placed my order and a few minutes later I walked into Satu'li Canteen and got my order in two minutes -- no waiting in a long line and blaring sun. I am sold on this now. - Bonnie L.
15 Users found this helpful.
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.
7 Users found this helpful.
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
3 Users found this helpful.

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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Use your leftover dining plan snack credits to buy gifts for friends at home! Goofy's Candy bags are often one snack credit. Same goes for candy apples and rice krispie treats! - Kristy
EDITOR'S NOTE: If you're flying, though, keep in mind that TSA at the Orlando airport may ask you to take out all food items from your carry-on bags for examination when you pass through the security line.
7 Users found this helpful.
Make sure you tip your servers for good service in the restaurants! Even if you are from a country that doesn't use a tipping system, you should tip here. The tip is NOT built into the price of the food. There is nothing more frustrating for a server than to give good service, see that the guests enjoy the food and service, and then not get a tip! - Joanne C.
3 Users found this helpful.
My niece reserved breakfast at Tusker House for 10:45 a.m. She realized that we could take advantage of early FastPasses and have more available later, PLUS breakfast starts to turn into lunch a little after 11 a.m. so we had the best of all worlds. - Helen F.
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
3 Users found this helpful.
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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The Savor the Savanna experience at Animal Kingdom has undergone a food change recently. It was very different from the tin camp cans with a few bites of food. Now, it is set up as a sort of appetizer buffet. They said that the change came about to make it more like a cocktail party and less camp-like, like they do for the Wild Africa Trek tour. The offerings still include the spicy nut mix, and now there is also a selection of cheeses. We had a cheddar and goat cheese with grapes and strawberries. There are also fig cakes, pita, fennel and garlic hummus, cilantro lime shrimp, teriyaki beef jerky, prosciutto, edamame, and roasted cauliflower. For dessert, the offerings included a non-dairy brownie (which was more like a bite-size cookie), a strawberry cookie, an "African version" s'more with meringue and ganache, and another bite-size, bar-type cookie/treat. We found this set-up a bit more enjoyable. - Kelly Adams
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At the risk of sounding like a cheap old crank, I would just like to encourage you to consider getting enough groceries to eat breakfast in your room. This is easy with a car, and quite possible otherwise. (We have had good experiences with Garden Grocer delivery.) Whether you save a lot of money depends on a number of variables, but more importantly, you save time -- and time IS money, especially at Disney World! Instead of lining up at the food court, family members can take turns showering/dressing and eating in the room (or out on your balcony or by a nearby garden or pool), and you'll have more time to make the rope drop to utilize those precious less-busy early morning hours in the parks. In addition, eating some healthy, familiar food to start off the day can help ward off unpleasant travel-related GI-upset episodes. It also is a convenience to have your own snacks and beverages handy at the end of a long day instead of hiking back to the food court. You still will have plenty of opportunities to experience Disney dining for lunch and dinner, at places of your choosing. - Theresa A.
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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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Did you know that you can use your MagicBand to pay at the Global Marketplaces during Epcot's Food and Wine Festival? If you are staying at a Disney resort hotel and have the Disney Dining Plan or have some sort of payment associated with your MagicBand, you can simply tap it for any eligible food or beverage item. There is a place to tap your MagicBand at each register. The payment will be processed as a room charge or as a dining plan snack credit. - Rick
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