WDW Passporter Tips

These are our Favorite Disney Tips taken from the weekly ww.passporter.com newsletter. Newest tips are at the top.

Also check out: Dinning Tips from Passporter

‘On my last trip to Epcot, I was given this tip by a cast member at Innoventions. If you want to get your FastPass+ you should ignore all of the spots in Future World. Go to Norway! There is a cast member walking around with an iPad and he/she can do your FastPass+ reservations for you, and we only saw one other group trying to get FastPass+ there. (Editor’s Note: Any Cast Member with the lime green Magic Plus icon on their shirt carrying an ipad can help you with FastPass+!)’
‘Attach glow bracelet/necklaces to the handles of your stroller to make it easier to find in the sea of strollers at night!’
‘If you find yourselves so full you can’t eat the handmade chocolates that are the final course at Victoria & Albert’s, ask your server to pack them to go. You’ll get a lovely slim box in a bag with the V&A’s logo on both. We’ve made ours last for as long as a month after our return home, savoring a memorable dinner that much longer, and the last were as delicious as the first. ‘
‘Bring some cash with you into the parks if you are planning on buying balloons or light up items in the parks. Your Magic Band/credit card/Disney gift card isn’t accepted by the balloon and light up item vendors. They are cash only. You don’t want to disappoint your child when you can’t buy the balloon they really wanted! ‘
‘We have enjoyed 7 Disney Cruises and have had the pleasure of sailing on three of the ships! Our favorite day of every Cruise is Castaway Cay day! We like to order the room service breakfast on that day so that we can get done early and be one of the first off the ship. It is so easy to have the breakfast right in our cabin and then be able to leave as soon as we’re done.’
‘We have been to Disney World about 7 times in the last 6 years. There are three things you will never find me without; a Sharpie, ziploc bags and baby wipes! First, the portions are so huge at the restaurants it is nice to have baggies to put leftover grapes and chips to have for a snack later. Last year, my daughter lost her tooth while at the park. She took my Sharpie and decorated her very own Disney tooth bag! Also, the confetti at the parks is in the shape of Mickey! After the parade moves through, I write my kids’ names on a bag and let them collect the Mickey ears and put them in their baggies! It allows Dad and Mom time to rest and it is a fun activity for them! The baby wipes are for just about everything! From wiping hands, to cleaning boo boos! ‘
‘Give each one of your children their own back pack or sling bag to carry their own things like water bottle sunscreen autograph books and things they collect on their way like Mickey Mouse confetti from parades! Makes them feel grown up and takes the burden off yourself!’
‘On our last trip, my teenage son used a cheap plastic food container to hold his ear buds, phone charger and computer cord and mouse and placed it in his backpack for easy access. This prevented the need to fish out tangled cords from the bottom of the bag and also prevented damage to the cords. ‘
‘Don’t you hate getting caught in the rain. One of the worst things is then having wet shoes the next day. You can avoid wet sneakers if you pack them wwith newspaper during the night. The paper absorbs up the water and your shoes will be dry in the morning.’
‘Because of the My Disney Experience App – cell phone batteries don’t last all day in the parks. There are very few places to plug in and recharge your phone. If your phone is a Droid phone – chances are you have a user replaceable battery. Buy a 2nd battery, charge it up and carry it with you to replace when your first battery runs low. If you don’t have a user-replaceable battery, buy a portable recharger – they run about -$20 to $30 on Amazon and use that to recharge your phone. This will let you use My Disney Experience all day long!’
‘Regarding The Great Movie Ride in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the Western ride does still exist,l but they only run it in every 4th run of cars. A set of cars leaves the Hollywood loading room every 3 minutes, so if you want to do the Western set, ask the CM as you go in the door to the loading room. They will move you over to the far right hand side of the room, and you may have to wait up to 12 minutes for the right car. It is worth it though, as it is so much fun! We have done this on our last two trips to Walt Disney World.’
‘If you are on the dining plan take note that two counter service meals can be one large pizza, two drinks and two desserts at some of the resorts. We did this at Port Orleans Riverside and found it tastier and a better deal than two individual pizzas. This is especially good for teens with big appetites.’
— contributed by Kalli
‘Freeze your own water bottles during the night before you visit a park. Wrap it in a wash cloth and place it in a plastic bag before you put it in your pack for the day. The cloth helps provide insulation for the water and will help soak up the condensation from the cold bottle. The plastic bag will keep your other items from getting wet. The bonus you get is a cold wet cloth to wipe hot, sweaty faces with later in the day. ‘
‘Pack a collapsible step stool for young children to use in your hotel room to reach the sink for washing hands and brushing teeth. ‘
Walt Disney World Has New List of Approved Stroller Vendors
Published 09/03/2013 by PassPorter News
Similar to the Wheelchair/ECV rental policy, Walt Disney World now has a list of preferred vendors for stroller rental companies. Only preferred vendors (Orlando Stroller Rentals, Kingdom Stroller, and Magic Strollers) will be allowed to pick up and drop off strollers and other rental items such as high chairs, etc. at the Bell Services desk. All other vendors will have to make arrangements to meet their guests and personally deliver the rental items.
‘While planning our trips to Walt Disney World we always stock up on any cheap Disney items we find so we can leave gifts from the ‘characters’ for our children each day. From the dollar store we’ve already found Disney Princess rings, Minnie Mouse necklaces, Cinderella bags, sword glow sticks, Goofy cars, etc. That way they can get treats from their favourite characters each day and we don’t have to spend quite so much on souvenirs. ‘
‘When you travel between Thanksgiving and Christmas, make sure you grab the Holiday schedule for Epcot. Each country has its own holiday storyteller. Grab the time sheet and map out a schedule so you can take in each storyteller as you tour. ‘
— contributed by Mary
‘Ever want to be “upgraded” on a Disney Cruise ship to a better cabin? An outside cabin? A veranda cabin? While the biggest factor in getting an upgrade is ship capacity(hey, if the ship is full, the ship is full!) there are some elements in you favor if you plan ahead: 1. Book early; 2. Be willing to settle for a “guaranty” stateroom at the level you want; 3. If you have sailed Disney before, be sure you note that in your reservation 4. Being a member of Disney Vacation Club cannot hurt 5. Less busy times of the year or repositioning sailings generally have fewer guests so more rooms may be available The final room assignments are usually made 45 days before sailing. Check your reservation on that date to see your room number.’
‘If you want to experience the Magic Kingdom with hardly any crowds then book the earliest breakfast that you can at Crystal Palace. We did this for our first morning and loved walking into an empty park and taking some great photos before the crowds. We enjoyed a yummy buffet breakfast and then still got to ride the attractions with hardly any wait!’

Posted December 20, 2013

‘The best time to bring your kids to the Oceaneer’s Club on the Disney Cruise Line is in the morning. In the afternoon, it can get crowded. If your kids want the run of the place or you have young children who can be easily trampled by a crowd of kids, then bringing them in the morning is the best!’
— contributed by Sharon


Posted December 16, 2013

When to Splurge and When to Save at Walt Disney World: A Walt Disney World Review — I wouldn’t say I agree with all of these suggestions (if I had a girl, it would be hard to not try the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at least once, ha!

Posted December 4, 2013

‘Milk is not served on Castaway Cay. If you have a baby or small child who drinks a lot of milk your best best is to bring some from the ship.’
— contributed by diana

‘With the FastPass+ system, each morning we would take a screen shot from My Disney Experience of our daily plan to make it easy to access later. My Disney Experience App doesn’t always work very well in all areas of the park. ‘
— contributed by Cassie

Posted April 8, 2013

‘I’ve just discovered that you can add the photo pass price into your vacation package. The price is better if you purchase in advance, and so nice to add it into your package payments. ‘

‘To help keep our space as neat as possible, one of the first things I do when we reach our hotel room (or cruise cabin) is to assign a drawer or space to each child. (I have even used an empty suitcase as the designated space) This is where all their “stuff” (back pack, toys, stuffed animals, souvenirs, etc.) is to be put whenever we leave the room or they are not using it. This helps keep the room as neat as possible and the floor clear. Another advantage is that I can use this assigned space to tell them when something they want to purchase is too big – it won’t fit. This also helps when packing up to go home, as things are less likely to be left behind.’

Posted December 7, 2012

‘I pack a power strip with all of my chargers attached to it. This way I know I will have enough outlets to charge everything, and I have all the chargers I need in one place!’

Posted November 29, 2012

‘In order to create “magic” in your Disney Photopass pictures, be sure to make those changes to your pictures BEFORE you order the cd. Disney will allow you to add characters and other “magical” enhancements to your pictures and you can have them added to the cd free of charge. It is super cool!’ We do this, you save your original picture so you will have some with and some without the extras. 

‘While planning and packing for your trip. Add to your list of things to pack, greeting cards. We take blank greeting cards. We will fill them out for our cleaning fairy (as we call her/him), and we keep some on us so if a CM adds magic to our day we can return the magic. ‘

‘My family is all fair skinned, and nothing ruins a trip more than a sunburn. I have started having my family apply a heavy waterproof suntan lotion such as a high SPF Waterbabies before dressing for the day. This way the full body is covered and the lotion has time to absorb into the skin before sun exposure. When we arrive to the park I give everyone a quick spray with a spray sunblock for extra protection. The spray is quicker to apply and easier to carry in a bag for the day. I then have everyone reapply the spray throughout the day for added protection. ‘

Temporary Discount for Quick Service Dinning
Quick Service Dining Receipts Discounts Walt Disney World guests who purchase food in the morning at a Quick Service Dining location should check their receipts. There may be a coupon for 20% off merchandise at select locations. The coupon is only good until 1:00 pm, but can be used any day until January 31, 2013 (not just on the day you receive it). The coupons are only valid at the locations listed, and select merchandise is excluded. (The coupons can be used for Dooney & Bourke if available at the listed locations, as your PassPorter News Editor discovered last week!)

Posted Feb 8, 2012

‘My daughter is 2 and I bring her PJ’s to the park with us. Before we leave the park for the day I visit the baby care center and get her ready for bed there. That way when she falls asleep on the bus I can tuck her right into bed when we get back “home.”‘

Posted Jan 27, 2012:


‘When we got up to the Sail-Away party, my daughter was not enjoying the crowd. We decided to go down to deck 4. There was only one other family down there. We sat on the comfy blue lounge chairs while our daughter played with the streamers she’d gotten from the party. We watched as the ship pulled out of port, passing restaurants and people on the beach. It was peaceful and quiet, a very relaxing beginning to our cruise. I highly recommend hanging out on deck 4 if crowds and parties aren’t your thing. ‘

Posted Oct 31, 2011:


‘Pack empty cardboard paper tubes (from paper towel rolls or–better yet–plastic wrap dispensers) to store your artwork from the Animation Academy at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. You can store quite a few drawings in a single tube-just roll them up tight together and slide them in. The tube protects your art until you get home and can display your treasures! I brought a dozen extras and handed them out to grateful artists. Animation Academy is located near “The Magic of Disney Animation” next to the character meeting area. Ask a cast member for help finding this gem. You wait in a queue until the doors open, then spend 20 minutes drawing a Disney character. You follow step-by-step instructions to create your drawing.’

Posted on Sept 19, 2011:


‘One of the first things I do after I decide on my vacation dates is to see what days each park has Extra Magic Hours (EMH). This has worked well for me except for Disney’s Hollywood Studios (DHS). It can be so crowded on days that the park is open longer and most of the rides are at least an hour wait. I found that if you go to DHS on a day they are closing earlier, the park is not as busy and the wait times even for more popular rides is sometimes only 10-20 minutes long! If you have a park hopper option, I strongly suggest going to DHS for the first half of your day and then plan to go to another park for the last part of your day. You will be able to go on many more rides when the park is not crowded.’

‘If you plan to go to the Orlando Premium Outlets while visiting Walt Disney World get your coupons before you leave home. Go to the website www.premiumoutlets.com and print a voucher for a coupon book and various coupons. You’ll get added discounts in addition to the already reduced prices.’

Posted before Sept. 19, 2011:

‘Columbia Harbour House in the Magic Kingdom is a wonderful counter service eatery in Liberty Square. To avoid the crowds eating downstairs, go upstairs where you will be able to dine on the inside of the bridge that separates Liberty Square and Fantasyland. You will also find an uncrowded bathroom upstairs.’

‘Whilst looking through some sale catalogs recently, I came across a nifty little gadget that allows you to weigh your suitcase so you can repack if you are over the airline limit. I mentioned out loud to my husband that I would like to get one at only $49.95. He disappeared into the garage and returned with a much sturdier looking model and told me it was used to measure the weight of the fish when he went fishing with his mates! Cost to me – zilch! (Actual cost to husband was originally less than $20 and can measure double the weight than the travel model too). I will certainly be packing this little beauty on my next trip.’

‘We all usually remember to apply sunscreen at the parks or on the cruises, but there is another way to use SPF. You can buy clothes that have SPF or you can buy a laundry aid that washes it into your favorite clothes. Made by Rit, there is Sun Guard that transforms everyday clothing in Sun-Protection of SPF 30.’

‘Want to create a little magic for someone at Disney World? Quite a few times on our last trip we ended up with “leftover” FastPass tickets due to dining reservations, shows, etc. Instead of tossing them we would find people waiting in line or on there way to that specific attraction and give them our tickets. There was nothing like the feeling of hearing a child get excited after learning they get to join the FastPass line instead of waiting 45 minutes in the regular line. Spread the Pixie Dust!’

‘The best thing about unpacking is that I can repack the dirty clothes after wearing, keeping the space neater. In addition, when I’m ready to go, I’m already packed!’

‘Hate to get all those coins together for tolls when driving from the airport [or from your house] to Walt Disney World? Did you know that you can order Florida’s “SunPass”( call 1-888-865-5352 toll free) to be mailed to your home in 3 – 5 business days? The mini pass is $4.99 which is given back to you in credit and you need to load at least $10 on the pass. Any credit not used is refunded to your credit card with a simple phone call. You can terminate your account and activate it again on your next visit. Never have to scramble for change again. What a concept!’

‘Before we leave for Walt Disney World my daughter and I always put together “Mouse Keeping” envelopes for the person who will be cleaning our room. We decorate each envelope just to make their day feel a little more special. This way we will not forget to leave them a little something for all of their hard work and for making our room look great after returning from a magical day.’

Disney Mobile Magic App Now Free The price of the Disney Mobile Magic app, a navigation and planning tool for both Disneyland and Walt Disney World, and available only to Verizon Wireless customers, is now available at no charge. The application is available for phones and other mobile devices that run the Android operating system. The good news for Apple iPhone fans is that an Apple version of the application is in the works, again to be available only to Verizon Wireless customers.

‘View Fantasmic at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. After Fantasmic, avoid the crowds leaving the park and choose to walk along river path to the BoardWalk. Enjoy dinner at one of the BoardWalk restaurants. Then walk to Epcot in time to see IllumiNations. The best night to do this on a night with extra magic hours for Epcot and you can avoid the craziness of going home after IllumiNations.’
‘If you are headed back to your resort for a break in the afternoon, make sure to get a FASTPASS ticket for one of the busy rides before you go. When you come back later, you can skip the line and enter the ride right away! The same holds true for sitting down for a table service meal; make sure to get a FASTPASS before you go to eat so that when you return — no wait.’

  1. Make meal reservations. Whether you go with the Disney Dining Plan or not, you’ll have to have advance dining reservations for all the sit-down restaurants on resort/park grounds. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you’ll just eat wherever – you really need to plan this. Believe it or not, Advanced Dining Reservations (ADR) are available 180 days out from your trip’s start date. And if you’d like to book seats at Cinderella’s Royal Table, you’d better do just that – those seats go fast!
  2. Make event reservations. Pretty much everything at Walt Disney World that’s “extra-recreational” takes a reservation or ticket. If you’re planning on attending Mickey’s Christmas or Halloween celebrations, tickets will go on sale between six and three months away from your arrival date. Want to go parasailing around one of the lakes, see a Cirque du Soleil extravaganza over at Downtown Disney, or learn to surf at Blizzard Beach? Be sure to make reservations early.
  3. Start a “to pack” list. Again, your PassPorter will be much more helpful with this, but the basics can be covered with my list of the four Ws: Who, Where, When and Weather. Just because it’s Florida doesn’t mean you won’t need a parka in December – I can tell you that from experience and a serious dent in my parents’ travel budget! Be sure to pack for daytime play and comfort, for those nicer restaurants in the evening, for chilly evenings on Main Street watching Wishes as well as early morning jaunts to the water parks. And make a second list of things like sunscreen, baby powder (chafing), extra batteries for the camera, ponchos (yes, it does rain in the happiest place on earth and the same ponchos at the dollar store here will cost you at least $5 there).
  4. Finalize your budget. No doubt you’ve been over it with a fine tooth comb a hundred times by now, but it can’t hurt to revisit it. Remember the incidentals: tips ARE NOT included in meal plans, souvenirs for the kids (or the adults!) should be allotted for, and tipping your housekeeper (or mousekeeper) is recommended.
  5. Finalize your tour plan. Do not attempt to bamboozle your way willy-nilly through the parks with kids from sunup to sundown! It’s not fun for anyone. Use your dining reservations to plan which days to visit which parks (if you didn’t do it the other way around already). Be sure to plan downtime because everyone needs it. Whether it’s lying around the pool mid-afternoon or going back to the resort early to let little ones play in the arcade while adults have a drink in the cantina, downtime in Walt Disney World is a must!
  6. Charge up your essentials. Two-way radios and cell phones are wonderful for keeping in contact when touring the parks, and those pesky handheld games your kids love can actually be handy when you’re waiting in line for Space Mountain…again! Got your camera, camcorder, MP3? Be sure to pack the chargers, too; all those necessities are nothing but paperweights after day two if you don’t!

Just a quick tip about Fastpasses. When you get your Fastpass for any Fastpass attraction, you may only think its valid for that window of time on the piece of paper. However if for some reason you miss your window and you want to use it later in the day, just take your Fastpass up to the Cast Member in the Fastpass queue, and just as long as the time is after the original window, they will still honor the Fastpass. We didn’t know that and thought that we missed our opportunity to use it and we were pleasantly surprised.

‘Columbia Harbour House in the Magic Kingdom is a wonderful counter service eatery in Liberty Square. To avoid the crowds eating downstairs, go upstairs where you will be able to dine on the inside of the bridge that separates Liberty Square and Fantasyland. You will also find an uncrowded bathroom upstairs.’

‘Once you plan your trip to Disney and you have put your down payment on the trip, start buying little things each payday. I have a large storage container that is labeled ‘Disney.’ I will buy little things like sunscreen, lotion, Sharpies, clothes detergent, Secret Mickey Gifts (everyone gets one as we drive into another state – pins, stickers, candy, etc.), Coloring books and crayons, etc. If I see a good sale price on something we need for the trip, that won’t perish, I pick it up. Then the two weeks before the trip I’m not spending $400 to pick the little items and not trying to find sunscreen in November (in Virginia that’s something you won’t find). I also go to Goodwill the week after Christmas to pick up room decorations (we go in December to Disney). It’s all about getting bargains when you can, so that you can spend your money at Disney.’

‘I found a great way to make the dark rides not so scary for little kids. On our recent trip to Disney World, I purchased glow sticks, glow necklaces, and glow bracelets. In the morning, we opened one and wear it all day. It gives enough light to make my son comfortable and brave; also not too bright to disturb anyone around us. We asked cast members at the rides if they were ok to use, and the said it was not a problem. Since they last usually last to the following morning, they are great in helping make the hotel room less scary too.’

‘We were using the Disney Dining Plan but realized that the tip on a bill for five adults could quickly add up, so my husband and I resolved to take our left over change from the day into a piggy bank. After 15 months of saving we had over $300 for gratuities for dining and mousekeeping services. We never missed the money!’

‘When you get your Disney PhotoPass card, take a picture of the side with the number on it. That way, if you happen to lose or misplace the card, you still have your access code & can see/order your photos! We actually got that tip from a Disneyland photographer several years ago and have been using it ever since’

‘While packing I threw a small penlight flashlight in my camera bag. To my surprise I used it several times during my trip, including changing the tape in my camcorder while in the Haunted Mansion. I also used it at night in the parks to see inside our bags and to read maps while on the monorail at night. This is a good item to pack for simple safety reasons in case of a power outage as well as a convenient item to have.’

‘The last time we were at Disney, we got several promotional tote-bags, in natural-colored canvas with black or blue straps. My plan is for the next time we visit, to bring a tote-bag and a Sharpie marker in color-matching ink and have the characters autograph it. This could also be done using fabric markers and a t-shirt or pillowcase, making sure to set the ink according to the marker manufacturer’s instructions.’

The Wishes Dessert Party at the Tomorrowland Terrace in the Magic Kingdom returns Sunday, March 28, 2010. The party will be held nightly through the Spring with the exception of April 23, 24, 30 and May 1, 2010 which are Grad Nites. The cost of $25.99 per adult, $13.99 per child (ages 3 – 9) includes all-you-care-to-eat desserts, coffee, tea and other soft drinks.

‘If you’re strapped for time and you want to visit DisneyQuest, consider going the same day you go to Animal Kingdom. Animal Kingdom often closes at 5:00 pm, and DisneyQuest is open until 10:00 or 11:00 pm. You can have time to go back to your hotel, relax a bit, grab some dinner, and still get in a full 5+ hours at DisneyQuest that night.’

‘Don’t be disappointed that you’ve booked a standard Disney resort room! Our room at Pop Century faced a lake and the unfinished hotel so we thought, ‘Well, not much to see, right?’ To our amazement at night we could see the Epcot ball and the beautiful fireworks going off and then each night we could still see a bit of Disney before bed. It was magical’

“I have a suggestion for those that wonder if the dining plans are truly a benefit or not. At the end of each meal, you will be provided the opportunity to see the bill and that is when you would hand over your Key To The World. Take a picture of that receipt. When you get back to your room for the night, add up what you “would have spent” had you not had the dining plan. Compare that to the price you paid for each person in your party.”

‘As some people might already know, dining at the California Grill atop the Contemporary Resort entitles guests to view the Magic Kingdom fireworks from the restaurant’s outdoor patio (even if guests dine much earlier in the evening and return later). This vantage point provides a spectacular (albeit different) view of the fireworks that is simply breathtaking. Often, however, this outdoor patio can become crowded, and the tall concrete wall at the end of patio can obstruct the view for little ones. Solution? Go just one flight down the outdoor “emergency exit” stairs at the end of the patio (near the concrete wall), and you’ll have your own “private” balcony from which to view the fireworks! These stair landings (which go all the way down) also have metal railings instead of concrete walls, affording smaller children a great, relatively-unobstructed view of the show.’ — WARNING: If the emergency exit door shuts behind you (it has been known to be shut by the wind blowing) you will have to go all the way down the emergency stairs.

‘Here is a tip for a less expensive alternative to the glow toys sold in the parks at night. Check out your local dollar store or party store for glow bracelets, necklaces, etc. Our local store had a pack of 5 bracelets for $1. On our first night of our trip, we dined on property. We ordered the kids drinks that came with a glowing Tinkerbell or Buzz Lightyear attached to the straw with a clip. The drinks were about $6 each and came in a reusable souvenier cup, as well. We hooked 2 bracelets together to make a necklace and attached the glowing figure as a pendant. Voila, 2 glowing toys for the price of one.’

‘When our family of four went on a seven-night cruise, I packed our outfits for each day in separate mesh bags. I was able to fit a full outfit for each of us into one bag, along with an index card with the day written on it. It made getting ready in the morning so much easier. All I had to do was pull out the bag and divvy up the clothes. It did take some extra planning at home, but it was worth it! Note: I used Blink Tidy Totes (available in the auto section at discount stores), but 2-gallon zip top bags would work too.’

‘Don’t forget about how convenient the park lockers can be! Pack anything you might need throughout the day (frozen bottle of water, jacket for the evening, spare glasses for contacts wearers, sunblock, poncho in case of rain, tripod for photos of fireworks, etc), then shove it all in a locker when you get to the park. You can make as many trips back to the locker as you need without having to haul all of your stuff around for the entire day.’

‘There is just nothing like having the entire park to oneself! It’s possible to get it, too – and this method won’t cost any more than a fine dinner. A relaxing slow meal reserved for the last seating at Epcot will have your party walking out after park closing. We have enjoyed this many times and love the stillness, evening lights and music during our leisurely stroll by the pavilions and around the lake. The water ballet on the Fountain of Nations is superb; enhanced and made surreal as a command performance for your royal family. So plan a late night treat on your next Walt Disney World escape with a reservation at the World Showcase (furthest from the main exit) followed by a low-stress constitutional (don’t forget the camera)!’

‘When you are at Walt Disney World and make a purchase, check the bottom of your receipt. A lot of times at the bottom there will be a 20% discount for certain Disney shops. We use these on clearance items, and you can save a ton of money.’

‘We did this for our Walt Disney World stay and will plan on doing it for our Disney Cruise. In those travel size empty bottles that you get, instead of putting shampoo and conditioner in them, put dishwashing liquid and laundry detergent in them. It is great to have to wash the refillable mugs that you bring and you can hand wash your swim suits without having to go to the laundry room.’

‘When I traveled with a toddler he would frequently fall asleep at the different parks. We were at Hollywood Studios and while other family members were at a show outside, I asked a cast member if there was a cool place for my son to sleep. He directed me to the Baby Care Center right inside the entrance of the park. It had a great family room with changing tables and a sitting area with air-conditioning. There was a TV there playing old Disney cartoons. It was a great place to get away from the heat, meet other parents with small children, and find air in the heat of summer.’

‘If your child isn’t tall enough to go on Tower of Terror, make sure he/she still gets measured. The cast member should then present him/her with a special card to bring back once the height requirement has been met. When you bring this card back, you get something special in exchange!’

‘I was able to go to the Character dinner at 1900 Park Fare and one of the best Magical Moments was seeing the young children be able to dance with Cinderella or Prince Charming. They start to dance first and then they look for other partners. Don’t be shy! You need to get your child up right away before a long line occurs. Once the song is over so is the dance and you will not get a second chance. If you can prepare your child ahead of time to get ready to dance this could be a truly life long magical moment!’

‘One of the best moments of our Mom and Daughter cruise was spending time in Diversions playing a few games of checkers. What an awesome hangout, especially when it’s quiet on the ship and you are just looking for a few minutes to relax and just soak it all in. Mom was so thrilled when she spotted those chess/backgammon/checker tables. In fact she even asked if we could go back the very next day!’

‘If you don’t want to be near the crowds during the Magic Kingdom fireworks show, position yourself near the Carousel of Progress in Tomorrowland. This is a quieter spot to watch the fireworks and still see Tinker Bell. There are even benches near that area!’

Apparently you can use snack credits on some breakfast items. Muffins, bagels, milk, cereal, side of eggs, bacon, sausage. May verify this before purchasing though.

‘We have a son who was 6 years old at the time of our last cruise … and he loves chocolate chip cookies (who doesn’t?)! About 30 minutes before bedtime, we would call room service and order warmed chocolate chip cookies and milk to be delivered to our room. Then when we were ready for bed, they would arrive right in time to enjoy a lovely bedtime snack! Great memories!

‘I recommend using your cell phone camera to take a picture of your child before you venture out for the day. Should your child get lost, you won’t have to frantically remember what they were wearing that day. ‘

‘Before you leave for your trip, program the telephone number of the resort into your cell phone. PassPorter makes this especially easy by providing the phone number for each resort. This has saved me extra walking on several different occasions. Once, after checking in at Pop century and walking to my room in the 90’s section my key card would not work to open the door. Rather than have to walk all the way back to the lobby, I just called them from my cell phone. They sent someone to my room to fix the problem for me. I was so glad that I had the number programmed into my phone and will never go to Disney without having my resort’s phone number programmed.’ NEAL NOTE: this happen to us too and I wish I had done this.

‘Make an index card or business card for each day of your trip with your reservation times and numbers, and carry it with you. That way if you forget anything, or need proof of your reservation, you will have it.’

‘Pressed Pennies are some of the cheapest souvenirs at Walt Disney World. You can plan to buy these! Buy and consume a tube (or multiple tubes!) of mini M&M’s. Save the tubes! Then stack sets of two quarters and a penny in order in the tube. Carry the tubes with you and you’ll always be ready with the exact needed coinage for each pressed penny machine.’

‘We take the “mousekeeping” envelopes a step further. Our goal is to spread the magic. So we make envelopes for the Magical Express driver each way. We also make them for bell services. I googled images and found very cute images to print on the envelopes. We add stickers. And put our names, room number and a thank you message. The Disney magic starts way before we leave home. The Magical Express drivers have been the most excited when we hand them one of our special envelopes. We put money in way before we leave home so it doesn’t take anything away from our vacation spending money. It’s a fun way to give magic back to many Disney cast members who make our vacations wonderful.’

BTW – We are Disney Vacation Club (DVC) Members and love it, more information about it from us is here.

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