Disney World Tips and Tricks
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Some advice for when it rains at Walt Disney World. We had our own double stroller with us, & bought an adult Disney rain poncho (for $5) and it fit perfectly over the double stroller (even with kids in it!) My guess is a kid's poncho might fit better on a single stroller. I know you can get the ponchos for a lot less money at sporting goods stores, but then you can't have the Mickey on it! Like many families, we keep lots of little extra stuff in & on the stroller, so it was especially nice that everything stayed nice & dry. The best part was that once the sun came out, we folded up the poncho back into a tiny square, & now keep it with the stroller all the time. Thanks to Maureen for this tip!
When we went to Disney World with our kids we took along a couple handheld electronic games. While we were waiting in line, we would play them to pass the time. This was especially great for the kids because they can get very impatient while waiting in lines. The same can be said for apps on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch. Thanks to Karen for this tip!
Secure your strollers at Walt Disney World!
If you bring your own strollers from home, bring a bike lock to avoid it being stolen. Thanks to Marissa for this tip!
Character meals are a great place to get young kids used to being around them. They come around often enough that the kids really relaxed. Thanks to Chris for this tip!
Save time at the Magic Kingdom by using the Express Stroller Rental. It is located outside the park entrance.
We watched the Fireworks from near Cinderella’s Castle and my 7-year-old, who had been full of energy until that point, got very drowsy once we actually stopped running from ride to ride, then getting him through the crowds and out of the park was a challenge. For people watching the Fireworks with kids: consider watching near Town Hall so that if the kids become very tired during the fireworks “downtime,” you don’t have too far to drag them to the monorail. Thanks to Rachel for this tip!
We were pleasantly surprised to find that we found the most Disney character meet and greets at the Animal Kingdom. With this park not being as packed as the other parks, the lines were shorter and made it more enjoyable to get those autographs and pictures. Thanks to Karen for this tip!
In Epcot, the kids loved collecting stamps for every country visited. When we went there, they got to decorate a mask in Italy, and proceed to go to all the countries. It does take the whole day to do this, since there are a lot of things to see in each country. Thanks to Clarence for this tip!
There are some fun activities for kids at Epcot's World Showcase.
Thanks to attractions like The Seas with Nemo, kids will probably like Future World better than the World Showcase at Epcot.
Another tip is the “baby swap”. If you have a baby or small child in your group, one person can ride while the other person waits with the baby/child. Then they “swap” and the 2nd person goes right in, doesn’t have to wait in line again. If there are more than 2 adults (or children that are riding) in your party, someone can ride TWICE because the 2nd person can have someone go “right in” with them. We had 2 babies in our group, so 2 of us got to ride twice. Thanks to Carol for this tip!
The kids (5+9) really enjoyed getting the characters autographs. I thought that would be a nice diversion for them as we walked around but they ended up enjoying collecting autographs as much as the rides! They ended up with 34 different character signatures each. Thanks to Stan for this tip!
When our family rode with the driver in the monorail, the driver presented both children with a monorail license. It is not completed, we had to write in the children's names but it was a nice remembrance for both the kids. Thanks to Delabar for this tip!
Disposable cameras are a great affordable way for kids to have fun at Disney World!
We had four children going with us to WDW so we purchased disposable cameras - one per day per child. There are some great deals on the internet to buy these cameras in bulk (we found some for $2.50 a piece). The kids took some of the best pictures of the trip. The adults in our party had adult cameras, but we didn't have to worry about the kids bugging us to take pictures. They had a blast! Thanks to WDW Visitor for this tip!
We also tell our boys we only buy souvenirs on the last day of our visit. They can look the whole time we are there but by the time it's OK to buy they know what they really want, and it prevents the gimmies during the trip. Thanks to Patti for this tip!
If you plan to let your little ones splash in the fountains that come up out of the ground at Disney, carry a thin cotton beach towel to use to dry them off a bit. I used to carry an extra outfit when they were small. Thanks to DisneyKid's Mom for this tip!
Schedule 'running around' time for small children. After several days of sitting in a stroller, sitting on rides, sitting in theaters, my daughter went absolutely nuts in the 'Honey I shrunk the children' playground at Disney's Hollywood Studios. It might seem like a waste of time while there are shows to catch and rides to ride, but her disposition picked up considerably. Animal Kingdom's 'Boneyard'also met her needs. Thanks to Chris for this tip!
My daughter was not quite tall enough for the big rides. The Star Tours folks let us on without the movement so she could see it. The four of us went on something called a 'flight check'. We were the only ones in the room. No movement, but she didn't feel punished for not being tall enough. Ask the guy outside if it is possible, and he will call up and ask. Don't bother if it's busy. Thanks to Chris for this tip!
Best idea I had for our child during last WDW trip: All kids like to get the autographs, but what do you do with the books when you get home? Usually put away never to be seen again. We had our son get all his autographs on a hat (white) so that he could see them all the time and re-live some of the trip each time. Tip for the hat; once you get home, spray it with hairspray as it will preserve the signatures. Thanks to Michael for this tip!
Buy your souvenirs before you go!
Buy your children their "souvenirs" at Toys R Us or EToys and bring them with you. Satisfy their need to buy something by giving them your discounted toys.
Don't be a sucker buying souvenirs in the parks. Disney sends all their off-season merchandise to several stores in the area, among them "Character Warehouse" located in Mall 2 of the Belz Factory Outlets at the end of International Drive in Orlando (the opposite end of I-Drive from where the Convention Center is). Another one is "Character Premier" in the Premium Outlets in Orlando. Both of these stores sell ONLY official Disney merchandise. You can get t-shirts for $l-l0.00, postcards (.10), sweatshirts ($l0.00), mickey ears, infant clothing, jewelry, toys, trading pins (!!!!), autograph books the list is endless. As an example, my daughter got a set of 2 l00% cotton Tinkerbell pillowcases for $4.99, Mickey icon ponytail holders for 35 cents and Disney 25th anniversary trading pins for l.00. A good time to go is right when you get to Orlando, when you are hanging around waiting for the time for your hotel reservation to open up. Our family goes there first thing every trip, where we pick up our new Disney clothing so when we arrive at the gates the next day we are suitably attired! Thanks to DisneyKids Mom for this tip!
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