I just got back from Walt Disney World for a quick anniversary trip. It was, of course, AWESOME. There are, however, some rookie things that we should have known, that we weren’t aware of.
It was like our 9,803 time at Disney World, but you can learn something new each time you visit. Our mistakes are your good fortune, because we are sharing all our Disney World tips with you!
1. You will have a daily fee on your account for parking at an on-property hotel.
Just be prepared to have to pay for parking, because it is NOT included in the up-front fees.
When I booked my vacation back in June, I put down a deposit online. Then I called Disney World, and asked to pay in-full for the rest of my vacation.
Now, I thought paying in-full meant that I had completely paid for everything having to do with staying on-property for my entire stay at the resort.
Oh, nay nay. There is a $15 per day (including the day you leave) fee for parking, that they don’t charge you upfront.
So, we got hit with a $75 fee for our 4 night stay that I was not expecting.
Granted, when I asked about it at the front desk, I was quickly told that it was all in the fine print. My bad, for not reading EVERYTHING, but it was just a little shocking.
When I paid in-full over the telephone, I asked if there were any additional charges that I needed to know about. I was told “no,” that I now had a zero dollar account balance for my stay.
JUST BE PREPARED!!
2. Take plenty of face masks with you into the parks.
As you know by now, you have to wear face masks at all times, except when STATIONARY and ACTIVELY eating.
Now, I’m just going to tell you, there is going to be a lot of sweat going on in your facial region. Think about all that hot, damp air from your breath hitting your mask, that hot and humid air from being outside in Florida, and the baking heat coming from the sun.
You will want to change your mask, and change it frequently.
Not only will your mask get damp from just being on your face, if you go on any wet rides (like Splash Mountain), you will get water from the ride splashed onto your face mask.
Now, I don’t want to tell you what to do, but it was just a little gross to think that I had water from the ride soaking a mask that was right next to my face.
Be prepared! I took four face masks with me to Magic Kingdom, and I could have used two more. Better safe than sorry.
3. Don’t charge things to your room.
Sure, this sounds like a good idea! You can link a card to your room, and then just pay for everything with a touch of your Magic Band. Then, at check-out, they will charge you for everything you purchased in one lump sum.
Only, it doesn’t work this way.
They put a hold on our credit card for $100 PER DAY, just in case we needed it for charging to the room.
Then, if we bought anything above and beyond that $100 that they had already held, they put a hold for even more money on the card.
So, by the end of our 5-day trip, they had held $500 “just in case,” and actually charged the card for over $300 (of things we actually charged).
Now, we didn’t use all of that $500, but it was still money held on our credit card. So, if we had a low availability on that card anyway (we knew exactly how much we had to spend), we were stuck.
All the Disney Cast Members were quick to note that we had not yet been charged, that the money was just being “held.”
But, let me just tell you how it works. Even though Disney puts a “hold” on the money, as far as your credit card company is concerned, that money is spent.
So, don’t be like us. We had the situation where we went to eat off-property. We didn’t yet know that Disney had held all that money on our card, and when we went to use the card at the restaurant, the card was declined (because it was now maxed out).
Talk about EMBARRASSING!! Luckily, we had another way to pay, but that situation could have been BAD!
Just be aware, if you link a card to your room for charging, they will place all kinds of “holds” on your card. Sure, these holds will eventually drop off, but that doesn’t help you at the time you desperately may need that money available.
Disney Guest Relations will, again, be quick to tell you that all of this is in the fine print when you link your card. I guess the lesson here is, take the extra 2-hours to read all the fine print.
3. Bring Gatorade and water with you to keep in your room.
You will want, nay NEED, some kind of sports drink during your stay. The sweat is real, and those electrolytes that you lose will need to be replaced.
You will also want to hydrate often with water. Sodas just DON’T cut it all of the time when you are parched from the heat.
If you want to buy a sports drink or water in a bottle on property, you are looking to get hit with at LEAST a $4.50 per drink charge. That adds up REALLY quickly.
If you bring some beverages to keep in your room, you will save a LOT of money in the long run. And, yes, you can take your drink into the park — just not in an ice chest.
4. Lyft drivers are available to take you where you need to go.
Disney transportation is super convenient, but it can take FOREVER.
If you don’t want to wait in the long lines and Florida heat for that ride to a park, consider downloading the Lyft app, and call a driver.
Sure, it is going to cost you like $9 to $13, but sometimes it is just worth the extra added expense not to have to deal with waiting around for a ride on a crowded bus.
You do want to remember, however, if you take a Lyft somewhere, you will have to pay for that return trip, also.
We would alot of times, take a Lyft TO Disney Springs or one of the Parks, and then, if we weren’t on a time crunch to return, we would then take a Disney bus back to the hotel.
It worked out very nicely. Budget that extra money into your trip. It is well worth it!
5. They have Disability Access Passes available at the parks, for those that need them.
If you are in the situation where a member of your party can’t wait in line for whatever reason (I have trouble standing, for example), you can go to Guest Relations at any of the Disney parks, and ask for a Disability Access Pass.
They set this up through your magic band or park ticket.
It allows you to go to the FastPass entrance, and request a return time from the Cast Member.
Then, you just go about your day, and return to the FastPass line at your given time. You will usually be escorted to a back entrance, and you are able to then bypass the line and enjoy the ride.
This is SUCH a good thing for those that need the extra help.
Any day at Disney is better than staying home. Just make sure you are prepared for those little hiccups that might happen during your trip. And, most of all, have a Magical Time!!