Mousekeeping & Tipping

I have written a previous article about the cast members at Disney. Now it is time to focus on the people who make your hotel room your home.

Mousekeeping is the term WDW uses for its housekeeping staff. These people work very hard every day to make sure you come back from the park to a clean room full of surprises. They are happy to leave extra towels, coffee, or shampoo if you ask. They set up the kids toys in a fun way to make coming back to the room magical. The mousekeeping staff deserves a tip and is allowed to take it. One way to make your mornings go more smoothly is to put your tips for each day into an envelope before you leave for your trip. Make enough envelopes for each day of your trip and write your little housekeeping thank you note on them. Continue reading

My favorite Disney apps

There are bunches of apps for smartphones to help you on your Disney vacation. Some of my smartphone apps are helpful with planning and others are in constant use while on my vacation.

Here are my favorites: Continue reading

Port Orleans

We have stayed at both the Port Orleans Resorts in recent years and I have to say that they are my favorite Moderate resorts in WDW. The landscaping and theme of the resorts has a very rich and expensive feel like the Deluxe resorts. The counter and table services at both resorts serve great food. The entire resort has been undergoing refurbishment over the last few years. Most rooms have queen beds (versus double), flat screen TVs, and updated decor. The lobby of Riverside is close to finishing its remodel as well. Continue reading

Update: Disney’s Photopass Service

I love Disney’s Photopass Service. I think that it is totally worth the money if you utilize it correctly and plan ahead. Our first few trips, we didn’t use photopass and I regret that because we have so few pictures of our whole family. The photographers will take pictures with your camera, but their photos will be better!

To get the most bang for your buck, stop at every photographer you see in all the parks. Let’s be honest, you can’t have too many pictures of your family in front of the castle! There are photgraphers in every park. Here is a map and some tips of all the photopass photographers. Disney Photopass Map

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Having the kids involved with planning

My kids help with our trip planning even though they are only 5 & 7 years old. We discuss when to go, where they would like to eat, which characters are important for us to see, what rides are a must, what parades we have to watch. This helps us plan our time there and what is a priority for each of us. At Christmas, the main goals were Rapunzel and Santa. We planned 2 mornings in Magic Kingdom to be in line for those characters as soon as the park opened. For Star Wars weekend, the goal was to do Jedi Training and see the Hyperspace Hoopla. This upcoming trip, we are excited about Storybook Circus, Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom & Agent P!

I think it is important for them to realized that this costs us money and we have to save and plan each time we go. Continue reading

Oh no…I don’t have dining reservations!

If you read my previous post about the importance of dining reservations and are now freaking out, don’t worry! There are wonderful restaurants throughout WDW that will have open tables for walk up customers. I would not recommend going without dining reservations, but I am anal retentive and like to have my schedule planned out! Do not expect to get into character meals, these are always booked and impossible to get in unless you have lucked out with a cancellation! Epcot is always a good choice because there are so many restaurants. Yacht Club & Boardwalk are walking distance from Epcot & a long walk or boating distance from Hollywood. Contemporary, Grand Floridan & Polynesian are on the monorail line, so you can head there from Magic Kingdom and Epcot very easily! You can always call the reservation line – (407) WDW- DINE or use your smart phone and book through the internet!

Restaurants where you can get a table with little or no wait: Continue reading

The Importance of Dining Reservations

If you are new to WDW, you will see all sorts of information on Advanced Dining Reservations (ADRs). If character meals & where you eat are important to you then I would highly recommend doing your dining reservations as soon as you book your trip. You can book dining without being on property and even before you book your trip.

Here is how it works: Continue reading

Fun For Adults

Who says Walt Disney World is for kids?! I would love to go without mine just once…doubtful but maybe someday! Part of the fun of a Disney vacation is to see you child’s face when they see Mickey and ride the tea cups. But, we adults would like to have a little fun too. I did a day at Epcot in college with some friends and I have to say it was a blast!

There are so many adult oriented things to do at Disney this post could go on forever, so I will give you a sampling of some. Continue reading

Why would I do laundry on vacation?

I always do laundry at least once on a trip. Why would anyone want to do laundry on vacation? Aren’t you trying to get away from all that?

There are a few reasons…

  1. Less clothes = less luggage. With airlines charging for luggage these days, it is cheaper to pack less!
  2. Florida is hot and I do NOT like packing sweaty stinky clothes for the trip home!
  3. I do not have that many clothes & we all have a few favorites that we want to wear again.

In the resorts, laundry costs $2 a load to wash and $2 to dry. I bring quarters specifically for laundry day. I also pack detergent and dryer sheets, now a couple brands have little packs that you just throw into your load. I just wash everything together on cold. I plan for a midday break halfway into the trip to swim and relax. Usually, the laundry facilities are near the pool. We throw in a load, swim, take a break to switch, swim & get dry clothes on the way back to the room.

I think it is totally worth the effort because everyone is happy to wear their favorite princess shirt again. It also forces us to slow down and not try and cram more and more into each day of our trip.

Traveling with Babies & Toddlers

I have so many people tell me that they will wait to take their kids to Disney when they are older. I recommend going while they still believe in the “magic”! Often, that means taking your preschooler with the baby tagging along.

First of all with young children, plan to travel during the late fall or winter season. Don’t take little guys when it is hot unless that is the only time you can take vacation.  The weather is so much better, you will enjoy yourselves more, & the prices are at their cheapest! If you do have to go in the heat, plan on daily breaks at the hotel to rest and cool down and have plenty of snack and drink breaks.

Continue reading