Disney Journal No. 10–tips and odds and ends

Mosaic in the Beast's Castle

Mosaic in the Beast’s Castle

  • Do. Not. Go to the Magic Kingdom on Monday, if you can help it. Our hotel was deserted basically all day, because everyone was at the MK. So I imagine it was packed. When we went on Tuesday (I got there at 4:00), it was really nice. I mean, yeah, there were people, but it wasn’t claustrophobia I can’t move I’m trapped! sort of thing.
  • Make advanced dining reservations. I’m serious. This makes life so much easier. We never had to think about where we were going to eat, because we made the reservations six months in advance–the earliest you can do it. If you pick later (like two of our ADRs were at 8:00) or earlier (like before 5:00), there are more options. We got a 6:30 ADR in Epcot by sheer luck, I think, and the fact that we didn’t want to eat at La Cellier or Chefs de France.
  • Have an idea of what you want to see before you go, as in non-negotiable things you have to do to leave WDW happy. For me, it was seeing New Fantastyland, Be Our Guest, and the World Showcase. We did all that.
  • Get guidebooks. I used the Unofficial Guide to WDW and Fodor’s WDW. These were both very helpful.
  • I didn’t find the walking to be horribly bad, and I’m not a person who walks like four miles a day, anyway. The MK was actually smaller than I remembered, and the World Showcase at Epcot is a mile from end to end. So you will get a lot of walking in. Wear comfortable shoes, and bring special band-aids to put over blisters if you get them. (I’m serious. These things are sent from God.) Epcot, I have heard, is much bigger, if you want to do the whole park.
  • Bring a pair of scissors. Trust me on this. If you’re flying, put ’em in your checked luggage. Just. bring. scissors.
  • Also bring lots of sunscreen. You don’t want to have to buy it there.
  • Also a waterproof watch is a good idea, because you don’t want to be whipping out your phone every five seconds to tell the time, and you may be using your phone for messaging and need to save the battery. Get a cheap watch and wear it. Makes life easier. (I had a $7 Ariel kids’ watch. I wasn’t going to wear my nice watch.)
  • When you’re looking at hotel accomodations, I highly recommend trying to spring for on-site. You get Extra Magic Hours, transportation, package delivery of things you buy in the parks to your hotel, and lots of other perks. Plus the hotels are just amazing. 

    Yacht Club lobby

    Yacht Club Lobby

  • Also, when looking at hotels, think about what’s most important to you. Is it a great pool? Close to the Magic Kingdom? Being able to get the monorail? Lots of onsite eating choices? The Beach Club offered a boat to Hollywood studios, and buses to Animal Kingdom, Downtown Disney, and the Magic Kingdom. We could walk to Epcot. It was maybe three minutes from our room to the gate. If you have kids and think you’re going to be spending a lot of time in the MK, then you may want something in that “resort area”. I have no hesitation in saying that the pool at the Beach Club and Yacht Club (Stormalong Bay) is amazing.
  • We didn’t use the Disney Dining Plan. I’ve heard mixed things about it. However I did love the refillable mug and used it a lot, especially when I spent time at the pool, and it was great to be able to refill it and bring it to the solarium or my room.
  • One of the fun little things that happened–ducks in the pool. A mama duck and her baby duck were just paddling around Stormalong Bay, totally oblivious to the humans that were all around them. They were cool as cucumbers, and absolutely adorable. They tended to hang out in the deeper pools (not the big infinity sand-bottomed one, although all the pools have some degree of sand on the bottom) and seemed totally cool with humans splashing near them. The baby duck was precious.
  • One of the BC ducks

    One of the BC ducks


  • Be sure to check dates when you read Disney reviews online; one I had read about the DBC said the pool was only open until 7! That’s not true; Stormalong Bay is open from 10-11. The adult “quiet” pools, that don’t have lifeguards, are much smaller, and scattered throughout the grounds, are basically open all the time.
  •  Also, take some reviews with a grain of salt. Some people want everything to be perfect, and some people think Disney can do no wrong. Honestly, I thought our stay was pretty close to perfection, and I can’t think of anything I would change, except maybe that pesky tropical storm, and Disney can’t control the weather. (Unlike Pudge…name that movie!)
  • Also–fastpasses? I never used them. I guess I can see why you’d want to, but really, I’d just rather wait in line. And when parades are going on, or it’s the lunch rush or whatever, the lines drop anyway.
  • Bottom line: Read up, make ADRs, do your homework. If you do, it’ll make for a much smoother and much more enjoyable Disney Experience!

One thought on “Disney Journal No. 10–tips and odds and ends

  1. Odd tip: if you aren’t into huge walking to get to the world showcase and aren’t staying at Beach club area, take the bus to studios then the friendship boat to the International Gateway entrance- it’s longer, but a nice relaxing ride!

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