Thursday, June 23, 2016

What to Expect when visiting Disney World

Recently I got a great question about the logistics of visiting Disney World. For today's Travel Thursday, I reviewed  a few key things you will need to know when heading to Disney World.

1.  You can bring food and drinks into the Parks. You cannot bring large coolers, but there are lockers where you can store smaller soft sided coolers as long as they are smaller than 24" long x 15" wide x 18" high.  It will be inspected as you go into the park.

2. Disney Transportation System - If you drive to the Magic Kingdom, you will park at the transportation center. Then you will have to board a boat or the monorail to head to the actual Magic Kingdom.  If you are coming from a Disney Resort, you will go straight to the Magic Kingdom. For the other Parks,  the Disney Resort buses will pull up in one particular section near the park. There is a separate section for motor coaches and shuttles that go to non-Disney  Resorts. If you are staying at a resort that is not a Disney Resort, you'll need to head to the group bus section.

3. Park's Opening Ceremonies - Pay close attention to the opening times of each Parks. The parks can open as early as 15 minutes before the posted time as they start a special opening ceremony called Rope Drop.

4. Strollers - If you want to take a stroller on any time of Disney transportation, you must be able to collapse it. When using the stroller within a Park, you will utilize the stroller parking areas. As you can see below,  A LOT of strollers are parked together so you may want to consider adding some unique additions to make your stroller stand out: a large bow or luggage tag. In Magic Kingdom, Epcot and Hollywood Studios, you can buy a balloon and tie it to your stroller. Be sure not to leave any valuables in your stroller.

You can rent a stroller for use within the Disney Parks.
  • If you rent from Disney World, it is $15 per day for a single stroller that accommodates a child up to 50 pounds or a double stroller that accommodates up to 100 lbs. Strollers cannot be removed from the parks. When visiting more than one park in a single day, simply present your rental receipt at another park to obtain a replacement. This can be a hassle as many parents relay on the stroller to transfer sleep children back to the resort.
  • If you'd like to rent a stroller for the entire visit, you can use a stroller rental company like Magic Strollers, Orlando Stroller Rentals or Kingdom Strollers. The stroller will be delivered to your resort and waiting for you.
  • A third option is to ship a stroller via Amazon to the resort a couple of days in advance. Be sure to check the resort's rules and regulations. Some resorts that also have convention centers like The Contemporary may charge to accept a delivery.

5. Baby Care Centers - If you are traveling with small children,  each of the Parks has a baby center. This is an area with a private nursing room, changing tables and unisex bathrooms, feeding area with high chairs, a main lounge with a TV, and a kitchen with microwave, oven and sink. Here's the locations:
  • Magic Kingdom: Off Main Street near Crystal Palace
  • Epcot: In the building between Test Track and Mexico
  • Hollywood Studios: In the Guest Services Building immediately to your left as you enter the Park
  • Animal Kingdom; Building just past Creature Comforts

6. Smoking is only allowed in special areas within the Park. The areas are marked on the Park map.

7. Dress codes - Costumes are not allowed for adults.  One  cute way I've seen people get around that is to dress in  a color theme of a character  For instance, I saw a woman wearing a pair of yellow shorts a blue v-neck shirt,  and then had a red bow in her hair. She gave the impression of Snow White without breaking the rules. Be sure your attire covers all the private areas and does not have offensive logos or wording.

8. Prohibited Items - No Selfie Sticks. Nothing with wheels including those wheelie shoes. Strollers and Medical Scooters are the only exceptions. Balloons are prohibited at the Animal Kingdom and Animal Kingdom Lodge. No folding chairs. No weapons. No alcohol.

As always, if you have any questions, please email me or set up a time to chat.

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