The last thing you want to be worried about on holiday is losing your property, but I’ve found that Walt Disney World is also the kind of place where it is easy to lose things! You’re busying around, putting down and picking up your bags every time you get on and off a ride, see a show or have something to eat. Add to that the toys and accessories you may be buying for the kids and that’s far too many opportunities to put something down and temporarily forget about it.
On our last trip we did it twice – I put down my camera lens cap on a bench while I took a photo in Animal Kingdom, and my husband left our bobble (which we definitely recommend for the parks, it makes the water from the fountains taste so much better!) on the train of Big Thunder Mountain. The latter was on our last day and we didn’t worry too much about it, but my lens cap was at the start of our trip, and while I could replace it later, I didn’t want my lens being damaged during our time there, especially as I was constantly getting in and out of its bag, so we decided to track it down. I thought I’d share my experience here so if (when?) you lose something on your trip, you’ll know how it works.
Obviously our first step was to re-trace our steps. I knew exactly where I’d last used it as we’d sat down to switch lenses first. That was pretty easy as we knew where we’d been. But if it had been on a ride, it would have been more difficult. In that instance I’d recommend speaking to a cast member from the ride – there will always be someone at the entrance to the ride so that is always an option. However if you left it on a ride, most people would find it and then hand it in as they were exiting - we found a pirate sword and gave it to the cast member as we got off the ride. You can’t go back in via the exit, but there is also often a cast member around there too, and if you have lost it very recently, they can go back in that way and check with the ride operators for you.
If you get no luck that way, as we didn’t, your next step would be Guest Services at the park exit/entrance. Wherever you lost it, if the item was handed in, it will eventually make its way here. We have always found the cast members here to be especially helpful, no matter what we’re asking. They will check if it has been handed in that day – so the best time to check with them here is as you’re leaving the park.
If again, you’re unsuccessful, they will give you a slip of paper with the phone number of Lost and Found, which is located at the Ticket and Transportation Centre. The number is 407-824-4245. Every night, cast members sweep the parks for any property left around and all of this, plus everything handed in during the day is taken to this central Lost property location. This is open to the public from 9am to 7pm for you to either ring or stop by. When you phone, you can give them all the information you have – what you’ve lost, which park and possibly where abouts and they can look to see if they have it. If so, you give them all your details and can drop by and pick it up.
We were stopping by the TTC the next day anyway, so we called in on the off chance. I actually thought the likelihood of finding a lens cap and it being handed in was pretty slim, but as we were there, I thought I’d ask. So where is the Lost and Found? It has its own little building in the central area. The easiest way to find it is to look for the shop there. At this point there are signs to direct you, but you can’t really miss it as it is on the car park side of the shop, and pretty much the only other building there that isn’t a ticket window.
I asked the guy at the reception and he came back with an entire bag of lens caps. And not just lens caps – specifically Nikon lens caps. If you lose your cap, this is the place to go! Whether or not I have mine back, I don’t know – but I quickly found one that fit. We picked one out and that was it. However Disney are a lot more thorough when the item is more expensive – we saw a man picking up the phone that he’d lost and he had to say exactly where he was, the make and model of the phone and then Disney took all of his details including a photocopy of his ID and address.
So there you have it – if you found that you’ve lost something on your trip to Walt Disney World, you’ve got a few ways to try and track it down!