Here’s a few things you might want to know, before you go:
Well for one, they call them ‘strollers’ across the pond! There is A LOT of walking while you’re at Walt Disney World and your little one might need a buggy there even if they wouldn’t usually at home. It can be so hot and tiring, they’re useful even just for a nap! You can either take your own or hire one while you’re there. If you hire one, you should know that these are the hard moulded plastic kind – not very comfortable and only really suitable for older toddlers up – not babies as they don’t have any straps or anything. They’re also pretty expensive to hire and can only be hired within each park – you can’t use them for transporting back to your resort or anything. If you bring your own, know that you will have to take them up and down when you’re getting on and off Disney transport – they have to be collapsed before you get on – so its a personal decision whether an umbrella style buggy for ease of use if better, or a full on bells and whistles pushchair is better for pushing round the parks. In addition, you have to leave your pushchair in a ‘stroller park’ outside all of the rides – usually just an area designated for these. For what I’ve heard this is very safe, although I’d take any valuables with you. But the cast members occasionally ‘tidy’ these – i.e. just move them around to make better use of the space, so it might not be exactly where you left it when you come out. One tip is to tie ribbons or a balloon around the handles so yours is instantly recognisable when you come out.
Disney operate a FASTPASS system for anyone who attends the Disney theme parks – you don’t have to be a guests at one of the Walt Disney World Resort hotels and unlike other theme parks in the area, you don’t have to pay for the privilege. The most popular rides have a FASTPASS line in addition to their regular line. If you have a FASTPASS ticket you can take this line instead so your wait will be much shorter as it it is restricted. To get a ticket you just go to the ride entrance where the FASTPASS machine for that ride will be located. Above these it will say what time it is currently issuing tickets for. You put your park ticket into the machine adn it will give you a fastpass ticket. This ticket will have a specific time frame on it, for instance 3:05 to 4:05pm. You can then go back any time within that time frame, handover your FASTPASS ticket and you’ll be allowed access to the shorter fast pass queue. The busier rides will ‘sell out’ of these passes by lunch time, so its worth heading over to them reasonably early. You can only get your next fastpass ticket either once your first time slot has expired, or after the time it states on the first ticket.
Disney’s Photopass can be a really great way of getting fmaily photos – where everyone’s in them! Around all of the parks are Photopass photographers You can identify them via their uniforms and big old cameras! They’re found in all the best photo-op locations and will pose you and take your picture. If they’re not too busy they’ll take multiple photos. They then scan a little credit-card sized card and give it to you. As you go around the parks you can hand over this card to the various photographers and they will keep adding all your photos to it. The great thing is that you have no obligation to buy the photos at all. If they don’t turn out or you decide you don’t want them , you don’t have to buy them. Either before you leave the parks for the last time, or within 30 days, you can look at the photos online (or at the store in the park) and decide if you want to order any. The photo packages are quite expensive, but might be wroth it for that special photo! You can also get them printed on mugs, t-shirts, mouse mats etc or create a photobook. We usually buy the photo CD. We had over 500 photos accumulated last year. When I got home I looked at the photos and added some of Disney’s borders, which creates duplicate but designed photos. By the time I was done I had over 1000 photos, so I ordered the CD, and now they’re all mine to do what I want with! My tip for the photopass is to use your own camera to take a photo of the ID number on the back of your photopass card. That way if you lose the card, you can still claim your photos. You can also merge multiple cards, so if you split up and get a second photopass card, you can still view them and purchase them together.
Bringing food and drink
It is absolutely fine to bring in your own food and drinks into the parks, if you’re trying to save a little cash. There are just a few rules around what you’re not allowed – i.e. no glass bottles (includes baby jars), no alcohol and no coolers bigger than 24″ (61 cm) long x 15″ (38 cm) wide x 18″ (46 cm) high. You can rent a locker to keep these in if you don’t want to lug them around with you.
You have to dress ‘appropriately’ including showing excessive skin (gents have top wear tops), no offensive slogans and adults are not allowed to dress like Disney characters.