Recently I’ve heard several people talking about how their Travel Agent charged extra to book their dining, and book fast passes. The agent in one case, didn’t book in the parks their client was going to for lunch and dinner, and another said the agent booked fast passes for roller coasters, and other rides her children were too short for. They were very upset, and understandably so. When you have a travel agent, it’s their job to help you with what you want, but I’m also here with a warning.
No travel agent selling you a Disney vacation should EVER charge you more than Disney does. They shouldn’t add on fees for booking for dining, or booking for fast passes. Now, yes, a few do, because let’s be honest, a travel agent puts a ton of work into making your trip go the way that it should, but IF, and only IF they are going to charge a fee for that, make sure you ask BEFORE you book, and then decide if that’s a fee you want to pay.
Be up front with your agent as to what your expectations are. If you want them to book your dining reservations, or fast passes, then have a list, and be specific, but give a range. Something like, I want to eat at this place, party of 5, between 8 and 10am. We all want a fast pass for this ride, in the afternoon sometime between 2 and 4pm. Doing that is going to make it easier for you to plan your day, and it’s going to make it much easier for your agent to meet your expectations, and you’ll both be happy.
Curious as to if you even need a Disney Vacation Planner? Go here, and read our article.
A good Disney Vacation planner is worth their weight in gold, but always be careful before just booking your reservation with someone you know nothing about. Research them online, use someone that’s recommended, and never be afraid to question charges. Lastly, if your agent DOES do something you don’t like, speak up, and before it’s too late. It’s much easier to ask them to change something 90 days before you go, than 10.
Disney Springs is filled with many amazing places see, and a whole lot to do. Despite what many people think it’s not ALL Disney shops down there. There are many Disney shops and WOW are they amazing, almost like a mini trip to the parks, but there’s a ton of other really great stuff to do there too!
Here are a few of our favorites that’s AREN’T Disney!
The Lego Store
The biggest Lego store I’ve ever been in. What’s so fun though, is outside, under a covered area are loads, and loads of Legos for you (or your kids!) to play with! A great spot when you get too hot, or it’s raining. There are huge Lego sculptures inside the store, outside the store, and even in the water! It's the perfect place for lots of pictures, and outside of the back entrance, is even a special Lego wall, perfect for more pictures!
Characters in Flight by Aerophile- Balloon Ride
The world’s largest, and also entirely hand painted hot air balloon! Enjoy a tethered ride with views up to 10 miles! It’s a little tough to get on this one because it is weather permitting, but whether you ride, or just gaze up at it, it’s an impressive sight.
What a neat store this is! Uniqlo is a brand from Japan and everything is just awesome! Well fitting, cute, and sizes and styles for everyone, with amazing prices! It’s also the place to get licensed Disney apparel at (dare I say it?) Target prices.
Coca cola store
I think this is really cool! There’s a rooftop beverage bar! You can rest your feet, sip a drink and enjoy the amazing views. I’ve never tried one of the Coke tastings, but you can actually buy different sample platters of coke products from all over the world. A larger Club Cool from Epcot if you will. Plus, this is THE place to get any fun merchandise for the collector that you know, you know.
Photo by Cirque du Soleil
Cirque du Soleil Boutique
This fun and bright colored store has everything! Unique apparel and gifts, toys ,cds, DVDs and more, all from the various shows of Cirque du Soleil.
Disney Springs has so much more! Over 100 shops and over 50 restaurants! From high end shops, to toys for any age, and something for every taste bud, you can’t go wrong stopping by! It’s possible to spend a whole day here and not do anything Disney, and it’s also possible to spend a while day here and do nothing but Disney!
What’s your favorite Disney Springs stop? And do you still want to call it Downtown Disney, too?
Nestled in a little cove, in one of the dining rooms at Be Our Guest in Disney's Magic Kingdom is the Enchanted Rose that Beast was given. Protected by a glass dome, the rose flickers, and petals fall, vanishing almost instantly.
If you have dinner in the castle, Beast will be there, perhaps you can ask him if he is worried what will happen when the rose has lost all of it's petals.
While we all know how this story ends, when you dine at Be Our Guest, Beast is still Beast, he hasn't returned to his Princely form yet, so maybe he has no idea if Belle is going to fall in love with him before the last petal falls.
What do you think? Have you ever had a chance to look at this amazing rose? I always take a quick peek when we go, and reluctantly move aside so someone else can see it and photograph it too. It is an absolute marvel, and without a doubt, magic.
On our last trip, we finally remembered to do something we had been curious about-- count our steps! It was to our absolute amazement that we walked 10-12 miles a day in each park. Another thing that surprised us was that our feet didn’t really hurt, and our kids managed, with only a few breaks, to do that walking with us.
Today, if you were to ask me to walk that much, there’s no way I could. I’m not in shape for it,
but I do know that when we book out next trip this winter, in order to be ready for those long days of walking, we are going to be training!
How do we train? We do these four things!
Practice staying hydrated
Wear the right shoes
Take breaks BEFORE we need them
Those four simple things are how we manage to go go go on our trips! Here’s how you can go go go, too, when you apply these four tricks for Disney!
Start your walking training a few months before you go. Aim for at least a mile, and slowly work up to two. If you can do more, great, but I’ve found for us just that length is enough, because you’ll be stopping at Disney, you don’t walk every second of the day. You’ll be standing in lines, going on rides, having lunch, etc and the walking doesn’t seem to bad because it’s broken up like that. The worst walk for us without a doubt, is leaving the park or Disney Springs to the bus stop. I swear it gets further away each time for us Value Resort people!
Practice Staying Hydrated
The number one way to ruin summer fun is to get dehydrated! It’s so easy to do, you put that drink off for just a few minutes, and then a few more and before you know it, you’re cranky, and light headed, or maybe you’ve got a killer headache and feel sick. Drink, drink, drink! Make sure it’s something that hydrates, like water, juice, sports drinks or tea. Take a sip standing in line, before you walk away from your parked stroller, or while you are staring at your map because you’ve gotten turned around. Every time you stand still, take a sip, and you’ll stay hydrated and have the energy to keep going.
A special note for parents with small kids. If you kid doesn’t need to Ride the Rapunzel, then they aren’t getting enough to drink! You might have to remind them, because kids can get distracted easier than adults!
Wear the Right Shoes
I don’t know how many times I've seen people with their feet in the fountains (EW!) or toes covered in blisters from wearing those $1 flip flops, or 4 inch high heels. There’s no way I could do that, and as much as I would love to wear shoes that are cute all day, I’m going to put comfort first. You only have one pair of feet on your trip. When they start hurting, each step is going to feel like ten, and it’s going to wear you out!
If you want new shoes before your trip, make sure you wear them and walk in them plenty to start breaking them in. Bring at least two pairs that you can walk in, so if you get caught in a downpour and can’t completely dry your shoes, you’ve got some the next day to wear while the damp ones finish drying. Some people even like to rotate which shoes they wear each day, so that blisters are less likely to happen.
Take Breaks BEFORE You Need Them
Just like it’s easy to get dehydrated because you are so busy looking at everything, it’s also easy to forget to take breaks for the same reason. Maybe you forget, because you are so excited by everything you see, and want to do it ALL because you don’t have much time, or maybe you just want to fill every second of the day because you paid a lot for this trip, and by golly, doing everything is what you are going to do!
No matter what sort of a Disney goer you are, you’ve GOT to take some breaks! If you give yourself five or ten minutes every hour to just sit, or pop into some air conditioning, you are actually going to be able to do more, than you would if you kept going until your feet were blistered or swollen and you are so tired and crabby it’s not a fun vacation anymore.
Stop and rest a few minutes, plan your meals strategically, and if possible, indoors in the air conditioning, and if you feel like heading back to your resort during the hot part of the day for a rest or swim, you ought to! You’ll be able to enjoy your trip more, and not be falling asleep before the fireworks start over Cinderella Castle!
Try these tricks to make your next Disney trip the best one ever! If you think we left out something important, or maybe you’ve got some tried and true suggestions, let us know! We’d love to hear them!
Mr. Disney Magic is a wiz at making these awesome printables! If you didn't notice when we snuck this one in the Printables tab, here it is! The perfect, and totally FREE, accessory for your stroller, wheelchair or even scooter! I'd go so far as you say it's absolutly INCREDIBLE!
You can right click to "save as" and download, or if your computer doesn't like that, you can click on the uploaded file under the picture.
Print, and for a longer lasting sign, laminate it with a machine, a self sealing pouch, contact paper or even packing tape. punch holes in at the top, and attach to the handles of your transport device with ribbon, zip ties or rubber bands!
Want some more printables? We've got several up, with more on the way! Just click here to see what we've got!
Now get ready! Set! Go! Time for your Incredible Adventure!