Survival Tips: Disney World

Disney World is the most magical place in the world, right? Well, IT CAN BE if you follow our survival tips on how to survive – and ENJOY – Disney World and all its magicalness!

#001 Come Prepared

I’m talking EVERYTHING. The last thing you want is to need to buy something while at Disney (other than souvenirs, of course) because it is expensive and you don’t want to waste time in the line-ups. The essentials you should bring are:

  • Reusable water bottles (they have fountains at the park)
  • Sunscreen & a hat (protect yo self! Florida sun is HOT)
  • A lunch/snacks
  • Camera or smartphone w/ camera (NOTE: No selfie sticks allowed!)
  • Magic band (I recommend getting these, makes everything way easier, I’ll explain later)
  • A change of clothes (if going on Splash Mountain or wet rides)

#002 Bring Your Own Food

You can either bring a cooler and keep it in a locker to go back to at lunchtime or just bring some snacks and sandwiches in your backpack along with you. You are allowed to bring outside food into the park so long as you don’t have any knives, glass or alcohol. You can save a huge amount of money and also save time by not needing to wait in lines. Also, bring your own reusable water bottle to save money, time and save the planet! We only splurged on two days, one in Magic Kingdom when Marco got a huge Turkey Leg (pictured) and in Epcot when we got some German Beer!

#003 Take Your Own Pictures

Honestly, most people do this anyways nowadays but seriously, take your own! The photo-pass at Disney is $99 USD per DAY! Guys, that’s an extra $100 per day on top of your already $100-something admission ticket. The pictures are pretty nice, but save yourself some cash and buy yourself something nice. Unless you’re a die-hard Disney fan, can’t take nice pictures or just REALLY like the pictures they take of you, it’s not worth it in our opinion.

#004 Get The Magic Band

A magic band is essentially the entrance card you get where you can tap to get into the park, get your photo-pass pictures and get into your fast-pass selections. It’s incredibly more efficient to have the magic band (I think they cost about $13 USD) for a number of reasons. One, it’s hard to lose something attached to your wrist (Marco lost his card on the second day of Disney so we decided to get the magic bands, LOL live and learn!). Two, all you do is tap your wrist and you’re in! No need to search your bag or pockets for the pass. Quick and easy!

#005 Get Your Fast-Passes WAY Ahead of Time

So, a little fun fact that we didn’t before going – Fast-Passes are now done entirely on Disney’s Mobile App and ticket-holders can select their Fast-Passes up to 3 months in advance – crazy, right? We did not know this, so learn from our mistakes! It was tricky to get fast-passes for rides that we wanted because we literally waited until the day-of to get them. If you know which park you are going to on which day of your trip than try to plan your fast-passes out as soon as you can. This way, you can enjoy all your favorite rides without the crazy wait times (Rockin’ Rollercoaster was a 120-minute wait when we went, and it was raining that day!).

#006 Take Breaks If You Need To

There is a LOT to see in one Disney park – and there are several! Your passes include in-and-out privileges meaning that you can leave the park and come back within the same day with no issues. I recommend arriving for opening, staying until lunchtime or whenever you can, leaving and taking a break and then returning several hours before close to get more rides and meet-ups in and to watch their fireworks/light shows (they have one every night at every park except Animal Kingdom). This helps prevent people from getting cranky, moody, tired, etc. and can improve your Disney World experience.

 

Do’s & Don’ts: Staying In Hotels

Whether you travel boujee or frugal, you’ve most likely stayed in a hotel or motel before. While staying as a guest in a foreign place it is sometimes easy to lose sight of common courtesy or general “rules” to look out for. Here are some of our top Do’s and Don’ts for staying in hotels.

DO – Get a safe box, especially if you are staying for a long period of time. Most hotel staff will respect your belongings and room, but unfortunately for those few who do not, we need to take extra precautions. Most rooms come with a safe.

DON’T – Abuse room service. I’ve literally never rung room service. It is a nice luxury to have, and if it is offered at your hotel feel free to use it. However, keep in mind that the servers and hotel staff are people too and should not be treated as a servant. Room service can also be quite costly.

DO – Tip the cleaning staff. Depending on where you are vacationing, the staff may get paid minimal wages or less to work at the hotel you are staying at. For some workers getting tips could mean being able to afford their rent or not. Even just a few dollars can show your appreciation for their help and can go a long way.

DON’T  – Throw a rowdy party. You’re on holidays, go out to the club or a bar and drink and dance all you want, as loud as you want without disturbing anyone’s sleep. People are literally paying to sleep there and will be displeased if your shenanigans get in the way of that. The last thing you want is a noise complaint, fine, or angry vacationers.

DO – Try to clean up after yourself as much as possible. Whether I am on vacation or not I also want to minimize the amount of work others need to do. Things like making the bed or taking out the trash are things you aren’t obligated to do because you do not have access to clean sheets nor a garbage disposal, however, you can clear clutter, fold your clothes and hang your towels.

DON’T – Steal hotel property. It’s ok to take the shampoo, body lotion and hand soap, but do not take the towels, bed sheets, or anything else that is not up for grabs. Not only is this not right, but hotels do inventory checks after guests leave and if anything is missing you will be paying for it!

Agree? Disagree? What was the craziest hotel experience you had? Share with us and drop us a comment below! We would love to hear from you!

Do’s and Don’ts: Speaking With Locals

Like all human beings, you have good ones and bad ones. Locals at your tourist destination are the same. Some people can be super nice and helpful and you may even make a friend. Others can try to scam you for money, lure you into a dangerous situation or just being plain annoying.

DO – Use your judgement to determine the intentions of the person you will be speaking with. Social cues like body language and tone can be common indicators if someone will be a pleasure to speak with or leave you irritated.

DONT – Follow them or pay them anything without asking some questions first. You always want to make sure you are receiving services or products from a trusted source and you don’t want to end up with cheap or fake products or follow them somewhere and get lost. Always ask some verifying questions to make sure you’re on the right path.

DO – Try to use their native language (ex. If in Mexico try to speak Spanish). This will show them that you are genuinely trying to communicate with them – that little bit of effort goes a long way! Think of the last time a tourist asked you for directions in your home town and they made an effort to speak to you in your language?

DONT – Talk down to them or belittle them. Local people at your travel destination are people just like you. They may not speak your language or share the same culture or values as you, but you need to respect that. Treat everyone with respect.

DO – Ask for local hot spots that may not be well-known. You could potentially find some cheaper deals or explore a new place you’ve never even heard of! Again, always use your discretion when deciding to take advice or hangout with the locals.

No matter where you go you will most likely encounter vendors on the streets trying to sell their goods or ill-intended people involved in gangs or other dangerous entities. Don’t become paranoid by these stories you hear on the news, but definitely stay attentive and always use your best possible discretion to make the best decision. Conversing with local residents of the place you are traveling to is always an incredible experience. You can learn lots about their culture and language.

Have you had any positive or negative local interactions while on vacay? Share your stories with us below! We would love to hear from you.