Using your “My Disney Experience” account, MagicBand colors can be customized. We like to choose a different color for each member of our party. MagicBands will be shipped to you about 3 weeks prior to your vacation. Each band will have the wearer’s name inside and will be linked to information regarding Fastpass+ selections, park tickets, hotel reservations, and if you so choose, credit card information. MagicBands also take the place of traditional room keys. They are completely waterproof and hypoallergenic.
7. Schedule deliveries
Did you know that you can have your favorite snacks and drinks delivered directly to your Walt Disney World hotel? There are several grocery delivery companies in the Orlando area that cater to the dietary needs of Disney guests. I’ve personally used a company called Garden Grocer several times and have been very pleased with their services. These companies can be particularly helpful if you don’t have access to a car or don’t have room in your luggage to pack things you or your children eat or drink frequently. You may find it is more cost effective to have a case or two of water delivered to your hotel rather than purchase bottled water in the parks each day. These companies typically have only so many delivery slots per day, so if you know you’d like to utilize their services, you should schedule a delivery as far in advance as you can. This is especially important if you’re traveling during a traditionally busy season.
There are also companies in the area that rent strollers and deliver them directly to your resort. You can rent a stroller in any Disney theme park, but if you plan to partake in other activities (resort hotel dining, shopping at Downtown Disney, taking a walk around Disney’s Boardwalk area) you might want to have a stroller for the entire length of your stay. When your vacation ends, the company will pick the stroller up from your hotel’s bell stand. Kingdom Strollers is a reputable company and a single stroller rental for a week (depending on the style you choose) will cost around $65. Delivery and pick up are included in that price.
8. Download the My Disney Experience Mobile App
If you’ve got a Smartphone, you need this app. Disney has put the ability to access ride wait times, find character greeting locations, and get show times for fireworks and parades right at your fingertips! Because this is the mobile version of the same program used at home to book your dining reservations and Fastpass+ selections, you will be able to view this information from your phone as well! I can’t tell you how many times a day I access this app while in Disney, but I can tell you that it in an invaluable tool for Disney touring.
9. Train your body
I’ve worn a pedometer during my Disney vacations. I average 4 miles per day, and that’s pushing a stroller. If you aren’t at least somewhat “fit”, it would be very wise to get yourself on some sort of a daily walking regimen beginning at least 2 months prior to your scheduled vacation. Start by walking a short distance each day and try increasing the distance little by little. You’ll be a Disney-worthy athlete in no time!
10. Pack your bags
Are there things you just can’t (literally or figuratively) live without? Make sure you pack them for your trip.
A quick list of the most needed but commonly forgotten things include: medications, underwear, bathing suits, makeup, special food or drinks, diapers, formula, sunglasses, gadget chargers, glasses or contact lenses, toothbrushes, feminine hygiene products, park tickets/MagicBands, plane/train tickets, security items (pacifiers, blankies, etc)
A quick list of things I think you can’t live without at Disney: liquid hand sanitizer or sanitizing wipes, Neosporin (or similar type product) and bandages, sunscreen, a good camera
In the event that you do forget something (like I do, without fail, on every single trip), you can get just about anything you might need or want at a Disney resort gift shop. And if whatever you need is truly a specialty item, speak to a Cast Member. It is very likely that they will be able to help you or find someone else who can. Remember, Disney is known for their superior customer service!
Two additional, though non-essential, recommendations:
Make a countdown calendar
This is great way to get your entire family involved in and excited about your upcoming trip. A countdown calendar can be as elaborate as an advent style set of boxes in the shape of Mickey ears or as simple as a homemade paper chain. There are many patterns for countdown calendars available for free on the internet if you simply enter “Disney Countdown Calendar” into your favorite search engine. This tip is not just for people traveling with children. I know a few grown-up Disney Fanatics who really enjoy a fun countdown calendars!
Decide on a souvenir budget
This one is particularly important if you are traveling with children who are preschool age or older. Disney is absolutely full of spending opportunities that just cry out to children. There are toys around every corner, things that light up and sparkle during the nighttime parades, and delicious smells emanating from character shaped confections wafting through the air. You will never hear “Can I have that?” more times than during your Disney vacation UNLESS you set some guidelines prior to leaving.
One easy way to do this is to purchase a Disney gift card in a particular denomination for each of your children. Before you leave, explain that the amount of money each person is permitted to spend on vacation “extras” (like toys, candy, etc) is on the card. Once the card money is spent, there will be no more spending. I put my daughter on her first Disney budget when she was four years old, and even at that age she was able to understand the idea of a finite amount of money to be spent.
Rest assured that no matter what you do (or don’t do) prior to your Disney vacation, it will be a magical experience for you and your entire family. Check out Part 1 of this article.
Jessica is a mother of one and an elementary school teacher in New Jersey. She enjoys musical theater and loves to cook. Jessica is a Disney Vacation Club member and is perpetually planning her next Disney vacation.