Travel Blog

Walt Disney World Resort can be a pretty good grind, and you need to expect to every bit of 10,000 steps.  If you're not up to that, it shouldn't diminish your ability to visit the Resort with family and friends.  We have used a service (Walker Mobility) for our clients for years, and this past visit got to use them first hand.

You need to tell your Travel Professional that you're going to need that, and also that your room is available to accommodate a scooter.  (Side note:  even then, you might have to do a little work with the front desk.  They missed it on our reservation at Old Key West and had us in a 2nd floor unit without an elevator.  Easy fix, but one that you'll have to anticipate depending on your situation).

All Disney motorcoaches are equipped with ramps, and strap the scooter and occupant in.  There's only two per coach, so there might be times during peak periods where they have to either come back or radio ahead to send a coach for you.  There is a spot at each Coach stop for handicap guests.  Important that you're in that spot so the driver can see that he needs to accommodate a special needs guest.


Each driver is different.  Some will operate the scooter to park it, some will want you to do it, some will do a combination of both.  

At the restaurants, they will ask if you want to stay in your chair or transfer to a chair of theirs.

At the parks, there are a variety of options depending on the attraction.  The mobile app will let you know whether you have to transfer to a wheelchair, accommodate your scooter (like the Jungle Safari pictured below), or not available to accommodate you.


Disney MagicBands

This was our first trip to the resort since they've begun using the Disney MagicBands.  

First, they were comfortable.  I haven't worn a watch regularly in over 10 years.  I must have looked at my wrist thinking I had a watch on 5 times.

They worked flawlessly on the room door each time.

Admission to the park was a little tough at the beginning.  Both my wife and I had problems, had to have a cast member come over, take our picture, reset the band and we were good.  After that happened to each of us once, there weren't any more problems.

Using to pay for things, initially, was brutal.  Again, it comes back to the DisneyExperienceApp.  Everything's got to jive with that and each cast member behind the register will immediately ask if you have the app, and show you how to reset the account.  All comes down to making sure your pin is correct. Make sure you check it at checkin to your resort.  Otherwise, you'll have to go to guest services at one of the parks, or back to the front desk at your resort hotel and get the pin straight.  After that, was accomplished, things went very smoothly.

Love the concept.  It's new, it will have bugs.  It's better than carrying around a card and we'll give it a big thumbs up.

MyDisneyExperience app

A trip to Walt Disney World is always about being efficient with your time.  If you "just wing it", you'lre going to be looking back on your vacation as a lot of wandering around.  The MyDisneyExperience app helps with all of this, but it can also be frustrating. 

I have to advise that everyone get this app.  It's the first thing every cast member asks when something techno goes wrong (and it will).

I liked the feature giving updates on wait times.  It was fairly easy to add fastpasses.  Was great for keeping you advised of your dining reservations, upcoming fastpasses, etc.

The map feature could be improved.  I need a map that rotates with me in my direction as I walk, not stays constant and you've got to figure out which way to turn.

It took me a couple of days to consistently find the links to things I thought were essential from the main page (my dining plan count, my hotel bill, etc.).

You've got to get this app BEFORE you go to Orlando and start playing with it, even though you're not onsite.  I think that's really critical.

Arriving in Orlando

There are many times you have to arrive in Orlando prior to your Walt Disney World Vacation.  It could be the flights the night/day before are just too good to pass up vs. arriving day of.  You might have to work and want to get there in the evening.  

Our case was that we had four households convening from four different locations.  One household wanted to go see Universal, another had to work then leave, the other two were pretty much free to do whatever.

There's two scenarios I would suggest.  

  • First, stay at an airport hotel with a shuttle.  In the morning, have your shuttle take you to arrivals on the B side of the airport.  Check in, take your luggage with you, and take the Magical Express to the resort.
  • Second, get a room only room at a Value Resort on property.  Take the Magical Express from the airport, then, in the morning, for $25, take a Minnie Van to your resort.

Four members of our group stayed at a Universal hotel, then taxi'd to the resort.  An option, but probably the least cost effective.

We did the first option.  It was OK, but I paid a little over $200 for a Holiday Inn Express which was average for the airport hotels.  I think the second option would put me time and money ahead, plus a little more time at the resort or Disney Springs.

We return from our product experience of the Walt Disney World in Orlando Florida
Just returned from the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.  Always re-energizes me, not only to book more packages, but just to share our experience with our clients about this vast destination.
Over the next few weeks, I'll be blogging about
  • Magic Bands
  • Disney Dining Plan
  • Using Snacks
  • Using Table Service
  • Using Counter Service
  • Disney Transportation with wheelchair
  • Scooter accessibility
  • Old Key West
  • Magical Express when arriving a day early
  • Magical Express with mobile accessibility challenge

and probably more!

Walt Disney World to start charging for overnight parking
3/14/2018 11:05:03 AM Link 0 comments | Add comment

Disney, Driving, Fees

We're disappointed that Disney needed to find another revenue stream.  This time at the expense of those who drive to the Resort.

"Effective for reservations made March 21, 2018 and thereafter, standard overnight self-parking is available to registered Guests for a fee that will be applied to their hotel folio upon check-out. All parking fees include applicable tax."

Read more about the details here.

How much cash should we take on our cruise vacation?

A common question we get is "how much cash should we take onboard a Caribbean cruise?"  A disclaimer here, we are NOT big cash carrying people at any time.

Most all ports of call take U.S. Dollars, so I can't recommend that you go to the expense and bother of getting local currency.

We just got done figuring for our upcoming 7N cruise aboard the Carnival Breeze with 3 ports of call.  Here's what we came up with:

  • Porters/Drivers -- we figure $1/bag and round up to $5 denominations.  So, from 2-5 bags would be $5; 6-10 would be $10, etc.  If you're getting transfers from the airport to/from the pier, do the same calculations.
  • My wife likes the Piano Bar.  If the entertainer is good, she'll usually do about $5/night.
  • Your wait staff and room service staff can be anything from $0 - $20 per group.  Yes, they're covered in your gratuities already, but if you think they've been exemplary, an extra gratuity would be appreciated.
  • We're calling on Montego Bay, Grand Cayman and Cozumel.  These are all ports we've been to before, so we know the lay of the land.  Mo Bay and Cozumel are definitely taxi towns;  Grand Cayman not so much.  Most of these are flat rate fees and you can research these ahead of time.  Unless you're being really adventurous, I can't think of anywhere that $20 one way isn't the max.  Plus, lots of times the rate is based on 4 guests.  While standing in line, see if one of your cruise mates want to split a cab if you're going to relatively the same place.

Doing all this figuring, we're going to take about $200 in cash for our 7 night cruise.  We try to take too much vs. not enough, but there's ATM's onboard if we see we're going to run short.

Hope this helps.  What about you?  Tell us your calculations!



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