Readers' Lodging Tips
We will update this page monthly as we receive more lodging-specific tips via our contest or just by e-mail!Updated 06/27/06
Readers' Lodging Tips (over 75 and counting!)
Our favorite tip is to specifically say to the Disney representative, "What is the lowest rate available at _______?" Otherwise I find that they don't give you that info! We also find it's best to confirm your reservations three weeks ahead of your trip and then at least three days before you arrive. We usually request a room near transportation which works out very well!! - Contributed by Laura B. (January 2000)
If you're looking for a hotel and are planning several trips to Pleasure Island area or DisneyQuest, stay at Port Orleans or Dixie Landings and you get free boat rides. No cars, busses, or traffic of any kind to the area--romantic boat rides -- Contributed by Dave Benson (September 1999)
When staying at the Polynesian Resort, look for a couple of plastic chairs up on the small knoll that separates the resort's beach area from the ferry landing at the Ticket and Transportation Center. This is an excellent spot to watch the Water Pageant and the Magic Kingdom Fireworks from. In the summer months there always seems to be a cooling breeze. -- Contributed by Brian Phelan (September 1999)
I bring envelopes for tipping housekeeping - one for each night/day I'm staying. I use Disney clip art files and print out different pictures of the characters on envelopes. I also try to go with the theming of the resort. For example, at Dixie Landings I printed out a pretty magnolia border on the envelopes first. Then picked a clip art picture and printed that on it as well, along with the words "A tip for Housekeeping" or just "Housekeeping." Then, I put 4 dollars in each envelope and seal them and pack them in the suitcase - the money's already allocated for the housekeeping tip! -- Contributed by Bonnie (in August 1999)
Get a fridge or cooler for your room. Eat breakfast in your room you will save time and money. Also great for afternoon or late night snacks. -- Contributed by Kathy (in August 1999)
If you can't afford the deluxe resort, that's OK. Try dining there for a meal, or better yet, experience as many of the resorts as you can by dining at a different one at each meal. We have done this and we get to sample the resorts to see which one we might like to stay in on our next trip. When choosing a resort in which to dine, we pick one that is near the park in which we plan to visit after eating. This saves time after we have had our meal since we are now close to our destination and are anxious to get to the park. With all the resources on the net and priority seating it's is possible to plan most of your meals before leaving home. -- Contributed by Kathy (in August 1999)
Don't be too shy to talk to other guests at the pool or other resort areas. On our honeymoon at Dixie Landings (it was a Sunday night) we sat in the whirlpool with 2 other couples in silence at first. Once the "ice was broken" and we all started talking we discovered that all 3 couples had gotten married the previous day!! It a lot of fun to swap "wedding day" stories and and it became an unexpected magical moment. -- Contributed by Judith Glewwe (in August 1999)
Coronado Springs has a direct bus to the Boardwalk. It makes it easy to get to any of the Boardwalk restaurants instead of having to take a bus to Epcot and walk to the Boardwalk. Also, after Illuminations, it is a short, pleasant walk to the Boardwalk where you can take the bus direct to Coronado Springs and avoid the crowds leaving Epcot on the regular busses. -- Contributed by Edward (in August 1999)
Don't know what to do on the check in date? Other people would suggest going to the theme parks or Disney West Side, but I think you should stay at the hotel. On my recent trip, spending the night by the pool and absorbing the atmosphere was pure pleasure. In fact, my daughter said that it was the best day of the trip. By looking for hidden mickeys and enjoying the style in your resort, you'll be in the best mood to hit the parks tomorrow. Also, be sure to get a good night rest at your hotel. Never spoil your first day in Disney World. -- Contributed by Hong Z. (in August 1999)
Don't hesitate to ask the cast members in your resort about something. On my recent trip, I got so much help from them that it was one of the things that made the vacations magical. My hotel room was not as I had stated in my reservation, and they gave me the keys to a new room within five minutes. Also, one of the cast members explained the story behind all the buildings and even gave us free stuff (postcards, pins, pencils). She also got to know my preferences and ordered the food just like the way I wanted it to be. This is a vacation I will never forget. -- Contributed by Hong Z. (in August 1999)
In the last couple of years the Disney resorts have encouraged using bathroom towels for several days before asking for clean towels (for environmental purposes). Since we don't change towels daily at home, I thought this was a good idea. With 2 adults and 3 children in one room and 5 "white" towels exactly the same, I made sure everyone's towel was hung on a clothes hanger after taking a shower/bath (to dry overnight). I brought wooden clothespins marked with each family member's name. I clipped the clothespin to the neck of the clothes hanger and nobody had to guess which towel was his when bathtime came around. It worked great and we were able to use our towels for as long as we wanted. -- Contributed by Sandra Sweat (in August 1999)
We never seem to have enough space to hang up wet bathing suits in our hotel room. I bought a few of those plastic "over the door" hooks and always throw them in my suitcase when we travel. They work on the back of the bathroom door, as well as on the shower rod. -- Contributed by Sandi Femino (in August 1999)
Make sure you fully explore all the activities at your WDW hotel. We have stayed at Wilderness Lodge 2 times and still have not taken part in all of their activities. When we were there over Halloween, it began to rain just as we were leaving the hotel. We decided to stay at the hotel and check out the activities. We did the lodge tour, the hidden Mickey challenge, judged a pumpkin decorating contest and made some great friends when we struck up a conversation with a family in the lobby. Staying at a WDW resort you can never say I'm bored, I don't have anything to do! -- Contributed by Kathy R. (in August 1999)
This tip is for Active Duty Military, Retiree's, and DoD personnel. If you plan to stay inside Walt Disney World call Shades of Green at (407) 824-3600 for over flow reservations. Shades of Green is normally booked one year in advance but, they will make over flow reservations through Disney Reservations Central for you. You can get almost any hotel within Disney World at a drastically reduced rate. I was offered the All Stars Music for December for only $59 a night plus tax. My other choices were Dixie Landings or Caribbean Beach Resort for $79. They have a complete choice of value, moderate, and deluxe hotels at a very good price. -- Contributed by Dot F. (in August 1999) -- August 1999 Contest Winner
When staying at a Disney hotel, don't forget about the housekeeping staff. We always leave a daily tip along with a note. Sometimes it's a simple thank-you note or other times we may ask for advice or extra towels, etc..(which we always receive). Many times we have come back from a long day at the parks to find our children's toys or beanies arranged in some special or silly way. They love this and is a simple way to add magic to any trip. -- Contributed by Michelle (in August 1999)
Obviously everyone knows that staying at a Walt Disney World resort is the absolute best but not everyone can afford the room rates -- especially for 'premium rooms' that have fantastic views, etc. Big tip: book the least expensive room at the resort where you want to stay and on arrival ask (with a huge Mickey grin on your face) if there is any chance of an upgrade if the resort isn't full. My experience has been that the cast members are more than happy to accommodate you in an upgraded room, especially if the hotel is not full. The upgraded room would just be sitting empty anyway. If there isn't an upgrade available you still get to stay at the Disney resort and live in the magic 24/7! -- Contributed by Alyson T. (in August 1999) -- August 1999 Contest Winner
Get the Magic Kingdom Club Gold Card. This has saved us a packet on WDW resort rates and allowed us to stay at the Polynesian two years ago when we wouldn't have ordinarily been able to stay there. Deluxe resorts usually offer 20% off the rack rate in value season (the best time to travel in my opinion) (You also benefit from a discounts in selected restaurants, the World of Disney at Downtown Disney and you admission tickets). The card cost me $85.00 for two years (but I do live in Bermuda which is included in the "International" rate). For US citizens it's $65.00 for two years which includes a subscription to the Disney Magazine and the "Disney Insider". You also get a travel bag and luggage tag! We're taking advantage of the reduced rates again in November/December and staying at the Contemporary with 20% off normal rates. -- Contributed by Alyson T. (in August 1999)
If you want to stay in a Home away from home style resort on Disney ground, the cabins in Fort Wilderness sleep 6 people and a crib. Find some people who want to go the same time as you and room together. Your gonna save a lot of money by splitting the room bill and you get to cook a lot of your own meals, so you save money on your food too! -- Contributed by Allison Gleicher (in August 1999)
If you have little ones(five or under),you should bring along toilet locks,electrical outlet caps,doorknob covers,and other safety gadgets and install them as soon as you get to your hotel room,because as we all know,it only takes seconds for kids to start exploring. -- Contributed by Alice E. (in August 1999)
For staying inside WDW: Make reservations at the resort of your choice. Then check out every Disney board you can to see about specials and discounts that me become available during your stay. If you hear of one call to get it applied to your reservation. If your told there are non available keep trying. Keep trying and then try again!! Call every few days if need be. Don't give up. We didn't and we wound up in the resort of our choice and saved over $200.00 to boot! -- Contributed by Kyle (in August 1999)
A relaxing option for daily break time if your resort has boat rentals, is to visit the food court and get take out sandwiches, rent a pontoon boat and have a nautical picnic. We did this at the Caribbean Beach and it was a highlight of our trip. If your resort provides a coffee maker in the room, bring tea bags, instant coffee, and hot cocoa, even instant soup from home,use the pot to heat water, and enjoy. At the Caribbean Beach, stake out a hammock on the beach in "Jamaica" with your hunny and a bottle of wine and watch for fireworks. (Plan on trying this out at the Poly too!) Can't speak for all of the resorts but have explored several of them and an after dark walk around the grounds is a great way to unwind, and can be a relatively quiet and romantic way to end a long day. They are beautifully landscaped and the lighting is wonderful. -- Contributed by Lori Ann (in August 1999)
First thing to do when you get checked into ANY WDW resort is get a refillable mug. Sure saves on refills of coffee (early am person), soft drinks or iced tea (afternoon stuff). -- Contributed by Don (in August 1999)
First, figure out your budget. If you have a budget for a family of four of $2000.00 then you know you cannot stay at the GF.... remember you do need to eat! Use the PassPorter accommodations page to help make the figuring easier, use other Web sites message boards for suggestions too. If you really need to be budget conscious stay and be adventurous at Ft. Wilderness Campground. Make a memory. Second, make your CRO of the day your best friend. Put a smile on your face when calling and spend some time asking them if they have a personal suggestion for an area of a resort, or what others have said when making reservations or special requests. Remember they have the computer screen in front of them - A Cast Member should be thought of as you Priest of Pastor- treated with respect and praise! -- Contributed by Lana C. (in August 1999)
My 9-year-old grandson and I stayed at the Coronado Spring Resort in May and it was not my favorite place to stay. It was difficult to find our building; a long walk to the bus stop; and a long walk to the big pool. The restaurant was so complicated that we were "out-of-sorts" by the time we found what we wanted (and regardless of the sign that said what was being served) either they weren't serving that particular item or it wasn't prepared yet. I felt that our vacation at All-Star Sports was much, much better (and cheaper, too). Perhaps Coronado Springs would be more enjoyable for teens or adult couples. -- Contributed by Glenna (in August 1999)
To make things a little special for the Housekeepers that clean your room daily: Make up individual cards using a seasonal theme. Such as: if you go during Halloween, make the cards based on that particular holiday. If going in the spring, do spring items like birds, flowers etc. It makes the tip giving a little more personal! -- Contributed by Deborah Wright (in August 1999)
Look for the surprise mornings! They let you into the park over an hour before the scheduled opening time. -- Contributed by Janet Nemeth (in August 1999)
When saying off property, be sure to ask the age of the hotel and/or when the last renovation took place. Don't be fooled by glossy brochures or flashy web sites. When it comes to hotels around resort areas like Disney, the price you pay may not necessarily represent the quality of hotel you get. This is especially true around peak times. A couple of past experiences have shown me and my family that the "Disney" experience is usually a better value in the end. Also, when staying off property, you need to consider the added logistics time of driving to and from the parks. We've experienced travel times of an hour to and from Disney during peak times and we were only 10-15 miles away. If at all possible, I strongly recommend Disney on-site hotels for both of these reasons. -- Contributed by Gene (in August 1999)
Save yourself time and money by doing a little grocery shopping on your first day. Stop by a grocery store near Disney. There's one at the end of World Drive as you leave the Lake Buena Vista hotel area. Buy yourself an inexpensive disposable Styrofoam cooler and some breakfast items. We find it very useful to buy milk, juice, and cereal. There are 6 of us and it seems that we are all on different clocks. Having breakfast items in the room allows us to have someone eating while others are getting ready. Saving time in the morning allows for maxmouse time. You would be surprised how much time is wasted getting ready and then eating breakfast out. Also, I promise the kids that we'll spend the money saved on a great mid-morning Disney snack. We've used this tip since my kids were babies. Now, if I even suggest a restaurant on Disney park days , I get an argument from my kids that it would take too long. -- Contributed by Gene (in August 1999)
Whenever possible get a refrigerator in your room. Even when paying $5 or $6 a day, it is a bargain when you consider the cost of drinks and snacks. Also you can have a quick and easy breakfast in your room with cereal and milk for the kids. -- Contributed by Lisa (in August 1999)
When trying to decide which resort to stay at, first of all, decide what your budget is, and whether you can stay at a deluxe, moderate or value resort, or possibly a combination. Read all you can about all of the resorts, theming, amenities, etc., and then decide what is best for YOU and YOUR FAMILY. Other people's favorite resorts may not interest you and let's face it, this is Disney World, every resort has it's own magic! Remember, some folks may want to be on the monorail line, and others may want 24 hour room service, and others may look for a great pool area...everyone's interests are different, so do what's best for you! -- Contributed by Kendra T. (in August 1999)
When staying at the Wilderness Lodge take a lodge tour. The tour in the afternoon offers a sample of the meat that they are smoking. Also they take you to the roof of the lodge and the view is SPECTACULAR!!! -- Contributed by Althea D. (in August 1999)
Never having stayed on property before I can only think in a practical manner. Hotel room service for dinner and a respectable bedtime so the 1st full day of vacation everyone is rested, bright-eyed and ready to go. -- Contributed by Pam (in August 1999)
Verify, verify and reverify your reservations to make sure that your lodging requests will be correct. Also, if you have the MKC Gold club discount card and you are told that you cannot get the discounted rate at time of reservation, keep checking with CRO.. When you arrive at WDW, if you haven't gotten the discount yet, ask again when you check-in, sometimes you can be surprised. -- Contributed by Chris and Dawn Ray (in August 1999)
Guests staying in the BoardWalk area have easy access to the restaurants at the Disney hotels, those at World Showcase, plus those at the Swan and Dolphin. Virtually every type of cuisine is within a 20 minute walk of your hotel room. -- Contributed by an anonymous reader (in August 1999)
Purchase an Entertainment Club book and book half-price accommodations at many of the off-site motels and hotels. That's what we did. -- Contributed by Pat C. (in August 1999)
Buy the refillable mugs at your resort. It seems like a lot at first to pay $7.50-$9 for a mug but with all of the free refills during your stay it more than pays off. If you are staying at any of the All-Star Resorts you can use any one of the All-Star Resort mugs at the other two All-Star Resorts. We are bringing our All-Star Music mugs from four years ago on our stay at the All-Star Sports Resort. The CRO said that it was quite alright to do this. -- Contributed by LuAnne (in August 1999)
Pick your lodging according to what you want,luxury or just comfort. What fits your needs and budget. Think about how much time will you be spending in your room and would you prefer less and have the extra money to spend or other things at Disney. -- Contributed by Becky Rupert (in August 1999)
Stay on site! It doesn't really matter at which resort you stay, they're all nice in their own way. Whether you stay at the least or most expensive resort, you receive wonderful perks such as early entry into the parks, free transportation within the World, free parking, and the ability to make reservations for restaurants, dinner shows, golfing, etc. well before guests staying off site. It's so much more convenient and the "magic" never leaves you for your entire stay! -- Contributed by Chris (in August 1999)
If staying at the Polynesian - avoid the winding paths to get around the resort. Walk along the shore and you'll get from one end to the other in no time! -- Contributed by Jeffrey Carey (in August 1999)
Always stay on-site. It makes the vacation complete to have the hotel being part of the whole Disney experience. Look at maps of the building/room layouts and pick out what is best for you. Ask for that room/area when you make reservations and follow-up a few days before check-in. The CMs will do their best to accommodate! -- Contributed by Vicki (in August 1999)
Don't stay at the All Star Movies. It's too crowded. Try the Music or Sports. -- Contributed by Sheila Rose (in August 1999)
Most Walt Disney World resorts have free stuff in their rooms, such as soap, shoe buffs, writing paper etc. Some resorts have been known to have hairdryers, too, so think about all this when you're packing for your trip(i.e you may not have to take as much stuff!). -- Contributed by Alice (in August 1999)
Try and stay between September through November. You have most of the children back to school at that time leaving you with the beaches, pools and relaxing locations all to yourself before they come back for holiday. -- Contributed by Gregory A. (in August 1999)
We always tip the housekeeping staff right up front. This assures great service our whole visit. I generally leave extra money and request extra soaps, shampoos, etc. I then share these with my friends at home that stated they wished they were going with us. This is always a fun surprise for them. -- Contributed by Janet M. (in August 1999)
If you're a couple without kids, try asking to stay in Trinidad South in the Caribbean Beach Resort. It is the farthest away from the main pool building (where all the kids hang out), so it is quiet. You won't awaken to excited, screaming children and there are double hammocks on the beach for romantic evening naps. -- Contributed by Donna E. (in August 1999)
If you can't afford the expensive resorts at WDW, stay at a less expensive one. You can still go to the expensive resorts to eat, have a drink at the bars, or just to walk around and see them. My husband and I even watched the Electrical Water Pageant from the beach at the Grand Floridian (under a double canopy seat), but we stayed at the Caribbean Beach. -- Contributed by Donna E. (in August 1999)
Staying off-property saved me a lot money for Dec. '99. I had a travel agency find it for me. -- Contributed by Debra B. (in August 1999)
Wear your brand new, fancy, expensive vacation clothes at the beginning of your trip, but take some loose fitting older clothes with you.Take it from me, if you eat at any of the Disney restaurants, you will put on some weight!! -- Contributed by Tom Blom (in August 1999)
Remember that you're only gonna sleep there! -- Contributed by Chris Ray (in August 1999) -- August 1999 random entry contest winner!
No matter how far in advance you've made your on-property resort reservations, periodically call CRO and ask if the Annual Pass rates are available. What most people don't know is that you do NOT have to have your Annual Pass in hand when getting the AP rates - you can buy it when you arrive. Only the person making the reservation needs to have the AP and, for the few extra dollars that you may spend on the pass, you can save hundreds at the resort! -- Contributed by Dotti (in July 1999).
Make sure you fully explore all the activities at your WDW hotel. We have stayed at Wilderness Lodge two times and still have not taken part in all of their activities. When we were there over Halloween it began to rain just as we were leaving the hotel. We decided to stay at the hotel and check out the activities. We did the lodge tour, the hidden Mickey challenge, judged a pumpkin decorating contest and made some great friends when we struck up a conversation with a family in the lobby. Staying at a WDW resort, you can never say I'm bored, I don't have anything to do! -- Contributed by Kathy Roark (in July 1999).
If you are traveling with a large family unit, one that needs two or more rooms, make a chart for each room indicating the general itinerary for the day. Hang this chart right on the back of the outer hall door or near the vanity. On the chart, list needed items. For example: Blizzard Beach - sunscreen, swimsuit, water shoes, etc. This saves lots of time and phone calls because no one can remember what he or she needs for the day. -- Contributed by Michelle T. (in July 1999).
Ask to have connecting rooms if you are traveling with a large family unit that needs two rooms. Then have every adult's and trustworthy teen's resort ID coded as a door key. In the morning, open the doors between the connecting rooms and put a note on them asking housekeeping not to close the doors. When groups are formed during the day no one has to worry that a child will not have access to the correct room in an emergency. As long as an adult opens one of the doors, ready access is available to both rooms. -- Contributed by Michelle T. (in July 1999).
When staying at Port Orleans, request building 4 or 5. They are both close to the pool, food court, and bus stop. Request the third floor near the elevator if you don't feel like walking up the steps. The reason for this is that it is much quieter than hearing toilets flushing on top of you. -- Contributed by Kelly Waldron (in July 1999).
Department of Defense Civilian Personnel: Don't forget that the Armed Forces Resort "Shades of Green" is now available to you and your family. Even if they are booked for your desired travel destinations, they have access to great rates to Disney resorts. If you are at a Disney resort, in order to get more of that magic Disney experience. -- Contributed by Anonymous (in July 1999).
This tip is geared to people who stay at WDW for an extended vacation (at least ten days) and have a magic kingdom discount or annual pass discount. What I love to do is break up my trip by staying at two different resorts. Sometimes you can't get your entire trip with the magic kingdom or annual pass discount at the resort you want, so I would break it up into two mini-vacations. You are more likely to get two five day reservations than a straight ten day reservation with a discount. Personally, I like to begin my trip near the Magic Kingdom, so I would book a room at any of the monorail hotels for a five night stay. The convenience of getting into the MK and Epcot is wonderful. Also, in the evenings after the parade, you're only a stop or two away from your room. I would then make a five-night reservation at an Epcot resort. I love the ability to walk right into Epcot from the Yacht/Beach Club and Boardwalk. They also offer boats to got to MGM Studios and to Epcot (if you don't want to walk). If you don't mind moving, this gives you a chance to see other resorts and a better chance of receiving a discount for your entire length of stay. -- Contributed by Rosina S. (in July 1999).
Be sure to keep snacks & drinks in your hotel room; sometimes you get so tired and/or sick, you don't have the energy to go get anything. -- Contributed by Trisha T. (in July 1999).
If you get a suite that has a Jacuzzi in the room and you and your spouse want to have a romantic moment, please remember the theory of water displacement (or have the maid's phone number ready to call for extra towels--LOL!) -- Contributed by Tim Jennings (in July 1999).
If you are in need of a roll a way bed when you visit Walt Disney World, consider a inflatable bed, The beds are small enough to be packed and very affordable. You can purchase one for less than it would cost to rent a roll away,and have it for future trips. -- Contributed by Gennie Ballard (in July 1999).
Decide on your Resort and get Reservations ASAP; you can never do this too early! You can always obtain discounts later on your present reservation, but your desired Resort / room may not be available if you wait. -- Contributed by Diana H (in June 1999).
After you pay your room deposit, pay off the balance of your vacation in easy-on-your-budget payments every few weeks or months (depending on how much time and $ you have). We like to send a little extra with the last payment, and have a CREDIT on our account upon arrival for charging to the room. Sort of gives us a "cushion" for unexpected food clothing, or souvenir expenses. -- Contributed by Diana H (in June 1999).
Everyone's heard of park hopping; I enjoy "resort hopping." Even though I've always had a car and moved my own luggage, Walt Disney World resorts will move your luggage from resort to resort. This can even be done while you're enjoying the parks. I first plan my itinerary and then plan where I want to stay. For example for Downtown Disney/Pleasure Island, I'll be at Port Orleans. For the Magic Kingdom part of my vacation, I'll move to a Magic Kingdom resort, or MGM & Epcot, I'll stay at BoardWalk or Beach Club/Yacht Club. The different resorts add to the enjoyment for those who enjoy the resorts as much as me. -- Contributed by Kathy Jahr (in June 1999).
My favorite planning tip is to get the wake up call if staying at a Disney resort. Mickey Mouse wakes you up with a great good morning. -- Contributed by Iliana Farinas (in June 1999).
If we arrive in the late afternoon or early evening, we prefer to have a dinner at our favorite food court (Coronado Springs) take a stroll around our resort and an early evening to get a good start on our first full day in the parks. -- Contributed by April F (in June 1999).
Make sure to take an afternoon break by the pool or take a nap so you can return to the parks in the evening refreshed and ready to go. -- Contributed by Melissa M (in June 1999).
My tip has two parts. First, always stay at a WDW Resort. The first five trips we made were off property. Some were okay, others not. Transportation was usually long and grueling. On our last trip we stayed at the All Star Sport. Disney magic stayed with us throughout our entire stay. We loved those wake up calls form Mickey. Transportation was terrific. We never waited more than fifteen minutes. The second part of this tip is to call the guest relations at the hotel with any merchandise problems. I bought a water globe at the Animal Kingdom. By the time it was delivered to my room it was broken. I called the front desk and was told to leave it on my bed the next morning. When we returned that evening a new water globe had been safely delivered. Also I purchased a picture frame at the Marketplace, but found another one I liked better at the Wilderness Lodge. My hotel gift shop gave me a refund, no questions asked. I was extremely happy with the service and the attitude. -- Contributed by Margaret (in June 1999).
Many people like to make the most of their check-out day, as the last day of their visit to Walt Disney World. However, everyone knows that the smart visitor gets some rest in the early afternoon. With check-out time posted as 11:00 at all the Disney properties, how can you make the most of that last, magical day? Late check-out, that's how. Many guidebooks now tell you that you can request late check-out on your last day. That's true, and if the resort isn't too busy, you can stay in your room 'til 1:00 p.m. without any trouble. However, that's still not enough for some tired 5-year-olds who have to say goodbye to Mickey. Opt for really late check-out, as late as 3:00 p.m.! Ask on the morning of your departure if you can do this. It may cost some money -- up to half of a night's fee. (For example, if you're paying $240 per night at the Boardwalk, you'll pay $120 so you can take a good nap in the afternoon.) We've found that it always helps to be polite and hopeful when you ask for this option, but also appear urgent. You can't help it, but your child is exhausted, you've got a late flight out of Orlando, you'll be driving through the night to Oklahoma -- whatever it takes to make the Disney people feel they'll be improving your last day to the utmost if they let you do this! And it's really and truly worth it. You don't want to spend your last evening at the Magic Kingdom, grumping your way through the fireworks and snarling at characters just because you didn't get your nappy-time! -- Contributed by Beth L (in June 1999).
Bring a baby monitor from home, and use by the pool when little ones are sleeping. -- Contributed by Janice B (in June 1999).
I always pack extra hangers (never enough in the hotel closets) and clothespins to use on bathtub clothesline. -- Contributed by Joan D (in June 1999).
In packing this trip, I am responsible for 6 children and three adults (2 Dads and myself). Being the Mom in the group, I want the kids to look great and be comfortable at the same time. Sometimes with the Dads, the plaids and stripes create quite an eyesore. To solve this problem, I pack Gallon size Ziplock bags with a days outfit, underwear and socks. That way, the kids grab a bag and I know they look great, they feel good because they did it themselves and the bags are used for dirty and wet clothing. This packs beautifully as well. Good Luck! -- Contributed by Jennifer (in June 1999).
When staying at the moderate Disney hotels, you can automatically upgrade your room by doing the following. When you book your room and want a king-size bed or waterview, book that room even if you book at rack rate, then when packages or special rates come out, they will let you have your upgraded room at the same rate as the standard price. -- Contributed by Jeannine Stultz (in June 1999).
About three months before your planned vacation, call CRO and find out about any annual passholders room discounts. You may be able to save enough on your rooms to pay for one person to get a annual pass. This will save on your park admissions. -- Contributed by Jean Fuentes (in June 1999).