Readers' Magic-Making Tips
Our winning entries for the November contest (which focused on magic-making tips) were:
-- Contributed by Evie D.
We will update this page monthly as we receive more tips on making more magic via our contest or just by e-mail!Updated 06/27/06
Readers' Magic Tips (over 60 and counting!)
I didn't do this for my own trip to WDW but it made a little magic nonetheless. Just tonight I received a call from my Aunt who is in WDW for the week and she put my little 5 year-old cousin on the phone who wanted to thank me for giving her a treat bag. Before they left I took a medium sized gift bag (the kind with the handles) and filled it with gum, colored pencils, crayons, a blank notebook, a little flashlight, a few Disney Dollars, and a Minnie Mouse beanie. She loves it!! The blank notebook, according to her mother, is the best idea since she loves to color and draw and it is becoming her very own journal. She proudly announced to me that she used her money to buy herself an Ariel doll. AND she sleeps with the Minnie beanie every night. I wish that I were there to share the time with her but just knowing I created a little bit of magic for this sweetie is better than any vacation!! -- Contributed by Colleen O'Brien (November 1999)
Be sure to stay in a hotel on the grounds so you can take a break during the day and be refreshed to watch the magic at night. -- Contributed by Barbara N. (November 1999)
Go back to your hotel in the afternoon and sit at the pool or take a nap and return to the parks in the evening. This will help you last for the entire day! -- Contributed by Ann (November 1999)
When travelling with children bring a backpack filled with important items such as, wipes, water bottles, snacks, maps of the parks and notes on which rides are best, and lots of tissues. -- Contributed by Sara LaFountain (November 1999)
Wear comfortable shoes and start early in the day to see as much as possible. -- Contributed by Shirley Hickman (November 1999)
Give each young child under 12 a name tag with all necessary info, in case they get lost. -- Contributed by Janet (November 1999)
Buy each family member a special gift at your local Disney store to be presented on the morning of travel or hidden in their suitcase. I'm geting each of us a Disney sweatshirt since we're going in December & using my Magic Kingdom Club card to get a 10% discount. This will get the trip off to a great beginning! Also, my children think we are eating breakfast in our room every morning to save time & money, but I have a suprise Character Breakfast planned and Disney Beanie Babies to give them on that morning. -- Contributed by Charlsey M. (November 1999)
Gather the family together at strategic "photo spots" and ask another vacationer to take your picture. With fun Disney scenery in the background, or maybe even Mickey or Minnie in the picture with you, these photos, when developed and reprinted make great souvenirs, Christmas cards, or post cards, at a fraction of the cost of some of the pricier souvenirs. They will also serve as a much nicer reminder of the vacation you had. -- Contributed by Kimberly Ripley (November 1999)
Go early, but don't rush to get there - get plenty of rest! Take your time -you'll enjoy things more if you don't try to rush! -- Contributed by Lisa (November 1999)
My tip makes a great stocking stuffer. If you are going to WDW after Christmas. Buy your kids "Disney Dollars" (not a gift cert.) at the Disney store. Then place them in thier stocking. They can use these just like real money for things they may want to buy at the Disney Village. -- Contributed by Kim A. (November 1999)
When finished for the day of all activities, my children and I would open up our PassPorter and fill out the day's adventures with the memories of the day. Having each family member give their own version of what the best (or worst) thing that happened on that day always brought up different answers from each one, making it really fun! -- Contributed by Kevin Chorzelewski (in August 1999)
Convince your kids to start a pressed coin collection. These souvenirs are cheap and don't take up space. There are many different designs you can get at WDW. -- Contributed by Jeremy N. (in July 1999).
No matter if you're 20 or 80, don't be afraid to let the kid in you shine through. I mean this is the time to catch up on all that "lost" time as a kid when you wanted to be older. Go for it, give your favorite character a big hug, get wet on the rides, giggle all day, and buy enough stuffed animals to cushion your home!! -- Contributed by Kelly (in July 1999).
If there is a birthday in the family, go to Dixie Landings for a free birthday cake. -- Contributed by Heather Franzel (in July 1999).
To make things extra special for our daughter, we ordered a gift basket from Disney that included a autograph book and pen, a Disney beanie and several other items. We ordered it, so it will be there when we arrive at the hotel. We also didn't sign our names but signed it "Hope you'll have a great time" and she may think that Mickey sent it to her, which would be very special! Also with getting the autograph book and pen, she will be all ready to get some character signatures. -- Contributed by Cindy (in June 1999).
Things to do in "The World"
outside of the theme parks: During the day take the boat
from Port Orleans and go to the Marketplace, Pleasure
Island (free during the day). Or go to the BoardWalk and
the Yacht and Beach and rent a bicycle for three or four,
or one with a surrey. In the evening make priority
seating at Ohana's at the Polynesian one hour before MK
fireworks, lights dim for the show. Or finish eating and
go on the beach to watch fireworks. Make priority seating
at the Whispering Canyon Cafe at the Wilderness Lodge for
8:00. By 9:20 go
To ensure our son (now age 7) never becomes bored on the plane ride, standing in attraction lines and at meal times, I always have small "surprises" in my backpack. A few months prior to our trips, I stay on the lookout for small, inexpensive items that will occupy him in a pinch. Some of the items used previously...small jars of bubbles, spinning tops, small puzzles and maze games, finger puppets, yoyo's, matchbox cars, small action figures, plastic army men, etc. I go out to the party store and buy some inexpensive cellophane party bags and place the small toys in them. I put a few in my backpack everyday while at Disney and if my son is getting restless in a line or during dinner, I can pull out the small treats. It really does the trick. During our last trip, we were dining at the Rose and Crown Pub and awaiting the start of Illuminations while dining on the patio. Since we were stretching our dining time out, I pulled out some new micro machine cars for our son to play with. Not only did these occupy him for the next hour, but they also occupied a 5 year old sitting at the table next to us. His parents were very grateful! -- Contributed by Charissa Z (in June 1999).