How to Rent Disney Vacation Club Points

How to Rent Disney Vacation Club Points Boardwalk How to Rent Disney Vacation Club Points.  Whether you are a seasoned Disney trip planner or a new Disney-goer, renting points from a Disney Vacation Club (DVC) owner is an option that many people do not know about.  There are also those people who do know about this option, but may be lost in how to go about renting Disney Vacation Club points to plan their Walt Disney World vacation.  Let us help you in giving you some step-by-step instructions along with a couple of different options for renting Disney Vacation Club points from an owner.

What is Disney Vacation Club?

Disney Vacation Club is like a time share for Disney vacations.  People buy contracts that contain a certain number of points.  They use those points to plan out their vacations in deluxe Disney accommodations.  Trips can be in varying length, and owners have many different resorts in which to book, subject to certain rules and availability.

What are the Disney Vacation Club resorts?

The DVC resorts that you would be renting would be from one of the following resorts.  Animal Kingdom Villas, Bay Lake Tower (DVC for the Contemporary), Beach Club Villas, Boardwalk Villas, Villas at the Grand Floridian, Polynesian Villas, Old Key West Villas, Saratoga Spring Villas, Villas at Wilderness Lodge.  How do you decide which ones you would like to stay in?  I would ask yourself what parks may be of special interest to you.  For example, Magic Kingdom appeals to all ages, but it does have a lot for young children.  In that case, you might stay at Bay Lake Tower, Polynesian, or Grand Floridian.  You may prefer Epcot or Hollywood Studios.  Then you might want to stay at Boardwalk or Beach Club.  Many adults like this location during the Food and Wine Festival at Epcot since it is easily within walking distance from both resorts.  Perhaps you would like to stay near Disney Springs.  In this case, Old Key West or Saratoga Springs would be the place for you.  Wilderness Lodge and Animal Kingdom are the stand-alone resorts.  By that, I mean that they are not within walking distance of any resort and not on the monorail line.

What does it mean to rent points?

Basically, renting points from a Disney Vacation Club member means that you are making a DVC reservation through the owners of the contract who own the points.  Just as you would rent a house from someone who owns it, renting Disney Vacation Club is renting part of that person’s ownership.  You do not pay Disney for your Disney vacation.  Instead, you pay the owner of the DVC contract who is renting the points or the reservation.

What types of bookings are there?

First, you can rent points from the DVC owner who will then work with you to book your reservation.  The process through which you do that is by choosing where you want to stay, and the Disney Vacation Club owner will check the availability on his DVC member page.  Depending on what time of year you choose to go and what type of room you want to stay in will be the deciding factor on how many points you would need.  You yourself can look at DVC point charts to get an idea of how many points you might need for the vacation you would like.  I will get into a little more detail about this later.

The second way to rent Disney Vacation Club points is to actually rent a confirmed reservation.  This means that the Disney Vacation Club owner has already made a reservation.  For whatever reason, this party cannot use their reservation, so they offer it to rent so as not to waste their points.  There is a time limit on using points, and if the owners are past the point of banking their points (which means they could use them within their next use year), and, if it is not feasible to make another reservation for themselves, they offer their confirmed reservation for rent.  Sometimes owners may purposefully make reservations at their home resorts knowing ahead of time that they will be renting them out.

What are the risks of renting points or a confirmed reservation for a DVC resort vacation?

There are a few things that hold people back from renting DVC points or confirmed reservation.  First, I do believe that people do not know enough about how to rent Disney Vacation Club points.  Therefore, they are a little gun shy.  They don’t quite understand the process, so they just don’t attempt it.  Secondly, I believe that people like booking through Disney because they know their vacation is being made through Disney itself and they trust that.  Also, the option of being able to put a certain amount of money down and continue to pay off the vacation up until close to the time that you leave is very appealing to many people.  Disney does offer the option to set up a Disney Vacation Account.  This helps many people that may not be able to pay for their vacation in a lump sum.  The main risk for many people is that they do not trust giving their money to a stranger.  It is a little nerve-wracking to know that you give your money to someone and have to trust that they put your name on the reservation or that they actually follow through with the sale to make the reservation.  There are certain ways to ensure the safety of the transaction, however, and we will go over that shortly.

What are the benefits of renting Disney Vacation Club Points for your Disney vacation?

The largest benefit of renting Disney Vacation Club is the money that you save for deluxe accommodations.  You would not believe the savings you can get on a vacation that is a DVC rental vs. a vacation booked through Disney at rack rate (and even with their discounts).  For example, I did a search at the time of this article for a standard view studio at the Boardwalk Villas from October 5-12.  Rack rate on this vacation is $3,527.  However, I found the same offer direct from a DVC owner for $1250.  Look at that savings!    In addition, the accommodations in DVC have more to offer, such as full kitchens in the 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom, and grand villa options, and a small kitchenette in the studios.

What do the accommodations look like?

There will be slight variations in the accommodations, depending on where you stay, but most have similarities.  Here are examples from the Boardwalk since we mentioned that resort in the previous answer.

How to Rent DVC - Boardwalk Layouts

Photo courtesy of The Best of Walt Disney World

 

How to Rent Disney Vacation Club Points Boardwalk View Across LakeHow do I rent Disney Vacation Club Points or a Confirmed DVC reservation?

Here is the fun part.  I have numerous ways that I have personally either paid another DVC member to rent his points, paid another DVC member to rent his confirmed reservation, or I have rented out my own points or confirmed reservations.  Let’s go through four possible ways that will tell you how to rent Disney Vacation Club Points.

Disney DVC rental service

Use a Disney DVC rental service.  With this type of service, you are using the company as a middle man.  You might pay a couple of dollars more per point to rent than if you try to rent individually, but you can be rest assured that your transaction will go through without any worry.  In addition, if you have any questions about the process, you have support staff that is willing to answer all of your questions.  To use this type of service, you contact the owner and tell them the type of trip that you would like.  He will go over the vacation options with you.  You can basically put in any request for any DVC property, and then the service will find someone who is willing to book the vacation for you.  For instance, if you wish to rent a 1 bedroom villa at the Grand Floridian in April, it would cost 340 points.  The service would contact DVC owners that are registered with their website to ask if anyone would be able to book that specific vacation.  You would pay a certain amount per point…in this case $16 per point if the reservation was made 7-11 months out.  The DVC owner would get paid around $11.75 per point, and the service would keep the difference.  I highly recommend using Paul and his staff at the DVC Rental Store.  We have rented out our points using them, and the transaction was flawless.  Email responses were incredibly quick and thorough.  The expectations as owners were made very clear, and the directions on how to proceed were simple and easy.  We would not hesitate to use Paul and his staff again.  Highly recommended.

Timeshare Website

Rent through a timeshare website that requires a yearly membership fee in order to make contact with a potential owner.  In this case you feel a bit safer because anyone who has listings available on this site or who is interested in renting DVC points would have to pay a yearly fee to the website.  Then you know that both sides are serious.  Who would pay to list their items if they weren’t truly owners?  The service that I recommend for this type of rental is Redweek.com.  We have used this site to rent out from DVC owners.  We found an amazing deal once on a 1 bedroom villa at the Boardwalk for between 8-9 dollars a point!  (going rate at the time was around $11-12 a point)  Even if you are not a member, you can see the listings on their website.  This is nice because when you are actually ready to contact an owner, then you may pay the membership fee to get their contact information.

Disney Forums

The third way that we have both rented points and also rented out confirmed reservations was through a website forum called mouseowners.  You will have to create a log-in to access the forum.  If you are an owner wanting to post your points, you will be required to have a certain number of posts within the forum community before you are allowed to do that.  However, if you are renting from an owner, you will be able to contact that owner by posting to the thread or through private message.  The thing that I love about this website is that there is no middle man and no additional fees associated with the renting process.  The only downfall of using this forum is that you are taking a chance on who you are renting from.  The nice thing about this forum, though, is that the owner keeps up to date records on people who have rented out their points.  Owners are only allowed to list so many times per year.  This way you know that you are working with an independent owner and not a travel agency.  Also, any “sour” transactions can be listed, so there is a place for you to go to in order to ensure that the person you are renting from is legitimate.  I know there are other Disney forums which have rental boards available if you are interested in searching for them.

Ebay

The last place that you may want to consider is eBay.  We had a reservation around Christmas time that we could not use.  We listed it last minute on eBay.  The nice thing about eBay is that you have such a large audience.  Literally there are people from all different countries that are utilizing that website.  As a buyer, it seems as if many people use eBay as an option to make last minute listings.  If you want to snag a vacation for cheap, and you don’t mind only having a couple of weeks to plan things, consider eBay.

We hope that we have helped answer any questions that you may have had in how to rent Disney Vacation Club points.  If you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to contact Slick Mouse Disney.  We would be happy to assist you in your DVC rental.

 

How to Rent Disney Vacation Club Points

Disney Jamberry Nail Wraps – A Tutorial and Review


Review of Jamberry Nail Wraps - Sample wrapsDisney Jamberry Nail Wraps (The Disney Collection by Jamberry Nails) are just the cutest things ever!  We all know and love all things Disney.  That is why you are here, isn’t it?  So let us take a look at something sweeter than Minnie herself.  Disney Jamberry Nail Wraps.  You need these to make your Disney vacation a little bit more fun!  And, if you are not planning a Disney vacation…well…then you need these just because!

Before I get started, let me just say that Disney does not make these.  However, they have collaborated with Jamberry Nails to bring you these Disney approved designs.  To make it easier for the sake of the article, though, I am going to call them Disney Jamberry Nail Wraps.  There.  I got those legalities out of the way.  Just remember that Disney is Disney…they have the copyrights to some of the images within the designs, but Jamberry Nails is the creator of the nail wraps.

First and foremost, let me give a shout-out to one of my Disney friends, Debbie.  You all know what I am talking about when I say a Disney friend…. they are the friends who share your Disney love.  They are the ones who love all things Disney just like you.  Therefore, we have our Disney friends and our non-Disney friends.  :)    Debbie is not only a fellow Disney lover, but she is also a Jamberry consultant.  My sweet friend let me sample some of the Disney Jamberry Nail Wraps that she is selling.  I told her that I would love to do a review on them, and I decided to incorporate a tutorial on their use, too!  Please keep reading because I am going to share with you how to order these adorable nail wraps from Debbie.

Before I get into the tutorial and review of these Disney Jamberry nail wraps, I know that there are some of you may have heard of Disney Jamberry nail wraps and some may not.  Therefore, let me explain to you what they are.  Jamberry nail wraps are wonderful applications to apply to nails to give them a freshly manicured look, but with the whimsical twist of a manicure with different colors, styles, and textures!  They are surprisingly easy to apply.  The nice part about them is that they aren’t a wet application.  You can apply them to your nails one minute, and the next minute you can be folding towels. ( <—- did this myself.  haha)  You will have no worries at all of ruining your Disney Jamberry nail wraps application.

Before I start, let me give you a review of these little nail wraps before they are on your nail.  Debbie gave me two styles to try.  Bow-dacious which are glossy wraps in two styles with Minnie Mouse, and she also sent me Once Upon a Dream which are sparkle style wraps which I gave to my daughter to try.  (see photo above left)  When we received Debbie’s package, we weren’t sure which styles we would receive, so it was a surprise.  We squealed in delight when we saw them.  I mean, who doesn’t love Minnie Mouse and Disney Princesses?  The Once Upon a Dream style reminded us of Sleeping Beauty.  The sparkles for near the nail bed look like a gold crown.  The rest of the wrap is pink which definitely keeps with the princess vibe.  The Bow-dacious ones are sassy and fun.  Minnie Mouse adorns these particular wraps in a black, red, and white theme.  They are shiny which I love.  When purchasing these Disney Jamberry nail wraps through Jamberry, you will receive 18 strips in 9 different sizes.  This is so nice because no matter what size your nails are, you will be able to find the wrap that fits each finger!  There are enough wraps on one sheet to give you 2 manicures and 2 pedicures.  Because these nail wraps last so long, you are looking at at least a month’s worth of applications on one sheet!  The cost for the Disney Jamberry nail wraps is $18 per sheet.  That is cheaper than one manicure by itself!  What a great deal!  (the cost of regular wraps is $15 per sheet or buy 3 sheets get 1 free)

 

We will soon be holding a Disney Collection by Jamberry Nail Wrap Giveaway in our Facebook Group!

Join now!
Click here —–> Slick Mouse Disney

 

Next, let me give you a step-by-step tutorial on the application process.  As long as you collect everything you need, and you follow the directions, you will find this process to be quite easy!  My 13 year old daughter even did her own!  It was a lot of fun sitting at the table working on these together.

Disney Jamberry Nail Wraps Items1.   Collect everything that you need for your manicure using Disney Jamberry nail wraps.  As you can see in the photo, you will need the following:  Hairdryer, alcohol and cotton balls, Disney Jamberry Nail Wraps style of your choice,  manicure scissors, nail clippers, cuticle tool, wooden sticks, nail file, tweezers, nail brush, and Jamberry application directions.  (which truly you won’t need if you are using this article to guide you).  We will use the nail clippers to clip your nails to the desired length before you start the process, the nail brush for cleaning your nails before application, the hairdryer to heat the wraps to activate them so that they stick to your nail, the alcohol and cotton balls will be for cleaning the natural oils off your nails so that they do not resist the wraps, the wraps themselves for the application, of course, the manicure scissors for cutting the wraps for each finger, the cuticle tool and stick to push back cuticles and press the wrap to your nail after application,and the tweezers to hold onto the wraps without touching them with your bare fingers.  (will explain why this is important later)

2.  I don’t have a photograph of this part, but next I clipped my nails to the desired length, and then I used a nail brush with mild soap to wash my nails…both the tops and underneath the tips.

 

Disney Jamberry Nail Wraps Lotion

3.  Next, I applied Jergen’s Original Scent lotion.  Jamberry won’t tell you to do this, but I love the soft feeling it gives my hands.  It also makes the cuticles soft and easier to push down.  The scent of this lotion is heavenly.  Even my husband loves it.  (notice at the top it says perfect for hands, and I have to agree)

 

Disney Jamberry Nail Wraps Cuticle Tool

4.  Next, I used both the stick and the cuticle tool which has a soft rubber ending to it to push down my cuticles.  For some reason, I don’t have much cuticle on my nails, so this process did not take me long at all.

 

Disney Jamberry Nail Wraps Alcohol Wipe

5.  The last step before starting the application was to wipe all of my nails down with alcohol.  This took off the hand cream as well as the natural oils from my nails that might inhibit the wraps from sticking to my nails.

 

Disney Jamberry Nail Wraps Buff

6.  OK, I lied.  This was the last step before application started.  haha.  The directions said to buff your nails a little bit to provide a good base for the wrap to stick.  I did not have a buff tool, so I gently used the nail file to just roughen the tops of my nails ever so slightly.

 

Disney Jamberry Nail Wraps LiftDisney Jamberry Nail Wraps Tweezers

7.  Next comes the process of preparing the actual wrap for your nail.  First, decide which wrap will fit your nail shape.  It is best to have the wrap be a little small for your nail rather than too big.  If it is too big, it will stick to the skin around your nail, and you will find that your manicure will not last as long because it wear prematurely and run the risk of separating from your nail.  With this step, you will have to handle the wrap.  This is where you have to be careful.  You do not want to handle the wrap with your bare fingers.  The reason for this is the same reason that we use the alcohol on our nails.   You do not want the oils from your fingers to interfere with any stickiness.  If handled too much, the wrap may not stick to your nail the way that it should.  Therefore, use the stick tool to lift the wrap on one end.  Then I use the manicure scissors to cut the wrap in half.  (scissor process not shown)  I then used the tweezers to handle the 1/2 wrap that will be going onto my finger.

 

Disney Jamberry Nail Wraps Hairdryer

8.  Now we have to make the wrap stickier by heating it a bit.  You don’t want to overheat.  I had my settings of my hairdryer on hot, but used a low speed.  I literally counted to 5 (one thousand one, one thousand two, etc….) and then I applied the wrap as quickly as I could to my nail.  You will know the wrap is ready because it will curl ever so slightly.  That tells you it is ready.  You will have to test this with your own hairdryer because every hairdryer’s power is different.

 

Disney Jamberry Nail Wrap Press

9.  Once you have placed the wrap carefully on your nail, you should immediately start the process of pressing it down.  My suggestion is to press using the soft rubbery cuticle tool because you can apply a lot of pressure to help it stick.  You should press down the center first and then work your way around the edges.  Don’t worry about any extra wrap sticking out of the end of your nail.  Just press it completely on your entire nail.  The initial placement is important because if you need to lift up the wrap, you could compromise some of the stickiness.  Remember not to place the wrap to your skin…only your nail.  If it seems too big, feel free to trim a little with your scissors and then try again.

Disney Jamberry Nail WrapsDisney Jamberry Nail Wraps Trim

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t mind me as I change to a different nail.  I realized that I had forgotton to take a few of the photos.

 

Disney Jamberry Nail Wraps File

Disney Jamberry Nail Wrap Extra

10.  Once you have trimmed, there will still be some wrap left over the edge of your nail.  Use your file in a gentle downward motion (NOT BACK AND FORTH) to file off the extra nail wrap.  See that little bit of extra?  Do not pull on it.  Just continue with the gentle downward motion all over the end of your nail tip and that little extra part will eventually fall off.

Disney Jamberry Nail Wraps Thumb

11.  And here you have the finished product on one finger.  Super cute!!!  Look at cute little Minnie peaking out of your nail bed!  Awwww.

 

Disney Jamberry Nail Wraps Finished

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disney Jamberry Nail Wraps Finished 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disney Jamberry Nail Wraps FInished 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So cute!  I want more!

Here were Princess Moe’s nails.  She had a very easy time with application, too, and she is only 13!

Disney Jamberry Nail Wraps Princess Moe 2

Disney Jamberry Nail Wraps Princess Moe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All in all, my review of the Disney Jamberry Nail Wraps is extremely positive!  They were surprisingly easy to apply, and they just look absolutely adorable after application!  Now, what are you waiting for?  I know you need to order these for yourself!  Take a look at Debbie’s Jamberry website where you can order Disney Jamberry nail wraps as well as regular ones in all styles, colors, and textures!

 

Click here to order from The Disney Collection by Jamberry Nails

 

Thank you so much for reading!  I hope that you enjoy your Disney Jamberry Nail Wraps as much as my daughter and I do!  Special thanks, again, to Debbie for sharing wraps with us for the tutorial and review.  :)

 

Disney Jamberry Nail Wraps – A Tutorial and Review

What is DisneyBounding? DisneyBound Outfits

What is DisneyBounding Snow White

Photo/Artwork by Shayariel Teardrop – Congrejo on Flickr

What is DisneyBounding?  Is this a question that you have ever asked yourself?  Probably not, which is the reason that you are here.  Let’s admit it.  You know how much fun it is to dress up as your favorite Disney character. If we could, we would make every day a Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. However, on every other day of the year, we have to abide by Disney’s theme park dress code rules. These rules state that you cannot dress in a costume when visiting Walt Disney World if you are over the age of 14. And, no, we don’t want to go against Disney’s rules. We get it. Disney does not want you all decked out in your Woody costume because they don’t want other guests to confuse you with their “official” Disney character. Well, don’t let this deter you from using your creativity to become your favorite character, all while staying within Disney’s guidelines for dress code.

What is DisneyBounding?  DisneyBounding is compiling an outfit of regular, everyday clothing with the intention of looking very similar to the character of choice for that day. In other words, you are dressing up as a character without the costume!

What is DisneyBounding Mad Hatter

Mad Hatter Photo/Artwork by Shayariel Teardrop – Congrejo on Flickr

What is the goal with DisneyBounding?

The goal is to be noticeable. When people see you, you want them to know which character you are representing. Therefore, your DisneyBounding goal is to come up with a creative alternative to an actual Disney costume.  Your representation of your favorite character may be different than someone else.  However, it will be obvious that you are dressing as that character, even if it isn’t an actual costume.

How do I get started with DisneyBounding?



It is really quite simple! You go to your closet (or your friend’s closet, or your spouse’s, or maybe even your children’s closet!) to pick out some excellent choices that, when worn together, will look like you have transformed into Belle or Aladdin or Donald or whoever you wish!  What is DisneyBounding the right way?  This is and it is so fun.

Now, I know that some of you cannot just walk to your closet and find what you need. That is why I am here to help! Let’s take a look at some popular characters and the types of outfits that you could put together so that you could say that you are a DisneyBounder, too!

Where can I purchase items that would help me dress for DisneyBounding?



If you find something below, I have provided a direct link for you to be able to purchase the outfits through Amazon. Just click each picture, and it will take you directly to the place to buy the products. If there is a specific outfit that you would like me to put together for you, I would be more than happy to do that. Just let me know in the comments, and I will add the outfit to this article. :)

 

Sample DisneyBounding Outfits

Now you don’t have to ask yourself “What is DisneyBounding?”  Now that you know the answer to that question, Let’s start with the ladies.  Don’t worry, fellas, we will give you a couple of sample outfits, too.  Keep reading!

Minnie Mouse

What is DisneyBounding Minnie

Yes, she is so sweet.  This one is easy to do.  Get yourself an adorable large bow.  This one stands up quite nicely according to reviews.  Then, a polka-dotted Minnie style dress that will keep you comfortable and stylish.  Finally, finish it off with an adorable pair of yellow flip flops!  Comfy to wear at the Walt Disney World parks, but yet, super cute and stylish!

Or maybe you aren’t a dress type of person.  In that case, how about this?

OMG.  Hazards of this job are that I want the stuff I post.  This last one.  Did you see the tail on the shorts?  This one is super cute and comfy, especially if you visit Walt Disney World in the summer.  The shorts are actually boxers, but when you are at Disney, really the fashion rules don’t apply like they do in the “real world.”  This is a more casual option to Minnie Mouse.  When you are wondering what is DisneyBounding and if you are doing it right, with this outfit, you know you are.

Dalmation

What is DisneyBounding Dalmation

 

Inspired by the 101 Dalmations, this combination is super sweet.  A simple combination of dots.  Elegant and easy.  The sandals should be very comfortable, too.  I do believe that this outfit could be tweaked to become Cruella if you were creative.  You would just have to do something different with your hair.  The sandals that go with this outfit are so super cute and could be worn with a ton of other things.

Ariel

What is DisneyBounding Ariel

Wow, I love this so much!  The sea shell necklace just screams “ocean dweller” to me.  haha.  Even though you may not wear purple and green together, I think the complimentary colors really look adorable together!  If you want it simpler, just leave out the purple floral headband and the necklace.  However, using those two items will insure that people know you are Ariel from The Little Mermaid.  Obviously you cannot waddle around on a fishtail, so we added in these super cute black sandals with a sea shell on them.  :)

 

Elsa

What is DisneyBounding Elsa

This one is pretty simplistic.  I added the platinum blonde braid extension because you can add that to your hair no matter the color.  People will understand what you are trying to do.  The dress is a babydoll style, so it is very short.  However the bodice is elegant and flowing.  You will need a camisole underneath.  Don’t be afraid to put a pair of bike shorts or capris leggings under that dress.  The shoes I ADORE because they look like they are ice covered!

 

Snow White

What is DisneyBounding Snow White

Nobody can miss Snow White.  With these three colors put together, you will definitely have people commenting.  This time, I chose flowy, soft, comfortable pieces.  The blouse has a slit down the sleeve, but overall, they look flouncy like Snow White’s real top.  The shoes looked very comfortable.  They are a crocheted flat.  Snow White is simple, but super cute!  Now that I see her next to my choices, the blouse looks a bit purple, but I think it would work since people won’t have a photo over your head to compare you.  haha.  I just loved the style of the blouse with the flouncy sleeves.

 

DisneyBounding for Men

No worries, gentlemen. I am going to feature a few Disneybounding outfits for you to think about.  The outfits that I did choose, I did so for comfort and the ability to stay cool in the hot Florida air.  Be a good sport and try one!  You would be surprised how much fun it is, and the guests and cast members at Walt Disney World will offer you compliments like you wouldn’t believe!  Trust me, you will love it!

Gaston

What is DisneyBounding Gaston

Who doesn’t love this pompous admirer of Belle? Men are certain to feel manly in this one, while still allowing their fun side to come out.

The whole trick to making this outfit work as Gaston is keeping your polo untucked.  Then, use the belt on the OUTSIDE of your shirt.  Buy big if you can so that it looks more like a tunic.  :)  I just noticed that Gaston’s boots are brown and I chose black Nikes.  No worries…you can change it to whatever you want.  You might already have a pair of brown sandals or boots.  Slap them on with this combination and watch the ladies flock to you!

 

Goofy

What is DisneyBounding

This one turned out sooooo cool.  The vest is what I was stuck on.  I finally found something other than a tuxedo vest!  This is comfortable and useful outside of Disney!  The Keens are one of the best shoes out there for the parks.  They are waterproof for all of those afternoon showers.

Even though Goofy has long sleeves and long pants,  I felt the short sleeves and shorts were appropriate for hot days at Walt Disney World.  I hope that you love my Goofy Disneybounding outfit as much as I do!

Grumpy

What is DisneyBounding Grumpy

I see men all the time in Grumpy shirts. Not sure why? Maybe some don’t like traveling to a Disney park. Or maybe the heat makes them Grumpy. Or maybe they just wear Grumpy attire to be funny. No matter the reason, you are going to love this one!

The tunic and pants are actually Indian, but they work so well for this outfit. I chose Toms for the shoes because I know what comfort that they provide.  Put on your best frown, and you have transformed yourself to be Grumpy!

In conclusion, I had so much fun with this article!  What is DisneyBounding?  Now you can answer that question.  It is such a creative way of representing a character in the way that you dress.  Who needs costumes?

We may start a series of DisneyBounding outfits.  The series would be by Disney movie.  If you have a movie or a certain character that you would love to see, please let us know in the comments!  Also let us know which one was your favorite.  Would you wear any of these?  I think at this point, the question of what is DisneyBounding has been answered and we are ready to get dressed.

 

What is DisneyBounding?

Handmade Disney Items You Didn’t Know You Needed

Handmade Disney ItemsIf you are a Disney lover, you most likely take trips as much as possible.  Unfortunately, for those who live a distance away, these trips may not be as often as you would like.  So, let’s celebrate your Very Merry UnDisneyTrip.  What does that mean?  That means that we bring Disney to your home!  The other 358 days a year that you are not at Disney is your “Very Merry UnDisneyTrip.”  Yes, you can still experience Disney by purchasing handmade Disney items to make everyday a Disney day!

I am going to do this in countdown style.  However, please know that they are truly in no particular order.  You can decide which are your favorites and which ones you need.  :)

Handmade Disney Items- Vinyl Wall Decals

Disney Vinyl Wall Decal by VinylDesignsForYou from Etsy

Disney Vinyl Wall Decals.  Oh my goodness, these are great.  They contain the best Disney quotes.  Place this in a high traffic location in your home.  Every time you walk by or glance up at the wall, you are going to see quotes from your favorite movie.  I am sure that some sellers even offer you the ability to customize your wall decals.  The nice part about these is that they are not permanent.  They will do no damage to your walls.  Bring a little piece of Disney to your home with these handmade Disney items.

Disney Art:  Very similar to the wall decal idea is Disney wall hangings!  Bring a Disney handmade item to your home through a variety of different wall hangings.  You can find anything you could desire!  I especially enjoy the watercolor prints like you see here.  The reason I love them so much is their color can be coordinated with any room decor.  Plus they are just fun to look at!

Handmade Disney Items- Wall Art

Disney Inspired Wall Art by CocoMilla on Etsy

 

Disney Inspired Wax Melts:  OMG.  You know how there are scents throughout Disney?  You actually do miss the smells, don’t you?  Well, no more!  Now you can celebrate your Very Merry UnDisneyTrip by bringing these scents home!  Awesome.  My personal favorite is the Beach Club lobby.  Something so fresh and inviting about it.  I found a similar scent with that one in a Wegman’s Hand Soap.  lol.  But there are plenty of other scents available in these wax melts to take you back to Disney anytime you want.

Handmade Disney Items- Wax Melts

Disney Inspired Scented Wax Melts by SimpleGalsShop at Etsy

Disney Nail Decals:  Sorry, fellas.  This one is for the ladies.  This is one of my favorite and most adorable of all handmade Disney items.. Disney Nail Decals!  These happen to be princesses.  So cute!  So, you go about your day…how often do you notice your hands?  Most definitely a couple times a day.  Now, with these cute Disney nail decals, you will be reminded of how much you love Disney multiple times a day!

Handmade Disney Items- Nail Decals

Disney Nail Decals by AMNails at Etsy

Is DVC RIght For You? Baby Steps for Becoming a DVC Owner

Saratoga Springs Resort & SpaThis is a tried and true question.  One that has been pondered by thousands of people.  Some choose to bite the bullet and become members.  Others decide against it.  There may be people who are too afraid to buy in.  Honestly, I do think that people are afraid of the unknown, and, therefore, they maybe don’t pursue it, even if they are interested.  There are a number of factors to consider.  Monetarily, this is a big commitment.  However, there are ways for you to take little steps instead of one giant leap into making this life-altering decision.

  1.  Before you even start…before you even begin to THINK about the money involved, it is important for you to first assess whether it is right for your family.  If you can answer the following questions with all YES answers, then you should move on to number 2.  However, if you cannot, then I would be extremely cautious while proceeding.
    1. Does my family love Walt Disney World/Disneyland?
    2. Do we take multiple trips?  At least 1 trip every year to 2 years?
    3. Will it be possible for me to pay a lump sum or take out a loan to pay for the cost of buying the contract?
    4. Do I have disposable income to be able to keep up on dues and other costs associated with being a DVC member? If you answered yes to all of these questions, what are you waiting for?  Move on to number 2.

If you answered no, you can still move on, of course, but beware that DVC ownership may not be for you.

See below for a quick video of the Boardwalk/Beach Club Area

2.  Yay!  You answered yes to all of the preliminary questions, and now you are ready to move to the next step.   I do think that people need to understand exactly “what” DVC is.  Therefore, step 2 is an informational post so that you know exactly WHAT it is that you will be buying into.  Disney Vacation Club is not like traditional time shares.  Many time share contracts lock you in to certain weeks in the year.  This is not how DVC works.  In DVC, you purchase a contract with a certain number of points.  (we will talk about how to decide how many points you may want to buy later)  With these points, you can utilize them any time of the year, and at any of the DVC resorts, subject to availability.  You will receive some home resort advantages that we will also talk about later.  So, let me give you a few scenarios to help you visualize what your points can do for you.  Right now we are just going to look at what it can get you at your HOME resort.

200 point contract at Boardwalk Villas

  • 78 points for a week during October in a standard view studio
  • 62 points for a Friday/Saturday night in January in a 1-bedroom preferred view (of pools or gardens)
  • 60 points for a Sunday/Monday/Tuesday night during Spring break in a standard view studio

200 point contract at Grand Floridian

  • 199 points for during July for a lagoon view studio

200 point contract for Animal Kingdom Lodge- Kidani

  • 139 points for a week in September for a 1-bedroom value room
  • 60 points for 2 nights in early December for a 2-bedroom value room

My point in all of this is that you have ENDLESS possibilities of when and how you use your points!  It just all depends upon where you choose for your home resort and how many points you buy.  Also, please know that you CAN USE YOUR POINTS AT OTHER RESORTS.  There are restrictions on this, but you don’t have to worry about only being able to stay at just one resort.  You use the point charts in conjunction with how many points you have available, and you can book your DVC vacation where ever and whenever you want.  (11 months out at your home resort and 7 months out at any other DVC resort)

DVC Sample Floor Plan

Notice this is a 2 bedroom, but you can see the conversion to the 1 bedroom or studio options. The Grand Villa will have 3 bedrooms.

3.  The next step involves looking at what DVC will get you.  In other words, you should know what the accommodations look like, and all of the monetary commitments that go along with it.  I am going to save the money stuff for the next post, but in this one, we are just gonna talk about previewing the resorts.  Please know that you should really be working on number 3 and 4 together.   If you already take trips to Walt Disney World often, then I highly suggest that you book to see a model DVC room.  You are going to OWN a piece of Disney property if you decide to buy into DVC.  Before you buy a house, you book showings, and you take a look at where you want your family to reside.  It should definitely be the same with DVC!  You want to see what accommodations you will be buying.

There are 4 options of room sizes at most of the resorts, with differing views which will cost you different amounts of points, depending on what time of the year and what room and view you book.  A studio, 1-bedroom, 2-bedroom, and grand villa are the accommodations that you can book.

Look online at photos.  There are SOOO many of all the different room types, as well as floor plans.  Go to the model rooms.  Look at ALL the resorts.  Visit them, if possible, even just to see the lobbies and get a feel for the style of each resort.  Think about the location of each resort to your favorite Walt Disney World attractions.  See for yourself what you will be buying.  This part is really, really fun.

You could also rent points out to stay in a Disney DVC resort before making the decision to buy.  When you rent points, you pay someone who owns a contract for the use of their points.  You pay them, and then they book for you and place your name on the reservation.  Yes, there is trust involved, but it is a more inexpensive way of seeing the villas rather than paying rack rate through Disney.  Where can you rent points?  There are a number of different places.  First is ebay.  We have sold points there.  You can get good deals there.  Some people are gun-shy for buying from ebay, so you can also look in other places.  Mouseowners has a rent board where you can find owners who are looking to rent out their DVC properties.  We have booked through people from this site with no issues.  The one other place where we found a reservation for a great price was at Redweek.  This site specializes in time share renting and also selling contracts.  The owners of the DVC are the ones who post at Redweek.  Redweek just has a fee if you actually want to contact any DVC owners.  You must become a member of their site.  This is so worth it, because you know that someone who is purchasing membership to their site most definitely has DVC points to rent out.  Why else would they have joined?

Therefore, maybe a stay at a DVC resort with rented points may help you in your decision of whether or not to buy.

DVC Sign4.  While you are looking at the room and resort options, you should, at the same time, be looking into the money involved.  First, there is the cost of the contract.  Sit down with your spouse and discuss how much money you are willing to spend.  What disposable income do you have monthly to cover the cost of dues?  Remember, too, that you will need tickets to get into the parks, as well as the cost of food while staying there.

5.  Once you have a feel for what resort you like to buy into, and also once you have an idea of the money that you have available, then it is time to start looking for contracts.  You need to decide if you will buy directly through Disney, or if you will buy resale.  Many, many people do not know the difference.  If you buy direct through Disney, you have access to their other collections.  You may have other perks (for instance, you get a free tote bag currently with booking through them) for buying direct.  However, please know that it is EXTREMELY expensive.  The point cost is crazy high.  Personally, we bought resale.  We found a reputable resale company named resalesdvc.com  We bought our first contract through them, and we were incredibly happy with our decision to use them.  The cost of  a contract when buying resale is substantially lower than if you buy direct.  Also, if you have your heart set on one resort, you may HAVE to buy resale, because Disney may no longer own any contracts for the resort you wish to buy.  I have a friend who was on a wait list with Disney to purchase a contract for the Beach Club.  She had to wait 2 years for it to become available for her!

I am sure that if you are going to purchase, you will do your own research, but here are all of the DVC resorts from which you can choose from with some of the pros and cons about buying at these resorts.  (you may notice my bias.  lol)

Animal Kingdom-  Pros:  The Savannah has animals roaming.  Savannah views are wonderful.   They offer Club Level rooms.   It is a beautiful resort.  Cons:  The distance from everything.  If you are relying on Disney transportation, it will take you awhile for travel time.

Bay Lake Tower-  Pros:  The proximity to Magic Kingdom.  You can easily walk there from BLT.  You can also use the monorail for Epcot.  It also has low dues compared to the other resorts.   The Top of the World lounge is located here which can be used by all DVC members.  Cons:  Not many, although you might be spending more points for the same room type than other resorts.  Also, if Magic Kingdom is not your favorite park, then the location for you would be unfavorable.

Beach Club-  Pros:  Stormalong-Bay which is the nicest DVC pool on property.  Also, the location of the Beach Club is fantastic because you can walk to Epcot which is right next door.  Hollywood Studios is also not far, and you could technically walk there in 15-20 minutes as well.  You will have access to a LOT of restaurants within Epcot if you stay here since they are all within walking distance.  Cons:  If your favorite park is Magic Kingdom, then the Beach Club may not be for you.

Boardwalk Arch IMG_1677 IMG_1717Boardwalk-  Pros:  Cheapest rooms for the points that you pay.  A lot of Boardwalk entertainment.  Proximity to Hollywood Studios and Epcot.  (we walk to both from here)  Cons:  For quick serve or table service restaurants, you do have to walk out to the Boardwalk area.  There are no restaurants right within the resort itself.

Grand Floridian-  Pros:  The location is beautiful.  Also, the rooms at the Grand Floridian are second to none.  You will find amenities at this resort that others do not have.  Also, it is only a boat ride to Magic Kingdom or you can take the monorail to MK and Epcot.  Cons:  You will pay high points for rooms here.  Also, if you prefer the other resorts, the location will require you to take buses.

Old Key West-  Pros:  If you drive, you are able to park right in front of your room.  This can be helpful for disabled guests.  Cons:  Proximity to parks will require you to take buses if you did not drive.  Also, the boat ride to Disney Springs will take awhile.  Make sure you have transportation time built in no matter where you go.

Polynesian-  Pros:  The newest of DVC resorts, so the rooms will be newer.  Great location on Bay Lake with only a boat ride away from Magic Kingdom.  It is on the monorail line.  Cons:  There are only studios and bungalows offered.  There are no 1 or 2 bedroom offerings.  The bungalows come at a very expensive point cost.

Saratoga Springs-  Pros:  Close proximity to Disney Springs.  Depending on the building you choose, you can walk to Disney Springs.  Otherwise, it is only a short boat ride away.  Decent point costs and the resort is so large that usually you will not have trouble finding a room.  (even possibly booking up to a month or two out, depending on the time of year.  Cons:  Older resort so the rooms may reflect that.  You will need to be bused to the parks.

Wilderness Lodge-  Pros:  Beautiful location and resort  Away from the hustle and bustle of everything.  Cons- Not on the monorail line.  However, you can take a boat to Magic Kingdom.  If the weather is bad, however, the boats will not run.  There are not a lot of restaurant options since there is no close proximity to any parks.

There.  I hope that helps.  Obviously take some more time to research on your own to see what works for your family.  Look at maps.  Read reviews.  This is not a decision to be made lightly.  However, always remember that your points CAN be used at any of the resorts, not just your home resort.  I know of people who have never even stayed at the their home resort.  Don’t count on that, however.  Many have the philosophy of buy where you stay.  It is up to you to decide.

6.  Decide how many points you need/want.  Now that you have decided which resort is best for you, it is time to decide how many points you would want on your contract for your vacationing needs.  To do this, you will have to follow the steps below.

  • Decide on which room type is right for your family.  Here are floorplans for a typical DVC resort.  There are slight differences in each, so please research each to make your decision.
  • Check out point charts for each of the resorts.  Decide when your family can take your Walt Disney World vacations.  How often will you go?  The answers to these questions will help you decide how many points you will need for your trip.
  • Look at the amount of points needed for the room type that you chose for the time of year that you think you might visit.
  • Point charts:

Animal Kingdom  |  Bay Lake Tower  |  Beach Club  |  Boardwalk  |  Grand Floridian

Old Key West  |  Polynesian  |  Saratoga Springs  |  Wilderness Lodge

 

 

 

 

The 10 Best Things about Owning DVC (Disney Vacation Club)

best way to buy Disney vacation clubHello, there!  Well, it has been quite a few years now that my husband and I drank the DVC Kool-aid.  We liked it so much that we went back for seconds!  :)  Yes, we are DVC owners at Boardwalk and also at Old Key West.  A lot of people argue for or against owning DVC.  Even Disney Moe himself has been writing articles assessing the whole money situation when it comes to DVC.  Well, I am not gonna go there.  On the contrary.  Instead, I am going to tell you all about the fun stuff:  the 10 best things about owning DVC.  I won’t be talking about whether it is worth it.  So get that out of your head.  I am just telling you what I love about it.

10.  The pools.  Storm-a-long Bay could technically be a post by itself.  That pool, the main pool at Yacht & Beach Club, is definitely awesome.  The slide comes from a humongous ship.  You have to leave the pool area just to get to the slide!  However, what I love about all DVC pools is that there are many of them at each resort.  I truly have never been at a DVC pool that was so packed that you could hardly move, and I have heard people talk of this issue at value resorts.  I believe that is because there are a few options for swimmers at the DVC resorts.  You are not all sharing one pool.  I know that isn’t true at all places.  However, you have to think about the amount of people staying at some of these resorts in relation to how many people the pool will hold.  I just don’t feel that it has been that busy at the DVC pools.  (and we go often during Magic Season)  Also, the pools at DVC resorts all have slides!  Woo-hoo!  Yes, even my husband and I have tried the slides at the various DVC resorts where we have stayed.




9.  The closeness to the parks.  Ok, I admit. Right now, I am talking about two of my favorite DVC resorts:  Boardwalk and Beach Club.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE staying there for the reason that we can WALK to Epcot and even Hollywood Studios!  (many people don’t seem to know how close Hollywood Studios really is to the Boardwalk Villas)  So, you get a room, you go out the farthest exit away from the lobby.  That exit leads you to the path to get to Hollywood Studios.  It is fantastic!  It is a lovely walk along the canal.  You see ducks and the boats coming and going.  Really, I would say the walk to Hollywood Studios only takes about 10-15 minutes tops.  You can wait longer at the bus stop for a bus just to come and pick you up!  If you love the dining, Epcot is a restaurant lover’s paradise.  Staying at Beach Club or Boardwalk is perfect for getting to your dining reservations without any time issues.  Therefore, to maximize your time, I highly suggest staying at a resort that is close to the parks.  Bay Lake Towers would be another example.  Its proximity to Magic Kingdom is fabulous.

8.  The variety of room choices.  OK, so when you buy into DVC, you are staying at deluxe resorts.  The comfort that these resorts provide is second to none.  You have the option of a variety of different room structures…there is something for every point owner.  The studios provide a nice place to stay with a small kitchenette.  The one-bedrooms have a full kitchen and a washer and dryer.  The two bedrooms have two full bedrooms plus the full kitchen and washer and dryer.  Finally, the Grand Villas offer a large space with 3 bedrooms as well as the full kitchen, substantial living area, and washer and dryer.  The nice thing for me is the king beds.  My husband and I are used to sleeping in a king bed.  I guess we are kinda spoiled.  When taking a vacation, we want the same.  We don’t want to be in a queen or double.  Therefore, for me, the bed itself is a plus.

7.  Washer/Dryer.  Call me crazy, but I love keeping up on laundry when on vacation.  I like to come home and allow everyone to open up their suitcases and put their clothes away.  At DVC resorts, you will have your own laundry facilities if you are staying in a 1 or 2 bedroom unit.  However, do not worry if you choose to stay in a studio, because there are free laundry facilities usage near the pools.  If you would want to do a load of laundry while on vacation, you can find the washer and dyers in a designated area near the pool.  The really nice thing about this (for me), is that I can wash and dry towels.   I have no problem washing a load of towels while heading out to the park, and then putting them in the dryer later that day.  Once mousekeeping comes to refresh your towel supply, you will have many to choose from.  (my kids seem to use towels like water).  Therefore, the washer and dyer in our room is a definite plus.  Just be sure to take a small container of regular detergent with you or buy it once you are in your resort.  They do provide free detergent, but it is only one or two boxes.  I do much more than this, so I take my own.  Make sure it is not high efficiency detergent, as their washer and dryers take the regular kind.  Oh, and bring your own dryer sheets, too.

6.  No daily mousekeeping.  OK, for some people, this may be a downfall, but not for my family.  At home, I clean for the cleaning lady.  Have you ever heard people saying that?  Yes, because we both work and have a business on the side, we do have someone clean our home once a week for the deeper cleaning.  Well, the night before she comes, I announce to the kids that it is time to clean for the cleaning lady.  I am the same way at Disney.  The night before Mousekeeping comes in, we tidy up and clean some things.  (yes, I know she will reclean them, but oh well).  I LOVE not having the Mousekeeping daily.  LOVE it.  I am on vacation, after all, so I want to be very lax and not be as uptight as I am when I am at home.  If the kids feel like dropping their pin lanyards on the floor near the front door, then that is where they will stay.  If someone drinks a soda and leaves it on the table, no biggie.  You get the idea.  In addition to this, we choose to do a 1-bedroom.  The reason for this is we want to stretch our points.  We bring our own blow-up twin sized mattresses for 2 kids, and the other sleeps on the pull-out.  We don’t put the beds away every day.  (we are hardly there!  What’s the point?)  If I had Mousekeeping there each day, I would feel obligated to “clean for the cleaning lady”, so I am just thankful that I don’t have to do that for the majority of my vacation.  Oh, and just so you know, Mousekeeping comes on the 4th day for towel service/light cleaning, and again for a full cleaning I believe on day 7.  (could be wrong on that, I gotta check it)

5.  Being part of the group.  Please don’t think of me as an elitist, because that is not what I am going for here.  However, I truly feel that being a DVC member allows you to become a member of a family.  You become so close with other owners, because they “get it.”  They get the Disney obsession.  There are multiple Facebook groups dedicated to being a DVC member.  There are many, many websites with message boards that have boards dedicated to DVC.  You get to know people.  You learn from people.  And, I am not going to lie, being able to say to people, “I own DVC” is really, really fun!  For me, becoming an owner was kind of like that feeling of becoming a mom.  Before being a mother, I really had no idea.  Then, my first son was born, and I felt like a member of a group for which before I could never identify with.  DVC is the same.  Before DVC, you can read things and try to understand the process and have your judgments on different things related to Disney.  However, AFTER owning, you understand.  You have that right now to share your feelings with non-members.  I kinda feel like it is getting a degree in Disney, so to speak.  And, for that reason, it makes me feel as if I am part of the gang.  I like that.

4.  The dining options.  OK, I admit, I may be posting a bit one-sided on this, because I have never stayed at a value on property, but I am writing this based on the fact that I have looked up dining options sooooo often when booking my dining.  We are a family who loves our sit-down dining experiences at Disney.  For us, the dining experiences are like attractions.  If you have not experienced some of them…well…then I feel like you are missing out on some of the Disney magic.   I have to admit that the eateries at the DVC resorts are much better than other Disney resorts.  (I am just talking resorts here…not dining within the parks).  There have been times where my husband and I have considered taking a resort-only Disney vacation with no parks.  In this case, we have talked about it in terms of which resort has the best dining options.  Let’s look at Disney’s Boardwalk Villas for instance.  When staying at our home resort, we have a number of different signature options mixed with fabulous regular dining options as well as quick-serve!  When staying at the Boardwalk, we have all of the Epcot dining places available, of course, but in keeping with the previous statement of not taking that into account, there are STILL so many other options within such an easy walking distance.  Some that come to mind are:  Flying Fish Cafe and Yachtsman’s Steakhouse, which are signature dining experiences, and Trattoria al Forno, Cape May Cafe, ESPN Club, Big River Grille, Beaches & Cream, and Captain’s Grille which are all regular table service.  In addition, there are many quick-serve places like Leaping Libations, Boardwalk Bakery, Beach Club Marketplace, and Hurricane Hannah’s Grille.  There is literally something for everyone!  This is definitely something to consider when becoming DVC members or if you are thinking about it.  The dining options just seem so much better to me.

3.  Discounts.  Being a DVC member comes with its perks.  There are a variety of different discounts that are offered to DVC members that other Disney vacationers do not get.  First, there is the ability to book cash rooms at a great discount.  Obviously these are subject to availability, but we have used this before when we have wanted to extend our stay but didn’t have enough points.  Usually this discount is 25% off for DVC rooms, but I swear I have received bigger discounts than that in the past.  I think it all has to do with the idea of how many rooms they expect not to be booked for the dates you are looking for.  Please note that this is all conjecture.  I am not claiming to know for sure, but it has been very nice to book with cash.  If you are not looking to plan very far in advance, but wanting to book a quick trip, this discount may work for you as a DVC member.  (just writing this makes me want to call and see what they have available.  haha!)  OK, for other discounts, my favorite has to be the AP discount.  (Annual Pass)  Why is this a good thing?  Well, because when you are taking a Disney trip, obviously a large part of the expense is the tickets to the park.  What we have been doing is using the DVC prices for annual passes.  These are sold at a lesser cost than non-DVC annual passes.  We plan trips so that we go late one year and early the next which allows us to take 2 trips with one pass.  Sometimes we squeeze one somewhere in between.  By doing this, it makes the cost of each trip not so bad.  In addition to the annual pass prices, there is also the dining and merchandise discounts. So many Disney restaurants offer a DVC discount to members.  Although we do Tables in Wonderland,  we do use the DVC discount on some restaurants that are not Tables in Wonderland locations.

2.  Disney vacations for life.  When buying into DVC, you are planning your Disney vacations for life!  Pretty much, that is true!  When you know that there is a place that you love, knowing that you are going to go back often, well…that is just a great feeling!  And, you know what the cool thing is?  These vacations are in such demand, that, even if you don’t feel that you can use your points, you can actually rent them out and make money on them!  We have used Paul at DVCrentalstore.  Such great customer service!

1. Welcome home.  The last thing I like about owning DVC is how welcome you feel when you arrive and during your vacation.  When the gatekeeper says welcome home, you know you made the right choice in buying DVC.

10 Off-the-wall Things to Pack for your Walt Disney World Vacation

What to pack for Walt Disney WorldYes!  You are here most likely because you have planned a Walt Disney World vacation.  How exciting!  This type of vacation is not a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants vacation.  On the contrary, this one needs a lot of planning, even down to the nitty-gritty details of odd things that you may not normally pack for a vacation.  However, if you follow this list, it will make your vacation to Walt Disney World even more magical.

Body Glide

Stop the chafing at Disney!

10.  Body Glide.  I know.  Some of you may not have ever heard of this.  And, perhaps, some of you may not even need it.  However, in Disney, you do a lot of walking.  A lot.  Did I mention a lot of walking?  Well, when you do a lot of walking, depending upon your body composition, parts of your body can rub together.  This usually is not a big deal.  However, when you are walking hour after hour…well…let’s just say that some chafing occurs.  Once the chafing has started, it really goes downhill from there.  Body Glide, and other products like it, provide a protective coating over the parts of your body that may be affected by the constant friction caused by hours of walking.  Runners use it for long races.  Walking around Disney is like running a half-marathon, except it takes you all day.  Try this stuff out.  It certainly cannot hurt.  Also, it won’t take up much space in your luggage.

Disney Frogg Togg9.  Frogg Toggs.  I have told people about these, but they just cannot wrap their brains around this concept  These are the most amazing cooling cloths.  We all know that Florida heat can be rough when you are trying to enjoy your vacation in Walt Disney World.  These cloths can help combat this issue.  How?  First of all, they really do stay cool throughout the day.  By carrying these around your neck, you will generally stay cooler.  Also, they are nice for wiping your face or brow.  How do they work?  You take the cloth.  You wet it down in cool water.  You wring it out, but not completely.  Now, these towels do hold 8 times their weight in water.  Therefore, you want to keep some of that moisture in the towel.  Something inside the towel literally keeps them cool.  They are supposed to keep you cool for up to 4 hours.  My family loves them.  The boys sometimes wear them under their hats to cool their heads down.  I like to wear mine around my neck.  When you don’t need them, just keep them in a large baggie inside of your bag.  You can keep it wet/damp, and you will still be able to use it for a long time later.  I have washed mine in my washing machine, too.  I just used Tide detergent.  When they dry, they become kind of crisp…I don’t know quite how to describe it.  You can still fold it up to place inside of luggage, but the composition of the cloths will make them unable to be completely flat.  They come in a wide variety of colors.  You can use them to wipe your face, carry around your neck, wipe down your arms, or any number of other ways to stay cool.  You will be amazed at how cool to the touch they stay even in 90 degree weather.

Moleskin for Disney blisters8.  Moleskin.  What the heck is moleskin?  Moleskin is a soft, rather thick cotton fabric.  It is sheared on one side to create a super soft pile.  It feels so soft to the touch, much like velvet.  Please refer to number 10.  Chafing.  Not only can body parts chafe other body parts, but your shoes can rub in the wrong places.  When your shoes rub  in the wrong places, this can cause an extremely painful blister.  Who would have ever thought that such a small injury would cause such debilitating pain!  Because you will be walking so much at Disney, you do NOT want to start out with blisters.  Keep moleskin with you or if you know your shoes rub in a certain spot, you should start out wearing it.  Moleskin may also stop calluses and corns from forming, too, which are due to the pressure of your feet inside of your shoes constantly throughout the day.  It is wise to keep bandaids on hand, but, truly, for blisters, the moleskin cannot be beat.

poncho7.  Ponchos.  It is quite possible that for other vacations you do not have to worry about this.  However, the weather of Florida can change on a whim.  You could be in the midst of a glorious, hot afternoon, when, all of a sudde, a downpour interrupts your fun.  Don’t let that happen!  Some of the BEST Disney memories for my family and I have been when the weather is rainy!  All we do it don our ponchos or rain jackets and we are good to go!  Other people leave the park, and you can stay and enjoy!  If you don’t have room to pack these, or if you have forgotten, Disney has them on sale everywhere.  I recommend not getting the flimsy ones that resemble saran wrap.  They are just awful.  Buy decent ones.  The absolute best are the ones that fold up into one of its own pockets to be stored when not using it.  We have bought these on Amazon, and they work wonderfully!  They fold right up to store in your backpack when you aren’t using them.

6.  Motion sickness products.  Dramamine is first.  This one you might want to pack on your carry-on.  What is it?  It is anti-nausea medication.  So I am thinking that you can use this double-fold.  One for the plane ride.  The turbulence of a plane ride can sometimes give you an upset stomach.  Then, when you get to Disney, you can use it to try out some of the bumpier rides.  Or perhaps the rides with intense situations like Mission Space in Epcot.  I know that even my husband experiences some uncomfortable dizziness while on Star Tours.  You know your family best.  If any family members do get dizzy easily or are prone to motion-sickness, this is definitely the stuff to pack in your luggage.  (probably carry-on would be best!)  They also make it for children.  Now, if you are driving and not flying, you can pack it for the people riding in the back seat.  My oldest son used to get motion-sickness on longer car rides.  I used Bonine for him because it was chewable, and it tasted good to him.  It worked!  When my kids were younger, they hated medicine.  Of any kind.  Whether it tasted good or not, they would not want it.  If this sounds like your child, you could try sea bands. Something about the pressure points in these stop motion sickness.  Regardless of what you use, you may want to try some kind of product for motion sickness.  It just might save you from some miserable days.

Glow Sticks for Disney5.  Glow-in-the-dark products.  I know you are getting to this one and thinking whaaaa?  Why would I need glow-in-the-dark products?  Ok, so I admit, these are kind of just for fun.  They just add the magic to your vacation.  There are tons of options.  You can buy glow in the dark necklaces, bracelets, or glow sticks.  And make sure that you are in on the action!  If you want to give light to others, you have to glow yourself!  Remember, all people are kids when at Disney.  OK, so back to the glowy stuff.  We use them during the parade.  Each of us (5 in our family) play with glow sticks during the parades.  We wave them at the good characters as they pass.  It becomes so magical because they ALL look and smile and wink and do fun stuff right at my family.  This probably would not happen without the glowiness getting their attention!  Another reason to use these products is that it is easy to pick out your child in the midst of the other children all over the place.  Put a glowy or blinky necklace on him/her and you will be able to keep an eye on your child much easier at night.  We have also used these glowy-fun-filled items to make magic for other families.  We bring enough to pass out to kids around us.  My kids just love doing this.  It is fun to see other kids’ reactions when they receive them.

Disney Buffet4.  Antacids, heartburn, and gas medicine.  You are laughing.  I know you are.  But, for realz, this is a must have for this vacation, especially if you are using the dining plan.  There is no way that you would be eating this mixture of foods if you are at home making your own meals.  It isn’t just one type of food, either.  Sure, if you have Italian food, you might want to take some heartburn medicine before you eat.  However, the bad part about Disney is the MIXTURE of foods.  At times, you may be eating off of buffets.  Buffet meals have the widest variety of foods, especially at Disney!  I mean, let’s pack 35 different types of food all onto a table, and let guests help themselves.  You are BOUND to get “bound” or the opposite, if you know what I mean!  Haha!  Salads, cheeses, fried foods, fish, meat, vegetables, fruits, (but, let’s face it, who really puts many of those last two on their plates), casseroles, wide varieties of desserts are offerings on buffets, just to name a few.  And then, at many buffets, you are going to see “specialty” foods that maybe you have never tried before.  Germany in Epcot at the Biergarten comes to mind.  Lots and lots of German delicacies.  If you are not used to eating like this, you may feel poorly after a large meal.  This mean that you probably will want to take preventative measures with your heartburn or gas medicine.  There is nothing worse than getting a bad stomachache at Disney.

Disney Coffee3.  Coffee.  I know this isn’t something that you think of when it comes to packing.  However, coffee at Disney is nothing to write home about.  It just doesn’t seem right to me that there you are, at the most magical place on Earth…the first thing you do when you wake up is have a nice, flavorful cup of cof….wait a minute…THIS is coffee?  No.  No, no, no.  That is not how you want the first day of your Disney vacation to start.  Seriously, though, Disney is a multi-billion dollar company.  Can’t they do their coffee right?  The answer is, no, they cannot.  My advice?  Bring your own.  If you are driving, this is a no brainer…bring your own Keurig.  Bring your own k-cups.  If you are staying for a week or more, it may even be wise for you to purchase a tiny one cup coffee maker to take with you.   You may not get the chance to drink a full pot while still in the room, and this allows all coffee drinkers in your party to make their own hot cup whenever they would like.  It only takes minutes.  If you are flying, you may want to take your own coffee packets.  I have used my Disney mug to get their coffee.  I am trying to think of a good way to describe it.  What is that stuff called that black licorice is made of?  Amarise?  I have no idea if that is even right.  Anise?  Yes, I think that’s the one.  Their coffee tastes like burnt black licorice.  I am sorry, Disney, but it is true.  (I still love, you, though!)  Trust me.  Take your own.

2.  Child identification tags.  This is kind of a scary one.  And this actually happened to me.  What if your baby gets lost amidst the hundreds if not thousands of people within Walt Disney World? disney id bandsI know you may tell yourself you won’t let that happen, but it can take only a split second.  Let me tell you my story.  My family was in Epcot.  My youngest was 5 at the time, I believe.  We were walking from Soarin’ and decided to veer off to the right.  This is one of those cases where I thought he was with my husband, and my husband thought he was with me.  I mean, it was literally only like 3 seconds into us turning right for me to realize that he wasn’t with us.  “DaddyMo, where is P?” I said, frantically.  “I thought he was with you!”  Fact.  Heart sinking into the stomach only takes aproximately 0.0746 seconds.  Did you know that?  That day I found out. I scanned the whole environment of people walking in groups.  And, there, literally already 20-30 yards away, was my 5 year-old, just walking beside some lady obviously assuming that it was me.  I ran up to him, took his hand, and said calmly, “Come on, honey, let’s go this way.”  “OK, Mommy!”  Whew!  He was oblivious.  He had no idea that I had almost dropped over from cardiac arrest just seconds before at the thought of him going missing.  Don’t let this happen, people.  Now, I don’t mean don’t let your child get lost, because of course you wouldn’t!  But, don’t let yourself not feel prepared at what to do if it DOES happen.  Bring identification tags.  Put them on your child.  They should have your name and cell phone number.  Now, luckily today, the magic bands really do have a built-in child identification tag. Give yourself peace of mind, though.  Put notes in their pockets.  Buy a special identification tag for your child.  Put a phone number on their shirt tag.  Anything.  I never, ever, ever, want to feel that feeling again like I did that day.  I don’t ever want you to experience it, either.

1. Portable personal air conditioners.  These may not seem like a must have, but when you are down in Florida, you find out very quickly that it gets hot, and I mean that kind of hot that makes it hard to breath.  personal air conditionerWith that being said, there are a few products out there that can take the sting out of the heat for you and allow you to enjoy your walking around in the 90 to 100 degree temps.

In conclusion, it is best if you are well-prepared for your trip to Walt Disney World.  I know that these items seem as if they are the strangest things you could possibly take on vacation, but, as you can see, they are definitely worth taking along with you.  Have fun packing!

 

5 Things that Might Really Annoy You about Walt Disney World

AnnoyingI know, I know…Walt Disney World is the most magical place on Earth.  However, things are not ALWAYS going to be perfect.  I hate to say that, but it is true.  I just want to prepare you for the worst.  If you read this article and decide for yourself that you won’t let these things bother you, or if you find ways to combat these things that might annoy you, then you will be ahead of the game.

Join me into looking at the negative aspects of Walt Disney World.

5.  The crowds.  Depending on the time of the year, the crowds at Walt Disney World can be overwhelming.  As a matter of fact, there can be days where they actually start closing the parks in phases…usually during holiday and school break weeks.  If you are there on one of these days, you may not be a happy camper.  However, the crowds can be there any day of the year, not just during holidays.  There are days where you can hardly move down Main Street.  You will have to desperately keep hold of your child’s hand.  Forget the little ones being able to see the view of the castle on Main Street, because they can only see the bottoms of the people in front of them.

When there are crowds like this, it means that you will have to stand in lines for attractions…sometimes even in the FastPass line.  I have been at WDW in busy times of the year.  We had fast passes, but still had to wait a significant amount of time to get on the ride.  Granted, it was much better than waiting in the regular line, but I want to warn you.  We are not talking about the lines you may wait in at a local fair or carnival.  These are wait times that can add up during the day.

4.  Walking.  A lot.  For some people, the walking may not bother you.  It may be actually a welcome thing since it may counteract some of the food that you eat.  haha.  However, it can truly and honestly be exhausting.  If you have a smart watch or smart phone with a pedometer app, you will see that you can log miles and miles per day…sometimes miles into the double digits.  If you are not used to this, you are going to have sore feet, legs, body…you name it.  In addition, if you have some extra meat on your bones, you may find that the constant rubbing motions of walking can do havoc on parts of your body.  Your inner thighs can become chafed and raw.  Luckily, they make something called Body Glide.  This is a product that you put on your skin BEFORE a full day of walking.

Please know that you won’t be able to wear some of your normal shoes when going to Disney.  Shoes that you may have thought are very comfortable may not be when you are using them for more than a casual stroll in the mall or grocery store.  Your very own shoes that you have always loved may actually become an annoyance to you because they may hurt your feet when going that many miles.  Some of my most comfortable shoes have even caused blisters!

If you are ready for the miles and miles of walking that you will do in Walt Disney World, and if you prepare yourself with comfortable shoes and Body Glide if needed, your trip will be much less annoying.

3.  Prices.  For real.  How much does a hot dog really cost?  If you bought a full pack in the grocery store, along with a pack of hot dog buns, you would probably be looking at fifty cents per hot dog.  My husband, who used to manage a restaurant, knows that the actual cost of soda from a fountain for the restaurant owner is approximately 2-3 cents per ounce.  Yes, I said PER OUNCE!  So, that $8 hot dog and $3 soda you buy does, in reality, cost less than a dollar total.  The markup up at Disney is outrageous.  Why?  Well, let me take you back to economics class.  It is all supply and demand.  When people demand a service or goods, the price can go higher because people are willing to pay it.  Lately there has been argument that Disney is no longer even for the middle class because prices have been gouged so significantly.  This is true for prices for resorts, parking, food, services, and goods throughout the property.  So, yes, it is annoying to have to account for the fact that you have to pay some of these prices to enjoy a place that everyone SHOULD enjoy at least once in their lives.  I saw a lady on a facebook group post that she has a budget of $6,000, and she was afraid of not having a good Disney experience.  Let’s think about that a second, folks.  Six.Thousand.Dollars.  And still not feel like it is enough?  The average salary for an advanced degree in the United States is $72,000 at the time of this article.  If you figure that out for 50 weeks of work, it is around $1,400 a week, which is more than a MONTH of working to take a trip to Disney on $6,000.   And yet, that still may not be enough.  If you think of it in this perspective, especially for those of you who make less than $72,000, that can certainly be discouraging.  Therefore, start saving your pennies, people!  There is no denying that you will have a lot of expense when visiting Walt Disney World.

2.  Sickness.  Yes.  It happens.  You are with thousands and thousands of people.  Lots of people together in one space means that sickness can run rampant.  (Believe me, I know this because I am a teacher!)  Be ready for someone to get the stomach flu.  These viruses are difficult to stop in areas of large population.  Also, people are still going to go out at Disney, even when ill.  They have paid good money (see number 3…ha!) so they don’t think twice about dragging their sick children everywhere.  Therefore, these illnesses just continue to run their course in person after person after person.  Even my family has been affected by illness several times while on our Disney vacations.  Diarrhea, puking, high fever, aches, headaches, sore throats…we have had it all.  I remember once my poor son was hit with a virus.  Now, I don’t think the one that he had specifically caused vomiting, but his fever was high, and the medicine that he was on may have upset his system.  Yes, we were one of those parents who still took him to Magic Kingdom (hey…don’t judge!  lol)  He felt suddenly ill and ran to the nearest trash can.  (I give him a lot of credit for thinking of doing that instead of just letting go right in the middle of the restaurant. )  He stuck his head in one side of a trash can and was vomiting all the while people on the other side of it were still using it to dispose of trash.  Lovely.  His germs were definitely shared that day, as are all others who frequent ANY of the locations within Walt Disney World while ill.

It was also annoying when either my husband or I had to stay back at the room with him while the other family members went and enjoyed themselves.  And, to be honest, even when I was with the other two children, and my husband and son were back in the room, we did not have nearly the fun that we would have had if it had been all of us together in the parks.  However after the previously-described puking incident, we knew that we had to keep him back in the room resting for a couple of days.

All in all, you just have to be prepared for the fact that someone will most likely fall ill while at Disney.  There are ways to combat this and try to prevent it, which I will share another time.

1.  Planning and Preparation.  For some, this becomes a wonderful pastime.  Those who go often have the process streamlined.  However, Disney is not an easy vacation to take.  For you to truly have the most magical experience possible, you need to plan, prepare….plan again…prepare some more, and then plan.  This need starts happening around 11 MONTHS before your trip.  At the very least, probably at 6 months.  Even before preparing your actual trip, you will most likely spend hours and hours comparing resorts and reading everything you can to make the perfect Disney vacation.

What are the things that take so long to understand?  First of all, the resorts.  Which one?  On-site or off?  Then there are tickets.  Then a flight.  If not flying, you will have to worry about the distance and how to get there.  What about eating?  You have to eat.  Dining reservations are strongly encouraged because there are thousands of people in the same place at the same time, so the restaurants are always packed and tables are in high demand.  Therefore, you will have to learn the ins and outs of making dining reservations.  If you are a true planner, you will make sure that you have some knowledge of the parks.  You will research the attractions to find out which will work best for your family.  You will look at maps and make transportation plans, not just for your travel time to the park, but within Walt Disney World, too.  You will probably read about others’ experiences.  You will ask others about their experiences.  You will seek out advice for different aspects of your planning.  You will decide what park you will attend on which days and what you will do in that park.  You will have to plan out your FastPasses.  You will have to decide what you need to pack.  Then you will have to pack it.  This list is not all-inclusive.  There are a lot of other things you might include in your planning and preparation for Disney.  Therefore, in addition to working, paying bills, cleaning, doing laundry, helping and playing with the kids, you will have to make a lot of time for your Disney planning and preparation.  For some, this is too much and becomes overwhelming.  I do think you have to be a fairly intelligent individual to plan a vacation on this scale.  It isn’t like going to the beach where you can just grab your swimsuit, some sunscreen, and a towel and jump in the car.  For some, the time it takes will be annoying.  To be honest with you?  The annoying part of for me comes when I actually have to go to work or clean or cook or run errands, because that means I cannot spend that time planning for Disney instead. :))

Thank you for reading about my thoughts on the annoying aspects of Walt Disney World.  I want you to know, that, even though I do believe the things on this list, it is still one of my favorite places on Earth!  Don’t let my list scare you into not going.  Instead, use it as a preparation guide so to speak…one that will help you with expectations and perhaps plan enough so that at least they are annoyances that you don’t expect.  Your trip will still be wonderful, trust me!  All it takes is faith and trust.

3 New Ideas for Disney Movies Part 1

disney moviesI cannot pass this up.  Knowing that all of you are Disney lovers, I just had to share with you.  I teach 7th grade reading, and recently, we have been working on theme. A theme of a story is the moral or lesson that a reader gains from the reading.  Sometimes, it is a lesson that the character learns as the character progresses in the story, which then the reader can interpret as a good life lesson in general.

Disney is FABULOUS for teaching life lessons.  (see my other article, The Top 5 Life Lessons in Disney Movies)  In my lessons with my students, I shared clips from Disney movies, and we talked about the themes of the movies.   I stressed to them that any movie, television show, or play was, at one time, written down first.  Therefore, I felt that Disney movies were a fun and educational way to introduce theme.

After students learned about the topic of theme, I put them to the test.  They had to pretend that they had been hired by Disney to create a new Disney animated movie.  First, they had to think of a theme or life lesson that they would want their viewer (reader) to learn.  Then they had to share all of the details of the story without really writing it and explain how they accomplished that theme.

I wanted to share with you some of the good ones.  I have a LOT of students, so I am sure I might have a part 2, part 3, part 4…etc.  For now, though, I am going to post 3 at a time.  I think Disney would be proud of these kids.

Don’t just a book by its cover by McKenzie H.    I’ve been hired by Disney to create a new movie. The title of this new movie is “The Friendly Outcast.” The theme of my movie is don’t judge a book by its cover. I think that this is a good theme to make a movie out of. As humans, we tend to judge people by their appearance and never get to know them just because of what they look like. Next, I will tell you about the characters, setting, and the conflict of my movie.

The main character of this movie is an eleven year old girl named Rachel. There are two girls who are very mean to Rachel named Alexia and Melissa. Melissa just goes along with whatever Alexia says. The setting of this story is John Quincy Adams Middle School. All of these girls are in sixth grade. The conflict of this movie is that all the kids (mainly Alexia and Melissa) are mean to the new girl Rachel because of her appearance. Middle school is already tough, and Rachel is getting made fun of for something that she can’t control.

The plot of my story is relatable. Rachel was born with a cleft palate and has scars from where she had surgeries on it. One day, her parents tell her that they are moving because her dad got a new job. Rachel is just starting sixth grade and she has to move to a new school. On her first day at John Quincy Adams Middle School, she discovers that just like at any school she’s ever been to, the kids make fun of her looks and judge her on it. The kids at Rachel’s new school don’t even bother to try to get to know Rachel because of what she looks like. The leaders of the teasing are the mean girls Alexia and Melissa. The teasing is continuous until one day in Rachel’s language arts class. The language arts teacher pairs Rachel and Alexia up for a project. As they spend time doing their project, Alexia discovers that Rachel is funny, extremely kind, and intelligent. After they presented their project, Alexis noticed that Melissa was making fun of Rachel and Alexis makes a speech about how you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. From there on out, the kids at John Quincy Adams Middle School all tried to get to know someone before judging them by their appearance.

My theme is accomplished in the story. It is accomplished by the characters. The book (Rachel) is being judged by her cover (her appearance). The kids in Rachel’s class were missing out on a really awesome girl. Therefore, don’t judge a book by its cover.

Balance is crucial by Avery J.     Producer time today, eh? Ah, alright. I’ll do this song and dance.
Let’s just imagine my setup for a moment: fairly similar concept of Inside Out. However, instead of emotions in her conscious, we deal with morals and intentions in her soul. We see through the eyes of: Innocence, Generosity, Courage, Peace, and Hope to start off. Then as the “host” would grow, more sinister forces would surface: Deviousness, Depression, Insanity, and Malice. As we see these forces meld and fight against each other, me meet our “main protagonist”; Defiance.
I say Defiance is the main protagonist, or hero, because Defiance cannot be categorized into good or bad. The nature of the defiance depends on who someone is defying, and what action the person is taking to make someone outwardly defy them. Thus, in most cases, Defiance is neutral, so to speak.
In conclusion, the overall theme would be that balance is crucial. Not only physically, but more emotionally, mentally. Without the bad emotions, the horrid intentions in the back of your mind, you would become almost…inhuman. The same thing would happen without the good intentions and moralities. The unique mixture of good and evil is what makes us uniquely human.

You deserve the outcome of a situation if your decisions led to it by Kelly S. 

Dear Disney,

After many tireless hours I work I think I finally have a suitable idea for the story. The theme should be that you deserve your outcome of a situation because you made the choices that lead to it. I feel this would be a great idea to place into people’s minds.
The title of the story will be something along the lines of,”Our future is our past,” describing a heartbreaking story of a boy with his mother and dog. The story would take place around October in a town right around the time cars were invented. The 2 main conflicts would involve the mother being sick and the kid completely ignoring every responsibility he has.
The plot of this story would consist of a normal family in the time, and the kid would be average except that he’s irresponsible. First the story would go on about how the mother would keep dying while the kid wouldn’t try to get her medicine instead he would play. After her death the boy would “wake up” to the world and try to start a new life with his dog.
The theme would be accomplished by when he takes things for granted he loses his most important, his mother, then when he tries and is responsible his life gets better.
As you can see this story would be great and still convey a great theme.

Sincerely
Kelly

Okay, so that last one is really really sad, and maybe Disney would not choose it for a new story idea.  However, I was really proud of their work and wanted to share some of these great story ideas for Disney movies with excellent themes.  More to come, I am sure.  :)

Paid Parking at Walt Disney World – Pros and Cons

Paid Parking at Walt Disney World - Pros and ConsIt happened, we have new paid parking at Walt Disney World in the works.  Walt Disney planned out the resorts and parks in an interesting way.  He once said about Disneyland, “I don’t want the public to see the world they live in while they’re in the Park.  I want to feel they’re in another world.”  When in one of the four theme parks at Walt Disney World, this vision is much the same.  Guests are immersed in a world separated from the outside world.  However, to get to this fantastical environment, one must first worry about how to get to the parks.   Some go by boat, some by monorail, some by bus, and some by car.  The latter has become an area of controversy because of the possible changes in parking.  

The new and controversial topic of paid parking at Walt Disney World has just been brought to light.  I am not talking about the paid parking for the non-resort guests.  I am talking about the new possible rule that resort guests may have to pay to park at other Walt Disney World resorts if they do not have a dining reservation at that specific resort.  Of course, you would still get free parking at your home resort.  However, the days for some people who used the Contemporary parking lot to park and visit Magic Kingdom may soon be over.  

Here are some pros and cons for paid parking at Walt Disney World.  Then, I will share with you my ideas on this topic.

Pros  

  1.  The paid parking at Walt Disney World will make it easier to park at your own resort.  People do take advantage of the situation and drive onto Walt Disney property, only to go park in a resort parking lot so that they can avoid parking in the theme park lots.   If Disney made people pay to park, resort guests may find that it is much easier to get a parking space at the resort in which they are staying.
  2. Let’s be honest here, with paid parking at Walt Disney World, it would make it more fair.  Guests who are staying on property are spending a lot of money to stay at a Walt Disney World resort.  Part of the perks of this is the close location to the theme parks and other attractions.  Why should Joe Schmoe who is staying 5 miles away at the Super 8 be allowed to drive his car into the resorts and park there when technically he should be paying to park in the theme park lots?  If he has a dining reservation, I suppose that is ok.
  3. The cast members at the gates would have to check every car.  I don’t know about you, but with the events happening in the world today, it would make me feel much safer to know that every car that is pulling into a resort lot is being checked by a cast member for the business they are conducting within that resort.  Perhaps having to pay to park would keep out the rif-raf.
  4. If dining, you would still get to park for free.  They may put a time limit on this, but you still may be allowed to park for free if dining at a WDW resort.  I think 3 hours is sufficient.  If you are visiting the Boardwalk area, you would still have time to peruse the fun activities that the boardwalk has to offer.  And, if you didn’t, you could stay as long as you want as long as you know that you will have to pay when you leave.

Cons  

  1.  If you have a dining reservation within a resort, you may still have to pay to park if you are dining at a different resort other than your home resort.  After all, it really wouldn’t be fair if someone scheduled a breakfast, was allowed to park for free, and then spent the entire day at a theme park. This is getting abused more and more.  So now that means that some people are ruining it for the rest of us.
  2. The Disney transportation (buses, boats, monorail) may become even more packed.  If guests have their cars at Disney, before this change, they were able to resort hop and not worry about parking.  Now that Disney may start a parking fee, I would bet that the internal transportation would become much more busy.  People just won’t use their cars anymore to save a few dollars.  I will have a possible solution to that listed below.
  3. This might limit your vacation if you are limited on funds.  For many people, part of their vacation is to explore the resorts.  That might mean finding hidden Mickeys, taking a walk on the beaches, enjoying the architecture, trying new places to eat, etc.  If Disney does start to charge for parking, that would mean that many people may have to cut some of these things out of their plans.  If a family is staying off property, they cannot use the Walt Disney World transportation system.  If they are on a budget, but have to pay to park to do some of these other fun vacationey-type things, they may not be able to.
  4. In relation to number 3, this may mean that Disney takes a hit on attendance.  If people know that prices are going up, they may decide not to stay on property.  Also, even if they have already stayed off property, they may not be able to visit the resorts to check them out and see if they would like to stay there.  I would not be surprised at all if Disney lost some customers because of this change.
  5. More expense/cast members needed for Disney.  This doesn’t really affect guests, but it something that would affect Disney.  If they were to go to a paid parking system, they would need an increase in the number of cast members working the gates.  Also, they may have to design a digital control system for checking cars in and out.

My ideas for paid parking:

My idea for paid parking is that it would be a tiered system.  It would not be too difficult, but there would be different payments for different people.

First, if staying on Disney property, you would be given the cheapest parking rates.  After all, if you spent the money to stay there, you should get some perks compared to the outsiders, am I right?  If staying off property, you would have to pay more than WDW resort guests.  Now, I was just thinking about this in relation to my con post above.  This may actually help Disney get more business.  Folks who were going to stay off property may choose to stay on property now because they want to avoid the parking charges everywhere, not just the parks.

Also, if dining at a resort, you would receive a 3 hour grace period.  There should be a scannable bar code on your parking pass.  If you don’t have one, you would be given a ticket at the gate.  You would have to show validation from any restaurant that you had visited (quick serve) or have dining reservations (table service) in order to be exempt from paying within a 3 hour period.

paid parking at Walt Disney WorldThe tiered system would be for every hour.  I think that the max should be $20 for 5 hours or more.  Let’s face it, if you are parking in another resort parking lot for more than 5 hours, you are most likely visiting a theme park.  In this case, you should be charged what everyone else is.  UNLESS, of course, you are a resort guest.  Then your payment should be half.  Either use the Disney transportation or take your own car and park in their lot for FREE, or use resort lots, but know that you will still be paying for time over 5 hours.  So, for 5 hours or more, it would be $20 for non-Disney resort guests, but $10 for on-property guests.  4 hours would be $18 or $9.  3 hours would be $16 or $8.  3 hours would be $14 or $7.  2 hours would be $12 or $6.  1 hour would be $10 or $5.  If you had the dining reservation or validation ticket, then your time charged would be AFTER the 3 hour grace period.  So if you stayed for 3 hours for dining, and then an additional 2 hours, you would be charged $12 if a non-Disney resort guest, or $6 if a Disney resort guest.  Then I think it is fair.  Is paid parking at Walt Disney World a horrible idea?  Only time will tell.

I hope my ideas all made sense to you.  They sound great in my head, but I think they may be a little confusing on the page.  :)

Obviously, there are pros and cons with the paid parking at Walt Disney World possibility.  Walt Disney once said, “People spend money when and are they feel good.”  This is true.  There will always be a demand for Disney because it truly is where wishes come true.  In the meanwhile, I guess Disney will get their cut.  I do think that Disney needs to think long and hard about this decision to start paid parking at the resort lots.  After all, just because it’s what’s done doesn’t mean that it should be done!

 

Paid Parking at Walt Disney World