No matter how prepared you think you are for your Disney vacation, you’re still likely to face a setback or two (or three… or four…) while staying at Disney World.
Don’t panic– these things happen to almost everybody! Here’s our best advice for dealing with a few of the most annoying — but still SOLVABLE — problems you might face when visiting the parks!
The line is too long for food…
Unless you’re eating all of your meals at odd times of the day, you’re probably going to face the feeding frenzy of crowded counter-service restaurants. These places can get a little crazy during lunch and dinner time rushes, and this is where Mobile Order will become your new BFFF (Best FOOD Friend Forever!).
A number of quick-service restaurants throughout Disney World have this feature enabled on the My Disney Experience app –– some even offer secret menu items only available to the app’s users!
Once you make your selections, you can prepay for your food through the app by using a credit card or even an applicable Disney Dining Plan credit. Simply tap the “I’m Here” button in the app to let the kitchen know it’s time to start prepping your meal.
Believe it or not, Mobile Order is still highly underutilized around the parks! Many locations will have a loooooong line for food, but the Mobile Order pickup window is right there and empty! Don’t wait in those lines — do what the pros do and hit up Mobile Order!
Read ALL About Mobile Order — and See Where You Can Use It! — HERE
After a long day of posting pics and sending selfies to your friends and family back home your phone’s battery is officially DOA. Here’s how to get a quick re-charge in time for that parade or fireworks — look for a Fuel Rod Charger Station!
These vending machines are located throughout the parks and resorts, and if you can’t find one on your own, ask a friendly Cast Member! Fuel Rods are portable chargers for all of your electronic devices — the full kit including multiple charging cables for various iPhone or micro USB Android devices is $30.
When your Fuel Rod is depleted, simply recharge it or swap it out with a new one at any location on property for FREE! Fuel Rods AREN’T exclusive to Disney World, so you may want to pick one up at the mall or at the airport before your flight.
And here’s a DFB TIP: Fuel Rods are actually LESS expensive in most other locations — including the Fuel Rod website — than they are at Disney World (by about $10), so if you’re thinking you’ll be using Fuel Rods throughout your vacation, pick one up before you go and save some dough.
Oh no! It broke!
So you just shelled out some big bucks on a Disney World light-up toy or bubble wand, but it went kaput faster than you can say “Mickey Mouse.” Or maybe that Mickey Premium Bar that was in your kid’s hand a second ago is now melting on the pavement. What can you do??
Simply head to where you purchased the item (or another location that sells the same thing) and a Cast Member will likely replace the item or snack for you, no questions asked! This is especially true with spilled or dropped foods — accidents happen! One of our DFB team members had to have an expensive lemonade drink and a churro replaced one right after the other when her child dropped them, and the sweet cast members were extra-kind about it — even kindly hugging her crying kiddo.
Cast Members will exchange most merchandise purchases as well, but it’s always good to keep a receipt for the item handy just in case. If pre-loaded batteries die (especially in mini-fans), sometimes Cast Members will even help you replace them.
But keep in mind if you run out of those darn bubbles for the bubble wands, they’ll likely point you to available refills for purchase, so no freebies there.
In the event a souvenir suffers an untimely demise by your own hands, be it an ornament or mug shattering in your backpack after one-to-many dips on Space Mountain, return to the place where you purchased the item and explain what happened. In most situations, the Cast Members will exchange the item if they can, but it’s not a guarantee (don’t go breaking all your goodies just to test the theory!).
Consider Package Delivery!
If you want to ensure your items make it to your resort safely and you’re staying on property, consider using Disney’s package delivery service to send your items to your Disney Resort for free. You need to be staying at your resort at least 2 nights beyond when you purchase the items so they’ll have time to get to you. Not enough time? Consider having them sent to the front of the park you’re in instead and pick them up on your way out.
Hey, we get it — it’s hard to keep tabs on all of your stuff at Disney World! If you ever misplace an item while visiting the Parks (like when I left my sunglasses in the pouch on Slinky Dog Dash!), riding the bus or monorail, or staying at a Disney Resort, you’ll want to reach out to Guest Services.
They’ll likely direct you to the Disney World website to fill out a report, or you can go directly to www.chargerback.com/disneyworld. Through this process, you’ll get regular updates on the search for your item, and if found, Disney will send it to your home!
The chargerback website covers anything and everything lost on Disney property except for on the Magical Express. If you lost something on your ride to or from the airport, you’ll want to call 866-599-0951.
Dude, where’s our car?
What if the thing you lost was something bigger…like your car! Don’t worry, the parking Cast Members got your six! With so many cars filing into those giant lots each day, this happens more than you’d imagine!
Simply tell a Cast Member about your dilemma. The staff keeps detailed logs of when each section and row was filled, so they’ll need to know approximately what time you recall parking.
To potentially avoid this problem altogether, consider snapping a quick pic of the nearest parking lot sign before you head off from your car that day.
BONUS TIP: If you experience car trouble while in a Disney parking lot, a cast member can help you find a good solution — whether that’s contacting a service or calling a Minnie Van. Don’t forget that Disney World does have a Car Care Center near the Magic Kingdom, where you can deal with vehicular issues of many kinds as well as rent a car as needed.
I’m running late!
Whether it’s crowds, slow or stuck transportation, getting stuck in line, or a zillion other possible obstacles, it is REALLY easy to find yourself running late at Disney World. If you’re already running late for your next adventure, what can you do to salvage those FastPasses or reservations?
For FastPasses, there’s usually a 15-minute grace period after your return window closes that you can still ride. STILL not going to make it in time? Open up your My Disney Experience app on your phone and modify the FastPass before your return window closes to another attraction at a later time. If all else fails, do someone a solid and cancel your FastPass — you never know who’s day you might make by freeing up a FastPass they were looking for!
If you’re late for a dining reservation, you can try to modify the reservation time on the My Disney Experience app. Keep in mind that if you cancel a reservation within 24 hours, you’ll incur a fee. If you’re running a few minutes late, you can always call Disney’s reservation system and try to speak to someone who can help — or better yet, possibly connect you to the restaurant to see what they can do. Restaurants typically allow a 15 minute grace period on Dining Reservations as well, but milage may vary.
Next time you find yourself in a sticky situation while on your Disney vacay, don’t panic! There’s often a quick, simple solution that will keep your trip to the Happiest Place on Earth on track! For even more great solutions to everyday problems at the Parks, check out our video below!
Did you know any of these tips? Any you’d recommend? Let us know in the comments!