As a Disney blogger and a travel agent, I get a lot of questions, everything from “Can I spread my Grandfather’s ashes in the Haunted Mansion (no),” to “Will Disney give me a refund if it rains?.” There are some however, that I get over and over again. Here are my top ten favorites.
10. Are all the parks on the monorail?
This might surprise most of you, but some guests who haven’t visited in years don’t know that the most recent additions, Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios, aren’t joined by monorail.
9. Can I add extra days to my park tickets and use them to hop from park to park?
This seems like a brilliant plan. It costs almost $60 to add the hopper option to your base ticket, but it only costs a few dollars more per day (after day four) to add more days, so using extra park days instead of adding the hopper is cheaper. Sadly, Disney has figured this out too and its computers won’t let you do it. But good try–it really makes a lot of sense.
8. How can my kid ride in the parade or have their special event acknowledged?
Disney tries really hard not to play favorites, so this is a no-no except for kids on Make a Wish or other special trips. When you think about it, they can’t really honor all the requests they get–and they get a lot–without having parade floats full of kids and no room for the princesses to sit. Fortunately, for most people, being at Disney is special enough, but if you want a little extra acknowledgement for an event, go ahead and ask for a “I’m celebrating” or a birthday button at City Hall. Chances are a cast member will offer congratulations when your child passes by, but don’t expect it–it’s just an added bonus when it happens.
7. What do I do with leftover dining credits?
Use them all in one day, buy snacks for the trip home (candy makes great stocking stuffers), or even pay for someone’s meal. While technically you can’t pay for meals for individuals who aren’t on your reservation, no one is going to stop you for paying for the quick-service lunch of the guest behind you. In fact, most cast members enjoy seeing other guests “pay it forward” for total strangers. They don’t call it the happiest place on earth for nothin’.
6. Can I visit a resort if I’m not staying there?
Yes. It’s called resort hopping and some guests make a whole day of it. Shop, eat and explore. Disney wants you to see what they have to offer. The only thing you can’t do is pool hop, so leave those swim trunks back at your own resort!
5. How can I stay in Cinderella castle? What does it cost? Is there a raffle system?
No. Unless you’re name is Tom Cruise and you’re trying to make yourself Suri’s favorite parent after a messy divorce, the answer is no.
4. Will Disney know if I sneak my three-year old in as a two-year old?
As you probably know, kids under the age of three get into the parks for free and yes, we hear about five-year olds being squeezed into strollers all the time. Disney isn’t going to ask for a birth certificate or grill your toddler about her real age. Most people are honest, of course and I always advise that people let their conscience be their guide.
3. Where’s the best place to propose?
You could go for that old standard, in front of Cinderella Castle, or you could try a few other favorites: Dinner in the castle, on a horse and carriage ride at Port Orleans, walking through the Osborne lights, the beach at the Poly, or at the most expensive restaurant on property, Victoria and Albert’s. Or you could be a rock star and do it on Space Mountain.
2. Do I need a park hopper?
No. If you’re on a budget, plan carefully and you won’t need one. It’s really just that simple.
1. And the number one question I get: Will I need a stroller?
Want to start a fight on a Disney message board? You do? Then mention that you’re going to let your seven-year old ride in a stroller. Strollers are the most contentious Disney subject there is, even more so than refillable mugs, and there’s good reason: The parks are crowded and they can, at times, feel more like battering rams than transportation for little ones. And while your child might be out of the stroller by three or four, it’s temping to rent one when you’re visiting the parks due to all the walking. So should you?
My answer is that if you’re child is four or under, think about renting a stroller, particularly if you have more than one small child. Even if you just use it to get in and out of the parks, it can make your day a lot easier. I hope that just didn’t start an argument.
So, what about you? As a Disney park nerd extraordinaire, do you get a lot of Disney questions? What are your favorites? Go on, we especially want to hear the weird ones!