I love a good Life Hack, and I love going to Disney World. So naturally, and good hack that would be useful on our Disney vacations is right up my alley!
Here are the best life hacks I found for your Disney vacation that actually could come in handy.
Life Hacks vs. Tips
These days, every tip or piece of advice someone gives is called a “hack”. It’s trendy, and it’s annoying.
For our purposes, we’ll say that life hacks are ways to deal with a problem by using something that wasn’t designed for that purpose.
There are tons of these online, but I’ve found very few of them work.
1. Messy Mickey Bars
Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bars are one of the best snacks to enjoy at Disney World. They’re refreshing. They’re shaped like Mickey. And they’re very messy, especially in the Florida heat.
The problem is that they “drip.” Drops of ice cream and sometimes whole chunks of Mickey Bar can fall and make a mess.
Our hack to fix this was to catch the drips with something. Soda lids worked but Disney has now cut back on plastic in the parks. So what else can you use? Cupcake liners work well, but you’d have to bring them.
Instead, try making one from a park map or your times guide. These are literally everywhere in the park. And someone in your group will have one in their pocket. Just grab a new one after.
2. Ice Cold Water
Staying hydrated is important on a Disney vacation. Having an ice-cold drink to enjoy is also refreshing. Buying several cold bottles of water per person throughout the day is expensive.
We’re big fans of bringing our own water to the parks. And we keep it cold and ready to drink by freezing our half-filled bottled overnight, on its side.
Then, you have a large ice cube with room to pour water into the bottle. Instant cold, refreshing water as long as your ice lasts.
And with Disney parks banning loose ice from your coolers. The half-frozen bottles can serve as ice packs. At least, until you get into the parks and can ask for a free cup of ice.
3. Water Resistant Tech
Typically, water and electronics don’t mix. I’ve always got my phone with me at the park. And I usually have one or two cameras, as well.
To protect my tech from downpours or attractions that get you wet, I carry plastic storage bags.
With my old Sony Handycam, I even protected it while using it by punching a small hole in the bag and stretching the opening to fit around the lens.
Plastic storage bags are also great for keeping wet things from making the rest of your stuff wet. Use them for storing your wipes, snacks, or wet clothes.
This tip is also useful when heading to the beach. Check out our 10 Best Life Hacks for Your Day at the Beach
4. Lost and Found
Maybe I’m getting old, but I always lose something at Disney World. Sunglasses, hats, my camera… one time, we even lost Jackson for a few minutes at Disney Springs.
This hack is not about stopping you from losing things, but helping you get those lost things back quickly. To do that, take a picture of everything:
- your family – you’ll have a pic of what you’re all wearing if anyone becomes lost. (Lisa wrote about this hack as a way to keep your kids safe at the parks)
- where you parked your car – sometimes committing it to memory is just not good enough!
- Your name, address, and phone number. Write this down and then snap a pic. Now it’s on your phone and in your camera should those items become lost. Make it your lock screen on your phone so someone can contact you if they find it.
5. Clothes Organizer
Packing for your Disney trip can be a chore. Keeping all the clothes organized during the trip can be a pain. Storage bags can help with this too!
Our sanity saving solution has been using larger storage bags to organize the kids’ outfits by day for the whole trip. You can even label them with a sharpie to note which day they should wear each.
Then each morning of the trip, it is a snap to grab that day’s bag and get the kids dressed! After each day, the bags can be used to store wet clothes/bathing suits, or saved to be used again!
Storage Bags can also keep you organized on a family road trip. Find out how and more tips for a stress free family road trip.
6. The Scary Flush
We’ve been bringing our kids to Disney since they were babies. And at one time or another, each of them was terrified of the flushing toilet. At least at home they had a measure of control over when it would flush.
But at Disney, the toilets all automatically flush, sometimes when you least expect it. And they’re louder than average!
The solution is to block the sensor that triggers the flush. Post-Its work great for this, and you might consider carrying them everywhere when you have a child going through this phase.
In a pinch, use toilet paper or paper towel. It will stick if you wet it a little.
7. Toiletry Organizer
From toilets to toiletries… What about all those little travel items we bring with us and fill up the bathroom counter with in our hotel room? With four of us using the same sink, it gets out of control quick!
A solution that works for us is bringing an over-the-door shoe organizer and putting our toiletries and accessories in the pockets.
8. Find Your Stroller
Unlike your car, your stroller will often not be exactly where you parked it. This is because Disney is constantly re-arranging the stroller-parking areas and moving strollers around to make room for more. And, if you have inadvertently parked your stroller somewhere you shouldn’t have, they may even move it to the nearest stroller parking area.
So, how do you locate your stroller quickly when you come out of an attraction? The solution is to make your stroller stand out! After all, it’s quite possible there will be plenty of others that look exactly like yours.
- Tie some brightly colored ribbon to the handles.
- Wrap handles in bright tape.
- Attach balloon to your stroller.
9. Screenshot Your FastPass+ and Dining Reservations
My Disney Experience is a useful tool for planning your vacation. And the My Disney Experience app is great for keeping track and changing those plans while your at the parks. The problem is that Disney’s WiFi is not that great, and constantly checking your phone can really be a drain on the battery.
The fix for this is to screenshot your FastPass+ and Dining Reservation times and set that as your lock screen or phone’ background image. This way, you don’t have to open the app and wait for a connection. This saves you time and precious battery life.
10. Pressed Penny Carrying Case
We love to collect pressed pennies. Every trip, I scrounge up my loose pennies and quarters and stick them in bag or small container so I can bring them to the park. They would end up all over the bottom of a pocket in my backpack.
Thankfully, there’s a better way. Use these mini M&M containers to not just carry your coins, but to organize them. When you load your quarters and pennies into the containers, stack them: 2 quarters, 1 penny, 2 quarters, 1 penny, and so on.
Then, when you hit that pressed penny machine, grab your tube, pop it open, and slide out the exact number of coins you need!
*bonus hack. Got a penny that isn’t as shiny as you’d like. Ketchup will shine that penny right up. Ketchup can be gotten for free at any counter service restaurant. That a few napkins will help get your penny shiny again!
What are your favorite Disney Vacation Life Hacks? Please let us know by leaving a comment, especially if we don’t have it on our list!! And be sure to check out our 10 Best Life Hacks for your Day at the Beach or the Best Life Hacks for Your Road Trip!
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Tuesday 12th of March 2019
I use my prescription bottles to hold the 2 quarters then a penny. I decorate the bottle with Disney tape and it’s perfect. Plus I can take only a few bottle at a time. I love the M&M ones but if you don’t have those the pill bottle work perfectly.
Sunday 30th of September 2018
Wow lots of really good hacks for your Disney Vacation ! Some really helpful tips to help save money.
Tuesday 31st of July 2018
I have a hack for you. When I take small children to an amusement park, I always pack a sharpie. I then write my relationship to the child and my phone number on their tummies with the sharpie. Then should my child become lost, anyone who finds the child, can call me! Also, should the unthinkable happen and someone tries to take my child, I can inform the employees at the exit, to look at the tummy, as they will not be able to get that phone number off of the child.
Thursday 28th of June 2018
This one's not a Disney hack, but if you ever let your kids play with sparklers around 4th of July time, puncture a small hole in the bottom of a plastic solo cup. Put the cup over the child's hand to protect them from burns and insert the sparkler into the hole. They can wave that thing around to their hearts content, and no more burns on their little hands.
Leah @ The Frugal South
Thursday 3rd of August 2017
Love these hacks! This is the best list I've found. I am dying to try shining up a penny with ketchup, lol! I use Ziploc bags for taking home our wet swimsuits since we often hot the pool on our last day at Disney.
Thursday 3rd of August 2017
Thanks! There was one time that we hit the pool before flying home and all our wet clothes went into a shopping bag and then into my carry on. Well, hours later security wanted to take a peek in my carry on at the airport. I tried to warn the guy when he pulled the shopping bag out... he got a whiff of some hot, wet clothes!