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You’ve done it! You have planned a magical Disney World vacation, but…. What happens when things go wrong? No matter how hard we try to think of the worst case scenario, life can throw us a curveball. The truth is Disney is an amazing place where anything can happen, but unfortunately, that means sometimes it does.
For instance, I told you in an early step about how I organized our trip to Disneyland. I thought I had everything we need plus more, except I didn’t account for one thing…the toilets at Disneyland are super loud when you flush them, and the Pixie Princess was terrified! Like to the point of not using them! She was potty-trained super early at 17 months. (This is not a supermom moment. She told me one day she would no longer be wearing diapers and she didn’t.)
Since she was so young, I had brought pull-ups with us even though she didn’t usually use them. I just thought a long line or a scary ride might be too much for her, and I didn’t want to deal with the consequences on vacation. But I had only brought a couple for each day–not enough for her to decide to not use the bathroom at all.
By our last day, we had one left and I was panicked. We didn’t have a car. I didn’t know where to go to get more. So I googled it…yes, the internet to the rescue again! Turns out both the little sundry store in our hotel and the baby care center at Disney had them. Now they weren’t cheap. I bought a couple at Disney to get us through the morning for a $1 each, and then got the pack when we headed back to the hotel.
On every trip something will go wrong, the key is how you handle it. One time, when we entered the park, they didn’t actually scan my ticket. They held it over the scanner, but it didn’t register me as in the park. You may think “Hey free day at Disney!” Except none of my FastPass worked because I wasn’t in the park! My family could all go on rides, but I was stuck.
I stopped to talk to a manager in Fantasyland. They didn’t want me to have to walk all the way to the front gate again to scan my ticket. So they gave us 3 FastPasses that were good for up to 4 people to any ride in the park…even the ones without FastPass!
Disney has done some pretty amazing stuff for us over the years to help ease frustration or disappointment. I mean one Cast Member gave us FastPasses because someone cut us in line. We were looking at a piece of theming, and didn’t even know it had happened!
How to React When Things Go Wrong
I can’t stress this enough…when things are going well smile and thank every Cast Member. When things go wrong, smile and thank every Cast Member…and stay calm. No matter how bad it seems!
When my ticket wasn’t working, I wasn’t demanding or upset. I didn’t refuse to go to the front of the park or demand FastPasses. I didn’t know what was wrong and I was genuinely asking for help. They deal with hundreds of people a day. They can tell when someone has a real problem and when someone is trying to play the system. It’s a cliché, but it’s true–You get more flies with honey than with vinegar.
Usually, when we overreact to a situation, it’s because we don’t know how to fix it, and we panic. To keep this from happening to you and putting a damper on your vacation, I’ve come up with a list of resources to help solve the more common problems you may run into! For anything that doesn’t fall on this list, find a Cast Member and tell them. If they can’t help you, they will point you to someone who can!
What to Do When Things Go Wrong
So in case you didn’t know, it rains in Florida–A LOT! It’s the downside of it being a beautiful, tropical climate. Most Disney goers fall into one of two categories
- Power through any weather. There are things to do!
- Run to shelter at the first drop. No rides worth wet shoes!
I’m personally the first type, but for the rest, many of the rides are inside. In fact, some are long enough that you can usually wait out the rain pretty easily. My friend Keri over at FlipFlopWeekend has some great suggestions on what to do on rainy days at Disney!
In order to keep everyone safe and give every guest an amazing experience, sometimes rides are shut down temporarily to deal with an issue. My biggest concern for this was what would happen if I had a FastPass during this time. Would I lose it? So I asked!
If your FastPasses expires while a ride is down, it becomes a park-wide FastPass and be available for any ride (the most popular rides may be excluded). Now I’ve heard that the system doesn’t always do this. So I take a screenshot of the FastPass to prove I had it. I’ve never had to do this, but I’m sure that would be enough for the Cast Member to let me in the line or give me another FastPass.
Baby Care Centers
Sometimes babies are not as impressed with Disney as the rest of us and they need a quiet place to chill. Every park has a Baby Care Center where parents can feed, change, or even just sit and watch tv for a few minutes. Amenities include:
- Private nursing room with rocking chairs
- Changing room with tables & bathroom
- Feeding area with highchairs
- Kitchen with microwave, oven & sink
- Main room with television, table, chairs, & sofa
- On-site shop offering formula, baby food, juice, diapers, wipes, sunscreen, over-the-counter medications and clothing for purchase
If a child is ever missing, they will be taken to a Baby Care Center until the parents come for them. This is the ultimate panic-inducing situation and I want to give you a couple of other suggestions to help speed up the reunion.
First, I take a picture of my children every morning before we leave for the park. The first question someone will ask is “What are they wearing?” It seems so simple, but when you’re panicking, your memory may fail. Did I put the blue or green shirt on them today? And let’s face it! A description like a red Mickey shirt isn’t helpful in a place like Disney where every kid has that on.
Second I write our phone number on their wrist in black, permanent marker. A security Cast Member noticed this one day and told me they are allowed to call me even before they take them to the Baby Care Center. I would still have to go meet them there, but at least I’d know they were safe!
I know they make cute little bracelets for that, but those can be cut off. If someone has taken my child, I want to be able to give an identifying mark that can’t be removed. They may be able to smudge the number, but Cast Members could watch the exits for a child with a big black mark on their wrist. Sorry, that’s my paranoid side coming out!
Not as bad as a lost kid, but still frustrating is losing a belonging. If you’ve lost something, head to the lost and found at the front of each park, the welcome center at Disney Springs, or the front desk of your resort. You can either claim your item or fill out a Lost Item Report.
First Aid Stations are available at each park as well as your resort. The nurses there can provide over-the-counter medication, bandages, and other easy fixes. They can also store medications that require refrigeration.
For more severe ailments, complimentary transportation is available to an off-site Urgent Care Center. In the case of a medical emergency, dial 9-1-1 from your phone.
None of this information does you a lot of good if you don’t have it when you need it! So I made a list of every Disney phone number you could need for you to stick in your park bag! That way when things go wrong, you can whip it out at a moment’s notice! Download the Disney Vacation Mini-Guide to get it!
We have finally come to the end of our series! If you missed any steps, you can head back to the beginning and catch up!
Have you had things go wrong at Disney? How was it handled? Tell me your story in the comments!