Thursday, February 27, 2014

ECV/Scooter Rental at Walt Disney World: A Detailed Guide

Walt Disney World is one of the most accessible vacation destinations for those with mobility limitations.  Due to a history of cancer, I have used ECVs (Electric Convenience Vehicles) during most of my trips over the past 3 years.  After 35 years of traveling to Disney World, when I suddenly needed a scooter I found myself totally clueless on what to do.  I was concerned that it might ruin my trips.  Fortunately, using an ECV has allowed me to continue returning to Disney World as much as I’d like with very few restrictions.

This is a rather detailed description of some frequently asked questions about ECV rental at Disney.  I will discuss the differences between renting an ECV from Disney verses ordering one from an off-site rental service.  Also, I have included a review of my personal experiences with using both Disney ECVs as well as one off-site rental company, Walker Mobility.  I have also included photos of both types of ECVs that I have used.  I hope that this information helps those of you who are considering using an ECV for your next Disney trip.  

If you have any additional questions, please post them below or message on Twitter @JeanieBlue114

Who can rent an ECV?
Anyone!  You do not need a doctor’s note or any documentation to rent an ECV. Simply call an off-site rental company and request a rental or go to the Disney ECV rental location inside any Disney park. If you feel that all-day walking and standing will be too demanding, rent an ECV!  Trust me when I say that it will add to the quality of your vacation as well as those with whom you are traveling.  Disney vacations usually involve many miles of walking each day, often in high temperatures and humidity.  There is no reason to be uncomfortable during your vacation or feel sick and exhausted.  If you think that you may need one, get one.

Will I go to the front of the line with an ECV?
No!  Unless you have an additional medical reason that makes waiting in lines in the ECV difficult for you, simply being in an ECV (or wheelchair) does not get you to the front of the line.  Many attractions allow ECVs to enter in through the standard queue line.  In most theater-style attractions, there are select seating areas that allow you to remain in the ECV during the show.  Some attractions, such as Toy Story Mania, require those in ECVs to load in a separate area.  In my experience, this created an even longer wait than normal because we had to wait for the special ride cars to come around to that loading area.  Disability guide maps are available for each park.  They list where to enter for each ride, transferring information, and accessibility.  Cast members are available to help at all attractions as well.
What is the Cost of an ECV?
Disney ECVs are $50 per day plus a refundable $20 deposit.
(Downtown Disney $50 plus $100 deposit.)
Off-site ECV rentals vary based on type (regular vs. heavy duty), length of rental, and any additional options that you may choose.  Typically expect to pay $25-$50 per day.  Several companies have detachable canopies available, damage insurance, and delivery fees all for an additional charge.  Some offer discounts for multiday rentals or frequent customers.
Can I Take an ECV Anywhere on Disney Property?
Disney owned ECVs may only be used inside the parks and Downtown Disney.  They may not be removed from the location where they were rented. (However, a complimentary wheelchair can be used during other times of your trip if available.)
If you park-hop, you must return your ECV and use a voucher at the next park to get another ECV there.  You cannot take a Disney owned ECV with you when park-hopping or to your resort.
Off-site ECV rentals can go with you everywhere during your trip.  Disney resort hotels are large and require a lot of walking. So, you may want to have one while at the resort.  Additionally, there may be a significant amount of walking from your car or Disney transportation drop-off spot to the entrance of each park. (Even from the handicap parking areas, the amount of walking to the entrance of the Magic Kingdom in particular can be substantial. )
Off-site ECV rentals are also useful to take to the Disney Water Parks.  There are accessible paths throughout the water parks.
If you may need assistance during these times, an off-site rental would be more beneficial.
Can I use an ECV on Disney transportation?
Yes.  ECVs can go on all Disney buses, monorails, and boats with the exceptions of the small wooden resort boats (these are only at limited locations and alternative transportation methods are available).  However, each one can only carry a limited number of ECVs at a time.  So, during busy times you may be required to wait for the next bus or boat.
(This does not apply to Disney ECVs, since they may not be removed from inside the parks.)
What if the ECV battery dies?
If you rent a Disney scooter, a new scooter will be swapped out if available.
Off-site rentals from Walker Mobility (and probably the other rental locations) come with a portable charger pack that easily slips into the pouch on the back of the seat.  There is a gauge on the scooter that tells you how much charge you have left.  You can charge at any outlet.  Each night the scooter should be plugged in to recharge fully.  I have always found enough room for the scooter in Disney resort rooms to plug it in for charging.  Even with 4 people in a moderate resort, it was not a problem.  A full night charge usually is enough for a full day of use.  I keep my charger with me and plug in if needed during meals or breaks.
How do I rent an ECV? 
Disney ECVs are on a first come first serve basis.  Simply go to the rental location inside each park and ask for a rental.  Photo ID is required. The guest who rents must be 18 years old.  There are standard sizes and larger size models for those who would like more leg room (not adjustable).  The larger models are in a limited number and tend to run out much sooner than the standard models. 
They do not accept reservations.
Off-site rentals should be ordered in advance for guaranteed availability.  ECVs can be delivered to your resort.  However, recently Disney has limited the amount of companies allowed to drop-off with resort bell services.  The following companies are permitted to leave ECVs with Disney owned resorts bell services: Scooterbug, Care Scooter Rentals, Buena Vista Scooter Rentals, Best Price Mobility, and Apple Scooter.

Other off-site rental companies, such as Walker Mobility, can still deliver to all Disney resorts, but you will have to make an appointment to meet at your resort for drop-off and pick-up.  If you choose a resort that is not Disney owned, the ECV can be dropped off with no appointment.  The only off-site company that I have used is Walker Mobility.  I have never had any issues with picking up or dropping off an ECV.  Walker is required to meet guests in person during drop-off and pick-up if staying at a Disney owned resort.  During this time, you will receive a quick tutorial and troubleshooting lesson for your scooter.  This can be very beneficial for those renting an ECV for the first time.
Do I prefer a Disney ECV rental or off-site rental service?
I strongly prefer using an off-site rental for my ECV needs.
I have rented from both Disney and Walker Mobility, an off-site rental service, regularly over the past 3 years.  I have no personal experience with any other off-site companies so my rental review is based exclusively on those two rental locations.

The main factors for choosing Walker Mobility over Disney owned ECVs are cost, comfort, and convenience.

*Off-site rentals are cheaper than Disney rentals no matter which provider you choose.  I have had many rentals with Walker over the past 3 years.  They have an additional discount program for those who need frequent rentals or more than a week of rental at a time.  This program saves me more than 50% off the cost of a Disney rental for the use of an extended range heavy duty scooter.
*Disney scooters are not as comfortable or as easy to use as a Walker scooter.  The steering arm on Disney scooters is not adjustable.  The Walker scooters have adjustable steering arms.  The arms are also removable on Walker scooters so that it’s easier to go through shops and doorways without bumping into things.  Disney scooters have a larger “footprint.”  They are extended in the front and are difficult to navigate through tighter areas or to get close to things. (I’ve banged into counters trying to reach for napkins at quick-service restaurants.)  Walker has canopies available for a small fee if you would like to have shade from the sun ($20 per rental).  

*Walker scooters go in reverse with the same button used to go forward.  Disney scooters require you to stop, flip a button to change to direction, then go.  Then you must stop and flip the button back to go forward again.  This can be awkward when other guests are trying to move around you.  All of these factors make the Walker scooters more comfortable for me than a Disney scooter.


Walker Mobility portable extended-range heavy-duty scooter with new nylon waterproof seat, storage pouch in seat back, storage basket, portable charger, and easily removable adjustable arms.
Walker Mobility portable extended range, adjustable, portable, waterproof



Walker Mobility scooter design
Walker Mobility scooter design



Disney in-park-only scooter rental design
Disney in-park only scooter rental design


Disney in-park-only scooter rental design
Disney in-park only scooter rental

*Having an ECV for the entire length of my stay is more convenient than using an in-park-only Disney scooter.  As stated earlier, Disney resorts are large and there also can be a lot of walking from the park parking lots to the ECV rental location.  Waiting in line at the park to get a Disney rental also can take a bit of time at the beginning of the day.  At the end of the day, you must also wait in line to return the scooter to Disney to get your refundable deposit.  Waiting in more lines is the last thing that I want to do during my Disney trips.  This makes using a Walker rental more convenient for me than a Disney ECV.
Some other reasons why I rent with Walker as an off-site company are:
*Guaranteed availability:  I have been in EPCOT on a busy day when only one larger ECV was available and it was down to a half charge.  I was told that if the remaining charge was used up before I was done for the day that I would not get another scooter unless another one was turned in and that they would not charge it for me.  That was a bit of a stressful day of being worried about being abandoned in the park.  Anyone arriving after me who wanted a more roomy scooter would not have gotten one.  Walker has had a guaranteed scooter for me each time that I call and sometimes with less than a day’s notice.
*Excellent customer service:  Any time that I’ve had a scooter issue, a representative from Walker has met me in the park with a new scooter within the hour.  They also work with you to recommend what type of scooter would work best for your body type and vacation needs.  They even have a new PINK PRINCESS DESIGN SCOOTER now (available in the standard model).  This design rents for about $30/day and part of the proceeds go to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Research Fund.  In an interview with John Walker, the owner of the company, he informed me that they are in the process of a large expansion and upgrade of their fleet including new seats and baskets.  In addition to the pink princess design, a sleek black model will also be available soon. (see photos)
*Portable Extended-Range Heavy-Duty Scooters:  I prefer using the heavy-duty scooters to avoid needing to recharge during the course of a long day at the parks.  I always have a car when I am at Disney.  Walker has the ONLY EXTENDED-RANGE HEAVY-DUTY scooters that I have found in the Disney area that can be broken down into pieces and transferred in the trunk of the car.  Other locations offer heavy-duty, but they are NOT portable in your own car.


Breakdown of a Walker Mobility scooter for portability
Breakdown of Walker Mobility scooter



Scooter in the trunk of a Ford Taurus Sedan.
Scooter in the trunk of a Ford Taurus Sedan


*Waterproof Scooters:  It rains a lot in Florida.  Disney ECVs are waterproof.  However, some off-site rentals do not offer scooters that are waterproof.  They require you to take the scooter indoors during any rain or it may stop functioning.  This can be nearly impossible to do with sudden Florida rainstorms and a lack of shelter in the parks (particularly Animal Kingdom Park).  Walker provides a small plastic cover that simply slips over the key control box on the scooter and there are no issues with rain incapacitating the scooter.  I have been caught in many Florida downpours and have tested the scooters to be very waterproof.  They are still easily driven while using the waterproof plastic cover.


Walker Mobility keypad with speed control and one-finger touch lever for forward and reverse driving.  Waterproof cover for keypad included with each rental.
Walker Mobility waterproof easy-touch key control pad

If you are considering renting an ECV for your next trip, I urge you to do so regardless of which rental service you use.  It can take a lot of stress off of you and your family and let you enjoy your vacation without exhaustion.


Tinkmobile
My Tinkmobile

On your next trip to Walt Disney World, if you happen to see my Tinkmobile wings go by please stop me and say hi and I'll give you some ThePrincessPapers.com swag!
For more information on Disney ECV rentals, please see their website
https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/guest-services/ecv-rentals/
For an easy video on how to disassemble a portable scooter, please see
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CghnkftCY-4
Thank you to John Walker of www.WalkerMobility.com for his interview time and sharing information about ECV rentals.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Food Trucks at Downtown Disney: Exciting NEW UPDATES!!

The Food Trucks are some of the newest additions to the world-class dining options of Downtown Disney.  There are 4 Food Trucks that represent cuisine inspired by each of the Walt Disney World theme parks.  The Food Trucks often sit next to Cirque Du Soleil on the Westside, but their locations can vary day-to-day.  This is not what you may expect from typical “street food”.  The selection varies from hand-dipped corn dogs and slow-cooked beef short ribs, to lobster sliders and tandoori shrimp.  I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Head Chef James, about several exciting new updates regarding these beautifully themed mobile kitchens.  Below is a list of special events where the trucks will be featured, new limited addition menu items, as well as current menus.  Be sure to plan a stop at the Downtown Disney Food Trucks for dining during your next Walt Disney World Vacation.  They are not to be missed!

Head Chef James,
Head Chef James, Kelli-Assistant Chef, Allie-Cook 1

FOOD TRUCK UPCOMING ADVENTURES:
*Food Trucks will provide breakfast at the February Princess Marathon.  For guests attending the Princess Marathon after-party, 2 Food Trucks also will be at the Downtown Disney Marketplace as part of the event.  The Food Trucks have been making regular appearances at events at the Wide World of Sports Complex and this will continue into the future.

*From March 7-17 during the St. Patrick’s Day Festival at Downtown Disney, enjoy Irish treats from the Food Trucks.  The beloved Fisherman’s Pie from the Ireland Epcot Food & Wine Festival booth will be featured as a full-size entree!  Specialty Irish beer will also be available to help guests enjoy a bit of holiday cheer (it will NOT be green!)  All 4 Food Trucks will offer a St. Patty’s themed cupcake.  This is the very first themed dessert from the Food Trucks. (Currently, a chocolate chip cookie is the only dessert option.)

*For those guests who enjoyed the fresh flavors of the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival new food booths last year, stop by the Epcot/World Showcase Themed Food Truck at Downtown Disney during this year’s festival dates (March-Mid May).  Chef James said that guests MAY stumble upon a selection of  F&G Festival Outdoor Kitchen food offerings deliciously delivered from the Epcot themed Truck at Downtown Disney.

*Within the next 2 weeks, guests will start being able to pin point the exact locations and hours of operation of each of the Food Trucks at Downtown Disney by using My Disney Experience.  The Food Truck locations will also be located on the new Downtown Disney guide maps and all cast members should be able to provide information on Food Truck locations and hours each day.

*The most exciting news about the Downtown Disney Food Trucks is  that they will have a home in a newly renovated grassy area of Downtown Disney’s Westside next to Bongos by mid to late summer, 2014!

If you haven’t tried the food from the Themed Downtown Disney Food Trucks yet, make plans to do so during your next trip.  Chef James and his friendly band of cooks and hosts are there waiting to surprise you with fresh and fabulous culinary delights!

CURRENT MENUS:
Epcot/World Showcase of Flavors Food Truck

Epcot World Showcase of Flavors Food Truck
Epcot World Showcase of Flavors Food Truck


World Showcase of Flavors Menu
World Showcase of Flavors Menu

Entree-sized portions of Food & Wine Festival Favorites
Grass-fed Beef Sliders 9.50
Lobster Roll with house-made chips 18.25
Pierogies 8.50
Wines by the Glass 5.25-8.75
Including a Fess Parker Chardonnay 6.00
Kid’s meals available


Hollywood Studios/Superstar Catering

Superstar Catering
Superstar Catering


Superstar Catering Menu
Superstar Catering Menu

Spinach and Feta Beef Meatball Sandwich, arugula-fennel salad 11.00
Lamb Meatball Flatbread Sandwich 12.00
Turkey Sausage and Golden Raisin Meatballs 11.00
Kid’s Spinach and Beef Meatball Sandwich 4.25

Animal Kingdom/Namaste Cafe

Animal Kingdom/Namaste Cafe
Namaste Cafe

Namaste Cafe Menu
Namaste Cafe Menu

Butter Chicken with Basmati Rice, Naan Bread, Pickled Vegetables 9.50
Tandoori Shrimp Meal 11.75
Slow-Cooked Beef Short Ribs Meal 12.75
Kid’s Portions Available

Fantasy Fare

Fantasy Fare
Fantasy Fare


Fantasy Fare Menu
Fantasy Fare Menu

Magic Kingdom Croque Monsieur with house-made chips 11.00
Disneyland California Hand-Dipped Corndog with house-made chips 7.50
Hong Kong Disneyland Glass Noodle Salad with Chicken and Pickled Vegetables 7.50
Kid’s Portions Available

The Disney Dining Plan is accepted at all Food Trucks.  Meals are 1 quick-service credit and include an entree, non-alcoholic beverage, and a chocolate chip cookie. 

The Food Trucks of Downtown Disney are a fantastic dining option.  No reservations are needed to enjoy these gourmet options and they serve a wide variety of flavors so everyone in the family will be happy.  Chef James said that the Food Truck offerings will continue to change regularly.  So, stop by often for a unique dining experience and say hello to some of the friendliest Cast Members you’ll ever find!

Al-Host, Christina-Cook 2, Heather-Cook 2
Al-Host, Christina-Cook 2, Heather-Cook 2


Operating hours: Disney policy does not permit outdoor food vending if temperatures fall below 45.  Hours vary slightly due to weather circumstances.  The Food Trucks opened at 4pm on the day that I was there.  Check Disney My Experience or with a Cast Member for your travel dates.

Accessibility: All food trucks are accessible. Although the truck windows are a bit high, Cast Members will happily bring your food out to you if necessary.

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Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Art of Henna in Epcot’s Morocco


The Art of Henna in Epcot
The Art of Henna in Epcot


One of my special treats during many trips to Epcot is getting a henna design done on my hand in Morocco.  Having henna applied is similar to having a mini spa treatment. You can just relax and let the artist make you feel beautiful.  It is also a great souvenir from the trip since it lasts up to two weeks.  The Art of Henna is currently located in the covered outdoor seating area to the right of the Tangerine Café (near the restrooms).  The location should be moving soon near the New Spice Road Table eatery along the water in Morocco.


Henna Designs
Henna Designs


Ilham is the lovely henna artist who has done most of my henna in Morocco.  She has been a henna artist at Disney for 9 years.  If she is not there, you may find her sister, Fatiha, doing the henna art.


Ihlam, Henna Artist
Ilham, Henna Artist

Ilham described henna as a tradition in Morocco.  She said that it is most commonly done on women (however, there are many designs at the Art of Henna for men, such as dragons).  For weddings in Morocco, there is a “henna day” the day before the ceremony where the bride’s hands and feet are decorated.


Henna at time of application
Henna at time of application



Henna 3 days after application.
Henna 3 days after application

Henna is a plant.  The henna used at Disney is all natural. The dye is made from dried crushed henna leaves, lemon juice, water, sugar, and eucalyptus.  It is placed into a paper cone and applied to the skin much like piping decorative icing onto a cake (a bit of glitter on top is a free optional addition).


Henna Designs
Henna Designs



Henna design applied
Henna Design: Strength

Depending on the design that you choose (there is an extensive design book to look through), application takes 5-10 minutes.  The cost, also depending on design, ranges from $15-$45.  Don’t forget to look for the ‘princess’ and ‘hidden Mickey’ henna design options!


Henna Design
Henna Design:Joy



Design applied
Henna Design: Joy

Ilham’s henna tips:
1. Henna works best on clean skin.  If you have sunblock or lotion on, let her know. She will spray the area with alcohol to clean it off first.
2. Avoid washing the area for 6-8 hours after the henna is applied.
3. Henna should be applied to hands or feet for the best long-lasting results.
4. The dried henna will peel off within a day.  The henna stain will be light at first and darken on skin in two or three days.
5. Henna lasts 7-10 days.  (When I am very careful to only lightly scrub the henna area, it lasts approximately 2 weeks.)
6. It takes about 30 minutes for the henna to dry on the skin.  Be very careful not to smear it or get it onto clothing (it will stain)!!
The Art of Henna is open every day in Epcot’s Morocco from 12-9 pm.  Ilham is there Sunday, Monday, Thursday, and Friday.  Her sister is there on Saturdays.  Other henna artists are there from time to time as well.  If you see Ilham, tell her that you saw this column and that I said hello!

Accessibility: The Art of Henna is currently located at a table in the covered area to the right of the café in Morocco.  It is fully accessible.

The Epcot Wine Walk: Try All Six Wines for ONLY $20!!

Do you love wine?  Do you dream of days sipping wines at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival? Do you enjoy sampling wines from around the world?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, then the Epcot Wine Walk is for YOU!  For just $20, you can enjoy 6 specially selected wines from 3 countries in the Epcot World Showcase.
Epcot Wine Walk available in Germany, Italy, or France.
Epcot Wine Walk available in Germany, Italy, or France
How To Start Your Wine Walk:
The Wine Walk is available ANY time of year.
Go to Germany, Italy, or France in the World Showcase of Epcot to start your tour.
Purchase a Wine Walk Passport for $20 at any of these three countries.  The Passport includes a map of the World Showcase, a list of the wines included, a description of each wine, and food pairing suggestions for each wine.  

Epcot Wine Walk Passport
Epcot Wine Walk Passport

Simply show your passport at the Wine Walk locations of each country and request your wines from the list.  A cast member will stamp the passport for each wine selected.  The passport never expires.  Choose one wine from the list or drink them all. Just remember to bring back your passport if you save it for future trips.
The Wines:
The Wine Walk includes six pre-selected 2-oz. (half) pours of wine.  One red and one white in each country of Germany, Italy, and France. (no substitutions) 

GERMANY:
Germany Wine Walk Location
Germany Wine Walk Location
Germany Wine Walk
Germany Wine Room
Germany Wine Room
Germany Wine Room
Germany (Located at Weinkeller) wines include Valckenberg Madonna Spatlese described as “late harvest, has expressive fruitiness, very outgoing intensive floral bouquet, delicate sweetness and rather soft acidity.”
Also, Valckenberg Madonna Liebfraumilch described as “a harmonious ensemble of rich fruitiness, a delicate sweetness, backed by a mild acidity and a lush seductive bouquet.” 

ITALY:
Italy Wine Walk Location
Italy Wine Walk Location
Italy Wine Room
Italy Wine Room
Italy (located at Enoteca Castello) wines include Castello Banfi San Angelo Pinot Grigio, Tuscany IGT described as “an elegant wine of pale-straw color, with an intense, fruity aroma, followed by a clean, rich refreshing taste.”
Also, Rosa Regale, Piedmont DOCG described as “a hint of rose petals and raspberries, delightfully vivacious and festive.”  This is one of my favorite wines!  It is light, very sweet, fizzy and refreshing on a hot day in the parks. 
Rosa Regale from Italy, MY FAVORITE!
Rosa Regale from Italy, MY FAVORITE!

FRANCE:
France Wine Walk Location
France Wine Walk Location
France Wine Room
France Wine Room
France (located at Aux Vins de France or use La Maison du Vin entrance) wines include Georges Duboeuf Pouilly Fuisse, Macon described as “flavors of pear, red apples and citrus are balanced in this classic French expression of Chardonnay from Burgundy.”  I highly recommend enjoying this along with a cheese plate and baguette from Boulangerie Patissiere (the bakery next door to the wine shop in France). The wine pairs perfectly with the rich soft cheeses.
Also, Chateau Tour de Segur – Lussac St. Emilion described as “predominantly blended with Merlot, this full bodied wine displays flavors of black currants, black cherries and generous oak spices.”
Whether you decided to try one wine each trip or tour the world of wines all in one day, the Epcot Wine Walk is a great way for the seasoned wine aficionado or novice to enjoy a relaxing time during a Walt Disney World Vacation.  

CHEERS!

Accessibility: All Wine Walk locations are accessible.  However, the rooms for each pouring counter may be slightly difficult to navigate if there is a crowd. 

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Friday, February 21, 2014

FREE Disney Vacation Souvenirs and Where To Find Them

Everyone enjoys collecting a few souvenirs from a vacation.  Walt Disney World is souvenir heaven!  However, that comes with a hefty price tag that can strain the vacation budget.  Fortunately, there are a lot of great souvenirs available for guests at no charge.  They are for guests of all ages and many are reminders of attractions and foods that you enjoyed during the trip.  So, spend some time collecting these no matter what your budget is.
1. Free Vacation Planning DVD available by ordering from the Walt Disney World website.


Free Vacation Planning DVD
Free Vacation Planning DVD

This is not a souvenir from in the parks, but it is a great planning tool and souvenir for the entire family to enjoy.  Make sure to order one before your trip to help you plan. Then watch it after your trip to see how many things you recognize.
2. Free Pirate  Treasure Maps available at A Pirate’s Adventure attraction in the Magic Kingdom across from Pecos Bill’s restaurant.


Free Pirate Treasure Maps
Free Pirate Treasure Maps

This attraction provides fantastic pirate themed map souvenirs to use on your scavenger hunt through Adventureland.

3. Free Towel Animals available in Disney resort rooms.


Free Towel Animals
Free Towel Animals

Towel animals are placed in Disney resort rooms by mousekeeping (housekeeping). They are made from towels that are out of circulation. So, you are welcome to take them home as a souvenir.
4. Free Wilderness Explorer Handbook available at the Wilderness Explorer Attraction booths in Animal Kingdom.


Free Wilderness Explorer Handbook
Free Wilderness Explorer Hanbook

The book directs guests to different educational stations where you will collect badges/stickers.  Learning the “secret signal” is an added bonus.  Adventure is Out THERE!
5. Free Flower and Garden Festival Tote Bags and Crafts available when you attend a F&G Festival class in the Festival Center.


Free Flower and Garden Tote Bag
Free Flower and Garden Tote Bag


Free Flower and Garden Festival Craft Project
Free Flower and Garden Festival Craft Project

There is no charge for a class.  I believe that totes are provided for Food and Wine Festival classes also, but some F&W classes have a fee.  We’ve done a few fun crafts during the classes and all the supplies are provided for free as well.
6. Free Festival Passports available at Epcot during Flower and Garden Festival, Food and Wine Festival, and the new Holidays Around the World food booths.


Free Epcot Festival Passports
Free Epcot Festival Passports

Passports contain detailed event information (food booth menus and show times) and have places to collect stamps from each food booth and special attraction.
7. Free 8×10 Character and Family Photo available at Epcot (see guest services for times).
This is for Disney Visa cardholders only.  The location is inside Innoventions near the fire truck. Choose your free photo at the photopass pick-up location at the front of the park before leaving.
8. Free Magic Bands available at your Disney resort during check-in or mailed automatically to your home.


Free Colorful Magic Band Bracelets
Free Colorful Magic Band Bracelets

Magic Bands are the new all-inclusive guest bracelets that let you enter your resort room, go to the parks, or pay for meals and merchandise with the tap of a wrist.  You can choose your MB color and accessories are now available for them (for additional charge) at various gift shops.
9.  Free Disney Stickers available at the check-out counter at most gift shops and from various cast members throughout the parks.


Free Stickers
Free Stickers

I never say no to Disney stickers!  I usually keep extras in my lanyard to give to parents of crying children. You’d be surprised by the magic that a sticker can produce. Don’t be afraid to ask for some at gift shops. I’ve been handed stacks of them to take home for friends.
10. Free Ghirardelli Chocolate Square available at Downtown Disney year-round and in the Festival Center during Epcot Food and Wine Festival.


Free Chocolate
Free Chocolate

Although this souvenir might not make it home, it’s still a great treat. At Downtown Disney, the flavors change seasonally.  Do you need more of a reason to go back to Disney multiple times each year??
11. Free Disney Character Poster available inside the information packet located in your resort room.


Free Character Poster
Free Character Poster

This one is hidden because everyone dashes off to the parks and most people don’t take the time to open the information packets sitting in the rooms.  Open it up and pull out the big book inside. In the middle of the book is an adorable poster with the castle and Disney characters. A great surprise for any child and suitable for framing.
12. Free Park Maps available at every park, all resorts, and guest services.


Free Park Maps
Free Park Maps

Park Maps are great souvenirs to help look back and remember your trip.  They are also great for scrapbooking.  Park maps change regularly with seasons and special events. Hollywood Studios park maps even have Star Wars photos on them during the Star Wars Weekends in May/June.
13. Free Disney Buttons available at resorts and guest services.


Free Celebration Buttons
Free Celebration Buttons

Celebrate a birthday, anniversary, wedding, family reunion, first visit, engagement, or just because you are at Disney World.  Free buttons are available for every Disney trip.  It is not uncommon to see guests walking around covered in buttons (and stickers).  Join in on the magic!
14. Free Agent P Cut-Out on a Stick with World Showcase Stamps available at Kidcot Stops located in each country in Epcot.
Kidcot Stops are rest areas with coloring supplies that are geared towards kids.  They give out free Agent Ps on a stick that can be colored at the Kidcot stops. At each stop, guests can get a stamp from that country.  In several countries, the cast members will also write the guest’s name on the back in the language of that country.  Even if you don’t want to color, collecting the stamps and learning how to write your name in several languages makes this a fun souvenir.
15. Free Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom Collector Cards available at the Magic Kingdom Firehouse and in Liberty Square. (One pack per guest per day.)


Free Trading Cards
Free Trading Cards

Not only is the Sorcerers game fun and interactive with unique technology, but it also provides each player with highly collectable playing/trading cards as a free souvenir!  Even if you don’t play, stop in and get some cards as a keepsake.
16. Free Personalized Park Maps available on the Walt Disney World Website.


Free Personalized Park Maps
Free Personalized Park Maps

Order maps after your trip and select the attractions that you enjoyed during your vacation.  Choose from the classic or character design.  You will receive a set of maps including one from each park as well as a full Disney World property map with your family name and a listing of the attractions you chose.  Even shipping is free.
There are a few other small souvenirs available throughout Disney such as leis for guests at the Polynesian Resort and balloon animals at Old Key West Resort.  Do you know of any other free Disney souvenirs? Please list them below in the comments!

Accessibility: All free items are accessible.
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