Five Walt Disney World Businesses to Know
When you visit Walt Disney World, you have more needs than merely a place to stay and having fun at the theme parks. Some of the things that you want may not be ones that Disney does, at least officially. Here are a few cottage industry businesses that you could use during your next Disney visit.
Everyone loves shopping for Disney merchandise while on vacation. Unfortunately, not everyone travels with a limitless vacation budget. Most folks can’t buy everything that they see in the store.
The Character Warehouses help with this problem. Two of them operate in the greater Orlando area, and they’re actual Disney stores. The company runs them like warehouse outlets. Once products stop moving off the stores at the theme parks and resorts, Disney packs up the goods and ships them to the warehouse outlets.
At the Character Warehouses, the same items sell for a fraction of the cost. You’ll find merchandise for as much as a 90 percent discount from the sticker price. In truth, shopping here can be a bit demoralizing when you pay full price for something at Mouse Gear, only to find it for sale here for pennies on the dollar at the outlet.
Obviously, you should shop here to buy more merchandise for the same amount of money. The one caveat is that Disney doesn’t provide any transportation options to either Character Warehouse.
You’ll need to ride-share to one of these locations. You’ll find them at Orlando International Premium Outlets on International Drive and Vineland Avenue.
Electronic Conveyance Vehicles, widely known as scooters, are the devices that allow people with physical disabilities to navigate the parks. With an ECV, someone can drive rather than walk. It can make all the difference in the world when someone suffers from an ailment such as a back, leg, or foot injury.
Some companies rent ECVs, allowing vacationers a chance to enjoy a more comfortable day at the park. I highly recommend these devices to anyone suffering from a malady.
My father always loved them when he suffered from cancer. Conversely, I have friends with health and weight issues who have stubbornly refused to use ECVs. They’ve regretted it and unintentionally caused problems for the rest of the traveling party.
I feel strongly that an ECV rental enhances a theme park vacation. Unfortunately, Disney recently changed the rules on these devices. When you don’t use the official vendor, ScooterBug, you must pick up your ECV on your own. Cast members cannot do it for you.
Still, the cost of a rental varies by company. Presuming that you can take time out of your schedule to schedule a delivery, shop for the one with the lowest price.
Having an ECV for someone who needs it is critical. Without it, everyone’s vacation will feel a bit more stressful.
PS: Some of the same rules apply to strollers, presuming that you don’t bring your own. But that’s a larger conversation for a different day.
Orlando has evolved into the tourist mecca of the Southeast. As such, it has tourist trap pricing in many places. While I don’t think that’s a fair thing to say about Walt Disney World, the reality of a Disney vacation is that you’ll pay more for goods and sundries.
For example, one bottle of water costs $3.50, which is the same price as admission to Walt Disney World back in 1971. Smartwater is actually better for you than regular water, but Disney charges $5.50 for it. Contrast that to Amazon, where you can order a six-pack for $4.99.
Disney officials know this and have tried to curtail delivery shipments at the hotels. Part of the reason is that Disney must waste labor-hours picking up these packages, a terrible use of resources. However, several local stores like Green Grocer will deliver to your hotel.
You can save a lot of money by shopping at these places instead. In fact, anyone willing to cook some of their own meals can turn a Disney trip into a relatively inexpensive vacation. You just need to strategize.
Whenever you’re heading to Walt Disney World, compile a list of useful items like suntan lotion, bottled water, coffee, breakfast foods, diapers, and formula. Check the pricing at a grocery store that will deliver to your hotel. You may discover that you’ll save a lot of money this way.
By the way, Amazon remains an option. You’ll need to pay a delivery fee for this approach, though. On the plus side, Amazon provides same-day delivery to Walt Disney World now.
Okay, pet lovers, this one’s for you! We all know that guilty feeling we get when we lock eyes with our animals on the way out the door. They know that their humans are abandoning them for a few days. It’s a mortifying sensation that seems like a betrayal. Our animals don’t ask a lot from us, but they expect access to their humans every day.
Disney understands this frustration. For this reason, the company runs its own pet care service at Walt Disney World! Best Friends Pet Care is one of many kennels and animal daycare facilities in the greater Orlando area. I suspect that you’ll trust it more due to the Disney brand, though.
At this pet care facility, your furry family member will get treated like royalty. You can visit the parks guilt-free, knowing that a Disney professional is taking care of your pet’s needs. Best of all, you can visit your friend at the facility whenever you like! That way, the two of you won’t miss each other while you’re at the Most Magical Place on Earth!
How often do you visit Walt Disney World? This suggestion mainly applies to the diehard fans, but it’s something that you should know is an option.
As you know, Disney rents storage lockers at its various theme parks. You can place all your goods here that you don’t want to carry all day. And that solution works well. However, I’m speaking of something slightly different.
Companies like Owner’s Locker rent a storage box where you can leave some goods between trips. Let’s say that you have a poncho or portable fan that you only use at Disney. You must transport these items every trip, which gets inconvenient and also requires you to remember.
With a permanent locker rental, your goods will stay in Orlando while you’re out of town. You can buy a huge pack of bottled water, saving the extras for your next trip.
All of your extra swimsuits and suntan lotion no longer need to take up room in your suitcase. Instead, you pack them up between vacations and store them. It’s like having your own secret pantry at Walt Disney World!