1. Child Identification. Although there are many locations throughout the world where guests can purchase engraved, dog tag-style IDs, I haven’t seen the safety-release chains in these self-service machines. As a parent, this concerns me so I prefer the paper wristbands available at Guest Relations. Although basic, they do the trick. Just ask for a wristband and to borrow a marker and you’re all set.
2. Earplugs. The fireworks shows at Walt Disney World are nothing short of spectacular but the loud booms, crackles, and sizzles can startle little ones. Guest Relations has free earplugs so even the littlest guests can enjoy the show in comfort. It doesn’t hurt to pick up a pair before the pyrotechnics begin – just in case.
3. Kid-centric Park Maps. The kid-centric maps available at Guest Relations are particularly helpful for first-time visitors. The filter out the noise and highlight only the locations of attractions, activities, and character greeting locations that preschoolers are most likely to enjoy. They also contain other help information such as the location of Baby Care Centers, stroller rentals, and perhaps most importantly, restrooms.
4. Locations of Characters. The daily Times Guide for each park lists the locations of the Character Greeting Spots but often lacks specifics. For example, when Hollywood Studios lists a Stars of Disney Junior greeting location, does that mean Jake, Special Agent OSO, Leo, Doc McStuffins, or none of the above? Your little pirate may have his heart set on meeting Jake only to find out Handy Manny only is greeting fans. A stop at Guest Relations can maximize your time in the park by minimizing disappointment and time spent waiting for the wrong Disney friend. The helpful Cast Members will be able to tell you exactly when and where your favorite character is meeting guests.
5. Disney Dollars. My kids get a kick out of their play money at home. How much better would it be if a) the money were “real” and b) it featured Disney characters? Their answer would be, “Way better!” Guests can purchase Disney Dollars at Guest Relations that are equivalent in value to the amount you buy. Disney Dollars can be used at Disney dining and merchandise locations throughout Walt Disney World.
Lisa M. Battista is the author of Beyond the Attractions: A Guide to Walt Disney World with Preschoolers and a columnist for WDW Fan Zone. When she’s not chasing after her little ones, you can most likely find her at the beach or in the kitchen trying her hand at a new recipe. You can follow her on Twitter @DisneyExplorer or become a fan of Beyond the Attractions on Facebook.