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Saturday, July 9, 2011

What Do You Bring Home From A Disney Vacation?

You’re returning from a Disney vacation and you may be bringing home. . . dirty laundry, souvenirs, broken luggage (we’ve been there, done that!), sore and blistered feet, bunches of pictures and/or video, and memories that will last a lifetime.  It may also be important to return home with a bit of paperwork.  (To read about the paperwork you might needon your way to a Disney vacation click here.)

Here’s a list of paperwork to bring home with you:

  • Airline e-ticket with confirmation number of boarding passes.  You will need those for your return flight.  Also keep any checked luggage tag receipts.  If you are a member of a frequent flier program, make sure you are getting credit for your flight via your ticket receipt.  If you are planning to enroll in a frequent flier program, you can typically add on any flights you have taken in the last 12 months to your account when you enroll IF you have the flight information, confirmation numbers, etc.  Another reason to have those airline receipts handy!
  • If you are leaving Walt Disney World and using Disney’s Magical Express, bring all of the documents you received in your hotel room.  The day before you leave your resort, you will receive a letter and other information attached to your door.  Read that information as it will have your Magical Express departure time—typically 3 hours before your flight.  It will be important to bring all of that information with you as you will need it to board the bus back to the airport.
  • Receipts.  Receipts from purchases, resort stay, etc.  Receipts from Walt Disney World purchases at your resort, theme park, or World of Disney include important information including a telephone number should something happen with your purchase.  We purchased a Splash Mountain picture frame that was broken when we returned home, despite our best efforts.  I still had the receipt, phoned the number on the receipt and gave them the information from the receipt and within a few days, we received a new picture frame in the mail.  I have needed a Disney receipt for a necklace that broke, too.  I have used the receipt to place an order with Disney merchandise for an item we wanted, but couldn’t find in the parks. . . but I had a receipt at home from a previous purchase and ended up having that item shipped to us.  So, say it again—receipts!  If you are using a debit card, etc. you’ll want to have the receipts to balance your account as well.
  • Photopass cards.  Now that you are home, you will want to log on to your photopass account and add all your photopass card numbers onto your account.  Then all the photos that Disney Photopass photographers have taken of you and your family are in one Photopass account on-line.  This happens to us on every trip. . . a member of the family goes off on their own and runs into a Photopass photographer, typically with a character or doing magical shots and we end up with photos, but that person usually doesn’t have the Photopass card that we have been using and pre-registered for our trip.  No problem.  The photographer issues another Photopass card, we add it to our account either at a Photopass location at any theme park or do it on-line when we get home.
  • Any unused vouchers from your vacation package.  I was digging through stuff for our upcoming trip and found an unused Arcade voucher.  There was no date on this voucher (some vouchers include the dates of your vacation and cannot be used outside of those dates), so I tore it out and gave it to the husband to put in his wallet.  Obviously we didn’t use the arcade last trip, but now have an extra arcade voucher for the upcoming trip.
  • If we are returning from a Disney Cruise, we make sure we have our customs forms completed, typically 1 for the whole family as we don’t usually go over the allowed amount for our destination.  We also have our Passports, receipts from our cruise, and any Disney transport information.  And, of course, any photos we have purchased on board!
  • Memorabilia.  This is a catch all category that includes things like park maps, resort stationary, unused Fastpasses, ticket media, menus, resort information, photos from attractions such as Splash Mountain, and photos from meals such as Cinderella’s Royal Table, Hoop Dee Doo, or Chef Mickey’s—just to name a few, etc.  When you check-in at your Disney resort, you will be given a packet of information that includes a resort map, etc.  We typically use that folder to collect the rest of our memorabilia for the rest of trip—I deposit it in the folder each evening when we return to our resort and then bring that folder home with us.  Now, while I am not a scrap booker, I do make a digital photobook after each vacation, so the memorabilia can be used for scrapbooking purposes or scanning and photobook purchases.  Use your creativity. 
  • Receipts for future travel.  Some of our best vacation values have come from booking Disney cruises while on-board and reserving Walt Disney World vacations before checking out of our resort—this is known as a “bounceback offer.”  If we book onboard for our next cruise, the offer is usually 10% off and a generous on-board credit on our next cruise, along with a half-price deposit.  Bounceback offers at Walt Disney World typically include 35% off.  We then give our travel agent the credit for these bookings. 

Coming home from a Disney vacation, one can have a sense of letdown, as your magical vacation is over.  Typically, we are very tired and very happy—a unique combination.  I have found that the best way to combat the post Disney blues to have another trip on the horizon!

What paperwork do you bring home from a Disney vacation?

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