Parking lot drag strips

photography of parking lot

Photo by Jose Espinal on

I’ve noticed that there is a sense of anxiety in theme park parking lots. Everyone is in such a hurry to get one extra car ahead. So much so as to almost cause fatal car accidents. Stop and yield sign lose their meaning. Flashing signs that indicate your speed only seem to make you want to get a higher number. For what? One extra parking spot closer to the tram ride? Is vehicular homicide worth it?

How to get free coffee at Disney resorts

I once stayed at the Swan and Dolphin resort inside Walt Disney World during a company retreat. It’s a really nice hotel and something I wouldn’t choose to stay at normally. The cafes and restaurants are out of this world expensive so I can see why someone would want to float the bill to someone else. I had a large purchase on my room and it turned out to be $28 worth of food at the Java bar. I at first thought it was an in-room charge for using the Starbucks coffee pods.

When I checked in, their credit card machine was down. So they used one of those carbon-copy machines to do an imprint. I’m shocked those things still exist. I assumed someone found my card and went caffeine crazy. To my dismay, all someone had to do is write down a room number to charge it. You should have to at least verify the name or show some I.D. This hotel went retro with the credit and mistakes were made. The good thing is they gave me my money back, but the guy in accounting didn’t act like he believed me. I said I have a digital trail that shows I was in Hollywood Studios during the time of purchase. But the tone from him was “Yeah, sure”. Oh well, at least someone got free coffee overpriced coffee.

Zero wait time at Magic Kingdom?

Can you guess which ride? No, it’s not the auto-flush toilet. Even those have a wait time. On a side note, you should probably hand out fast passes to the toilet bowl near Pecos Bill’s after you eaten two pounds of beef nachos. It’s tough to find zero wait times, but it’s possible. Just a tip, if you ever see a 13 minute wait time on Haunted Mansion or Tower of Terror, there’s no wait.

The sun finds a way in

Sun visors are basically useless. They used to be great for storing CDs in one of those bill fold things. They contain a mirror so you can check your hair, teeth, and eyeballs while you are driving before you wreck and scatter them all over the road. They are useless for blocking the sun rays to your eye sockets. Cars used to have extenders that would allow extra coverage.  However, the sun will find a way to fit between your visor and mirror. It’s even better if the sun flickers because of the tree line causing a massive headache, nausea, and motion sickness. Time to invent a transitions windshield.

Best and Worst Times to Visit Disney World


Walt Disney telling you to leave!

When a hurricane is there

The park will be closed and you won’t be able to get through the gates, well you probably could, but you would go to jail. Not Disney jail, but real jail, where the mice bite and try to violate you. However, if you are on the property then you are safe. Disney Resorts are made to withstand a Category 5 hurricane. They will treat you like royalty and since they are their own municipality, you will have power sooner.

When it’s hot

You will sweat profusely and you will get dehydrated if you don’t buy the $4 bottles of water. Don’t drink the soda and beer or you will dehydrate faster. And be broker faster

When there are numerous amount of people there

Holiday’s and weekends are the worst, and holiday weekends are a no-brainer to stay away.

When you just bought new shoes

That is unless you like blisters on your feet. Never take a brand new pair of shoes into the park. Don’t buy a brand new pair of waterproof timberland boots for your July trip. Your boots will be filled with pain and suffering.

When a new ride is open

Well, it might be a good time to visit other areas of the parks except for Pandora, Seven Dwarfs Mine train, or Peter Pan’s Flight

When a new area is open

I can’t imagine what masses of humanity will be drawn to the parks once Star Wars Galaxies Edge is open.

Remember, there is no slow season no matter what anyone tells you. If you are going to go, just do it and enjoy your time. If someone says they got on all the rides with no waiting they are lying, and you shouldn’t be friends with liars.

How to use a crosswalk

automatic city control crossing

Photo by on

People have been confused for decades about the real meaning of the crosswalk signals. The red hand doesn’t mean stop, it’s waving at you, telling you it’s safe to cross! The other signal is a chalk outline of a dead guy informing that you will perish if you try to cross.

I’ve always heard those crosswalk buttons don’t have anything to do with the traffic signals. Crosswalk buttons are installed because pushing a button will give a sense of control before you’re flattened by a city bus you didn’t see because you were too busy checking your twitter. There have been several occasions where people crossed in front of my car and told me to stop with their raised hand. I had no idea they had the right of way to cross a busy intersection while I had a green light. I finally get it, I’ve had these crosswalk signals mixed up all along!

If you visit a big metropolitan area you know it’s safe to cross when the city folk begin entering the intersection before the signal changes. Trust them.

Don’t ruin your trip to Washington DC


Stay in Virginia

Unless you like throwing away money, you can stay at a similar hotel in Arlington Virginia for a fraction of the cost. I recommend the Homewood Suites near the Rosslyn Metro station. They have a free shuttle to Rosslyn Metro which will connect you to the Orange, Blue, and Silver lines.

Use the Metro Rail

If you love driving around and seeing endless brake lights, then by all mean, hop in your automobile. Overcome your fear of confined underground metal bacteria tubes and use the Metro Rail. I’d suggest starting at $20 per rider and refilling it as needed. You can get to all the major sights by using this transportation method if you don’t mind a little walking to and from the Metro stations.

Contact your Senator

If you plan ahead you can contact your state Senator and book a White House, Capital, and Library of Congress Tour. The Capital tour was my favorite because it was a small group and our guide was very knowledgeable. We also got to ride the underground people mover from the Senator’s office to the Capital Building. Plus we got to go in rooms not available to the general public.

Pack Light (most of the time)

For Government buildings, you will be restricted to small purses or handbag. Don’t bring a backpack with everyone’s lunch or water bottles. If you take a capital tour with your Senator’s office, you can leave your backpack in the air-conditioned office and pick it up when you are done. You can take pictures and they will let you know with vigor when you can’t. Small point and shoot camera or your smartphone are fine. Do not attempt to bring your SLR with a 600mm lens.

Bring a reusable water bottle and snacks

For times you can bring a larger bag (museum days), fill a reusable water bottle with ice from your hotel. Most places have those filtered reusable water stations that remind you haven’t killed any sea turtles today.  There aren’t many options to eat at the National Mall, so pack a few snacks so that you don’t have any hangry meltdowns.

Minimize your walking

Don’t try to do the National Mall in one day. Going from the Capital Building to the Lincoln Memorial is quite a haul. We did it, it is possible, but I regret it. Try to plan your museum visits based on your metro stops.

Use the DC Circular

To help minimize your walking there is a large red bus that will stop at all major spots in and around the National Mall. It’s only $1 for as long as you ride. Some drivers will let your kids on for free. Good for getting from one end of the National Mall to the other.

Suggested YouTube Channel: Trip Hacks DC