by Disney Magic Diva
A Walt Disney World Resort vacation has so many highlights – meeting characters, castle photos, exciting attractions, delicious food, unbelievable shopping, and, of course – the POOL! If you haven’t planned pool time into your vacation itinerary, you are really missing out on one of the best aspects of staying at a Walt Disney World resort. The lifeguards and recreation staff all add so much magic to your pool time- it really can be considerably more than just a refreshing dip in the water.
Two years ago when we were staying at Disney’s Beach Club Resort, I noticed a tie-dye activity was scheduled for certain afternoons. We didn’t ever get a chance to participate in it during that trip, so you can imagine how excited I was when, while we were splashing around the pool at Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort, the recreation staff announced that they would be holding a tie-dye activity! It really felt like we had been pixie-dusted with some magical timing to finally have a chance for some Mickey tie-dying! (If you’re thinking of staying at Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort, you can check out my review, here.)
I’m not a tie-dye expert. In fact, I have never tie-dyed anything. So I was especially happy to find that the recreation staff did all the work here, and all we had to worry about was having fun! But honestly, would you expect anything less from Disney?
We were offered a choice between two items to tie-dye: a pillowcase for $10 or a bandana for $8. If you’re staying at a different resort, you may have different choices. Naturally, if you wanted to do both, that was certainly possible too! No pre-registration was required – we simply scanned our Magic Band with the recreation staff. If you wanted to pay by credit card or with cash, you could go inside to the gift shop and bring the receipt back to the recreation staff.
We chose a pillowcase for my grandson to tie-dye. As mentioned, all the prep work was already done for us. The pillowcase was already “tied” with rubber bands in just the right places to create a Mickey. The recreation staff dipped the pillowcase in a bucket to get it wet, then placed it on a cooling rack to keep it elevated off the table. We were instructed to put on latex gloves to protect our hands – something easier said than done when trying to place gloves on an excited 5 year old! There were several squirt bottles filled with various dye colors, and all we had to do was choose the color and begin squirting!
Once we were finished, the staff wrapped the pillowcase securely in several layers of plastic wrap. They then placed the wrapped pillowcase in a bag for us, and went over instructions for finishing the process at home. Thankfully, there were also written instructions and a pair of latex gloves in the bag. The staff told us to wait at least 24, and preferably 48 hours before we rinsed the dye out of the pillowcase.
DIVA TIP: If it’s possible, do your tie-dye activity early in your trip. That way you can have it sit wrapped in your room for 48 hours, rinse it out, and let it dry before you pack up to go home. If you’re tie-dying at the end of your vacation, it’s still completely safe to pack your wrapped tie-dye and finish it at home. The instructions also include procedures for washing your tie-dye creation in the washing machine.
After 48 hours, we put on our latex gloves, unwrapped the plastic, and clipped away the rubber bands. (We discovered a nail clipper worked great to clip the rubber bands!) Then we began rinsing the pillowcase out in the tub in our resort room. It took several minutes of running water, but finally the dye was all rinsed out and we hung up the pillowcase to dry. The Mickey was perfectly visible, and our grandson was really surprised to find the back of the pillowcase happened to have a design that resembled an “R,” the first letter of his name! That’s some real Disney Magic!
Of course, tie-dying wasn’t the only fun we had at the pool! The recreation staff has a seemingly endless supply of entertainment in store for everyone! We played Mr. Potato Head relays, where Mr. Potato’s body parts were scattered in the shallow end of the pool, and kids took turns jumping in to get a body part, bring it back, and part by part build a complete Mr. Potato Head. We played Four Corners which was somewhat like musical chairs, but naturally had a fun Disney twist. And of course there was BINGO and karaoke – always a big hit with a kids and adults alike! And what are games without prizes? After every game, the victors were invited to visit the treasure chest to claim a prize. My grandson was jumping with joy when his Mr. Potato Head relay team won their race, and he got to choose a prize!
Even on days when the weather doesn’t cooperate, the recreation staff keeps the fun going! One afternoon when we returned to the resort just before a thunderstorm struck, we walked into the lobby to find the pool party had been moved inside. There was a table for kids to color pennants using permanent markers – something we never allow at home, but what a treat for my grandson! There were also dominoes and a tic-tac-toe game with pieces so large they probably came from Willie the Giant’s toy box. And for the music lovers – the lifeguards joined with the recreation staff in a crowd pleasing impersonation of the Village People (complete with costume props!) singing and dancing to “Y-M-C-A” and other favorites.
If you haven’t planned pool time into your Disney itinerary, I’d highly suggest you do so! It’s a perfect way to decompress from the stimulating park environment, or simply to cool off from the scorching sun. If you’d rather leave the swimming to Nemo, you may want to consider other non-park activities. Fancy Free Diva has tips on Community Halls along with Pixie Hollow Diva, and Beauty and the Beast Diva tells us why she thinks a non-park day is a necessity to a magical vacation.
If you’d like some help planning the perfect itinerary, or just getting a great deal on booking your vacation, be sure to contact Patricia at All for Dreams Travel. She can help with any questions you have, and her services are FREE! Then get packing….and don’t forget your swimsuit!
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