RWA, Disney, and The Little Things

July 15, 2010 at 2:26 pm (Events)


Hello! Well, it’s that time of year again–RWA National Conference time. (Or as I like to call it, Christmas on Crack.) You’ve read my posts before on Dressing for Success and Food, Drugs and Masks, so you have the basics–let’s call it Conference 101. There are also some fantabulous tips going around Twitter right now (use hashtag #rwa10) and probably some links to other blogs giving you the inside scoop, but I like to think I’m covering something different this time. I’m going to call it Conference 102–The Little Things.

Let’s address the location first–the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin. RWA announced recently that all of the events are going to be taking place at the Dolphin, so for the sites I’m about to list, I’m leaning toward the Fin instead of the Feather. Most sites also have similar entries for the Swan (aka The Feather) so if you’re staying in that hotel, take a browse around for tips specific to you.

I’ve found some great sites dealing with both hotels, including All Ears, The Mouse for Less, and Mouse Savers. These sites also have fantabulous links dealing with all of Walt Disney World and where to go, what to eat, how to save money, and everything else you could possibly want. I’m going to skip those as I have pretty much zero interest in visiting any part of the park (I know–take away my American citizenship now) so just didn’t bother unless I could see the tip having an effect on me. (Example–the refillable souvenir mug. For my diet Coke/Dr. Pepper addiction, these sound pretty good!)

One important fact to keep in mind is that the Swan and Dolphin (heretofore to be referred to as one unit, ergo not plural) is not, I repeat, not, a Disney Resort. This means important stuff, I’m sure, in the greater scheme of Walt Disney World (it sounds like many of the privileges are the same as resort hotels), but the one thing I found where it does make a difference to most of us is that they don’t participate in the Disney’s Magical Express shuttle bus and luggage delivery service.  The hotel sites above all have a transportation link if you’re not taking advantage of the Mears RWA-discounted shuttle, but the bottom line is you’re going to have to find your own transportation to and from the Swan and Dolphin. (Unless, of course, you’re in another or overflow hotel that is a Disney Resort.)

Now, whenever I go to a hotel, I like details. I mean details like an anal-retentive accountant prepping for an audit. I’ve looked and looked for S&D (Swan and Dolphin) facts, and the best I’ve found is a little known branch of their official website listed under a media guide. It has many lovely photos (which I love, as I can get a good feel of the room I’ll be staying in) and if you look at the top of the page, many lovely links to other details of the S&D, such as floor plansfast facts, hotel videos, and so much more. (All Ears also has a plethora of wonderful photos, too.)

Now, if there’s one tip that I just fell in love with, one tip that I encourage each and every one of you to take a peek at, it’s this: There’s a drugstore that delivers to the Walt Disney World area. Delivers! It’s called Turner Drug and not only do they deliver, they take PayPal, so to me they are an awesome sundae with chocolatey awesome sauce drizzled all over the awesomeness. Now, I take a little pharmacy of my own with me when I travel, but if something bigger than the sniffles or an allergy attack happened, I would be SOL. Well, not anymore–I hop online, order some lovely drugs, and they bring them to the hotel. Yes, for a charge, but c’mon–who hasn’t been hit by some nasty stomach bug or cold from hell (thank you very much, sneezing person beside me on the plane!) and would pay somewhere between your first born and grandmother’s diamond ring for relief? And you know one of their more beautiful offerings? Water and Sodas.  Toldja they were awesome

Here’s one of my favorite tips–ship yourself treats. Having the joy of getting my luggage searched in April (complete with breaking off my TSA-approved lock), I’ve been careful what I pack, and that does include my suspicious-on-Xray-machines granola bars. In thinking of that and reading some of the overall Disney tips, I’ve decided to ship myself a box. (They give you the details on your confirmation page–if you can’t find it, email  me at pamelacayne at gmail dot com and I’ll help you out.) I’m using a USPS Priority rate Flat Rate box and filling it with my teas, some granola bars, almonds for snacking, probably some little packs of Cheetos, maybe a package of Oreos or something, and anything else that sounds yummy but would probably set off TSA as a suspicious mass. Ship it on Friday, it’s there on Tuesday or so, and as soon as I check in, I get a call saying they’re holding a box for me. Ta-daa! Food delivered to my door. Screw Martha–that’s the definition of a good thing!

I’ll also be packing 2 or 3 of the Medium Flat Rate boxes (available in any post office for free) along with a bunch of $1 stamps and some pre-addressed priority labels. I know RWA usually has a shipping area set up, but this way I’m covered if they don’t, if it’s too crowded, or for whatever reason strikes me in the heat of Orlando. The medium rate ones are self-sealing, so I’ll leave them flat in the bottom of my suitcase, to be pulled out and assembled for shipping later (with the pre-addressed label and $11 in stamps) or left alone should I not need shipping services or decide to use whatever RWA is offering.

My last tip? I’ve created both a surf and a rain white-noise “song” for my iPod. This is invaluable on the plane if I’m trying to sleep or want to ignore the sneezing guy next to me or if the room has a iPod/mp3 jack on its beside alarm clock. Hell, if the people next door/above me are getting too loud in the wee hours of the night, I’ll stick my earbuds in and listen to it that way. I strongly suggest you have some white noise relief of your own.

So those are my tips. If you have any questions, comment below or email me at the pamelacayne address. Let me know if you’re going to Orlando and maybe we can cross paths, and for those of you not going, I hope to be blogging there along with many pictures, but that all depends on time and computers and such. Plus, I may be too busy munching on my Oreos.

***MY WARNING!*** All of this information was gathered and presented in good faith. For any of it, I strongly suggest you call the place and double check the information or do whatever you need to feel safe and secure with the tip you’re clinging to with both hands. I’ve done this on a few items that were important to me, and the rest I’ve either researched to within a hair of OCD status or have come to terms with that tip not working out and my ability to live a long and happy life should that happen. Basically, I’m telling you your mileage may vary.


  1. Marilyn Brant said,

    “Christmas on Crack”…LOL!
    I’m off to check out some of these links–thanks, Pam!!! (See you soooooooon!)

  2. Melina said,

    Yay! I LOVE getting you expert advice! So far, the summer has been pretty bleh. So I’m really excited about RWA, and I’ve been using the hotel’s iPhone apps to do research (or rather, just dream about the end of July).

    So, Marilyn and Pam, see you soon!!!! 🙂

  3. Pamela Cayne said,

    Marilyn–I’ve been absolutely clear that I am a Nationals slut, so Christmas on Crack seemed to fit the feeling! See you soon, too!!! 🙂

    Melina–I saw that iPhone app! So glad it’s working out for you! Just a few more days and you’ll get that hug you’ve had coming for a year! (Bring duct tape to keep your head on!) 🙂

  4. Karen Pinco said,

    I too downloaded that iPhone app. I also have an awesome app that plays all those white noise things – my favorite is the thunderstorm, but the beach has possibiliites in summer.

    I picked up my flat rate boxes yesterday and need to do some pre-packing to see what will/won’t fit and if its worth risking checking in my luggage.

    And we do need to make plans for getting together. I have Melina on speed dial… time to round up all the others.

  5. Robin said,

    Awesome tips and info, Pam! I swear, *you* should be an app! 😉

    Can’t wait to see you!!!!!

  6. Pamela Cayne said,

    Karen–glad to hear you’re zipping along! All that a queries, too–hooray! And yes, we’ll absolutely get some together time! 😀

    Robin–I don’t think I’d fit in an iPhone! (Tee hee!) Can’t wait to see (and hug) you either!! 😀

  7. Caryn said,

    ‘Christmas on crack’ – I love it!!

  8. Pamela Cayne said,

    Caryn–yup, that’s me! Can’t wait until we see you at Nationals again! 🙂

  9. Caryn said,

    I’m looking forward to it, too! Maybe L. A.

  10. Pamela Cayne said,

    Hear that, Robin? Caryn’s going to aim for L.A. We’ll be all west coast romance! 🙂

  11. Katie Reus said,

    Sadly I won’t make it this year but these are great tips!

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