Working While At WDW Parks

Wednesday, March 19, 2014 7:31 AM

Looks like I may need to do some work while at the WDW parks (including water parks). From what I have seen online, there are a few of Disney resorts that are business friendly. But I haven't seen anything about the parks themselves. Anyone have any experience with this?

Do they allow you to bring laptops into the parks? If so, are there places you can sit near a power outlet with Wi-Fi access? How fast are connections? Are there places that are better/worse for this? Overall, how practical is it?

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014 8:01 AM

Too funny. Two years ago, when I had an annual pass, I was in the same situation. I was in Orlando for business and had an afternoon free but needed to get some work done.

Long story short, got into Epcot with no issues with a fully charged laptop (in a backpack). Bag check was no issue. Found some tables outside of Germany, grabbed a beer and got some work done in a pretty cool environment. Plus I was able to hit up Illuminations that night (and a few more beers) so it was a perfect "me" day.

As for power, you might be able to get lucky with 110V, but probably there are very few outdoors. Never really noticed, but never looked either. But with a fully charged laptop, you should be able to grab at least several hours of power. You could also look at purchasing a juice pack for additional portable power.

Just about all of the public areas at WDW have decent free WiFi now with NexGen, especially in the parks. I have had real good experience with the WiFi at WDW over the past few years.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014 8:58 AM
Jeff's avatar

WiFi is very broadly available, and mostly doesn't suck. I've seen it get a little slower on super busy days at Magic Kingdom, but it was still serviceable. I've seen people crash at tables with laptops many times.

Power might be tricky, but it depends. There's actually a "charging grove" now in Magic Kingdom between Peter Pan and the Columbia Harbor House. The plugs are tucked away in fake tree stumps.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014 1:21 PM

For some reason, I have visions of someone sitting on Small World going round and round with a laptop.... Or of a potential energy source using a gyro and a generator while riding Big Thunder Mountain. I mean it works at Beech Bend.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014 1:47 PM
LostKause's avatar

I'm not knocking it, but I would like to know why someone would waste time at a Disney park working on their laptop? Unless someone has an annual pass or something, and are bored of all the things there is to do there, I don't understand it.


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Wednesday, March 19, 2014 2:29 PM

I haven't actually worked from the park other than answering emails, texts, taking calls, etc, but on my last visit in December there were a few days I had to excuse myself, go back to my room, and work for an hour or two and then go back to the park for the evening.

For me and my job the options are either (a) work a bit during my vacation, (b) don't take any vacations, or (c) quit a job I enjoy for something I enjoy less but gives me more time off.

I'd rather spend a few hours of my time on a Disney vacation working than no Disney vacation at all.


If I were more clever, something funny would be here.
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Wednesday, March 19, 2014 2:56 PM

LostKause said:

I would like to know why someone would waste time at a Disney park working on their laptop? Unless someone has an annual pass or something, and are bored of all the things there is to do there, I don't understand it.

It's the difference between a professional with a career and someone who works at Taco Bell.

It's not because they're bored, it's because they have a job that probably pays really well, and there are things that just have to happen. You can get someone else to make the chalupas for you when you're on vacation. You can't always tell the lawyers and bankers to hang tight for a week.

(edited to change "I can't always tell the lawyers" to "you can't always tell the lawyers". Pronoun disagreement made that seem d*ckish, which wasn't the intent.)

Last edited by CreditWh0re, Thursday, March 20, 2014 1:52 AM
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Wednesday, March 19, 2014 3:22 PM

Technology allows a lot of people to work pretty much anywhere. In many cases, its imposssible to tell the person isn't in their office (if they even have one) unless you are standing outside their office door. For better or worse, that is mine. And there are aspects of that which is are fantastic. And there are also aspects of it which totally suck.

If you combine that with the reality that I am not a driver of when my work must be done but am a reactor. Makes it very diffficult to plan things around work while at the same time being able to manipulate where that work is done.

So now after having made plans months ago to spent a few days at Disney, work intervenes. Choices are skip out on the trip (though there is a group of people counting on me being there though not necessarily engaged at every moment in Disney stuff), skip out on work (though that leaves client and others in my office in a lurch--not a great option in a service business) or try to do both. Other option would be never take a vacation. Of those options, the best one to me is trying to do both.

I pretty much always do some work while on vacation. Return some calls, manage emails, etc. If nothing else it saves me from having to deal with 150+ emails for every work day out of office when I get back. Usually I can do that just about anywhere. And often its early in morning or late at night. But sometimes there is a little heavier lifting required that needs to be accomplished during the day. I haven't had circumstances where it takes up an entire day or even most of one. Though I know people who have spent 14+ hrs on any given day and/or every day/almost every day working on 'vacation.' Those situations can create a lot of trouble with families (especially spouses). I work with someone who says the secret is marrying the daughter of a doctor because you will look like a home body in comparisson.

Walt, the idea of spending any long amount of time on Its a Small World would seem to really test the notion of any day at an amusement parks beats a day in the office. LOL

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014 3:50 PM

GoBucks89 said:

Technology allows a lot of people to work pretty much anywhere. In many cases, its imposssible to tell the person isn't in their office (if they even have one) unless you are standing outside their office door. For better or worse, that is mine. And there are aspects of that which is are fantastic. And there are also aspects of it which totally suck.

This caused me a problem once. It was a US holiday where the markets and banks were closed but wasn't a major, internationally known holiday. Something like President's Day. An Egyptian client of mine called to go through his account and I told him it was a holiday and I didn't have access to his account information where I was. I was at a casino and he heard the slot machines in the background. Here he was calling me for financial reasons and I was telling him that it was some holiday he never heard of while at a casino. We would laugh about it later but he was pretty frustrated for a while.

Walt, the idea of spending any long amount of time on Its a Small World would seem to really test the notion of any day at an amusement parks beats a day in the office. LOL

I meant to reply to Walt's comment earlier. I'm a fan of small world, but I think I'd rather setup my office on the Transit Authority people mover. I could time my naps for the portion inside Space Mountain.


If I were more clever, something funny would be here.
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Wednesday, March 19, 2014 4:28 PM
Vater's avatar

LostKause said:

I'm not knocking it, but I would like to know why someone would waste time at a Disney park working on their laptop? Unless someone has an annual pass or something, and are bored of all the things there is to do there, I don't understand it.

My CEO recently took his family to Disneyland and spent nearly the entire time on his mobile phone making deals. It's an extreme case, but when you own a startup and don't want that startup to fail miserably (while still wanting to spend at least some time with your family on the vacation you planned in advance), that's what you do.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014 4:47 PM
LostKause's avatar

CreditWh0re said:

It's the difference between a professional with a career and someone who works at Taco Bell.

Point taken, but I am sure that there are many, many people with "real" jobs who don't need to take work on vacation with them. Many. I'm sure that there are many people who have much higher paying jobs than me, with more responsibility, who don't consider themselves to have a job like Taco Bell.

My job isn't as fabulous as your "carreer" seems to be, but I can afford to take one or two ten-day vacations a year, and not have anyone contact me from work at all. A vacation would not be a vacation, to me, if I would have to be bothered with life's everyday obligations. I take vacations to get away from all that.

In other words, no need to talk down to me, friend. I was just asking. I didn't understand why someone would bring their laptops to the theme park with them. That's all.

And here is where I can dish it back out to you... With a few exceptions, using your laptop at a public place, especially at Magic Kingdom, seems douchebaggish to me. "Look at me everyone. I'm so important." lol No thank you. I don't WANT to be that "important."

And just in case your face is red with anger and the bulging vein in your forehead is throbbing, I'm smiling. I'm trying to get you to laugh at yourself.


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Wednesday, March 19, 2014 5:02 PM
Vater's avatar

LostKause said:
With a few exceptions, using your laptop at a public place, especially at Magic Kingdom, seems douchebaggish to me. "Look at me everyone. I'm so important." lol No thank you. I don't WANT to be that "important."

Seems to me it's pretty douchebaggish (and naive) to assume most people who use laptops in public places do so to feel self important, especially in this day and age when people have been relying on laptops and other mobile devices for decades.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014 5:50 PM
Jeff's avatar

CreditWh0re said:
It's the difference between a professional with a career and someone who works at Taco Bell.

I think that's a crappy generalization and one I completely reject. People make choices. Some people really believe that the business can't survive without them, and they can't truly disconnect. To me that's total nonsense, and totally outside the realm of my professional, well-paid experience.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014 6:36 PM
Gromithere's avatar

As someone who USED to be the type of person who could just not let work go while on vacation, my opinion is that except in the rarest of circumstances you usually CAN let it go. The key is to have the right people in place and to have them trained properly so that if you were to disappear tomorrow, the place could still run without you.

My two cents anyway.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014 6:51 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Gromithere said:

The key is to have the right people in place and to have them trained properly so that if you were to disappear tomorrow, the place could still run without you.

If I were a business owner and you worked for me, you wouldn't have a job. You're clearly not needed.

I think to say no one has to be available to their work 24/7 is as silly as saying everyone has to be available to their work 24/7.

Quite frankly, it depends on a number of things and every situation is different. Someone who has to work during vacation is no more right or wrong than someone who doesn't. I'm surprised by neither situation.

But I don't think CreditWh0re's response was necessarily incorrect. I truly believe that, in general, the higher up you are on the chain, the more responsibility you have, the more you make and the more you have to be available to your work. It may be been worded in a snarky fashion, and exceptions exist, but his core point is one I find solid.


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Wednesday, March 19, 2014 8:28 PM

I always had a job where I enjoyed the luxury of being able to wipe my feet at the door. My off time was mine, and per our union contract, if anyone had the nerve to call me at home for any reason I would be expected to add 2 hrs "call out" time to my time sheet. I worked for the telephone company (through its many incarnations) in a non-management capacity and our jobs were designed so if I were to die suddenly one day it would be no problem- someone would sit in my chair the next day and pick right up where I left off. It was kind of like chalupaville, but not really. I made good money, too.
I valued that sort of employment, when I was a young man it allowed me to pursue my interest in show business and through my entire life take amusement park trips without the pressure or interruption of being called in or to the phone unexpectedly.

Now my partner, on the other hand, is at beck and call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. He works in an industry where anything can happen at anytime, yes, even on Christmas Day. Even when we were in Hawaii recently he worked every day, either monitoring and answering email or taking phone calls sometimes at 3 in the morning island time. I can honestly say that in the 16+ years I've known him I've never seen him take an entire day off. So just the other day I asked him if that kind of schedule ever gets him down and he said no. Along with his title comes travel, which he enjoys, flexibility in his day to come and go as he pleases, and really great money for his time and trouble. Plus, unlike me, he really loves being Charles in Charge.
Oh, and at WDW he worked from his smart phone, taking advantage of wifi availability as well as wait times, meal times, and my need to look at every item in every store. Now, if he'd brought his lap top with him I mighta had to say something...

Last edited by RCMAC, Wednesday, March 19, 2014 8:51 PM
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Thursday, March 20, 2014 1:29 AM

LostKause said:

My job isn't as fabulous as your "carreer" seems to be, but I can afford to take one or two ten-day vacations a year, and not have anyone contact me from work at all. A vacation would not be a vacation, to me, if I would have to be bothered with life's everyday obligations. I take vacations to get away from all that.

It's not that my career is more fabulous than anyone else's (it's certainly not), and it has nothing to do with "affording" anything. It's simply that in this day and age, when corporate America has reduced personnel and staffing to minimal levels, and the "administrative assistant" is a thing of the past, there is just no one in a lot of offices/businesses to handle 100% of everything for a week or more while on vacation. There is always something that comes up that you are the only one able to answer the question, prepare some report/analysis/response, etc.

I've had to run out to the car several times at Disneyland (and send files, etc) from the Mickey and Friends garage. Corporate America just doesn't stop for vacations any more, and with the ability to be easily connected, it's just the way life is.

As someone else mentioned, sometimes there are three choices. Don't do the work, and face serious repercussions (lost business, failed business, or evil boss); Don't take the vacation; or try to do a bit of work at opportune moments that don't ruin the family's enjoyment and still enjoy the vacation.

I've had to send the family to the park, and stay at the hotel/condo one day because something blew up. It's just life for a large section of professional folks.

Last edited by CreditWh0re, Thursday, March 20, 2014 1:48 AM
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Thursday, March 20, 2014 1:45 AM

Jeff said:

Some people really believe that the business can't survive without them, and they can't truly disconnect. To me that's total nonsense, and totally outside the realm of my professional, well-paid experience.

I agree. You see it all the time in airports, little league fields, etc. and it makes me cringe.

However, sometimes, it's truly the case that you are the only one who can do X, and X has to happen now. We have a saying at my firm, "that nothing exciting happens on a client assignment until Y goes on vacation". It's the honest to God's truth. I've worked on two, year long projects with timelines basically set at the beginning, and the unforseen disaster happens on day two of the vacation. Now that's just bad timing, but it's just the way some professional services gigs are.

Last edited by CreditWh0re, Thursday, March 20, 2014 1:46 AM
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Thursday, March 20, 2014 8:03 AM

I've been in this situation from time to time. I can't always control deadlines that come from "the outside," and most of them are things with nontrivial consequences if I miss them. If a program officer wants a revision to my budget while she is trying to decide which of the final proposals to fund, I can (a) get her that revised budget or (b) let someone else have the grant. A friend of mine in IP law has learned to schedule vacations during the initial dates scheduled for a trial, because that's the *one* time he is guaranteed that the trial won't happen.

However, when these sorts of things crop up on vacation, I tend to hang back in the condo and send the family off on whatever adventure was planned for the day and then join them when I've taken care of whatever it was. If the home base isn't properly equipped, I just find a cafe or similar thing somewhere.


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Thursday, March 20, 2014 9:01 AM
Jeff's avatar

CreditWh0re said:
However, sometimes, it's truly the case that you are the only one who can do X, and X has to happen now.

I'm sure that happens, and I'm not suggesting it doesn't. I'm saying that the majority of the time it happens because people either allow it to happen or they make that choice. Type-A overachievers are the worst at it. It's an American cultural problem. We don't set boundaries and we accept that as normal. My coworkers from Europe totally don't get it.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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