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Brian Bennett

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The Crushed Ice Caper

Stephen Simmons (ssimmons@eds.com) sent me the following note:

First let me say that I have just found your web site (thanks to Al's web site) and have yet to check out each and every page but I still believe that I have a question that may not be covered anywhere. Be prepared to laugh....(I hope)

This may sound easy..... We have taken water bottles with us on a previous trip to WDW. This is real great for those hot days while standing in line.  However the water tends to get warm. So, where (in any and all the parks) can one go to get crushed ice? Could you be specific please (don't just say "in a restaurant" or "from an ODV cart (considering the carts now serve mostly bottles I doubt that they have crushed ice).  I'd like to be able to mark up an old map with several locations so that if needed we can "pop in" and refill the ice in our water bottles.

So, I laughed (Stephen was right), and asked my "inside sources."  Actually, I contacted Michael Hewell (a former WDW VIP Tour Guide, and now a WDW trip itinerary planner and tour guide - information on his company, "MICHAEL'S VIPS", is available elsewhere in this site....just click on the link.)  This is what I was told:

There is certainly no 'official' place to get crushed ice. All of the outside vendors use 'dry ice' for their ice-cream bars and such. If a cast member DID give crushed ice to a guest, it would be at the sole discretion of that cast member, as there would be concerns about other guests seeing it and expecting that it was now policy.

If he walked into a counter service restaurant and requested it there, it would only be given if it was not during a peak time and there were not other guests waiting for their food. Most of the CM's would reply that he needed to purchase something first ... 

What most guests do, however, is put their water bottles in the freezer over night and bring them to the park frozen. They stay cool all day usually.

Another suggestion is to have insulated water bottles instead of non-insulated. The insulated water bottles used for camping really do work!

My answer above is what I would have given him as a guest relations host.

His best bet is a counter service restaurant BUT ONLY during times when they were not very busy.

There are certainly no areas that he can mark on a map because most CM's will have been instructed to not provide this service. Sorry I could not be of more help. No need to credit this - there's nothing to credit!

All humility aside, I'm pleased to admit that I was stumped, but that Michael knew the answer!

Stephen Simmons followed up with the following note:

Subject: The "Crushed Ice Caper"

Thanks again for doing the research about locating crushed ice at WDW. It blew me away to find out you actually added this to your web site.

Not to complain about the answer that you provided, but we were obviously looking for the "cheap" way to do this. One of your answers (along with one I got off of a chat room) was to freeze the water bottles over night. Well, that would require renting a fridge (cost $10 a day). For that price I can buy several bottles of cold water! (or even a coke or two). What we will probably do is locate some insulated bottles (since ours are just the regular ones like you can purchase in the Disney Store) and go from there.

Being a former CM from DL (way back in the E-Coupon days), I am sure that if I work it properly I could persuade some nice CM to provide some crushed ice if needed. It's amazing how friendly CM's become when they find out you're "one of them".

True, Stephen, but not all of us have that privilege  :)


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