10 Brand-New Disney Parks Tips You Need to Know for Your Next Visit
It’s time to dust off your Minnie ears and start planning that next fun and sun-filled trip to a Disney park. Spring and summer are wildly popular times to go to the happiest place on earth, be it Disneyland in California or Walt Disney World in Florida. But this year will be particularly crazy on both coasts thanks to the much-anticipated opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, and as always there are also some new rules to be mindful of. So as you start planning all the particulars of your next Disney fix, keep these 10 new tips in mind.
1. Don’t bring your cigarettes to the park. If you happen to smoke, vape, or otherwise ingest any sort of smokiness into your lungs, you won’t be able to do that inside Disney parks anymore. Beginning May 1, 2019, there will be a park-wide ban on smoking in Disneyland, Disney World, their water parks, ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, and Downtown Disney in Anaheim. Those who imbibe will need to search out the designated smoking areas located outside the entrances or the smoking areas available at Disney Resort hotels.
2. Think small when bringing a stroller. Don’t bring your bulky stroller or gigantic wagon to the parks. For your next trip, you’ll need to think smaller: Starting of May 1, strollers must be no larger than 31 inches wide and 52 inches long. (It is a small world, after all.)
3. You can get your drink on at Disneyland. While one vice is saying goodbye, a new one is being introduced (think of it as a trade of sorts). Disneyland has notoriously been a dry land, but that will change when Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens this May. While you won’t see booze served up on Main Street USA or in the lobby of Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, you will be able to sip on themed alcoholic beverages like the Outer Rim, Bespin Fizz, Yub Nub, and Fuzzy Tauntaun in Galaxy’s Edge.
4. Leave the ice at home. It’s pretty sweet of Disney parks to allow you to bring in your own foods and drinks, but they are now drawing the line at ice. Yes, ice. Apparently, some visitors were lugging loose ice and even dry ice into the parks to keep their drinks and snacks nicely chilled, and the disposal was becoming problematic. Reusable ice packs, on the other hand, are still fine. (They’re better for the environment too.)
5. Book a room to get into Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. If you’re like most, you’re itching to visit the brand new Star Wars-themed land. But if you think you can just waltz right in with Jedi-like tenacity, you’d be wrong: The Force doesn’t work that way. To get an early peek at the most anticipated Disneyland addition ever, you’ll need to book a room at one of the Disney Resort hotels; you’ll then be given an assigned time to get your Star Wars fill. Almost all the hotel rooms have already been booked for the launch time frame — but plans do change, so it could be worthwhile to keep an eye out for any cancellation openings.
6. Grab a bathroom pass if you’re headed to Galaxy’s Edge. This may give you flashbacks to grade school, but bathroom passes will be a “thing” when Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens. Disney is anticipating record-breaking lines for the attractions, so to help those with busy bladders, they’re introducing a system where people who need to leave the line for a bathroom break can snag a pass. On their return, they can meet up with their pals at the FastPass merge location.
7. Book a breakfast with a princess. When the Pixar-themed Lamplight Lounge opened in the space that was once Ariel’s Grotto in Disney California Adventure, the princesses who would hold court there were suddenly displaced. But don’t fret: The lovely ladies of Disney have a new place to meet and entertain their loyal fans. Disney Princess Breakfast Adventures at the Napa Rose restaurant at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel features a three-course breakfast, story time, kid-friendly activities, and princess photo ops. Since everyone loves princesses (and breakfast), be sure to reserve this dining experience way ahead of time. (Photo via Joshua Sudock/Disneyland Resort)
8. Enjoy Disney After Dark. These specially ticketed after-hours events let visitors hang out in the park with smaller crowds, unique experiences, dance parties, and rare character photo ops. These events pop up from time to time, and there are two new ones on the horizon. For Disneyland After Dark, there will be Heroes Assemble at Disney California Adventure Park on April 30 and May 1. And along with a variety of Disney After Hours events at all the parks in Disney World, there’s one in particular that’s a must for those who love Disney baddies — Disney Villains After Hours at Magic Kingdom Park. These mayhem-filled evenings run on select dates from June 6 to August 8.
9. Celebrate your favorite mouse. The year of Mickey is in full swing with a new immersive experience: Pop-Up Disney! A Mickey Celebration. Opening April 26, 2019 in Downtown Disney at the Disneyland Resort, this pop-up photo-op pays homage to Mickey Mouse for a limited time. It’s your chance to take a selfie on the super-sized bow sofa or go Plane Crazy with Mickey, and who could resist that?
10. Snag a discount on park tickets. Getting a deal on tickets at Disneyland or Disney World tickets has been notoriously hard… until now. Sam’s Club recently announced their new Travel and Entertainment service, which allows members to score discounted tickets to various destinations, including Disneyland and Disney World. Additionally, Disney is offering discounted tickets to Florida residents heading to Disney World, and Southern Californian locals can get a deal on Disneyland. aRes also offers discounts on multi-day and Park Hopper tickets at both Disneyland and Disney World.
(Photos via Disney Parks)
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Welcome to Selfmade Finance School, our new money series with Block Advisors to help small business owners with their tax, bookkeeping, and payroll needs year-round. This week, we explore the tax implications of bringing family members into your business.
The question for today is this: Does hiring your family members make sense for your business? Let me be clear. This is not a piece about whether hiring your family members makes sense for your relationships with those family members. As someone who is part of a family business, I could fill up a lot more than 600 words on my opinions about that. For today's purposes, we focus on whether it makes sense from an overall "good business and tax implication" perspective. As it turns out, there is a decent amount of tax nuance when it comes to employing your family. Let's break it down based on relationship to the employee:
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Spouses Who Are In Business Together
Personally, if I had to be in business with my husband, it would not go well. However, many couples build viable, strong businesses together and I say, good for them! Depending on how you have your business entity structured, it will make a big difference on the tax treatment of you and your spouse working as partners. Because a business jointly owned and operated by a married couple is generally treated as a partnership for Federal tax purposes, the spouses must comply with filing and record keeping requirements imposed on partnerships and their partners. The election to file two Schedule C (Form 1040) forms, (one for each spouse) permits certain married co-owners to avoid filing partnership returns, provided that each spouse separately reports a share of all the businesses' items of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit. Under the election, both spouses will be subject to self-employment tax and on net earnings from self-employment and receive credit for Social Security earnings.
One Spouse Employs Another
If you have a dynamic where your spouse is an employee of your business, then your spouse's wages are subject to income tax withholding, Social Security and Medicare taxes. If you are self-employed (not a corporation or a partnership), your spouse's pay does not have to be included in your federal unemployment tax account (FUTA) contributions and payments. However, if your business is a corporation or a partnership you must include that spouse's pay in your unemployment tax contribution calculation.
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You Employ Your Child
First, let's be clear. I work in my family business, but I am an adult, so I am treated just like a normal employee. However, if you, for example, run a family restaurant and want to hire your children under 18 to work for you, there are some tax benefits. But first, you should check with your state for rules on how many hours minors can work (in non-agricultural jobs) and reference the Fair Labor Standards Act for information on limitations on the kinds of work children can perform.
"This is an often overlooked or under-utilized strategy. Paying your children for true services they provide in your business can be a powerful tax-saving tool," says Cathi Reed, Block Advisors Regional Director. "If you are a sole-proprietorship or single member LLC, and the child is less than 18 years of age, the business is not required to withhold FICA or payroll taxes. The child can use his or her standard deduction against income you pay."
You Hire Your Parent
Oh dear. If you are brave enough to do this, know that you will need to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on your parent's wages and make the appropriate withholdings, but you don't have to pay unemployment taxes. Now all you have to do is convince your parent that you are the boss. Have fun with that!
Is Hiring Family Members Worth It For The Tax Benefits?
"There are some positive tax advantages to hiring family members. It's important to treat a family member like any other employee. Hiring your children can result in substantial savings for businesses. Make sure your child has real, age-appropriate work to do and a reasonable pay rate, comparable to other employees. Consult with a Block Advisors small business certified tax pro to ensure that you are complying with all requirements," advises Reed. "Block Advisors, a team within H&R Block, is dedicated to meeting the tax, bookkeeping and payroll needs of small business owners year-round. To start working with the tax experts at Block Advisors, visit blockadvisors.com."
In my opinion, you should not hire a family member solely because of the tax benefits. You should always hire based on whether that person is right for the job and keep in mind how this hire could materially impact your relationship with that person and others in your family. Finally, as I mentioned, make sure you have a tax professional on your team when making these determinations. As you can see, things can get a little tricky!
*All details were sourced from IRS.gov and blockadvisors.com