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    Thread: First time to Disney World....tips, secrets? Lay it on me

    1. 08-06-2012 06:28 PM #1
      So my parents have decided to take the entire family to Disney world, grand kids, son-in-laws, everyone. Would have been nice when I was 10 but hey, Disney is Disney.

      So what are the must do's, and secrets/tips that I should know to make our Disney Vacation the best. There's about 13 of us going.

    2. Member
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      Jun 5th, 2012
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      08-07-2012 03:27 AM #2
      It's been a few years since I've been, so I'm not sure if they still do it, but: FastPass. Use them. IIRC, it was only like 1/hr that was allowed. It allows you to 'check in' to a ride, if you will, to go to another and come back and cut in line. What time of year are you going? How long are you staying? What kind of stuff are you looking to do (what age group are you gearing towards)?

    3. Member Surf Green's Avatar
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      08-07-2012 09:26 AM #3
      We went during the winter. End of January. Did an entire 7 day package, staying at Port Orleans for my daughter's 7th birthday.

      Staying in the park gets you extra magic hours for resort guests only, free parking, free shuttle service to parks, free transportation to/from airport. Our flight was canceled (snowstorm), so we drove. But the car never had to move once after it arrived at the resort.
      Free Basic Dining, heavily discounted Dee-Lux dining.
      Low Hotel Rates.
      Virtually No Lines. (Longest I waited for a ride was 20 minutes. Never used Fast Pass. If a ride had a longer wait... I'd just come back an hour later, and the wait would be 15 minutes.)
      We wore out the park, doing everything at least twice in the 7 days we were there.

      Can be a crapshoot with weather. We got lucky with 80's and sun every day. But low 70's are typical for January. I prefer being cool to sweating my ass off.
      Some rides are closed for re-frubbishment.


      If you're doing a dining plan, mosdef get reservations early (months early.) Especially if you have a large group.
      I created an Excel sheet that had each day, Morning, Noon, evening to track what park had what shows, fireworks, etc. Also to keep track of dinner reservations.
      You get a LOT of food on the Deluxe plan. Skip breakfast, have a early lunch, and use 2 credit (posh) meals for dinner to get the most out of it.
      Get the park hopper. If you do a morning in Animal Kingdom, and then hop over the Magic Kingdom for the afternoon, Epcot for Dinner. etc. We didn't hop every day, but the flexibility is key.

      Have Dinner at Tappan Edo at 7 - 7:30p, and when dinners done, go outside on their deck, and watch the Illuminations fireworks.

      My Wife had never been, and wasn't sure what the fuss was about.
      After the first day, she was already planning our next trip.
      Last edited by Surf Green; 08-07-2012 at 09:33 AM.
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    4. Member TwoLitreVW's Avatar
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      Mar 16th, 2000
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      08-07-2012 03:20 PM #4
      there's a lot of disney haters here, so be ready for all that.

      i was raised in SoFL, so we made a weekend out of it at least once a year when we were kids.

      i still go back at least once a year as an adult. it's nice to disconnect and act like a giant child every once in a while.

      staying on-site is the way to go; and making reservations for dinner in advance is key.

      avoid the summer months; the parks are jammed with people and if the waiting in line with thousands of others for hours on end doesn't kill you, then the fact that you're doing it in the florida sweltering heat will.

      best times to go are jan-march (pref jan-feb) when the weather's nice, kids are in school, and if possible during the week.

      there's entirely too much to see to get it all in one trip, but if you really want to know the good stuff, ask your hotel staff for tips when you check in (if you're staying on-site). they're really good about making recommendations and then facilitating the event for you. especially if they know it's your first time (they love making it special for ya). but they can't do that if they don't know.
      shut your mouth. sh sh shut your mouth.

    5. 08-10-2012 06:10 PM #5
      It's booked for Oct and we're staying at one of the disney on park resorts. It's 7 days..I didn't know you could park hop. That's interesting because I thought if you started at Magic Kingdom, you were there all day.

      I think we have a 4 day park pass, but we can extend that if we want.

      We have reservations for 3 nights so far, I guess we should make a few more

    6. Member goosler's Avatar
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      Feb 11th, 2002
      hunterdon nj
      08-14-2012 10:00 AM #6
      Meal plan is a must

      Multi pass is well worth it (or is it called the park hopper?)

      get the ticket package with the early mornings & late nites

      Reservations are a must at some of the popular restaurants

      I found disney to be much more fun as an adult, then I did as a kid....

    7. Member
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      Jun 19th, 2002
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      08-14-2012 10:30 AM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by Stupid-GTi View Post
      So what are the must do's, and secrets/tips that I should know to make our Disney Vacation the best.
      My wife and I take our 4 kids every other year. I'm a beaches/mountains-hiking kinda vacation guy but despite going to Orlando everytime with a "I'm just doing this for the kids" mentality, I gotta admit I have a great time myself. I was just there for 9 days.
      Fastpass is a must for those couple of rides w/ longer wait times. The meal reservations tips are good. Wear great walking shoes...blows me away seeing people in flip-flops, etc. During this past trips we pounded the pavement for ~ 10 hrs/day at 5 diff Disney parks in those 9 days.

      I believe there's a phone app available that will tell you the best way to navigate each Disney park to take advantage of the shortest wait times...

    8. Member genjy's Avatar
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      08-15-2012 12:25 PM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by goosler View Post
      I found disney to be much more fun as an adult, then I did as a kid....
      Yeah. I think as a kid, Disneyland/world was just another theme park.

      But as an adult, I really truly appreciate how high-quality Disney parks are--from the rides to the customer service.

    9. Senior Member PineappleMonkey's Avatar
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      Mar 2nd, 2000
      08-15-2012 02:16 PM #9
      With a big family a meal plan isn't a huge deal but definitely makes things easier. You get a drink, entree and dessert with every meal as well as one or two snacks. There are a few plans but this was the basic one that's useful and it was plenty for me, I even thought it was a little much. If you're going to go this route though I'd offer the advice to put in your reservations in advance for each night for where you're going to eat dinner so you can dine at the better ones.

      You can easily spend a whole day at the Magic Kingdom and Epcot but Disney Hollywood studios and especially Animal Kingdom you can probably park hop to. Fast passes don't last for only the hour they are issued for but for rather the whole day. The time they print out is when you can go and get another one.

      On to fast passes. hurry to the biggest attraction in each park in the beginning of the day and immediately fast pass. At least this way you are guaranteed not having to wait in line all day for one ride. IE/YMMV:

      Magic Kingdom: Buzz lightyear probably or for some reason Peter pan, Snow White, Winnie the Pooh. Why those get packed I have no idea. :p
      Disney Holllywood studios: Toy Story (OMgerd run fast as hell to this) then Rock N Roller
      Epcot: Soarin
      Animal Kingdom: Yeti

      If you see a huge line at Tower of Terror, just leave don't wait. It usually breaks and you can sneak in when there's no line whatsoever. This is usually true for a few other rides.

      There's actually an app you can get that helped me out tons, it gives wait times for all the rides and showtimes in each park. It was pretty dead on while I was there. If you want the hectic schedule I had I can give you that as well.

      Yea....I've been here way too much.
      Last edited by PineappleMonkey; 08-15-2012 at 02:18 PM.
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    10. Global Moderator 16v's Avatar
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      08-16-2012 09:29 AM #10
      pick up this very helpful book http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/unof...ger/1101057405

      Also might want to lurk over on the Disney forums to get some up to date inside info from frequent visitors http://disboards.com/
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