Disney advice please
  • gruuvygrl
    Posts: 2Member
    My DH and I want to take our kids this fall to Disney in Florida. DS will be 7 and DD 5. We have never been, and could use any advice from those that have braved it!
  • momofdbbmomofdbb
    Posts: 10,900Member
    Dinning plan!!!!!! Get one !! Oh and make reservations For dinners. Fast passes are your friends.
    " Wibbly wobbly timey wimey ......." The Doctor
    " I'm a leafe on the wind..watch how I soar ." Wash :((
    " Oh the wall had it comming.' Sherlock Holmes
    yea I am geek !!
  • momofdbbmomofdbb
    Posts: 10,900Member
    Oh set the reservations like NOW ! To get the good places.
    " Wibbly wobbly timey wimey ......." The Doctor
    " I'm a leafe on the wind..watch how I soar ." Wash :((
    " Oh the wall had it comming.' Sherlock Holmes
    yea I am geek !!
  • BellaBefanaBellaBefana
    Posts: 10,374Member
    Yeah, check out Disneyvacations.com, they have some really nice packages.  Be prepared, Disneyland is freaking expensive, every where you turn!  Be prepared to pay $5 for a cup of coffee, and I'm not talking Starbucks!

    But it's so much fun, my plan is a Disneyland, CA 5th b'day for dd this year, complete with the whole Princess dress up treatment!
    Bite me, cupcake!
  • unforgivenunforgiven
    Posts: 12,718Confessional Manager

    confessional-manager

    "What looks like torture is a time to rejoice
    What sounds like thunder is a comforting voice
    When what is beautiful looks broken and crushed
    And I say I don't know you
    But you say it's finished"
  • shouldcleanshouldclean
    Posts: 2,808Member
    I haven't been since I was 18 but I would suggest getting and bringing cheap umbrella strollers that you don't mind leaning behind its a lot of walking. And plan some down time to rest and regroup in the middle of the day.
  • RinRin
    Posts: 2,174Member
    A friend just went, she said dinning plan! Otherwise you will run all over looking for places to eat and with hungry little ones, not fun!

    She also said its not like Disney, ca, you can't just walk from your hotel, she was used to her t daughter falling asleep in her stroller and then walking back to hotel, you have to take ashuttle or bus everywhere, and you have to take sleeping child out of stroller for the ride!
    "There are many things in life that will catch your eye, but only a few will catch your heart.. .pursue those"
  • momofdbbmomofdbb
    Posts: 10,900Member
    Yes dinning plan !!!!
    " Wibbly wobbly timey wimey ......." The Doctor
    " I'm a leafe on the wind..watch how I soar ." Wash :((
    " Oh the wall had it comming.' Sherlock Holmes
    yea I am geek !!
  • stinkersmommystinkersmommy
    Posts: 1,887Member
    If your heart isn't set on staying in a resort on "campus' may I suggest staying in Daytona Beach in a beachside hotel they cost a ton less than even a package for a Disney resort and give you more to see then just the Mouse land. It's only a 40 min drive to Disney and the beach is lovely in the fall
  • Jen34
    Posts: 8Member
    Check out allears.net. They have tons of info. If your going in the fall, sept is value season and a lot of times they have free dining parts of that month if you stay on site. Have fun!
  • bugaler
    Posts: 54Member
    disboards.com!  Lots of great information!  We just came back a few weeks ago so my tips are to start at the back and work your way forward - you'll avoid the crowds this way, use the fast passes!, if you stay offsite get a house with a pool - we stayed at Orange Lake Resort which is "villas" and they have a community pool.  I didn't like having to walk to the pool.  It would have been so much easier if the pool had just been in the backyard.  Buy cheap rain ponchos from the dollar store just in case.  We didn't do a dining plan because we stayed offsite.  We ate breakfast and dinner back at the villa.  We only ate a late lunch in the parks and took snacks and water in a backpack for during the day.
    Michigan
    Married with 2 children
  • deviantqueendeviantqueen
    Posts: 337Member
    Get the dining plan. Two meals and 2 snacks per day. And you get enough food to take some with for when you're waiting in the ride lines. Make a reservation for dinner if there is a certain place you want to eat a month in advance. When you get there have you or your dh get fast passes for a ride you really want to do while the kidsand the other parent get in line for another ride. Take a break in the middle of the day. The kids will need a break from everything and so will you. I get the park hopper passes so we go to 1 park in the morning and a different one at night. I stay on site because I get early mornings and late nights and certain parksand you can use the buses to get to the parks. Depending on how long you goplan a day away from the parks. Cocoa beach is an hr away and will give kinda a recopperation day. I have a lot more info if you want you can pm me.
  • gruuvygrl
    Posts: 2Member
    THANK YOU ALL! We both felt overwhelmed by the Disney website, but those other ones I will def. check out. Thanks also for the dining plan tips. Will get those for sure! I noticed online that they mentioned a refillable cup thats also included? Must be a deal to save on $$ bottled water. I would love to do the princess experience for DD. I just really want the kiddos to have FUN, and not rushed and overwhelmed. Like Im sure me and DD will feel, lol. Im thinking maybe 4 days?
  • momofdbbmomofdbb
    Posts: 10,900Member
    The cup was ok , not as cool as I thought it would be. Omg refillable at the resorts on in the parks. Still nice though. We got the big dinning plan. Three meals two snacks a day. We didn't use them all ! Lol. You got breakfast , lunch ( appetizer , main meal and desert and one non Achololic drink ) then dinner ( same as lunch ) per person. So DS 12 got his own appetizers ! DS 4 had the kids meal version which was a bit smaller. DS 12 always wants his own appetizer now. Lol. Two snacks a day , but keep in mind a drink = a snack item and a thing of popcorn = one snack item. So there are your two snacks. But getting my kids to stop and eat snacks was hard.
    " Wibbly wobbly timey wimey ......." The Doctor
    " I'm a leafe on the wind..watch how I soar ." Wash :((
    " Oh the wall had it comming.' Sherlock Holmes
    yea I am geek !!
  • shate98shate98
    Posts: 5,020Member
    I"m not a "planned" kinda gal and I didn't want to do the dining plan. I've been MANY times to DW in Fla- only once to CA. If you don't have a dining plan, go to guest services just inside the gate of any park and schedule your reservations for the day. Any really, if you don't care so much about lunch and might eat dinner at the hotel, then don't worry about. My fav restaurant is inside the aztec temple in epcot- it's an open air nighttime mexican market beside a volcano- quite an experience!

    I've never stayed in the park, but with kids I would definitely stay in the park for the convenience. Get there early so you don't have a 15 minute tram ride from your car to the gate/ferry.

    Every park has an evening light/fireworks show. The best for kids IMO is the one at Magic Kingdom. Tinker Bell sets off the fireworks. Just be sure to grab a curbside spot in front of the castle towards the gate. The show includes a parade- so that's why curbside and the park closes after the show so that's why close to the gate. To get a good spot you'll need to be in place an hour before the start of the show.

    There are 4 main parks (plus 3 water parks, downtown disney, etc). Plan your day at each park. 
    Pick the shows you want to see and which rides you want to get on. Fast Pass. And if you get to the park right when it opens go to the biggest ride you want to get on and do that first before the lines get long. In all of my visits I have only ever been disappointed in one ride- the narnia one and it may have changed. whatever you pick you won't be disappointed.
    "As you wander through your life, whatever be your goal,
    keep your eye upon the doughnut, not upon the hole."
  • cheesehead4ever
    Posts: 1,139Member
    Right now I'm planning a trip to Disneyland in CA and totally overwhelmed with the options. Can't wait to see everyone's advice!
  • MollyGrahamMollyGraham
    Posts: 1,446Member

     The most important piece of advice I have is NOT to try to see and do everything in one trip. We've been with our son 4 times and still haven't done everything in all of the parks. Plan ahead and pick the rides and shows you want to see the most. Also, don't get too caught up in rushing from one ride to another. Take time to notice the little details that set WDW apart from other theme parks.


    What the others have posted about the dining plan is great advice. We love it. And I can definitely second the idea of taking a break in the middle of the day, especially if you want to watch the fireworks in the evening. Disney can be exhausting mentally and physically. If you don't pace yourself, you will regret it. I speak from personal experience on that one.


    I hope you have a great time on your trip!

    Normal people never change the world.
  • appalachianmomma
    Posts: 192Member
    One thing that I did while at Disney on the one trip I've ever made was put some kind of identifying ribbon on my son's stroller.  He was 21 months at the time so we had to take the stroller which was a lifesaver with the underneath storage.  BUT the stroller parking is CRAZY.  I mean sometimes a hundred strollers will be 'parked' in a designated area.  I just looked for mine by the ribbon I'd put on the handle.  OH and don't think it will automatically be where you left it.  I think the park has people who rearrange the strollers to make more room. 
  • momofdbbmomofdbb
    Posts: 10,900Member
    Oh plus the birds know what the wrappers look like so if they see a bag of chips unguarded they will take it. Even unopened chips ! Never leave food unguarded.
    " Wibbly wobbly timey wimey ......." The Doctor
    " I'm a leafe on the wind..watch how I soar ." Wash :((
    " Oh the wall had it comming.' Sherlock Holmes
    yea I am geek !!
  • Mommaof1
    Posts: 8Member
    I can help you!!  I'm a AAA travel agent who specializes in Disney vacations.  My family also goes every year.  I can help plan on a budget, it's not as expensive as some may think.  I can get you pricing with the lastest deals.
  • lauren_alicia
    Posts: 1Member
    Hello and Congrats!  You are in for a magical trip!!  Disney is BIG and can be overwhelming, but there is a ton of information out there to make your trip as smooth as possible. 

    Our family just went to WDW in December 2012 with a 13, 9, and 5 year old.  I don't want to smother you with too much information at once so I will suggest three web sites that are extremely helpful in planning your vacation:

    1) Tour Guide Mike - https://www.tourguidemike.com/
    It cost money to join (approx $24), but the advice he gives is well worth every penny! He has a lot of information, but you have plenty of time to read, absorb, and prepare.  Since this is your first time, I highly recommend this site.

    2) The Disney Food Blog - http://www.disneyfoodblog.com/
    This is a free site, updated daily, with everything you could ever want to know about eating in Disney.  For example, there is a post for best snacks in the Magic Kingdom for under $5.  And that is just the beginning of the detailed food knowledge you will get from this site.

    3) Touring Plans - http://touringplans.com/
    This is a great site to join (cost $11).  This site gives detailed information on all the rides with advice on what may or may not be suitable for little ones.  It also has an app for your phone that will give you real-time info on how long the ride lines are.  Since this is your first time, I would suggest you not follow their "touring plans" exactly.  Instead use them as a guide and modify to your individual needs. Their pre-made plans are great for people who know their way around Disney, but possibly overwhelming for a first-timer.  Check them out; see what you think.

    There are TONS of other websites, podcasts (check out itunes), twitter feeds, blogs, phone apps . . . ect.  It really is up to you and the time you have to determine how much WDW knowlege and know-how you can fit in your brain. :-)  Feel free to email me if you have any specific questions and I'll be happy to send you more resources.  lauren_alicia@hotmail.com

    ps -  I recommend avoiding the "Fantasmic" show in Hollywood Studios.  It is a cool show, but not worth the immense headache of getting in and getting out the show with thousands of other people all at the same time.
  • TheHeadacheslayer
    Posts: 2,472Member
    OOH I'm in FL, my grandpa helped build WDW so I got to go before it opened ;) I'm pretty sure my red blood cells have mouse ears ;)

    BEST non-WDW guide is allearsnet.com You will find guides for eating, age appropriate rides, and lots of fun things that aren't always on the maps! Even as a WDW pro, I still rely on them for information!

    Best tip--strollers, sunscreen, ponchos and water, plus snacks. NOTHING will ruin your vacation faster than a FL sunburn. Trust me on this. And if you have ponchos, you can keep going as ppl run for shelter ;) Don't try to do EVERYTHING (as tempting as it is). And if there is something you want to ride that isn't great for the kids, use the parent switch-off option. Definitely see the night parade/fireworks. Naptimes are great for everyone.

    Also, pre-plan--what do they MOST want to do, who do they MOST want to see? Plan those and then if you get that done, do other things. If you try to do everything you just can't.....making some BIG memories are better than a blur of tired out kids and parents.

    Have a fabulous time :)
  • inthemomlight
    Posts: 9Member
    My biggest recommendation is to book the character breakfast 6 months ahead! This was the most fun part when I was a kid and the most fun when I went with our child, but we didn't book in time and had to go at a really odd time.
  • MarySunshineMarySunshine
    Posts: 7,953Member
    Crazy little tidbit: While on our honeymoon we went to a Character breakfast at the Crystal Place in Magic Kingdom. While there we started up a running convo with the family at the table next to us. Mom, Dad and four girls under the age of 9! They were busy little girls, and when the family was finished and went to leave they left the youngest (I think like 2.5yo) behind, she was dilly dallying following them out. I took her hand and dashed with her out of the restaurant and flagged them down. They were Incredibles grateful. When I sat back down at our table our waitress gave me a special, secret Tinkerbell pin set. You get them when the WDW staff catches you being above and behind kind or helpful to other patrons! I wanted to give one away....like pass it forward, but never noticed a random act of kindness or left the pin in our room. Anywho- fun little tidbit!

    We love WDW. We can't wait until the boys are old enough to really enjoy going. I can't wait to see their smiles and watch them have fun. Enjoy it!!
    "I don't poop. I create magic."- ABC

    I'm as sexy as a burp mid-kiss. Watch out!

    For every loser there's one that has to win. So bite your tongue, grit your teeth and grin...
  • shate98shate98
    Posts: 5,020Member
    @MarySunshine we went to disney on our honeymoon too! I just wanted the veil with ears, because I liked it. I had no idea they would move us to the front of the line on rides and park people would stop and give me pins, or add goodies to our meals, etc.

    Disney knows how to take care of their guests!
    "As you wander through your life, whatever be your goal,
    keep your eye upon the doughnut, not upon the hole."
  • MarySunshineMarySunshine
    Posts: 7,953Member
    @shate98 I had a friend who went to WDW on her honeymoon and she tipped me onto getting the veiled ears and top hat ears. That was the first thing we did when we walked not the park. We went to Space Mountain after that and park person walked up to us and said I have a surprise for you! We went to the head of the line. Another park person found us right before the fireworks at Epcot and escorted us to a private viewing area behind the Rose & Crown!
    "I don't poop. I create magic."- ABC

    I'm as sexy as a burp mid-kiss. Watch out!

    For every loser there's one that has to win. So bite your tongue, grit your teeth and grin...
  • JuliaJ
    Posts: 13Mmember
    Take the money and plan a trip to St Bart's...
  • BeachyBeachy
    Posts: 4,697Member
    I haven't been to disneyworld yet, but at Disneyland, if you want, you can buy the cheapo pins and larynets (sp) and trade the cast members for the good pins, they can't say no.
    Also check the character times so you can get pics! Like pics with Mickey, etc.
    to get on a ride faster, you can do a single rider line, so much faster! You will have to do one at a time, but for the popular rides its worth it. Instead of an hour wait it is usually 10 minutes.
    If you go for a couple of days don't kill yourself trying to do everything the first day. It'll stress you the fuck out. Make a list of what the kids can ride, and then to divide and conquer. Also the parades are awesome! And the shows! If you think you don't want to see them that's your time to hit the rides, everyone else is busy. If you can keep your kids awake, wait until after 7 to ride some rides, season pass holders are taking their kids home so it gets less crowded.
    If you are there later and the rides are empty ish don't be afraid to ask to ride again if you all like it, they will let you. Heck, ask anyway, sometimes they do even of its busy. Ask before you disembark.
    The corn dogs are the bomb.
    Searching for my lost shaker of salt.
  • MarySunshineMarySunshine
    Posts: 7,953Member
    @beachy is right about rides during the shows/parades! We did a few rides during the fireworks show at Magic Kingdom. We waited long enough for the ride to unload the people in front of us and for us to get on! And it was way cool to see the fireworks from Splash Mountain.
    "I don't poop. I create magic."- ABC

    I'm as sexy as a burp mid-kiss. Watch out!

    For every loser there's one that has to win. So bite your tongue, grit your teeth and grin...