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LittleSpirit02
04-17-2007, 07:50 PM
Hi Everyone.
I'm taking a freelance writing course currently and am going to write an article, "A Veterans' Guide to Walt Disney World." I would like to call upon the people who know best - Intercotees - to provide advice for the article. Now, I would like full names for this, so keep that in mind. If you aren't comfortable doing that - that's quite alright. For those who don't mind, please just PM me your interview answers. You don't need to post anything here except maybe "I sent you a PM." I would appreciate any answers I could get and will try and include as many of you as possible in the article. Hopefully, this article may get published in a magazine and our knowledge will be shared to all! :D Answer as many or as few as you like. The questions are below:

Name:
Age:
Trips to WDW:
Age of First Visit:
Favorite Resort:

1. What sets Walt Disney World apart from other theme parks/vacation spots?

2. What keeps you coming back?

3. What is your WDW memory?

4. Do you have any visit rituals (i.e. first ride)?

5. What do you do (if anything) to keep costs down?

6. How long do you typically visit?

7. How many times a year do you visit?

8. Describe the "magic" you find in WDW.

9. For those who have visited for years, what changes have you noticed?

10. What should visitors be sure to take advantage of (plans/fast pass/etc)?

11. Anything you were disappointed in? Would avoid?

MAGIC KINGDOM
1. What is your favorite food/restaurant? Why?
2. What is your favorite attraction and why?
3. What tips would you give first-timers?
4. What are the hidden charms (i.e. Hidden Mickeys, talking water fountains, photo ops)?

EPCOT
1. What is your favorite food/restaurant? Why?
2. What is your favorite attraction and why?
3. What tips would you give first-timers?
4. What are the hidden charms (i.e. Hidden Mickeys, talking water fountains, photo ops)?

MGM-DISNEY STUDIOS
1. What is your favorite food/restaurant? Why?
2. What is your favorite attraction and why?
3. What tips would you give first-timers?
4. What are the hidden charms (i.e. Hidden Mickeys, talking water fountains, photo ops)?

ANIMAL KINGDOM
1. What is your favorite food/restaurant? Why?
2. What is your favorite attraction and why?
3. What tips would you give first-timers?
4. What are the hidden charms (i.e. Hidden Mickeys, talking water fountains, photo ops)?

Any other overall comments, suggestions, or tips regarding things I left out?

dixielandings
04-17-2007, 11:08 PM
I sent my answers to you. I had to do some major editing to get my PM down to a sendable size - I removed all the questions and headings. I hope it's legible. Good luck to you!

LittleSpirit02
04-18-2007, 09:31 PM
A huge thank you, thank you, thank you to both of you. I really appreciate your help with these interviews. Your expertise will make for a great article. If any more people would like to answer, please don't hesitate. The more the merrier! ;) Again, thank you!

imaprincess!
04-19-2007, 04:57 AM
I'll PM you later today. It's 4am and I should get back to bed! I woke up at 1:30am and got lured to the computer.

snowflakegirl
04-19-2007, 11:02 AM
Okay, I tried really hard to get this to fit into a PM, but even with taking out the questions I couldn't, so here it is.

Name: Jennifer Dube
Age: 26
Trips to WDW: 7
Age of First Visit: 7
Favorite Resort:I've only stayed on property once and it was at the Contemporary

1.1. What sets Walt Disney World apart from other theme parks/vacation spots? The feeling of being in a whole new world when you step foot on Disney property ... The attention to detail, the atmosphere, everything keeps you so totally 'in the moment' that you can almost feel your real world troubles/stresses melting away.

2.What keeps you coming back?
The service from CMs who truly bellieve in thier job and the ability to make wishes come true. The way that when I'm there I find myself wrapped up in the themeing and the "world" and that's a happy place to be.

3. What is your WDW memory?
I have a couple of memories that stand out for me. But I guess the two that I hold most dear are one from my fourth trip to WDW with my family. I was sixteen and at that age where I was asserting my independence. I had a ten year old sister and she and my parents and I were having a rocky time off and on that year as I went through your typical teenage nightmare. But we set foot into the Magic Kingdom on the first day of that trip and a lot of all that seemed to melt away and we had a wonderful week of happiness and closeness. At one point I remember at sixteen reaching over and grabbing my father's hand and pulling him towards Thunder Mountain (which had always been 'our' ride because we were the only ones in the family who would ride it). I know this is going to sound sappy but after we went home from that trip things were a little bit more easy around the house ... not saying we didn't fight anymore, afterall I was sixteen, but I think that trip reminded us why we loved each other so much. My other memory is definitely the first day of my honeymoon in January 2004. My husband had never been to Disney World before and the look on his face as we got on the ferry and Pluto was standing there and watching the castle get closer and closer was just pure magic!

4. Do you have any visit rituals (i.e. first ride)? My visit ritual is that we have to go to the Magic Kingdom on the first day of the first trip, whether that be the evening we get there or the next morning. The first ride has to be a trip around the park on the train. It just gets me so excited for the trip to get glimpses of what's still to come. I also have a ritual that at some point during the time there I have to get breakfast at the Main Street Bakery and have one of their yummy chocolate croissants and a glass of milk.

5. What do you do (if anything) to keep costs down? I've stayed off property in the past, when I was a student and when my parents were bringing a family of four, and it isn't bad. But now that I'm done school and working full time we're planning on trying to stay on property as much as possible. The other thing I've done to try to keep costs down is to eat mainly counter meals and share the sides like french fries etc.

6. How long do you typically visit?We usually stay five or six days. Our next trip we're sort of going all out and planning on spending ten full days.

7. How many times a year do you visit? When I was a child it was just about once every two years. Then from the time I was sixteen I didn't go again for five years. Then it was every two years again. But we don't have another trip planned til August of 08.

8. Describe the "magic" you find in WDW.One and two sum it up nicely, but there's so much magic to WDW that it's impossible to answer that question in a few sentences. Is it the way that when I'm there the real world melts away? Is it the attention to detail and the delight in finding new and hidden things? Is it the way that some CMs go out of their way to make sure that you're enjoying your time? It's all that and a million more things.

9. For those who have visited for years, what changes have you noticed? There's a little bit less sparkly cleanness than I remember from my first few trips, but I was so young then I don't know that I'm remembering correctly. There's also a lot more to do than there was when we first started going. New resorts, new parks, new rides, etc.

10. What should visitors be sure to take advantage of (plans/fast pass/etc)? Have a good plan but don't feel you have to stick to it unerringly. Use fastpasses to make the most of your time. If you're planning meals in sit-down restaraunts, make sure you make reservations.

11.Anything you were disappointed in? Would avoid? I believe in trying anything at least once and forming my own oppion about it. Although I have to admit that there are a few things that I just never seem to make time to do. That said, I probably wouldn't have Stitch's Great Escape high on my list of things I must do again.

MAGIC KINGDOM
1. I love Cosmic Ray's Starlite Cafe with Sonny Eclipse. There are a few more options than your basic burgers and fries and the jokes that Sonny entertains you with are similar to my father's sense of humor so I have many fond memories of sitting there with my father.
2.I love almost all of the attractions in the Magic Kingdom, but for some reason I love Peter Pan's Flight the most. There is something about this ride that is just so quintessentially magical to me. I have to ride it at least once every trip.
3.Get an idea of what everyone in your party has to do. Then use the map and your ADRs to make a general plan of attack for the park. But don't get so wrapped up in your plan that you're unable to stop to appreciate the little things or make changes where changes are necessary.
4. One of my favorite things to do in the Magic Kingdom is to watch the expressions on the little kids faces as they see the castle, the princesses, the pirates etc for the first time. I don't have kids yet myself, but watching the delight on these kids faces makes the trip that much more wonderful for me.

EPCOT
1. I have two favorites...one for atmosphere and one for food. For atmosphere I love San Angel Inn...there is nothing like sitting "outside" next to a volcano and river in perpetual twilight. It's romantic and so amazingly themed. The food is good, too, but the atmosphere is fantastic. For food my favorite restaraunt would probably be the Sunshine Seasons because there are so many fresh choices.
2. I love Test Track because my husband, who isn't particuarly a ride guy although he does enjoy most of them, absolutely LOVES this ride. Riding it with him and watching his face and hearing him ask if we can do it again before we've even disembarked makes it such a great experience for me. I also particularly love Spaceship Earth.
3. Don't miss the World Showcase. And take your time to experience it.
4. All the little alcoves and hidden areas of the countries of the world showcase. The architecture, the CMs who are actually from the countries they're working in who are always willing to spend some time talking to guests about their countries, the ability to learn a little bit about alot of places.

MGM-DISNEY STUDIOS
1.I love the food at the 50s Prime Time Cafe! Comfort food just like mom made, with a fun and quirky atmosphere.
2. My favorite attraction is probably the Great Movie Ride because I love the magic of the movies.
3.Pay attention to the guide map. I've been seven times now and even on the last time I was keeping that map handy because it's easy to get turned around at MGM.
4. The streetmosphere characters! Take some time and really enjoy them.

ANIMAL KINGDOM
1. Tusker House because even though it's a quickservice kind of place, the food is delicious and unique.
2. The Maharajah Jungle Trek because I love the up close time with the tigers.
3. Take your time. Drink plenty of water. You'll do a lot of walking in the Animal Kingdom and it tends to get very warm/hot. But also take your time because you never know what you're going to see.
4. The animals.

Any other overall comments, suggestions, or tips regarding things I left out? There's so much to do at Disney World that's outside of the parks, as well. If you have time check out the resorts which are incredibly themed. There's also the waterparks, which I enjoy. And I always spend at least an afternoon and evening in Downtown Disney enjoying the shops (Basin, World of Disney) and Pleasure Island.

kakn7294
04-19-2007, 04:04 PM
Hi! I want to help out! Good luck with your article!

Name: Kathy Knight
Age: 37
Trips to WDW: 7
Age of First Visit: 7
Favorite Resort: POFQ

1. What sets Walt Disney World apart from other theme parks/vacation spots?
There's no other place quite like it on earth - all of the resorts, theme parks, water parks, shopping district - and it's all Disney-themed down to the last detail. There really is something for almost everybody. It has more than surpassed Walt's dream of creating a place that children and adults can enjoy together.

2. What keeps you coming back?
The Magic - it's in the CM's as well as in the attractions. It totally surrounds you and makes you forget that the "real" world exists.

3. What is your WDW memory?
I have so many but a couple of my favorites are:
Seeing my daughters walking into the castle in their princess gowns for breakfast 2 years ago.
My oldest daughter on her first trip at 13 mo old grabbing Mickey and kissing him right on the nose.
My youngest daughter on our last trip all decked out in her Jasmine jeans, t-shirt, lanyard and pins with her hair all done up from Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and Jasmine and Aladdin fussing over her at Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party.
Enjoying the atmosphere at the Osborne Lights for the first time.

4. Do you have any visit rituals (i.e. first ride)?
We always go to the Magic Kingdom and head to Adventureland on our first day and we always end the trip in the Magic Kingdom as well. On our last day, each of us gets to choose 1 attraction to ride for the final time.

5. What do you do (if anything) to keep costs down?
Once we've decided when to to, I constantly watch for a deal to become available. We've also used AAA in the past. Although we would love to stay at a Deluxe, we choose to stay at a Moderate or sometimes a Value to keep costs manageable. We also evaluate whether it's more cost effective to drive or fly.

6. How long do you typically visit? Usually 6 to 8 days. As a family, we've gone for as little as 5 days and as long as 10 days.

7. How many times a year do you visit?
We'd like to make it an annual trip as we have for the past 2 years and again this year. Prior to that, it was 2 to 5 years between trips and about 17 years from my trip as a child until my first trip as an adult.

8. Describe the "magic" you find in WDW.
It's the attention to detail and the friendliness of the CMs and the way you can enjoy it as as a family whether you are a child or an adult.

9. For those who have visited for years, what changes have you noticed?
The character meet and greets seem to have become much more prominent. Of course, Animal Kingdom didn't exist on my first several adult visits and several old favorite rides no longer exist - Mr. Toad and 20,000 Leagues spring to mind. It seems that you also run into CM's who are either having a bad day or truly don't have that Disney Magic more often.

10. What should visitors be sure to take advantage of (plans/fast pass/etc)?
Dining reservations and FastPasses are the 2 biggest things. I also think the PhotoPass is great. Since I'm the photographer for the family, we don't have a lot of picture with me in them - PhotoPass can help with that!

11. Anything you were disappointed in? Would avoid?
It seems as though they aren't doing quite enough maintenance to keep it sparkling. There are animatronics that don't work, paint chips and crack, fountains and play areas where the water doesn't work. As far as attractions, I was disappointed in Stitch's Great Escape and The Living Seas with Nemo and Friends (the actual clamshell ride). We do avoid Stitch but will probably ride Nemo again as long as the line is short.

MAGIC KINGDOM
1. What is your favorite food/restaurant? Why?
Counter Service - Pecos Bills for those burgers
Table Service - Liberty Tree Tavern dinner - great food and fun with the characters
2. What is your favorite attraction and why?
Everything! Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean are probably tops on the list but I also love Carousel of Progress - I just love the look back in time and seeing the progress of this country.
3. What tips would you give first-timers?
Take you time and enjoy it! Don't run from ride to ride or you will miss the magic.
4. What are the hidden charms (i.e. Hidden Mickeys, talking water fountains, photo ops)?
Finding Tinkerbell in Tinkerbell's Treasures, the upstairs windows on Main Street, the checkerboard on the porch in Frontierland, the tombstones and pet cemetary at the Haunted Mansion. I have to take a picture of the castle every trip, no matter how many times I've taken pictures of it in the past.

EPCOT
1. What is your favorite food/restaurant? Why?
I don't really have one here - I want to try them all and experience the foods of the World Showcase. I think that's a great part of it's charm.
2. What is your favorite attraction and why?
The American Adventure - that show gets me everytime and reminds me of why this country is so great.
3. What tips would you give first-timers?
Take the time to smell the roses - literally. There are so many places to explore that have nothing to do with rides. It's wonderful to spend time talking to the CM's from the countries of World Showcase and learn a bit about their lives.
4. What are the hidden charms (i.e. Hidden Mickeys, talking water fountains, photo ops)?
As I said in the previous question, the CM's and the little things that make the countries so wonderful. The miniature train, the hedge maze and butterfly garden, the gardens in Japan and China, the Stave Church in Norway. There's just so much to explore and enjoy.

MGM-DISNEY STUDIOS
1. What is your favorite food/restaurant? Why?
50's Prime Time - the food is good and the wait staff is great! Cousin Stephanie was awesome!
2. What is your favorite attraction and why?
I have 5 here:
Tower of Terror - it's just great fun!
Rock 'n Roller coaster - anytime you combine Aerosmith and a coaster... what can I say?
The Voyage of the Little Mermaid - I love Ariel so this is a natural
One Man's Dream - it's a wonderful tribute to Walt
The Great Movie Ride - it really represents old Hollywood to me
3. What tips would you give first-timers?
Use FastPass for ToT and RnRC while you enjoy Beauty and the Beast. Don't miss Fantasmic! Pay attention to your map - it's easy to miss something here due to the layout.
4. What are the hidden charms (i.e. Hidden Mickeys, talking water fountains, photo ops)?
The "Singing in the Rain" umbrella, the well outside of the Indiana Jones theater, the themed character meet 'n greet areas, the Star Tours speeder bike photo op location.

ANIMAL KINGDOM
1. What is your favorite food/restaurant? Why?
Tusker House - it's a real meal at a CS location.
2. What is your favorite attraction and why?
Kilimanjaro Safari - I love the chance to see the animals roaming "free". I also love Dinosaur because I the first time I rode it, I screamed my head off!
3. What tips would you give first-timers?
Watch your map and take your time. The heat and humidity here can be brutal and you can easily miss things.
4. What are the hidden charms (i.e. Hidden Mickeys, talking water fountains, photo ops)?
The 2 walking trails and all of the animals. The whole park is wonderfully themed.

Any other overall comments, suggestions, or tips regarding things I left out?
The Disney experience is about more than just going to an amusement park and riding a bunch of rides. It's all about the magic and what you make of it.

LittleSpirit02
04-20-2007, 10:44 AM
Again, I want to thank you all for taking the time to do this for me. I really appreciate all of your answers - they are wonderful! It's making for a great article so thank you, thank you, thank you! :D The Intercot community is really something special.

glenpreece
04-20-2007, 07:52 PM
Name: Glendon Preece
Age: 24
Trips to WDW: 4
Age of First Visit: 22
Favorite Resort: Polynesian

1. What sets Walt Disney World apart from other theme parks/vacation spots?

It is a world onto itself. You need not leave for anything. Plus it is Disney, and I love anything Disney. It is a whole experience not just ride after ride.

2. What keeps you coming back?

Well I can't drive and I love how I can go to WDW and not worry about not being able to drive. There is transportation everywhere. I love being in a "Disney World" as opposed to the real world. The service is almost always excellent and if it isn't hey try to fix it.

3. What is your WDW memory?

On my second trip (my parent's first) as the 3 of us were walking up Main Street USA for our lunch at the Castle I remember crying a bit because I was so happy that they finally got to be there with me. I also remember how great that lunch was and how they were both impressed by the food, Princesses and all the staff there. Plus we got champagne flutes for their anniversary!

4. Do you have any visit rituals?

On my last day I have to go back to MK to say goodbye to the Castle and everything else there.
Also I have to get my pic taken with the Princesses each and every time I go.

5. What do you do (if anything) to keep costs down?

When not on the dining plan I try to bring breakfast supplies and eat in the room. Plus I usually get only as many days as I plan on using on my ticket. Even if we are going for 6 night 7 days I only get 5 days because I want to do DTD or a waterpark. Finally buy whatever I want (money alllowing) during the trip and go through it all the night before I leave after the novelty has worn off a bit. Thus deciding what I really want to keep.

6. How long do you typically visit?

Between 5-8 days

7. How many times a year do you visit?

Once or twice, just depends on the specials and my mood!!

8. Describe the "magic" you find in WDW.

I feel like I am home when I walk into MK. Like it is ok to be a Disney fanatic, it's ok to go see Ariel. That maybe those dolls really do come alive at night or that the yeti might be real after all.

10. What should visitors be sure to take advantage of (plans/fast pass/etc)?

Plan your days ahead. Not down to the letter but havea general idea of what you want to do on what day and buy a goo guidebook before you head down. Fast passes are great and be sure to see all of the nightly fireworks shows. They will blow your mind.

11. Anything you were disappointed in? Would avoid?

Country Bear Jamboree.

MAGIC KINGDOM
1. What is your favorite food/restaurant? Why?

Cinderella Royal Table, you can't beat eating in the castle.

2. What is your favorite attraction and why?

Philharmagic, I love it because it has all of my favourite characters and is great for everyone.

3. What tips would you give first-timers?

Sit down and eat a Dole Whip! o see the Carousel of Progress.

4. What are the hidden charms (i.e. Hidden Mickeys, talking water fountains, photo ops)?

Cinderella's wishing well, the train ride around the park, the photo spot by Crystal Palace. Look closely at the Windows on Main Street and try to find Walt's.

EPCOT
1. What is your favorite food/restaurant? Why?

Akershus, Princesses!

2. What is your favorite attraction and why?

Soarin', it is breathtaking. It is truly a sensory experience, true Disney Magic.

3. What tips would you give first-timers?

Take Epcot in 2 bites, lol. Do Future World one day and World Showcase on another.

4. What are the hidden charms (i.e. Hidden Mickeys, talking water fountains, photo ops)?

The Gardens in Canada are a great spot for pics. as well as the Fountain in Future World.

MGM-DISNEY STUDIOS
1. What is your favorite food/restaurant? Why?

50's Prime Time Café. Great food and fun!

2. What is your favorite attraction and why?

Fantasmic!! All of the characters, the fireworks, the Villains, it is a brilliant event. Also the Tower of Terror is imagineering at it's best.

3. What tips would you give first-timers?

Don't miss Sorceror Mickey or the Muppets.

4. What are the hidden charms (i.e. Hidden Mickeys, talking water fountains, photo ops)?

The well by Indiana Jones and the key at the Muppet Labs.

ANIMAL KINGDOM
1. What is your favorite food/restaurant? Why?

I never eat here except for the fries in Dino Land. Best McD's fries for some reason.

2. What is your favorite attraction and why?

Expedition Everest, perfection! This is a smooth, thrilling journey
that is above and beyond anything ever done by Disney imagineers.

3. What tips would you give first-timers?

Get yopur FP for EE and then go do the Safari as early as possible.

4. What are the hidden charms (i.e. Hidden Mickeys, talking water fountains, photo ops)?

DeVine, Characters sailing down the river, naked mole rats lol!!!

My biggest tip as I am sure others have and always will mention, take an afternoon break. Don't force your kids to stay up too late. Do your homework before you head down. Downtown Disney is a fun and relaxing night out. Don't try to do everything on your first trip. It gives you an excuse to go back. Have Fun!

TinyDancer
04-21-2007, 07:10 PM
Name: Rebecca Krueger
Age: 23
Trips to WDW: in the ball park of 17 or so
Age of First Visit: 1 I think
Favorite Resort: Fort Wilderness Cabins

1. What sets Walt Disney World apart from other theme parks/vacation spots?

The immersion and attention to detail. You can go your entire vacation, from 2 days to 2 years, and never have to remember the real world exists.

2. What keeps you coming back?

The wonderful warm, fuzzy feelings that overtake you.

3. What is your WDW memory?

Waking up at 5:00am and being the only people at the bus stop, the only people on the bus, the first people in line, and then the first people on our chosen ride.

4. Do you have any visit rituals (i.e. first ride)?

Our first full day we go to Magic Kingdom first, and Dumbo is the first ride.

5. What do you do (if anything) to keep costs down?

We share food at restaurants, eat one counter service and one sit down per day.

6. How long do you typically visit?

10 days

7. How many times a year do you visit?

Just once, unfortunately!

8. Describe the "magic" you find in WDW.

A big part of the magic for me is that Disney is a place where I can plan things and be very detailed, and it almost always works the way I want it to. Even when it doesn't go as planned, what happens is often just as great. In a world where uncertainty is so predominent, having a place where I can plan every detail really gives me something to look forward to.

9. For those who have visited for years, what changes have you noticed?

It is much more "corporate" now, McDonalds is there, everything is focused on the Disney corporation (adding characters to every ride, etc) as opposed to the originial Walt Disney views of how it should be.

10. What should visitors be sure to take advantage of (plans/fast pass/etc)?

Definately don't try to do it all on your own the first time you go, get help!!! This website is a great one, for example, but there are others. Stay onsite. Go whenever it is best for you, but understand what will be limitations of going at that time. Use Fast Passes if they make sense! And definately take advantage of other people's knowledge, both before you go and during your trip!

11. Anything you were disappointed in? Would avoid?

I'm disappointed in the way the parks seem to be looking more at the dollars than at guest experience and response. For example, taking out Mr Toad's Wild Ride and changing Journey Into Imagination when it was obvious that guests did not want this.

MAGIC KINGDOM
1. What is your favorite food/restaurant? Why?

My favorite restaurant is the Main Street Bakery. It is the best place to eat a late breakfast and sit on the curb and watch the goings on of Main Street.

2. What is your favorite attraction and why?

Nostalgically, I love Dumbo. I love all of FantasyLand, actually. I love the way it brings back memories and puts you into these movies, things you always wanted to do as children. But I also love the competitiveness of Buzz Lightyear, Space Ranger Spin! After the first time, you're hooked!

3. What tips would you give first-timers?

ABSOLUTELY take advantage of early morning Extra Magic Hours if you're staying on-site, and get to the gate as early as you possibly can to beat the crowds!

4. What are the hidden charms (i.e. Hidden Mickeys, talking water fountains, photo ops)?

Well, I think that the Magic Kingdom in its entirety is a hidden charm when you look at the detail put into it. From the Utilidors so that you don't see a cast member from one area of the park in another area, to the costumes themselves, I think that all of Magic Kingdom is a very charm-filled place!

EPCOT
1. What is your favorite food/restaurant? Why?

It would have to be The Garden Grill for the double reasons of it being a character meal as well as slowly rotates. Add that to good food, you can't beat it!

2. What is your favorite attraction and why?

Spaceship Earth, the music is probably the best in all of the Disney Parks. It evokes such emotion!

3. What tips would you give first-timers?

Get there early, don't be afraid of Mission Space (but don't be afraid to stand your ground for going on the less intese side either, lol), and definately take your time in Future World.

4. What are the hidden charms (i.e. Hidden Mickeys, talking water fountains, photo ops)?

The Flower and Garden Festival isn't really hidden, but its an amazing time to go.

MGM-DISNEY STUDIOS
1. What is your favorite food/restaurant? Why?

Sci-Fi Dine In Theater because you get to sit in cars watching movie clips and it looks like you're outside. It also has the best ribs I've ever eaten!

2. What is your favorite attraction and why?

Tower of Terror. I think I crave that ride more than any other. It has both a great story line and great thrills. It is also different every time you go on, so it doesn't get boring.

3. What tips would you give first-timers?

As always, get there early. Whatever rides you think seem off the wall, ride them anyway. And see all the shows, they are really great.

4. What are the hidden charms (i.e. Hidden Mickeys, talking water fountains, photo ops)?

Fantasmic. The first few times we went after it had opened we thought "oh great, another show" but this was amazing! Definately take the time to see it.

ANIMAL KINGDOM
1. What is your favorite food/restaurant? Why?

Flame Tree Barbeque, it has some of the best food in all of Walt Disney World in my opinion.

2. What is your favorite attraction and why?

Primeval Whirl. It is a mix of a Wild Mouse ride and a Tilt-a-Whirl, two of my favorites! Also, since when you start spinning it is a free-spin, it is different every time!

3. What tips would you give first-timers?

It is said that Animal Kingdom is a half-day park, and that is true, but you should go for a couple different half-days. With so much of the park based on live animals, you will see new things every time you go.

4. What are the hidden charms (i.e. Hidden Mickeys, talking water fountains, photo ops)?

The animals themselves are amazing. Go down all the trails, through all the buildings, see all the animals. This is like no other zoo you've ever been to!

DisneyDudet
04-21-2007, 08:33 PM
Is it too late? I want to do it, but I may not be able to until tomorrow :( But I will do it!

Boojum
04-22-2007, 01:59 AM
Name: Mary Huddleston
Age: 42
Trips to WDW: Around 10.
Age of first visit: 12.
Favorite resort: Port Orleans French Quarter

1.What sets Walt Disney World apart from other theme parks/vacation spots?
The atmosphere-- hard to put into words. When in the parks or a resort, I feel like I've left the ordinary world and all the pressures in it.

2. What keeps you coming back?
Basically the same answer I gave above--I've been to many amusement parks, and none approach the "Disney" feel for me.

3. What is your WDW memory?
One with my children. We walked up to the little stage pavilion at the side of Cinderella's Castle just in time for my daughters (ages 5 and 7 at the time) to be in a "Beauty and the Beast" play. My older daughter played Mrs. Potts, the younger played Chip. They wore images of the characters around their necks, and acted out the story as Belle told it. It was an especially fun thing because they were allowed to stay afterward, talk with Belle, and have pictures taken. The stage pavilion was closed off from anyone else coming in, so there wasn't a line waiting to see Belle. She spent several minutes with them, talking, signing autographs, and taking pictures.

4. Do you have any visit rituals (i.e. first ride)?
Hit the Magic Kingdom first, and head for Space Mountain!

5. What do you do (if anything) to keep costs down?
Lots of things to save money and keep costs down we go on our trips, but once there I don't sweat it.

6. How long do you typically visit?
Usually 5 nights.

7. How many times a year do you visit?
Once every other year.

8. Describe the "magic" you find in WDW.
This is a hard one--I've already said that the magic, for me, is how completely we get away from real life and everyday pressures when visiting. My best description would be "enchanting." A combination of sights, theming, imagination, atmosphere, and hard work which have gone into parks and resorts. My kids even comment on a certain Disney "smell" they notice there--they can't really describe it, but when we walk into the entryway of rides and resorts, it's there and they mention it.

9. For those who have visited for years, what changes have you noticed?
Decline in the cleanliness of the parks--trash in the streets, etc. Ten years ago, that would've been unthinkable. Fellow vacationers have shorter fuses--we see parents yelling at their kids and each other, and we see more aggressive, pushy teenagers. On the positive side we're amazed at how the parks continue to grow and the imagineers never seem to lack new ideas.

10. What should visitors be sure to take advantage of (plans/fast pass/etc)?
Plan the use of FastPasses, ensuring that you ride everything you want. Use Advanced Dining Reservations and make them far in advance of your trip, if possible. With Disney's new Dining Plan, more people are eating in the "sit-down" restaurants, making reservations harder to get. Do some reading before you visit! Know where you want to be!! I see so many visitors who wander around looking frustrated because they don't have information which is easily gotten!

11. Anything you were disappointed in? Would avoid?
We don't like "Tomorrowland Speedway." It's a long wait for a short ride, and you spend more time loading and unloading than you do in riding.
"Stitch's Great Escape" is a bust as far as we're concerned, too.

MAGIC KINGDOM
1. What is your favorite food/restaurant? Why?
Our favorite is "Liberty Tree Tavern." We love the kind of food served there (Thanksgiving Dinner food!), and the attention to detail in the building itself amazes--if you'll look at the windows, you'll see that they're actually hand-crafted instead of being manufactured.

2. What is your favorite attraction and why?
This is a hard one. As a family, we'd pick "Splash Mountain." It combines music and cutesiness with a thrill ride. We love singing "Zip-a-Dee-Do-Dah," then screaming our heads off going down the drop.

3. What tips would you give first-timers?
Be early!!! If you stay at a resort, you're allowed entrance into the parks an hour before non-resort guests. The rides won't be open, but this gives you time to be where you want to be when they do. Use maps. They're available everywhere. When in doubt, ask a cast member. They're fonts of information, and will also give you little insider tips about things--thanks to a street photographer, my daughters got to "wake up Tinkerbell" one morning. We had no idea they could do that until then.

4. What are the hidden charms (i.e. Hidden Mickeys, talking water fountains, photo ops)?
There's the aforementioned "play" a child can take part in at the side of the castle. The Haunted Mansion has some neat detail outside--including a headstone that blinks at you unexpectedly. Take a picture of your child trying to pull the sword from the stone, too.

EPCOT
1. What is your favorite food/restaurant? Why?
Our absolute favorite is the Garden Grille inside "The Land" pavilion. It's unusual in that it rotates slowly, giving you views of the "Living with the Land" ride. It has character lunches, and the food is FANtastic--served family style. The catfish and vegetables are grown right there at EPCOT, and taste terrific.

2. What is your favorite attraction and why?
Soarin'!! You really feel as though you're hang gliding over parts of California, especially if you get a seat on the top row. The scents used, the "wind" blowing in your face, and the music are exhilarating and uplifting.

3. What tips would you give first-timers?
The same as always--get there early, and know where you're going. Use the FastPasses intelligently. If you have a small child, get a stroller. The place is huge!

4. What are the hidden charms (i.e. Hidden Mickeys, talking water fountains, photo ops)?
It's not hidden, but we love watching the fountain near the entrance. If you hang out there awhile, you'll see some interesting street performances. We enjoy the garden in back of the British pavilion. You'll sometimes find British characters back there, like Mary Poppins.

MGM-DISNEY STUDIOS
1. What is your favorite food/restaurant? Why? We love "The 50's Prime Time Cafe," because so much thought went into the theming, food, and wait staff. The lobby is a hoot, because so much of the decor was in my house when I was a kid! The staff deserve acting awards for all the improv they do while serving you. The food is exactly what my kids want--macaroni, chicken, ice cream, etc. The more grown-up stuff like meatloaf is good, too.

2. What is your favorite attraction and why?
It's hard to choose between the "Tower of Terror" and the "Rock -n- Rollercoaster," but the Tower wins out because of the magnificent theming in the lobby and in the line itself. It truly feels like a 1930's hotel.

3. What tips would you give first-timers?
Again, get there early! Use maps! Be prepared to navigate some crowds when headed for the two "big" rides I just mentioned, because they're both at the end of the same street. Don't skip the stage shows! If you've already seen the parade, it's a good time to go ride something, because the crowds will be smaller.

4. What are the hidden charms (i.e. Hidden Mickeys, talking water fountains, photo ops)?
Don't miss "Fantasmic." If it's in your budget, get the Fantasmic Dinner Package. In addition to a nice dinner, you get a special pass allowing you entrance to a reserved section of seating. Look for hidden Mickeys in the floor tile as you enter the "Rock-n-Rollercoaster."

ANIMAL KINGDOM
1. What is your favorite food/restaurant? Why?
We love the "Flame Tree Barbeque." It's counter service, with barbeque, vegetables, and desserts. The seating area is pretty and shaded, with ducks walking around.

2. What is your favorite attraction and why?
"Kilimanjaro Safaris" can be our favorite if the animals cooperate, but we've ridden it when the animals decided to hibernate at once. Then again, you'll ride another time when the lions pose like they're being photographed for "Wild Kingdom." Our other favorite is "Primeval Whirl." (I know from reading INTERCOT boards that Chester and Hester's Dinoland is disliked by some, but we think it's another great example of Disney theming. It looks like someone's childhood memory of a carnival, complete with lines in the "parking lot." ) The ride is tame-looking until you get on, then you get thrown around in circles while going up and down hills. Fun!

3. What tips would you give first-timers?
Ride "Kilimanjaro Safaris" as early as possible if you want to see animal activity--the cooler it is outside, the more lively they are. If you're going to ride "Kali River Rapids," wait until you're about to leave the park. You will almost certainly get sopping wet, all the way down to your shoes and underwear, and you don't want to walk around uncomfortable for several hours. Take time to go down all the paths and walkways--this place does have animals, you know!!

4. What are the hidden charms (i.e. Hidden Mickeys, talking water fountains, photo ops)?
Literally thousands of photo-ops that you'll treasure. If you have younger kids, be sure to take the train to "Conservation Station" so they can see the petting zoo there. There is also a talking trash can wandering around sometimes.

Any other overall comments, suggestions, or tips regarding things I left out?
Just to hang loose. A Disney vacation does require advance planning and thought, but be prepared to get off the beaten track--especially with younger children in tow. Don't feel that you HAVE to follow a pre-set schedule (except for Advanced Dining Reservations).