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View Full Version : Your Advice on Being Host to a First Time Guest



DisneyEpcotDad
11-25-2007, 04:01 PM
:snowman: What's your advice for showing a first time visitor to DW a good time? Let them figure out what they want to see and do? Give them advice on what to see? I've given her a book on Disney for Adults, but don't want to only take her to places that I enjoy. Your advice please....:tree: We're staying at WL 12-16 December.:mickey:

Tinkerbellfan
11-25-2007, 04:15 PM
Hello,

We have the same situation coming up in early December. My mom and her fiancee haven't been to Disney world since I was little which was pre-MGM, AK and all resorts except the monorail resorts. So, it is bascially like they are visiting for the first time.

We have been several times over the past 5 years so we are "somewhat Disney experts". My mom asked for us to make the resort plans and ADRs. (She didn't even realize ADR should be made 180 days out). Her only request was we visit AKL during the am and pm so we are eating breakfast at Bomas and dinner at Jikos.

Based on the park hours and our ADRs, I have made a plan on which parks to visit on each day. My plan does not include rides at each park - that is too much of a schedule). But, my plan is less scheduled towards the end of the trip since I figure they may have a favorite park at that point they wish to revisit. My mom did say she found the books I gave her were a bit overwhelming and she is looking forward to taking my lead.

We have also told them they can go off on their own whenever they want.

My mom is personally excited to have an experience guide to show her how to handle a week at Disney World. She would have never thought to get to the park early so the rides aren't as late or that certain rides have less lines during the parade. She is excited be seeing Disney for the "first" time but with the experience of an expert.

wendy*darling
11-25-2007, 04:20 PM
We have done this several times, and it always seems to work out well.
Start by having some discussions about what they think they like or do not like... thrill rides? shows? etc. i.e. One time one of our friends HAD to see Cinderella, another time someone did not want any character interaction.
We also discuss dining options and I planned the TS and CS places we most enjoy.

I do feel it is best to show newbies what you like. When you are excited about an attraction, restaurant, resort, etc. the feeling comes through and your guest will most likely love it as much as you do.

We enjoy showing new people "our World." And we enjoy seeing things through new eyes... it adds to our excitement as much as theirs. :mickey:

LoriMistress
11-25-2007, 04:54 PM
I would start off by handing them a WDW DVD Planner so they have an idea of what is inside the parks, and find out what is there must do's. Or just show them some Travel Channel specials on WDW.

I would also suggest showing them MK for the first time. Afterwards do Epcot, MGM, and AK.

jsdt
11-25-2007, 05:08 PM
On our last few trips we have gone with families that are new or nearly new to Disney. Each time we ask them before what is important for them to see. I basically show them the map of the park and walk them through what is at each park to see what they really want to see. While at the park, I end up doing all the running around getting fast passes, getting the stroller, etc.

One thing really interesting on our last trip was that on one day we split up and they went to the park by themselves. At the end of the day, they pointed out how much harder it was to be there by themselves. They went to the Magic kingdom and we had been there with them earlier in the week, but when they had to deal with scheduling, getting fast passes and everything else, they didn't get as much accomplished as they wanted. It was kind of rewarding to know that even though I was feeling somewhat guilty for 'controlling' their days when we were all together, they ended up realizing how much more enjoyable the day was when they had the "guide."

disneymom15
11-25-2007, 06:06 PM
We've done it several times also. Each time it was left pretty much up to us. I think sometimes we ran them a little hard (elderly parents), but there were just some things we didn't want them to miss. I think they really enjoyed all of our guidance. I know that not everyone wanted to do all the things that everyone else did, so they were just as happy to sit, relax, and people watch or browse in the stores.

pink
11-25-2007, 09:02 PM
We just took my grandma this summer and we picked up on a few things...

1) Obviously- don't ruin suprises on rides, shows etc. or talk about things too much because they may be dissapointed or tired of something they've heard about a million times before they even try that certain thing.

2) Give them chances to explore.

3) Watch planning video with them.

4) Always go to MK first! :mickey:

IloveDisney71
11-25-2007, 09:10 PM
I've done this several times in the past and will be taking another first-timer this December. I give them my Disney planning videos, and maps from previous visits. I always ask them what they really want to see at each park and then make suggestions based on this information. I don't push my ideas on people - I just let them know what I like to do and if they want to do it, that's fine.
I never feel the need to plan every minute of their day. To me this takes the fun out of the trip.

BriarRose0708
11-26-2007, 11:56 AM
I'm going to do the reverse and tell you what it was like when I was a first time guest and travelled with a pack of seasoned WDW goers.

I went for one day to the MK with some friends who had been at least 100 times between all of them, so the knew exactly where they were going and in which order to do the rides with minimum wait times (it was during Easter!). I really appreciated that they basically told me they wanted to make sure I got to do as much as I could and see everything I wanted to. They also gave me the opportunity to strike off on my own, which I didn't do, but appreciated. They never complained when I made frequent (and sudden) stops to take pictures or stand in line to meet characters. It also really helped that I had studied Info Central here on INTERCOT and already had a plan formulated before we got there.

I also tried to remember that even though they were saying that it was "my day" it was important for me to make sure they were having a good time too, and did everything they wanted to do as well. We got along very well this way and had a very enjoyable trip that I will never forget!

Hope you and your guests have a magical time!

SAnderson70769
11-26-2007, 12:35 PM
My only words of advice is to make sure you take some time to let them breathe it all in...we all know that you can't do everything in ONE trip...so make sure they get the simple pleasures as well as the rides...walking in the Magic Kingdom at night looking at the castle lit up...standing in front of the lake watching Illuminations...taking a leisurely stroll through all the countries at Epcot...just have to be able to experience the magic!

MsMin
11-26-2007, 12:35 PM
I think part is to do what you are already doing, to be open minded and consider what she may want. Lead with options. Find out what she likes either dining or thrill rides, history, art etc. and highlight that but it sounds to me that you won't have any trouble. Have a great time

Taja
11-26-2007, 03:54 PM
I hosted a friend at WDW in 2003 who is very familiar with Disneyland. I also knew she didn't care for coasters (she rode each one once, though) and the teacups were out! *LOL* She really did not want to visit AK, but I convinced her to try it. It was hot, humid and yucky, but she thoroughly enjoyed Festival of the Lion King (it was an open theatre at the time), despite the weather. We left about 2:00 p.m., and never returned the remainder of the visit. She is not an animal person.

Basically, try to plan an itinerary based on the first-timer's interests, with some of yours included. There has to be some give and take or everyone will be miserable. Did I mention that my friend loves to shop and I loathe it? *LOL* And be sure to allow some free time to just wander--together or separately.

wedway76
11-26-2007, 08:58 PM
My only words of advice is to make sure you take some time to let them breathe it all in...we all know that you can't do everything in ONE trip...so make sure they get the simple pleasures as well as the rides...walking in the Magic Kingdom at night looking at the castle lit up...standing in front of the lake watching Illuminations...taking a leisurely stroll through all the countries at Epcot...just have to be able to experience the magic!


:exactly::ditto:

I agree 100%!!! Whenever anyone asks me for advice on Disney World I always tell them to take their time and enjoy their experience.

You won’t be able to see everything so make a list of a few MUST SEEs in each park and try to get to them.

Don’t over-plan and don’t be a slave to your itinerary. Take plenty of time to “smell the roses”

MNNHFLTX
11-27-2007, 12:19 PM
We enjoy showing new people "our World." And we enjoy seeing things through new eyes... it adds to our excitement as much as theirs. :mickey:You've already gotten a lot of good advice, but I just wanted to echo what Linda said. I know you want to make sure your guest has a good time, but don't forget to step back and enjoy the experience yourself. Going with a "newbie" is like seeing it all for the first time again--it can be truly magical.

PrincessCandaceMarie
11-27-2007, 01:00 PM
I also am a host to lots of my friends who live out of state or out of the country so I love doing this!

Some things I also do (if we had time constraints and such):
- what do they really want to see
- who do they want to meet
- where do they want to eat
- what do they really want to ride
- where do they want to shop
- what resorts do they want to check out
- do they want pool time
- do they want water park time
- making use of fast passes
- making use of EMH
- MM wake up calls
- PS ooops pardon me, ressies!
- shipping packages home or back to resort
- character meals and who are hosting

I normally try to figure out what they want to do, plan as much as I can, run it by them and then we have time to adjust, add, change, what ever they want, and that way its not like running mad or missing something...

Have fun!

Figgyluv03
11-27-2007, 01:15 PM
My DBf has never been there and I've been there a million times and worked there, so he's pretty much leaving it up to me to plan everything. Well, that's not flying with me. I found my maps over the weekend, and I'm going to give them to him. Plus, I'm going to make him sit down and watch the planning video and he has to pick out one restruant to eat at. I've been trying to get him more involved and he seems to be getting more excited about it.

pink
11-30-2007, 09:18 PM
I never feel the need to plan every minute of their day. To me this takes the fun out of the trip.

I feel the same way. It seems like the spontaneous parts of the part are always the most memorable. :mickey:

TheRustyScupper
12-01-2007, 11:10 AM
1) Having "down time" and "spontaneous time" is important.
2) But, even more important is to not "over-hype" WDW.
. . . many people like WDW
. . . many people love WDW
. . . many people live WDW
3) Your friends may or may not like WDW as much as you.
4) If you build expectations, they may be disappointed.
5) Let them form their own opinion.

EmporerStitch
12-02-2007, 06:40 PM
Well this summer i got to show my girlfriend around for her first time there and what i did was:
1. let her watch the Travel Channel programs and planning DVD
2. Have her read the 2 books i have (Birnbaum and The unnoficcial guide to WDW)
3. MK first
4. took her on anything and everything she wanted and i suggested other fun rides (including its a small world and my one of favorites Stitch's great escape)
but thats waht i did and what my aunt did for me when i first went to WDW

DisneyEpcotDad
12-03-2007, 06:00 PM
:candy:Thanks for all of the suggestions and tips!:deer:

mrsHerbie53
12-03-2007, 09:30 PM
It may depend a good deal on the age of your first-timer. In Oct. we took my mother for her first DW visit. I gave her a book or two to look through and had her watch a Disney special on the Travel Channel.

She was thoroughly excited to have an experienced "tour guide" (me) and was able to really enjoy everything we did since she didn't have to plan it out.

As much as she tried to have broken in shoes and in a walking habit, she still developed extensive blisters. So we had to have some down time and "forced" breaks. So keep that in mind.

She loved much that we love. And surprisingly Tower of Terror was her favorite ride! We did begin and end with Magic Kingdom. She seemed quite pleased with this, although she enjoyed all the parks.

Good luck and have FUN!