View Full Version : Need advice on everything

12-19-2007, 09:04 AM
We will be going to WDW in February with our 8 year old son. We took him for his 5th birthday, but things are different with a 5 yr. old vs. an 8 yr. old. We are camping at FW and will be there for 5 days. Any and all advice would be great. What are the must dos? What should we look out for? I've gotten some info on the camping side, but would like to know more about the parks themselves. In 04, my son was tall enough for Tower of Terror, so that's the first ride we went on. Well, needless to say, he didn't want to ride another ride for 2 days! So, we missed alot of stuff. Thanks for any advice guys!

12-19-2007, 10:49 AM
My advice would be to get your hands on some maps--you can order them for free--and sit down with your son and go over them. Talk to him about which rides he would like to do, and if you have any concerns that it's too "intense" a ride for him, make sure he has a good understanding of what the ride will entail. And maybe plan to get a fast-pass and do those later in the day. :mickey:

Must-dos--it depends on what your son likes, but for an eight year-old I'd say Turtle Talk and Soarin' at Epcot, the Lights, Motors, Action show (though beware: it's loud) and maybe the Indiana Jones stunt show and the GMR at the studios, and the Kilimanjaro Safari and Festival of the Lion King at AK. MK is pretty much a matter of taste--apart from the roller coasters, everything is fair game. But I'd personally put Peter Pan, PotC, and Buzz on the list for an eight year-old. And the HM, if your son isn't afraid of ghosts.

Have a wonderful time!

12-19-2007, 11:49 AM
My son was 8, last year when we went. And even though he was tall enough for anything, he refused to ride the headliner roller coasters. I encouraged him, even pleaded with him, to ride Everest, Space Mountain and Big Thunder, but he refused. He did get on Rockin Roller Coaster, but only if i (not his brother) sat next to him. And once was enough.
Anyway, unless your son is adventuresome, you may want to avoid those rides. Anything else, should be O.K. But you never know. If your son doesn't feel up to a certain attraction, it really is better if you do not insist. There is so much to do at WDW, there is no reason to ruin a day by making your child ride an attraction he is not ready for.

12-19-2007, 12:07 PM
My DS 6 loved all of the coasters and TofT (as did my DD 9, DS 4 -except TofT for 4 yo) My DD 7 who is scared of most rides only didn't like TofT and wouldn't try Everst , Rock and Roll, or SM. She enjoyed the rest with me at her side.

All of my kids favorite is Test Track!! They could ride it for 48 hours straight!

Have a Blast!!

12-19-2007, 12:25 PM
My advise is whatever you do, do it slowly....I mean to say, don't try to do EVERYTHING at once, you'll loose out on so much if you do....have a great trip....:mickey:

12-19-2007, 12:41 PM
Thanks for the advice! I also have a DS7 who is visiting for the first time in January, and altho he's certain he will absolutely LOVE all the rides and coasters, I'm not so sure :sick:

I have also read about the Jedi Academy at MGM and the Pirate Tutorial in MK, and thot that DS7 would get a kick out of those (being careful to set the expectation that he will *probably* not get picked :( )

12-19-2007, 01:41 PM
Others may disagree, but it sounds to me as if you've managed to take your son on two of the most :sick: rides in the parks. If you want to encourage him to 'work his way up' on the bigger coasters, I'd start with Splash Mountain or Soarin', then Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Test Track, then if he was doing okay, move on to Space Mountain, Everest, etc.

I get very :sick: on most rollercoasters, but can do everything in Disney except Star Tours and Tower of Terror. Those are just too :ack: for me, still.

My DD was 4 the last time we went and managed to do very well on Splash Mountain and Big Thunder.

12-19-2007, 03:26 PM
i would say have the kids pick "must dos" and focus on those - get some maps and plan, plan, plan - also stay realistic, know what everyones limits are and work around them - have a blast!

12-19-2007, 04:30 PM
Most definitely Splash Mountain and Big Thunder! My DD's favorites! We're not much for Space Mountain nor the other biggie roller coasters, but he may work up to it. I loved Mission Space, but DD and DW didn't (DW was sick, lying down for an hour afterward near the popcorn vendor).

Get him in EPCOT doing the Kid activities at each pavilion ... get to see each place, too!

Next time, he can do the other stuff, but definitely let him lead you. The more you plead, the more he wins. Good luck, and have fun!:mickey:

12-20-2007, 12:20 AM
My advice would be to pick up a Birnbaums guide book! This is the official guide book for WDW! They also have a version just for kids! Not quite as much info though. I purchased that one only once, now DS's look at mine! There are pictures and descriptions of the attractions & this may help to get an idea of what everyone feels comfortable with & really excited to do! I also like the unofficial guide to WDW, for the down & dirty info - all details of everything, attraction duration, age group the attraction appeals to, description of attraction, best time to visit, etc. But this book lacks the pictures which really help you get an idea of what the attraction is.

My DS's were 4 & 6 when we 1st visited WDW, and now they are 10 & almost 12! Last year's trip was definitely different than our 1st! But I think they just get better each time!
I hope you have a magical trip! :tink:

Miss Mouse
12-20-2007, 02:49 AM
YouTube can be your friend - you could prepare your son by having him watch video clips of the rides that intimidate him. That way he'll have an idea of what to expect and may be more willing to give the bigger, more intense rides a try.

I'm pretty sure there are also some short clips on the Disney World site as well.

12-23-2007, 01:04 PM
I think my biggest piece of advice would be to remember that it is difficult for any child to go all day long without a break. While a nap may not be necessary, starting early and ending late may be too much for your DS.

Also, definitely let him be involved in the planning process - what does he want to do, not do.

Have a great time!

12-24-2007, 12:31 AM
I highly recommend the Disney Passporter. It's perfect for planning just such trips and get a good idea of what is available in the parks and it is great to hold souvenirs, etc.

Before you ask, No I do not work for them, but recommend it to anyone who wants to plan their Disney trip and it also makes a great keepsake.
Also the advice in the book are usually spot on.

Also doing your research is a bonus. WDW also offers a great vacation planning service for free if you log in. On the site you can not only check off what events, rides and restaurants you want to try , but you can also print them out and take them with you.


12-24-2007, 01:47 PM
I would second that YouTube is a great asset. 8yo is that age where you can do tonnes of things but its not necessarily a fantastic idea. If, once you've looked at maps, see that he's looking to go on some of the "adult" rides, go over to YouTube and search the name of the ride (or Flickr). Usually, someone will have posted a camcorder video (or in the case of Space Mountain, a computer mock-up) of the ride itself, you you can kind of "Walk Thru" the ride before going on it. Some of the Imagineering blogs/sites also have specs and blueprints of rides, and the stories behind them are all on Wikipedia...the more information, the better, and I bet an 8yo would have a fantastic time learning all about whats behind the vacation he's about to go on!

I mean, I kinda still do...:D

12-30-2007, 05:29 PM
My other two kids were 5 & almost 3. We had a fabulous time.

My then-8yo's favorite rides were Epcot's Soarin, Studio's Tower of Terror (she was 8, not 5) Movie Ride, Star Wars, Magic Kingdom's Goofy's Barnstormer, Pirates of Caribbean, PeterPan & Big Thunder RR, and Animal Kingdom's Dinosaur & Kilamanjaro Safaris.

The favorite "shows" were Animal Kingdom's Lion King, Studio's Beauty and Beast & Fantasmic!, Magic Kingdom's Castle Court Show, and Epcot's Turtle Talk.

The favorite places to eat (and is still mentioned 2 years later) were Whispering Canyon at Wilderness Lodge, Ohanas Character (Mickey, Lilo Stitch) Breakfast at Polynesian, and Crystal Palace Character (Pooh and friends) Dinner in Magic Kingdom. My kids also enjoyed many counter service meals like the one at Port Riverside with river-side dinning (crayons and paper and TV in one corner helped the parents have a quiet and longer dinner one time), Pecos Bills in Magic Kingdom (keep walking up a few stairs til you find a quieter place to eat - may have been part of the closed Mexican restaurant).

Toontown was a hit - get there early on a Sunday morning at it's opening. You can get through 1 or 2 lines before the Charcater line up gets too long. 8 yo was a bit board with the Mickey and Minnie house walk-thrus. If it weren't for the characters & Goofy's Barnstormer ride, and a great place to catch the RR for a quick ride to the front of the park - I'd skip it.

Ok to skip: Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse, Jungle Cruise, Tiki's "Bird" Show in Magic Kingdom; Sounds Dangerous & Animation Court in Studios.

Get a good book that describes the rides in detail so that you can prepare your son & make choices that are best for him. There's so much to do!

A friend said that her parents took she and her brother and they played with a faucet. She remembers having fun because her parents let them have the fun they wanted. Now she's horrified that they went all the way to WDW for a faucet, but let the kids show you what they'll have fun doing.

Plan for day(s) where you don't go into the parks if you are there longer so you don't get too tired.

12-30-2007, 07:06 PM
Wow. Thanks for all the great advice. I think there's going to be so much to do that we won't have to worry about anything. He's been looking at some of the ride videos and has only one request at the moment. He doesn't want to go on anything that goes upside down. And, of course, no T of T. Also, thanks for the advice on what's worth skipping. You can't possibly do everything in 5 days with resting in between. Plus, we want to spend some time at Fort Wilderness. We figure we'll be back in a year or 2, so whatever we miss, we'll get next time! Thanks again!

12-30-2007, 07:07 PM
There is a book you could get from the library Doing Disney with kids. My kids are now 11 and 8 we've been every year since the 11 was 5. Every year they want to do different things. I'll start w. MK. Mickey's Philharmagic, the night time parade, the hill on splash mountain is steep let him look at that first. Thunder Mountain, not too bad. Peter Pan, Snow White, Pooh rides are favorites, Haunted Mansion? maybe too young. Now MGM: Star Wars ride and the new Jedi Academy; The show fantasmic is one of our must and the 3D muppet movie and the stunt show The 3:00 parade. Epcot Soarin for sure and Test Track My 6 year old dd did this. We plan ADR for Chef Mickey's. Plan for plenty of wait time and travel time during your day. I think that is the biggest mistake. Have A Good Time.:mickey: