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Themedinaclan
08-20-2014, 01:32 PM
We're coming out to Disney World/Florida for our first time ever during the second week of October this year. Is there any advise, tricks, secrets we should know in advance? We (myself, my husband and our two youngest kids 7 & 14) will be flying from California, renting a car and visiting the parks for 5 days. Thank you! :mickey2:

steamboat willy
08-20-2014, 02:15 PM
1st...:welcome: to Intercot! You've found the right place to get all questions answered by those that know and love sharing their knowledge and opinions to your DISNEY Questions!


If you haven't got a quote or reservation, go to Magical Journeys on this site for a Free Easy No Phone calls or put on hold by DISNEY or other and get the best deal possible even if it is offered after you make your Reservation!
If possible, Stay at a DISNEY RESORT. The Magic begins and continues for your entire stay.
Tickets - if you get Park Hopper it allows you to go to one Park in the morning and another later in the day for Fireworks, Parades or attractions you missed.
Take a break back at the Resort for some Pool Time and Relax.
If you get a DISNEY RESORT ID, you can sign into My DISNEY Experience for Fastpass, wait times, Park Hours and so much more.
5 Days, do you want to go to a Park each day or take a day off for other things?
Make Magic Kingdom you 1st Park start from there.
See you real soon....


PS- we leave in 23 Days for DISNEY FIX and OUR 30th Anniversary!

faline
08-20-2014, 02:25 PM
Welcome to Intercot!! :mickey:

Disney World is a huge place. There is much to do and never enough time to do it all. So, first, plan to enjoy your trip and don't try to do it all. You can't!!

Keep reading Intercot posts for tips, ideas, suggestions and information.

Make reservations for rides and dining in advance of your arrival - you'll be glad you did!

wdwfansince75
08-20-2014, 02:59 PM
Disney just announced a special offer of 30% off for rooms for most dates starting Oct 4 to Dec 23, except Thanksgiving week....allows you to consider one of the Deluxe resorts at a more reasonable rate.



Staying at the Monorail hotels (Contemporary Resort, Polynesian Resort, or Grand Floridian) is special...the CR is a short walk, or Monorail ride, from the MK...and great restaurants.
If you or DH are eligible (military, including reserves and retirees, or DoD civilians), check out Shades of
Green
Do at least one breakfast character meal......Our family, especially DW, love to sleep in, so if we do breakfast Character meals, we tend to do a late (10 AM or later) meal...favorites include Crystal Palace, Tusker House, and 1900 Park Faire...
We also frequently do an evening meal at Chef Mickey's...also a plus, either the first night, or last night...then, the short walk to MK for late evening rides, and the fireworks.
We usually do park hoppers...and when staying at the CR, or Shades of Green, we finish most nights at MK...
Browse trip reports on Intercot, and threads on parks...lots of hints and not so secrets
Must do's: HM, PotC, Splash Mtn, Dole Whip, Soaring, Test Track, Safari, Everest, Star Tours, Toy Story MM, Dole Whip, Hot Dog at Casey's, and Dole Whip! Oh, and don't pass up CoP!
Hard to see all the parks have to offer in 5 days...plan your park days (leaving evenings for MK or Epcot) and get your Fast Pass +'s schedules...get to park of choice for day at opening...family experience is to avoid parks with morning Extra Magic Hours...Note that value of morning EMH has lessened even more since FP+...

ransam
08-20-2014, 06:05 PM
The first thing I tell anyone that i'm helping plan a vacation is to remember these 3 things.

1. Don't think you will see everything, you won't. I've been multiple times and I haven't seen it all. So spend some time before you go researching, that's why you're here!!

2. Plan on spending money, Disney isn't cheap. But you can get more for your buck with a little research. There are deals and ways to save money. And by using fast pass, planning, research you can get the most out of your money.

3. To me this is the most important.....BUY INTO IT. and I'm not talking money, I'm saying that while you're there buy into the magic. Buy a silly hat, be a kid, take pictures with characters, there is no such a thing as a diet at Disneyworld, eat food that's not good for you, have a dole whip or two, drink exotic drinks at epcot, have a frozen banana or two, laugh with your family, joke with cast members, meet a friend or two while you're there, take funny pictures, take as many pictures as you can (with cell phones and digital phones, it's impossible to take too many pictures), get up early if you want, sleep late if you want, stay up late if you want, swim, get wet you'll dry off, try new things.
It's your vacation, make it what you want.
MAKE MEMORIES, LAUGH, MOST IMPORTANTLY, MAKE IT MAGICAL.

NewDVCowner
08-20-2014, 06:08 PM
It sounds like you've probably already gotten your lodging taken care of if you have dates set already. I'm sure that someone will come along soon that has experience staying offsite.

Some things to keep in mind - there are several toll booths between the airport and Disney World so expect that.

If you have any places that you want to eat (sit down meals) get your reservations. It's nearly impossible to walk up to a sit down restaurant in the parks now. Also, check out the menus of the different restaurants so you know what's available. If there's someone there that won't eat certain things then it's good to know where to avoid. There are sites that have menus with current prices (send me a private message if you'd like the one I go to) so you can get an idea of what you'll be spending on food.

Do your research on the things to do at the parks. Figure out which things are 'must do' and which things you don't have to do. If your children may be a bit worried about certain rides then watch ride videos on Youtube to get an idea of what they're like. They may be okay with the rides if they know what they're getting into.

Make note, beforehand, of height restrictions. If one of your children isn't tall enough to ride something prepare them for it ahead of time.

Wear good shoes. Take a break in the middle of the day. If you're not staying onsite then it may be a bit harder to get back to your hotel for an afternoon rest or swim break but you can always hop a monorail or bus to a resort and sit down in the lobby for a while. Or just find a quiet corner of the park and take a break there.

Plan to get the parks when they open. That's when the crowds will be lightest and you'll be able to fit the most in.

If you're not staying on site you'll need to get your FP+ reservations at the park. You should be aware that you probably won't be able to get the most popular places the day of (plan to wait in the stand by line if you HAVE to ride it). I've heard that if you go deeper into the park the lines for the FP+ kiosks are going to be shorter. I haven't had experience with that myself but that's how I understand it.

If you do want to meet characters then a dining reservation is probably the best time saving way of doing it, however there are ways you can meet the characters in the park without a dining reservation. Just be aware, also, that the lines for this will be very long.

If you children are prone to a case of the 'gimmes' then find a way to mitigate that (to keep you from spending a ton of money). I've heard suggestions of giving them a gift card with a certain amount of money on it. That's all they had to spend. Others have suggested taking a picture of everything that's requested (with a price) and at the end of the trip they can select one. Or pick up Disney items at home and bring them with you and give them to the kids throughout the trip. I also like the idea of picking up glow necklaces, bracelets, etc., at the dollar store and bringing them along to have a night. Much cheaper than picking up things there.

NewDVCowner
08-20-2014, 07:03 PM
I wanted to add one more thing.

I find that the most important thing to remember is to be flexible. Sometimes things just aren't going to work out the way you planned them to - a ride will be down, it's pouring rain, child number one absolutely refuses to ride the ride that child number two insists on riding. Things happen. Just go with the flow and remember that a 'perfect vacation' is one that your on with your family and the ones you love, no matter what happens. Often it's the unexpected and unplanned things that you'll be telling stories about afterwards. :mickey:

Pirate Granny
08-20-2014, 09:23 PM
Halloween Party ! ! !

ransam
08-21-2014, 04:33 AM
I agree being flexible is very important. Plan but don't be afraid to go with the flow if something else comes along. It's a huge park and you have no idea what may happen,

steamboat willy
08-21-2014, 09:05 AM
* Don't think you will see everything, you won't. I've been multiple times and I haven't seen it all. So spend some time before you go researching, that's why you're here!!


* To me this is the most important.....BUY INTO IT. and I'm not talking money, I'm saying that while you're there buy into the magic. Buy a silly hat, be a kid, take pictures with characters, there is no such a thing as a diet at Disneyworld, eat food that's not good for you, have a dole whip or two, drink exotic drinks at epcot, have a frozen banana or two, laugh with your family, joke with cast members, meet a friend or two while you're there, take funny pictures, take as many pictures as you can (with cell phones and digital phones, it's impossible to take too many pictures), get up early if you want, sleep late if you want, stay up late if you want, swim, get wet you'll dry off, try new things.
It's your vacation, make it what you want.
MAKE MEMORIES, LAUGH, MOST IMPORTANTLY, MAKE IT MAGICAL.

:thumbsup: This is Great, thanks Ransom




I find that the most important thing to remember is to be flexible. Sometimes things just aren't going to work out the way you planned them to - a ride will be down, it's pouring rain, child number one absolutely refuses to ride the ride that child number two insists on riding. Things happen. Just go with the flow and remember that a 'perfect vacation' is one that your on with your family and the ones you love, no matter what happens. Often it's the unexpected and unplanned things that you'll be telling stories about afterwards. :mickey:

:thumbsup: Some more Good Advise

With the New Fastpass System, you can't get away from PLANNING some of your days, BUT you go straight to the RIDE or ATTRACTION instead of standing in line waiting.

One more for "Mickeys Not So Scary Halloween Party"
:number1:

Visit some of the Resorts, even if your not staying, pick one to have Lunch or Dinner!

Contemporary Resort - Contempo Cafe'
Coronado Springs - Pepper Market
DTD - Wolfgang Puck Express
MK - Cosmic Rays
Epcot - Sunshine Seasons in The Land
AK - Yak & Yati Express
DS - Our Hardest, but we now enjoy Starring Rolls
Fort Wilderness - Hoop De Doo

Enjoy Our East Coast!

PlutoPlanet
08-21-2014, 05:29 PM
Arrive at the park when it opens. For the first hour, you almost have the park to yourself.

joonyer
08-21-2014, 09:37 PM
Arriving early is a good tip, but so is staying very late, especially if it's an extra magic hour night at MK, say when they are open 'til 2 a.m.. When it gets that late, the crowds really thin out. Of course it's hard to do a rope drop start and a late night on the same day, unless you take a mid-day break for a nap!

Tigerinvestigator
08-22-2014, 03:33 PM
The first thing I tell anyone that i'm helping plan a vacation is to remember these 3 things.

1. Don't think you will see everything, you won't. I've been multiple times and I haven't seen it all. So spend some time before you go researching, that's why you're here!!

2. Plan on spending money, Disney isn't cheap. But you can get more for your buck with a little research. There are deals and ways to save money. And by using fast pass, planning, research you can get the most out of your money.

3. To me this is the most important.....BUY INTO IT. and I'm not talking money, I'm saying that while you're there buy into the magic. Buy a silly hat, be a kid, take pictures with characters, there is no such a thing as a diet at Disneyworld, eat food that's not good for you, have a dole whip or two, drink exotic drinks at epcot, have a frozen banana or two, laugh with your family, joke with cast members, meet a friend or two while you're there, take funny pictures, take as many pictures as you can (with cell phones and digital phones, it's impossible to take too many pictures), get up early if you want, sleep late if you want, stay up late if you want, swim, get wet you'll dry off, try new things.
It's your vacation, make it what you want.
MAKE MEMORIES, LAUGH, MOST IMPORTANTLY, MAKE IT MAGICAL.

I always tell my friends going for the first time something very similar to this.
1) Stay on property- Gives you 24hr magic.
2) Don't worry about the money. It is expensive, you will spend it, but in the end it is worth it. If you worry about the money you are spending while you are there you won't enjoy it...there will be plenty of time to worry when you return home!:thumbsup:
3) You cannot see it all in one trip so don't try. Spend at least some of your time relaxing by the pool or at a water park.
4) Park your car and don't use it until you have to. I know alot of people disagree, but Disney use to say "Getting there is half the fun". We completely immerse ourselves in the Disney Experience when we go. Sure sometimes it may take a little longer or you have to ride on a stinking bus at the end of the day, but overall we love being able to not drive all week. Try it!
5) I agree, pretend you are a kid as much as possible, it will make your visit magical. My girls tell me that I am a whole different person at WDW and they love that side of me.

ransam
08-23-2014, 03:16 AM
Above all else, have fun.

LVT
08-23-2014, 11:19 AM
You are on the right track. Planning is everything. You will be walking 6 miles or more a day and want to enjoy it.
Great ages for the children. I say that because that matches my first trip. Now we are adult addicts.
I think Florida is 3 hours ahead of California, so I don't think the early arrival will work as well. Staying late is more of a gamble, but it can work well, after all you need your sleep for this trip.
:mickey:

PopPhan
08-24-2014, 11:15 AM
October is a great time to be at WDW!!!! Weather is great and the Halloween decorations and festivities are amazing!!

I have one caution, however.......

October is in the middle of the Food and Wine Festival (F&WF)....If you plan on being in EPCOT/World Showcase during the later hours -- to catch Illuminations, for example -- beware that, particularly on weekend evenings (Fri/Sat), there can be a lot of people who are/were adult beverage 'sampling' that may have gone a bit overboard. Even if you do not see this overly much, EPCOT will be more hectic with locals and weekenders visiting for the F&WF offerings.

Sorry, I did not want to put any kind of damper on your excitement!!! Enjoy your trip!!!!