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Old 02-07-2013, 07:34 AM   #1
bfarmer123
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Hi! A real "newbie" here...

Not only am I new to the DisBoard but I have never been to Disney either. So, this year I am taking my 11 yo daughter and myself on what she is calling the "vacation on a lifetime". 4 days at Disney, then 4 days cruising. We are planning for the end of May 2013. Just a few short months away...

And I am lost, confused and overwhelmed!

If someone could point me in the right direction, I would certainly appreciate it. I'm pretty sure of where we will be staying, what we will be doing, and how we are going to get there and back, but it's all the little "in between" stuff that is getting to me. Like tips?? What tips? We have to tip everybody? Where can I get a list of all the cool restaurants so we can decide where to eat? Someone told me to book through a DVC member by renting points. Good idea? What about extended hours? Where do I go to find out that info?

As you can see, there is alot I don't know. But I feel confident that my new found WDW friends will guide the way!!!

Thanks guys!
Bonnie

p.s. I want a timer so I can count down to my vacation too!
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Old 02-07-2013, 12:48 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bfarmer123 View Post
Not only am I new to the DisBoard but I have never been to Disney either. So, this year I am taking my 11 yo daughter and myself on what she is calling the "vacation on a lifetime". 4 days at Disney, then 4 days cruising. We are planning for the end of May 2013. Just a few short months away...

And I am lost, confused and overwhelmed!

to the DIS! Congratulations on your first trip - how exciting for your family!

If someone could point me in the right direction, I would certainly appreciate it. I'm pretty sure of where we will be staying, what we will be doing, and how we are going to get there and back, but it's all the little "in between" stuff that is getting to me. Like tips?? What tips? We have to tip everybody? Where can I get a list of all the cool restaurants so we can decide where to eat? Someone told me to book through a DVC member by renting points. Good idea? What about extended hours? Where do I go to find out that info?

As far as tips go, if you eat at a table service restaurant, tips are not included in the price ... just like they aren't included anywhere else when you eat at a nice restaurant.

If you are looking to eat at table service restaurants, you need to make your reservations (called ADRs) now. You can go over to the Restaurants forum here on the DIS and see what everyone is talking about as far as popular restaurants. Be Our Guest is very popular, as are some of the character meals, but everyone has their own preferences.

Restaurants Board

There is also a forum here for DVC - you could check there for any information or questions you would have.

DVC Board

Here is a link to a calendar that will tell you the park hours and extra magic hours for May, 2013:

http://media.disneywebcontent.com/St...lendar_may.pdf


As you can see, there is alot I don't know. But I feel confident that my new found WDW friends will guide the way!!!

Thanks guys!
Bonnie

p.s. I want a timer so I can count down to my vacation too!

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Hope this is helpful to you - have a magical first trip! If you have other questions, do not hesitate to ask.
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Old 02-07-2013, 01:13 PM   #3
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Old 02-07-2013, 01:51 PM   #4
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Old 02-07-2013, 04:40 PM   #5
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Old 02-08-2013, 09:52 AM   #6
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Old 03-21-2013, 03:20 PM   #7
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I'm new to the boards as well I was just at Disney in December and now I'm heading back in May as well. For food, you can find menus on the Disney webside. I'm obsessed with disneyfoodblog.com, where you can find reviews and news and such. Have so much fun!
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Old 03-22-2013, 05:00 AM   #8
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Just for the record:

If there are only 2 of you, I imagine it would be a lot cheaper to just book a regular resort room than to book DVC-- can someone correct me if I'm wrong? I'm sure the DVC resorts are a great value for the money, but I would do my homework. Every time I do so, I find it much cheaper for my family of 5 to just book a Deluxe resort than to book a DVC resort.

As far as food goes, I think I'm in the minority on the Disboards-- we really love the DDP-- that's Disney's Dining Plan. We do one Table Service meal each day, and it gives us some nice family time when no one is looking at a watch, wondering where else we should be.

As far as cool restaurants, I'll give you a list of my family's favorites:
- our newest favorite is the Clambake at Cape May Cafe. (It's in the Beach Club, a 5minute walk from International Gateway in Epcot.) Even my non-seafood eaters found something to love there!!
- if she's a princess lover, we love Aukerhaus at Norway in Epcot. FIVE princesses go from table to table for autographs and pictures. Another princess favorite is dinner at 1900 Park Fare (In the Grand Floridian, on the Magic Kingdom monorail line). Cinderella, the Prince, the Stepsisters and the Stepmother go table to table. The stepsisters are a hoot as they bicker, and the Stepmother shoots evil looks at Cinderella... we find it hysterical!!!
- Our first night is always dinner at Chef Mickey's-- at the Contemporary, on that same monorail line. Mickey and his friends stop by for pictures and autographs-- it's great!!!
- We've always been big fans of LeCellier, the Steakhouse in Canada in Epcot. But now that it's 2 credits on the meal plan, we may rethink that.
- I think Sci Fi Diner in Hollywood Studios is worth a look. It's pretty novel-- you watch clips of old Sci Fi movies (nothing remotely scary--think Woody Woodpecker in space) as you eat your burgers and shakes.
- We love the Coral Reef in Epcot-- one entire wall of the restaurant is the aquarium from The Living Seas... breathtaking!!! And, while it gets mixed reviews, we've never gotten a bad meal there.


On the question of extended hours: if you stay at any of Disney's resort (Value, Moderate, Deluxe or DVC) you'll have access to Disney's Extra Magic Hours-- morning or evening hours when the parks are open only to guests of those resorts. (Keep in mind, that's a couple of thousand people we're talking about, but it's not the ENTIRE population of the planet. We tend to do well at EMH mornings, but find that the EMH park gets extra crowded later in the day. We get parkhoppers so we can "hop" to a less crowded park after an afternoon swim break. An alternate strategy is to go to the park that had EMH the night before, figuring that the people who were there late won't return in the morning.) You can find park recommendations at www.touringplans.com
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Last edited by Aliceacc; 03-22-2013 at 05:35 AM.
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Old 03-22-2013, 05:22 AM   #9
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Old 03-22-2013, 07:18 AM   #10
trickiwoo
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I find AllEars.net to be an extremely helpful resource for planning! They have pricing, photos, and info for all of the resort hotels! That way you can compare the prices of booking your own hotel to renting DVC points if that is something you're considering or interested in learning more about. (As far as DVC points go dvcrequest.com has a great points calculator that will show you how how many points it will cost to stay for your dates, and even how much $ it will cost at their rate of $13/point.) AllEars also has photos and menus of all the restaurants! As well as tons of information about everything WDW!

I also have to agree with NYC Newlywed, I love love LOVE The Disney Food Blog They also have lots of information about dining on the cruises as well!

Speaking of your cruise, if it's your first time on a Disney Cruise this guide on WDWinfo.com is an absolute must-read!

I'd also recommend checking out the Disney Cruise Line Forum here on the disboards if you haven't already! And if you go to the Disney Cruise Meets forum, you can find other disboard users who will be on your same cruise! You will probably even find lots of parents with kids your daughter's age on that forum!
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