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Old 01-16-2013, 07:22 PM   #1
mortimeriwerks
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How can I do a magic visit for a small-town 10 year old and her mom?

I have been to WDW 3 times, but not since late 1980's.

My new girlfriend and her 10 year old have wanted to go there since they were kids. I remember the vast spaces and the Southern sun, and "If You Had Wings" from Eastern Airlines.... They have no clue. We live near Holiday World in Santa Claus IN, a teeny-tiny theme park; that is their reference.

We are renting a car and are leaving Saturday, February 2nd, driving direct (14 hours!) to a gifted stay at a resort in Orlando, staying to Saturday, February 9. The plan is to relax and regroup on Sunday. Then, on Monday February 4th visit Disney's Magic Kingdom. We have three "4 DAY (1 THEME PARK PER DAY)" adult tickets from UndercoverTourist. Then, plan is to visit Disney's Animal Kingdom on Tuesday, then Disney's Hollywood Studios on Wednesday, and then back to the Magic Kingdom on Thursday and Friday. Then check-out and drive home (may stay overnight in Atlanta area) and off to work on Monday.

I am just a paying participant, and all I can do is make some inquiries as to advice, suggestions and how to focus the adventure on a 10 year old who loves animals, animated dragons (I have seen the new flying dragon on video!) and Cartoon Network(!) Has she abandoned Disney Channel? Yes, but she is still a kid. Her mom has some mobility issues, but is up for a few days of paced multi-mile hikes. Me, I am but a jaded 50 year old with a love for the tech and history of Walt and the other Imagineers.

Meals will be cheap and easy, no travel or lodging issues, and will have a car. What advice can you offer?

Thank you(!!!!)
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:13 PM   #2
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You lost me. You said a 4 day pass but it sounds like you have 5 days planned?

No Epcot? That's our favorite. My 10 year old loves test track, but is also a big fan of the mountains at MK.

Magic visit? Go early and hit the big rides first. Use fast pass. Take breaks when you are tired! Have a wonderful trip!
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:24 PM   #3
mortimeriwerks
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Would be nice to see KSC or at least a beach; the free day...

EPCOT - Yes, the original concept, even, yes, the GM pavilion; the Worlds Fair as it was for me, and the visuals of the world...
But alas, to a kid of "teach for the ISTEP, not the future" (Indiana state education standards) there is no concept to her beyond "here and now" (don't get me started...)

Space Mountain (and the RCA Selectavision)? I think that is gone now; teacups, Dumbo and "It's a Small World After All..."? Well, OK, but then what?

Really, I am totally clueless!
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:49 PM   #4
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In my opinion, magic comes from something other than following a schedule and seeing how many rides you can hit. Take time to enjoy and take it all in. Does the 10 year old have any favorite characters? If so, check the schedules on www.kennythepiratecom and plan to visit characters she would like. I read what you said about meals, but I would recommend at least 1 character dining meal (breakfast is the least expensive). Most of the character meals are themed, so you could choose Mickey, Princesses or Winnie the Pooh, whoever she likes. If she really likes animals, plan a full day at AK. Keep in mind that Epcot has one of the largest, nicest aquariums I have ever seen. Ask how she feels about parades and shows. Whatever decisions you make, be sure to take lots of pictures. They will keep the magical memories alive forever. Have fun.
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:53 PM   #5
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I'm not clear on what you're trying to say about 10 year old and EPCOT at all. My kids LOVED Epcot and they are much younger than that. I think perhaps you are misunderstanding what EPCOT is like?

I absolutely wouldn't skip it.
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:58 PM   #6
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There is a lot to Epcot its my favorite next to Magic kingdom and has been since I was younger than 10. I think there will be plenty that appeals to her in all four Parks. Magical stuff? There is the bibidi bobity boutique the pirates league pick a Pearl. Be sure to catch the night time shows. You could also check out Down town Disney on ur slow day
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:00 PM   #7
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Hi! It sounds like you are planning a wonderful trip! I am also going to put in a vote for Epcot. I think the 10 year old would really enjoy Soarin', as well as Test Track, and even Turtle Talk with Crush (I even enjoyed it as an adult). She might also like the aquarium--especially the manatees and the dolphins. Also, my kids have enjoyed seeing the countries--especially Japan. She might enjoy picking a pearl there---that is a super fun activity.

Otherwise, the best advice is to get there as early as possible, and (at least during the time frame of your trip) use fast pass as much as you can! Oh---I have bought or borrowed from the library the Birnbaum's Walt Disney World for Kid's book for my children. They would read it every night before our trip to get them excited and focused on what was important to them to see----and it had the added bonus of fulfilling the requirement that they read every night for school.

I love Walt too!!

Have a magical trip!
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:09 PM   #8
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Smile first time visitors exciting !

Quote:
Originally Posted by mortimeriwerks View Post
I have been to WDW 3 times, but not since late 1980's.

My new girlfriend and her 10 year old have wanted to go there since they were kids. I remember the vast spaces and the Southern sun, and "If You Had Wings" from Eastern Airlines.... They have no clue. We live near Holiday World in Santa Claus IN, a teeny-tiny theme park; that is their reference.

We are renting a car and are leaving Saturday, February 2nd, driving direct (14 hours!) to a gifted stay at a resort in Orlando, staying to Saturday, February 9. The plan is to relax and regroup on Sunday. Then, on Monday February 4th visit Disney's Magic Kingdom. We have three "4 DAY (1 THEME PARK PER DAY)" adult tickets from UndercoverTourist. Then, plan is to visit Disney's Animal Kingdom on Tuesday, then Disney's Hollywood Studios on Wednesday, and then back to the Magic Kingdom on Thursday and Friday. Then check-out and drive home (may stay overnight in Atlanta area) and off to work on Monday.


I am just a paying participant, and all I can do is make some inquiries as to advice, suggestions and how to focus the adventure on a 10 year old who loves animals, animated dragons (I have seen the new flying dragon on video!) and Cartoon Network(!) Has she abandoned Disney Channel? Yes, but she is still a kid. Her mom has some mobility issues, but is up for a few days of paced multi-mile hikes. Me, I am but a jaded 50 year old with a love for the tech and history of Walt and the other Imagineers.

Meals will be cheap and easy, no travel or lodging issues, and will have a car. What advice can you offer?

Thank you(!!!!)

Considering how long ago you were here for the sake of planning I'll consider you a first time visitor too so much has changed since the last time you were here
ok here are things I can tell you that you may not know:

Allow $14. per day in your budget for each day for parking

You are allowed to bring food with you into the parks, no glass or alcohol

While these boards are helpful I am remembering back to our first visit and it was great fun to plan with an actusl book in hand Birnbaum's guide to WDW is nice take turrns passing around the book & each use a different color highlighter marker to indicate *must do then come together and make your plan

The dragon video you saw was a one time celebration for opening of new fantasyland part of MK

Have a wonderful time take the attitude that you will not see or do it all just have fun
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:11 PM   #9
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Basically she will be blown away by being away from home with Mom and you. It is very overwhelming so let her take the lead. She can get the park map and you guys discover it together. I promise just being there will blow her mind. When you get through the welcome gate tell her "Everything from here on in is ALL DISNEY WORLD". I agree that a character meal would be a great experience and I would suggest 1900 Park Fare Breakfast at the Grand Floridian or Chef Mickey's, either one will get you on the monorail from MK to those resorts.

Do not forget about Photopass. Approach any photopass photographer and they will take pics of the three of you from lots of locations in every park. We would love fore you to post one here.

My first trip to WDW was at age 34 in 2002....when I saw the castle the first time I was 10 again
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:19 PM   #10
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Do you have the free planning DVD? That was a big help getting my kids to prioritize what they most wanted to see.
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Old 01-17-2013, 07:12 PM   #11
mortimeriwerks
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Thank you! Really!

I'd like to do EPCOT, but I agree on the idea to encourage the child to lead.

As for EPCOT... Yes, the original concept, even, yes, the GM pavilion; the Worlds Fair as it was for me, and the visuals of the world. But alas, to a 10 yo kid of "teach for the ISTEP, not the future" (Indiana state education standards) there is no concept to her beyond "here and now" (don't get me started...)

Character? Oh my, "fer sure" she's beyond the "princess" age, but if it has fur, or roars, maybe is from Transylvania or would irritate Mom and at least get a smirk from me, it's all hers...
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Old 01-17-2013, 07:38 PM   #12
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As far as your Sunday plan I would head to down town Disney ad have a meal at rainforest cafe (if she loves animals this place will be right up her alley) and after have a look around all the stores as the theming is fantastic and the world of Disney store is awesome.

Park wise I totally agree that Epcot an ANimal kingdom are a must again for animal lovers. Have you thought about maybe a tour like the wild Africa trek they offer at animal kingdom? Allears.net have info on this and all the other tours at the other parks like the family magic one at magic kingdom.

And I totally agree that a character meal would be really good maybe tusker house at animal kingdom might work well, breakfast there is great and if you make a reservation early enough you can get on the first safari of the day as the restaurant is right next to the entrance.
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Old 01-17-2013, 08:32 PM   #13
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What is all that silliness about 'here and now' and Indiana schools? A ten year old is perfectly capable of enjoying EPCOT. A ten year old living in 'here and now' (whatever in heck that is supposed to mean) is capable of enjoying EPCOT.

It doesn't sound like you're letting her lead. It sounds like you've decided what she likes.

This is a weird thread.
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Old 01-17-2013, 09:08 PM   #14
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I Think You'll Be Surprised...

I think you may be surprised by how much she may end up liking characters and the princesses? I'm speaking from my own experience with taking my own daughters for the first time when they were 10 and 11. I thought that that they were likely NOT going to dig the character stuff, but they totally surprised me! They ATE it all up!! Everything, the parades, the shows, character meals! And, I loved every minute of watching them!! They had just never experienced anything like it and their innocence and joy just shined!

Anyway, I thought you may like to check out my various personal trip reports on my blog from that trip (linked in my signature below.) I have detailed accounts, photos and info about all of the things we did with them at each park. It may aid you in deciding what you think your GF's DD may actually enjoy at WDW.

Hope it helps and Have a great trip!!
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Old 01-17-2013, 09:36 PM   #15
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I think you might be surprised how much she enjoys the characters - even the princesses. My 20 year old DD was so excited when she saw Rapunzel last year I thought she was going to lose it!

If she hasn't seen all of the Disney Classics it would be fun to rent some before you go - that way she would recognize more of the characters when she sees them. The key is no matter what the age - we are all kids at Disney!

Have a very magic trip!
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