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Old 10-28-2012, 06:45 AM   #1
jamzmama
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Newbie first wdw trip June 2013

Good morning. I've decided to join the dis boards because I've been reading the disboards for a while but I feel a little overwhelmed with all information available. So I am needing some guidance on the best threads to read that would help out with my trip planning. I've purchased the unofficial guide 2013 and I've also signed up for touring plans.com. I've tried to make sure I've done some homework before posting on this board.

I have a family of 6 going - myself, husband, 4 daughters ages 14, 13, 8 and 6. We will be staying offsite at Bonnet Creek from June 8-15. I've laid out my initial itinerary and wanted to get DIS experts thoughts on it to see if this would be the best way to try and see everything that we could possibly see. Keep in my mind that this may be the first and ONLY trip that we could take our kids to Disney.

Sat. June 8 - arrive in Orlando. No parks this day. Just getting snacks and other stuff needed for the parks.

Sun. June 9 - Hollywood studios. Based on touring plans crowd calendar this may be the best day for us to go. But I've also seen another calendar that I could switch HS day to Friday.

Mon. June 10 - Epcot

Tues. June 11 - Animal kingdom

Wed. June 12 - midweek break. Planning on going to Clearwater for some beach time.

Thurs. June 13 - Magic Kingdom. Planning on eating a late lunch at CRT.

Fri. June 14 - US/IOA. Based on a crowd calendar that I saw, friday may be a better day than Monday to go to HS. I was thinking about switching this out with my Monday schedule.

Sat. June 15 - go home :-(

I plan on making sure that my family is there early so we could be there by rope drop. We plan on staying at the parks all day till it closes so we can maximize the time that we have there. Since we're not staying on Disney property I guess we're not able to do the dining plan. At least that's what I understand. I plan for us to eat a big breakfast at our resort and plan on either eating a late lunch/early dinner at the parks. The only thing I have set in my mind that I want to make an ADR for is CRT. I wanted to get people's thoughts on Epcot. I thought about not making ressies there because my family may benefit from food tasting from the different countries but I'm not sure if that's the most cost effective way. For HS, I thought about doing the fantastic package so my family can have good spots for the fantastic show. I've read that this is a must see. Would it be worth it to make that reservation? I just wasn't sure how cost effective eating fast food at the parks vs. actually making dining reservations. I figured eating a sit down lunch or dinner for one meal of the day would give my family a little break.

I welcome any comments/suggestions. I'm just trying to make sure that my girls enjoy every moment of it and get the best experience I can give them since this may be the only Disney trip we make since its soooooo expensive! We were fortunate enough for my parents to get us a week of their timeshare.

Thank you in advance for anyone willing to help me in my trip planning. I'm the main planner in my family so this rests all on my shoulders to make sure that my girls have the best experience possible.

Maureen
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Old 10-28-2012, 11:53 AM   #2
brettcw23
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Congrats on your big trip! Hope you love it as much as we did.
From a planning perspective, the days\parks look fine. Smart move to look at the Touring Plans crowds for the days.

Here are a couple of pointers.
1. Have a plan (looking good there already
2. Be FLEXIBLE! Nothing in life ever goes perfectly as we imagine them. Be prepared to deal with unexpected situations. And don't be so bent on doing everything that you begin to focus on the attractions that you didn't see. WDW is an amazing place and you can enjoy it without having to go crazy!
3. Level-set with your family. What on child or your spouse wants may be different than others. Everyone should get to make at least one decision.
4. Get mobile apps for your Smart phone (if you have one). We use Disney's Mobile Magic, Touring Plans app and a few other that are free. They're pretty useful and are starting to make my spreadsheet fruitless

The unofficial guide, along with the DIS board and some apps will get you into great shape for the trip. Keep planning and be patient.

Check out Mousesvers, too. Lots of great tips there as well!
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Old 10-28-2012, 11:54 AM   #3
eeyorefan107
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Hi and welcome! =) We just recently took a 4n/5d to Disney. We stayed on property and had the dining plan, but as far as scheduling a rest period to eat, I would go for it. We scheduled late lunches/early dinners for while we were in the parks, and it worked well for us. We had myself, my daughter and her friend, and my 2 grandchildren (both under 2 at the time.) Having that time to rest and eat gave us the energy to keep going until the parks closed. I hope this helps with your decision.
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Old 10-28-2012, 02:39 PM   #4
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i second what pp's have suggested

hope you and your family have a fantastic time
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Old 10-28-2012, 05:03 PM   #5
jamzmama
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Thanks for all the suggestions so far. So was my assumption correct that you can only sign up for the Disney dining plan if you stay at a Disney resort?

Also if you guys have suggestions on must read threads here on DIS that will help with my planning that will be appreciated.

I do like the suggestion about sitting down with the family because everyone will have different wants so I do appreciate that suggestion. I've also gotten the touring plan app. Is that better than the Disney mobile magic app? Which one would you suggest we use?

What are your thoughts regarding my question about Epcot? Is it better to try the different country foods OR would it be better to go to a sit down restaurant? I'm just trying to decide if I need to make any adr's there. I'm still debating on getting the fantastic package as well.

Do you think I should switch out my HS day and my US/IOA? What are your thoughts on that?
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Old 10-29-2012, 12:18 PM   #6
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Old 10-30-2012, 05:53 AM   #7
dmdelight
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamzmama View Post
Thanks for all the suggestions so far. So was my assumption correct that you can only sign up for the Disney dining plan if you stay at a Disney resort?

that's correct.

Also if you guys have suggestions on must read threads here on DIS that will help with my planning that will be appreciated.

I do like the suggestion about sitting down with the family because everyone will have different wants so I do appreciate that suggestion. I've also gotten the touring plan app. Is that better than the Disney mobile magic app? Which one would you suggest we use?

[COLOR="rgb(255, 0, 255)"]sorry,can't help you here, we don't use any touring plans. we arrive for rope drop,have an early lunch-go back to the resort,relax/swim for a few hours-have dinner at resort then head out again-if we feel like it-for a couple of hours. we are not generally there til closing. more early birds than night owls.[/COLOR]

What are your thoughts regarding my question about Epcot? Is it better to try the different country foods OR would it be better to go to a sit down restaurant?

[COLOR="rgb(255, 0, 255)"]again, i would say this is a personal preference, but via napoli is delicious-but lots of people enjoy both eating and drinking around the world-we are not big round the world folk.[/COLOR]
I'm just trying to decide if I need to make any adr's there. I'm still debating on getting the fantastic package as well.

[COLOR="rgb(255, 0, 255)"]imo-i would say-just watch the fantasmic show-not book the package if you are not on the dining plan.[/COLOR]

Do you think I should switch out my HS day and my US/IOA? What are your thoughts on that?
[COLOR="rgb(255, 0, 255)"]no! stick with hs-star tours is one of my favourite rides-not even a star wars fan! i'm sure you would've heard of toy story midway mania(?!),which is super fun too-we also enjoy the muppets, lights motors action show, indiana jones,the great movie ride,backlot tour,one man's dream,the little mermaid and beauty and the beast shows. there are also thrill rides-which me and ds do not participate in-but dh and ds love-tower of terror and rock n roller coaster- the writers stop is a cute little place to have a drink and cake and relax for a little while-until you are back up and running again. hs is great fun!
[/COLOR]

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Old 10-30-2012, 01:26 PM   #8
jamzmama
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Thanks for advice. We're definitely going to do HS but just didn't know if I should switch the days on my itinerary for HS vs US/IOA
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Old 10-31-2012, 07:27 AM   #9
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Old 02-08-2013, 07:25 AM   #10
Crystal Brewer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eeyorefan107
Hi and welcome! =) We just recently took a 4n/5d to Disney. We stayed on property and had the dining plan, but as far as scheduling a rest period to eat, I would go for it. We scheduled late lunches/early dinners for while we were in the parks, and it worked well for us. We had myself, my daughter and her friend, and my 2 grandchildren (both under 2 at the time.) Having that time to rest and eat gave us the energy to keep going until the parks closed. I hope this helps with your decision.
New I am 2 lol We are family of 4 >DH34,DS16,DS12< We will be staying 4n with 2d park hopper ADR's made,custom maps ordered,My Disney app installed,keeping up with DIS?!? Knowing we are on short time hoping having teens helps prolong time w/o breaks?!? Itenerary break down... Day#1 arrive early evening stay at resort CS meal&movie under stars(ASM) Day#2 DTD Quest&Splitsville CapNJak's ADR Day#3 AK Tuskar house ADR directly after rope drop Safari must HS in evening Fantasmic(have CS wondering about Min&Bill's) Day#4 Epcot in am then onto MK ADR's for CP staying til closing Day #5 CM for bfast then hitting road home?!? Opinions wanted PLZ!!
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Old 02-08-2013, 08:01 AM   #11
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Take afternoon breaks.

I know you want to get your money's worth and stay every minute you can in the parks, but you will have a much more enjoyable stay if you take an afternoon swim break. You will be walking 8-10 miles a day and standing in long lines. Think about your youngest children. Our daughters are 12 and still like a break.

We've always done this until last summer. We were at Disneyland with my 81 year old mother in a scooter. She wanted to stay the whole day (because she was only there for that day). We did. She went home the next day and we were dragging ourselves through the parks. We had a good long nap that afternoon. Never again. And, we are pretty fit people.
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Old 02-08-2013, 09:09 AM   #12
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Looks like you'll be down there very close to the same time we'll be there! I'll be the one wearing a Mickey T-shirt

You've got a wide range of ages in your kid group, so that does make rest-time strategy a bit more difficult. The first, biggest, and hardest lesson I learned from our first trip to WDW 12 years ago was to play a mid- to late-day break for the kids. Now, I'll be honest, doing that is a little harder off-property, because it takes longer to work in that break off-property than on, but fashioning some sort of break for easily tiring young feet is vital.

Major props for the one day off-site, especially Clearwater. Did precisely the same thing on one of our longer trips a few years ago, and I like to never got my son out of the water. We loved it. If you've never been there before, you can get there early in the day, stake out a spot, and rent an umbrella from one of the beach vendors. It was *hot* the day we were there, so we didn't stay long, but it was beautiful. Don't think we'll get that done this time out

I would be very cautious about not making reservations. When we made our first WDW trip in 2001, calling for an on-the-fly reservation worked OK, but since the advent of the DDP, that's become much harder to do. I've booked our June trip and made three reservations, and even those weren't quite at the ideal times I'd wanted. Walking up to the more popular sit-down places anywhere in World Showcase is a dicey proposition these days, IMO.

Part of the sit-down with your family could include this discussion. If there's a particular restaurant someone in your group has wanted to try, now's the time to find it out and get it booked IMO.

One other thing - remind your crew that this kind of vacation is NOT a sleep late into the morning variety. They need to be ready to be up with the birds to maximize time at the parks, especially when staying off-property. Forewarned is forearmed!

If you've never been to WDW before, particularly Magic Kingdom, my very favorite minor trick I've tried to share with other first-timers is to a) get there when the park opens, and once you're in, b) visit the park clockwise. For whatever reason, most people tend to flow through MK and head to the right, which starts them in a counter-clockwise flow through the park. If you go in and head left, you'll be going the opposite way and get through a good chunk of the park with considerably less crowd. Wouldn't have believed this works until our family did it, and it really does work. To that end, you might schedule your visit on a day *without* Early Entry (Morning Extra Magic hours), because you'd be getting there an hour after the park opened to folks staying on-site, blunting the benefit.

Can't add much of value to the Univ. Studios part of the question, as we've never visited there.

Also, afternoon rainshowers a fairly normal occurrence in Orlando during the summer. They don't last long, but can dump a lot of rain in a short time. A rain poncho is a nice little goodie to have in your hip pocket.

One last thought...head out to a local Target or WalMart and grab yourself some battery-powered misting fan bottles for about $3-4 each. Each morning at your hotel, load them up with ice and water, and you'll be able to give yourself a cool spritz when it gets warm. The same kind of bottle, loaded with ice, will cost you about $15-20 in the parks.

Probably more detail than you wanted, but its so much fun to share a few ideas I went a little nuts

Hope you have a wonderful and safe trip!

Last edited by OklahomaTourist; 02-08-2013 at 09:11 AM. Reason: Argh, got my clocks backwards :)
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Old 02-08-2013, 09:33 AM   #13
Crystal Brewer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SA mom
Take afternoon breaks.

I know you want to get your money's worth and stay every minute you can in the parks, but you will have a much more enjoyable stay if you take an afternoon swim break. You will be walking 8-10 miles a day and standing in long lines. Think about your youngest children. Our daughters are 12 and still like a break.

We've always done this until last summer. We were at Disneyland with my 81 year old mother in a scooter. She wanted to stay the whole day (because she was only there for that day). We did. She went home the next day and we were dragging ourselves through the parks. We had a good long nap that afternoon. Never again. And, we are pretty fit people.
Thanx!! Debate was hard as DH34 is prob bad as yngst w/o downtime Thinking make rest time between parks CP ADR Lil later and MK late hours should make Day#4 CapNJacks #2 also late evening with no parks AllDay Open Play so early shopping&attractions hoping to explore GF&AKL downtime&back to DTD for dinner? Day#3 hoping to fit all tho with schdl may have Lil downtime;( We are beginning to walk daily for prep lol
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Old 02-08-2013, 09:45 AM   #14
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