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Old 02-25-2013, 01:33 PM   #1786
denamo
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Ashley and others who have posted great tips,

Thank you so much! We did WDW when our now grown sons were much younger. We will only have one day at WDW since we will be on a Disney cruise and this is one of our port days. We are starting in AK since that park was non existent when we went previously to WDW. Want the chance to do the Kilimanjaro Safaris. Would appreciate any input as to whether this is a good place to start. After that we'll probably head to Epcot. Not sure what time to expect to leave AK.

I've already adopted the idea that we will love whatever we have time to do and see and not lament what we couldn't get to. It will only be my husband and myself. We can hardly wait! A day at WDW is definitely better than a day at home!
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Old 03-01-2013, 01:19 PM   #1787
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Just wanted to thank Ashley and everyone else for all of the tips in this thread. I just signed up on DIS, but I've been a lurker for the past 4-5 months. This thread was especially helpful.
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Old 03-01-2013, 01:50 PM   #1788
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Originally Posted by Ashley0408 View Post
Magic Kingdom Tips
  • Rope Drop- Magic Kingdom has a wonderful welcome show that starts about 12 minutes before the park opens. Make sure you stand in the middle of the queue where you can see the clock at the top of the train station. The show will involve the train, so make sure you can see it.
  • If you time it just right, your walk down Main Street could be with a few characters as they head to their meet and greet locations.They won't stop for autographs but its fun to walk along side them.
  • Dining Reservation Before park opens- Make a dining reservation at either Crystal Palace or Cinderella's Royal Table before the park opens and you should be able to get a picture of Cinderella's Castle without any other guests in the photo. Sometimes the photopass photographers are out to capture the moment for you.
  • Characters- Most characters can be met in other parks. So only meet the characters that do not meet in any other park. This includes Rapunzel, Tiana, The Fairy Godmother, Wendy and Peter Pan
  • Fantasyland- Most appealing to little ones. Be sure to go first thing in the morning. Crowds start increasing around lunch and will stay crowded for the rest of the day.
  • Parade- Figure out where the 3pm parade will start. If it starts in Frontierland, you can get a spot there. There will be fewer crowds and once the parade is done you can hop on a ride whole everyone else is still watching the parade
  • Avoid seeing parades on Main Street. Head towards places near Liberty Square or Frontierland.
  • If there are two evenings parades, the second one will be less crowded.
  • Wishes- If you are planning on leaving as soon as the fireworks are over, try to find a seat towards the entrance to the park instead of near the castle. Also, head inside the shops on Main Street on the left hand side and you can cut through all the shops and avoid the crowds on the street
  • You can also view the fireworks from the Polynesian Resort on the beach. Take the monorail over and head to the beach. Some people have commented they could hear the music others said they couldn't.
  • If you've seen Wishes a couple of times before try watching it from fantasyland behind the carousel- Fireworks explode right over your head.
  • Resting- Best attractions for napping: The Hall of Presidents, The Tomorrowland Transit Authority
  • If you need a quick bite and recharge, take the monorail over the the Contemporary Resort and eat at Contempo Cafe.
  • Walk over to the Grand Floridian and grab a hammock on the beach
  • You'll find a Rose Garden between Cinderella's Castle and the entrance bridge to Tomorrowland. While relaxing you may find baby ducks walking through the gardens. Also a great PhotoOp
  • PhotoOps- The sled outside Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe in Liberty Square. Great for Christmas card Photo
  • At the MK Hub there are some classic characters statues. Take a picture of each member with their favorite characters. Every time you go back take a picture with the same characters
  • Get a dining reservation before the park opens and take a picture with the castle without any people in the way. If you're lucky, a photo pass photographer will be there.
  • Magic Moments- Things that you may overlook or special opportunities to make the magic even better.
  • Harmony Barber Shop- Located on Main Street, you can go and have your baby's first haircut. Your package will even come with a pair of commemorative ears. You can also get a gel style for just $5 with mickey shaped confetti.
  • Head over to Tom Sawyer Island first thing in the morning. Cast members hide paint brushes throughout. If you can find one, your entire party will receive a FASTPASS.
  • Ride in the back of the MK Railroad train.
  • Play place beside the entrance of Splash Mountain for little ones to play on while their siblings ride Big Thunder or Splash.
Great compilation Ashley. I've compiled most of the tips on my computer, but never thought of posting them.

In this list, you mention the same thing twice. I'm still reading through the rest of the lists, but wasn't sure if you wanted to edit this list.
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Old 03-01-2013, 01:58 PM   #1789
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EPCOT Tips
  • Kim Possible- You can get you Kummincator on the bridge that leads into the World Showcase and then complete the missions at your pace.
Kim Possible is no longer available. It has been replaced with Agent P's World Showcase Adventure.
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Old 03-01-2013, 02:13 PM   #1790
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Animal Kingdom Tips
  • There is a semi-secret path located off the trail to Harambe Village. Its the very last path to the right after the Tree of Life and just before the bridge to Harambe Village. Its entrance is somewhat covered with vegetation so it can be easily missed. Because very few people know about this path, you can take your time and get up close to the Tree of Life. And if you see rocks with holes in them, be sure to look through the holes for a nice surprise.
If this is the same trail I'm thinking of (part of the exit to Its Tough To Be a Bug); when DW and I were there this past December, it was closed off. DW and I knew about this trail and would often use it as a short cut. This looked to be like a permanent closure. Can anyone else confirm this? We used to use this path as way to get from Africa to Asia. We tried to use it again and we surprised to see it closed. Forced us to go the long way around now.
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Old 03-01-2013, 02:47 PM   #1791
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Do we go left or to the second start on the right, straight on til morning?
 
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Dining
  • Wishes Dessert Bar- a dessert buffet located in Tomorrowland. Sit and eat dessert while watching Wishes in Magic Kingdom. $30 dollars a person. HIGHLY recommend grabbing one 180 days out. They go quickly.
ADR's for this are usually made 2 months in advance. Not 180 days out. Keep checking often though as you never know when they'll change or open up the dates. And yes, they do go quickly.
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Old 03-01-2013, 02:53 PM   #1792
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Do we go left or to the second start on the right, straight on til morning?
 
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Merchandise and Souvenirs
  • Pressed Pennies- There are over 175 machines throughout the Disney resorts where you can create this inexpensive souvenir. You'll need two quarters and one penny (mix together vinegar and salt and soak pennies before you leave to clean the grime off. If you're at the park, Sprite works just as well). Gift shops also sell books to keep the organized.
  • http://www.presscoins.com/listings/#newlistings
Just wanted to add a little to this. You can go to Guest Services at any of the parks and ask them to print out the list for you. D'Sis started collecting pennies our last trip. She was wondering if there was a list. When we went to GS to add a day to our tickets, we asked if they knew if there was a list and they said "yes, there is. Would you like us to print you out a copy?" They did free of charge.
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Old 03-01-2013, 03:02 PM   #1793
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Phew. Sorry it took me so long to get it posted, but these are tips I've collected for myself reading all these pages plus other threads and websites. Three months from today we leave for our Disney trip
Again, props to you for putting together the lists.
I hope you don't mind my comments and correcting/adding some information. I don't want you to think I was picking on you. Just trying to help provide you (and other readers) with some current information.

I hope you and your family have a wonderful vacation. ENJOY THE MAGIC!
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Old 03-01-2013, 03:07 PM   #1794
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Use your smart phone for:

1.the great disney apps for park wait times for rides

2.finding what gluten free options are in the disney parks

3. Take a picture of your photo pass...if lost you just need your number to get your pictures!!

4. take pictures of tickets etc.

5. small ziploc to keep smart phone in- to prevent water damage on certain rides.

6. use photo pass often-they get the whole group! We have tons of pics without me in them because I am always taking the picture!

7. Make ADRs....you will regret if you don't and when you are tired and hot and need a refresh...they come in handy. If you choose not to use them cancel (remember to cancel-some charge for no shows)

8.Stay on-site. there is a big difference. Take it from someone who has done both.

9. I get each kid a "loaded" disney card for their own purchases. They have to plan what they want and it gets them off my back.
Another thing I love to us my smartphone for is to keep track of my ADR's. I use the calendar to list my ADR's for each day. There's a place to add comments and I list my confirmation # there. I also have a notepad app that I use to write some of these wonderful tips everyone has shared. I know some people like to use index cards for this. I personally love using my phone for this. One less thing to carry in the parks.
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Old 03-01-2013, 04:19 PM   #1795
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thumper_Man

Another thing I love to us my smartphone for is to keep track of my ADR's. I use the calendar to list my ADR's for each day. There's a place to add comments and I list my confirmation # there. I also have a notepad app that I use to write some of these wonderful tips everyone has shared. I know some people like to use index cards for this. I personally love using my phone for this. One less thing to carry in the parks.
I do these exact same things! I love using my phone as my calendar and for reminders. Like you said...it's a great place to log all those ADR confirmation numbers.
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Old 03-01-2013, 05:00 PM   #1796
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I do these exact same things! I love using my phone as my calendar and for reminders. Like you said...it's a great place to log all those ADR confirmation numbers.
This is a great idea! silly me has been lugging my day runner with me when I could just use my phone! I use paper/ pencil at home but really don't need it at WDW!
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Old 03-01-2013, 09:36 PM   #1797
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One way to travel light to the Parks is to throw fashion to the wayside and wear cargo shorts (or capris). You can stuff all sorts of things in those (including a string backpack for later if you start acquiring things). Ponchos, camera, phone, wallet, water bottle, etc. And then you can skip bag check.

If you stay at, or visit, Animal Kingdom Lodge, take binoculars. Some animals are close, but others are seen better with some aid.

Pay attention to all the details in all the Parks (even the walkways and restrooms). Enjoy all the imagination and creativity. But, also, don't sweat the small stuff.

And speaking of sweating: a wet bandana around your neck can really help cool you down in hot weather, and a mister is great (just make sure that kids understand they can't spray other people without permission). A mister helps keep my DGS hydrated; he loves to spray it into his mouth (even Florida water, which is actually quite drinkable).

Even staying on-property I'm a big fan of having a car. The only Park I like to take the bus to is MK (getting back to parking there at night is painful; of course, so is waiting for the bus). There is always something I need to go get off-property anyway (but I do tend to stay at least 10-12 days, and I don't eat much Park food (probably would be okay for a 5-6 night visit to do without a car with a dining plan, if no one got sick).
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Old 03-01-2013, 10:50 PM   #1798
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Best thread ever! I will try to add a few tips that are unique from our 10 day vacation at DW back in 2010. I sure learned a lot.
  • Buy a fancy princess dress on Ebay or a costume store on line, and bring it to Bibity Bobbiti Boutique. My daughter had an extremely beautiful Belle dress that looked like it cost 100 dollars in the BBB store, it was 22.00 dollars on clearance at a costume retailer online.
  • If you get mild nausea on rides like Soarin' or anything that moves like I do, including boats, monorail, even the Peter Pan ride, don't let it side track you. Use Sea-bands. You can buy them at Walgreens or CVS. Put them on your wrists BEFORE you take the bus or car to the parks and do not take them off. They have literally freed me to do almost any rides with zero nausea!
  • If you can't get reservations at BBB, or you don't want to spend the $$, the barber shop on main street does a fabulous job on everyone's hair, the barbers are so friendly, there's sometimes a character there, and they will doll up your kids for the day for a fraction of the time and money.
  • Probably been mentioned before, but on a hot day, Tom Sawyers Island is a great couples get away. It is so surreal to be almost alone on an island with thousands of bustling people in the park. The caves are dark and cool on hot days, and it's a great little place to get away from all the stimulation and just climb around and explore and take some really unique pictures of the Train roller coaster.
  • If you have little ones, do not miss the Play and Dine Breakfast at Hollywood Studios. My kids danced their heads off for almost two hours and the food was amazing. If they are Little Einstein fans, this is for them... We then got to walk around the park and take amazing pictures on vacant streets before it opened. One of my favorite all time memories of Disney was that morning.
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Old 03-02-2013, 09:54 AM   #1799
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ADR's for this are usually made 2 months in advance. Not 180 days out. Keep checking often though as you never know when they'll change or open up the dates. And yes, they do go quickly.
Where do you go for reservations? I looked online but could not locate it?
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Old 03-02-2013, 10:03 AM   #1800
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thumper_Man

Again, props to you for putting together the lists.
I hope you don't mind my comments and correcting/adding some information. I don't want you to think I was picking on you. Just trying to help provide you (and other readers) with some current information.

I hope you and your family have a wonderful vacation. ENJOY THE MAGIC!
Thanks. And no offense taken. I worked there back in 2005 but this will be our first trip back so most of my tips were from previous tippers. We head there in May so these tips will change... Thanks for all your input, I'll edit them once I'm on the computer

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