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Thread: WDW First Timer

  1. #1

    • Minion
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    WDW First Timer

    I was hoping someone could help me with a few questions.

    I am planning a trip to disneyworld for the first time. I have been to disneyland about 25 to 30 times, but disneyworld seems very overwhelming the more I look into it.

    The trip will include myself, my daughter (24), my son in law (26), my grandsons who will be 6 mos old and 3 years old.

    We are planning on staying at the New Orleans Riverside (I think that is what it's called, I'm so confused now), for 11 nights and going into the parks for 10 days with the park hopper feature. This will give us a couple of days down time!

    I figure this way we can go at my 3 year old grandsons pace and still get to see and do a lot over the 10 day period.

    We are going in Sept. and taking advantage of the free dining plan. This is really making the trip a lot more affordable!!
    The questions I have are:

    The character meals I would like to take my grandson to include:
    The Crystal Palace char. dinner
    Liberty Tree Tavern char. dinner, and the
    Chef Mickey Char. dinner
    are there any that I really need to add to the list? Or would those be the best for a 3 year old?

    I also had a question concerning the fantasmic/dinner package. Has anyone on the dining plan ever done this combo and do you know what the additional fees are for the fantasmic portion?

    One last question ( for now anyway...lol ) can anyone share their favorite rides, restaurants and do not miss shows?

    Thank you so very much!!!
    Any day at Disneyland is a Happy Day!!!!

  2. #2

    • Gawrsh!
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    Re: DW First Timer

    Hi! Glad to hear you are going to WDW!!! I have stayed at Port Orleans Riverside and really liked the resort. We stayed in Alligator Bayou in building 15...close to the food court etc. One recommendation is if you are going to Downtown Disney, take the boat from the resort. It's such a relaxing, scenic ride!

    As far as character dinners, one of my favorites is Liberty Tree Tavern. It's like sitting down for a Thanksgiving meal! So delicious! I have only been to Chef Mickey's and Crystal Palace for character breakfasts, but I'm sure they are good for dinner. If you decide on choosing a character breakfast, Donald's Safari Breakfast at Tusker House is a good one. Because you are on the free dining plan, my suggestion would be to call right away and get priority seatings. If you wait, you may have a slim choice of restaurants to choose from.

    Must sees with little ones are:

    Animal Kingdom:
    Kiliminjaro Safari
    The Lion King show
    Finding Nemo show
    A Bug's Life is great but sometimes little ones can get scared.
    Mickey's Jammin Jungle Parade

    Epcot:
    Living Seas with Nemo and Friends

    Hollywood Studios:
    Playhouse Disney Live
    Toy Story Mania (Opening in May, not sure of height restriction)
    Fantasmic!
    Block Party Bash

    MK:
    Pretty much everything!
    SpectroMagic Parade

    I may have left things out, but those are off the top of my head! I'm sure others will list them!!!

    Have a great time!!!

  3. #3

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    Re: DW First Timer

    My wife and I have done a series of articles on touring with toddlers and touring with preschoolers. I will link the toddler ones for you
    http://www.mouseextra.com/2008/04/08...epcot/#respond
    http://www.mouseextra.com/2008/02/18...udios/#respond
    http://www.mouseextra.com/2007/07/25...art-2/#respond
    http://www.mouseextra.com/2007/07/23...rt-1/#comments
    http://www.mouseextra.com/2007/05/14...gdom/#comments

    Like I said, there are preschooler ones to for 4 and 5 year olds.

    You have a good list of character meals. I notice you have all dinners. I love Chef Mickeys for breakfast. If your grandson is a fan of characters like JoJo or the Little Einsteins there is a meal with those characters as well.

    One thing you should always do, is go in the morning, then after lunch go back to your hotel for a few hours to nap, relax, and/or hit the pool. Then by late afternoon/dinnertime, you can tour for a few more hours nice and refreshed. Its the best way.

    And have fun
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  4. #4

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    Re: DW First Timer

    Quote Originally Posted by MJMcB View Post
    One thing you should always do, is go in the morning, then after lunch go back to your hotel for a few hours to nap, relax, and/or hit the pool. Then by late afternoon/dinnertime, you can tour for a few more hours nice and refreshed. Its the best way.
    Thank you and Thank you Kristen!!! You guys are awesome!! That is the way I've always done things at disneyland...take a break in the afternoon. It does work out well and thank you for the link to the artickles you posted. They look awesome!!
    As for the character breakfasts, I think it would put him way over the top hyper!!! He definately wouldn't eat and then it would be a hard day all day! He is very sensitive and at least if he gets overwhelmed at the end of the day we will have had a day in a park to enjoy!!
    Kristen, thank you for the suggestion list at the parks. My daughter was a daredevil....my grandson definately is not! So that is a great jumping off place for us!
    Thank you again to both of you!!
    Any day at Disneyland is a Happy Day!!!!

  5. #5

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    Re: DW First Timer

    Quote Originally Posted by shortiemetoo View Post

    I also had a question concerning the fantasmic/dinner package. Has anyone on the dining plan ever done this combo and do you know what the additional fees are for the fantasmic portion?

    Thank you so very much!!!
    There is no extra charge, it is included with the dining plan. You can dine at Mama Melrose or Hollywood and Vine, they each take one of your table service meals per person. Or you can dine at the Brown Derby, this will take two of your table service meals per person. The dining times for the package are usually early; sometimes in the 3 to 4 o'clock hour. If you were planning to dine at one of these restaurants then I would opt for the Fantasmic Package.

  6. #6

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    Re: DW First Timer

    Quote Originally Posted by Denise View Post
    There is no extra charge, it is included with the dining plan. You can dine at Mama Melrose or Hollywood and Vine, they each take one of your table service meals per person. Or you can dine at the Brown Derby, this will take two of your table service meals per person. The dining times for the package are usually early; sometimes in the 3 to 4 o'clock hour. If you were planning to dine at one of these restaurants then I would opt for the Fantasmic Package.
    I'm trying the H&V in 2 weeks
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  7. #7

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    Re: DW First Timer

    I always like H&V!

    Enjoy!

  8. #8

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    Re: DW First Timer

    Quote Originally Posted by Nutz4Disney View Post
    I always like H&V!

    Enjoy!
    what do you like about?
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  9. #9

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    Re: DW First Timer

    I have done the Fantasmic Dinner Package several times on the DDP, I recommend Momma Melrose's I think its the best Italian-American food in the parks. H&V is a good buffet, I just prefer a table service for dinner after running around the parks all day.

    I like the Package because it frees you up to tour the park longer without having to wait in the Fantasmic line and on the DDP it doesn't cost you anything extra. Book it as soon as you can for the day you are in the park as there are limited slots available for each night and they do sell out.
    Hi I'm Jerren and I'm a Disneyholic...

  10. #10

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    Re: DW First Timer

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerren View Post
    I have done the Fantasmic Dinner Package several times on the DDP, I recommend Momma Melrose's I think its the best Italian-American food in the parks.
    Thats not really saying much
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  11. #11

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    Re: DW First Timer

    Quote Originally Posted by MJMcB View Post
    Thats not really saying much
    True, but when people ask me about MM and Tony's I have to say MM is much better. I agree neither would survive long in Little Italy but MM is not bad and is better than a lot of chain "Italian" restaurants I've eaten in and for theme park food its on the better end of the scale.

    Few restaurants at WDW are close to what I would consider "fine dining" these days but in general I think the prices are reasonable compared to what they could be and the food quality is actually much better than most first time visitors expect. And I just want them to have the best expierence they can while they are there....

    I have had some very nice meals at MM's and some ok meals at Tony's, food quality MM wins hands down, atmosphere its a toss up because I love the Lady and the Tramp theme of Tony's but MM is a little more cozy for lack of a better word. So is may not be sayig much but if someone is asking me what I like and why there ya go.


    Now H&V I've only eaten there twice, it was fine, basically it's your typical Disney world buffet neither good nor bad by comparison except there are no characters at dinnertime like some of the other buffet's out there. But if I had to choose between the two of them to get the Fantasmic Package I'd choose a sit down meal at MM over it simply due to the fact that its a little quieter, darker and more relaxed option between the two. Typically when dinner time rolls around I've been walking all day and enjoy sitting down and being served rather than running back and forth to the buffet line.

    Now if your a buffet lover you may want to do H&V since it might be faster and you can get more food is good and you can try a variety of things. Its all a matter of personal preference, but with so many buffet choices out there at WDW I'd prefer to do one with the characters or one that is truly exceptional like Boma's versus H&V but that's just me.
    Hi I'm Jerren and I'm a Disneyholic...

  12. #12

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    Re: DW First Timer

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerren View Post
    True, but when people ask me about MM and Tony's I have to say MM is much better. I agree neither would survive long in Little Italy but MM is not bad and is better than a lot of chain "Italian" restaurants I've eaten in and for theme park food its on the better end of the scale.

    Few restaurants at WDW are close to what I would consider "fine dining" these days but in general I think the prices are reasonable compared to what they could be and the food quality is actually much better than most first time visitors expect. And I just want them to have the best expierence they can while they are there....

    I have had some very nice meals at MM's and some ok meals at Tony's, food quality MM wins hands down, atmosphere its a toss up because I love the Lady and the Tramp theme of Tony's but MM is a little more cozy for lack of a better word. So is may not be sayig much but if someone is asking me what I like and why there ya go.


    Now H&V I've only eaten there twice, it was fine, basically it's your typical Disney world buffet neither good nor bad by comparison except there are no characters at dinnertime like some of the other buffet's out there. But if I had to choose between the two of them to get the Fantasmic Package I'd choose a sit down meal at MM over it simply due to the fact that its a little quieter, darker and more relaxed option between the two. Typically when dinner time rolls around I've been walking all day and enjoy sitting down and being served rather than running back and forth to the buffet line.

    Now if your a buffet lover you may want to do H&V since it might be faster and you can get more food is good and you can try a variety of things. Its all a matter of personal preference, but with so many buffet choices out there at WDW I'd prefer to do one with the characters or one that is truly exceptional like Boma's versus H&V but that's just me.

    I'm trying H&V just for the sake of trying it. MM is average IMHO, I hate the Prime Time, and Sc-Fi while entertaining is expensive and average.

    Tony's is OK. Mama Melrose's is better, but I don't think its much better. I would give Tony's a C/C+ and MM a B/B-.

    I think there is a lot of fine dining at WDW. Most of it is in the resorts though
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  13. #13

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    Re: DW First Timer

    Quote Originally Posted by MJMcB View Post
    I'm trying H&V just for the sake of trying it. MM is average IMHO, I hate the Prime Time, and Sc-Fi while entertaining is expensive and average.

    Tony's is OK. Mama Melrose's is better, but I don't think its much better. I would give Tony's a C/C+ and MM a B/B-.

    I think there is a lot of fine dining at WDW. Most of it is in the resorts though

    Sounds like a fair assessment, I guess I'm a bit jaded as Tony's used to be a lot better in the past, especially when they still served breakfast (going back about 11-12 years here I know) so I tend to be more critical.

    Just to be clear about the "fine dining" comment, it was not in any way meant to say there are not some very nice restaurants on property, far from it. What I meant is none of the WDW restaurants with the exception of V&A are anywhere near same league as say Gramercy Tavern (NY) or Spago's (LA).... But I think this is a good thing as I don't really want to pay for five star prices and go back to change into a coat and tie for diner each night and then change again to go back to the parks.
    Hi I'm Jerren and I'm a Disneyholic...

  14. #14

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    Re: DW First Timer

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerren View Post
    Just to be clear about the "fine dining" comment, it was not in any way meant to say there are not some very nice restaurants on property, far from it. What I meant is none of the WDW restaurants with the exception of V&A are anywhere near same league as say Gramercy Tavern (NY) or Spago's (LA).... But I think this is a good thing as I don't really want to pay for five star prices and go back to change into a coat and tie for diner each night and then change again to go back to the parks.
    Well, not many theme parks have restaurants on those levels. Besides, many put Jiko, Citricos and the California Grill on a very high level
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  15. #15

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    Re: DW First Timer

    Quote Originally Posted by MJMcB View Post
    Well, not many theme parks have restaurants on those levels. Besides, many put Jiko, Citricos and the California Grill on a very high level

    Yes and I count myself among them...
    Hi I'm Jerren and I'm a Disneyholic...

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