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  1. #16

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    Re: Planning First WDW Trip, any tips???

    I'm actually with you, sarki7 - I don't think the differences between the two are really all that significant. It's my opinion that a couple of things came into play here. First, a dark ride like Pooh fits into Fantasyland, where rides like Pan and Snow have been popular for decades. That type of simple attraction just doesn't seem to fit anywhere else. Also, Pooh was put in at the expense of the Country Bears, and I don't think SoCal visitors have ever forgiven Disney for that. Of course, in Florida Pooh took the place of Toad, but that was more of an even replacement - a dark ride for a dark ride. In DL, however, a full-blown AA spectacular was replaced with a simple dark ride, which just doesn't seem to sit well.

    But as to the ride itself, not really that much diff.

  2. #17

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    Re: Planning First WDW Trip, any tips???

    Make reservations for restaurants ASAP!

    You can always cancel at a later date if you change your mind, but its always best to have them than to not have them!!

    I always tell people to eat at Ohana' at the Polynesian Hotel, as it has the best food on property (at leat IMO).

    Other than that, I never really make any plans, I just wake up and wherever I feel like going I go!

  3. #18

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    Re: Planning First WDW Trip, any tips???

    Parisi is exactly right, make sure you at least plan your meals. Most of the fancy/sitdown places (both in and out of the parks!) require reservations. It may be hard to plan ahead exactly where you'll be, so always give yourself an hour to get to your meal. I found if you get there early, and they have tables open, they'll seat you anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by danyoung View Post
    I'm actually with you, sarki7 - I don't think the differences between the two are really all that significant...
    Ah, I see what you're saying. Yea, the ride certainly feels more at home there than in Critter Country, and I know folks at DL are unhappy about Country Bears. I just like Mr. Toad better, so I guess I've seen them more on an even playing field. To me, it's the principle...isn't Disney World the one with all the space? Seems odd to me when they go around ripping out opening day classics when they're supposed to have the "blessing of size".
    www.gregscoasterphotos.com <- Go there, it's good!

  4. #19

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    Re: Planning First WDW Trip, any tips???

    Okay, here is my advice; I did a week in WDW last year and our trip was REALLY smooth and filled with fun, we had no real mishaps or anything:

    1) Absolutely, it is a MUST -- plan your meals IMMEDIATELY! Well in advance. Realize that any character meals tend to be gone almost as soon as they're AVAILABLE, and six months in advance for a character meal is NOT an exaggeration. But even if it's not a character meal, plan your dining at least a good three months ahead of time, and always have backups in case your original choice doesn't work out.

    2) If it's your first time, I wouldn't waste my money on a park-hopper -- the first time I went, it was for a week, and I only used the park hopper option TWICE, and both times it was simply because one of our meals was scheduled in a different park than we were visiting that day. It's easy to spend a whole day in ONE park, and getting between all the different parks is more difficult at WDW than DL because they're really spread out. So plan which days you want to spend in which parks, find good eating IN those parks for your reservations, and don't worry about all the extra money for a park hopper -- save that money for souvenirs, you'll want them. :-)

    3) Get to your park early -- the closer you are to the front of the line, the more rides you can get done quicker. You want to be there at LEAST half an hour early, if not more. Bring a book or something to pass the time while you wait, but get there early. :-)

    4) While in the parks, hit the MOST POPULAR RIDE first!!! Generally, that would be the newest, biggest, or wildest ride in that park. Hit it immediately, being one of those first people through the gates, and then subsequently head to other popular rides before they get too busy. And the fastpass is your friend!

    5) In Epcot -- avoid Maelstrom, it is an extremely boring ride. ;-)

    6) Plan your days so you don't wear yourself out -- realize that some parks are busier and have more to do than others, and you're also probably going to want to spend more than one day in a couple of them -- Magic Kingdom, for example. Some parks, like Animal Kingdom, don't necessarily take as long because they don't have as many big and popular rides. So insert a slower/less ride-oriented park to go to between days a bigger and more elaborate park. That way you can pace yourself and make sure you have the energy for dashing your way through the popular rides. :-)

    7) Make sure you have plenty of extra batteries and memory cards for your camera -- that stuff is EXPENSIVE to buy at the Disney theme parks!

    8) Keep track of when the extra magic hours/early entry hours are, and which parks on which days -- and make use of them!

    I'll let you know if I think of anything else. :-)

  5. #20

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    Re: Planning First WDW Trip, any tips???

    Oo, wait, already thought of another one:

    Try and get a BREAKFAST or two, particularly in the most popular parks -- and try to get an EARLY time. They often have breakfast times before the park is officially open, and then when you get done with your meal, you're already wandering the parks before anyone else has even been admitted. You're already heading to the rides while most people are still behind closed gates.

  6. #21

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    Re: Planning First WDW Trip, any tips???

    Laura, I could not disagree with you more on the Maelstrom. It's not exactly one of my favorites, but I think it's a very cool ride with a lovely movie at the end. I really like the vibe after you get out of the boat and you're wandering around the little Norwegian village, waiting for the movie theater to open up.

    I do agree with your point about camera batteries & memory, though. I found out the hard way that Disney does not stock a variety of batteries for cameras. They may stock memory chips, but I'd still plan ahead and make sure I was well stocked.

  7. #22

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    Re: Planning First WDW Trip, any tips???

    I guess I was just expecting something more -- with a wild name like "Maelstrom" and the fact that it was a fastpass ride...I just expected a lot more than I got. All of our group hated that ride, we walked out thinking "HUH?!" I just remember wishing someone had told me not to go beforehand -- but hey, to each his/her own, yes? Certainly I won't be offended if people don't follow every piece of advice I give or anything. ;-) I'm just going with my own personal experience, and that's all I can do. If you liked it, awesome. Enjoy it for me next time you! :-)

  8. #23

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    Re: Planning First WDW Trip, any tips???

    I guess I knew going in what it was going to be. I do think it's too short, but it's better than no attraction in that part of the World Showcase. And so yes, next time I'll enjoy it for the both of us, Laura!

  9. #24

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    Re: Planning First WDW Trip, any tips???

    Maelstrom is a good ride, I wouldn't skip it unless the wait was long. As for Pooh, I still say the WDW version is more charming, and the flood scene is much more beautiful.

  10. #25

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    Re: Planning First WDW Trip, any tips???

    I went for the first time last December for 10 days and I have to agree don't waste your money on Park Hoppers, I didn't use it once.

    But I have to disagree with going to the Extra Magic Hours, to avoid the crowds I go to the other parks. It really is amazing how much you can get done in the morning. My whole 10 day trip in December I never waited more than 20 minutes for anything. I would rather have an empty park with shorter hours than a crowded park.

    And be sure to take breaks, WDW is huge!! I ate so much there and still lost 16 pounds with all the walking!

  11. #26

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    Re: Planning First WDW Trip, any tips???

    That's often true, but it also does depend on WHEN you choose to go. The time I went, we were there for a week, we did the whole extra magic hours thing, and we still never had to wait more than 15 minutes for a single ride. It's all about strategy. ;-)

  12. #27

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    Re: Planning First WDW Trip, any tips???

    I feel compelled to chip in with my opinion of Maelstrom...I had the misfortune of getting in line for this ride during Xmas week in 2007...had to wait over an hour in an unthemed queue...the ride itself was about two minutes...no story or coherent atmospherics...cheesy animatronics and set pieces...a definite thumbs down from me. One of the rides quickly conjured up to add some "thrill" factor to Epcot...but it doesn't have much of that either.
    Down with the Hat


  13. #28

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    Re: Planning First WDW Trip, any tips???

    Wow. I never waited more than 10 minutes to ride Maelstrom. I kinda like the ride, but I would never wait more than 10 minutes to ride it. You are right, over an hour wait for this ride- you might as well skip it.
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  14. #29

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    Re: Planning First WDW Trip, any tips???

    What is the best month to visit WDW? I heard that it's always busy season and never really slow, but when is the best time to go with the least amount of crowds? How is Florida's weather?

  15. #30

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    Re: Planning First WDW Trip, any tips???

    Well bstone, we usually go at the end of January and begining of February and its usually not that crowded. The weather is great this time of year but you might want to bring a light jacket.
    Around here, however, we don't look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things... and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths." -Walt Disney

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