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  1. #1

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    Smile Planning a trip to WDW

    I'm in the beginning stages of planning a family trip to WDW. It will be the first time any of us have been there and I want to get some thoughts on how to make the most of the trip. Suggestions on where to stay (I'll most likely be staying at one of the lower end resorts for financial reasons and because I don't plan on spending much time in the room). When to go (I'm thinking spring '10). Is the meal plan worth it, etc. Any hints, tips, guidance and insight is greatly appreciated. Thanks.

    Brent
    Brent Frazier
    Phoenix, AZ

  2. #2

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    Re: Planning a trip to WDW

    As for food it's all expensive and most of it stinks. There is one restaurant that actually has great food and a great theme " Planet Hollywood". Though the number one themed restaurant has to be the T-rex cafe, surprisingly I only waited 20 minutes on the Saturday before Easter.
    Motor Mania!

  3. #3

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    Re: Planning a trip to WDW

    Quote Originally Posted by AZMickey View Post
    I'm in the beginning stages of planning a family trip to WDW. It will be the first time any of us have been there and I want to get some thoughts on how to make the most of the trip. Suggestions on where to stay (I'll most likely be staying at one of the lower end resorts for financial reasons and because I don't plan on spending much time in the room). When to go (I'm thinking spring '10). Is the meal plan worth it, etc. Any hints, tips, guidance and insight is greatly appreciated. Thanks.

    Brent
    I'll help you out... so far you request Disney resort options, value perferred, the time to go, meal plan, hints, tips, guidance... well some of this is pretty vague when it comes to helping.

    Try to center your questions in regards to how many days you'll be visiting and how much time you plan on putting towards each park. Once you have your amount of days selected then you can start figuring out which park you want to go to on which day and then we here can start helping you make better use of your days spent, no matter how many they may be.

    I usually go for 7 days, 10 days my longest stay. Do you plan on staying this long or during a shorter amount of time? Once you have this answer then I know I can start helping you out just a bit more.
    Micoofy Duck
    Disney Theme Park Fan #4,584,376
    http://www.micoofy.com



  4. #4

    • Sha-lalalalala my oh my
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    Re: Planning a trip to WDW

    Do not go in July when the heat and humidity is at its peak...

  5. #5

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    Re: Planning a trip to WDW

    The value resorts are all about of equal quality. I prefer Pop Century to the All-Stars. I like the theme, it's a little closer to the Magic Kingdom. It has its own bus line too. Originally at least, the All Stars shared one bus line, meaning more stops when you were going back to the resort or when you were going to a park. That may have changed, I'm not sure. However, if you're a big sports, music, or movies fan, you might want to pick the corresponding All Star resort. It won't make much difference in the overall experience.

    Avoid the dining plan. The only way to get the full value of the plan is extensively planning and reserving almost every single meal ahead of time. Only the most meticulous of planners and experienced travelers wind up saving money with it. Most wind up with unused points and wasted dollars.

  6. #6

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    Re: Planning a trip to WDW

    Any time school is in session is going to be better than any time school is not in session. We've had some nice trips in May: spring break is over, but summer hasn't started yet. Most of the annual refurbishments are over, so few attractions are closed, Epcot is looking its best with the Flower & Garden festival going on, and park hours are pretty long and lines are relatively short.

  7. #7

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    Re: Planning a trip to WDW

    If you are on a budget and don't expect to spend much time in the room then you might actually find an off-site hotel is the best option. A lot of it depends on whether you will be driving there or renting a car once you get there... if you wont have a car then you are not going to want to stay off-site because most of the transportation from off-site hotels to Disney are just down right bad.

    I think for you to get the best answers to your question you need to provide a little more details on what you know for certain. Like a ballpark budget and who will be going.... answer can differ if it is just a couple or a family with small kids or a family with teenagers only.... those details also help determine whether a disney meal plan would make sense.

    The only think I can say from what you've asked for certain is that Spring is a good time to go. The only thing to realize is that during spring break the crowds can be a bit bigger than if you go after or before the main spring break rush.

  8. #8

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    Re: Planning a trip to WDW

    The people here on Micechat are great at helping out for WDW amd so nice too and you can learn much.
    Last edited by NeverNeverland; 06-25-2009 at 11:56 AM. Reason: edited out link to another message board

  9. #9

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    Re: Planning a trip to WDW

    I stayed at Pop Century and loved it. I really liked being on property and Pop didn't share buses with any other resort. The food court was really good at Pop.

    I went for the Regular Dining Plan and loved it. I wouldn't go for the deluxe, way too much food! I did plan all my meals ahead of time, but I planned obsessively for my trip. I really liked going on vacation and having the majority of my meals paid for. I even did a couple extra table services that i was able to walk up to and just paid out of pocket. If you think you will eat counter service mostly, I think they have a new counter service dining plan, then you could just pay out of pocket for any table service meals.

    I just have to say that Ohana and Crystal Palace were my favorite. Also, for a really nice meal Jiko was fantastic!

    I am also thinking of trying to go again Spring '10, I hope I can make it!

  10. #10

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    Re: Planning a trip to WDW

    We are actually planning a vacation there for the 1st time also and luckly the helpful MCers gave us lots of advice. If you want to check out the thread it can be some help:
    Planning WDW trip. HELP!

  11. #11

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    Re: Planning a trip to WDW

    For value resorts, I have stayed at Pop Century, All Stars Sports and All Stars Movie. My preference is All Stars Movie. I had a bad experience at Pop Century and I am in the minority on this one. Most people prefer Pop. The worst was All Star Sports. I did not care for the crowd and noise that was more noticeable in this hotel compared to the rest. Also, I drive, so sharing the bus is not a concern of mine.

    As for meals, Ohana was terrific. My family loved the dinner. It is definetly worth trying to get a reservation.
    In The MK, Crystal Palace is my favorite. I ate there twice and had a good meal twice. I did not like the meal at the Castle. The experience is really nice but the food is just OK. Liberty Tree Tavern is Thanksgiving day dinner. OK, but nothing special.
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  12. #12

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    Re: Planning a trip to WDW

    I've stayed at All-Star Movies and Music - loved both. The food at Movies was better - I thought - but the actual cafe area seems smaller. That only matters if it's more crowded when you go. The theming at both is well done but if you have little kids, you might want to do movies - the theming there is waaaay over the top. If you can swing it - get "preferred" rooms. They are very near the main building at these resorts and more convenient. I think they cost an extra $10-15 per night but when you've spent an entire day at the parks, it's nice not to have to trek all the way back to the last section of the resort. We usually go in February right before President's Day weekend (and the huge price hike that goes with that) and it's great - we've paid as little as $58 a night depending on what type of deal you can get. Watch on-line advertisements. I had our rooms booked this year, saw an add on-line for 33% off and was able to get it applied. We usually do at least 5-6 day hopper passes - You can move around from park to park - you'll see and do more things that way. Utilize the Official WDW website - you can order their vacation planning guide which is basically a DVD and maps but it will give you an idea of what there is at the resort - they will also keep an updated list of attractions that will be down for refurbishment. Get a good guide book - I usually recommend Birnbaums and I just found a book called Mousejunkies! - which is cool because it's written by Disney fanatics. I'm sure a bunch of us Micechatters can give you lists of the best attractions and restaurants to experience - from what I can tell, we all have our favorites. Have a great time planning your trip.

  13. #13

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    Re: Planning a trip to WDW

    The best advice I could give is spend the money on the Unofficial Guide to Disney
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  14. #14

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    Re: Planning a trip to WDW

    We did the Dining Plan and liked it a lot. I am the obsessive planning type, though, so reserving all the restaurants ahead of time wasn't an issue for us. We loved the Brown Derby at the Studios, but weren't as happy with Coral Reef at EPCOT mostly due to the crazy diners the restaurant seemed to be filled with that night. Those are restaurants we may not have tried if we hadn't gone with the Dining Plan. Keep in mind that you can get some packaged snacks with your snack credits, which we did on the last day, and brought home candy & cookies for family members. (This was in 2006...check current details on this before booking.)

    We got the Passporter Guide to help plan our days out as well. For me, planning is half the fun!
    <o>

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