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  1. #1

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    Red Face First timer to Disneyworld..any tips?!

    Hey Everyone!

    I'm going to Disneyworld for the first time ever in 24 days (I've been to Disneyland numerous times though)! I'm going for my graduation from college present from my parents and they are sending me and my best friend. I can not wait!! But I was wondering if anyone has any tips about anything? We are staying at the Port Orleans Riverside and we will be there for 7 days..we are also visiting Harry Potter land one day too..I'd appreciate all the tips/comments! Thanks in advance =)

    -Shannon

  2. #2

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    Re: First timer to Disneyworld..any tips?!

    You certainly are in a nice place. My best advice is to LIGHTLY plan your days out. Don't get crazy and start plotting when you are riding what rides, but do have a plan on when you are visiting which parks and allocate the days accordingly. If you want to eat anywhere cool, you should probably make reservations now. The hoop-dee-doo and any character meal are a blast, even if there are no small children coming with you.

    Most of all, remember to chill out and enjoy the vacation. Never feel too overwhelmed (as WDW can easily do that) and slow down enough to enjoy the little details just as much as the E-Tickets.

    Have a great trip!

  3. #3

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    Re: First timer to Disneyworld..any tips?!

    First, congrats on graduating!
    As for Disneyworld, my advice is plan on sleeping after you get home. I'd try to get to the parks before opening. Utilize the early mornings for hotel guests. Eat at off-times to avoid crowds. Much of the same rules as Disneyland apply, such as hit the biggest, most popular attractions early to avoid longer waits. They are enforcing fast pass return times, so you need to be stricter with those than in the past.
    However, don't rush around so much that you don't appreciate and savor what's there. If you have to skip things, I'd skip what we have in Disneyland, although the versions in Florida are mostly all different, so it's fun to see how they're different.
    Be prepared for rain, since it rains all year long there. I'd get a pass that allows for park hopping, plus admission into everything, including water parks. That will give you the most flexibility.
    My last bit of advice for now is take me, and pay for all of my expenses.
    Have a blast, and post many photos.

  4. #4

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    Re: First timer to Disneyworld..any tips?!

    Make a list of must-see's before you get there. A lot of things slipped under my notice. As I'm sure you already know, fast passes on the big rides go EARLY. Take the stroll in the Epcot Resorts area if you have the time. That's all I can think of...

  5. #5

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    Re: First timer to Disneyworld..any tips?!

    Thank you! We definitely plan on sleeping after our trip..we're already preparing ourselves for little sleep! haha I appreciate all the tips! And I will definitely do a trip report after I get back! It'll be my first one =) P.S if I could take you and pay all your expenses, I would haha

  6. #6

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    Re: First timer to Disneyworld..any tips?!

    I will definitely make a list..that's a good idea!! Thank you =)

  7. #7

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    Re: First timer to Disneyworld..any tips?!

    Welcome to our home-park!

    Let me add one some ideas:

    If you think you want to eat at EPCOT, where food is a large part of the experience, think about if you want to sit down and have a meal in one of the countries in the World Showcase. If that's the situation, go ahead and make a dinner reservation. If they're all used up at this point, all of the countries do have counter service.

    Have a loose plan, but don't just show up at the park without doing a bit of research. I wouldn't go to Paris without knowing a bit of where I am. Look at a park map beforehand.

    I usually recommend getting food for breakfast and just eating in your room--less wait and you can get on the road earlier than others.

    Use those early morning entries and hit the popular stuff when you can!

    Take breaks when you can. Your hotel is close to Downtown Disney and a bit of a ride to the parks, via the bus. My recommendation? Go do the early morning stuff, break for lunch by going back to the hotel (maybe eat at Downtown Disney? Like Earl of Sandwich?), then head back to a different park using your Park Hopper. You'll be invigorated!

    Enjoy.

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  8. #8

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    Re: First timer to Disneyworld..any tips?!

    Check out the free crowd calendar for May at Free Disney World Crowd Calendars, Ride Reviews, Resort Reviews, Restaurant Reviews, and More for recommended parks to do on each day of your visit. So helpful in helping to avoid biggest crowds. Make dining reservations now too. Enjoy!!!

  9. #9

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    Re: First timer to Disneyworld..any tips?!

    My first tip is - PLAN.
    My second tip is - PLAN AGAIN. (haha)
    And my third tip - ENJOY YOUR TIME! You can't see it all. We've been there 7 or 8 times...and still haven't seen it all

  10. #10

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    Re: First timer to Disneyworld..any tips?!

    Thanks for all the tips! I will definitely keep that in mind...any favorite restaurant you have at EPCOT for either sit down or counter service??

    -Shannon

  11. #11

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    Re: First timer to Disneyworld..any tips?!

    I loved the Rose and Crown Pub. Also, the food isn't the greatest, but the San Angele Inn in the Mexico Pavillion has wonderful ambiance.

  12. #12

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    Re: First timer to Disneyworld..any tips?!

    This may seem like redundant advice, but get to the parks early! If you show up at exactly the time the park opens, you can run up to a busy ride and quickly get a fast pass, then while you're waiting for the fast pass time to come up, jump over to another busy ride. For example, when at Epcot, show up at exactly park opening time and get a Fast Pass for Soarin'. Hold onto your Fast Passes and run over to Test Track to ride while you wait. That way you're not wasting time later in the day waiting two hours in line to ride one ride.

    Things you don't want to miss:
    -Fantasmic!
    If there's anything you should see at Disney, it's Fantasmic. The show is spectacular and very well done. It blows my mind away every time I see it.
    -"Illuminations" at Epcot
    -"Wishes" at Magic Kingdom
    -The Electrical Parade at Magic Kingdom

    If the weather is hot and you're starting to get sluggish, try to get to your next destination by weaving in and out of shops. They're air conditioned and you'll avoid most of the crowds that way too.

    Don't take too much with you to the park. One backpack should be enough to carry anything you need- money, camera, tickets, etc. You'll find it's much nicer to walk around the parks with one medium-sized comfortable bag on your shoulder rather than four smaller ones.

    If you buy merchandise at the parks and find yourself not wanting to have to carry it with you all day, don't worry! Ask the shop workers to deliver it back to your hotel for you. The process is free and that way you don't have to worry about lugging it around all day with you.

    How you handle the food is completely up to you and your budget. You can find online menus and their prices for almost every restaurant at Disney so you can plan ahead. Some people bring their own food (carried in a backpack), others stick with just counter service, and there's also a Disney meal plan, though I wouldn't suggest going that route. I personally stick with counter service. If you're going to go to a park immediately after you arrive in Florida, pack a lunch. You'll already have lost the morning hours due to travel, best not waste any more time having to sit down and eat. I usually pack a sandwich with me on the airplane and then eat it as I'm waiting for the bus.

    Hope that helps!

  13. #13

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    Re: First timer to Disneyworld..any tips?!

    I mentioned a couple of EPCOT restaurants, but two wonderfully fun restaurants you won't want to miss are at the Studios: 50s Prime Time Diner, and Sci-Fi Dine In. Eat at off times, if you can. Early or late lunch, same for dinner. this will help you avoid crowds.

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    Re: First timer to Disneyworld..any tips?!

    I'm a Disneylander too but I've been to WDW numerous times. I think it's actually harder for people coming from Disneyland to go to WDW then for people who've never been to either one, because in your mind you're planning on WDW and thinking about what you would do on your first trip to Disneyland. So the biggest thing is you've got to understand that WDW is so much bigger you can't even compare the two. The entire property is the same size as San Francisco. You can spend a month there and not see everything. You certainly won't see everything in 7 days, especially if you're taking one day to go to Universal as well.

    The first piece of advice I would give you is that in your case the Magic Kingdom should be pretty low on your list of places to see. You'll probably want to check it out at least once, but it's no where near as good as Disneyland. It reminds me of Disneyland circa 1985 or so. Most of the rides there are either the same or not as good, with only one or two exceptions.

    The second big thing that is very different from Disneyland are the restaurants. At Disneyland you don't need to plan your dining reservations out ahead of time and most of the restaurants are buffet style. At WDW, there are a LOT of sit-down restaurants with waiters, and you absolutely have to have reservations ahead of time. Most first-timers end up wandering from restaurant to restaurant trying to find a place to eat only to be told over and over again that they're full for the night. 407-WDW-DINE. Epcot (particularly the World Showcase) is usually where you run into the biggest problem. Also, make sure you try some of the restaurants in the different hotel as well. There are some exceptional experiences to be had at many of the different restaurants at WDW hotels even if it's not a hotel you're staying at. The California Grill at the Contemporary during the fireworks is probably one of the most popular. Ohana and the Whispering Canyon Cafe are two that really stand out.

    Third, you won't see even close to everything so don't even try. Don't approach it like it's your mission to see certain things. If you have some must-do's, make sure you see those, but allow yourself room for discovery when you're there. Maybe you'll spontaneously decide you want to learn to drive a NASCAR or see a Cirque de Soleil show or go golfing on a PGA golf course. You can do all of that and far more at Walt Disney World.

    Finally, have a great trip!
    Disneyland Cast Member
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    Re: First timer to Disneyworld..any tips?!

    Ahhh thanks everyone for all the great tips!! I really appreciate it! I definitely had to come on here to ask because everyone on here are the professionals =) I'm so excited to go and even more so now that I have some awesome tips!!!

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