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  1. #1

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    First WDW Trip in 10 years........HELP!!!!!!!

    Well the thread title just about says it all. This August, I'm planning on taking a road trip across country, visiting all the "tourist-y" sites this nation has to offer, and one of those sites, naturally, is WDW. This will be my first trip to the resort in over 10 years. The only problem is, 10 years ago I was still able to count my age on my 10 fingers lol, so I don't remember too much of my last trip.


    I therefore have a number of questions for you, fellow MiceChatters:
    1) Which resort hotel do you recommend I stay at? I will probably be there for 4-6 days and would like to stay on property. I was looking at the WDW website, and the Animal Kingdom Lodge one looks nice, the one where you can get a room facing out onto a savannah. Is that worth it? would I really be able to wake up and see animals out my window? or will I just be paying a lot of money to see trees and grass?

    2) what are the best places to eat/best food in each park/around the resort? This is a big one for me cuz I would really like to enjoy the best food that WDW has to offer, whether it is tasting a little of everything at the World Showcase, or a hotel's restaurant that I absolutely shouldnt miss. which ones should I go to? and remember, I'm only going to be there for 4-6 days, so I won't be able to eat everywhere lol

    3) I'm have an AP to DL in California, so I'm fairly familiar with the Magic Kingdom concept, but what are the big differences between the parks? like, if both DL's and WDW's Peter Pan are identical, I may consider not making a ride such as that a priority on my To-Do list.

    4) What are the highlights of the other parks? I know EE over at AK, M:S at Epcot, and ToT in MGM, but what other things are considered "musts" at the parks? for instance, which countries should i make a priority in the World Showcase? that sort of idea

    5) Is there anything else I absolutely should not miss while I'm there? I was thinking about maybe spending a day hopping between the two water parks. Is there any special ticket I can get that lets me do that?

    and finally, 6) since I'll be roadtripping, I'll already have a car. Is it best to drive myself from park to park? or are there other modes of transportation that can get me around instead? things like the monorail and whatnot.


    help with any or all of these questions would be greatly appriciated, thanks!!!

    signed,
    -One Grateful MiceChatter who is anxiously awaiting his trip to WDW.
    Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy.

  2. #2

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    Re: First WDW Trip in 10 years........HELP!!!!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by dsnyfnatic
    Well the thread title just about says it all. This August, I'm planning on taking a road trip across country, visiting all the "tourist-y" sites this nation has to offer, and one of those sites, naturally, is WDW. This will be my first trip to the resort in over 10 years. The only problem is, 10 years ago I was still able to count my age on my 10 fingers lol, so I don't remember too much of my last trip.
    Alrighty then, let's get started...
    Quote Originally Posted by dsnyfnatic
    I therefore have a number of questions for you, fellow MiceChatters:
    1) Which resort hotel do you recommend I stay at? I will probably be there for 4-6 days and would like to stay on property. I was looking at the WDW website, and the Animal Kingdom Lodge one looks nice, the one where you can get a room facing out onto a savannah. Is that worth it? would I really be able to wake up and see animals out my window? or will I just be paying a lot of money to see trees and grass?
    Animal Kingdom Lodge is an excellent choice. It is pure luck if an animal will be outside your room when you wake up, but there is a good chance. Personally, I'd opt for the standard view, and usually they'll do a free upgrade because there are so few standard view rooms. The standard view has a great view of the pool anyway... though sometimes it faces the parking lot. In any case, you'll still be at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, and you can explore the resort to see the animals, as there are plenty of viewing locations. Now, you might just want to be able to see the animals from your room, and the only gurantee to that is to get a savannah view room. But it depends on how much $$$ you want to spend on your room... I'd ask myself how much time I'm actually going to spend in the room anyway.
    Quote Originally Posted by dsnyfnatic
    2) what are the best places to eat/best food in each park/around the resort? This is a big one for me cuz I would really like to enjoy the best food that WDW has to offer, whether it is tasting a little of everything at the World Showcase, or a hotel's restaurant that I absolutely shouldnt miss. which ones should I go to? and remember, I'm only going to be there for 4-6 days, so I won't be able to eat everywhere lol
    I'd definately eat at Boma at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, Aloha Isle (Dole Whips) at the Magic Kingdom, Artist Point at the Wilderness Lodge, the Hollywood Brown Derby at the Disney-MGM Studios, and at least one table service restaurant at Epcot.
    Quote Originally Posted by dsnyfnatic
    3) I'm have an AP to DL in California, so I'm fairly familiar with the Magic Kingdom concept, but what are the big differences between the parks? like, if both DL's and WDW's Peter Pan are identical, I may consider not making a ride such as that a priority on my To-Do list.
    Nothing is the same in the parks... well, that's not entirely true. Disneyland has the better versions of most attractions, but some things that are basically identical are:

    -Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (although it is a mirrored track layout)
    -Honey, I Shrunk the Audience
    -Star Tours
    -"it's tough to be a bug"
    -Muppet Vision 3-D
    -Turtle Talk with Crush
    -Soarin' (though WDW's version has an enhanced motion profile that moves much more than the California counterpart.)

    Everything else has differences, though some are very small. It's best to ask for specifics.

    Quote Originally Posted by dsnyfnatic
    4) What are the highlights of the other parks? I know EE over at AK, M:S at Epcot, and ToT in MGM, but what other things are considered "musts" at the parks? for instance, which countries should i make a priority in the World Showcase? that sort of idea
    Well, at the Magic Kingdom, don't skip Mickey's PhilharMagic, Pirates of the Caribbean, Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, the Enchanted Tiki Room Under New Management (most people here will shoot me for putting this on a must-see list, but if you're used to, and have only seen, the Disneyland original, you have to see this one), Jungle Cruise, Haunted Mansion, Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and Peter Pan's Flight. And don't miss Wishes (nightly fireworks) and SpectroMagic (night parade).

    At Epcot, don't miss Spaceship Earth, Ellen's Energy Adventure, Wonders of Life (if it is open), Test Track, Nemo's Living Seas (if it is open, I'm not sure when you're going to get here), The Land, Journey into Imagination (if it's still open), Mexico, Norway, the American Adventure, and walk through France. And don't forget to see Illuminations: Reflections of Earth (nightly fireworks).

    At the Disney-MGM Studios, ride the Rockin' RollerCoaster, Tower of Terror, Great Movie Ride, see the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular, & see Fantasmic!

    At Disney's Animal Kingdom, ride Kilimanjaro Safaris, Kali River Rapids, Expedition Everest, DINOSAUR, see Festival of the Lion King, and Flights of Wonder. And you can do Chester & Hester's DinoRama while you're there as well. They have a spinning wild mouse which is kinda fun, but it depends if you like spinning or not. lol

    Quote Originally Posted by dsnyfnatic
    5) Is there anything else I absolutely should not miss while I'm there? I was thinking about maybe spending a day hopping between the two water parks. Is there any special ticket I can get that lets me do that?
    Can't help ya there, but if you get the chance, check out Disney's Wilderness Lodge, rent a SeaRacer while you're there too.

    Quote Originally Posted by dsnyfnatic
    and finally, 6) since I'll be roadtripping, I'll already have a car. Is it best to drive myself from park to park? or are there other modes of transportation that can get me around instead? things like the monorail and whatnot.
    Drive to the parks except for Magic Kingdom, or if you plan on park hopping.

    Quote Originally Posted by dsnyfnatic
    help with any or all of these questions would be greatly appriciated, thanks!!!
    You're welcome!
    Quote Originally Posted by dsnyfnatic
    signed,
    -One Grateful MiceChatter who is anxiously awaiting his trip to WDW.

  3. #3

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    Re: First WDW Trip in 10 years........HELP!!!!!!!

    I would suggest watching this:

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...27122658478429

    "Walt Disney World Top 7 Must Sees (2005". It plays on the resort TV channels at WDW resorts. It gives a good overview of what there is to see and do at WDW.

    As for resorts, that depends. Important things to consider are: Budget (Disney has it all covered, and there are three different levels of hotels depending on what you want to spend), transportation (In order to get anywhere at WDW, you must be able to reach the Transportation and Ticket center. Your hotel may be within walking distance, or it may require a trip on a monorail, boat or bus) and also how many are in your group, which would mainly effect the first two.

    Hope that helps.













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    Re: First WDW Trip in 10 years........HELP!!!!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Club 33
    transportation (In order to get anywhere at WDW, you must be able to reach the Transportation and Ticket center. Your hotel may be within walking distance, or it may require a trip on a monorail, boat or bus) and also how many are in your group, which would mainly effect the first two.
    Umm... there's only one hotel that is within Walking Distance to the TTC, and there's no reason you'd want to go there from that hotel.

    In fact, if you're staying on property, you may never visit the TTC. It's basically a parking lot for Magic Kingdom, as well as a transfer point from the Epcot to the Magic Kingdom Monorails. But all Disney Resort busses bypass the TTC and go straight to the Magic Kingdom, unless you're hopping from another theme park.

  5. #5

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    Re: First WDW Trip in 10 years........HELP!!!!!!!

    I'll be staying on property (Saratoga Springs) & was planning on using the buses to get around. However, after reading the Unofficial Guide, I'm unsure if I should rely on the buses and I'm now wondering if I should rent a car. Any thoughts?
    <o>

  6. #6

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    Re: First WDW Trip in 10 years........HELP!!!!!!!

    The Unofficial Guide is my least favorite guide that exists... Disney Bus Transportation does work, but there will be times when you find yourself waiting thirty minutes for a bus from your resort. Just keep that in mind.

  7. #7

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    Re: First WDW Trip in 10 years........HELP!!!!!!!

    Splash and Tower are the two rides that are clearly superior at WDW than the ones at DL.

    DL has a better Pirates, most Fantasyland dark rides (I've heard WDW's Pooh is better), and currently a WAY better Mansion. You can see WDW's Space Mountain if you want, but it's a lot like riding the Matterhorn at night with your eyes closed. WDW's version of Fantasmic is also a compromised on DL's, as it's a heck of a lot less entertaining but has places to sit and serves beer. Since you're a DL AP, you've probably seen the better show enough times already and can skip it.

    As for MK, the most important things to as a DL regular are (starting in Adventureland) the original Swiss Treehouse, the Country Bears show, the whole of Liberty Square, Mickey's Philharmagic, the Peoplemover, Rocket Jets style Astro Orbiter, and maybe Stitch (kind of boring show, but unique compared to the stuff at DL).

    ....And of course, gawking at the size of Cindy's castle and watching the fireworks. Wishes doesn't pull on the nostalgic heartstrings of Disnerds like Remember does, but it's a pretty darn big show in it's own right.

    At Epcot, must-dos are Spaceship Earth (but leave it until the afternoon as it's crowded at morning), MS if you can stomach it (a "light" version has opened, but is still a simulator and thus no cakewalk), Test Track. If you have spare time, check out The Land (the boat ride looking at their farming greenhouses is kind of unusual for a Disney ride), or Universe of Energy.

    Epcot's World Showcase is more of a bunch of shopping and dining experiences dressed up as a "meet the world" affair. Some of the best restaurants are located here, but don't go barging through commando-style looking for the rides! I can attest to this, as my ankles still hurt.

    Most of the entertainment at World Showcase comes in the form of watching a tourism video for some other country (yawn,) but the American Experience is supposedly a not-to-be-missed show. I can't speak because, uh, I missed it. Sounds like the kind of thing that would fit in well with the theme of your trip, though.

    MGM has The Better Tower of Terror, the RnRC darkride-meets-coaster that should only be ridden if you like the kind of twisted steel rides you see at Knotts, except in darkness. Only do the Great Movie Ride if the lines are light enough to allow for it, because I don't think it's worth the time if you can see the line just walking into the building (there's a big switchback around the corner.)

    DAK has the Safari, the Kali rafting ride that has some great scenery according to reports, and Everest. The rest of the proper attractions are stuff you've seen done at DL, Dinosaur is a horrible shadow of the Indy ride at DL and Tough to be a Bug is at DCA. Festival of the Lion King is a great show for the (lack of) price.

    Hope this helps!

  8. #8

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    Re: First WDW Trip in 10 years........HELP!!!!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill
    Umm... there's only one hotel that is within Walking Distance to the TTC, and there's no reason you'd want to go there from that hotel.
    Uh, Bill? Some of the longhouses at the Poly are closer to the TTC than the Poly's own Monorail stop. And as I found out the hard way, there's more trains on the TTC-MK Direct than there are on the resort line. These buildings are the only place in the resort where you can essentially have monorail service to the MK and to Epcot.

    Maybe you know something I don't, but I don't know why there's "no reason" to consider that, except that I wouldn't stay at the Poly (or the GF) in August when rain is so likely.

  9. #9

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    Re: First WDW Trip in 10 years........HELP!!!!!!!

    Hmm, longhouse placement does make sense I suppose. But for some reason, when I get back to the Poly after a day at the park, I always seem to find my way to Captain Cooks to get a snack... but I'm not everyone.

    And that's true about MK and Epcot...

    But still, he's planning to stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge. Which isn't the Polynesian anyway. Unless you're staying at the Polynesian, I wouldn't concern myself with the TTC.

  10. #10

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    Re: First WDW Trip in 10 years........HELP!!!!!!!

    Wonders of Life (if it is open)
    Considering it's closed for good now....

  11. #11

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    Re: First WDW Trip in 10 years........HELP!!!!!!!

    thanks for the replies everyone!!! i really appriciate the help

    the AK lodge was the theme that sounded most interesting to me, but i dont know if its that great of a hotel. is there another one you all might reccommend instead?
    Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy.

  12. #12

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    Re: First WDW Trip in 10 years........HELP!!!!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by dsnyfnatic
    the AK lodge was the theme that sounded most interesting to me, but i dont know if its that great of a hotel. is there another one you all might reccommend instead?
    I think the AKL is a very nice hotel, but the only thing I do not like about it is the location. While it is a mere minute away from DAK, it is the farthest hotel from most everything else at WDW. Other than that, I would choose it over most other properties. However... I'd like to recommend the Wilderness Lodge or the Coronado Springs. WL is just a lovely facility, very forresty and warm. The Coronado is a moderate but has the best location on property in regards to other areas.. mere minutes away from MGM, BB, EC and even one straight shot away to DTD on the same road.

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    Re: First WDW Trip in 10 years........HELP!!!!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by aimster
    Considering it's closed for good now....
    Not sure who told you that... it should open up in a few weeks for the summer.

  14. #14

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    Re: First WDW Trip in 10 years........HELP!!!!!!!

    AKL is a great choice. Wilderness Lodge is maybe a tad better at the same price, but if you're from the west coast you'll probably find it too familiar. The WL kind of makes me yawn because I've seen the real deal that it imitates in theme too many times. I'd go AKL

    Ditto why I jumped from Coronado to Port Orleans, because Spanish architecture and design is a tad too common in the western US to make me feel out of my element. Port Orleans was nicely disorienting.

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    Re: First WDW Trip in 10 years........HELP!!!!!!!

    I stayed at a Comfort Inn last weekend. Only a mile from Disney property and got a el cheapo rate for a decent room. I'm only in there to sleep so I don't see the point of spending a buttload of money to stay on property. Took me 10-15 minutes to get from the hotel to MGM.

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