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  1. #1

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    This Disneylander needs help organizing his first WDW trip

    Hello, WDWers! (is that even what you're "called"? )

    I'm starting to plan our first ever trip to the Vacation Kingdom (there'll be a small group of us), and need all the help I can get!! This trip will be in '09 (a ways off, yes, but we already have vacations set for next year), and will undoubtedly be very fun and exciting! HOWEVER, we know little more than what's on the Travel Channel specials, as well as, generic Disney offerings.

    I'm asking for help on:
    -the best time of year to go. We want nice weather, but also low crowds.
    -which is your preferred resort to stay at while visiting the World? We have our eye on the Animal Kingdom Lodge, but are most definitely open to suggestions.
    -are EMH worth it? Do the crowds from the resort guests overwhelm this perk to the point of "why bother"?
    -what restaurants do you recommend? Do we need reservations? And if so, how far out should we make them?
    -(inline with above question) when is the earliest we can make our trip reservations?
    -are the CM's strict on enforcing the FP return times? How often can we get another FP? Is it 2 hours, or the return time (if it's early enough), or shorter?
    -doubt we'll need it, but what attractions have Single Rider (just in case)?
    -which FP's 'sell out' the fastest?
    -uhh... and ANYTHING else you can offer suggestions for.

    My parents went to Epcot back in '86/'87, and that was their only experience with the WDW resort. They were there for 2 days, and totally loved it. One of my mom's strongest memories from that visit, was daytime fireworks. She said they were the coolest thing she'd ever seen. My question, if any of you know what I'm/she's referring to, is do they still have them?

    Would there be any benefits to one of us getting an AP for this trip? Are there any discounts offered? I have a PAP and my parents have SoCal APs... just to give you an idea of what we are used to with our DL APs.

    Again, any and all help is appreciated, and thank you so much for whatever assistance you can provide!





    P.S. I'll post more questions as they pop in my head, so be warned!

  2. #2

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    Re: This Disneylander needs help organizing his first WDW trip

    Feel free to check out my TR for some tips. But I would suggest trying to go in the winter months unless you are really used to heat and humidity.

    As to hotel, I can't argue with AKL. I'm an impoverished attorney so I've never been able to afford a Deluxe, but AKL is good choice. I also would like to try Poly sometime and Beach/Yacht look good. It depends to a degree on what parks you want to frequent and if there are kids along.

    AKL is good place but it is down in the AK corner of the property.

    Will have to get back to you on the other questions.
    ďAny sequel three or higher..... around number five they get a new cast, thatís when the magic really happens": Modern Family

  3. #3

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    Re: This Disneylander needs help organizing his first WDW trip

    Quote Originally Posted by tiggerfan View Post
    Feel free to check out my TR for some tips. But I would suggest trying to go in the winter months unless you are really used to heat and humidity.

    As to hotel, I can't argue with AKL. I'm an impoverished attorney so I've never been able to afford a Deluxe, but AKL is good choice. I also would like to try Poly sometime and Beach/Yacht look good. It depends to a degree on what parks you want to frequent and if there are kids along.

    AKL is good place but it is down in the AK corner of the property.

    Will have to get back to you on the other questions.
    We lived in NYC for 3 years and Maine for 8. So, we're used to humidity... sort of.

    In the winter months, is the weather more inclement, so as to cancel parades, shows and fireworks? Would Springtime be a good time of year?

  4. #4

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    Re: This Disneylander needs help organizing his first WDW trip

    Quote Originally Posted by dland_lover View Post
    Hello, WDWers! (is that even what you're "called"? )

    I'm starting to plan our first ever trip to the Vacation Kingdom (there'll be a small group of us), and need all the help I can get!! This trip will be in '09 (a ways off, yes, but we already have vacations set for next year), and will undoubtedly be very fun and exciting! HOWEVER, we know little more than what's on the Travel Channel specials, as well as, generic Disney offerings.
    Hey there! Good luck planning your first trip!

    I would visit this thread: An Introduction To WDW For DLR Vets for starters.


    Quote Originally Posted by dland_lover View Post
    I'm asking for help on:
    -the best time of year to go. We want nice weather, but also low crowds.
    I would say go when the kids aren't in school. The fall has hurrican season, but past that the weather and crowds arent' that bad. The early spring is also pretty good, past the spring break time and before kids are out for the summer.
    Quote Originally Posted by dland_lover View Post
    -which is your preferred resort to stay at while visiting the World? We have our eye on the Animal Kingdom Lodge, but are most definitely open to suggestions.
    AKL is great, but if you're looking at dexlue resorts, I would say the Poly myself. I'm not sure of your group, but if you plan on doing 'night life' things such as at DTD and the Boardwalk, and Epcot resort might be your best option. That would include the Boardwalk, Y&B Club, and Swan/Dolphin.

    Quote Originally Posted by dland_lover View Post
    -are EMH worth it? Do the crowds from the resort guests overwhelm this perk to the point of "why bother"?
    If you do the mornings, don't plan on spending the entire day there as those days will tend to get quite busy. Nights can also get busy, especially for eticket attractions, but if you're going during a slower season when the hours are shorter I would def. opt for this.

    Quote Originally Posted by dland_lover View Post
    -what restaurants do you recommend? Do we need reservations? And if so, how far out should we make them?
    -(inline with above question) when is the earliest we can make our trip reservations?
    Yes, you need to make them for most dining locations on property expect for QSF&B ones. I believe it's 180 days out that you can make these, so the sooner you can, the better! I would suggest allears.net for dining questions/information. (But we'll glady second any information or give opinions for you beyond that!)
    Quote Originally Posted by dland_lover View Post
    -are the CM's strict on enforcing the FP return times? How often can we get another FP? Is it 2 hours, or the return time (if it's early enough), or shorter?
    -doubt we'll need it, but what attractions have Single Rider (just in case)?
    -which FP's 'sell out' the fastest?
    Just like at Disneyland Resort, you can't got before the start time but WDW they are more flexible with going after the window.

    The return windows tend to vary upon the season and park. It goes anywhere from the start of the FP to three hours from what I've seen.

    The only attractions with Single Rider would be found at Epcot. And right now that would be Test Track and Test Track only. But that's actually how I usually ride it.

    Soarin' sells out the fastest. Splash does on warm days. But if you do Splash and thunder with FP it's usually a great mix.

    Quote Originally Posted by dland_lover View Post
    -uhh... and ANYTHING else you can offer suggestions for.
    Favorite dining locations would be Ohana at the Poly and the steakhouse in Canada at Epcot.

    If you go to PI, make sure you check out the Adventerer's Club! It's a great experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by dland_lover View Post
    My question, if any of you know what I'm/she's referring to, is do they still have them?
    No, they don't have them anymore. I will let someone else better explain what she is referring to. But Illuminations: Reflections of Earth is the nighttime show at Epcot and it's great!

    Quote Originally Posted by dland_lover View Post
    Would there be any benefits to one of us getting an AP for this trip? Are there any discounts offered?
    Yes, you can get discounts on Disney hotels.

    Plus as APs you can buy into the Disney Dining Experience, which gives you a discount for certain dining experiences. If you have a group, this might add up but it also may not.

    Quote Originally Posted by dland_lover View Post
    P.S. I'll post more questions as they pop in my head, so be warned!
    Go for it!

  5. #5

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    Re: This Disneylander needs help organizing his first WDW trip

    Quote Originally Posted by dland_lover View Post
    We lived in NYC for 3 years and Maine for 8. So, we're used to humidity... sort of.

    In the winter months, is the weather more inclement, so as to cancel parades, shows and fireworks? Would Springtime be a good time of year?
    Haha, you're too used to Disneyland. (I am too, I grew up going there.) WDW doesn't cancel things. Parades due to rain, yes but fireworks - no. Illuminations has been running for YEARS and it's only been cancelled TWICE. They run day parades and fireworks daily, but the night parade at MK, Spectro does run a few nights/week as you get out of the busy summer season.

  6. #6

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    Re: This Disneylander needs help organizing his first WDW trip

    Quote Originally Posted by BigPigletFan View Post
    Haha, you're too used to Disneyland. (I am too, I grew up going there.) WDW doesn't cancel things. Parades due to rain, yes but fireworks - no. Illuminations has been running for YEARS and it's only been cancelled TWICE. They run day parades and fireworks daily, but the night parade at MK, Spectro does run a few nights/week as you get out of the busy summer season.
    Fireworks do get cancelled - more due to wind than rain. I would be very surprised if Illuminations has only been cancelled twice, since it is so close to the audience - and a heavy wind wouldn't be so safe. I thought they'd be cancelled on the 25th, I think we were pretty close to that.

    I'm pretty sure I've been there at least once when cancelled.

    Parades obviously get cancelled more often. And the fireworks will run through a light/normal rain. I know someone who used to do Pyro, I'd have to ask him how often Illuminations has been cancelled.
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  7. #7

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    Re: This Disneylander needs help organizing his first WDW trip

    Quote Originally Posted by nbodyhome View Post
    Fireworks do get cancelled - more due to wind than rain. I would be very surprised if Illuminations has only been cancelled twice, since it is so close to the audience - and a heavy wind wouldn't be so safe. I thought they'd be cancelled on the 25th, I think we were pretty close to that.

    I'm pretty sure I've been there at least once when cancelled.

    Parades obviously get cancelled more often. And the fireworks will run through a light/normal rain. I know someone who used to do Pyro, I'd have to ask him how often Illuminations has been cancelled.

    As it was, spent shell fragments from the 25th tag were falling all along the "back" of the WS (Itlay was where we were). Pretty good sized too - 2" or so. I picked up a few and took them home. I was worried that they would set of the TSA scanners (explosive residue and all) but they made it though.

    But I was wondering too, if it was going to be cancelled.

    -dave
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    "You should never underestimate the predictability of stupidity." - Bullet Tooth Tony

  8. #8

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    Re: This Disneylander needs help organizing his first WDW trip

    Quote Originally Posted by BigPigletFan View Post
    Hey there! Good luck planning your first trip! The only attractions with Single Rider would be found at Epcot. And right now that would be Test Track and Test Track only. But that's actually how I usually ride it.
    What about RnRC - Did they take the single rider line out?

    Plus as APs you can buy into the Disney Dining Experience, which gives you a discount for certain dining experiences. If you have a group, this might add up but it also may not.

    Go for it!

    There are also some dining dicounts for just the AP (mostly lunch only, and mostly only for 3 people) You also get some discounts with the AP on tours and shopping at DTD.

    They say up to 3 discounts per pass, but I booked 6 Segway tours at the discounted rate with mine a few weeks ago. Not sure what the situation is on that.

    -dave
    "I'm gonna build my own amusement park. But with gambling and hookers!" - Bender
    "You should never underestimate the predictability of stupidity." - Bullet Tooth Tony

  9. #9

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    Re: This Disneylander needs help organizing his first WDW trip

    Quote Originally Posted by Phonedave View Post
    As it was, spent shell fragments from the 25th tag were falling all along the "back" of the WS (Itlay was where we were). Pretty good sized too - 2" or so. I picked up a few and took them home. I was worried that they would set of the TSA scanners (explosive residue and all) but they made it though.

    But I was wondering too, if it was going to be cancelled.

    -dave
    I've seen what look like a flaming shell redirected towards me once during the show (and whoever I was with at the time).

    For the 25th, I was near Japan and getting chunks of soot in my eye during the tag. I had to head back towards the pavillion, it was bothering my eyes so much. That is cool that you got to keep some fragments! I do think that if we'd had the rain at 9pm that we'd had at 7pm, Illuminations very well may have been cancelled (since it was a sustained rain with high winds). I was actually surprised when they said it was going to go on.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TDLFAN View Post
    I think it will give more pipping pervs the reason needed to go parasailing
    on Bay Lake.

  10. #10

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    Re: This Disneylander needs help organizing his first WDW trip

    Quote Originally Posted by Phonedave View Post
    What about RnRC - Did they take the single rider line out?




    There are also some dining dicounts for just the AP (mostly lunch only, and mostly only for 3 people) You also get some discounts with the AP on tours and shopping at DTD.

    They say up to 3 discounts per pass, but I booked 6 Segway tours at the discounted rate with mine a few weeks ago. Not sure what the situation is on that.

    -dave
    The AP gives quite a few good discounts. I've had the DDE for 10 years or more now, and it's been worth having (though it's much pricier than it used to be - isn't everything? The DDE is mostly for table service, though some of the food courts at the mods and all the values take it. Generally, if there is a table service restaurant available, it's not taken at the counter service restaurant (that isn't the case at POR though, you can use it there). And I think still at counter service at AK, though I bet that will change at some point once Yak and Yeti is there.

    Also to the OP - I would encourage you to get a book like the 2008 Passporter (which comes out in November). That will be a great help to you. There are many nice times to come here. Personally, I'd say the end of September is one - you may be able to get a room discount, the crowds are light and you can overlap the opening weekend of the Food and Wine Festival. Or May, that is moderate but we have the Flower and Garden. Or mid-December, for everything Christmas. I'd skip over the summer months, but there are many other great times to come down.
    Last edited by nbodyhome; 10-11-2007 at 06:58 AM.
    Denise

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    Quote Originally Posted by TDLFAN View Post
    I think it will give more pipping pervs the reason needed to go parasailing
    on Bay Lake.

  11. #11

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    Re: This Disneylander needs help organizing his first WDW trip

    Quote Originally Posted by Phonedave View Post
    What about RnRC - Did they take the single rider line out?


    -dave
    And Everest? I haven't ridden in a while, but they had one there the last time I did.
    Denise

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    Quote Originally Posted by TDLFAN View Post
    I think it will give more pipping pervs the reason needed to go parasailing
    on Bay Lake.

  12. #12

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    Re: This Disneylander needs help organizing his first WDW trip

    Quote Originally Posted by Phonedave View Post
    As it was, spent shell fragments from the 25th tag were falling all along the "back" of the WS (Itlay was where we were). Pretty good sized too - 2" or so. I picked up a few and took them home. I was worried that they would set of the TSA scanners (explosive residue and all) but they made it though.

    But I was wondering too, if it was going to be cancelled.

    -dave

    The fact that they (TSA) didn't concerns me deeply....
    Last edited by Jerren; 10-11-2007 at 10:21 AM.
    Hi I'm Jerren and I'm a Disneyholic...

  13. #13

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    Re: This Disneylander needs help organizing his first WDW trip

    Let me take a shot at some of your questions -

    Quote Originally Posted by dland_lover View Post
    -the best time of year to go. We want nice weather, but also low crowds.
    I really enjoy the months of November & December, and especially December for the incredible Christmas events that Disney puts on. The early spring is nice as well, although you have to make sure you're not booking around Easter or spring break seasons.

    -which is your preferred resort to stay at while visiting the World? We have our eye on the Animal Kingdom Lodge, but are most definitely open to suggestions.
    You've picked a winner. Make sure you eat at least once at Boma, the buffet there in the resort. Really incredible, unusual items and spectacular soups.

    -are EMH worth it? Do the crowds from the resort guests overwhelm this perk to the point of "why bother"?
    The only park where morning EMH works for me is the Magic Kingdom. Most of Fantasyland and Tomorrowland are open, so you can ride a bunch of the little rides with next to no wait. I like the FL dark rides, but wouldn't wait 30 minutes for them. On EMH you can do 'em all in a flash. Also, by mid-morning the EMH park will be packed, so you'll want to plan to hop to another park. The other parks don't have enough attractions open for EMH to work for me, but you might enjoy them more.

    For the evening, you'll want to plan on staying right till the end. The first 90 minutes or so of evening EMH are jam packed. But once the tired campers drift off to sleep, you can really get some great riding in during that last 90 minutes.

    -what restaurants do you recommend? Do we need reservations? And if so, how far out should we make them?
    For every response to this question you'll get different answers. Disney World really does have some incredible restaurants. My favorite is the California Grill up on top of the Contemporary. Great views, delicious food and terrific service, along with a wonderful wine list. Some of the best meals I've ever had have been there. Expensive but oh so worth it! I also like the Coral Reef Restaurant in Epcot's Living Seas (The Seas with Nemo?). Ask to sit down by the glass and enjoy your view of one of the largest man-made coral reef environments in the world.

    You're allowed to make dining reservations 180 days out, and I strongly suggest that you take advantage of that. Also, do a search for the Disney Dining Plan, which offers a sometimes free bundling of dining. It can be a good deal or it can be an added hassle, depending on how you look at it. You might also want to check out the Disney Dining Experience, a completely different deal from the Dining Plan. If you're an annual passholder (more on that below) you can buy the DDE card for $60 for the year. Then you get 20% off of all food, including fast food and alcohol! It will easily pay for itself in just a few meals.

    Even if you don't plan on another visit within the year, at least one of you purchasing an annual pass can save you big bucks on hotel, as well as let you buy the Dining Experience. The cost isn't that much more than a fully loaded multi-day ticket. And you now have a bit of incentive to come back next year before your AP expires.

    I suggest you purchase 2 books - Birnbaum's Official Guide to WDW, and Sehlinger's Unofficial Guide to WDW. Both have terrific, mostly current information. The official guide is a bit rosier, while the unofficial one tells things more like it really is. They're both great resources for everything from hotel booking to park storming plans to dining.

    Keep the questions coming, and enjoy the planning - it's almost as fun as the trip itself!

  14. #14

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    Re: This Disneylander needs help organizing his first WDW trip

    Thanks for all the help, guys! This is most definitely quite the undertaking for me, esp. because a couple of friends that I want to go (and they want to go, too) aren't that sure about actually going. I don't know why. I'm sure I'll convince them, though.

    Keep it coming! The more advice/opinions the better!

    (And what is the big deal with Beverly? What is it? Why is it so popular with you guys? I've seen it in quite a few TRs. Just wondering.)

  15. #15

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    Re: This Disneylander needs help organizing his first WDW trip

    [quote=dland_lover;2231136]Thanks for all the help, guys! This is most definitely quite the undertaking for me, esp. because a couple of friends that I want to go (and they want to go, too) aren't that sure about actually going. I don't know why. I'm sure I'll convince them, though.

    Tell them it's not the Florida version of Disneyland. This is total immersion from the time you step off the plane and onto the Magical Express. And when your transportation enters the property even the state road signs change.

    As much as I love the original DLR, it is a flyspeck compared to what you can experience at WDW. I say you haven't lived until you hit France in world showcase in the morning and enjoy true French pastries. Don't worry, you'll walk it off very quickly. Afternoon rolls around go enjoy a Guinness draft and
    original fish and chips in Britain and, in season you may get a kick out of the live performance of one of the best Beatles cover bands I've ever seen.

    Test track is a kick in the pants and they don't have Mission Space in DLR.

    That's just a few things at EPCOT..You still have Magic Kingdom (not a pure DLR clone..in fact you may be a bit confused with the layout at first!) Then
    there is Disney's Hollywood Studios, and then Animal Kingdom which has the
    best themed wild animal presentations you've ever seen..Everest is AMAZING fun.

    We love the moderate resorts and Coronado Springs in our latest favorite.

    Make reservations for the Sci-Fi Drive-in for lunch one day for sure. Go have
    an original recipe Cobb Salad at the Brown Derby. I never miss those stops.
    Frankly though figuring out where you want to make reservations will take up most of your planning time because there are so many choices. We've visited in spring..it rains. We've visited in summer..it's hot, humid and it still rains. We've been there in mid-december and enjoyed that the most but
    it still rains..it's the tropics.

    Most of all. Take your time. You may not see everything in one trip but
    it will set the stage for many return trips.
    The one and only...The Original...
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