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Walt Disney World advice for next week___

  • whoaaanelly said... (original post)

    My favorite and most visited place is the Dolphin. EPCOT is my favorite park so it's nice to be able to literally walk to the EPCOT pavilion. Also nice to take the boats to MGM.

    I've stayed at one time or another in most of the resorts. It usually just depends on my budget for that trip. For a while I had the idea that I should stay at each one at least once, then they kept building them so I gave up on that idea. Maybe someday I'll get in on the Vacation Club.

    Never been on a Disney Cruise but I think that's our next move. Just need to find the time.

    If you go a lot the vacation club is a great deal. My dad got us started years ago, you cannot best it
    Nice condos instead of hotels, can swap into almost anytime share works wide, also can use for the cruises

  • CrimsonCrystal said... (original post)

    Disney Cruise is the ultimate vacation! And the fountain drinks are free.

    Yep we already have a cruise on the Dream for next Thanksgiving

  • whoaaanelly said... (original post)

    This is solid advice. To be a little more specific:

    OP needs to sit down and write out a plan for the order you are going to visit rides/shows. I'm not talking about the kind of plan where you are constantly looking at your watch, but you need to have a written order of the major things you'd like to do. You may think this is not a vacation, or relaxing, or an extra burden reserved only for the most ardent Disney fans. But when your kids are crying/arguing/screaming at 3pm in the hot Florida sun and the whole family is hungry but the lines are long and you've only managed one activity so far, you'll wish you had a plan.

    Start with a plan just for which park you are going to visit and when. As the poster above says, certain parks are more fitting for certain days. If you have a park hopper you can actually visit more than one park per day.

    One tip is to wait to go to Animal Kingdom in the afternoon. Everyone says you should go in the morning because that's when the animals are most active. That's true, but at some ages a kid is going to be equally happy seeing 1 lion as he would be if he saw a lion and an elephant. So most people go to animal kingdom as soon as the gates open and run to Kilimanjaro Safari. It's by far the longest wait of any attraction because the animals can cause delays and build up as the day progresses. You can sort of get around this by going in the afternoon when all the kids are tired and ready for a nap. You'll be amazed how many tired people you see pouring out of the park. You can then go do basically everything you would want to do in that park in a half day. The lines are way shorter. That's just an example of the kind of thinking you need to avoid crowds in disney world.

    So after you have your plan for what parks to visit each day, you need a specific plan for each park. Find out what the rest of your family wants to do in that park: rides, shows, meals, etc. It's really important to know exactly what you are going to do when you enter the park. Do not be distracted by the shops or characters at the front of the park. You'll waste a lot of time that way. Just pick out where you are going first, and have a rough idea for 3-4 places of where you want to go after that.

    It's also good to get a fast pass for one attraction and then stand in line for another attraction nearby. Read up on fast passes and how they work because it's really important you don't get a fast pass for say 6-7pm, when it's currently 11am. That means you won't be able to get any other fast pass the rest of the day.

    Sit in front of a park map as you make the plan. Anticipate when you'll get tired. So don't just go from major attraction to major attraction in Magic Kingdom. You'll just be standing in lines all day. Build in an activity that allows you to rest. A long ride like Pirates, a 3D show, watching a parade, eating. All of these allow you to do things after a period of activity.

    Also, if you have small children it's a good idea to go early in the morning (they'll be up anyway) make them tired. Then head back to the hotel for a forced nap. They'll be upset they're leaving the park, but that's better than them being cranky and whining all day long. After your nap, come back in the afternoon/night for more fun. You can divide your plan for the park in this way as well. Have a rough order for morning activities and afternoon/evening activities. You'll probably save on money by eating lunch back at the hotel.

    I could type about this all day. I don't really know your situation but if you want to ask more questions or tell me more about your situation I'd be happy to give more advice. Most people don't do any planning, underestimate how large and crowded it will be, and have a miserable time. Seriously.

    I just had some little cousins go last year between Christmas and new years. Their parents did not consult me at all (I've been more times than I can count and could be an official planner). So when they came back I asked if they had a good time. The kids said not really it was too crowded and mom and dad didn't know what to do. It broke my heart.

    The problem I have is, my daugther is 14 and I have an 9 yr old son along with a 4 yr old son. My wife and I are out numbered. I know a 5 year cycle, need to be very careful on this vacation. First time the 4 year old has been.

    This post was edited by CrimsonCrystal 3 years ago

  • CrimsonCrystal said... (original post)

    The problem I have is, my daugther is 14 and I have an 9 yr old son along with a 4 yr old son. My wife and I are out numbered. I know a 5 year cycle, need to be very careful on this vacation. First time the 4 year old has been.

    That's tough. If it was me and I was staying on site, I would try to find a way to take the 4 year old back for a nap and let the older two run around the resort or one of the parks on their own. Or you go with them. Something like that. I'm a big believer in young ones getting naps. They get so over stimulated and cranky if they have to go all day.

    Don't forget that even though the 4 year old might not be able to ride some of the rides, you can use his ticket for an extra fast pass.

    Example: you want to ride one of the big rides with your older son and daughter, but your 4 year old wants to see the characters or ride one of the smaller rides.

    Solution: At the park's opening, your wife takes all 3 kids to the character/smaller ride. You go straight to, say, Splash Mountain and get 3 fast passes. You use your ticket, your older son's ticket, and your daughter's ticket to do so. You then go to, say, Thunder Mountain Railroad and get 2 fast passes for that. You use your younger son's ticket and your wife's ticket to get those fast passes. Since fast passes don't have names on them you can now use those 5 passes however you want.

    So you can meet back up with your family, all of you can ride lots of the smaller rides before the lines build up (they are usually the last to build up long lines). The 14 year old and 9 year old will predictably want to go straight to the coasters. But if you reason with them that you already have fast passes with NO WAITING in line when you finish these kiddie rides, they should be ok. So you'll get a nice hour and a half in the park as a family riding the smaller rides for the first time with the 4 year old. After that is done you can all go to your fast pass rides. You can ride one of the rides with the two older ones. Then you can all go and let the two older ones ride one by themselves as you watch. Or some combination of the above, you get the picture.

    You can also have your one parent stand in line with the 4 year old for a show. Let them find some good seats and save them. While they're saving seats the other parent can go with the older ones to ride some bigger rides. Then go get fast passes for rides after the show, and now magically your older ones are happily watching a boring musical (at least for the older son) because they understand they are also in line for something they really want to ride. This also helps to pace the older kids with rides>rest>ride>rest. They can also wear themselves out and get ill standing in lots of lines.

    You can repeat this process as much as you want throughout the day. Not sure if the above example exactly fits your family but you get the overall strategy. If you just make some kind of rough plan you can really improve your vacation. You can basically head into lunch every day already accomplishing a lot of what you wanted. If you head into lunch after only doing 2 things, everyone starts to get anxious that the day won't be as successful as they hoped.

    This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by whoaaanelly 3 years ago