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Ask The Disney Experts Discuss Help! in the Ask The Experts forums; My wife, son, and I always break a WDW trip into three segments: planning, trip, and remembering. The planning part is so important. Everyone has given great resources, and I'd ...
  1. #16
    Indiana is offline A-Ticket holder
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Fort Wayne, IN

    Re: Help!

    My wife, son, and I always break a WDW trip into three segments: planning, trip, and remembering. The planning part is so important. Everyone has given great resources, and I'd suggest using as many of those as possible. It is unfortunate, but I have talked to people after their first trip who were so overwhelmed, felt like they spent way too much money, and never enjoyed themselves. A good plan can help you focus on all the attractions you really want to ride or watch, dine when you want to dine, give you a chance to enjoy the trip, and follow a budget. Speaking of budget. WDW is one of the most magical places you can go. So magical, they have the ability to pull money out of your wallet with a vacuum cleaner and you never know it is happening. We always have a trip budget and stick to it. Get the boys involved and have them help you identify things they want to do. We have probably watched it 500 times, but the WDW planning DVD is a great way to see some of the different attractions. You can order one Free at While planning, always remember there is NO Way you can do everything. That is one of the reasons we all keep going back.

    When the trip comes, enjoy it. Your plan will help you accomplish most everything you wanted to do. Several suggestions on my end. Not sure how old your boys are, but Chef Mickeys is great for your first character meal. Great souviners include character autographs. You can use the autograph book, but we have also used t shirts, hats, and more. Pressed pennies are always fun to collect. Probably the one thing my son looks at most from his trips is his pressed penny collection. I also like to tell people not to forget about the pool at their resort. Also, resort hopping is fun to do too when looking to get out of the parks.

    Finally, don't forget the trip when you get home. Relive the trip in pictures, video, and memories. Guarantee you will be ready to start planning for your next one.

  2. #17
    ginnyfavers's Avatar
    ginnyfavers is offline B-Ticket Holder
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Orlando or Bust!

    Re: Help!

    I'm going to go against the tide here and suggest you do NOT get Park Hopping or Water Parks Fun & More added to your tickets. I think first time visitors will have all they can handle, doing one park per day, for a week, without all those extras.

    My other main advice is to avoid any park with Extra Magic Hours, with one exception: Magic Kingdom on a Friday night.

    There's no reason to get the dining plan, unless you're going during a Free Dining promotion. Use a good travel agency like MEI Mouse Fan and they can steer you to what promotions are currently available.
    Amanda, Joe & Miles
    Planning my next trip way way way too far in advance...

    "I met the love of my life on the Seven Seas Lagoon"

  3. #18
    Citizen of WDW's Avatar
    Citizen of WDW is offline A-Ticket holder
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Baltimore, MD

    Re: Help!

    Quote Originally Posted by ginnyfavers View Post
    I'm going to go against the tide here and suggest you do NOT get Park Hopping or Water Parks Fun & More added to your tickets.
    I agree, but disagree. I think the Water Parks and more option is way too much for a first time, it will just add stress by making you feel like you have to do the the water parks, whereas just trying to cover the four parks is hard enough.

    Whereas the park hopper is good add, because if your kids get bored at anytime or restless, you have the option to move on to something else. It don't happen to everyone, but my 5 year old gets antsy after 5 hours at Hollywood Studios.
    If you enjoyed this cruise my name is Citizen of WDW and this has been the world famous Jungle Cruise, if you didn't my name is Citizen of WDW and this has been Space Mountain.

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  4. #19
    Sharon&Randy's Avatar
    Sharon&Randy is offline D-Ticket Holder
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Cleveland, Ohio

    Re: Help!

    So many great suggestions! Here is another one.
    Our family knows we will go to Disney again because of that we never
    go to all the parks on one trip. We chose with the kids which one they would want to see. We always leave open days between parks to just relax and enjoy the pool and
    resort. That way we save money on tickets and still feel like we had a relaxing trip.
    We love going in Sept. We have a family of six so the free dining works better for us
    than a discounted room. So we save money on the ticket factor and also get our food free! This works for us.
    Have a fun Disney meeting with your wife and decide (with your personalities in mind)
    which suggestions work for you!

  5. #20
    tuneboy's Avatar
    tuneboy is offline A-Ticket holder
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Way up north

    Re: Help!

    I would say the Park Hopper option is a must have. Our first year at WDW we planned out every day and on two of our days the park we went to was crazy busy. And having the Park Hopper option allowed us to get out of the extremely over-crowded park and go to another where it was far more enjoyable. No one wants to stand in line two hours for every ride because the park is stuffed to over flowing without the option to go somewhere else.

  6. #21
    doconeill's Avatar
    doconeill is offline They call me MISTER Fastpass
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Re: Help!

    However, as I said earlier, you can add Park Hopping (or WPFM, or non-expire for that matter but lets not make it even more confusing) at any time (within 14 days of first using the ticket). It costs the same regardless of when you do it. So, if you are going for say 7 days and get a 7-day base ticket, and on day 4 you decide MK is way too crowded and would like to spend more time at Epcot exploring the World Showcase, you can go up to any ticket booth and get park hopping added within a few minutes.

    If you get to day 7, and didn't need to add Park Hopping, you've saved yourself $52+tax per ticket!

    So my advice is in general - if you aren't sure you are going to park hop, DON'T get it in advance, and add it if needed. If you KNOW you are going to park hop, then by all means...

    Now, if some third parties are offering really good deals on park hoppers over base tickets, that's a different story.

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  7. #22
    tmlinz's Avatar
    tmlinz is offline E-Ticket Holder
    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    Re: Help!

    Morning extra magic hours are great at the Magic Kingdom.

    And, no matter if you do morning EMH, make sure you are at the parks when they open. Yes, it's a vacation, but being at the park when it opens is the differenct between a 5 minute wait and a 55 minute wait. You can always head back to the resort for a nap or resting by the pool.
    The happiest place on earth is where my kids are!

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