Disney Questions...

CHCRandy

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I have been thinking about getting tickets for the family to go to Disney either late summer or next year. I have never been to Disney and wondering if people can give me some suggestions and advice. I have done noticed it is best to stay outside the park. I seen Universal has Suites for like 1/3 the cost of Disney Suites....so that will most likely be what we do.

But as far as Disney "parks"....are they all the same? Just like King's Island on steroids with themes? I mean is each different park just rides? What parks would you recommend for a 6-7 year old girl? I figure Magic Kingdom is a must and is it different then Animal Kingdom? What are the must see places? Is 5 days enough time?
 

phylodog

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Best advice I could give is to take the family to someplace else warm and sunny and buy a couple of lightly used jet skis. At the end of the vacation you'll have a very happy family (it's impossible not to have fun on a jet ski) and you'll have something to show for your $12,000.

Just kidding







Kinda
 

CHCRandy

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Best advice I could give is to take the family to someplace else warm and sunny and buy a couple of lightly used jet skis. At the end of the vacation you'll have a very happy family (it's impossible not to have fun on a jet ski) and you'll have something to show for your $12,000.

Just kidding







Kinda
I hate to admit it but I thought the same thing. Could buy a pontoon for same cost as 5 days at that place.....but I would like for the grand daughter to see it while young enough to think it was cool.
 

JTScribe

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We bought a $50 Disney gift card at Kroger once a month in the year leading up to our trip and went there with $600 in gift cards. We used those for food and souvenirs for a family of four, and did pretty good. Their meal sizes are decent-sized; my wife and I split an adult meal most times.

We did not stay on the park, we got a vacation rental nearby and drove into the parks each day. We didn't do park hopper, we stuck to one park a day. Even so, you're talking $100 per person per day with barebones tickets.

All in all, I think we spent around $3000 for two days at Disney and two days at the Universal parks including meals, lodging, travel costs, etc.
 

bkflyer

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You aren't by chance affiliated with the military are you? You can get some pretty good discounts at Shades of Green.
 

wtfd661

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We’ve been to WDW over 10 times now, it’s been a favorite of my family for the past 20 years. Our favorite place to stay is at the campground, Fort Wildnerness (we could spend two weeks there never leaving the campground and have a great vacation) our next favorite place to stay is Port Orleans Riverside in the Alligator Bayou section. It is expensive to stay on Disney property but it really does enhance the experience. The cheapest we stayed was a condo we rented off of VRBO and it was within 10 minutes of WDW but it really felt like we were leaving vacation every night.
The parks are very different from each other, different rides and definitely different vibes. Believe it or not EPCOT has always been my kids favorite park to go to which is surprising as it has the least ride but the love feeling like they are going to different countries as they visit each area. My advice for the 6-7 year old girl is definitely Magic Kingdom and if you can only visit one other park it would be Animal Kingdom
Expect to fight crowds, fight heat, and be very tired at the end of the day
Take advantage of the fast pass system, it allows you to reserve an hour time period for up to three rides. Say your fast pass for a ride is from 3pm to 4pm, you show up anytime during that hour and get to bypass the normal ride line and go through the fast pass ride line which can easy save you an hour or better waiting in line. I know if you are staying on property you can reserve 60 days in advance, I believe you can reserve 30 days in advance but I’m not sure on that.
It really helps to research the WDW web site and if you go to a book store there is a book, Birnbaum guide to WDW that is great for getting advice/tips from

As far as 5 days, there is absolutely no way you will see all of WDW property but I think if you pick what areas you want to see and stick to a plan it will give you a glimpse of what all is there and help you decide if you ever want to go back. I’ve known people who go and swear they will never go back and I know others who go and want to live there, it’s all what trips your trigger.
If you have specific questions about something PM me and I will see if I can answer it for you
 

littletommy

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We’ve been to WDW over 10 times now, it’s been a favorite of my family for the past 20 years. Our favorite place to stay is at the campground, Fort Wildnerness (we could spend two weeks there never leaving the campground and have a great vacation) our next favorite place to stay is Port Orleans Riverside in the Alligator Bayou section. It is expensive to stay on Disney property but it really does enhance the experience. The cheapest we stayed was a condo we rented off of VRBO and it was within 10 minutes of WDW but it really felt like we were leaving vacation every night.
The parks are very different from each other, different rides and definitely different vibes. Believe it or not EPCOT has always been my kids favorite park to go to which is surprising as it has the least ride but the love feeling like they are going to different countries as they visit each area. My advice for the 6-7 year old girl is definitely Magic Kingdom and if you can only visit one other park it would be Animal Kingdom
Expect to fight crowds, fight heat, and be very tired at the end of the day
Take advantage of the fast pass system, it allows you to reserve an hour time period for up to three rides. Say your fast pass for a ride is from 3pm to 4pm, you show up anytime during that hour and get to bypass the normal ride line and go through the fast pass ride line which can easy save you an hour or better waiting in line. I know if you are staying on property you can reserve 60 days in advance, I believe you can reserve 30 days in advance but I’m not sure on that.
It really helps to research the WDW web site and if you go to a book store there is a book, Birnbaum guide to WDW that is great for getting advice/tips from

As far as 5 days, there is absolutely no way you will see all of WDW property but I think if you pick what areas you want to see and stick to a plan it will give you a glimpse of what all is there and help you decide if you ever want to go back. I’ve known people who go and swear they will never go back and I know others who go and want to live there, it’s all what trips your trigger.
If you have specific questions about something PM me and I will see if I can answer it for you
^^^^This x1000!^^^^
Yes, it definitely costs more to stay on property, but if you do your research, you can really take advantage of the perks that come with it. I wouldn’t even consider NOT staying on property. Most Disney resorts offer the ability to walk to at least one of the parks, which is a huge convenience, especially if you have park hopper tickets. We’ve stayed at Boardwalk resort several times, and you can be in Epcot within 5 minutes, and Hollywood studios is only about a 10 minute walk, all on Disney property, no crossing public streets or any other nonsense.
We usually stay 5 days, which is perfect for us, yeah, you won’t get to see and do everything, but you’ll never be bored, either.
I would seriously urge you to stay on property.
If you are a AAA member, give them a call as well, Disney often has unadvertised deals through them, we’ve booked trips with AAA every time we’ve been, which is 16 in the last 16 years (my wife is in the travel industry). Quite a few times we’ve got free dining for booking a stay at certain resorts, but I think the dining plan is one of the casualties of the scamdemic.
 

funeralweb

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Sleep as cheap as you can because at the end of every day the only thing you'll care about is your head hitting a pillow. ANY pillow. We were 35 when we took our 4 and 6 year old kids for 4 days in the parks and 3 days on their cruise line. Try to set a plan and stick to it. Just like previous posts, take advantage of FastPass. With FastPass, we used our "wait" time to eat or beat the heat in one of the indoor attractions. We hope to take our grandchildren in a few years. I hope we can keep pace with them.
 

femurphy77

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One other thing I forgot to mention is that there are several guidebooks that tell you how best to maximize your visit. There used to be on called "The UNofficial Guide to Disney World" it used to be full of little tips, tricks and secrets to help you thru your visit. Don't buy one of the disney sponsored guides as they won't tell you the work arounds.
 

GlockRock

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Same as the guys above. Stay at one of the resorts on property. last time we went we stayed at the all star music resort. nothing fancy, but had everything we needed. The convenience of having everything we needed right there and not having to leave the property was worth it. The buses to the parks can get crowded at certain times, but it’s not terrible.
Be warned that the summer heat and humidity can be brutal. Our last trip had days with the heat index of 120. It was hard on the kids. Most don’t know, but coolers are allowed up to certain sizes. I took my soft yeti that held 16 bottles of water and Gatorade in it. made a world of difference.
There’s plenty of websites or FB pages that’ll give you tons of tips.
 

Super Bee

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Great subject, we love Disney.

Our family bought a Disney time share several years ago at Animal Kingdom Lodge, we go at least once a year. We typically spend five weeks in Florida over Christmas and 10 of those days at Disney.

Suggestion one, stay on Disney property. Yes, it is less expensive off property, however what you get in return more than makes up for the cost. If you stay off property parking is $25.00 a day at the parks. The buses, skyliner and monorails are a fantastic ways to get around and will prove most valuable. Fighting to get in and out of the park and driving back late at night to a off property hotel stinks. Hoping on a Disney bus which takes you to your Disney resorts front door and every parks front door is worth every cent.

The Majic Kingdom, Animal Kindgom and Epcot you will need at least a full day each. Hollywood Studios is a half day at best. Get yourself a Majic Band and start booking your Fast Passes at least a month before you go. The popular rides fill up first.

Food is expensive. We have tried the meal plan and have also not used it. In my opinion it is not worth it. We usually take in a backpack and carry in bottled water and snacks. The best restaurants are in Epcot. The pizza joint in Italy is a must. We also like the buffet in Germany. You will need reservations at least a week in advance.

Ticket prices. Undercover Tourist is the cheapest way to buy tickets. I have looked dozens of ways, they are always the best option.

Hotels, we have stayed at most of the Disney Hotels. Many are expensive and if we did not have the time share we probably could not afford most. One year we stayed at Disney All Star for a couple nights and it was great. Animal Kingdom Lodge is are favorite. Do not forget the Dolphin and the Swan are Disney hotels and have all the perks the other Disney Resorts do. They are located a little further away and sometimes less money than the other resorts. They are a great option.

Spend some time at Disney Springs too. Nice shopping and great food. The Polite Pig BBQ is always good.

Have fun.
 
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jfed85

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Wife and I were just there in October with our 2, 5, and 9 year old daughters. We walked 68 miles in 5 days at parks. Wear comfy shoes!
 
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