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missysid
01-27-2009, 11:42 AM
Hi everyone! I am a newbie from Illinois and we are planning a family vacation to WDW either the end of December 2009 or the middle of January 2010. There is SO much information and price options out there I am feeling overwhelmed. What do you suggest for a first time visitor for booking? I would like to stay on the grounds in one of the "value" resorts and we are looking at either a 5 or 7 day stay. We have one child (son age 10 will be 11). My sister and her husband are also looking at going with us so there would be 4 adults and one child total.

I think right now we are going to drive down since sis is scared to fly. Anything we should be doing now to help with the trip? Who should we contact about booking? I have been on the WDW website - do most of you book there or do you get better deals with a travel agent.

I am very sorry for the long post and so many questions here today. To be honest I am feeling very stressed out trying to figure this all out and get everyones schedule to fit together. But that is why I am trying to start early.

Thanks

Mel

mooneyda
01-27-2009, 11:46 AM
welcome ..even though the decorations are up in Dec crowds quite a bit lower in Middle Jan.The one thing I would suggest doing right now getting some info towards planning ( never to early to plan)just kind of look around here and Allears.net is a good reference too

Figment_Fan
01-27-2009, 12:03 PM
I agree with moneyda, read and research. This site is great and allears.net is a must. Register for the weekly newsletter from allears.net.

The deal I have with the DW is that if she can find a cheaper way for the 4 of us to fly, we will. Never happened. We always drive. We live in central

Michigan so it is a two day trip. Plan the route well and search for a good hotel deal on the way down. We generally drive most of the way the first day and schedule the second days drive so that we only have 2-4 hours left and can get to the parks before noon.

I also recommend checking out the PassPorter.com and the Birnbaum Guide. You can get a Birnbaum at the library, it won't be current, but will give you an idea of what your looking for. The more you are prepared the better you are. You can't see it all, don't try, you'll only get frustrated. Pick the top things that are most important for you (and each person in the party) to see, and be flexible.

Good Luck and have a great time.

MarkinNM
01-27-2009, 12:06 PM
:welcome:

to the boards!!!

Figment_Fan
01-27-2009, 12:15 PM
How rude of me. I forgot to welcome you to the boards!!:wave2:

Although, I must ask, how is it you have a join date back in 2007? Have you been lurking that long before you posted? That's pretty good. I lurked for a while as well before getting up the courage to actually type something.

ougrad86
01-27-2009, 12:33 PM
Welcome :goodvibes

This is a great group of people who really helped me out with my first trip. I would recommend January for your trip. I have a friend who chose to go between Xmas and New Year's and did not listen to anyone's advice. The crowds were terrible, she was even locked out of the park a few days because of crowds, and she swore never again. January tends to be very slow, crowd wise.

Planning is the key, and half the fun! I used Unofficial Guide - it covers everything. Passporter and Birbaums is good too, but UG is very comprehensive. And if you buy the book, you get a year's subscription to touringplans.com free. And of course, you have found the DIS boards. Decide what you want to do, when you want to do it and enjoy. I planned like crazy for our first trip, and when I got there the crowds were so low I was able to throw the touring plans out the window. The few rides that had long lines I knew how to use Fast Pass, and we did everything we wanted to do, out favorites several times. And give yourself as much time as you can, to see everything but not wear yourself out.

Right now, I'm planning a trip with a friend (also a Disney veteran), and we plan to take our families (and my DS's best friend) :grouphug: and do WDW together in November.

Have fun!:cheer2:

Figment_Fan
01-27-2009, 01:37 PM
Planning is a lot of the fun. Send for the planning DVD, have a party with those going and watch it together. Then, make sure everyone going has access to the mentioned sites and books as soon as possible.:grouphug:

Birnbaum and PassPorter both have books for children your son's age.

This starts the vacation early and always gets everyone prepared for what to expect and what is available.

Disney is where dreams come true, but the dreams can start long before you go.pixiedust:

mooneyda
01-27-2009, 01:40 PM
Planning is a lot of the fun. Send for the planning DVD, have a party with those going and watch it together. Then, make sure everyone going has access to the mentioned sites and books as soon as possible.:grouphug:

Birnbaum and PassPorter both have books for children your son's age.

This starts the vacation early and always gets everyone prepared for what to expect and what is available.

Disney is where dreams come true, but the dreams can start long before you go.pixiedust:

I couldn't agree more

Figment_Fan
01-27-2009, 01:54 PM
BTW, one of my favorite tips is:
on first getting to the MK as it opens [after getting in], get the party together, give all of the passes to one person and send that person to the Fast Pass to Splash Mountain and get fast passes for Big Thunder. The rest of the party can stroll over to Big Thunder and be ready to get in line. It takes a group longer to get over to that area than it does one person - go figure.:confused3

By the time the rest of the party is at Big Thunder, the person sent for fast passes will be ready to get in line at Big Thunder. Ride Big Thunder and by the time you get off, it will be time, or almost time, to ride Splash Mountain.

I have never failed to get both rides in within 35 - 45 minutes of entereing the park. Generally, my son and I go together to get the fast passes and meet up with DW and DD as they are walking up to Big Thunder. I was impressed when this even worked on July 4, 2007. :thumbsup2

Metro West
01-27-2009, 04:11 PM
http://bestsmileys.com/welcome/11.gif

DWFan4Life
01-27-2009, 08:23 PM
Welcome to DISboards. We just got there last Christmas holidays and the experience is really wonderful, now we are planning to go back for the next holidays. I'm a little bit excited again. :)

Have a nice day. :)

missysid
01-28-2009, 11:29 AM
Thank you all for the warm welcome. I have ordered the DVD and LOVE the idea of having a "pre" party to view it. I did sign up for the board about 2 years ago but only lurked for about a week before we choose to build a new house instead of a family vacation. So we are back again and ready to go.

I had heard January was the slow time but really was looking for a way for son to not miss any school. They are already out for 2-3 weeks at Christmas time. This board contains SO much information - I just love it.

Thanks again for the advice above.

Mel

mooneyda
01-28-2009, 11:32 AM
trust me I went the on new years eve and the crowds were huge.To get the most out of your vacation I really would suggest mid Jan. Then that is just me