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View Full Version : New Question! Done DL, now what do I need to know about WDW from a DLer perspective?


mariezp
03-25-2009, 10:19 PM
Let me start by saying.... so far my very favorite vacation destination in the whole wide world has been Disneyland! I have spent the majority of my Disboard career on the Disneyland section of the board. It's nice and cozy over here and I feel right at home with lots of familiar names and faces. :grouphug:


Anyway.... have you ever noticed when you have kids you often do things for them you wouldn't normally do on your own? Well, my son caught me in a moment of weakness. He has some friends that he chats with and plays games with online that he would like to meet up with who just happen to live in Florida so he asked me if we might be able to take our annual family vacation in the fall to WDW this year instead of DL. Me, being the kind and considerate mother that I am... I said yes. :lovestruc


Now that I have come to my senses :scared1: I feel like such a traitor! I am not at all sure how I truly feel about his new arrangement. I do know I am going to miss my Disneyland terribly. :sad1: On the other hand, this will give us a chance we probably wouldn't do otherwise to try out WDW once and see what we think. DS and his younger sister are REALLY excited about trying the new park. It really is hard to not catch some of their enthusiasm so.... I am thinking this just might be fun. :scratchin


So as my typical plan-way-ahead self I have delved into the planning which I must say initially has been all very overwhelming. After some pondering it looks like we are going to be in WDW December 2-16. So far I have booked our flight (at a fantastic rate!), made a deposit on a house (complete with our own private pool!) and reserved a car. :thumbsup2 I think now that I have those things taken care of I am feeling a little less stressed and think I can start to actually enjoy some of the other research and planning.

I need some help from those of you who have been to both parks. I know during the next 8 months that I am going to have plenty of questions about WDW so I hope you don't mind if I keep a little space to come and get the answers to my questions when I can't find them elsewhere.

So here's my questions for TODAY. (obviously, food is on my mind)
(1) Is there any place to dine even remotely like Blue Bayou at WDW?
(2) Do they have a Plaza Inn or something similar with fried chicken at WDW? My guys will break down in tears if they don't get to eat their favorite meal!
(3) Is there a place to get chocolate covered strawberries at WDW?.

YellowMickeyPonchos
03-26-2009, 12:17 AM
1) The only place with a similar - but different -The San Angel Inn in Mexico at Epcot Worrld Showcase. It has atmosphere - overlooking a Mayan pyramid - but the food can be questionable - kind of like the Blue Bayou.

2) Fried Chicken - the Trails End Buffeteria at the Fort Wilderness Campground. You'll either need to take the boat from the Magic Kingdom to the campground and that will put you right into the heart of the resort where the Hoop de Doo Review is performed. Here's a link to the blog entries about Fort Wilderness to give you a feel for it. http://www.disunplugged.com/2009/01/

3) You should be able to get the chocolate covered strawberries at any of the major confectionary shops in each park - the Candy Palace on Main Street in the MK, Starring Rolls in the Studios, as well as Goofy's Candy Kitchen in DTD Marketplace.

Silly Little Pixie
03-26-2009, 02:10 AM
I know how you feel! I was overwhelmed with planning our last WDW trip. The Passporter book was fabulous! I loved it, and currently have my book on loan to a good friend who is going this year on my recommendation. :goodvibes It gives you good information, and you can read it, your kids can look it over, etc. I liked the passpockets on it to write down our ADRs, favorites, etc. I took it with us in the parks as well. I found the WDW boards really overwhelming, and got several testy answers from people when I asked questions about making ADRs, etc. :confused3 Not like here on the DL boards!

EPCOT is awesome, and there is nothing like it at DLR. Well worth a couple days. I agree with the PP about San Angel Inn. I did enjoy the "atmosphere" at Coral Reef in Epcot, and the food was much better than at Blue Bayou. Sci-Fin Dine-In in DHS was also a really unique atmosphere, we loved it, and the shakes were delicious. For fried chicken, you might want to check the menus for Crystal Palace. I know they used to have it but we didn't eat there last time. Fried chicken is my DD's favorite at DL too!!!

We also enjoyed Blizzard Beach, even in November (to my surprise!). The water parks are really fun. You've got a nice long trip planned- that's awesome! Take it slow and don't go super commando. You'll be exhausted. I "over planned" our last trip with daily ADRs, etc. and my family got tired of that. They are used to a much more relaxed pace at DL. You'll also find that the parks close much earlier than here in the off season. I was disappointed in the hours, but was able to use EMH a couple times. I think it was more crowded during EMH, so not being able to use them won't be a big loss for you, IMO.

Disney Dreams
03-26-2009, 03:37 AM
Hi Mariezp,

I am a life-long DisneyLANDer. When DH and I went to WDW for our 10 year anniversary I was totally lost. I went to the WDW boards and quickly learned that I needed things in a DL perspective. People on this board were great. I realize the trip specifics (time of year, 2 adults / no kids, anniversary) may or may not be a match for your situation, but you may want to read through my WDW question thread as there is LOTS of great info that helped me tremendously. We had an amazing trip and lots of the tips from here helped. I dug up my thread in hopes it may help you. Here you go. (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1947177)

- Dreams

mechurchlady
03-26-2009, 04:43 AM
(1) Is there any place to dine even remotely like Blue Bayou at WDW?
They do have restaurants that are part of rides or have special stuff like Sci-Fi Dine-In where you are in a drive in theater, Prime Time Cafe which is home like, Garden Grille in the Land is actually a circling building with all you can eat and the Land ride is just beyond the building. Coral Reef has fishies to watch. Do try the shaved ice at the Japanese Pavillion.

I doubt I will ever eat at San Angel because they are not Disney run and are on the Allergy warning list of places that we warn people about. They do not have gluten free tortilla chips, doh stupid go buy Mission or Trader Joe's chips.

(2) Do they have a Plaza Inn or something similar with fried chicken at WDW? My guys will break down in tears if they don't get to eat their favorite meal!

Hoop de Doo Review is fun, needs ADR and has fried chicken served family style.
http://www.wdwinfo.com/wdwinfo/dining/menuoutput.cfm?restaurantname=Hoop-Dee-Doo%20Musical%20Revue

Trail's End as mentioned above
http://www.wdwinfo.com/wdwinfo/dining/menuoutput.cfm?restaurantname=Trail%27s%20End%20Re staurant

Tusker House
http://www.wdwinfo.com/wdwinfo/dining/menuoutput.cfm?restaurantname=Tusker%20House

At the Swan Hotel is the Garden Grove
http://www.wdwinfo.com/wdwinfo/dining/diningdetail.cfm?restaurant.ID=206

50's Prime Time Cafe is a place your family will love.
http://www.wdwinfo.com/wdwinfo/dining/diningdetail.cfm?Restaurant.ID=113
Aunt Liz's Golden Fried Chicken - Served with Mashed Potatoes, Chicken gravy, and Southern greens. - $14.99

Pop Century Resort also has fried chicken dinners. If you check WDW menus you can find a ton of chicken strips and chicken nugget spots.

(3) Is there a place to get chocolate covered strawberries at WDW?.
That was answered and they most likely would be in only those shops and are expensive. I found an old thread that said in 2005 they were $2.50 each, ouch.

LavenderPeach
03-26-2009, 10:02 AM
I agree with PP that Blizard Beach is so much fun. We planned one water park day as just an extra thing to do and it turned out to be one of our favorite parts of the trip!

Also, when I planned our trip to WDW I was just a lurker on these boards and I found all the info I needed without asking my own questions. Every time I had a new question I would do a search and find the answer. I only mention that to say that if you feel uncomfortable asking things on the other forums because you might get a "testy" answer then you can try just being a lurker over there and asking other questions over here. I know the search feature seems like it doesn't always work quite right but it might be worth a try.

It sounds like it will be a fun trip!

TinkSassy
03-26-2009, 11:19 AM
You'll have fun - it's a totally new experience with the submersion factor. You never have to leave Disney. That and the dining are my big misses at DL versus WDW - DL has better snacks though :)

I agree on the postings on San Angel like Blue Bayou. It's really pretty, but I'd save that meal and eat late at Rose and Crown in UK instead. You lose that atmosphere, but sit right on the water (wait for a patio table) and you watch the Illuminations show from your table if you time it right. Best seats in Epcot for that show!

For fried chicken - I'd go with Prime Time 50's at DHS. It tastes like Plaza to me and it's much easier to get to than Ft. Wilderness. You need to take transportation time into account a lot more at WDW. This restaurant has "moms" serving you and they are a hoot! Be sure to wash your hands before dinner (note the color of the soap) and keep your elbows off the table! Love it - if you have the dining plan shakes and floats are included as a beverage.

Chocolate covered strawberries are everywhere - no worries!

You'll have a great time! Be sure to see Philharmagic at the Magic Kingdom - it's one of my favorites - I wish they'd bring that to DCA!

toni1227
03-26-2009, 11:57 AM
I love your post! I found this website back in Feb and was here constantly on the Disneyland thread to help me with our vacation last week! I love it here!
Anyway, now I am planning a WDW trip myself (and I used to work there when I was in college 15 years ago but things have changed so much I am sure so I am back at square 1 and need help).
I actually joined tourguidemike.com. 2 of my friends recommended it to me and it is great so far. You can even join a group specific to the month you are going so you can ge to know a smaller group that you have something in common with. So I recommend his website. It is $21.95 but I think it is worth it personally and I like it better than Ridemax and it does not expire in 90 days.
But I have to admit I miss being over here though. That is the only negative. :(

So now I am thinking I might have to do Disneyland and Disneyworld BOTH next year.

Note on Mexico restaurant at Epcot. I got food poisoning there so I would not eat there again (even if that was 15 years ago). Gross.

I am kind of stressed with the whole restaurant reservation thing at WDW. So overwhelming to figure out where and when to eat etc..

Where are you going to stay at WDW?

You are going at a FANTASTIC time!! Low crowds AND Christmas decorations!!! You will love it! I am so jealous b/c we can only go when the kids are out of school and it will be packed (thanksgiving or spring break..have not decided on which yet).

brenda1966
03-26-2009, 01:05 PM
I'm not a food expert, but I think coming here to get our perspective is a good idea! I go to both and love things about both, but my heart belongs to Disneyland.

mechurchlady
03-26-2009, 03:11 PM
Coronado Springs Resort dining and San Angel are out of the same company so they are on the alert list of mine. Yak and Yeti as well as T Rex are out of the Landry restaurant chain that is know for hit and miss service and allergy knowledge. I have eaten at many Landry's restaurants and while service is usually excellent you have to be very careful about cross contamination and stuff.

Lakewood
03-26-2009, 03:46 PM
Let me start by saying.... so far my very favorite vacation destination in the whole wide world has been Disneyland! I have spent the majority of my Disboard career on the Disneyland section of the board. It's nice and cozy over here and I feel right at home with lots of familiar names and faces. :grouphug:

I'm a relative newb over here. Most of the people over here are pretty cool, heck I've only gotten one post removed.

Anyway.... have you ever noticed when you have kids you often do things for them you wouldn't normally do on your own? Well, my son caught me in a moment of weakness. He has some friends that he chats with and plays games with online that he would like to meet up with who just happen to live in Florida so he asked me if we might be able to take our annual family vacation in the fall to WDW this year instead of DL. Me, being the kind and considerate mother that I am... I said yes. :lovestruc

Way to pass your desire to go to WDW off on the kid, if I had one I'd probaly do the same....And now you get to look like #1 mom, way to go.:goodvibes

Now that I have come to my senses :scared1: I feel like such a traitor! I am not at all sure how I truly feel about his new arrangement. I do know I am going to miss my Disneyland terribly. :sad1: On the other hand, this will give us a chance we probably wouldn't do otherwise to try out WDW once and see what we think. DS and his younger sister are REALLY excited about trying the new park. It really is hard to not catch some of their enthusiasm so.... I am thinking this just might be fun. :scratchin

I went to WDW in Nov, and it rocked. Make sure to get some adult time in EPCOT, lots of good food and drinks. Also, make sure to go to the AK, I thought that was one of the most interesting parks at WDW. I could care less about the MK, thought it was run down. If you like D Land you'll probally come out thinking the same thing I did. EPCOT is great.


So as my typical plan-way-ahead self I have delved into the planning which I must say initially has been all very overwhelming. After some pondering it looks like we are going to be in WDW December 2-16. So far I have booked our flight (at a fantastic rate!), made a deposit on a house (complete with our own private pool!) and reserved a car. :thumbsup2 I think now that I have those things taken care of I am feeling a little less stressed and think I can start to actually enjoy some of the other research and planning.

We stayed at the Poly, with the monorail there it saved tons of time getting to the park.

Here's where my Disneyland Disboard buddies come in. I need some help from those of you who have been to both parks. Quite frankly, I love you guys and value the info this bunch has to offer! I know during the next 8 months that I am going to have plenty of questions about WDW so I hope you don't mind if I keep a little space to come and get the answers to my questions in a friendly environment when I need a break from the deep dark overwhelming depths of the WDW section of the board. :scared:

Its lots of stuff to plan, people tend to micromanage. Id just get the dinner adrs out of the way and wing the rest. That's what we did, no sense having 3 meals all planned out and no flexibility in your day....

So here's my questions for TODAY. (obviously, food is on my mind)
(1) Is there any place to dine even remotely like Blue Bayou at WDW?
(2) Do they have a Plaza Inn or something similar with fried chicken at WDW? My guys will break down in tears if they don't get to eat their favorite meal!
(3) Is there a place to get chocolate covered strawberries at WDW?.

We didn't notice a BB clone or anything similar, their Pirates ride does not lend itself to it...
There is fried chicken at the MK at the Liberty Inn (I think that was its name, it was sponsored by stoffur's so we kept walking)
As far as the berries, I have no idea.

We ate at teppan edo, ca grille, le celler, the rose and crown pub (probally some of the best food at ecpot), the biergarden, tokoyo dining, the mexican pavillion, and ohanas....

Im sure there are others if you need more info just post up.
Ohanas for the first dinner of your stay is very impressive...

mariezp
03-26-2009, 05:52 PM
I just love this forum! I knew you guys would not let me down! :thumbsup2
YellowMickeyPonchos, Silly Little Pixie, Disney Dreams, mechurchlady, LavenderPeach, TinkSassy, toni1227, brenda1966 and Lakewood thank you all for your input this time around!

Oh goodie! Multiple choices for the boys fried chicken. (adding San Angel Inn, Trails End Buffeteria, Tusker House, Swan Hotel and MK at the Liberty Inn to my notes) I have been considering Hoop de Doo Review. Any thoughts on the show? Will check Crystal Palace too. Even if they don't have chicken their buffet looks to have quite an assortment to choose from. Must also check out Garden Grille and try shaved ice at the Japanese Pavillion. Got it! Lakewood you have certainly given me more choices to consider! Just have to decide which ones will work with our sometimes picky kids. Chocolate covered strawberries are expensive but oh so worth it! I missed mine last year so hopefully one every 2 years won't break our budget!

Coral Reef, Sci-Fi Diner (will have to try those shakes!) and Prime Time Cafe are already on our must try list. I like the idea of dining at Rose and Crown during Illuminations. Will have to see if I can figure out how to time that right. Now I just have to sort through and pick the other restaurants that we just gotta try, assuming I have any spots open! Luckily we do not have any food allergies so we are open to everything.

Philharmagic is on our must do list. I love shows so it is right up my alley!

We are skipping the water parks this time. We will have a pool at our house so that should solve any desire the kids have to get wet. Plus we do plan on going to see the beach part of one day. Unfortunately, even though we will have 2 weeks there just won't be enough time to cram in everything. I know 2 weeks sounds long to some but our favorite way is to take the park slow and leisurely. We usually spend 2 weeks in Disneyland but it's going to be so much different in WDW with so many new things we have never seen. It is going to be an adjustment to our normal routine. We usually take a mid day break but with the park hours in WDW I am wondering if we would just be better off to stay through the day and leave the park earlier with no break. Glad to hear that I won't miss much by not taking advantage of EMH. It probably wouldn't work for us because the guys are NOT early risers anyway.

I have a Passporter book ordered. It sounds very useful as well as informative. Of course, there is still no book that can outdo the wealth of information you can find right here on our very own Disboard. I will consider using tourguidemike.com as our dates get closer. Right now I am just enjoying the task of absorbing everything my poor little mind can process on it's own. Also, I don't have a lot of time to spend computing every day so I best not get too much going at once. So far, I am very happy with the information that I am garnering here.

Disney Dreams thank you so much for looking up and sharing your link with me! Good to know that I am not the only one who likes things from the DL perspective! I haven't finished reading it all yet but so far it looks like just the sort of information that I can use. :hug:

toni1227, how was your trip last week? Did you have a wonderful time? I would have LOVED to have went to both parks but it would have been too expensive. Even though we could have used our APs at DL there would have still been airfare and lodging, which is no small expenditure for 2 weeks. Lucky you to get to do both! Is the San Angel Inn the place you got sick at? I suppose it could happen anywhere, anytime but it certainly does make going there seem less appealing once you have gotten sick there before. I am stressing with you about ressies but if worst comes to worst we will do counter service and still not starve! My boys could live off of churros and turkey legs!

Which reminds me... I asked my DS if he had any questions for me to ask. He only wants to know if he can get a map with the location of every place you can find a turkey leg! :lmao:

I actually found a house in the Sunset Lakes area shortly after I started looking. It is called the Peterson Paradise Retreat. Kismet, maybe? Peterson just so happens to be our last name. Check it out! http://www.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p219739
We homeschool so we are fortunate enough to be able to go during off season. I hope you are right and the crowds are few!

brenda1966, your statement just about sums up how I feel. My heart belongs to Disneyland! I am trying to keep an open mind. I am just hoping that after we have given both parks a try my family is not split on which one they like best!

Again, thanks for all the responses! I am sure I will be back soon!

toni1227
03-26-2009, 06:47 PM
I just love this forum! I knew you guys would not let me down! :thumbsup2
YellowMickeyPonchos, Silly Little Pixie, Disney Dreams, mechurchlady, LavenderPeach, TinkSassy, toni1227, brenda1966 and Lakewood thank you all for your input this time around!

Oh goodie! Multiple choices for the boys fried chicken. (adding San Angel Inn, Trails End Buffeteria, Tusker House, Swan Hotel and MK at the Liberty Inn to my notes) I have been considering Hoop de Doo Review. Any thoughts on the show? Will check Crystal Palace too. Even if they don't have chicken their buffet looks to have quite an assortment to choose from. Must also check out Garden Grille and try shaved ice at the Japanese Pavillion. Got it! Lakewood you have certainly given me more choices to consider! Just have to decide which ones will work with our sometimes picky kids. Chocolate covered strawberries are expensive but oh so worth it! I missed mine last year so hopefully one every 2 years won't break our budget!

Coral Reef, Sci-Fi Diner (will have to try those shakes!) and Prime Time Cafe are already on our must try list. I like the idea of dining at Rose and Crown during Illuminations. Will have to see if I can figure out how to time that right. Now I just have to sort through and pick the other restaurants that we just gotta try, assuming I have any spots open! Luckily we do not have any food allergies so we are open to everything.

Philharmagic is on our must do list. I love shows so it is right up my alley!

We are skipping the water parks this time. We will have a pool at our house so that should solve any desire the kids have to get wet. Plus we do plan on going to see the beach part of one day. Unfortunately, even though we will have 2 weeks there just won't be enough time to cram in everything. I know 2 weeks sounds long to some but our favorite way is to take the park slow and leisurely. We usually spend 2 weeks in Disneyland but it's going to be so much different in WDW with so many new things we have never seen. It is going to be an adjustment to our normal routine. We usually take a mid day break but with the park hours in WDW I am wondering if we would just be better off to stay through the day and leave the park earlier with no break. Glad to hear that I won't miss much by not taking advantage of EMH. It probably wouldn't work for us because the guys are NOT early risers anyway.

I have a Passporter book ordered. It sounds very useful as well as informative. Of course, there is still no book that can outdo the wealth of information you can find right here on our very own Disboard. I will consider using tourguidemike.com as our dates get closer. Right now I am just enjoying the task of absorbing everything my poor little mind can process on it's own. Also, I don't have a lot of time to spend computing every day so I best not get too much going at once. So far, I am very happy with the information that I am garnering here.

Disney Dreams thank you so much for looking up and sharing your link with me! Good to know that I am not the only one who likes things from the DL perspective! I haven't finished reading it all yet but so far it looks like just the sort of information that I can use. :hug:

toni1227, how was your trip last week? Did you have a wonderful time? I would have LOVED to have went to both parks but it would have been too expensive. Even though we could have used our APs at DL there would have still been airfare and lodging, which is no small expenditure for 2 weeks. Lucky you to get to do both! Is the San Angel Inn the place you got sick at? I suppose it could happen anywhere, anytime but it certainly does make going there seem less appealing once you have gotten sick there before. I am stressing with you about ressies but if worst comes to worst we will do counter service and still not starve! My boys could live off of churros and turkey legs!

Which reminds me... I asked my DS if he had any questions for me to ask. He only wants to know if he can get a map with the location of every place you can find a turkey leg! :lmao:

I actually found a house in the Sunset Lakes area shortly after I started looking. It is called the Peterson Paradise Retreat. Kismet, maybe? Peterson just so happens to be our last name. Check it out! http://www.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p219739
We homeschool so we are fortunate enough to be able to go during off season. I hope you are right and the crowds are few!

brenda1966, your statement just about sums up how I feel. My heart belongs to Disneyland! I am trying to keep an open mind. I am just hoping that after we have given both parks a try my family is not split on which one they like best!

Again, thanks for all the responses! I am sure I will be back soon!

Our trip was good but we had issues. We spent 3 nights at GCH and 3 nights in San Diego at 2 crappy marriotts. We managed to do DL for 1.5 days then the last day at DCA my daughter got really sick with fever and cough so we spent that day in the hotel room so I cried I was so depressed that day. I just wanted her to be well and I wanted to be at Disney!!! The next day we went to San Diego and our hotel was a huge disappointment there after leaving the GCH. It was supposed to be a 6 star spa marriott hotel in coronado and it smelled terribly. We had to switch to a courtyard marriott and that one smelled as well but was tolerable (I have a sensitive nose BIG TIME).
And I was sad and wanted to be back at Disney. But I still loved it and I am glad I went. I learned a lot about what to do next time..specifically, stay at Disney for 5 days at least instead of 2.5 AND if I ever have plans to do something else besides Disney on that trip make sure I end with Disney so I am not depressed wanting to go back.

Well, my goal is to do both next year but that is if I can save and nothing comes up (knock on wood). I wanted to do WDW this Thanksgiving but that is really pushing it so I think I will push it up to Thanksgiving 2010 to give me time to save $5000+ instead of putting it on credit (bad idea!) but in the meantime I planned to take a trip in June next year so I figure we might as well do DL. I hope they come out with a good deal like they have right now 5/3. We use airlines miles to fly for the most part since my DH travels a lot so that helps.

Oh and yes that is where I got sick.

Do you know if they serve SANDWICHES (like turkey clubs) anywhere counter service at WDW? I could live on those!!!
OR does anyone here know if they have something like Carnation Cafe or White Water Snacks there?? Those are my 2 faves at DLR.

mariezp
03-26-2009, 09:57 PM
Oh dear, toni1227! I think you certainly deserve a return trip after all that. I feel for you. Being stuck in a hotel while DL is calling to you is certainly enough to make you cry. Even worse that the bad luck seemed to follow you to San Diego. At least you learned a couple tips for your next trip. I hope it works out that you get to take both trips. And that both trips are FANTASTIC with no problems!

We have had a few illnesses on several trips but luckily they have only lasted a few hours. Even during that time I had to remind myself that tending to my sick child was more important than being in the park. It's really stressful after you have all your expectations built up for the perfect vacation to have them shot down by anything!

I would imagine after staying at GCH it would test any place to measure up. However, there really is no excuse for stinky lodging!

If your family loves sandwiches you should be quite happy at DL. My family is the exact opposite. It seems when they recently changed their menus to supposedly be healthier their favorite solution was to add more sandwiches to their menus. Thankfully, they didn't change all our favorite meals but it did make it trickier for us to find a place with different options. For us we try to stay away from too much bread and the extra carbs that come with it.

YellowMickeyPonchos
03-26-2009, 10:27 PM
FYI - you might want to look into some restaurant reviews. A lot of the atmosphere restaurants do NOT have good food. Including the SciFi Dine in. We had friends approach it with an open mind in December and came back telling us that we were right to tell them not to eat there. Same with San Angel Inn. Notice too, that most of the DL Boards say not to eat anything but dessert at the Bayou these days....

I've also been sick at the San Angel, Ariel's Grotto, and a number of other park establishments. It's part and parcel of a week eating super rich foods/big portions at every meal. I also get sick when I eat hamburgers, but that is another story. ;)

mariezp
03-27-2009, 01:38 PM
YellowMickeyPonchos, Oh yeah! I know how valuable those reviews can be and I have been doing my share of reading. Still, I do try to keep an open mind because I have found that we often don't always agree with some folks. I guess my best example would be Blue Bayou. It is my family's favorite place to dine in DL. So far we have never had a bad meal there. Yep, it's overpriced and the service is sometimes slow but our trip would not be complete without at least one trip there during our vacation. I think sometimes we are just easy to please because almost anything makes us happy when we are on vacation! On the other hand, I do know sometimes I read things and think that some people couldn't be pleased by anyone or anything.

I do think you are right that sometimes it may not be the food itself but also the fact that you are eating foods so different from what your digestive system is used to.

I have to confess after I learned that tourguidemike.com doesn't expire until 60 days after your trip I went ahead and signed up this morning. I was right... my head hurts now from so much more information! It does look like it is going to be a great resource though. So... on with the planning!

Lakewood
03-27-2009, 02:07 PM
Speaking of being wrecked in regards to the stomach... We had the dlx dining plan, it was like 7 days of Thanksgiving for that week. Ate way too much, got home started to eat normal portions.... Felt strange.

KrazyKat4DIS
03-27-2009, 02:19 PM
I am also starting to plan a trip to WDW. It is so overwhelming! The restaurants are definitely tricky. How will I know when I will hungry :confused3

Plus, everytime we have done a TS restaurant at DLR I always get too full and I can't snack. Snacking at DL is the best part for me. I don't think we are going to do the Dlx dining package for that reason.

Good luck with planning. I will definitely be coming to you for tips in the future!

mariezp
03-27-2009, 04:30 PM
Speaking of being wrecked in regards to the stomach... We had the dlx dining plan, it was like 7 days of Thanksgiving for that week. Ate way too much, got home started to eat normal portions.... Felt strange.
That is too funny! I know what you mean though about overindulging while you are in the parks.

While I am at home planning I spend a lot of time imagining all the great food and treats we will have. Trouble is when you are actually at the park there is no way you can find enough hours in a day to eat everything that sounds yummy. Last year I brought jelly beans, fudge, a caramel apple and a white chocolate covered apple back to our room thinking I would snack on them in the evenings. At the end of our trip, as we were packing up to go home, I ended up throwing everything away except the jellybeans. :scared1: Even when we were in the park the rest of my bunch would grab a snack between meals but I was still too stuffed from each meal.

I have read many claims that WDW has better food than DL. I agree that they do have a lot more choices but so far nothing has really wowed me a lot more than the choices at DL. As a matter of fact, I am going to miss a few of our favorites. Anybody else ever felt that way? :(


KrazyKat4DIS, feel free to gather any information here that will help you as well! At least you have one trip already on your belt. This is all a complete shock to my system! So, when is your trip?

Oh yeah! toni1227 I forgot to say that I bet you had a blast working in WDW way back when. I don't imagine the pay in all that great but I would still love to work there even now.

toni1227
03-27-2009, 04:57 PM
It was a wonderful experience. I got to live in their (disney's) apartment complex called Vista Way. I think the pay was $5.60 or something an hour but it was MORE than minimum wage. I lived with 5 roommates from all over the country.
I worked at Disney Village Market Place at Christmas Chalet, You and Me Kid, the Mattel store (which was torn down and turned into World of Disney I think) then about a month before my term was up I got a full time job working with Mickey Mouse in the photo studio (when people bought packages they got a free session).
So I would take test shots with Mickey everyday before we started and I got to know the people who were Mickey (well some of them). They were all 18 year old girls. 5 foot tall girls. (and Donald and Daisy require even shorter height requirements!) Also, at that time they had 150 CM who were Mickey Mouse and you will never see more than 1 Mickey at a park at WDW (at least that is how it was then). I thought I was going to stay in Orlando and go to college which is why I applied for the full time photo studio job but then I chickened out when all my friends moved away from the college program and quit and drove home and still have not been back yet.

I got to see all kinds of stuff and I got to drive up to the back lot at MK and take the underground tunnels to go to rides etc. and I got in FREE everywhere on my days off. And I used to lay out at all the pools and beaches at the resort hotels on my days off work..specifically I went to Port Orleans and Poly a lot. I worked there Aug-Jan 1993-1994.
It was a total blast!!!

sorry probably more than you wanted to know but I have not really talked much about it (mainly b/c people in my daily life are not into disney) but here i can get carried away!!!!

If I was near disney then I would want to work there now too!! I mean you get in free so you save a lot there at least!

TinkSassy
03-27-2009, 05:09 PM
I'm a WDW Vet - and I'd second the no breaks. The mid-day break at WDW is either shows, lunch or the park hop if you are doing one that day. The hours are so much shorter so you need to take advantage.

EMH helps, I love those that avoid them -they're missing out and keeping the lines short for me. You will walk on rides even at the most crowded times during EMH. I've notice the EMH park is more crowded later - we usually do that park in the morning and hop at lunch to another park. CM's at guest relations will have attendance numbers so if the parks are really crowded you can make an educated decision on where to go next.

Turkey legs are available at the cart in Liberty Square and America in the Epcot World Showcase!

Lakewood
03-27-2009, 05:10 PM
Make sure to go on the Tommrowland Transit Authority.... Great relaxing ride, and see the Country Bears. Ahhh memories of old Disneyland.

brenda1966
03-27-2009, 05:17 PM
I agree with the no breaks midday thing. Getting in and out of parks at WDW is very time consuming. When you have small children, midday breaks can be very valuable, but as the kids are bigger, they are just a time hog.

We have only used our EMH perk a few times at WDW (but we use them at DL). Mostly we just avoid those parks. If we were going at peak times we'd probably use them, but during non-peak, we'd rather sleep in a bit and have that energy to last us the day.

ballarinamom
03-27-2009, 05:35 PM
WE really liked the WDW meal plan. It is so much better DL's. You get one table service and one counter a day plus a snack.

We loved Coral Reef and Sci Fi. Nothing like the BB but a great experience. We also had lunch in Cindy's castle. The meal served was like the new menu at Ariels.

As for fried chicken, Tusker House is close (Counter service) and 50's Prime Time (table service) was good too. They also have yummy milkshakes!

We took extra long time I planning for WDW. So much to do and see. We did notice that several rides were the same but repackaged for each separate park. Of course several versions of duplicate rides are much better at DL (Pirates, IASW etc). But we still had a blast.

The character meals have much more variety at WDW. (Food and characters)
The restaurant that is most similar to Plaza Inn is the Crystal Palace but it is buffet character all day. And each of the Deluxe Hotels had there own character meal.

Lakewood
03-27-2009, 05:37 PM
The Land at EPCOT is super cool too... Can't miss that one.

DisneyMomma81
03-27-2009, 05:44 PM
I'll be keeping an eye on this thread! We're headed to WDW early Oct.!! Free dining!

Lakewood
03-27-2009, 05:58 PM
That is too funny! I know what you mean though about overindulging while you are in the parks.

While I am at home planning I spend a lot of time imagining all the great food and treats we will have. Trouble is when you are actually at the park there is no way you can find enough hours in a day to eat everything that sounds yummy. Last year I brought jelly beans, fudge, a caramel apple and a white chocolate covered apple back to our room thinking I would snack on them in the evenings. At the end of our trip, as we were packing up to go home, I ended up throwing everything away except the jellybeans. :scared1: Even when we were in the park the rest of my bunch would grab a snack between meals but I was still too stuffed from each meal.

I have read many claims that WDW has better food than DL. I agree that they do have a lot more choices but so far nothing has really wowed me a lot more than the choices at DL. As a matter of fact, I am going to miss a few of our favorites. Anybody else ever felt that way? :(


KrazyKat4DIS, feel free to gather any information here that will help you as well! At least you have one trip already on your belt. This is all a complete shock to my system! So, when is your trip?

Oh yeah! toni1227 I forgot to say that I bet you had a blast working in WDW way back when. I don't imagine the pay in all that great but I would still love to work there even now.

In regards to the food between the two parks... DL looses. Epcot and AK have great restaurants... I'd and I did make your ADR's at the EPCOT pavilions...

Mary Jo
03-27-2009, 07:21 PM
Hi there,

Since this thread is about WDW planning, I'm going to go ahead & move it over there.

mj

brenda1966
03-27-2009, 07:32 PM
Moving the thread kind of defeats the purpose. The purpose was to talk to the Disneyland fans. You won't find many of those in the WDW area. And the WDW threads move so fast this one will be lost in no time.

DJ Disney Kid
03-27-2009, 08:29 PM
Im just curious if there is a reason you aren'y staying on Disney property at one of their hotels? You could cut out the cost of renting a car and let Disney do all the driving. You can use a service called Magical Express where Disney picks you up from Orlando Airport and takes you right to your hotel. Then they have buses that run from the resorts to the parks every 20 minutes or so. You would also be able to use the Extra Magic Hours benefit so your family can go to the parks before everyone else or stay at them 3 hours after they close. Don't underestimate WDW. Its MASSIVE! Remember that DL fits in the Magic Kingdoms parking lot. I guess Im just suggesting that since your a first timer, its probably easier to just let Disney move you around on their property. Also, there is just something about staying on property. Its so nice to not have to leave Disney property and drive past a Wal-Mart or some shopping center. In my opinion, it takes you out of the magic. WDW is twice the size of manhattan and there is only one business on the whole property and that is one heavily themed McDonalds which you won't even see unless you go to Blizzard Beach. Ok, im done trying to convince you. :) If you have any questions though, just ask or PM me.

CaliforniaDreamer
03-27-2009, 09:18 PM
I have to agree with the last poster, DJ. I am a lifelong DLer who went to WDW a couple of months ago for the first time. It is nothing like DL because it is soooo much bigger. I loved it and of course I still love DL.

I know you said you put a deposit on that house but if there's anyway to reclaim all of most of it, staying on site will save you so much in time and travel. And I agree about the magic of not having to drive past a Walmart. The day we went to AK, I was surprised at how far away it was (we took a cab).

They were doing specials (like pay for x days but get 7), so people often get good deals. There is so much for kids to do at these resorts - there might be a beach or movies at night, camp type games. We stayed at Beach Resort and loved being able to walk into Epcot.

Okay, that issue aside, I used Tour Guide Mike as well. Well worth the money (got a disboard discount). I think he recommends that mid-day rest because he's assuming you are not staying in some rented house somewhere, but that you're just going back to BC or some Disney resort.

We only had three days so I had to do it like this: 1 day Epcot, 1 day AK, 1 day DHS and MK. Of course we could have spent more time there, so much to do, but that was all the time we had. I hope you have more time. I purposely put MK last and for only a half day. I wanted to see it and to ride Haunted Mansion and Pirates to compare them to the DL version.

I also had a Passporter book and read a lot of posts here. In order to lock in your ADRs, you have to play out your days - which park, when. So it's sort of like planning the whole trip. It is major work because you have to be sure you hit the right night for the right fireworks.

We love BB and Napa Rose. There is no version of BB, so don't look for it. But Coral Reef was fabulous (get an ADR for lunch, at opening and then show up 20 min early - this is the best way to ensure you have a table RIGHT by the tank).

We ate burgers (as advised) at Sci Fi and they were actually fine. (I was prepared for the worst but pleasantly surprised). I did not like that they seated us in the third row of a family car when we were there at opening and there were plenty of other cars. But I didn't ask to change -- I'm sure they would have offered us another seat if we'd asked. Just don't assume they will give you the best table available - they won't unless you ask.

Tusker House was booked only because you got priority seating at the new Nemo musical - we enjoyed the meal and the show was great. I highly recommend this.

We thought AK was really interesting - loved the bat exhibit on one of those walks. The kids will probably love this.

You're going to have a great time!

CoolPool
03-27-2009, 09:30 PM
The main difference between DL (we live 45 minutes away and are annual passholders) and WDW (grew up going there) is IMMERSION. I know that the DL-way is to avoid staying onsite because its expensive and unnecessary with all those motels lining Harbor etc etc. blah blah blah. But honestly, woman, get a grip, :lmao: and book a WDW resort for AT LEAST part of your trip. The whole point is to arrive and leave everything to the Mouse. Leave the DL (little is good too) mentality at home. Its a very different experience.

WDW is HUGE. Its DL on steriods with alligators. Its a Nation-State with UN representation. Its a city. Its got its own currency: KTTW. Its about EMHs. And ADRs made 90 days ahead when you don't even know what you are doing and where you are going. Its about trying to figure out how many hours you can cut from MK to spend in AK and still make dinner at Epcot.

And its way more fun because its a complete vacation into itself.

*This message has been endorsed by me only.

Sherry E
03-27-2009, 09:42 PM
Marie, you got moved to a totally different section of the board! It is easy to find people over on the DLR side of things because that is smaller, but I feel like threads disappear quickly in the other areas of the board!

Anyway, as I was saying to you in my TR last week, I am very happy for you that you guys get to go to WDW - even though it was not what you were expecting to be doing this year. You all seem like truly lovely people, and I have a feeling that you richly deserve all the great trips and outings you can muster. I know you were not even sure if you would make it back to DLR in 2009, let alone WDW! So this is like a 180-degree difference in the level of planning involved! Your DLR Trip Report was so great, but DLR is a place you are familiar with and comfortable with, so the TR was probably slightly easier to do. I can't wait to see the WDW TR when that happens. It is all uncharted territory for you, and there will be SO much to take in - just the fact that you are going during the holidays adds a whole other dimension to the level of activities you guys have to plan for. You have to see the special holiday things and the different hotels around WDW with their holiday displays. You have to eat at many of the great restaurants we all keep hearing about. Seeing the holiday decorations in Epcot alone will be magical. And the safari in Animal Kingdom - so exciting! So you may not know where to begin in a TR!! That TR will be one MEGA Trip Report (you will have to let us know where to find it, as it will be somewhere on the WDW side of things! But it is SO exciting that you guys are going.

And does this mean that you have to break your own rule of no one other than family coming to the parks with you on this trip, or will you be able to steal your family away from your son's friends and not have to bring them all to WDW with you?

I admire you for taking on the WDW planning full force and diving into it, and I am sure your son is thrilled. I am still struggling with whether or not to go to DLR on my birthday and then how to coordinate plans for when my friends come out here in October! I can't imagine having to plan for WDW.

Well, when you become friends with everyone over on the WDW side of the DIS, don't forget us little folk in our tiny little, inconspicuous DLR section of the board - we can say we 'knew you when.':lmao::lmao:

jlmarr
03-27-2009, 10:44 PM
Moving the thread kind of defeats the purpose. The purpose was to talk to the Disneyland fans. You won't find many of those in the WDW area. And the WDW threads move so fast this one will be lost in no time.

I was thinking that too. She wants the DL Vet take on it. One handy resource for that of course is Hydroguy's Intro to WDW for DL Vets (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=16541636).

Maybe move this thread back to the DL boards? Otherwise we'll be talking religion here pretty soon. ;)

mariezp
03-28-2009, 12:29 AM
Well, brenda1966's and jlmarr thanks for understanding my reasoning but it looks like we have been moved anyway. Do I sense a sudden change in the air? Oh well, I will take information any way I can get it! So, moving right along....
My kids are certainly old enough now to skip the mid day breaks which will save us time from traveling in the car. No doubt my bunch, like you, would prefer to sleep in a bit rather than get up early for EMH.

toni1227 I really enjoyed hearing about your experience of working in the park. Feel free to share with me anytime! I'm pretty sure most folks around here don't mind listening when your "unDisney" friends lose interest. That is so funny about Mickey actually being a girl. I guess I had never given it much thought but you can bet I will be looking at Mickey in a totally different light from now on! :lmao: WOW! 150! That's a lot of Mickeys!

TinkSassy, I think most of us will do just fine without a break. DH may balk a bit but we will just drag him on with us! I do realize the benefit of using EMHs. They just wouldn't work for us. We probably won't get to the park at opening and we probably won't stay til close except on a rare occassion when the park is not open too late or we stay for fireworks. You are right though, just a few less to help you enjoy your EMH time! Thanks on the turkey leg tip. DS will be very happy!

Lakewood, very good suggestions for some rest time. We have never gotten to see the Country Bears so that will be a nice treat. I will have to make a point of taking in some of the other shows in place of a mid day break. Which reminds me.... we have been know to go catch a movie at the theater midday. Is there a theater in Downtown Disney?
We will absolutley be checking out The Land. Soarin is one of my favorite rides at CA so I will be looking forward to seeing it. I certainly look forward to trying different foods. The picky kids I have may not. I guess we can find DS a giant turkey leg and DD some macaroni and cheese and smuggle it into some of the establishments with more variety for DH and I! You think they might frown on that? ;)

Oh look! It's a familiar face! Hi ballarinamom! I am planning on going to both Coral Reef, 50's Prime Timeand Sci Fi. Glad to hear another good recommendation. Still deciding on Tusker House. And I have almost convinced myself to skip a meal in the castle. DD is just not that into princesses and I am pretty sure the guys would not enjoy it that much. I'm thinking I would rather book one of the Fireworks cruises in place of that meal. (Anyone done that?) Thanks for your other ideas. I know we are gonna have a blast!

DisneyMomma81, I hope you are able to pick up some info for your trip too! Free dining... hard to beat that!

DJ Disney Kid, I really appreciate your attempt at trying to change my mind about staying onsite. You have some really great arguments! Don't take it personally.... but I'm still not convinced. Here are a few personal reasons why we are opting to stay offsite.
(1) Cost. My DH snores like a bear. We would have to stay in 2 rooms or a suite which is just too expensive. We got a good deal on car rental, airfare and the house. All combined they cost less than what it would cost us just to stay onsite.
(2) Value. We feel like we will be getting more bang for our buck staying in a 4 bedroom house with our own private pool.
(3) Space. There is the possibility that my DS will have some friends coming over to stay with us a few nights. By staying in a house we will have more than enough room.
(4) Preference. We get our big thrills from being in the park. We don't really put much stock into the total immersion thing. We like a place to sleep and shower and much prefer privacy to whether or not our surroundings has Disney decor.
(5) Transportation. My guys are not very patient. I just don't see them really enjoying the free Disney transportation. When we are ready to go, we're ready to go. Why wait around for the next shuttle when we can use our own car? We live in a rural area where everything is at least 20 minutes away so a little driving time is nothing new to us.
(6) As previously mentioned, EMH won't really work well for us. We are a rather laid back bunch. Hopefully with 10 days we can get in enough of the park to satisfy us, even if we don't see it all.

CaliforniaDreamer If I were to even think about getting our deposit back on the house I am pretty sure I would have a mutiny on my hands! I don't mind seeing Walmart on the way back to the house because there will probably be something we have forgotten and will need. Also, we always get take out for supper so I am actually looking forward to driving past some different restaurants so we don't end up ordering in pizza every night! So you see, it's just a matter of perspective. I know our bunch doesn't seem to be in the majority but I am reasonably sure staying off property is going to work best for us.
I played around some today on Tour Guide Mike. Man! There is a lot of stuff on there! I can't wait until the December calendar information is up so I can do some real planning! Thanks for the Coral Reef tip. I feel pretty sure it will be one of our favorites. I am very sure my DD is going to love AK. She is an animal nut!


WELL! I never! :lmao: This has got to be the first time I have been told to get a grip!:lmao: CoolPool I will make sure you are the first to know if I change my mind about staying onsite. I assure you that even if we stay in a house I will leave the real world behind! I love your descriptions! You gave me a good laugh. I am positive I will muddle through and we will have a fantastic time... even if I don't know what I am doing!

Hi SHERRY, my number one fan! You found me! I wasn't sure I was gonna find me again! I apologize for not making it back over to tell you that we are indeed heading to WDW THIS year. I have been so immersed in my fact finding mission when I have a few spare moments that I haven't been getting much else done went I get the chance on the computer.
Oh yes, this WDW planning is so much different! I am determined to conquer the beast though! I can only imagine how long the trip report for this one will take!
Yes, I know... it looks like I will be breaking my own rule! You would have to remind me! Good gosh let's pray that our guest doesn't turn out like last time! This one is already showing much more enthusiasm than the other one. Plus she will not have to be with us the entire trip since she lives close to WDW.
You be sure to keep me posted on how your plans come along. You deserve a nice trip to the park. And don't forget about me over there! I'll be back!!!!


jlmarr, I actually did read Hydroguy's Intro to WDW for DL Vets. It is definitely a great source of information!

CaliforniaDreamer
03-28-2009, 01:31 AM
The main difference between DL (we live 45 minutes away and are annual passholders) and WDW (grew up going there) is IMMERSION. I know that the DL-way is to avoid staying onsite because its expensive and unnecessary with all those motels lining Harbor etc etc. blah blah blah. But honestly, woman, get a grip, :lmao: and book a WDW resort for AT LEAST part of your trip. The whole point is to arrive and leave everything to the Mouse. Leave the DL (little is good too) mentality at home. Its a very different experience.

WDW is HUGE. Its DL on steriods with alligators. Its a Nation-State with UN representation. Its a city. Its got its own currency: KTTW. Its about EMHs. And ADRs made 90 days ahead when you don't even know what you are doing and where you are going. Its about trying to figure out how many hours you can cut from MK to spend in AK and still make dinner at Epcot.

And its way more fun because its a complete vacation into itself.

*This message has been endorsed by me only.

No, I'm endorsing it too! :thumbsup2 You are a hoot, my hero, Coolpool! and you are also 100% right. OP is not getting it. She is still looking at it like a DL vacay, with driving driving driving.

she said:
"DJ Disney Kid, I really appreciate your attempt at trying to change my mind about staying onsite. You have some really great arguments! Don't take it personally.... but I'm still not convinced. Here are a few personal reasons why we are opting to stay offsite.
(1) Cost. My DH snores like a bear. We would have to stay in 2 rooms or a suite which is just too expensive. We got a good deal on car rental, airfare and the house. All combined they cost less than what it would cost us just to stay onsite."

MARIE....this must be a first. Reason why we're staying offsite (and how far away is this house? What about holiday traffic?) -- SNORING! :lmao: There are other fixes for this. White noise machine. Breathright nose strips. Earplugs ;)

How is it that you got a deal on air/car and the house? Somehow your good air/car deal is dependent on you staying at this house?

(2) Value. We feel like we will be getting more bang for our buck staying in a 4 bedroom house with our own private pool.

You could have that house anywhere. The way I look at it, if you have passes, any time not spent at WDW is money lost... but then, I really like the parks.

(3) Space. There is the possibility that my DS will have some friends coming over to stay with us a few nights. By staying in a house we will have more than enough room.

It's a "possibility," though.

(4) Preference. We get our big thrills from being in the park. We don't really put much stock into the total immersion thing. We like a place to sleep and shower and much prefer privacy to whether or not our surroundings has Disney decor.

I understand privacy and I get that you don't need to have Mickey towels. It isn't so much about that as it is about what they say in real estate: location, location, location.

(5) Transportation. My guys are not very patient. I just don't see them really enjoying the free Disney transportation. When we are ready to go, we're ready to go. Why wait around for the next shuttle when we can use our own car? We live in a rural area where everything is at least 20 minutes away so a little driving time is nothing new to us.

But that's why a vacation is when you get to do something different, like not drive every day. We loved not having to drive at all for four days. You have a point about waiting for a bus so obviously AKL is not for you, but if you're staying where you can walk to the park, that can be really good for impatient people.

(6) As previously mentioned, EMH won't really work well for us. We are a rather laid back bunch. Hopefully with 10 days we can get in enough of the park to satisfy us, even if we don't see it all.

What about the late magic hours, those can be great for laid back people. And "late" doesn't always mean as late as you think, esp for AK. Yes, 10 days is a good amount of time, and if you couldn't get any deal on the WDW resorts.... I'm just getting the feeling that this house... how did you find this house?

We are just trying to help you, those of us who have been to both Dl and WDW, because we'd like you to have a great experience. You seem so locked into this house rental concept though, I don't think anything we can say will change your mind (except maybe that gators sometimes end up in swimming pools - :rotfl:). I have rented houses in other cities and enjoyed it, so it's not like we don't understand where you're coming from. But this is so different - WDW - I don't think I've stayed anywhere quite like it.

DisnLuvr
03-28-2009, 02:14 AM
That is a good Mom. You are doing this to satisfy your son.. I think you are wonderful. WDW is a great place. You would find out that there is no short of enjoyment.. Fun and entertainment Guaranteed..

mickeyluv'r
03-28-2009, 02:30 AM
Okay, first, telling you all I know about WDW would fill volumes. Probably an encyclopedia, but the DIS is a great source.

Second WDW is four parks, not two. Four parks, plus two water parks, and DTD. You'll love it. See what you can comfortably see, and have fun.

Early December is fairly low crowds, but also could be cool weather. Pack accordingly.

Next trip maybe you'll stay onsite, but this trip...Do try and visit a few of the resorts.

AS for having two rooms - Disney has onsite options that include two rooms. The All-Star suites option is one in the lesser priced category. There are also a number of DVC resorts which have mutiple rooms and full kitchens. Plus, you get something like giraffes outside your window.

If you do stay onsite or off, this is a great year for discounts. What you did choose - I hope you didn't pay full price. There are LOTS of bargain ideas out there this year, esp. offsite. Beyond that, I personlly think it is way too early to get eh best deal on airfare, but I typically fly SWA, or at least outof an airport that has SWA - so the other airlines lower prices to compete when they release their fares.

None ofthe dining at WDW is truly exotic.

Every dining choice will have it's fans and detractors on the DIS, so take any reviews with a grain of salt.

Getting a meal at the castle is not an easy thing to do. I'm betting with the new 90 day rules, its going to be even more challenging. You may well not get it even if you tried. But with boys, it probably isn't your first choice.

I've not done the fireworks meal. Too many other choices.

Ah...you haven't been to WDW yet....You don't know about driving around WDW. Taking buses in WDW isn't like taking buses in the real world. Everyone on the WDW bus is on vacation, and the drivers are often part of the fun! Some folks prefer a combo of driving and buses, and some diehards do prefer offsite....but you'll learn after you see WDW. Maybe you'll remain a diehard offsiter too. Your house may be a bit of a drive to WDW - and then there is morning rush hour traffic in the Orlando area. Orlando is a pretty good sized city. You'll have fun dealing with that. Then you'll have to deal with parking (huge lots), pay for parking each day, and also the extra time that it may take to get from your car to the park. (Esp. MK) Oh, and someone has to be the designated driver (no cocktails). At CR, a really cool monorail whisks you directly to MK - or you can just walk over. The wait times are like typically under two minutes, you are at the park entrance in about five. Nobody hs to navigate confusing roads, no traffic, everyone can come and go as they please...Offsite - those teen boys you mention will either need their own transport - or they will have to come and go on your schedule. You mention the boys aren't patient - in many ways, they will have to be more patient with offsite then onsite transport.

Also, I'm not trying to knock your choices. You're doing what you think is best at this point. It's hard to know what WDW is like until you've been there. Hopefully, like everyone else - after you go once - you'll want to go back. On the flip, if you want suggestions, but come back saying you've already decided what you want, it's a bit confusing to know how to help. It sounds like maybe you are mostly just asking us to support your choices. DISers aren't great at that.

brenda1966
03-28-2009, 09:47 AM
regarding driving... Even when I stay onsite, if my Florida friend is there, we drive in her car. The parking is free because we're staying onsite and it's faster to get in and out of every park except MK where it does take longer and the buses are faster.

The main reason I stay onsite is for the bus service to and from the airport and to the parks (when said friend is not there). The price of accomodations is quite prohibitive overall so it's a trade off of some sort. A lot of people go and stay offsite and have a great time.

ANd having been in a room with a loud snorer -- it just isn't as simple as ear plugs. Sleeping with ear plugs for 10 days is not a vacation! :)

Huff
03-28-2009, 09:48 AM
When it comes to food there is no comparison between Disneyland and WDW!! The latter has scores of very nice sit down restaurants scattered in the parks and the numerous resorts. Too many to choose from!

San Angel consistantly is a love it or hate it place. We've gone every year and had some of the best food on our trip every time. It's not GringoMex (Americanized Mexican), not much in the way of tacos, burritos and chimichangas. Instead its more typical of what you'd find in central Mexico. That throws some people off who want a typical Chimichanga. We get the steak made in an excellent Mexican way. The ride at this restaurant is fun as well.

In the fall at WDW is free dining. This year its from August 16th to Oct. 3rd. Just book a room on property and tickets and dining is free. This includes a couple snack items, 1 counter service full meal and 1 sit down meal at a nice restaurant.

Biggest difference over Disneyland to me is the number of hotels and restaurants all on WDW property. That and riding the buses, boats and monorail to get from parks to hotels, restaurants etc. You won't need a car. Ride the Disney bus from the airport to your hotel and back.

I'm no expert on WDW but have been there 4 times (10 day visits each time) and pretty much seen and done everything and love it. Still, Disneyland is my home park and holds many things I prefer. I go to Disneyland for short weekend trips several times a year and go to WDW once a year for a long vacation.

jlmarr
03-28-2009, 12:40 PM
Well, brenda1966's and jlmarr thanks for understanding my reasoning but it looks like we have been moved anyway. Do I sense a sudden change in the air? Oh well, I will take information any way I can get it! So, moving right along.... Found you near the bottom of page 3 - let me bump you back to page 1. ;)

Let me say that you owe it to yourself to visit some of the hotels while you're there. I'd recommend taking the boat from the MK landing over to the Fort Wilderness area and have a meal at the Trail's End buffet restaurant (http://www.wdwinfo.com/wdwinfo/dining/diningdetail.cfm?Restaurant.ID=37). That place is considered one of the best values on property, plus this will give you a look at Wilderness Lodge and the Fort Wilderness Campground. If you're interested you could hop on the FW internal bus system to have a look at the camp sites, RV pads, and cabins - it's a pleasant area away from the hustle & bustle.

Another hotel that is worth a look is the Animal Kingdom Lodge - it's a bit pricey I think, but the lobby and public areas are very nice to visit, as with Wilderness Lodge.

CaliforniaDreamer
03-28-2009, 05:20 PM
If you do stay onsite or off, this is a great year for discounts. What you did choose - I hope you didn't pay full price. There are LOTS of bargain ideas out there this year, esp. offsite. Beyond that, I personlly think it is way too early to get eh best deal on airfare, but I typically fly SWA, or at least outof an airport that has SWA - so the other airlines lower prices to compete when they release their fares.

Ah...you haven't been to WDW yet....You don't know about driving around WDW. Taking buses in WDW isn't like taking buses in the real world. Everyone on the WDW bus is on vacation, and the drivers are often part of the fun! Some folks prefer a combo of driving and buses, and some diehards do prefer offsite....but you'll learn after you see WDW. Maybe you'll remain a diehard offsiter too. Your house may be a bit of a drive to WDW - and then there is morning rush hour traffic in the Orlando area. Orlando is a pretty good sized city. You'll have fun dealing with that. Then you'll have to deal with parking (huge lots), pay for parking each day, and also the extra time that it may take to get from your car to the park. (Esp. MK) Oh, and someone has to be the designated driver (no cocktails). At CR, a really cool monorail whisks you directly to MK - or you can just walk over. The wait times are like typically under two minutes, you are at the park entrance in about five. Nobody hs to navigate confusing roads, no traffic, everyone can come and go as they please...Offsite - those teen boys you mention will either need their own transport - or they will have to come and go on your schedule. You mention the boys aren't patient - in many ways, they will have to be more patient with offsite then onsite transport.

Also, I'm not trying to knock your choices. You're doing what you think is best at this point. It's hard to know what WDW is like until you've been there. Hopefully, like everyone else - after you go once - you'll want to go back. On the flip, if you want suggestions, but come back saying you've already decided what you want, it's a bit confusing to know how to help. It sounds like maybe you are mostly just asking us to support your choices. DISers aren't great at that.

Well said.

So much good info in your post.:thumbsup2

What I loved most about WDW (vs my usual DL) is the amazing resorts. I've been to wonderful hotels but WDW resorts are truly special.

dizfan
03-28-2009, 07:13 PM
Best trivia that anyone ever told me to prepare first timers to WDW.

WDW is 47 square miles. It really is the size of a large city.

Mary Jo
04-01-2009, 02:22 PM
Sorry for the temporary hijacking of this thread to the "other side." :flower3:

Sherry E
04-01-2009, 02:26 PM
Yay!:cool1: Marie, you are back among your DLR friends! Woo hoo!:yay::woohoo:

nunzia
04-01-2009, 04:35 PM
The main difference between DL (we live 45 minutes away and are annual passholders) and WDW (grew up going there) is IMMERSION. I know that the DL-way is to avoid staying onsite because its expensive and unnecessary with all those motels lining Harbor etc etc. blah blah blah. But honestly, woman, get a grip, :lmao: and book a WDW resort for AT LEAST part of your trip. The whole point is to arrive and leave everything to the Mouse. Leave the DL (little is good too) mentality at home. Its a very different experience.

WDW is HUGE. Its DL on steriods with alligators. Its a Nation-State with UN representation. Its a city. Its got its own currency: KTTW. Its about EMHs. And ADRs made 90 days ahead when you don't even know what you are doing and where you are going. Its about trying to figure out how many hours you can cut from MK to spend in AK and still make dinner at Epcot.

And its way more fun because its a complete vacation into itself.

*This message has been endorsed by me only.
I agree..and I even stay onsite at DLR because of the same reasons cited as a reason to stay onsite at WDW. When I'm there I want to be THERE. I'm returning to WDW next Jan after a 15 year gap..we just didn't like it much, but DH and I are going to do it alone and give it another shot. We'll probably mainly eat big lunches at the parks then dinner in our OKW room..I do want to do yachtsman Steakhouse for dinner though (we still remember that place as one of our all time favorite meals), and I'm thinking of the Fantasmic dinner thing one night.
I'm so clueless about WDW I'm very nervous about it also. EMH...are these at night or morning? What days? Who can go? The place is so HUGE and the buses and all..just daunting..

Lakewood
04-01-2009, 04:39 PM
Stay on site, if you can.
The 3 orginal hotels, Contemporary, Poly, and GF all have direct monorail access to the transportation center. From here you walk to the MK.... Very fast to get to Epcot and MK.

Bus transportation sucks, its at least an hour to get anywhere... And you usually have to stop at whatever hotels are en route...

We stayed at the Poly, pricey but very nice. Watched the fireworks over the lake from the pool bar....

mariezp
04-01-2009, 09:29 PM
WHOO HOO! I am back on the DL section of the board! Please tell me this is not an April's fool joke!


That is a good Mom. You are doing this to satisfy your son.. I think you are wonderful. WDW is a great place. You would find out that there is no short of enjoyment.. Fun and entertainment Guaranteed..
Thank you for such a nice compliment! :lovestruc I do work hard at trying to be a good mom so when DS requested a trip to try WDW how could i refuse?

brenda1966, I am so glad to hear that someone understands just how bad a snorer can disrupt your trip! Ear plugs simply will not do the trick. The last trip we stayed in one room was a trip to Las Vegas. We were all totally exhausted at the end of the day, which only makes DH snore even louder! In the morning I was miserable from lack of sleep and he was defensive from me "insulting" him for being so loud. Ever since then we have always stayed in 2 rooms because a vacation is no time to be miserable and fighting.

I have heard from quite a few people that for them getting around in a car is what they prefer. If it were just me I would probably use the Disney transportation because I don't drive much but as long as I have a "chauffeur" I really don't care how we get around! We are doing some other things in the area and will have a car anyway so using it just makes sense to me.

Huff, thanks for giving a nice clarification of the type of food San Angel has. My kids are pretty hooked on the good old Tex-Mex we have here in Texas so I am not sure if they would be up for something really authentic. If it were Taco Bell they would be happy. Still.... I haven't ruled it out yet. That's the beauty of planning ahead. I have plenty of time to change my mind...several times!

Hi Sherry E! I'm back! It is good to be back among friends! No offense intended to all of the WDWers. Some of them, however, made me feel almost handicapped for having been to DL first. Refresh my memory.... have you been to WDW? Lord knows you could tell me everything I need to know about DL! This WDW planning is a whole new world...... I'm making some progress though. I narrowed down a few places that we will want to go for lunch. It's going to be interesting checking out the WDW phone lines when it gets time to make those ADRs.

nunzia, I imagine after being away 15 years it is almost like starting from scratch for you too! For me, it's like a major accomplishment when I make one decision! How about you? From what I have read EMHs take place on some mornings AND evenings. I think it's one hour in the morning and up to 3 at night. Apparently, days vary so the exact dates won't be known until the calendar comes out for the time you will be there. Daunting yes... but you will still be able to have a great time!

Alrighty, I've got a couple of questions today. Food again. I've been going over dining. Has anyone been to Tokyo Dining and Teppan Edo? Which would you recommend. I think the kids would enjoy the chef at the table but I would still prefer the one with the best food. Any reviews?

How about Hoop-De-Doo? We love Billy Hill at DL. Is this along those lines? How about the food?

Well, that's it this time but I am sure I will be back!

Sherry E
04-01-2009, 10:12 PM
Marie, to answer your question, no, I have never been to WDW! So I am going to rely on you to provide a detailed account of your trip after it happens! I know that if and when I ever DO make it there, I would want to go during the holiday season as you are. I have to see the edible holiday displays at the different WDW hotels, and the Osborne (sp?) Family lights, and all the different holiday decorations from different countries around Epcot. I would have to wander around all the hotels and eat in as many of the restaurants as I could. I am dying to go on the Safari in AK. So you have to take on all these tasks for those of us who won't be able to go to WDW for a while and report back!

You will have to take a ton of memory cards with you to WDW so you can take endless pictures!! You may remember my camera died on my last DLR trip, so I got a new one (a Canon SD880 IS) which is arriving in two days. I HOPE it takes semi-decent night shots (some of them don't). At least I will have a working camera for the next time I go to DLR!

jlmarr
04-04-2009, 04:47 PM
WHOO HOO! I am back on the DL section of the board! Please tell me this is not an April's fool joke!
...
Alrighty, I've got a couple of questions today. Food again. I've been going over dining. Has anyone been to Tokyo Dining and Teppan Edo? Which would you recommend. I think the kids would enjoy the chef at the table but I would still prefer the one with the best food. Any reviews? Haven't dined at the Japan Pavillion, but I'll highly recommend the Biergarten at the Germany Pavillion. They have a very good buffet and a great show with a German "Oompah" band. They also serve a beverage called bier which the server said was very popular in Germany. We tried it and will say that it's an acquired taste, but the more we drank the better we liked it. ;)

caz
04-05-2009, 02:11 AM
We are the other way around ! We always go to WDW and this year are going to DL ! I am worried sick and have already altered my itinerary and wish I had altered it further by staying somewhere near Universal too but too late now .I didn't realise how far apart everything was there ! With WDW everything is within close driving proximity.With a family the villas you can rent are fantastic and I would do this over a hotel any time.You will love WDW there is so much to see and do it really is wonderful.Hope you have an amazing time :)

mariezp
04-07-2009, 11:25 PM
Well, I guess it is about time I check back in on this thread to see what new information has been offered.

Sherry, you can count on me! From a look at my past trips I don't think there is any doubt that I will be taking an overabundance of pictures and end up doing a lengthy trip report, especially since we don't have any idea if we will be returning or if it will be a one time trip. One of my worries it that my family will come back and be divided on which park we want to do the next year. Oh well, I better make it through this one first! Anyway, I've got quite a few memory cards but I imagine part of my evenings will be spent uploading photos when the cards all get full!
I am looking forward to seeing the park in it's Christmas decor because I know just how beautiful DL is at that time of year. I'm not going to know what too think about the really big castle all lit up! It's gonna be so purty! I do plan on going to see the Osborne lights and I am even half considering the Candlelight Processional too. Not sure about the extra expense of that one especially since we have seen the one at DL. Right now my main focus is trying to squeeze in everything that is different from DL and that we have never seen before into 10 days. I'm not sure we can do it considering our touring style for DL and CA alone has been a leisurely 2 weeks. We know those parks like the back of our hand while WDW is gonna be like traveling to a foreign country! I know I am going to come back feeling like I missed out on so much.
I'm not sure we will be checking out too many different hotels simply because they are so scattered out. If I were to hop on one of the Disney transportation modes I might never find my way back! :scared1: As it stands right now I am going to skip trying to park hop and just take in one park per day so as not to spend precious time in transit. I'm also narrowing down the list of dining choices so we will eat in the chosen park of the day. I originally thought having so many choices would be wonderful but having looked over many of the menus with the picky eaters I have I am not finding that many more options than DL has that would appeal to my bunch. Heck, my DS said he would be happy eating turkey legs everyday! Not a very adventurous bunch. Oh well, that helps me to narrow down the decisions I have to make for our dining! (DL is so much easier!) From the looks of things I think my bunch is gonna be happier with more of the counter service establishments rather than most of the ones I would have to make ADRs for.
My DD is gonna love AK! My son on the other hand is already dreading having to spend his precious time in a "fancy zoo". Teenagers! :sad2: Actually AK has several coasters and a river rapid ride which should help keep him entertained during the times DD is checking out the animals so I don't think it is gonna be as bad as he makes it sound. I will be sure to think of you while we are doing the Safari!

Oh yeah, did your new camera arrive yet? Let me know how you like it! You do know that a new camera is just another good reason you need to get back to the park! Can't wait to see your new shots. You will have to take some extras for me since I won't be at DL this year to take any myself.


jlmarr, thanks for the recommendation on the Biergarten. I'll keep it in mind even though my kids would probably turn up their noses. Still, it might be a good place to send DH to pick up a bier.

caz, how fun for you! I love DL and hope you enjoy it as much as we do. Just keep in mind it is much smaller. Even though it is smaller it is full of charm and details, it's still got all the great rides and is the original so it is very much worth going to see at least once. Try not to worry too much because DL is really so much easier to plan than WDW.
When we went to Universal our favorite part was the Backlot Tour so be sure to do that. We aren't much on thrill rides and it was so windy and cold the day we were there that we really did not stay very long. When we went it really wasn't that hard to get to in our rental car so I am sure you will be fine too. Probably better to be by DL since you will most likely be spending more days there. I hope you have a wonderful first time trip!
Thank you so much for the :thumbsup2 on a villa. Most folks seem pretty intent on staying onsite so it is good to hear something positive from the other side!

Okay, that catches me up on replies.... now I have another WDW question to throw out.
At DL the fireworks get canceled pretty often due to high winds. Does this happen very often at WDW? Does Illuminations or the Electrical Water Pageant also get canceled? In DL the common tip is to NOT wait until your last day to see those types of shows so you have more than once chance of seeing them should they get canceled. However, for WDW I've read several recommendations of ending your trip with something special like one of the shows. So what do ya'll really think is the best strategy?

ballarinamom
04-08-2009, 08:14 AM
Marie,
I wouldn't worry about doing everything in 10 days. WE were there for 8 days and saw everything and did most of the character meals. Animal Kingdom is easily done in less than 2 days. They Studio Park can easily be done in 1 day. Epcot 2-3 days if you really take your time (don't miss the Cool Spot I think it's called where they have free samples of coke products from around the world!) That leaves 4 days for you in MK. Toon town at WDW is nothing like DL. It only has Goofy's Barnstormer "roller coaster". Minnie and Mickey's Houses are much smaller and the meet and greet area takes up most of the space. The rest of Mk is very similar to DL's set up. There is an Alladin ride that is like Dumbo but you won't have the Canal Boats, Matterhorn, Alice. SO giving yourself 4 days is plenty. You won't have to worry about water parks at Christmas. DTD is a good thin to squeeze in but it is alot of restaurants with a few stores. Don't miss Goofy's Candy Shop as you can design your own treats.
Have fun, enjoy it but don't be surprised if you are like us and can't wait to get back to DL

Huff
04-14-2009, 09:35 AM
At DL the fireworks get canceled pretty often due to high winds. Does this happen very often at WDW? Does Illuminations or the Electrical Water Pageant also get canceled?

The summer is Floridas wet season. Fantasmic will be cancelled if there is thunder anywhere nearby. We tried to see it each of 4 nights in a row and it was cancelled every time. Finally got to see it on our last night. Fireworks were cancelled from high winds just like DL. If its not too high they still launch but alter the show some since they can't get the fireworks to line up properly for some effects. Never had Illuminations cancelled but the water pagent was because of rain.

Judy from Boise
04-14-2009, 09:35 PM
Ok, time for me to chime in with my very strong personal opinions :)

Just back ground, we just returned from DL, and next month we will be getting in our 3rd week long trip out of our WDW APs!

My opinion on the "immersion" thing. I see no difference in the quality of immersion of DL with a Harbor blvd motel, or onsite at WDW, anywhere except a monorail resort. Really, is a bus ride all that "magical"? Now I do stay at the Swan, so being able to walk to two parks, without needing buses gives it a great advantage. I suppose the resorts themselves can be great immersion, so that goes in the positive column too, but that inbetween period of traveling I don't see a lot of difference in driving your car offsite or waiting for, then riding a bus. I don't think it is a deal breaker if someone wants to stay offsite. What I really think you give us as a benefit of staying onsite are the extra magic evening hours. This is one of my all time favorite things.

On the food issue, I think the quality of food at counter service is better at DL. I do have my favorites for WDW dining. Love Boma, Hollywood and Vine, Biergarden, Cape May Cafe,Columbia Harbor House, Chef Mickeys,and all of the beer stations in Epcot! I really don't care for most of the "themed" dining experiences as I find them a little loud or intrusive ( WCC and PTC are the two highest on my "avoid" list).

Another real positive about WDW are the sweeping vistas within the parks. They photograph just beautifully.

One very superior aspect at WDW are the evening shows every day, all year long. One trip I did Illuminations 7 nights! I love ending every day with either Illuminations or Wishes.

mariezp
04-14-2009, 11:37 PM
ballarinamom, I have no doubt that we will miss a lot in 10 days but I want to make sure I see as much as I can just in case we never make it back to WDW. I am pretty sure at least some of us are going to be really missing DL and very anxious to get back there next year too.
I think our park touring plans will be similar to your recommendations. According to last year's TGM recommendations we will be arriving (on Thursday) when it would be best to start with parks other than MK so we will get a day in at each of the other parks, do a few things in the area and leave MK until the next week. Towards the end of the trip I think we will take a vote and decide which parks to do a second day or just spend the remaining at MK. Thanks for giving me a brief description and comparison on some of the rides. I can read the guidebooks all day long but it is still better getting an opinion from a real live person!
I hate wasting time on shopping so I figure we will avoid DTD. Are there enough places in the parks to take care of the bare minimum amount of souvenir shopping?

Huff, thanks for your response. I am not to worried about Fantasmic since I have seen it numerous times but it is good to know that Illuminations doesn't get canceled often.

judy, can I give you a BIG hug? :hug: I love, love, love your very strong personal opinions! They were right up my alley!
For me my immersion takes place the minute we walk out my front door heading for the airport! I am on vacation and heading to the park and it just doesn't get any better than that! My brain is dedicated to total Disney thoughts for the next 2 weeks no matter where I stay. We have never stayed onsite at DL and have still managed to have a wonderful trip... every time. I'm with you. No bus ride is gonna be magical. As for the EE. Just doesn't work for us so really holds no value in our case.
Looks like I will have to wait and see how the food choices rate. So far... there are some things I am gonna miss from DL. I am looking forward to going to the Hoop-De-Doo, Coral Reef, and Prime Time Cafe but so far those are the only "safe" choices that I think I can safely pick that my entire family will enjoy. I am also going to make ADRs for Teppan Edo and they will like it! Thank you for reminding me about most of the character meals being so loud. DD can take em or leave em so I will think hard on that before booking any of them.
Thanks for the high recommendation on Illuminations. It is at the top of my list since it will be nothing like anything we have seen before at DL. Have you ever done any of the cruises? Where is your favorite place to watch?

ballarinamom
04-15-2009, 08:14 AM
We had a great spot for Illuminations. We got there about 20 minutes before the show. Had time to get a drink while DH stayed in our spot. When you walk up to the lake to the start of the World Showcase. There was a large roped off area for viewing. We got right at the rail to the lake.
We preferred Sci Fi over Prime Time Cafe. Our waiter was just soso and I have read other reviews that the waiter is what makes the experience

Judy from Boise
04-15-2009, 08:51 AM
I would agree Sci Fi over PTC, except for the opposite reason....a "good" waiter there my DH would have to hold me back from doing bodily harm :). I just don't care for that type of "dining" experience.
I really enjoy watching Illuminations from the Bridge that sperates France and UK.But, as long as you are not in front of a tree or an isalnd....the views really are great all the way around the lake.My advice is to watch it more than once from a few different spots!And don't bother to photograph or tape, you tube has plenty of these you can watch later......just enjoy.

mariezp
04-19-2009, 09:43 AM
ballarinamom, I have heard about your suggested area for viewing Illuminations but just a little worried since everyone else goes there. Does the area have any seating? And, do you end up packed in like sardines? I may have to wander over and check out Judy's bridge! I will definitely skip video taping. I usually end up missing the best parts of the show fiddling with a camera. Let's face it, while you are watching it is fantastic but most of the shows like that really doesn't come across as well in a video anyway.

I am considering Sci Fi but to be perfectly honest the menu just does not entice me much. Too many sandwiches. We may have to go in and at least sit down for dessert or a shake just to see the place!
Judy from Boise, it sounds like you really should stay out of Prime Time Cafe! We wouldn't want to read about you in the news getting into an altercation with one of the waiters! I guess it's different strokes for different folks. Assuming we could get a good waiter we would probably get a good laugh. We went to the Soap Opera Bistro way back when it was in CA. The food wasn't all that great but we had the best time interacting with the staff. Is it anything along that line?



I've got some more questions today.

Candlelight Processional? Last year's dining packages look fairly reasonable so I am considering this one. I've done the one at DL. How does the one at WDW compare? What are the chances of seeing it without purchasing a package?

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party? Is it worth it? I read that they try to limit the tickets to 20,000. That's still a lot of people! However, since this is my first time at WDW I am still working on getting a mental image in my head. How does that sort of crowd spread out in WDW compare to say Main Street during parade and fireworks time? Does WDW's Main Street get as cram packed? Does the extra size of WDW help to disperse the crowd? I'd like to see the parade and fireworks but I'm just trying to decide if it's worth braving a big crowd.


Can someone tell me a little about Stitch's Great Escape? It is listed as a theater presentation but why are you strapped into your seat? Is it like a motion simulator or something?

ballarinamom
04-20-2009, 08:33 AM
There were no seat per se. There were a few benches. We got there about 15 minutes before the show and got a great spot at the rail. Not too crowded. Maybe just 2 or three deep. I think so many people just stop were they are and walk over to the rail since you can see it from any spot around the lake. So they are all around the world showcase.

ballarinamom
04-20-2009, 08:36 AM
Also, Sci Fi has some great appetizers. Maybe go for apps and desserts/ milk shakes. If you stay for a whole meal you will get tired of the "movie". They loop about 20 minutes of commercials and movies. Since we had three courses, we saw the same things over and over.

Judy from Boise
04-20-2009, 06:01 PM
I am considering Sci Fi but to be perfectly honest the menu just does not entice me much. Too many sandwiches. We may have to go in and at least sit down for dessert or a shake just to see the place!
Judy from Boise, it sounds like you really should stay out of Prime Time Cafe!

Good advice I also stay out of Whispering Canyon Cafe ;)

My favorite places to eat in Epcot area are:

Cape May cafe
Biergarten (we have had good luck with tablemates)
Tangerine Cafe
The Germany "Brats and Beer" counter service

I've got some more questions today.

Candlelight Processional? Last year's dining packages look fairly reasonable so I am considering this one. I've done the one at DL. How does the one at WDW compare? What are the chances of seeing it without purchasing a package?

I love this show. This is when I would eat at Biergarden, or the one TS that is your "must" . It is very worth the little extra money for the guaranteed seats.

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party? Is it worth it? I read that they try to limit the tickets to 20,000. That's still a lot of people! However, since this is my first time at WDW I am still working on getting a mental image in my head. How does that sort of crowd spread out in WDW compare to say Main Street during parade and fireworks time? Does WDW's Main Street get as cram packed? Does the extra size of WDW help to disperse the crowd? I'd like to see the parade and fireworks but I'm just trying to decide if it's worth braving a big crowd.

I love this too! try and go on a school night to avoid the local crowds. Even at it's most "crowded" it will this out significantly after fireworks. Just plan to close the park, and you will not regret it!

Being anti social, we never watch fireworks from the "hub" area, we sit on the planter in Fantasyland. It is an amazing experience as you can really feel the shells much like if you watch from small world at DL.


Can someone tell me a little about Stitch's Great Escape? It is listed as a theater presentation but why are you strapped into your seat? Is it like a motion simulator or something?

I avoid this. It is truly awful / tasteless / mood killer

sameyeyam
04-22-2009, 10:49 PM
I'm lucky enough to live in WA, so DL is not to far away. But even luckier to have a sister that lives in FL. So I get to enjoy WDW at least once or twice a year.

You know that feeling that you get when you go into a Disney Store at the mall? You're totally immersed in Disney. But then you walk outside the door and you're back into the rest of the mall and reality. Well that's what DL is like. But imagine walking outside of the Disney Store and everything inside the mall is Disney, and the parking lot is Disney and then you drive home and everything on the way home is Disney. Well that's what WDW is like! It's sorta like the Disney Store that never ends.:thumbsup2

I've never really had a bad meal at any of the WDW properties. Some have been better than others. My personal favorite was Ohana, but my kids like Coral Reef at Epcot.

Some of the best advice I can offer regarding WDW is:

1. Avoid the EMH park! Why? It will be the most crowded park that day. If you like to avoid crowds go to the park that had EMH the prior day. It will be the least crowded.:thumbsup2 Don't know what park is having EMH that day? If you're staying at an on-site resort look at what line is really long for the internal busses, that will be the EMH park of the day! Run the other way.:laughing:

2. Don't waste your money on park hoppers. (Yes, I know some people will disagree). But it's not like DL where you can jump back and forth all day long. Think at least 1 hour to get from park to park.

3. Some of the restaurants have lunch prices prior to 3pm. Same menu items, just lower prices. If you're from the West Coast your time is all messed up anyway, so take advantage and eat your big meal around 2pm. It's like having a big lunch on West Coast time and will save money.

4. If you will be having a character meal, etc. plan it for the park you will be to that day. There's nothing worse than spending all day at a park, going back to hotel to get freshened up for dinner, spending more time on buses to travel to a different property, etc. Kids will not be happy spending so much time on buses or in the car (I know this firsthand!). If you're going to a different hotel than where you are staying for a character meal, look at a WDW map. For instance if you will be dining at Grand Floridian, plan on spending that day at Magic Kingdom. It will save you literally hours of riding around on WDW buses or traveling in your car.

5. Don't plan a fancy meal every single day. If staying onsite, the food at the hotels is good. Even the value hotels have pretty good food courts. Plus you can even get pizza & soda delivered to your room. WDW is HUGE and you will get very tired. Give yourself a break.

6. We try to plan a major park one day, then hotel/swimming day the next, major park #2, then a water park, then major park #3, then hotel/swimming day. If you alternate a waterpark or a hang out at the hotel day with the major parks you will all be much happier and way less tired. Your feet will thank you.

7. If staying onsite do take advantage of the Early Entry into the waterparks. Even if it feels cold, the water will feel warm. Plus, there is hardly anyone there the first few hours. You can usually arrive at 9am, go on nearly every single slide and then hop into the lazy river and relax when it starts getting busy. Around 2-3pm when it gets crowded, you can leave the crowds behind, go to bed early and be ready for a major park the next day.

8. Don't be afraid of the value hotels. They are very nice. Personally I prefer the moderates, they have more lush landscaping, seem more relaxing, etc. But I usually end up at the Values because the kids like them better and honestly, you can't beat their prices.

mariezp
04-24-2009, 10:56 PM
ballarinamom, Thanks for giving me hope that we can catch Illuminations without having to fork over money for the cruise just for a good view. The main reason I was considering the cruise is because often when I read posts it almost sounds like it would take a scientific calculation in order to find the perfect spot. I think I will just take my chances and save a few dollars where I can and find a spot along the water.

Judy from Boise, thanks for your recommendation on Candlelight. If the price stays somewhat close to last year's I am pretty sure I will opt for this show. Do they put out a list of narrators early enough for you to make choices of which night you prefer based around someone you would like to hear? When do they usually put out information on the event?
We had Andy Garcia at DL. He was an excellent narrator but honestly I didn't know who he was and could think of any number of people I would have enjoyed more. We sat front row which was just too close. I would like to try again just to get a better overall view of the stage. I am thinking I'd like a second chance to enjoy the story even more. I can think of no better way to get in the spirit of Christmas.

I think I have just about talked myself out of Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. (with 7 months to go though it could change any number of times!) First off, we don't usually like to stay in the parks real late anyway... especially if we don't take a break during the day. However, I could let the guys sleep in late (they would really like that) and just hit the park later in the day.... but is it really worth $50 per person? decisions, decisions!

I had to laugh at you description of yourself as anti social! We pretty much fall under that category too! And I can think of any number of people on this board who have made themselves sound the same. I have to wonder then.... why in the world do we all head to a place where there are thousand upon thousand of people? You would think we would all go someplace quieter and less crowded! The answer for me is that no matter how crowded the park (so far all I have to go by is DL but I am certainly hoping WDW has the same effect) the Disney magic has a way of making you feel like the park is there just for you. Anybody know what I mean? Anyway, enough sappiness... I will have to check out your planter in Fantasyland..... and think of my anti social friend here on the DIS while watching those fireworks! :rotfl:


Well hello! sameyeyam! You ARE pretty lucky as far as the 2 parks go. I need to see if I can adopt myslef some new relatives!:lmao: Thank you for your thoughtful and detailed responses.
1. I am counting on TGM to keep me out of the EMH parks!

2. The only reason I am considering park hoppers is because I am almost positive that my DD will want to have a 2nd day at AK while the menfolk will not. If we get a hopper she and I could spend part of a second day at AK and then meet up with them back in MK.

3. I like you way of thinking. I know TGM says do lunch early but we only do one meal in the park so we always eat lunch closer to 1:00 or 2:00. Whatever we eat for lunch has got to tide us over until we leave the park. We do, of course, grab a few snacks but generally wait to pick something up for supper on the way back to our room unless we are staying really late... which is usually only one night for fireworks.

4. I am planning any ADRs I make to be in the same park we are attending each day. I figure the less complicated our plans are the more we will enjoy our trip. One exception will be the HDDR and we will be going there on an evening that we will not be in the parks.

5. I honestly have only come up with a handful of dining choices that I thought we couldn't do without. With my picky bunch I think we will probably do just as well with CS vs. trying to find something off of a limited menu at a TS. I see us getting to know the food courts really well so everyone has plenty to choose from. DS has already said he will be happy eating turkey legs for 2 weeks! :sad2:

6. I don't think I could bring myself to take off that many rest days! The kids and I prefer a "stay busy vacation". DH on the other hand would probably like your suggestion ... but we aren't asking him! ;) We will have 4 days outside of the park during the course of 2 weeks so DH will just have to pull himself together on those days.

7. & 8. We are staying at a house with a private pool so we will be skipping the water parks. We will probably be having some extra "family members" for part of our stay. DS has some friends in the WDW area so we wanted them to be able to make themselves at home with us. The Disney resorts were simply out of our price range for the space we needed. If we were to ever stay onsite it would most likely be a value.

Got a new question..... I despise taking time out of the day for shopping! I am NOT planning on going to DTD. Are there several good shops inside the parks for buying just a few souvenirs?

sameyeyam
04-26-2009, 10:50 AM
There is a Walmart not far from WDW and it has a HUGE section right up front of Disney souvies. IMO, much better quality than the usual Walmart souvie selection.

There is also a discount Disney souvie shop in a "outlet mall" shopping center not far from the Walmart. It is a rather small shop, but most of the time it has a good variety and GREAT prices. It's pretty similar to the discount Disney store in Fullerton. I don't know the exact address, but I will ask my sister. I know its across the road from the Walmart though.

If you are going to get the park hopper option you might want to check into the one that has water park option as well. Sometimes it doesn't cost that much more and even though you said you had a pool, you won't regret the water parks. They are so awesome and beyond any other water park you have ever been to. There are slides and areas for every single age group. Can you tell that I highly endorse the waterparks?:laughing:

If you do decide to go to DTD (which I also recommend), much different than DL DTD. There is a store called Mickey's $10 and under. They have grab bags for $7. They contain about $20-$40 worth of goodies. We have never been disappointed in their contents. Our last ones contained set of pens, magnetic clip on Minnie & Mickey, antenna ball, key chain, tinkerbell notepad and pen, Disney Princess window sticker. Lego store has an awesome huge outside play area, free chocolate samples at Ghirardelli store, and awesome sandwiches at Earl of Sandwich.

mariezp
04-26-2009, 10:36 PM
Cool sameyeyam! Thanks for the recommended souvenir locations! If you can find out please let me know which Walmart and the name of the discount Disney store. I'd be forever grateful!

Maybe you can hire on as a Disney spokesperson for the waterparks! If they were up our alley you would have me convinced! Unfortunately, we are not water park people. If you saw this bod in a swimsuit you would know one of the reasons why! :lmao:

We might end up in DTD to go to the theater so there is a possibility I might end up doing a little shopping. Our trip might not seem complete without a run through the World of Disney store. Mickey's sounds like a cool place and I have heard many good things about Earl of Sandwich. The chocolate samples might just be enough to lure me!

basketballmom
04-26-2009, 10:42 PM
We went to WDW for the first time in 11 years this past August. Our DL trips have been in '94, '05, '06 and '07. Basically, last year my DH said if we "had" to do disney again, we were going to WDW. I have been reading on this thread and thinking of what to reply.....
First of all, we did a split stay at POP and the Contemporary. I debated loooong and hard about taking disney transportation or driving to the parks. Then, we decided to fly, so the car was not an option. I appreciate disney transportation for what it does. However, if I had a choice, I would drive to the parks. I agree with you on the comment you made about being ready to go and going. I am the same way. There were many times I wished I had our car!
Second, we really did not do many TS meals. We are just not that kind. We did eat at Wispering Canyon Cafe at Wilderness Lodge. This was a beautiful resort! Loved walking around it. We ate lunch there, and it was not really rowdy like they say it gets at dinner. The food was good and we did have fun. A couple of our favorite CS meals were Flame Tree at Animal Kingdom and Pecos Bill's at MK. My girls LOVED the chicken wraps. We ate there more than once. And my youngest DD and I enjoyed the fish and chips at UK in Epcot. One thing my girls and I were sad about.....NO mickey shaped soft pretzels at WDW!!!
One thing that really stressed me out was all the planning! Which park to do which day, whether to do EMH or not.......We did do a couple of morning EMH and they were wall to wall people! Of course, we were there in August, but if I had it to do again, I would not be concerned with morning EMH. It was not as good (IMO) as DL. Evenings were better.
Our family really loved Hollywood Studios. My DH and 2 youngest girls saw the stunt show with the cars...DH said it was really good. I think this was his favorite thing of the whole trip. While they did that, DD17 and I wandered through Walt Disney, One Man's Dream. It was great! We also loved the Beauty and the Beast show and I liked The Great Movie Ride. I wish we had spent more time at this park.
Of course, we did not expect MK to be like DL, but it really has a different feel. I don't want to sound negative, so I won't go into detail. I will say that you should definitely see Mickey's Phillharmagic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOW! Also, if you are space mountain fans, it is nothing like DL. Not smooth, not completely dark, and no music. We did love the TTA. Wish that would come back to DL.
I am glad we took our trip to WDW. I hope you enjoy yours!!!:goodvibes
Oh...at DTD my youngest DD loved the My Little Pony station where you stuff a box of pony accessories like the Mr. Potato Head. It was in the toy store, not World of Disney. She got lots of princess stuff for her ponies. Know you said you weren't going there. I didn't want to either. (too much bus time!) But DD9 is a die hard Pony fan.

basketballmom
05-01-2009, 01:02 PM
YIKES! I'm a thread killer.....:eek: okay, I will go away and y'all can all come back.........
Sorry!!:upsidedow

mariezp
05-01-2009, 11:30 PM
YIKES! I'm a thread killer..... okay, I will go away and y'all can all come back......... Noooooooooo! Wait basketballmom come back!!!!! http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u295/mariezp/clipart/beg.gif I really did appreciate you taking the time to post here! I have just been unusually busy as of late and it seems like every chance I have been planning to respond something has pulled me away from the computer. (Generally kids, ya know what I mean?) Anyway, I wanted to be sure to respond thoughtfully and not rush through so I will just tell the kids to BUZZ OFF and take a number! UPDATE.... that actually did not work.... this message has been in progress and sitting on my computer for the last 5 hours! I have been up and down through various interruptions.... However, I did not let them wear me down since I vowed not to go to bed before I finished my response! So here it is! :woohoo:)

BTW, we do actually have a threadkiller thread on the Dis! I happen to be a member myself. (see my siggie) You should pop over and see us sometime!

First off, I see you are a fellow Texan. http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u295/mariezp/clipart/texassmiley.gifWhich part do you live in? You know with everything our wonderful state has to offer, I feel like we really got ripped off by not getting a Disney park. All we get is a stupid Six Flags. :mad: Still, at least we are pretty much smack dab in the middle of both Disney parks so either one works for me. Not only do we live in the same state, we also have kids close to the same age. My DS is 18 and DD will be 9 this month.



We went to WDW for the first time in 11 years this past August. Our DL trips have been in '94, '05, '06 and '07. Basically, last year my DH said if we "had" to do disney again, we were going to WDW.
I see you have several Disney trips in your past. So now that you have been to both parks which does your family prefer? http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u295/mariezp/clipart/confused07.gif It sounds like your DH may be a little less than enthusiastic about going. I hope he gets into the groove when he actually gets there! So having been to DL before, was WDW a total shock, no big deal or some other response? http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u295/mariezp/clipart/confused07.gif What did your family think? http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u295/mariezp/clipart/confused07.gif I know you did not want to go into too much detail but maybe you can share a little more!




Of course, we did not expect MK to be like DL, but it really has a different feel. I don't want to sound negative, so I won't go into detail. I will say that you should definitely see Mickey's Phillharmagic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOW! Also, if you are space mountain fans, it is nothing like DL. Not smooth, not completely dark, and no music. We did love the TTA. Wish that would come back to DL.
I am glad we took our trip to WDW. I hope you enjoy yours!!!
I am not quite sure how our first trip to WDW is going to affect our future trip making decisions. We are very attached to DL. :lovestruc We love the park because we know it so well and it just feels like home. While I know we will have a wonderful time at WDW I just can't imagine it feeling that way. I just hope my family is not divided on which park they like best. Either way, we will be back to one of them each year for as long as I am able to pull it off! So what do you think.... where will you be heading next time?

At MK, I can't wait to see Phillharmagic, CBJ and the TTA since there are none at DL. I am also so excited about watching Spectro since it is similar to DEP. That is our favorite parade but since it is seasonal we have only ever gotten to catch it 2 times out of 8 trips to CA. No thrill rider here so I won't miss skipping Space Mountain. :scared1:




Second, we really did not do many TS meals. We are just not that kind. We did eat at Wispering Canyon Cafe at Wilderness Lodge. This was a beautiful resort! Loved walking around it. We ate lunch there, and it was not really rowdy like they say it gets at dinner. The food was good and we did have fun. A couple of our favorite CS meals were Flame Tree at Animal Kingdom and Pecos Bill's at MK. My girls LOVED the chicken wraps. We ate there more than once. And my youngest DD and I enjoyed the fish and chips at UK in Epcot.
Our dining tastes sound similar. I already had marked down all of the CS places you have mentioned. The only ADRs that I know I will make are for Rainforest Cafe, Prime Time Cafe, Coral Reef, Teppan Edo, Hoop-De-Doo Revue and possibly Crystal Palace for a character meal. I am also considering Tony's and Whispering Canyon Cafe. ( thanks for the :thumbsup2) My DS has made it perfectly clear he would be happy dining on turkey legs the whole time... well, and one trip outside the park to Bubba Gump's.




One thing that really stressed me out was all the planning! Which park to do which day, whether to do EMH or not.......We did do a couple of morning EMH and they were wall to wall people! Of course, we were there in August, but if I had it to do again, I would not be concerned with morning EMH. It was not as good (IMO) as DL. Evenings were better.
Since we are not staying onsite at least I don't have to plan for the EMHs... I just need to plan to avoid the crowds :crowded: they leave behind. We are not early risers anyway so they wouldn't have worked for us but it is good every now and again to hear from someone whose opinion helps me to feel like I won't be missing out on something. (Honestly, we don't make it for opening at DL either and have always been just fine. ::yes:: I know it will be totally different in WDW but I just know my family and the touring style that will work for us.)




Our family really loved Hollywood Studios. My DH and 2 youngest girls saw the stunt show with the cars...DH said it was really good. I think this was his favorite thing of the whole trip. While they did that, DD17 and I wandered through Walt Disney, One Man's Dream. It was great! We also loved the Beauty and the Beast show and I liked The Great Movie Ride. I wish we had spent more time at this park.
Uh oh.... I am not sure I wanted to hear a good review for Hollywood Studios! ;) The majority of people seem to think one day is enough. We, for some unknown reason, tend to generally be in the minority so we will probably love it too. I know we will like the Backlot Tour and a number of the shows. The Great Movie Ride and Journey Into Narnia both sound right up our alley too. Will have to check out Little Mermaid and One Man's Dream since DL doesn't have those. And will try to get in TSMM because it is such a fun ride. I do know that I will be able to skip TOT and Rock n Roller Coaster cause I am NOT a thrill rider! :scared: I have already been wondering if we will feel like we did not have enough time in each park. I am planning on spending the most number of our days at MK. Looks like I better not make any big plans on the last few days just in case the troops have different ideas!




I appreciate disney transportation for what it does. However, if I had a choice, I would drive to the parks. I agree with you on the comment you made about being ready to go and going. I am the same way. There were many times I wished I had our car!
Yippee! So glad to hear from someone who understands our need for bringing our own transportation! My DH can be grumpy by nature http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u295/mariezp/clipart/grumpy.gif so it doesn't take much to put him in a sour mood. Patience is also NOT one of his virtues. I figure I might as well do all I can to avoid situations that could set him off. Standing around at the end of the day while he is tired, hungry and has blisters on his feet (because he always gets them) will be much easier to deal with if we can just get the heck out of dodge when we are ready to go. (He also likes to be in control of things.) Now don't get me wrong.... he has a few issues but for the most part while we are actually inside the park he is happy :hyper: and having a blast along with the rest of us. However, later in the day he can be just like a little kid and completely melt down. Just gotta work around those sort of things and TRY to keep everyone happy.





Oh...at DTD my youngest DD loved the My Little Pony station where you stuff a box of pony accessories like the Mr. Potato Head. It was in the toy store, not World of Disney. She got lots of princess stuff for her ponies. Know you said you weren't going there. I didn't want to either. (too much bus time!) But DD9 is a die hard Pony fan.
I am still going to try to avoid any extra shopping. It usually isn't too hard because DD is not very good at waiting. She usually grabs the first thing that catches her eye. However, I will keep the pony accessories in mind, just in case she can't find anything in the park because she does enjoy them too. We do have to limit what we buy so we can make it back on the plane!

Thanks so much for stopping by basketballmom! If you think of ANYTHING else that might help me out please feel free to come back and share. I imagine I will have plenty more questions over the next few months but can't think of a specific one at the moment. My brain requires rest... so I am outta here cause it's time for my beddy bye! http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u295/mariezp/clipart/yawn.gif

raftislander
05-02-2009, 10:58 PM
I just found this thread. Really interesting what happened when it took a hop to another board. Now it is back where it belongs. So here is my 2cents. I was raised in California and still live on the West Coast. I grew up going to DL and still love it. I have taken two trips to WDW -the last one was about one month ago. For my first trip, I didn't do nearly enough research; this last trip I planned for a year and we had a great trip. Let me congratulate you, on several things that you have done right so far.
1) Getting the Passporter Guide. IF you don't know the Florida resort this is the book that gives you info on everything. Their maps are great and it is portable. I love some of the resources on the web, but it helps to have a guide book that you can take around with you. This will give you a great overview of everything that is there. It is not however, very helpful for daily itinerary planning, BUT ...
2) ...Tourguide Mike is fabulous for this. So congrats on that decision as well. Be sure to join the forum group for your month/trip. I followed his advice on which parks to go to each day and it really worked. Look for a photopass share group there as well. They also have Illuminations cruise share groups , but most people who have done this would not do it again. You can see Illuminations fine without a cruise.
3) Dont underestimate the size of the World. You are used to everything being walkable. It is not at WDW. It is big and spread out. It has highways not sidewalks. I would hold off on parkhoppers. I am pretty sure that you can upgrade to add this feature if you decide that you need it -even after you have started to use your tickets. You are worried about one day that you might need to park hop. That is a pretty expensive hop as you are paying for parkhoppers for all of the days on your ticket, when you think you may need it once. I have heard very good things about MVMCP. Maybe this can be your other day at MK. Have you priced the difference in park hoppers vs the cost of these tickets? Also remember that there are places to view MK fireworks from outside the parks. Ohana's and the beach at the Poly are family friendly and have the soundtrack piped in. So you can see nighttime entertainment even on the day that you go to AK which has none.
4) Resorts - the decorations at the resorts are an attraction in themselves. I work with a woman who went in early December two years ago and she raved about the decorations at the resorts. Her pictures were wonderful. Going to WDW in December is on my bucket list. I envy you. I think that you should book a Candlelight Processional dinner package.
5) Food - If I am going to make one generalization that is going to get me hate mail, its that the WDW crowd goes a little overboard about the food & ADRS. I like to eat. I LOVE to eat. No way is my vacation dependent on getting certain ADRs. We went for a week and had four table service meals, which felt about right to me. We also had some great counter service meals. The reviews on AllEars are a good research tool. Here are my recommendations: Wolfgang Puck Express at DTD- great dinner, Earl of Sandwich also DTD- ate here more than once- a bargain and great sandwiches. While at DTD check out Goofy's Kitchen- for $3 my daughter had a custom dipped Mickey head RiceCrispy treat that literally took her a week to finish. Boma at AKL-even my picky eater DD(15) loved this meal-a highlight. Sunshine Seasons at EPCOT- there is something here for everyone and all good. The Norway Bakery EPCOT - another fantastic sandwich. Flame Tree BBQ- AK. Cinderella's Royal Table See below
5) You asked about the WDW equivalent to BB. I guess I need to know why you love BB. If it is the special atmosphere, then I would have to say that CRT is the WDW equivalent. The restaurant is beautiful and you can't eat in the castle in DL. We went for lunch, which is a character meal. I think I would stay away from the dinner which is labled a "show." The food was surprisingly good. While it is overpriced, your tip is included and you get a photo. Our end bill was not much different from our dinner bill at 1900 Park Fare. Even my ever so thrifty DH loved his lunch here and would go again in a heartbeat.
6) Stitch's Great Escape- UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES ALLOW YOURSELF TO BE LED INTO THIS BUILDING( I refuse to call it an "ATTRACTION"). My DD loves Stitch and kept eyeing this. I told her that everyone seems to hate it, but that I couldn't really even describe what it was about. I finally succumbed as we walked by when they were just about to close the doors for the next showing. We both regret this decision. I cannot believe that this is in a Disney park.
7) DHS -this is a tricky park to plan as it has so many shows. If they are showing Lights Motor Action, I highly recommend it- your sons will love it. BatB and VotLM were fine, but the best theatrical type show in WDW is Festival of the Lion King at AK. We spent one and a half days at DHS, but DD favorite two rides are ToT and RnRCoaster. It should have the Osborne lights up while you are there.
8)I assume that you listen to the DIS podcast- it is a great source of up to date information about WDW. Things seem to change very rapidly at WDW -more so than DL

So plan plan plan. You can't do it all even in 10 days. I am sure that you will enjoy your trip to WDW and that you will still love DL.

basketballmom
05-03-2009, 09:13 PM
Actually, we have chatted in the past..... I think your 2007 trip was around the time I took my oldest DD to DL for her 16th birthday. I live in the Amarillo area....1101 miles from DISNEYLAND!!

I am only saying this because you specifically asked..... on our trip last summer, at different times, each of my 3 girls told me privately that they missed DL!! Yes, we loved our trip. But DL is where our hearts are. I think that is why I loved the other parks (Hollywood Studios, Epcot, Animal Kingdom) the most is because they were nothing like DL. At MK, we did everything once and really didn't have the desire to repeat anything.....well, except Splash and Big Thunder....we rode those over and over. I was so excited to see country bears. and the swiss family treehouse. And the TTA... this was wonderful. we rode it at night. I really wish DL would get this back in some form!!!

Another thing we were really excited about were the characters! Jessica (DD17) finally got Daisy's autograph! the trip was worth it just for that. we also saw prince john and friar tuck, clarabelle cow and horace horsecollar....and bethany(DD9) got to meet MARIE from aristocats! she is such a cat lover, and it was her birthday on top of that! we also met pocohantas, meeko and timon at AK. So lots of new characters for us! OH and I almost forgot Mr. Smee! Jess loves him too. That was our favorite encounter with him and Captain Hook.

I have misplaced my notebook with what we did each day at WDW. But I may go back through the books and try to remember stuff from each park to tell you.

I will say this, since you are going at christmas time, you should definitely tour some of the resorts and see the decorations. it is so easy to hop on the monorail at MK and go through the contemporary, poly, and grand floridian. we had breakfast at the GF on bethany's birthday and i would LOVE to see it decked out for the holidays! we also rode the boat from MK to eat at wilderness lodge. that one is beautiful too!

Have fun planning, and thanks for the kind words :goodvibes

mariezp
05-03-2009, 11:10 PM
Thanks for stopping by raftislander!:wave2:


I just found this thread. Really interesting what happened when it took a hop to another board. Now it is back where it belongs. So here is my 2cents. I was raised in California and still live on the West Coast. I grew up going to DL and still love it. I have taken two trips to WDW -the last one was about one month ago. For my first trip, I didn't do nearly enough research; this last trip I planned for a year and we had a great trip. Let me congratulate you, on several things that you have done right so far.
Yep, it did get kinda "interesting" when the thread was temporarily relocated on the other board. Glad to be back among friends! While I am new at the WDW stuff, at least I do have a bit of Disney planning experience under my belt which I can hope might count for something. I DO NOT even begin to think I know it all! I sure have gathered a wealth of info so far and will continue to do so. My main goal is to have a great time on our trip.

Thank you so much for your comments and sharing your opinions. Your info is very helpful. It is also nice to get some encouragement along the way. :hug:



1) Getting the Passporter Guide. IF you don't know the Florida resort this is the book that gives you info on everything. Their maps are great and it is portable. I love some of the resources on the web, but it helps to have a guide book that you can take around with you. This will give you a great overview of everything that is there. It is not however, very helpful for daily itinerary planning, BUT ...
The Passporter looks amazing but I have to confess that I have only gotten to glance through it so far. I would love to spend days on end doing nothing but planning but until December gets here I have to keep up with my other responsibilities in the real world. After November all bets are off!



2) ...Tourguide Mike is fabulous for this. So congrats on that decision as well. Be sure to join the forum group for your month/trip. I followed his advice on which parks to go to each day and it really worked. Look for a photopass share group there as well. They also have Illuminations cruise share groups , but most people who have done this would not do it again. You can see Illuminations fine without a cruise.
I have to confess again that I have been spending the majority of my planning time on TGM. His sight is so full of great stuff! Plus there is the wonderful Express Planner that is specific for your month. The Dis is also fantastic but for some reason it seems to me the info seems scattered in more places. Sometimes it seems harder to find just what you are looking for. TGMs all seems to be together, I suppose because it is just WDW. Don't get me wrong. As soon as this trip is done I will be back on my DL forum with a vengeance!

I cannot wait for my December Express Planner to be updated for 2009. For now I can piddle around off of last year's suggested day. I am hoping it doesn't change too much so I don't have to rethink all my plans! I think I have decided against doing an Illuminations Cruise share. This entire trip is going to be so special that I don't think it will be necessary to add the extra expense just to have a good time. I might as well take advantage of the shows that can be seen for free and save where I can.





3) Dont underestimate the size of the World. You are used to everything being walkable. It is not at WDW. It is big and spread out. It has highways not sidewalks. I would hold off on parkhoppers. I am pretty sure that you can upgrade to add this feature if you decide that you need it -even after you have started to use your tickets. You are worried about one day that you might need to park hop. That is a pretty expensive hop as you are paying for parkhoppers for all of the days on your ticket, when you think you may need it once. I have heard very good things about MVMCP. Maybe this can be your other day at MK. Have you priced the difference in park hoppers vs the cost of these tickets? Also remember that there are places to view MK fireworks from outside the parks. Ohana's and the beach at the Poly are family friendly and have the soundtrack piped in. So you can see nighttime entertainment even on the day that you go to AK which has none.
I read your comparison of sidewalks to streets to my DS. His response was "That's scary". :laughing: I am pretty sure that nothing will actually prepare us until we walk through the front gate. Still, I am up for the challenge!

Okay...so let me get this straight... If I don't do the park hopper option when I order all our tickets before we leave I can add the park hopper option for just our last day, right? Will it cost less or still be the same? I can't tell from looking at WDW's website. If it's the same I might as well get it in advance and then if DS or DH want to go to a different park on any other days they could.

Adding the hopper option to our tickets is $50 each. MVMCP is Adult/$55.38 w/tax and Child/$48.99 w/tax. Close in price so I might consider it. I'll have to think this one out to decide which would be better for us. We are not usually late park goers and I have heard the park can get very crowded during MVMCP .

Since we have done fireworks at DL I'd have to say that for us fireworks are just not at the top of our list. :scared1: I don't think anyone else in my family really enjoys them all that much. Probably if we were to stay late it would be to watch Illuminations since we have never seen a show like that. Although, viewing from the Poly beach might be cool! Hmmm.... more to think on! I like the idea of watching them on our AK day!



4) Resorts - the decorations at the resorts are an attraction in themselves. I work with a woman who went in early December two years ago and she raved about the decorations at the resorts. Her pictures were wonderful. Going to WDW in December is on my bucket list. I envy you. I think that you should book a Candlelight Processional dinner package.
Candlelight is the one special event I am still considering. Specifically because my family will enjoy it and last years rates appeared to be a real value. I am looking forward to seeing the parks all done up for Christmas! We have been several times to DL when the park is all decked out and it is absolutely beautiful. WDW has got to be at least as good, if not even better.



5) Food - If I am going to make one generalization that is going to get me hate mail, its that the WDW crowd goes a little overboard about the food & ADRS. I like to eat. I LOVE to eat. No way is my vacation dependent on getting certain ADRs. We went for a week and had four table service meals, which felt about right to me. We also had some great counter service meals. The reviews on AllEars are a good research tool. Here are my recommendations: Wolfgang Puck Express at DTD- great dinner, Earl of Sandwich also DTD- ate here more than once- a bargain and great sandwiches. While at DTD check out Goofy's Kitchen- for $3 my daughter had a custom dipped Mickey head RiceCrispy treat that literally took her a week to finish. Boma at AKL-even my picky eater DD(15) loved this meal-a highlight. Sunshine Seasons at EPCOT- there is something here for everyone and all good. The Norway Bakery EPCOT - another fantastic sandwich. Flame Tree BBQ- AK. Cinderella's Royal Table See below
You asked about the WDW equivalent to BB. I guess I need to know why you love BB. If it is the special atmosphere, then I would have to say that CRT is the WDW equivalent. The restaurant is beautiful and you can't eat in the castle in DL. We went for lunch, which is a character meal. I think I would stay away from the dinner which is labled a "show." The food was surprisingly good. While it is overpriced, your tip is included and you get a photo. Our end bill was not much different from our dinner bill at 1900 Park Fare. Even my ever so thrifty DH loved his lunch here and would go again in a heartbeat.
I appreciate your honest opinion on the dining. Just looking at menus I would have to agree with you that while they have more choices, more may not always be better. Honestly, in our case many of the choices are not places my family would like. I am going to make a few ADRs if I can get through on the phone lines but I will not be planning every meal TS. Your recommendations at DTD are all possibilities if we venture that way. However, I have probably mentioned here somewhere that I absolutely hate wasting time shopping so I am hoping to avoid any more shopping than necessary.

We only have one day planned for sure at AK. Rainforest Cafe is our must do. If we make it back a second day we will probably hit up the Sunshine Seasons so everyone can find something they like. If we don't like the choices Flame Tree BBQ is my backup plan.

There are several reasons why we love BB. Tradition, atmosphere and food. Looks like I will just have to wait til we make it back to DL to get our fix on this one.

I have pretty much ruled out CRT. Yep, it would be very cool to eat in the castle but not I imagine our bill would top out at $200. The menu did not really appeal to me and the guys would not enjoy it. So that's at least one thing I can take off the list... and I won't have to worry about how to get in on the phone line! Still..... you sure do give it a good review......



6) Stitch's Great Escape- UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES ALLOW YOURSELF TO BE LED INTO THIS BUILDING( I refuse to call it an "ATTRACTION"). My DD loves Stitch and kept eyeing this. I told her that everyone seems to hate it, but that I couldn't really even describe what it was about. I finally succumbed as we walked by when they were just about to close the doors for the next showing. We both regret this decision. I cannot believe that this is in a Disney park.
That is really a shame that Stitch is such a dud! I won't miss him but I am sure my DD will think she needs to see it. I'll have to mark my map with a giant X so we will be sure to avoid it. Guess even Disney makes their share of mistakes.



7) DHS -this is a tricky park to plan as it has so many shows. If they are showing Lights Motor Action, I highly recommend it- your sons will love it. BatB and VotLM were fine, but the best theatrical type show in WDW is Festival of the Lion King at AK. We spent one and a half days at DHS, but DD favorite two rides are ToT and RnRCoaster. It should have the Osborne lights up while you are there.
DHS.... yep, this is the park that is gonna give me fits. Sure as I don't think we would like it..... my guys would love. I am keeping an open opinion and an open plan for our last few days. I am thinking the guys may decide to head back there while DD and I do a second day at AK. They don't really get into the animal parks much but I am pretty sure DD is gonna have a fit to go back. (Thus the real reason I am considering park hoppers....so we can all meet up back in the same park later in the day.) Anyway, I won't miss the thrill rides at DHS but I would like to see all the shows.... and the Osborne lights.





8)I assume that you listen to the DIS podcast- it is a great source of up to date information about WDW. Things seem to change very rapidly at WDW -more so than DL
I have not had a chance to listen to the DIS podcast yet. I am having hard enough time processing all the information I am reading right now! Will definitely check it out if I run out of new information and as our travel dates get closer.




So plan plan plan. You can't do it all even in 10 days. I am sure that you will enjoy your trip to WDW and that you will still love DL. I'll get right to work! Thanks again!

mariezp
05-04-2009, 09:51 AM
basketballmom I hope you didn't think I snubbed you last night! We must have posted at the same time! It took me all evening to get my response to raftislander done. After I hit the post button I went straight to bed. But I'm back this morning.... http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u295/mariezp/clipart/yawn.gif.... much too early... DD could not sleep so I got volunteered to get up with her... need more coffee....:surfweb:



Actually, we have chatted in the past..... I think your 2007 trip was around the time I took my oldest DD to DL for her 16th birthday. I live in the Amarillo area....1101 miles from DISNEYLAND!!
Aaaah! I thought you looked familiar! http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u295/mariezp/clipart/Magnify.gif You are right! We were at DL during the same time in 2007. Man was it hot!.... I am actually 1375 miles away from DL.


I am only saying this because you specifically asked..... on our trip last summer, at different times, each of my 3 girls told me privately that they missed DL!!
That is so sweet! Maybe not exactly what you want to hear while you are actually at WDW. I am curious to see what my family will have to say. I fully expect them to be overwhelmed and ready to head back to somewhere smaller the next trip. However, I have been wrong before so they certainly may surprise me.



Yes, we loved our trip. But DL is where our hearts are. I think that is why I loved the other parks (Hollywood Studios, Epcot, Animal Kingdom) the most is because they were nothing like DL. At MK, we did everything once and really didn't have the desire to repeat anything.....well, except Splash and Big Thunder....we rode those over and over. I was so excited to see country bears. and the swiss family treehouse. And the TTA... this was wonderful. we rode it at night. I really wish DL would get this back in some form!!!This may be what happens to us as well. I figure we will plan to focus most on the rides and attractions that are not at DL. Then, if we have any time left we can hit up whatever is left. Splash and Big Thunder are our boys favorites so I am sure they will be repeating, if they can. I'm getting a little worried with all the talk I keep hearing about how crowded the parks have been lately. I hope the crowds will be thinning out by the time December rolls around!





Another thing we were really excited about were the characters! Jessica (DD17) finally got Daisy's autograph! the trip was worth it just for that. we also saw prince john and friar tuck, clarabelle cow and horace horsecollar....and bethany(DD9) got to meet MARIE from aristocats! she is such a cat lover, and it was her birthday on top of that! we also met pocohantas, meeko and timon at AK. So lots of new characters for us! OH and I almost forgot Mr. Smee! Jess loves him too. That was our favorite encounter with him and Captain Hook.
I have not even gotten far enough in my planning to consider characters! My DD does not get overly excited about getting autographs. I actually had to bribe her last time just to finish her book that only had space for about 12 characters! I see more bribery on the horizon cause we just can't miss out on such rare opportunities! I would drawn the line at waiting for hours in a line. Thank heavens she has seen the Fairies at DL so we can skip that one!





I have misplaced my notebook with what we did each day at WDW. But I may go back through the books and try to remember stuff from each park to tell you.
OH BOY! That would be great!



I will say this, since you are going at christmas time, you should definitely tour some of the resorts and see the decorations. it is so easy to hop on the monorail at MK and go through the contemporary, poly, and grand floridian. we had breakfast at the GF on bethany's birthday and i would LOVE to see it decked out for the holidays! we also rode the boat from MK to eat at wilderness lodge. that one is beautiful too!
Not too sure anyone else would want to visit the resorts but we will be doing HDDR so I plan on looking around the Wilderness Lodge area.




Have fun planning, and thanks for the kind words :goodvibes
One of my favorite pastimes, planning. There is certainly enough to keep me busy right up til our trip! You are welcome and thank you too!

Judy from Boise
05-09-2009, 07:24 PM
OK, here is the secret "best fireworks viewing spot" at MK

http://photopost.wdwinfo.com/data/500/medium/IMG_0677.JPG

It is a planter in Fantasyland

http://photopost.wdwinfo.com/data/500/medium/IMG_0678.JPG

The castle is to your left

Dumbo is directly in front of you
http://photopost.wdwinfo.com/data/500/medium/IMG_0679.JPG

you will be surrounded by fireworks, the castle shells to your left and the large shells to your right. It is loud and close and best of all no crowds.Afterwards you want too walk directly out of Fantasyland and into the "Colonial America" section. This is just like taking the FL to frontierland path at DL. It puts you right into a complete empty part of the park.......stroll around for about 25 minutes, then head back to the hub for crowd free castle and main st strolling and pictures. You want to be sitting on Main st at one hour past official park close, and see the "goodnight kiss" this a perfect ending , and plus will let the crowds in the parking lot dissipate.

mariezp
05-10-2009, 10:58 PM
Oh boy! Inside info! I love it! Thanks for the tip, Judy from Boise, as well as the photos and clear directions to your spot for watching fireworks. It looks and sounds great. Even I think I can find that!

I've been puttering around doing my general research today. I just found out today that after we park our car the only way into MK is via a ferry or monorail! I am still shocked by that one! It never occurred to me and I bet there are lots of other first timers that don't know that. Everything is gonna be so new! Wish I were there now!

ballarinamom
05-11-2009, 01:56 PM
Raftislander,
so funny how different people can be! WE LOVED the Nemo show at AK so much more than Lion King. Maybe because we saw the Broadway version and the AK version was so much smaller. Still cool but we thought Nemo was better! Funny
One tip I was reminded of yesterday as DD and I watched family videos from DL and wdw. When you get to AK and if the lines to get in are super long, go through the Rainforest Cafe Gift shop. There is a turnstill and CM who can let you in. We went there for a day and a half. The second day was a non MM day and the line was horrendous. I remembered this tip I had read on the WDW threads. I told DH to follow me as I pushed DD to Rainforest. He said,"But I'm not hungry!". We bypassed a huge line and walked right on in! DH thought I was brilliant! Of course he was right!

Judy from Boise
05-11-2009, 06:23 PM
yup, you have to chose one or the other at the TTC. Both are actually fun.

minniecarousel
05-12-2009, 10:19 PM
Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! A thread after my heart!

We just booked our first WDW trip in 6 years! We're going with our older DS & DDIL for son's 30th birthday in December. First 4 nights at Saratoga Springs & then 5 nights at Boardwalk. (We've been using our DVC at the Grand Californian.)

Our son and his wife are WDW Vets - they've gone many times in December (he proposed to her there!) I can see that we'll need to let them take the lead on ADR's & special events. I am sooo looking forward to the Osborne Lights.

I'm kinda nervous about taking 8 days off from work. I work in a school & have been accumulating vacation hours for 12 years. The School District wants us to take some and not carry so many vacation hours on the books. But I'm not so sure my site wants me to take so many at once. Going all the way to Florida from California, I'm not just going for 5 days!

We are die-hard Disneyland fans. We've been more times than we can remember. We can drive down in about 6 hours and go for 4-5 days at a time. WDW is a whole different experience. It sounds like you chose well for your family in booking the house.

I'll be keeping my eye on this thread. Our DS & DDIL aren't ready to plan for this trip yet - they're leaving for Disneyland on Thursday to celebrate their 2nd Anniversary. (lucky kids!)

mariezp
05-16-2009, 08:52 PM
Guess it is about time I make it back to check to see what good tips the Disers have been leaving me. Sure enough.... more great comments!


Raftislander,
so funny how different people can be! WE LOVED the Nemo show at AK so much more than Lion King. Maybe because we saw the Broadway version and the AK version was so much smaller. Still cool but we thought Nemo was better! Funny
One tip I was reminded of yesterday as DD and I watched family videos from DL and wdw. When you get to AK and if the lines to get in are super long, go through the Rainforest Cafe Gift shop. There is a turnstill and CM who can let you in. We went there for a day and a half. The second day was a non MM day and the line was horrendous. I remembered this tip I had read on the WDW threads. I told DH to follow me as I pushed DD to Rainforest. He said,"But I'm not hungry!". We bypassed a huge line and walked right on in! DH thought I was brilliant! Of course he was right!
Oh so true how different folks like different things. I love pretty much any show so maybe I will just love them both!

Thanks for the shortcut! I love sneaking past crowds! I have added the tip to my ever growing list. I may have an encyclopedia set by the time we actually get there in December!


yup, you have to chose one or the other at the TTC. Both are actually fun.
Okay, Judy. I imagine both the monorail and ferry are fun BUT is one faster than the other? Also, when you arrive at the TTC do you go through the actual park entrance there?.... Or do you wait in line for transportation and then get in line again when you get off the transportation at a park entrance there? (I hope that makes sense http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u295/mariezp/clipart/crazy.gif)


Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! A thread after my heart!

We just booked our first WDW trip in 6 years! We're going with our older DS & DDIL for son's 30th birthday in December. First 4 nights at Saratoga Springs & then 5 nights at Boardwalk. (We've been using our DVC at the Grand Californian.)

Our son and his wife are WDW Vets - they've gone many times in December (he proposed to her there!) I can see that we'll need to let them take the lead on ADR's & special events. I am sooo looking forward to the Osborne Lights.

I'm kinda nervous about taking 8 days off from work. I work in a school & have been accumulating vacation hours for 12 years. The School District wants us to take some and not carry so many vacation hours on the books. But I'm not so sure my site wants me to take so many at once. Going all the way to Florida from California, I'm not just going for 5 days!

We are die-hard Disneyland fans. We've been more times than we can remember. We can drive down in about 6 hours and go for 4-5 days at a time. WDW is a whole different experience. It sounds like you chose well for your family in booking the house.

I'll be keeping my eye on this thread. Our DS & DDIL aren't ready to plan for this trip yet - they're leaving for Disneyland on Thursday to celebrate their 2nd Anniversary. (lucky kids!)
Hi! minniecarousel :wave2: Looks like you will be arriving the week after we do! What dates will you be there? We will be there 2 weeks (Dec 2-16) so who knows.... we may run into each other. It must be nice to be going with someone who can help show you around. Still, it never hurts to help out with some of the planning, right? For me, that's part of the fun! If I were you I would not go all that way either without making it well worth the trip. It sounds as though you have worked hard and this will be a well deserved vacation so relax and take those 8 days. Feel the magic! http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u295/mariezp/clipart/meditate.gif

What I wouldn't give to be 6 hours away from DL! I am getting excited about our WDW trip.... only 199 days now... but I will be glad to get back to DL the next year. Did I mention DL is so much easier?




Okay, here's a question for anyone out there....
I asked DD if she had to pick one character which she would pick to seek out. Her response was Princess Aurora, aka Sleeping Beauty. Should we just seek her out for an autograph and photo or do you really get any better quality time with her by doing one of the character meals? Anybody care to share their experience?

Judy from Boise
05-16-2009, 11:43 PM
We had good luck finding Aurora every morning at the France pavillion In Epcot. She was very interactive.....could save lots of $.

http://photopost.wdwinfo.com/data/500/medium/Image002.jpg

Judy from Boise
05-16-2009, 11:58 PM
as for transportation....just remember nothing is quick at WDW! From the TCC you get on the ferry or monorail, they will drop you off at an area that you can then walk to security, which will clear you to the front courtyard....then you can walk through the gates! Actually that only takes minutes :)

I would do both at least once.......the Ferry is fun, but could take longer if there is little wait for the monorails.

http://photopost.wdwinfo.com/data/500/medium/100_0206.JPG

http://photopost.wdwinfo.com/data/500/medium/100_0204.JPG

http://photopost.wdwinfo.com/data/500/medium/100_0205.JPG

raftislander
05-19-2009, 08:51 PM
ballarinamom,
I enjoyed Nemo -don't get me wrong. It was wonderfully staged and performed. But what it lacked, in my opinion, was memorable music. The movie The Lion King was a musical whereas Finding Nemo was not. So FOTLK could draw on all of the fabulous music from the movie while the Nemo show had to have all of its songs written for it. I don't think Disney spent the same amount of $$ hiring a composer for the Nemo show as they did for movie of The Lion King and they didn't find someone as talented as Elton John. In my last trip to WDW, I saw each of the shows for the first time. While I think both are worthwhile, I wanted to see FOTLK again that trip. I didn't have the same reaction to Nemo. If both are still playing (if and) when I get back to WDW, I will want to see both again.

mariezp
05-20-2009, 08:50 PM
Judy, I just love your photos! I love seeing all the different photos from WDW so I can get some ideas of what photos I will be able to take. I made it home with just about 1100 pictures last year at Disneyland. (NOT including our Photopass pics) I cannot imagine how many I will take at WDW with so much more to see!

I am 95% sure that we will be tracking down Sleeping Beauty outside of a character meal. No matter how good she is it makes no sense to attend a meal that no one will enjoy especially when we can find her for free. Now if the menus really enticed me out I would be willing but that is just not the case.

We will have 5 or 6 days for the MK so we should be able to experience both the monorail and the ferry. I'll have to report back which one we enjoy most. Thanks for giving me an idea of the procedure of actually making it through the front gate. Of course, while I can get a mental picture now nothing will be as good as actually being there. I am so ready! Well... not actually ready... far from that.... but so ready for a vacation.

I also cannot wait to watch all the shows. Can't wait to see which one my family enjoys most. I think we like the movie Nemo a little better but I can see where an all out musical production of both of them could be fabulous! Are they anywhere near as good as Aladdin at CA? We all love that one!

Judy from Boise
05-21-2009, 08:25 PM
If you plan on seeing the nemo show I would highly consider making lunch reservations at Tusker house. Great food, plus you get special reserved seating at Nemo ! Call WDW dine and they can tell you about it....but we did it a few weeks ago and we got fabulous seats, and all of our wait in airconditioned comfort!

mariezp
05-24-2009, 08:52 PM
Thanks again Judy for the tip. I leave anything that cuts down my actual waiting in line time and gives me good seats.

More questions today.....

Has anyone done the Pirate Adventures for the Family? I had considered the Illuminations Cruise and then crossed it off my list but this cruise sounds like it might fit my family even better. Any reviews?

Also, I just read about the Storytime with Belle yesterday. I know my DD is gonna love it! We always enjoy the little shows and interactions with characters. Does anyone have any other suggested hidden gems they might share that I might not have run across yet?

Sleepless Knight
06-02-2009, 03:39 PM
I just got back from my 3rd visit to WDW. I love the place and wish I could visit there more often than I do. Epcot is amazing and a place that every Disney fan should experience.

If you're making ADRs for in park restaurants, I think the park hopper is a must. Likewise some evening entertainment, especially in the MK happens only on select days. In my experience, the best parks to visit on which days information will change between when you make the ADR and when you arrive at WDW. While I don't park hop every day, I find that having a park hopper makes my visit far less complicated, especially when factoring ADRs in.

Seasoned Disneyland veterans may find that they only spend a half day at the MK, and a park hopper can be invaluable if you discover that part of your group wants to spend more time at one park over another.

mariezp
06-05-2009, 09:31 AM
Thanks, Sleepless Knight! This is the kind of stuff I need know! It seems the majority of WDW experts seem to think that park hoppers are a waste. I think those of us who are used to DL's park hoppers see the value of them in a different light. While I do not expect to park hopper everyday I think they will be worth the additional cost very easily. My group usually splits up anyway because 2 of us are NOT thrill seekers and the other 2 like the big rides. Just having park hoppers in hand will allow us the option not only to split up but to be in completely different parks at the same time and still meet up without using a new entire days admission.

I hope you had a great trip! Now where is that trip report?????

Disney127
06-05-2009, 09:59 AM
The Land at EPCOT is super cool too... Can't miss that one.

We spent 10 days at WDW including the water parks and The Land in Epcot was my family's favorite. Go figure! :confused3 Maybe, we liked it so much because it was a slow and calming ride? ;)

Sleepless Knight
06-05-2009, 11:59 AM
Thanks, Sleepless Knight! This is the kind of stuff I need know! It seems the majority of WDW experts seem to think that park hoppers are a waste. I think those of us who are used to DL's park hoppers see the value of them in a different light. While I do not expect to park hopper everyday I think they will be worth the additional cost very easily. My group usually splits up anyway because 2 of us are NOT thrill seekers and the other 2 like the big rides. Just having park hoppers in hand will allow us the option not only to split up but to be in completely different parks at the same time and still meet up without using a new entire days admission.

I hope you had a great trip! Now where is that trip report?????I'm working on that TR right now. I do want to wait for the PhotoPass pics to add in, but I hope to write more tonight.

One more thought about parkhoppers. I went to WDW specifically for Star Wars Weekends. It was the single largest reason why I went to WDW, but I wanted to eat at Le Cellier (mmm, steak and cheddar cheese soup). I could only get an ADR for lunch on one of the Star Wars Weekends days. Because of the parkhopper, I didn't have to make a hard choice. I literally took the boat from DHS to Epcot, ate at Le Cellier, and hopped back to DHS. And when DHS closed that day I went over to MK for SpectroMagic.

If you're making ADRs in multiple parks (or in MK/Epcot resorts right by the parks), I think parkhoppers are a must. I have gone to one park in the day and hopped to another at night because of an ADR.

Huff
06-08-2009, 01:53 PM
I preferred Nemo over Lion King but both are good. Lion King is better for small kids as they can interact with actors on stage.

Little Mermaid show is very well done as is Beauty and the Beast. I didn't care much for the Indian Jones stunt show nor the Lights Motor Action stunt show. The latter has a huge problem with crowds because Disney insists on funneling 1000's of people all through one narrow entrance. Why? I will say WDW has far more shows than DLR and it's really nice when lines get too long for rides.

DisneyDreamers2007
06-12-2009, 01:13 PM
A few tips would be:

-Minimum: Plan on one day at HS and AK, but 2 days for E and MK.

-Favorite places to eat: Boma, Whispering Canyon Cafe (all you can drink shakes & buffet), Grand California Grill (during the fireworks), Rose & Crown for lunch (great soup & request seating by the water), Beaches & Cream (ice cream shop, Kitchen Sink!), Brown Derby (Cobb Salad & atmosphere), German chocolate cookies (from the German bakery), Wolfgang Puck (pumpkin ravioli, pasta, carrot cake), and tea w/mom or daughter at the Grand Floridian.

-Make ADRs as some places book up fast

-If you have extra time, be sure to check out other fun WDW stuff: DTD, Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, go to resorts & enjoy the great Disney themes, mini golf, electrical lake parade, etc...

sammons70
06-12-2009, 06:40 PM
Wow! It sounds like you have an awesom trip planned. You have 14 days schedules which should give you plenty of time in the World, and you're going to need it. There is so much to do, but with 14 days, you should have time to visit each park mulitple times at a leisure place, plus ceck out plenty of those incredible reataurants and shops.
My wife and I were awestruck at the difference in the food. The quality and variety of food at DisneyWorld is phenomenal. In terms of food, here was some of our favorites:
50's prime time cafe: Your kids can get their chicken hers, plus any other comgfort foods they want. Plus, you'll have a blast with the staff and their hilarious shenanigans here.

Liberty Tree Tavern: Liberty Square takes the place of New Orleans Sqaure in the Magic Kingdom, and in the heart of it is a great character dining experience with a family style, hearty dinner that features something for everyone, turkey, hame, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes. yuo will get it all.

German buffet, in Germany pavillion in Epcot. If you like sausage sauerkraut, german chocolate cake, etc. this is the place for you.

We also dined at the mexican pavilion in Epcot. The food was good, but a bit on the spicy side, so make sure the kids are ready for that.

My wife and I spent 6 days in the world. We did do Liberty Tree tavern twice. There were other restaurants we would have tire or revisited, but in 6 days, you can only do so much. With 14 days, you will have plenty of opportunities to eat around the world. Have fun and good luck.

mariezp
06-13-2009, 11:44 AM
I have really been slacking off time to get back to the thread, make some responses and thank everyone for all the input! :worship:

We spent 10 days at WDW including the water parks and The Land in Epcot was my family's favorite. Go figure! :confused3 Maybe, we liked it so much because it was a slow and calming ride? ;)

Oh boy! I am always glad to hear a good review of a ride I am not familiar with. Slow and calming sounds like a great place for a nice break during the day. Epcot is going to be full of all sorts of things we have never done. I have heard of Epcot all my life so it is going to be such a thrill to finally get to see why everyone loves this park so much.


I'm working on that TR right now. I do want to wait for the PhotoPass pics to add in, but I hope to write more tonight.

One more thought about parkhoppers. I went to WDW specifically for Star Wars Weekends. It was the single largest reason why I went to WDW, but I wanted to eat at Le Cellier (mmm, steak and cheddar cheese soup). I could only get an ADR for lunch on one of the Star Wars Weekends days. Because of the parkhopper, I didn't have to make a hard choice. I literally took the boat from DHS to Epcot, ate at Le Cellier, and hopped back to DHS. And when DHS closed that day I went over to MK for SpectroMagic.

If you're making ADRs in multiple parks (or in MK/Epcot resorts right by the parks), I think parkhoppers are a must. I have gone to one park in the day and hopped to another at night because of an ADR.
I'll keep an eye out for your report!
My guys would probably really enjoy the SW weekend but we prefer to go off season even more. It looks like they really go all out making sure there are plenty of characters in the park for the fans. Of course, that's Disney for you!
For the most part I do plan to make my ADRs for whatever park we are in for the day but it will be nice to have the option of hopping if we have a change of plans while we are there. As I mentioned, we will get PHers.... just in case.


I preferred Nemo over Lion King but both are good. Lion King is better for small kids as they can interact with actors on stage.

Little Mermaid show is very well done as is Beauty and the Beast. I didn't care much for the Indian Jones stunt show nor the Lights Motor Action stunt show. The latter has a huge problem with crowds because Disney insists on funneling 1000's of people all through one narrow entrance. Why? I will say WDW has far more shows than DLR and it's really nice when lines get too long for rides.
I have to agree that I prefer the actual Nemo movie over Lion King so it will be interesting to see which stage show we like best. It sounds like Lion King will have an added draw because my DD LOVES to get in on part of the show. She is such a ham! Which brings to mind a new question... Does anyone have good tips for how to get your child selected to participate in the show? So in Little Mermaid is there a huge Ursula? She is so creepy in the DL parade! I bet the Beauty in the Beast will be wonderful too. I can't wait because I love to watch the shows! I am pretty sure the guys will prefer the stunt shows over the musicals though. More action and less singing!


A few tips would be:

-Minimum: Plan on one day at HS and AK, but 2 days for E and MK.

-Favorite places to eat: Boma, Whispering Canyon Cafe (all you can drink shakes & buffet), Grand California Grill (during the fireworks), Rose & Crown for lunch (great soup & request seating by the water), Beaches & Cream (ice cream shop, Kitchen Sink!), Brown Derby (Cobb Salad & atmosphere), German chocolate cookies (from the German bakery), Wolfgang Puck (pumpkin ravioli, pasta, carrot cake), and tea w/mom or daughter at the Grand Floridian.

-Make ADRs as some places book up fast

-If you have extra time, be sure to check out other fun WDW stuff: DTD, Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, go to resorts & enjoy the great Disney themes, mini golf, electrical lake parade, etc...
Yeppers, I am going with your recommended number of days per park, with the exception of MK. We will have 10 days so the majority of days will be in MK. The last couple of days will be kinda left open to go back and do anything we feel like we missed or spend more time at a favored park.
Oh dear me! Now you have gone and mentioned more food! I have been considering WCC but haven't decided where to fit it in exactly. How much trouble is it to get there from one of the parks? Did you really have to mention the kitchen sink? That one looks like a real challenge! We just might have to rise to occasion! Ahhhh, and German chocolate cookies sound wonderful! I would LOVE to do the tea party at GF but I am trying to keep down the expenses some. We will see if I am strong enough to resist spending just a little more. And, I am hoping we get to see the electrical water parade.

Wow! It sounds like you have an awesom trip planned. You have 14 days schedules which should give you plenty of time in the World, and you're going to need it. There is so much to do, but with 14 days, you should have time to visit each park mulitple times at a leisure place, plus ceck out plenty of those incredible reataurants and shops.
My wife and I were awestruck at the difference in the food. The quality and variety of food at DisneyWorld is phenomenal. In terms of food, here was some of our favorites:
50's prime time cafe: Your kids can get their chicken hers, plus any other comgfort foods they want. Plus, you'll have a blast with the staff and their hilarious shenanigans here.

Liberty Tree Tavern: Liberty Square takes the place of New Orleans Sqaure in the Magic Kingdom, and in the heart of it is a great character dining experience with a family style, hearty dinner that features something for everyone, turkey, hame, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes. yuo will get it all.

German buffet, in Germany pavillion in Epcot. If you like sausage sauerkraut, german chocolate cake, etc. this is the place for you.

We also dined at the mexican pavilion in Epcot. The food was good, but a bit on the spicy side, so make sure the kids are ready for that.

My wife and I spent 6 days in the world. We did do Liberty Tree tavern twice. There were other restaurants we would have tire or revisited, but in 6 days, you can only do so much. With 14 days, you will have plenty of opportunities to eat around the world. Have fun and good luck.
We will be on vacation 14 days but will only be spending 10 of the days in the park. I am used to spending 14 leisurely days at DL so I am a little worried that we will feel rushed because there is so much more to do and in less time. BUT we will make do and make the most of the time we have. I am looking forward to some of the different dining places but my kids are sorta picky so they will keep the dining somewhat limited which is fine because it gives me more time to focus on everything else. We are planning on 50's PT and probably Liberty Tree Tavern. They offer safe standard fare. Not so sure about German.... except the cake!.... BUT I am glad to hear mention of the Mexican food being spicy! Definitely off limits if I want to keep everyone happy. You are right, it would be hard to eat everywhere in 6 days! Even with 14 I still can't fit in everything!

mariezp
06-16-2009, 07:52 PM
DD was sitting around watching a Donald Duck video and one of the episodes had the song "Pop goes the weasel". This brought a question about WDW to mind! At DL, in Frontierland, Farley roams around playing songs, Billy Hill is in the Golden Horseshoe and Laughing Stock performs outside. So.... at WDW do they also have entertainment in Frontierland?