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shadow0421 05-01-2013 12:52 AM

Advice on Trip Planning
Hi folks! We are planning our first WDW trip since 2000. My daughter was 4 then and next year she will be graduating HS (where did the time go?). The only thing she really remembers is a talking trash can chasing after her.:) This is the first time for my son who will be 11 when we go this November 2-9 (Sat.-Sat.). I'm sure I'll be asking alot of questions over the next few months but right now I'm trying to figure out the best day to reserve a character dinner at the Garden Grill. It appears that they only do dinners and not lunches. Here's my agenda so far based on's website:

11/2-Arrive at Extended Stay Suites late afternoon (driving from NJ)

11/3-MGM Studios- Fantasmic@7pm

11/4-Epcot-MSEP@8pm then Wishes. (this is when I planned the Garden Grill)

11/5-Magic Kingdom-Illuminations@9pm (Would this be a better day for Garden Grill?)

11/6-Sea World (no parks this day)

11/7-Magic Kingdom-MSEP and Wishes

11/8-Magic Kingdom-Osbourne Lights

11/9-Animal Kingdom in morning then leave for home by early afternoon.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I picked Garden Grill because I read that there is a better ratio between character and child than other cms.

Metro West 05-01-2013 07:25 AM


nola_grl 05-07-2013 07:34 PM

Looks like you have a great plan! I'd like to suggest adding a tour to your agenda.
My DS and I did the Magic Behind the Steam Train Tour. You tour the roundhouse and see the train preparations for the day. You also get to experience Main Street USA without people. Great photo op!


BringingUpDisney 05-08-2013 11:32 AM


Your day at Illuminations (11/5) may be better for Garden Grill since it is also in Epcot. Don't forget to check on the timing for the Osbourne Lights as it gets closer, last year they didn't turn them on until 11/9.

Have fun planning! :yay:

shadow0421 05-10-2013 01:42 PM

Thanks for the replies. I ended up making reservations for 11/5 Tues. @ 4pm. We will be in MK but Illuminations doesn't start until 9 so I think that would give us plenty of time to scout out a place for it. I wanted to plan the cm on Mon. when we go to Epcot but the Electrical parade would start @ 8 and I was afraid of cutting it too close. The schedule says The Osbourne Lights start on Fri. 11/8 but I'll keep an eye on it if it changes.

babiipiggiex3 05-11-2013 08:04 AM

seems like a good plan.
driving from NJ?

splashmtnfan 05-11-2013 01:47 PM

Osbourne Lights is at MGM...
I noticed you doing Osbourne Lights the day you are at MK... AND MK has Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party that night... Maybe since it's BEEN awhile since you have been and you are there DURING MVMCP you may want to look at doing THAT! The parade is AWESOME and it really makes you feel like it's CHRISTMAS time!!! It is a separate ticket and it's from 7PM- midnight BUT they let you IN with the ticket at 4PM!!! SO you may save some $ NOT getting Park Hopper tickets and use some of the SAVINGS to purchase the MVMCP tickets! ALSO after being away so long I would think NOT doing Park Hopper is BEST anyway as traveling between parks takes a WHOLE LOT of TIME... You will be more relaxed just doing Fantasmic and Osbourne Lights (which you can do easily in 45 minutes) ALL on the SAME night! No since going BACK to MGM to JUST see them! ALSO have you checked accomodations ON property? SO much easier to do everything from there also you get Extra Magic Hours at the parks on some mornings and some nights which will give you a LOT more free time EMH at night give you THREE extra hours!!! The Value Resorts are VERY economical and NO parking $ for the parks... FREE transportation TO the parks and Downtown Disney too!!

splashmtnfan 05-11-2013 01:55 PM

Just noticed Osbourne Lights START on Nov. 8 also!!! YIKES! Soooo... Hmmm... I have never been that early in November so I didn't realize they started on the same day!!! MAN! I guess now it's a decision of WHICH you want to do! :( Sorry... I thought I had it figured out for you!

I also want to add that Wishes is at Magic Kingdom so you would do better seeing Illuminations on your EPCOT day when you have Garden Grill reservations so you get THAT done ALL at the same park... THEN do Wishes WHILE at Magic Kingdom... The electrical parade and WIshes can all be viewed on Main Street so you can see BOTH just before leaving the park that night!!! Of Course you could see Wishes EVERYTIME... but if you SEE the parade and WISHES the FIRST night at Magic Kingdom... the NEXT day you are there you can RIDE so many RIDES during the parade and fireworks because everyone else will be WATCHING them! and as far as the fireworks, you HEAR them and SEE them MOST places but the BEST place I find is on the bridge between Tomorrowland for the fireworks so Tinkerbell comes down right over you!!! then the parade on Main Street near Casey's as you can sit down at one of the tables CLOSEST to the street and see everything!

jesswindsor 05-11-2013 07:22 PM


shadow0421 05-13-2013 05:42 PM

Hey guys, thanks for the comments. I might switch my Garden grill to the day I go to Epcot but only if I can get an early reservation. How do you go about cancelling a reservation? And yes, we will be travelling from NJ.

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