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sbucha8 05-17-2014 10:25 PM

Newbie here, looking for help!!
Hi everyone,

We are planning on going to WDW May 2015 or September 2015 depending on the money situation (I have no problem taking the kids out of school for this) I actually have 3 boys ages 9 AND 6 (will be 10 and 7 the timeframe we are planning to go. I also have a 1 and a half year old who will be three if we take him. I'm thinking of leaving him with his grandmother and just letting the older boys have fun this time, then next time take him also. I am not looking to pay over $300 a night for lodging, so Art of Animation or Pop Century is fine with me. I was just wondering if someone could give me tips on how to make this a wonderful vacation for my 7 and 10 year old boys?

Thanks!!! Stacey

MightyGitis 05-17-2014 10:32 PM

Do they like Star Wars? The last couple weekends in May are always Star Wars weekends in Hollywood Studios.

Aliceacc 05-18-2014 06:33 AM

As most people here will tell you, having a great trip is a combination of some conflicting ideas.

You will want to plan, probably more than you've planned for any other vacation. You will probably want to plan at least some table service dinners--(And,with the times you're thinking of, you may very well get free dining!!!) Your sons might enjoy some of the many character meals, and/or they might enjoy eating in Sci Fi diner (you sit in a "car" of a drive in movie theater, while Sci Fi (but absolutley not scary-- think Woody Woodpecker in Space) movies play.

Those dining reservations (ADRs) can be booked 180 days before you arrive, for up to 10 days of vacation. So you'll want to do some homework there.

You'll also want to plan out which Fastpass+ you'll want. FP+ is a FREE service by Disney. It allows you to pre-plan an hour's time span and make sort of a reservation-- the FP+ line will be MUCH shorter than the regular line. It was changed from the old system a few months ago, and there are lots of misconceptions about it. Probably the best source of advice I've seen is here:

Of course, in order to to that, you'll want a good idea of which rides your sons (and you) are likely to love. You'll want to check them out online,then go to youtube to see what they're actually like. For what it's worth, based on my own kids, here are ones I think you should look at:

-Magic Kingdom: Big Thunder, 7 Dwarfs (that's new, we haven't seen it yet), Splash Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, Buzz Lightyear, Mickey's Philharmagic, Monsters Laugh Floor, Indy Speedway

-Epcot: Soarin', Test Track, Mission Space (green for us), Malestrom, Spaceship Earth, Turtle Talk

-Hollywood Studios: Toy Story Mania, Rock n Roller Coaster, (Tower of Terror??-- NOT for us!), Great Movie Ride, Star Tours, Indy Jones, Lights Motor Action Stunt Show

-Animal Kingdom: Kali River Rapids (you WILL get wet!!), Safari, Expedition Everest, Dinosaur, Festival of the Lion King, Finding Nemo

In your shoes, I would give the boys the list, send them to Youtube, and have them order the list in each park do "favorites" "good" and "skip." Since you're not going for a while, it can be a summer project.

OK, now all that conflicts with the idea that this should be a vacation. So, as much as you're going to do tons of planning, you also need to realize that you're not going to be able to see it all or do it all, no matter how long you stay. So you'll want to keep in mind the best piece of advice I ever got concerning Disney: No one ride, meal, show or attraction has the power to "make" your vacation. Your family's fun is only as good as the least happy person in your group. So if your 7 year old is hot and miserable and wants to go back to the resort and swim, your family will be happiest in the pool. Whatever you had planned will still be there next trip.

Some people get so caught up in the planning -- it really is a lot of fun!-- that they refuse to toss the plan to stop and enjoy the moment. It's a delicate, but important balance.

LovesTimone 05-18-2014 08:22 AM

Welcome to DIS.. :thumbsup2

I would try for AOA family suite, this way you can spread out a bit, I would look and try to go when you can get free dinning, or room only discount. We just stayed at AOA in January and it is worth every penny in my opinion. The resort and the pool area's are super cute, super cool and you feel like you are in the movies.

As far as the little guy, if he is under 3 he is free, to get in the parks, you might want to think about adding him in, then see if you think he is ready to go. I took my daughter the 1st time at 2 1/2 and she loved it. She's a Disney kid now at 25 she still loves Disney and displays her 1st set of ears :goodvibes in her home.

I would suggest the dinning plan, just because character meals can add up quickly, We figure that they offer 3 things, sit down dinning with better options for meals, character - so less standing in line for pictures and autographs, and air conditioning and taking a break without the kiddos realizing they are taking a break, also mom and dad get a break.:thumbsup2. Also we love having everything paid for up front. They way no worries on what they order.

You might want to plan to take a break each day or some variation of... sleep in or come back in the late afternoon to swim or take a nap. My DD never really was a nap taker but at Disney we would take a break and let her burn off some steam, by swimming or play ground, then she would sleep for a while and be ready to go again.

I strongly suggest some planning, you will be glad you did and you won't be so overwhelmed when you arrive. ;)

Check out park times, parade schedules, shows, ride that are a must and build your plan from there. Also check out menus here and over on they have the most update menu with prices. Nothing worse than going to eat and there is nothing that pleases your family:scared1:. Check out sit down but also counter service.

Have fun planning :cloud9:

Aliceacc 05-18-2014 08:28 AM


Originally Posted by LovesTimone (Post 51459452)
As far as the little guy, if he is 3 he is free, to get in the parks, you might want to think about adding him in, then see if you think he is ready to go. I took my daughter the 1st time at 2 1/2 and she loved it. She's a Disney kid now at 25 she still loves Disney and displays her 1st set of ears :goodvibes in her home.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I think he's free if he's UNDER 3.

LovesTimone 05-18-2014 01:57 PM


Originally Posted by Aliceacc (Post 51459481)
Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I think he's free if he's UNDER 3.

Your right :thumbsup2.. I rechecked and it's under 3 now... when my DD was little it was 3 and under.

RHMH 05-19-2014 07:01 AM

:welcome:Dis-Friend :disrocks: Have Fun Planning. :thumbsup2

Looks like O-Posters have shared some great advice, so I will just welcome you to the Dis-Board...:cool1:

Pooh2 05-19-2014 07:32 AM

Have a wonderful trip Stacy!

wannago2disney 05-19-2014 08:01 AM

It's custom in our house for each of us to pick the 1 thing we would like to do/see the most. Make sure we do that and everything else falls into place!

jesswindsor 05-19-2014 04:06 PM


Hndacrewd 06-11-2014 08:23 PM

Definitely take a break in the afternoons to go back to the hotel and decompress a little before going for a second round.

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