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Old 02-01-2009, 09:47 AM   #1
nikkers
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Our tips from our 1st family vacation at WDW

DH and I had both been to WDW, but this was our first family vacation to WDW. DS is 5 and DD is 2 1/2.

I am so glad that I found such great advice on the boards. I felt very prepared throughout our vacation. Here is what I am very glad we did.

Getting in a shared photopass group. I enjoyed just letting the photographers snap away. We have some great family pictures.
Brought ponchos. It never rained, but we used them on the Kali Rapid River ride and Splash Mountain.
Used M&M tubes for quarters and pennies. My kids loved the press penny machines. We never had to stand in line for change.
Brought glow sticks and glow bracelets. They were great for Spectro, Wishes and Illuminations. Neither of my kids asked for the light up spinning toys. We even had enough to share with the kids around us.
Using Garden Grocer. We had water, milk, and beer delivered to our room.
We shipped a Fed Ex box ahead of time. Packed a lot of misc items.
You can get a glass of ice water for free, at any vending spot. We brought drink mixes and mixed them in.
I made our own autograph books and passports. We got a lot of compliments on both. Especially the passports, they couldn't believe I made them. Thank you to the Disigners!
We ate breakfast in our room. That saved a lot of time. And kept 2 kids from getting crabby.
Always had colorbook and crayons in our backback. They enjoyed coloring in the restaurants while waiting for our food.
We stayed a total of 9 days. I am very glad that we added a couple of extra days. We never felt rushed, and had time to go back and see what we missed. We also enjoyed a day of down time. Swam at the hotel, and enjoyed all of the kids events at the hotel.
I am glad we chose the Animal Kingdom Lodge and got a Savanna view room. The kids loved the view. But we would definately try a different hotel next time! Each hotel seemed to have their own unique qualities.

I am also glad we chose January the weather was great and the lines were not long. I think the longest time we stood in line was 30 minutes. And that was for Dumbo.

I am so glad we did the dining plan. We made reservations at the park we were visiting each day. For us it would have been an inconvenience to leave for a ADR. We enjoyed all of the restaurants we ate at. Especially, the character meals. What a great way to meet characters. We ate at Akershus, Le Cellier, Coral Reef, CRT, Hollywood and Vine, Tony's and Boma. We had great service at all of them. I have to say our waiter at Boma was the best. That was definately mine and DH's favorite meal. It was fun to try something different. We did not have bad food at any place we ate. But I think I was expecting the worst, and was pleasantly surprised. We also thought Akershus was just as good as CRT. At least for the experience. It was fun to eat in the castle, but the princesses did not spend very much time at each table. They let you get a picture and off they went. The princesses really took their time at Akershus. Each princess chatted, and let us take several pictures. Next time we will choose completely different restaurants and character meals.

Animal Kingdom and Epcot were the best places to meet characters. My DH stood in line with DD once at MK to meet Winnie the Pooh. It took over an hour. Way too long for a 2 year old. When we were in Epcot, just happened into the toy store in England and waited 10 minute to meet Winnie the Pooh and friends. Also, the character spot in Epcot was great. Waited only 15 minutes and met Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, and Pluto. That was great. Also, Camp Minnie and Mickey at Animal Kingdom was a great place to meet characters. While the Lion King show was going on the lines were empty. After the show the lines got kind of long. My other character tip, before standing in line ask the CM how long the character will be there? I heard several people say that they waited in line, and the character's time ended. They never got to meet them.

My kids loved Epcot and Animal Kingdom. My DS's favorite rides were Test Track and the Kali Rapid Rivers. They couldn't get to each Kidcot fast enough. My DD loved the Carousel at MK. We would get off and go right back on.
DH and I enjoyed Test Track, Soarin, and Expedition Everest.

I can't say enough about how wonderful all of the CM's were. Any of them were willing and ready to answer any questions!

Thanks for reading. I hope you have as much fun planning as we did. And have a magical vacation.
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Tips from out first family vacation -
http://www.disboards.com/showthread....1#post30205871


Last edited by nikkers; 02-01-2009 at 04:11 PM.
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Old 02-01-2009, 10:50 AM   #2
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Thanks for all the great tips! Could you point me in the direction of the autograph books and passports you made? I would love to make some for our trip this month. Thanks!
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Old 02-01-2009, 03:40 PM   #3
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Thanks for the awesome tips. Will definitely be using some of this info on our trip in a few weeks.
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Old 02-01-2009, 04:02 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gavsmom View Post
Thanks for all the great tips! Could you point me in the direction of the autograph books and passports you made? I would love to make some for our trip this month. Thanks!

Check out this link, there are autograph pages and passport pages.
http://www.4shared.com/dir/5978989/a...s_DISigns.html

Also, check out this thread for passports. Post number 54. Just an fyi it does not work to copy and paste. You need to right click on the picture and choose "save picture as". I used card stock to print each page, and laminated the front cover. It looked like a real passport.
http://www.disboards.com/showthread....1509917&page=4

Another great place is the Creative DISigns board. The DISigners are amazing and sooooo helpful.
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Tips from out first family vacation -
http://www.disboards.com/showthread....1#post30205871


Last edited by nikkers; 02-01-2009 at 04:15 PM.
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Old 02-01-2009, 05:42 PM   #5
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We have our first trip in Nov with 4 kids, alot of these tips I have seen around the board but it's great to see they actually worked for a family with little ones! I'm taking notes, thanks!
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Old 02-02-2009, 09:11 AM   #6
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Thanks for the tips- Question for you - GardenGrocer you can buy alcohol? I don't see it listed on the website. Were you there when they delivered? I called last week and they seemed put off that I wouldn't be in the room when the groceries were delivered. Thinking about not using them and just using SSR?
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Old 02-02-2009, 12:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jblrn2b View Post
Thanks for the tips- Question for you - GardenGrocer you can buy alcohol? I don't see it listed on the website. Were you there when they delivered? I called last week and they seemed put off that I wouldn't be in the room when the groceries were delivered. Thinking about not using them and just using SSR?
When you place your order there is a box where you can enter additonal information. We entered the alcohol info there. They told us to be as specific as possible. We then faxed a copy of one of our id's to them. They said they would call us with a total. They never called, but we had a invoice with the groceries and the alcohol was there.
When we placed our order there was a slot for estimated arrival time. The groceries arrived well before us on our arrival day. So, we were not even checked in when they delivered them.
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Tips from out first family vacation -
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Old 02-03-2009, 11:14 AM   #8
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Thanks for taking the time to post these tips. We leave for our first trip in 15 days. Thanks for the links to the passports. I've made t-shirts for our trip with the help from the creative members but didn't think of passports.
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Old 02-03-2009, 11:57 AM   #9
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Wow, thanks so much. We are a family of similar kids' ages and have never been before so it was great to see all these tips that we can use too.

Love the 'make your own' autograph book ideas too, what a neat idea. And the passport (newb here!) is that for something at Epcot?
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Old 02-03-2009, 12:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoNewToDisney! View Post
Wow, thanks so much. We are a family of similar kids' ages and have never been before so it was great to see all these tips that we can use too.

Love the 'make your own' autograph book ideas too, what a neat idea. And the passport (newb here!) is that for something at Epcot?
In each World at Epcot they have a kidcot station. At each kidcot they will stamp your passport and write something in the passport in their language. They also had coloring stations. DH and I couldn't believe how much our kids enjoyed it.
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Old 02-09-2009, 07:32 AM   #11
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Sorry I keep asking the same question on the boards....
Park hop or not? Use EMH or not?
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Old 02-09-2009, 08:43 AM   #12
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We will certainly use some of those tips on our next trip
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Old 02-10-2009, 06:29 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AliceNWonderland View Post
Sorry I keep asking the same question on the boards....
Park hop or not? Use EMH or not?
We did park hop. I was glad we had park hopper passes with our kids. It was their first trip and we didn't know what parks they would like the best? We visited each park, then went back to their favorites. We did take advantage of EMH a little bit, but we really played that by ear. We took our time with the kids, and just enjoyed what we saw. We didn't worry about what we missed? We went to MK for morning EMH hours one day. There was no wait on any of the rides we went to. We stayed late one night at Epcot and one night at AK. AK closing time was 5pm. It was nice to have the 3 extra hours. Our kids loved AK. MK was open one night until 2am when we were there. Our kids are too little for that. But I think it would have been really fun to be in the park that late.
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Old 02-10-2009, 09:51 AM   #14
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How did you go on Soarin and Everest with young kids or did you take turns watching them and go alone? My kids are not brave so it will be a challenge to even get them on the River Rapids!

Also, how many days did you get tickets for and use? Did you go to the parks on your travel days or not?

Thanks for the posts - it is nice to hear Disney from the viewpoint of a mom with young kids.
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Old 02-10-2009, 09:53 AM   #15
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One more question...since you did a few meals that require 2 TS credits did you go with the deluxe plan or the regular DP? We are planning about 3 meals that require 2 TS credits so I am thinking that the DXDDP might be the best for us. Plus, Dh hates to miss meals!
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