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Old 07-14-2009, 07:46 AM   #1
DIS Veteran & Disney Nut
Right now, I enjoy going back each year and riding it again
mm6mm6's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Illinois, north of Chicago
Posts: 632

Advice for Newbies

My wife and I decided to take our first family vacation when our DD (Disney Daughter) was 5 in 2002.

When I was kid, my family always drove on vacation because we couldn't afford to fly. I have an affinity for driving because I love to see this amazing country. My wife never went on a family vacation so she was up for whatever.

We're very easy going people.

We chose WDW as it is the quintessential American Family Vacation and the #1 destination.

In six trips, we've learned alot. First and foremost is that we NEVER had a "bad time" at WDW. I think some people get wayyyyy too concerned about having the "perfect" vacation and they get very anxious and cause themselves too much anxiety.

One of the main reasons for this is the cost. When you're spending a considerable amount of money for a family vacation, you can get a bit nutty about wanting everything to be just right, perfect even.

Step back. Take a deep breath.

I've learned that WDW is too big to cover even 40% during your first trip. You cannot do it all. Don't even try. You will love it so much that you'll go back again. Maybe the next year, maybe you'll have to save a bit more and wait two years. But you will go back.

Remember during your first trip that you can log things in the back of your mind that you want to do next time or try next time or plan for next time.

Some people obsess over which resort to pick (we like movies so we'll stay at All Star Movies, but my son really likes sports so maybe we would be better off staying at All Star Sports, but my daughter loves music and playing the violin, will she be shattered if we don't stay at All Star Music?) but we've found they're all wonderful. We've stayed at all three Moderates and we love them all equally. We picked the Caribbean Beach for our first stay because we had honeymooned in the Caribbean. We chose the Coronado Springs because my wife likes southwest theming. We stayed at Port Orleans because it was the third Moderate and we hadn't tried it yet.

Don't get caught up in:

"Is it too hot in Florida?"
"How far is the walk to the bus stop?"
"How long did you wait for a bus?"
"How close is our resort to this or that park?"
"Which is better, the Hoop Dee Do or the Polynesian Luau?"
"How long is the line for Space Mountain at 2:30pm on a Wednesday?"
"Where is the most perfect possible location to see Wishes"?"
"If you order a hamburger medium-well at this restaurant, is it really medium-well?"
"Will there be enough time to park hop between all four parks in one day?"
"Should our daughter wear a Belle dress to Cinderella's Royal Table since Belle is her favorite character or should I force her to wear a Cindy dress because we're at the castle?"

See where I'm going with this?

Your vacation will be wonderful if you just take it easy.

Plan some ADR's but don't make reservations for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for each day. Plan a park per day. Try to work with the Extra Magic Hours but don't get crazy about hitting Early Entry at MK and then park hopping to AK for Extra Magic hours and then doing it again the next day and the next.

It will be a wonderful vacation if you just...go...with...the...flow.

I typed this out because I've advised about 10 people at work and they all said it was the best advice they got. They didn't adher to all of it and they still got a little bit out of control, but they tried to reign themselves in when they thought back to my advice.

"Why would you dress your daughter like a little rat?" (Cruella DeVille to me at MGM - now DHS - while taking a picture with my DD5 who was wearing a Minnie Mouse outfit!)

2014 - Disney Dream 4 Night Cruise /Port Orleans FQ
2012 - Port Orleans French Quarter
2011 - Disney's Hilton Head Island Resort
2010 - Caribbean Beach Resort
2009 - Carnival cruise out of Tampa, but after, we drove to WDW and spent a full day at Magic Kingdom.
2008 - Coronado Springs Resort/Disney's Vero Beach
2007 - Wife Earning her Masters Degree/No Vacation-
2006 - All Star Movies/Royal Pacific Resort (Universal)/Disney's Vero Beach
2005 - Port Orleans Riverside/Animal Kingdom Lodge/Disney's Vero Beach
2004 - Royal Pacific Resort (Universal)/Disney's Vero Beach
2003 - Coronado Springs Resort/Disney's Vero Beach
2002 - Caribbean Beach Resort

Last edited by mm6mm6; 07-14-2009 at 11:12 AM.
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