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Old 10-06-2012, 02:37 PM   #1
MinnieMama09
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First trip to WDW...where to start?!!

We just recently moved to the east coast and are possibly going to book our first trip to WDW for the first week in January (2nd-6th). We just moved from Arizona (very familiar with DL...but completely overwhelmed with WDW!). I've been looking at the value resorts but have nothing to compare it to, so any thoughts would be greatly appreciated! We have always stayed at the DLH, loved the theming for the kids, but are trying to be a little more on a budget with this trip. We have 2 young children, DD 3 1/2, DS 6...love all the Disney character themed type rooms I've seen at some of the value resorts but not sure where to start...AoA, POP, etc?

We also plan on probably only visiting 2 of the parks this first trip, a little overwhelmed to say the least. MK of course, but still trying to decide on what other park may be best with young children?

Thanks for any thoughts and recommendations you may have!

Last edited by MinnieMama09; 10-06-2012 at 02:50 PM.
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Old 10-06-2012, 02:56 PM   #2
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The only advice I can offer is that my nephew, who was 6 on his first visit, really liked Epcot Innoventions and Animal Kingdom. I would spend a day at MK and the other day at either AK or Epcot. I wouldn't go to HS if I had 2 days to spend in the parks. I have read a lot of people say that Epcot isn't for kids but my nephew could have stayed all day in Innoventions (West and East). Also at Epcot for kids, is Turtle Talk with Crush and our course, I have to add Journey into the Imagination with Figment, but that is one of my favorites. My nephew also really enjoyed this miniature train land they have set up in the back of the world pavilion, on the right side of Germany. We never really noticed it before, but he loved it. Have a great time!
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Old 10-06-2012, 02:58 PM   #3
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Welcome to the East Coast.

I felt very overwhelmed with my first trip to WDW and I did lots of research prior to my first trip.

I think all the value resorts would be great for your kids ages. I don't think there is a bad one. They might actually like All Star Movies.

I just visited AoA and it is really neat, but they are all suites except for the Little Mermaid Section. Still, if you stayed at Pop you could walk over and check all the great theming in the Cars section.

MK definitely. Second park is hard to pick. They are all very different. With small kids I'm not sure. Epcot is the biggest and there is a lot to do and there are even Kidcot stations in all the countries.

I personally love the AK and January would be a great time to explore all the trails.

Tough decision.

Happy planning.
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Old 10-06-2012, 03:30 PM   #4
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I would suggest a AoA suite if you don't mind paying the $$. Don't think there have been any room-only discounts out for Jan. yet. Next I would say ASMovies. IMO it has the best theme for young children and you may out-grow the values later (they only have full beds).
I would suggest MK and AK for the best parks based on your kids ages. Epcot really only has Nemo and they are still a little young for DHS IMO.
We now buy non-expiring hopper tickets since it is just DH and I now. It works better for us since we only do 3/4 day trips and we can go to 1/2 parks a day and do our favorites.
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Old 10-06-2012, 04:39 PM   #5
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Maybe you know of this site:http://allears.net/index.html already, but if not it may be helpful...definetly one of the best.

I know you will have a great time!!!
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Old 10-06-2012, 09:15 PM   #6
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Thank you all for the advice...I'm actually leaning towards AK or even Hollywood Studios (looks like a lot of neat shows the kids would enjoy too). We are actually now looking at our calendars again and may "try" Thanksgiving time instead of January...have to do it on a school break as I am a teacher. Need to book it NOW though if that is the case! We did Thanksgiving at DL last year and absolutely LOVED it! We went the Wed-Sat. of Thanksgiving week and it really wasn't that bad crowd wise...how is it at WDW?

Oh, we need to make a decision quickly I know! I checked and we can get a pretty decent rate at All Stars Movies and it looks like something the kids would love. Thanks for the allears website reminder, that IS a great site. Oh, what to do, what to do...
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Old 10-06-2012, 09:37 PM   #7
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Our kids are 3 and 5 and we won't do DHS when we go back,..yes Disney Junior, LM and Beauty and the beast shows were great, but after that and toy story mania, there was nothing left to do for that age range. I am excited to go back when they get older. They loved Epcot...soarin and crush and the great kidscot sections plus really good character meet and greets made it outstanding. We added a day to our 5 days of tickets so we could go a second day.
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Old 10-06-2012, 10:04 PM   #8
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My kids enjoy AK. It is always the first park they want to go to, even over MK, which always surprises me. My daughter had just turned 7 and her favorite ride through all 4 parks was EE.

If possible I would go in January. The crowd level is much lower than Thanksgiving week. You would definitely get to do/see more for your money.
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Old 10-06-2012, 11:45 PM   #9
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I'd do MK and DHS with your kid's ages but that's me.

I'd go in January too. When do you go back to school? Could you go like Jan 2-7 or so? There will be a discount available for that time period starting on October 10th so you could save a good bit of $$
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Old 10-07-2012, 05:37 AM   #10
MinnieMama09
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Originally Posted by MMS1125 View Post
I'd do MK and DHS with your kid's ages but that's me.

I'd go in January too. When do you go back to school? Could you go like Jan 2-7 or so? There will be a discount available for that time period starting on October 10th so you could save a good bit of $$
Oh, that's awesome to know...thank you! Those actually were the dates we were looking at for January. We had such a great time last Thanksgiving even with some of the crowds...it actually wasn't THAT bad though, but yes, January would be less. Hmmmm...
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Old 10-07-2012, 06:36 AM   #11
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We just got back from Disney last month and my kids ages 8,7,6 liked MK and Epcot the best. HS was their least favorite. Met Phineas and Ferb, saw the muppet show, rode star tours, toy story mania and then they were done...good luck!
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Old 10-07-2012, 08:22 AM   #12
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Okay, thanks all for the comments...we are going to stick with the Jan. 2-6 dates...much better after researching crowd levels at Thanksgiving at WDW. Very excited and waiting to see what promotion is coming out on Wed. I went ahead and made ADRs for some character meals on those dates we are there.
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Old 10-07-2012, 08:55 AM   #13
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I think the January time frame will be a lot better for you crowd wise! I've never been in Jan. but from trip reports on the Dis, it seems like everyone really clears out right after New Year's Day. Are you doing just 2 park days or were you planning on doing 2 parks but repeating them? Just wondering, as you will be there 4-5 days it looks like. I would up your park time, if it's financially possible! That way you could do all 4 parks or maybe pick 3 and then repeat your favorite.
What ADR's have you gotten? For your kid's ages there are a lot to pick from! Crystal Palace (MK) has Pooh & friends, Chef Mickey is great for Mickey & the rest of the classics, 1900 Park Fare dinner is GREAT. Seriously my favorite for character interaction, you will see Cinderella, Prince Charming, Lady Tremaine, Anastasia & Drizella. Or if you wanted a princess meal with more princesses, Akershus (Norway, Epcot) is great too. Oh and there is a character meal at DHS that features some of the Disney Jr characters...it's called Play & Dine I believe. I have never been to that meal, so I can't really comment, but I have read great reviews!
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Old 10-07-2012, 08:59 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MinnieMama09 View Post
Thank you all for the advice...I'm actually leaning towards AK or even Hollywood Studios (looks like a lot of neat shows the kids would enjoy too). We are actually now looking at our calendars again and may "try" Thanksgiving time instead of January...have to do it on a school break as I am a teacher. Need to book it NOW though if that is the case! We did Thanksgiving at DL last year and absolutely LOVED it! We went the Wed-Sat. of Thanksgiving week and it really wasn't that bad crowd wise...how is it at WDW?

Oh, we need to make a decision quickly I know! I checked and we can get a pretty decent rate at All Stars Movies and it looks like something the kids would love. Thanks for the allears website reminder, that IS a great site. Oh, what to do, what to do...
We go every year and our kids LOVE HS. The playhouse Disney show, muppet 3d, Toy Story, Beauty and the beast......My kids would rather stay at the resort and swim than go to epcot, and I have a wide range of ages (15,10,5). Yes, there is things to do, but not to compare IMO. AK, we ususally only stay there a couple hgours and the kids are bored. But everyone is different.
Our FAV value is movies. You will LOVE it. We have 5 people now, so we go to POR, but considered doing 2 rooms at ASMO. It has just been refurb'd too.
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Old 10-07-2012, 09:01 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MinnieMama09 View Post
Okay, thanks all for the comments...we are going to stick with the Jan. 2-6 dates...much better after researching crowd levels at Thanksgiving at WDW. Very excited and waiting to see what promotion is coming out on Wed. I went ahead and made ADRs for some character meals on those dates we are there.
Yeah, I was fearful for you as you considered Thanksgivivng week as your first trip Jan will be much better
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