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Old 03-13-2013, 12:22 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by nik76 View Post
So, um... Going from park to park at DW is a little more than going from Disneyland to Disney California?
Yes. Here's a link showing Disneyland to California Adventure.

Here's another link showing Hollywood Studios to Epcot.

And the last link shows Magic Kingdom to Animal Kingdom.

You really have to approach Disney World like visiting a new city. It's very large and much different to visiting Disneyland.

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Old 03-13-2013, 06:19 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by nik76 View Post
As always, this site is invaluable.

Do the details that it's husband and me and 2 7-yr old boys traveling during October change any opinions/advice?
From what I responded, no - but for your decision on where you want to stay and whether you want the dining plan or not, yes.

I think the most important piece for you right now is your budget - that will be important in choosing your resort. The resort prices, even for a value, are pretty high as are the park tickets. I would recommend signing up on the Disney website and do a little playing around on there with your dates and hotel choices - I've heard quite a few people received a pin code after doing so (myself included). Also, order a DVD, that also may help.

If you don't know yet, a pin code is a discount offered to you specifically - they are non-transferable and may be offered when other discounts aren't.

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Old 03-13-2013, 06:50 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by nik76 View Post
So, um... Going from park to park at DW is a little more than going from Disneyland to Disney California?
We live near DL and visit a few times a month on average, and WDW is just a different world. It still amazes me how spread out everything is, and how to get from park to park you might be on a bus at freeway speed for over 10 minutes. That would get you out of Orange County from DL!

While the size can seem overwhelming, it makes it an awesome destination. We go and spend 9 days or more immersed in Disney, and don't visit anywhere off property. We just love being surrounded by Disney and treated the way that Disney treats their guests.

As far as resorts go, we obviously enjoy staying onsite. Even with that being a given, you still have a wide variety of choices, based mainly on how much luxury you are willing to pay for. It is all about compromise, and what features are "worth it" to you. Even within a category of resort there are different prices, amenities, and location options.

We tend to spread our time out among all four parks and Downtown Disney, so location doesn't matter too much because close to one park is far from another. With that being said, we do love having different transportation options and the ability to get to a park relatively quickly. We do the Disney transportation, and don't rent a car. We enjoy the resort areas so much that we consider the time navigating through them to just be part of the fun of the vacation, even though they don't require a park ticket to visit.

Overall, you will have the chance to have a great time at WDW, with a lot of different ways to customize your vacation to higlight the things your family enjoys most. While it can be overwhelming at first, it can wind up being a whole lot of fun.
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Old 03-13-2013, 07:10 PM   #19
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Welcome! We go to both DL and WDW and you are right in that they are very different. WDW is the size of a small town -- it's not possible to walk to most places. There are buses, monorails, and boats to transport you from your resort (if you stay on property) to the various parks.

I think the first thing you have to do is figure out what kind of resort you want (value, moderate, deluxe) and what you can afford. Then we can help you narrow down your options even more.

Unlike many families on the DIS here, we don't spend most of our time at the MK (and neither do our friends IRL) since we frequent DL enough that we want to see the other parts of WDW that don't exist out west (Epcot, AK, and DHS). Knowing what parks you plan to visit can also help you pick your resort if you want a place that is more conveniently located to specific areas of WDW. It's not like DL where the GC is super close to both parks and you can walk to everything.

Originally Posted by nik76 View Post
So, um... Going from park to park at DW is a little more than going from Disneyland to Disney California?
It doesn't compare at all. Mostly you can't walk at all and you should plan on at least 30 mins to get from the front of one park to another (using Disney transportation).

It may seem overwhelming at first, but there is a wealth of info on these boards and lots of people who will be happy to help you. There is a dedicated thread for each resort, also, so that's a good place to start as soon as you have an idea of how much you would like to pay. The photos are really helpful, too. Most of the WDW resorts are themed, and hopefully there will be one that is well-suited to your family.

Good luck with your planning!

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Old 03-13-2013, 07:15 PM   #20
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Step 1. Set a budget. This is THE most important part of planning a Disney vacation. Don't think more $$$ will equal a better vacation. We have done Value trips and splurged on Deluxe trips - loved them all. Be honest with yourself. How much are you comfortable spending on a Disney Vacation...then.

Step 2 - Pick your resort. From Value to Deluxe Club Level...everyone on this board has a favorite. You need to decide if a Value, Moderate or Deluxe fits your budget.There are plenty of options in all 3 levels. Don't forget - it is still waayy to early for Disney to release promotions for the Fall - so the prices you are looking at are full price.

Step 3 - Decide what kind of tickets do you want. Are you a 1 Park per day kind of person or do you prefer the flexibility of hopping? Add this $ to your total.

Step 4 - review the menus and play around with the numbers before you decide on the Dining Plan or not. Tons of people eat very well for much less than the price of the Dining Plan - others swear by it. You have to run the numbers and see what works best for your family. Add you food budget to your total.

Step 5 - To rent a car or not ....Again ...tons of people use Disney Transportation happily - others wouldn't go unless they could rent a car. Depending on what appeals to your family and what your budget looks like- check the transportation board here for codes/rates.


p.s - we are a "Deluxe resort, Park Hopping, love the Dining Plan and always rent a car" kind of family.
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Old 03-13-2013, 07:32 PM   #21
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Resorts You've gotten some great advice here. Having stayed on-site and off site, we prefer onsite. Disney transportation, especially to Magic Kingdom can save you valuable time!!!!

Values, Moderate, Deluxe Before most of the moderates had Queen Size beds, that was a deal breaker for my family. I cannot get a good night's sleep sharing a full size bed with either my daughter or my husband. We tried the Values and they have a fun atmosphere, but the crowds, noise level and atmosphere were just not how my family wants to spend our time at the resort. We also love the deluxe resorts, but if it is not in the budget, I would be perfectly happy at a moderate.

Now that most moderates have Queen Size beds (all but Caribbean Beach and Fort Wilderness Cabins), I think the moderates are a great vacation value. You get Queen size beds, nice atmosphere, beautiful grounds, fantastic pools and some of the best Quick Service meals will be found at the moderate food courts.

As for Dining Plan with two 7 year old boys, the dining plan can be an excellent value if you plan to do character meals. I have gone with and without the dining plan and from my experience, the inclusion of a child 9 and under is when you really start to save money with the dining plan. E.g. the dining plan for a child 9 and under, the dining plan is approx. $18/day. One character meal for a child will run you about $20-$25 alone. Plus you get a snack each day, a counter service meal each day and a refillable mug. As for adults, I think we break even or maybe save a little over the period of a week, but we save lots of money on the child. Plus, I don't have to keep track of dining bills and I get to say yes to that ice cream, popcorn, etc. and now that it is already paid for in my budget.
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