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Old 03-14-2013, 05:13 PM   #16
Earning My Ears
ghoweywilson's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 42

I would suggest understanding the FP system as well as whichever Dining Plan you have chosen (if you have). Then making your ADR's and planning your days a bit around them. (Though no one's plans ever goes 100% accordingly) Become familiar with your methods of transportation as well too. ie. cost of booked shuttles for other parks, time it will take to get to parks be it by bus or car as well as how to get to all your ADR's if they are at other resorts etc etc

I would also get to know the layout of the park and plan what rides you and your party really want to do and the best way you can go about doing all these things. You don't want to waste time running across the park from ride to ride.

I would also check and see what's going on at Disney during your stay. What is closed, what's open as well as any special events that may be going on. Epcot's Flower and Garden festival will still be ending mid May and Star Wars Weekends at Hollywood Studios will be beginning both of which can effect your days in parks.
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Old 03-14-2013, 07:29 PM   #17
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Great suggestions from other posters. OP, iIt sounds like you're way ahead of lots of visitors who make no plans whatsoever and spend lots of time standing around and looking at a map, trying to decide what to do next. As Cheshire Figment said, many first-time WDW visitors do not even know about making advance dining reservations, how to use fast pass, and other WDW "basics."

One things that I would recommend is to try to make it to the park prior to rope drop most days (every day if you can). You will get more done in the first three hours than many people would be able to do in an entire day if you arrive before park opening. Most folks think, "I'm not going to get up early - I'm on vacation!" and stroll into the parks around 11:00 am. By that time, I've been able to do most of what I want in any given park, and the rest is just gravy!

Another suggestion would be to get a good guidebook - the Unofficial Guide is my favorite by far. By reading through it, you'll have access to great tips, tricks, and excellent reviews of rides, hotels, and restaurants. I always recommend the UG to "newbies" because it gives you a great foundation about how you want to plan your trip. Even if you don't use a detailed touring plan (I don't!), you'll be able to figure out a great general strategy to use.

Have a great vacation!
(Teddy, Callie, and Zoe - my "furry kids")
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Old 03-14-2013, 09:09 PM   #18
Earning My Ears
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Join Date: Mar 2013
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Great thread! Being technically a "newbie" (last trip 16 years ago!!) I had NO idea about how to use the fast pass! I thought it was like 6 Flags where you pay for it! Awesome tips!
Mom Dad Little Man

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Old 03-14-2013, 11:43 PM   #19
Join Date: Nov 2012
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Originally Posted by msp2mco
Great advice from pp'ers.

It is helpful for everyone in your party to know that the resort is huge. You cannot walk between parks (except HS and EP), and you will not be able to do everything. Rides may break down or attractions are closed for refurbishment, so something everyone wanted to do may not be available. Getting from your hotel to a park also takes a lot of time.
How can you walk from HS to EP?
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Old 03-14-2013, 11:44 PM   #20
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A couple of add'l items.
- I would recommend Park Hopper passes so you can leave 1 park and go to another if it gets to crowded.

- Pick a few must do for each park so you can go there first or fastpass.

- There are a number of detailed "tour books" IMO I would stay with a simplier one for the first trip. The official guidebook is colorful and easy to read. Go to a bookstore, grab a cup of coffee and start reading the books. If you can't put one down thats the one for you.

- If you are staying on property enjoy the resort.
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Old 03-15-2013, 02:28 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by nonstopdisneymom View Post
How can you walk from HS to EP?
You can see the path marked on this map:

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