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Old 03-28-2013, 06:07 AM   #1
Earning My Ears
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 3

First Trip to Disney! - (I need help!)

Hi everyone,

I am looking to go to Disney in October this year. It will be my first time so I'm a complete novice. There will be myself, my husband and my 3 children one of whom has autism (he's 5).

Could anyone recommend best places to stay and the pros and cons of staying on site/off site please?

Also are the dining plans good value? Is food majorly expensive within WDW? x

Sorry for lots of questions but I'm excited! haha
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Old 03-28-2013, 08:48 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Georgia
Posts: 1,013

Before I could recommend a place to stay, I would need to know things like: budget?, other kids ages?, things you like/need in a resort?, are you driving? renting a car?

I definitely vote to stay onsite! Whether you have a car or not, the Disney transportation is just wonderfully convenient! And there is nothing like being immersed in the magic.

IMO, the only pro to staying offsite would be you could save money. But that is debatable.

DDP is only offered to guests staying at a Disney resort and purchasing a package. I am a proponent of the DDP! As far as the question of is it a good value, that question can only be answered by you. How much does your family eat normally? How often? Are you going to do character meals? Are you looking for convenience as a factor?
I do recommend checking out allears.net. There you can see all of Disney's restaurants with menus and prices and get an idea of where you'd like to eat and approximately how much it will run you.

I will be happy to answer any other questions that you have. You can private message me if you'd like as well.

Happy planning!
Sept 2008- offsite, Sept 2010- Poly, Sept 2011- GF, Sept 2013-WL, Sept 2014- YC
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Old 03-28-2013, 12:57 PM   #3
Main Street Matilda
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: The Real Jersey Shore
Posts: 185

Like GaBelle said, there is other information that anyone would need to know before they could offer appropriate advice, but I would say that the best advice I ever got was to get as much information as you can from these boards and elsewhere on the internet and plan, plan, plan. There are so many good sites that can tell you everything from what days are the best days to go to go to each park, the menus for each restaurant and the best ways to find discounts. There is so much to do in Disney that without a plan, it can get overwhelming.

October is a lovely time to go, so you are starting off on the right foot. I am a fan on staying on-site although there are lovely places to stay off-site, too. I've stayed in both and found that when staying on Disney property, it was a more complete experience for me - but that is just personal preference. I also like the DDP just because I like going in knowing what I'll be spending on meals, but there are many that feel that this is not a good value and they are probably right - I just happen to like knowing what my meal costs will be, in advance.

Oh, and please try to book your dinner reservations as close to the 180 day mark as possible. You don't want to miss out on a restaurant you really want to go to because you waited too long to get the reservations.

As for the resorts, there are so many posts with pictures for each resort. People on these boards are not hesitant to post their opinions - you'll get a good feel for the pros and cons of each.

Good luck to you and enjoy!
DS - 16 years old
DS - 14 years old
DD - 11 years old

1985- Off Property
1986 - Off Property
2002 - Yacht Club
2004 - Off Property (Vistana Village)
2006 - Wilderness Lodge Villas
2007 - Saratoga Springs
2009 - Kidani Village
2010 - Fort Wilderness
2011 - Bay Lake Towers
2013 - Fort Wilderness and Old Key West
2014 - 7-day Disney Cruise on the Fantasy
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