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Old 06-15-2013, 11:35 PM   #1
Czardas
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Help me make it to Disneyworld this time

Hi, I have been to Disneyland 4 times (only got back 2 weeks ago) and trip 3 then 4 were meant to be to Disneyworld but each time I went to plan, I freaked out because I couldn't grasp the size, the accomodation or the transport etc.
I am determined not to do the same thing again and plod on.

Is there anything you can say to ease me into the planning before I decide to change the trip to The Hamptons etc.

How did you get your head around it the first time? And yes I read the Dis boards intently for my planning, maybe this is what confused me lol.
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Old 06-16-2013, 12:07 AM   #2
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Hi Czardas,

Planning a WDW holiday is a huge task, but I think that if you enjoy planning like I do, organising a WDW holiday can work in your favour rather than against you. As long as you have plenty of time up your sleeve before you go, view the planning as a fun extension of your holiday.

Every book I've hired from the library, and every new WDW-related website I have found, has made me feel like a kid in a candy store. It was daunting at first and I didn't quite know where to start. But once you've read a book or two, it all becomes much easier.

One of my favourite places in the world to visit in a small resort in Fiji. Other than the airfare and insurance, there are no separate tours, transfers and meals to organise, so the whole booking process takes just a few hours. While I love the holiday itself, I often feel like I've been cheated out of all the fun of a build-up and planning. The same can never be said about a WDW holiday
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Old 06-16-2013, 12:12 AM   #3
wishing4PA
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1. Don't worry.
2. Pick a time to go. If you want low crowds, look at something like mousesavers best and worst times to go list. If you have to work it into your own tight schedule and can't pick a "good" time, just pick the time.
3. Either get a Disney TA to do it for you, or get on Disney's site and first see if there are any special offers covering your time (if you like to save money.)
4. If not going through the special offers link, just plug in your dates and info. Stay on site. Stay on site. Repeat: stay on site. (Okay, you don't have to, but I think you should do that.)
5. Pick some resort that looks nice.
6. Book trip.
7. Look at easywdw's calendar and pick ONE "green" (low crowd) park per day. Forget hoppers, btw, you can add them later if you need them.
8. Figure out what day is 180 days out from the first day of your trip. On that day, book a midday sit down meal at your chosen park. Or dinner. Or breakfast. Whatever. DO NOT LOOK BACK. Do not go back and check if your chosen day is still green. Just book the meal, and now you know which park you will be in on each day.
9. Maybe ... look at park highlights or read on DIS what is most popular so that you can get FP for something that really needs FP when you first arrive at the park (or book it early if Disney changes the whole way this works before you get there.) If you skip this, then after step 10, you just walk into your chosen daily park. Open your map (hopefully out of human traffic areas.) Pick some good looking ride and walk that direction.
10. 6 months later, go to WDW. Use the provided transportation to get around the place. Have fun, and don't worry about missing things. You will miss stuff. Who cares? Just have fun.

Whoops! Did I make it sound complicated?
Seriously, if you book a resort on property, it will make the trip easier. And just because everyone on the DIS has opinions about the best/worst resorts doesn't mean you have to stress over which one. Just pick one. Go. Have fun.

Don't worry about the details of transportation around WDW (to/from resort & parks). Once you are there it will be obvious. Big signs. Helpful CMs to ask.
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Old 06-16-2013, 12:50 AM   #4
Czardas
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Thank you for your replies. I'm a mad planner, so I won't have any problems there, but I will never use a travel agent as I prefer to do it all myself (read travel control freak)
I also have a relaxing holiday in Singapore coming up and then a big trip to Dubai and Egypt next February, I have just booked our US flights for May next year, so I have plenty of time to get my head around it all.

Will certainly take your advice and stay on site. Do you have a favourite and if so why?
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Old 06-16-2013, 01:02 AM   #5
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czardas - Planning for a trip to WDW can be as complicated or as simple as you wish it to be.

The important things for me are flights to get to and from my destinations, valid passport and ESTA, travel insurance, somewhere to sleep and money. The rest (including table service ADRs).....you can kinda wing it if you wanted to. Unless you really really really want to eat at one of the more popular table service restaurants, you'll be fine.

Where to stay on-site comes down to budget. You'll find that everyone will have a favourite depending on whether you're looking at Value, Moderate or Deluxe resorts. Once you figure out which category, then it's a matter of which resort theme appeals the most to you.

May is a good time to visit. It'll be Flower and Garden time; and depending on when you go, you might be there for a StarWars weekend as well.
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Old 06-16-2013, 02:36 AM   #6
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I rather like this infographic which demonstrates the main steps.

I also like your first visit - although this one takes a really approach. the writer has an opinion and kinda makes a lot of decisions for you.

there are heaps of other great websites - like AllEars.net (show all the menus and accommodation) and easywdw does the crowd calendar type stuff as well as general info.

of course the DISboard are full of info and everyone here can help you with your more specific questions
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Old 06-16-2013, 12:52 PM   #7
wishing4PA
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When I woke up this morning, I said, did I actually write all that last night & possibly scare off the OP? Actually, I did try to keep it simple, but I think it is easy to go overboard at WDW. Some additional thoughts I had this morning...

You didn't say how long you are staying, but I realized that one reason it wasn't quite so overwhelming to me was that I grew up as the park complex did. I learned MK. Years later, EPCOT opened, and I got to know it. Then I had a break before coming back and said, omg, there are 2 new parks, what do I do?

So, I'll throw out this idea, too. Depending on how long you are staying, you might want to just scratch off a park. Get to know the other 3 and save one for another trip. As for which one, well... I'd leave off either HS or AK. I know MK has some similarities to DL, but it's still worth seeing, and might make you feel less lost. All of the parks are worth seeing, but if cutting one out makes it easier to deal with the other 3, it might be worthwhile.

Also, I wanted to add that keep in mind when you see people talking about the best/worst resorts, best/worst restaurants, etc., that a lot of these folks go there a lot. Maybe they've stayed in all the mods and have a favorite (on these boards, it's probably POFQ, lol.) Maybe they have discovered that they love a particular restaurant so much they can't imagine a trip to the world without eating there. All fine and dandy, but you really don't need to stress to find the "best" resort, wing, room, restaurant, etc. WDW overall is still very well run and you can have a great time without making it to any particular part of it. It's your first trip. Believe me, there's a good chance you will eventually make it back. Like a PP said, pick a resort category based on budget and/or style, pick a theme that appeals to you, and just go with it. It's a vacation, not a quest for the perfect trip.

Oh, and I can't say I have a favorite resort myself. I haven't stayed there enough to try them all yet! And I can't think of any I would not be happy to stay in. I do like the boats at WDW, so I guess my only preference would be to stay somewhere with one. That means any of the deluxes other than AKL (though I would be more than willing to stay there, too.) Or POFQ or POR for the DTD boats. However, my budget will no doubt steer me back to a value sooner or later, and that's fine too.
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* 7/2013 (YC with DD), 1/2012 (Poly - me, DD, DN, DN, DSis, thanks! ), 7/2010 (FW - the Poly5+Mom), 2/2009 (DD4 & DH's 1st visit! ASMo), Day trip ~1990, Overnight "Jazz Night" with HS band (1978?), ~10 Day trips in 1970's-80's (E tickets!)
* Disney World Preview Center (1970?) An amusement park here, in the middle of nowhere, far from the beaches, nowhere near anything, even dinky little Orlando? That'll never fly!

Last edited by wishing4PA; 06-16-2013 at 12:58 PM.
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Old 06-16-2013, 10:47 PM   #8
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When in May did you book? Try and avoid anything the Memorial Day long weekend, 24-26 May 2014, crazy crowds. A lot of the US school holidays are staggered across different districts, so non-major holiday school holiday time can just be crowded rather than carzy crowded.

I think wishing4PA's list is great. You won't see it all, doesn't matter how much planning you do or how long you spend there. You will miss things. Things will be closed, new things will have been added to the park that you didn't find in your research, things will be being refurbished. You will go back Don't panic

I first went before the internet when you had to rely on a guide book, and the guide books in Australia were usually at least 18months out of date. It was really easy to miss stuff! But it was also really easy to make a discovery as you came around a corner and went 'WOW!!!!! Look at that!!!' Then you'd find out that the current issue of the guide book had 20 pages devoted to the new feature you'd managed to find without the guidebook anyway.
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