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Old 04-09-2009, 12:48 PM   #1
DaveStroem
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Top 10 Disney Tips for Noobies

I have come across a number of people that are going to Disney for the first time or have not been for a long time. They ask me for some tips & I always have to write some things down for them.

I was thinking it would be nice to gather up a top ten list for Disney noobies and have them printed out to give to these people.

Here is what I have so far. Please add to this list with your favorite tips for noobies. They should stay pretty general and not be too specific like "When riding Soarin' ask to sit in section B1"
  1. Research – You will likely be spending thousands of dollars on your Disney Vacation. Spend some time researching your trip. Get maps so you will know your way around. Pick up a touring guide like the Unofficial Guide to Disney World. Check out bulletin boards like DISBoards.com, they can be invaluable and have lots of Disney experts that are happy to help you have a Magical trip. On these boards you can find out everything from menus to information about hidden Mickeys.

  2. Have a Plan – Choose your dates trying to avoid holidays. Once you have your dates, chose which park you want to go to each day. Consult the calendar on the Disney.com website for current hours. Disney hours are not the same everyday and can change often. Disney also offers Extra Magic Hours for Disney resort guests. These times allow resort guests only in the park before and after the non resort guests may enter. These can make the parks extra busy on the day that a park has an EMH. Decide before getting in the park which rides you want to do first, second and third and know where these rides are at. This will save a considerable amount of time trying to figure out where to go. There are also pay sites like touringplan.com, tourguidemike.com and ridemax.com. Considering how much a trip cost, spending an extra $20 for some great advise is cheap.

  3. ADR – Advance Dining Reservation. If you want to eat at a sit down restaurant while at Disney World you should have reservations. ADRs can be made 90 days in advance by calling 407-WDW-DINE. Most of the better restaurants will fill up quickly and not take any walk up requests for dining. There are also many Counter Service restaurants that don't take reservations. Eating early will lesson the crowds, as there is a huge difference in the lines from 11:30 to 12:00.

  4. Park Hopping – If you want to go to more than one park on the same day you need a Park Hopper ticket. You cannot just use an extra day from your Magic Your Way ticket to hit 2 parks in the same day. If you are unsure that you will use park hopping, don’t get it but put the money aside (currently the hopper option is $50 per ticket for your entire stay whether it is one day or 10) and then if you need to add the hopper option you can upgrade at any ticket booth or even at your Disney resort. If you don’t end up hopping you just saved a considerable amount of money that you can spend on that stuffed Mickey you have been eyeing.

  5. Transportation – Getting around the parks is easy, but can take a while. Buses, monorails and boats go between resorts and theme parks and from theme parks to theme parks but not from resorts to resorts. Allow for 30-60 minutes to get from a resort to a theme park and a bit longer to get from one resort to another. Disney Magic Express provides free airport transportation to and from Disney resorts. (advanced booking for DME is required)

  6. Rope Drop – Disney gets crowded. The earlier in the day you start your tour of the parks, the more you will get done. If you get there 30 minutes before the park opens for the day you will be at the turnstiles when they open 15 minutes before the park opens. From the turnstiles you will be held inside the park by a rope. When the park officially opens for the day they remove the rope and you may then proceed to the attractions. You will get more done in the first hour than you will in the next 3 hours and more done in the first 3 hours than you will the rest of the day.

  7. Fastpasses – They are free and are included with your park admission. You get a Fastpass by inserting your Key to the World card or park ticket into the Fastpass machine at the attraction you want the Fastpass for. This will give you a ticket with a return time that will allow you to ride with a minimal wait. You can get a second Fastpass as soon as the return time on the ticket or 2 hours from the time you got the previous Fastpass whichever is less. Fastpasses may be used after the return time that is printed on the ticket but never before the time printed.

  8. Take Care of Yourself and Your Group - Make sure to drink plenty of water. Dehydration can cause meltdowns and muscle fatigue. If someone in your group starts to imitate Grumpy from the Seven Dwarfs have them drink some water. There are many drinking fountains around the parks but filtered water is also available for free from any location that has fountain drinks. Bring a couple of pairs of comfortable shoes that are broken in. Take a first aid kit with moleskin for putting on blisters and check your kids feet regularly to make sure that they don't have a blister starting. Extra dry socks are a good idea to take with you into the parks. Medicated powders can be helpful for keeping chaffing under control. If your in pain, your not feeling the Magic.

  9. Know your Group – Gear your trip to the needs and interest of all members of your group. Not all people are into big coasters or meeting characters. Plan something for everyone. Also remember that you are only as strong as your weakest link. Young children (some adults too) may need a break in the afternoon whether it is a nap or a swim in the pool. You will then be better rested to hit the parks in the evening. Remember that you can get Fastpasses before you leave that you can use when you get back to the park.

  10. Have Fun – Remember that this is a vacation and not a military exercise. You will not be able to see and do everything in a single visit. Slow down and enjoy what you are doing instead of rushing around trying to get it all done. If you miss something, don't get upset about it. Just think of it as being the reason for your next trip to the Mouse House.
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Top 10 Tips for Disney Noobies
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Old 04-09-2009, 12:53 PM   #2
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My number one would be:

GET TO THE PARKS WHEN THEY OPEN.

My numbers two through ten would be:

SEE RULE NUMBER ONE.
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Old 04-09-2009, 12:53 PM   #3
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Smile Excellent!

This is a great idea Dave! I think you should mention they should visit the DisBoards and poke around for information. This board is how I learned everything I know about Disney.

Thanks DisBoarders!!!
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Old 04-09-2009, 12:58 PM   #4
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1. Bring more than one pair of comfortable shoes
2. Bring your patience and expect to wait for everything.
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Old 04-09-2009, 01:01 PM   #5
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Have at least a general plan of action.

Get a map of each park (many online), and get familiar with the attractions. Decide what attractions are most important, and plan at least what attractions you will try to go to first, second, third (but staying flexible if things should not work out quite the way as planned). If nothing else, it can keep you from wasting a lot of time discussing (or arguing), "well, what do you want to do next?" "well, I don't know, what else is there in this park?", etc.
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Old 04-09-2009, 01:01 PM   #6
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Is ropedrop crazy? Should it be avoided?
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Old 04-09-2009, 01:02 PM   #7
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I think your ideas are great!! My biggest advice would be to spend time discussing it with you travelling companions and every one pick 1 or 2 things that are a must do for them..and make sure they get done. Everything else will be a bonus. Once you have gotten away from the "Ihave to see everything" you can slow down a bit and really take the time to enjoy it.
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Old 04-09-2009, 01:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveStroem View Post
I[*]ADR – Advance Dining Reservation. If you want to eat at a sit down restaurant while at Disney World you should have reservations. ADRs can be made 90 days in advance by calling 404-WDW-DINE. Most of the better restaurants will fill up quickly and not take any walk up requests for dining.
I think I would add to this that there are plenty of Counter Service restaurants, and they don't take reservations. (We have never yet made an ADR nor eaten at a WDW table-service restaurant. We like to spend as little time and money as possible on food...)
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Old 04-09-2009, 01:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob P View Post
My number one would be:

GET TO THE PARKS WHEN THEY OPEN.

My numbers two through ten would be:

SEE RULE NUMBER ONE.
Everyone always says this and I don't get it. We have NEVER once been at a park for it's opening, and in fact, often times don't even get to the parks until 10:00 or so (I know, GASP ) and we have never once had a major issue getting to do what we wanted to do. We have only ever gone during the busiest times of year because my family is made up of teachers (Christmas, Thanksgiving, Summer, etc...) I just don't see the big deal with being in the MASS of people when the park opens
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Old 04-09-2009, 01:29 PM   #10
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Get there early and do everything that is a MUST first because the lines are very short and grab a fastpass for it
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Old 04-09-2009, 01:35 PM   #11
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Sorry. Isn't the phone number for Disney Dining 407 - WDW-DINE? I think you put down 404. Unless I have the wrong number?
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Old 04-09-2009, 01:41 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g-dad66 View Post
I think I would add to this that there are plenty of Counter Service restaurants, and they don't take reservations. (We have never yet made an ADR nor eaten at a WDW table-service restaurant. We like to spend as little time and money as possible on food...)
That's great to know. We are going in 10 days for our first ever trip (for 14 days) and we haven't made any reservations for food. I was thinking "uh oh - we won't be able to eat" - but as long as we can get something we don't really mind where it is or what it is.
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Old 04-09-2009, 01:46 PM   #13
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Thanks stacy, I got it fixed.
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Old 04-09-2009, 01:50 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotrodguy View Post
Is ropedrop crazy? Should it be avoided?

Yes & No

Yes RD is crazy, No it should not be avoided.
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Old 04-09-2009, 02:21 PM   #15
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Remember that you are only as strong as your weakest link. Get out of the parks and rest as soon as the first member of the party starts to fade. Leave with the memories of having fun, not the ones where you tried to power through and had meltdowns galore!
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