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Old 12-04-2012, 09:21 AM   #1
jchristie214
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Our First Trip to Disney World!!!!!!

Hey all!

We are soooo excited! My husband and I are finally able to take our kids to Disney World for the first time! Our boys are both 14 and our daughter is 11 (almost 12). The kids know and are super excited! We are driving there from Louisiana and will be arriving in Orlando December 30, 2012 and staying there until January 5th, 2013. So we will be rining in the New Year with Mickey and friends!

We are staying offsite at Windsor Hills in a condo.

Few Questions:
1. I need to know how to pack for the weather?
2. what kind of snacks/bottles can we bring into Disney?
3. Things that are a MUST and not to be missed?
4. photo pass info? is it worth it and which one to get if so?

Any other advice is greatly appreicated!!!!!!
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Old 12-04-2012, 11:38 AM   #2
shalom
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will be arriving in Orlando December 30, 2012 and staying there until January 5th, 2013.
We'll be leaving home the day you're leaving Disney. You'll be ringing in the New Year with Mickey! We'll be... I dunno, hanging around WDW in dreary January? Won't be quite the same, anyhow. You'll be dealing with a lot more crowds than we will, that's for sure!

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1. I need to know how to pack for the weather?
Layers. It may be very cold, or it may be in the seventies, and that may all happen in one day!

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2. what kind of snacks/bottles can we bring into Disney?
No glass, I know, but other than that they aren't picky unless you want to bring in a cooler on wheels or something. Coolers on wheels are right out.

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3. Things that are a MUST and not to be missed?
Everyone's "musts" are different. For instance, "Dumbo" is often a must, but with your crew, maybe not so much. Plenty of kids that age like it, but most kids that age think it's uncool. Then they like it again as adults.

If you post to the "theme park attractions and strategies" board, you'll get many much suggestions. Most Fastpass attractions are "must dos," however there are things like meeting the Princess or Mickey or the "extra" Fastpasses like Philharmagic that are favorites for some but don't appear on a lot of must do lists.

I would say the Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, and the Jungle Cruise are all "musts" in the MK, but I'm not sure you've really "been" to the MK if you haven't endured It's a Small World. So do you want "musts" in the sense of "you love it", or musts in the sense of "so I can say I've done it"?

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4. photo pass info? is it worth it and which one to get if so?
That's another one to post to "theme park attractions and strategies", or at least that's where I always see those threads. The photographers are not necessarily professional quality, but there are a lot of fun in-camera things they can do that people will likely be happy to demonstrate. It's not worth it for us, both because we all take pictures anyhow, but also because we're not that big on posed pictures of the whole family, which is what photopass is best for.

Do you have ADRs, or are you going to do quick service? Are you planning to get to the parks by rope drop? And are you mentally prepared for Walt Disney World at the busiest time of year? Those are my questions.

Also, have you seen this thread?

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2860438

It's the January 2013 celebration thread. Lot of people there who've done January before if you want to pick their brains.
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Old 12-05-2012, 10:50 AM   #3
jchristie214
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thanks sooo much!

We are getting reservations for the Rainforest cafe for sure but the rest of food will be kinda winging it I guess. I know to eat at "off times" so we will probably pack snacks for mid morning and eat a later lunch. Breakfast & most suppers will be in the condo to help save money.

I am a big picture taker so that was why I was asking about the photopass. I will have my camera.

I am not looking forward to the crowds either, but we really wanted the kids to experience new year's there. We plan on getting to each park at the earliest we can. New year's eve we are planning on staying at the MK all day so that way we make sure we are there for midnight. But the other parks we may go and come throughout the day.

I did not get park-hopper tickets b/c we are going to be there for 5 days and it being our first trip I wanted to make sure before I got them that we would actually use them.
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Old 12-05-2012, 07:28 PM   #4
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I know to eat at "off times" so we will probably pack snacks for mid morning and eat a later lunch.
Depending on how late your late lunch is, you might want to reverse that. When we've gone in May, getting lunch by 11:30 we could walk right up to the order counter and had a wide choice of seating. At noon, even off season, it was pretty crazy. By one thirty or two it wasn't nearly as mobbed as it was 12:00-12:30, but it was busier than it had been at 11:30. The crowd ratings for December 30th and 31st are both "10s", so I'm guessing that a lot of people will check the lunch crowds at 12:00, decide they're not that hungry, and come back at 1:30, and so on, meaning the lunch crowds may "cascade" out pretty late.

I know Unofficial Guide recommends getting lunch by 11:00-11:30 in order to avoid crowds. I can't remember their dinner window but I remember for high crowds it was pretty tight; MouseSavers recommends lunch in the Christmas season before 11:30 or after 3:00, and then dinner between 3:00 and 4:30 or after 8:00, and I think the UG guys pretty much agreed. My family gets cranky waiting until 3:00 for their lunch, so if we were going to be there for the whole day we'd do the early lunch and dinner and then snack more in the evening. But then again, my kids are chowhounds who'd probably like best having lunch at 11:30, dinner at 3:00, and supper at 8:00!


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We plan on getting to each park at the earliest we can.
That's key. I know you particularly want to do the Magic Kingdom New Year's Eve, when of course it's not recommended, but are you checking the crowd calenders for the other days? There can be a fair difference between the crowds at the "Most Recommended" or the "Least Recommended" park in a day, so if you don't have a specific reason to go the the more crowded park, might as well avoid it!

If the New Year's Eve fireworks and all are a big part of why you want to do the MK New Year's Eve, they have the same 2 parades and 2 fireworks shows on the 30th, with slightly smaller crowds. The MK is the only one that does the NYE stuff the day before, so if you do the NYE fireworks at the MK on the 30th, you can do the special dance parties and Illuminations at Epcot on the 31st (also insane crowds), or watch the only-on-NYE-proper fireworks at Hollywood Studios (still crowded, but not as bad as the MK or Epcot with be on the 31st). If you already knew all that, then never mind!

And you know stuff like, if you want to do Toy Story Mania at Hollywood Studios, it needs to be The Number One Priority that morning, and that you should avoid morning EMH days and that sort of thing, right?

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I did not get park-hopper tickets b/c we are going to be there for 5 days and it being our first trip I wanted to make sure before I got them that we would actually use them.
Agreed. Especially since you can always add it while you're there!
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