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Old 03-20-2012, 12:09 AM   #1
Larissa
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Smile First Trip to Disneyworld

Hello,
My family and I are huge Disney fans. We have been to Disneyland many times but never to Disneyworld. Since one of us is going to Orlando for a conference, we decided to tack a few extra days on to visit, a few is better than none, after all!

Essentially, we are only going to be in the parks for 2-3 days. We want to be able to maximize our time there.
In your opinions, what should we try to ride/see and what should we bother with? Please bear in mind that we are all able and willing to ride anything (our youngest is a pre-teen) and our favourite characters are Mickey, Minnie, Pooh, Rapunzel, and Donald. We will probably refrain from waiting in a lot of character lines as we are going on a cruise this summer (Pooh is not onboard, though, so we will probably try to see him on this trip).

I might add that we are not huge animal people. I would love to go to AK to ride Expedition Everest and see the shows, but do not know if it is worth it. Right now if we had to choose two parks we'd probably go with MK and HS as EPCOT does not seem quite so 'Disneyish'. What are your thoughts on that decision?
Do you have any handy time-saving tricks?
We have already booked our hotel.

ANY kinds of tips would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks a bunch!
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Last edited by Larissa; 03-21-2012 at 01:26 AM.
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Old 03-20-2012, 06:44 AM   #2
happymommy
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I would start with scouring these message boards!

Also it may be a good idea to buy a nice guidebook - I don't personally recommend the "official" guidebook, although it is a nice beautiful book which makes a nice souvenir! First time I went back as an adult (with my parents) I bought the Unofficial guidebook (forget the author) - it was packed with useful information. Things do change frequently at Disneyworld, though, so I'd also check here as well as other websites.

Don't stress if you don't see or do everything on you list! We've been many times, and we've still not ridden a few rides!

Good luck!
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Old 03-20-2012, 07:12 AM   #3
Hootch
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Understand

the time required for travel. We're going to Disneyland this summer (couple of days only) after multiple trips to WDW. The short walk between Disneyland and California Adventure is not replicated at WDW. You have to take buses most of the time. There is a monorail connection between MK and Epcot and a boat walking connection between Epcot and Hollywood Studios. These are still 15-20 minutes at least from gate to gate.

Epcot, MK and Animal Kingdom are all larger than the California parks. It's always advisable for the more sedentary to start a walking routine.

Heat - I don't know when you are going, but the heat can be overwhelming at times. We take breaks in the afternoon to rest and freshen up.

ADRs - IfI remember correctly ADRs are 60 days out in California. In Orlando, the more popular table service places book up early. If there is somewhere you want to eat look at booking early. ADRs can be made 180 days out.

Characters - in WDW lines for characters can be long. There are fastpasses available for Mickey, Minnie and the princesses that are not connected to the ride fastpasses. Rapunzel has been a very long line at times. We usually character meals to save time. Mickey, Minnie and Donald are all at Chef Mickey's. Pooh is at Crystal Palace and 1900 Park Fare breakfast. Rapunzel is not at a meal - at least not recently.

Toy Story Mania lines will be killer an hour after park opening but Star Tours should be short.
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Old 03-20-2012, 07:28 AM   #4
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I agree with the PP about the transportation time. That was one of the biggest surprises to me on our first trip to WDW. Although we love DHS and AK, we find we don't need an entire day at either one, so we often do these on the same day. These parks also offer a lot of rides that DL doesn't have--EE, Safari, Aeorosmith RR, ToT, etc. Sometimes we just hit these marks for EMH and leave when they get crowded to do other parks.

Have fun!
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Old 03-20-2012, 07:50 AM   #5
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HS- RocknRoller coaster, Tower of Terror, Toy Story Mania
MK- Space Mountain, Tommorrowland speedway, Pirates of Caribbean, Mickey's Philharmagic, Main Street E. Parade/Wishes at night. Crystal Palace bfast to see Pooh!
Epcot- Rapunzel was there last week when my sis went, but not sure where else you can see her unless you WAIT FOREVER in MK? to see the princesses. Not sure I would spend a day there since you are limited in time.
AK- Everest, Kilimanjaro Safari, eat at Yak & Yeti
Chef Mickey dinner at Contemporary is a favorite- Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald. They all dance w/you-fun.
Make sure to get your ADR's!
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Old 03-20-2012, 04:33 PM   #6
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Planning, Planning, Planning. We we're stunned by just how big the World is and how long it took to get from A to B. There's just so much more than anyone expects, every turn is another magical thing to see. We've been to DLand tons of times over 30 years, and thought for sure we we're ready for the World. Couldn't have been more wrong. We still had a fantastic time, but missed so much, which just justifies a return visit as often as possible. Even then, they add things all the time. So, take advantage of the postings here and get the maps and make a plan and try to stick too it. Item 2: The Heat, is amazing how hot hot can be when you add the humidity. Keep hydrated and you will survive, that too took a bit to sink in, but now it's no big deal as long as you just keep drinking and keep drinking........water that is.
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Old 03-20-2012, 08:17 PM   #7
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I have been several times and all I can say, is WOW!! I am still amazed at what I learn on these boards. Keep reading and keep asking questions..these boards have the best helpful info anyone can ask for. Plan afternoon time to rest/swim. No matter the age, I feel that we all need a little rest, even if it's just to have a rest to read or have a snack in the quiet of your room.. Last year I walked 14 miles in one day!!!!! Yep, that is right..I wore my Privo flip flops and other Privo shoes and I never had a backache nor did my legs hurt..I drank plenty of fluids and did have my afternoon rest Good luck and happy planning...
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Old 03-21-2012, 01:18 AM   #8
Larissa
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Thanks guys! What are ADRs? I keep seeing them mentioned.
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"'We might go in your umbrella,' said Pooh.
'?'
'We might you in your umbrella,' said Pooh.
'?'
'We might you in your umbrella," said Pooh.
'!!!!!!'"
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Old 03-21-2012, 08:03 AM   #9
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ADR's are advance dining reservations. If you want a sit down meal then you must make a reservation
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Old 03-21-2012, 02:52 PM   #10
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You asked about Time Saving tips, here are some suggestions:

1) the most popular rides have the shortest lines during the parades, fireworks, and dinner/lunch times.

2) eat during off-peak times. Example, have dinner at 3:30 or 4:00 pm as the table waits are greatly reduced and the same would apply for lunch.

3) try not to be trapped behind the ropes during a parade as when the crowds are released walking toward any point in the park is difficult and very slow. sometimes cutting through the stores on Main Street is faster than walking on the street.

4) take advantage of the alleys to cut-through from land to land rather than follow the crowds around the outside circle if you are attempting to ride only specific rides in each land.

5) Fastpasses, need I say more?

Hope this helps
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Old 03-23-2012, 02:34 PM   #11
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totally different from DL!! you might want to get a park hopper and you can go to all 4 parks in your days.
-get to parks when they open
-get a timesguide to check for the showtimes, the shows are so good in wdw, especially the lion king @ AK
-there are so many more restaurants in wdw than dl, there are all good!
-HS - once you've rode, TSM, TOT, RNRC, go to the art of animation by little mermaid show and do an art class of a character and there you have a free souvenir to take home. we do one every trip!
-remember to take bottled water into the parks, snacks, crackers
-go to the WS in the afternoon @ epcot and enjoy the french bakery and all of the countries, adult beverage, slushie, whatever
-just be sure and ride the popular rides 1st thing in the morning and then do the shows, etc.
-you will be amazed too how different the rides compare from both disney parks.(dl/wdw)
have a magical time!
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Old 03-28-2012, 12:26 PM   #12
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I know you mentioned that you weren't enterested in going to Epcot, but it is our favorite park!! HS is our least favorite. If you get a park hopper, you might want to check it out. You may be able to go to HS in the morning and hop over to Epcot to check out the rides and WS. I'm not sure if you will need an entire day at HS. You could also consider going over to AK for a half a day to to ride some of the rides. They have really nice shows there too. You could bypass seeing the animals if you wanted to.
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Old 03-30-2012, 03:35 PM   #13
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Being a westcoat girl I love disneyland but Disneyworld is so much more and you just can't explain how different it is. I would suggest getting a park hopper as well (normally I would NOT recommend this but given your short time visit I'll make an exception). You will be amazed at the distance between parks, the size of each park and even some of the same attractions are different. I would focus on attractions NOT found in DL and if you have time, then add those ones in.

You can do AK and DHS in one day given what you have stated. Do Ak first so you can have more time at DHS and won't feel rushed. Expediation Everest was the one ride we rode multiple times and even went back to AK just to do that one.

MK is a full day visit but in many ways is very different from DL. I think of DL as a 1950's imagination and DW as a 1970's imagination. BIGGER! It's all bigger. I also recommend to my west coast friends to stick with DL until the kids are old enough to keep up (I personally find it difficult to go back to the hotel for naps in DW as travel time alone can be up to an hour.) and then take them to DW.

I think you will need at least 3 days. I strongly suggest doing a waterpark (highlight for our kids and it's alway an argument on which one we will do.)
Do the waterpark in the day and then hit Epcot in the evening. Have a nice dinner there.

The restaurants are an experience in themselves so I would suggest at least ONE sit down dinner.

I think you will find that you won't have enough time and will be making plans for a next visit. We won't go for anything less than 6 days. Who knows when you will get back so make the most see as much as you can see. Also, depending on how old your kids are, DTD is completely different from DL as well.
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Old 03-30-2012, 05:56 PM   #14
happymommy
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Don't discount Epcot - it's always been our favorite park! Even my kids, at their first visit, loved it the best (and they were 2 and 4)!
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me dh dd15 ds17


Previous WDW vacations include:
CR as a child with parents 1992 offsite twice 1993 Honeymoon GF 1995 BC 1996 SOG 2000 GF 2001 BWV 2003 (spring break) CR 2003 (summer) AKL 2003 (Christmas break including NYE) AKL concierge 2005 summer BWV 2006 April Swan 2006 August Dolphin 2007 March AKL 2007 August Dolphin 2008 March 7 Night Western on the Magic
2008 August (The Dark Side) PBH 2008 Dec BWI 2009 March Swan 2010 March Offsite (Grande Vista) 2010 December BWV plus 2 nights Marriott's Harbour Lake and 3 bonus nights snowed in at the Aiport Renaissance 2011 March Offsite (Marriott's Harbour Lake) 2012 August Offsite (Marriott's Grande Vista and Sabal Palms) March 2014 BWV
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Old 03-31-2012, 12:47 PM   #15
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For 3 days in your situation, I would get park hoppers. This is what I would do:

Day 1 Magic Kingdom rope drop, late breakfast at Crystal Palace with Pooh, take a break, hop to Epcot to snack around the World Showcase. If you go to Epcot the first day, you can see if you want to go back on Day 3.

Day 2 Go to Animal Kingdom first then Hollywood Studios after you're done at AK. If you have to ride TSMM & HS is open later, you could go to HS, then AK, then back to HS.

Day 3 Go back to whichever park you want to explore more, then end up at MK & see Wishes.
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