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Old 03-01-2013, 12:49 AM   #1
DisneyFanatic1215
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What IS the Research??

I've seen so many posts about doing Disney the wrong way, or not being prepared, or getting terrible advice, or knowing how to do WDW because you "researched."

We are going in May, and while I feel prepared, when i read some of these threads I feel like I am missing something.

So what is the "research" ?? Is it reading crowd calendars, making ADRs, knowing what park you will go each day, or making a detailed touring plan of what ride goes next?

I feel overwhelmed, as if I am missing a key piece of planning our vacation and that I simply do not know nearly as much as I should...

Help me out please!
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Old 03-01-2013, 06:03 AM   #2
Cheshire Figment
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It actually would be understanding Disney World. Such things as there is no charge for the internal transportation of for Fastpasses. Knowing what kinds of tickets there are and what will work for your touring. Things like that.

My most severe example of cluelessness was a few years ago when I was working as a Greeter at DHS Gate. I was over near the map rack just providing general assistance. This was the week between Christmas and New Years, and our internal crowd prediction was for about 98% of capacity that day. About 11:30 a woman whose family had just entered the Park came to me and asked what restaurant I would suggest that she try for lunch that day. And she wanted sit-down and not Quick Service. I was polite and did not burst out laughing. I explained that more than likely every table service location was fully reserved months out, and if she were lucky she might find a QS with a wait of not more than 30 minutes to get to the counter.
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Old 03-01-2013, 08:32 AM   #3
Hootch
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I think

a few key areas will help someone going for the first time.

1) Understand the layout of the parks. The parks are large and crisscrossing time and again will eat up time and wear you out. Note where the attractions you want to are located and consider grouping them. People using pedometers often report 7-9 miles of walking per day. (Added, start walking before the trip to get stamina up)

2) If you want a specific restaurant, get that ADR ahead of time. If you are really flexible and crowds aren't huge, you can try calling Disney Dining that morning

3) Understand fastpasses. They are one of the great time savers in the parks.

4) Hopping can take a lot of time. It can also be worthwhile. Just plan the time.

5) If you have younger ones, know the height restrictions.

6) Understand EMH. Whether staying on or offsite, EMH can impact your touring plans

7) I use the available apps to get a feel for wait times and return times leading up to our trip. That helps plan the order of attractions.

I probably missed some but that is a start.
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Old 03-01-2013, 10:10 AM   #4
msp2mco
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Great advice from pp'ers.

It is helpful for everyone in your party to know that the resort is huge. You cannot walk between parks (except HS and EP), and you will not be able to do everything. Rides may break down or attractions are closed for refurbishment, so something everyone wanted to do may not be available. Getting from your hotel to a park also takes a lot of time.
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Old 03-01-2013, 10:16 AM   #5
mom2jcg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msp2mco
Getting from your hotel to a park also takes a lot of time.
This is what I was going to say. We always allow 45 minutes to an hour for travel time unless you are on the monorail line and going to MK, in which case we allow 30. Keep that in mind when trying to make a dinner reservation, and add more time if you're traveling to/from DD or between resorts.
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Old 03-01-2013, 10:24 AM   #6
Shelly F - Ohio
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Knowing how the transportation system works. Like the monarail does not go to all the parks just Epcot and MK. You can't get from a park to DTD via a bus. You have to take a bus from the park to a resort and transfer to a DTD bus.

Making good use of your time by using the fastpass system.


A friend of mine who is also a DVC member had a coworker who went to WDW and reported back to my friend and said, "I don't know how you can go there for a week and spend all that time at just one park". As my friend found out this person only went to MK because she did not know about the other 3 parks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 03-01-2013, 05:42 PM   #7
tessa67
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For me research is using a trip planner so I have a plan for each day. I, personally, enjoy a schedule with extra time padded in for spontaneous character greetings, snack breaks, etc. I would hate having to regroup after each ride to decide what we are doing next.
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Old 03-01-2013, 06:07 PM   #8
rjb123
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I personally am not a in depth trip planner. That said, I have been to WDW a LOT (maybe 20 times growing up and before getting married and pretty much every other year since being married) and am pretty familiar with the lay of the land. I do make ADR's and have a general idea of what parks we will plan on doing on each day and what are the "biggies" that we want to do in each park. I also know which QS places are good bets for meals in each location. The rest we leave up to a little magic and try to go with the flow. I don't stress too much because I will probably be back. I will admit though, while this works for our family, I am a bit in awe of the folks on here with their plans. and a little envious tbh! I have picked up a good tip or two and have also thought "that would NEVER work for our family" a few times. I think that the most important thing is to plan the basics and then as much or little as works for you and your family.
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Old 03-02-2013, 09:02 AM   #9
SpartanMommy
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I Feel like I am missing something also, so thanks for this thread, there are some great tips. I have been to WDW 6 times and I can't believe all the things I have learned on these boards in the last few weeks!
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Old 03-02-2013, 09:56 AM   #10
mom2jcg
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Also....get to the parks about 30 minutes before they open. You won't believe how much you can see/do in the first few hours the park is open because so many people sleep in.
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Old 03-04-2013, 01:33 PM   #11
figment814
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I think the one thing about "The Research" that is true across the board is to do enough research so that your expectations are met. Depending on your personality type and your expectations, this could mean a lot of research or a little. Two people who look identical on paper can both have a magical trip even if one does a lot of research and one does very little.
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Old 03-04-2013, 06:34 PM   #12
myzel
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First, and foremost. It is your vacation you create your own stress. If you don't do everything you think you should plan another vacation. Don't stress I've done many Disney World trips and have yet to do everything. Relax it's a vacation
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Old 03-08-2013, 08:05 PM   #13
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I have only been to wdw two times as adult, and only planned my last trip by myself. I "researched" by reading almost every post on these various boards for months before my trip (tips and strategies, wdw for families, the resort boards, the restaurant boards). I also read allears.net and easywdw.

By reading so much, I find out information to things I would have never even thought to ask about. This led me to doing even more reading and digging for information.

Just keep reading. You'll be fine.
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Old 03-11-2013, 03:13 PM   #14
tina.tina
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The following things were very helpful to me:

researching fast pass strategy
researching which rides are slow/fast loading, most/least popular, etc to be able to make your touring plan
researching crowd levels & how the affect the parks because we went a busy time
researching why you should have a touring plan- even a very loose one- rather than deciding on the fly what to do 1st, next, etc
researching what you want to experience- Dinosaur would terrify me & DS!
reading trip reports to see what worked or didn't work for other people
picking up from DISboards & other sites countless other tidbits too numerous to list from reading all I can on threads that interest me

I wish I had studied park layouts a little more.

DH has not researched but we have both been to WDW. He knows what he likes now and can easily make decisions about what to ride. He even knows that getting to the parks early makes a huge difference. He may even have some idea of what he should do first from listening to me plan.

I have researched so that our first experience was better than my co-worker's who has been several times. (Better in that we accomplished more and experienced less crowds and waiting.) On top of knowing what I want to ride, I know what order we should try to do things in to maximize our time and minimize our waits. I didn't have a step by step plan written down but I have a very good memory. Because of my research, I was also able to adjust as we went and cut down on zigzagging around the park, too.

So, the difference between research and no research is that if DH & I were in a competition, I would accomplish a lot more than he could get done in the same amount of time because I understand the parks more than he does & also more than even a person who had already visited several times- just like Cheshire Figment said. I've soaked up lots of knowledge by reading his posts!
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Old 03-11-2013, 06:12 PM   #15
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I think the biggest thing is to be aware of what to expect and how large the DW layout is. A biggie for us was to plan one sit-down meal a day somewhere where everyone can find something to eat. (2 of my kids are picky). Looking at menus, revues, and locations was so helpful. There are tons of little tips and tricks that add to the magic that would take years to find on your own, but you can search them out after you find them on the boards and decide on one or two to add each trip. You can't get it all seen or done in one trip, but that's a great reason to go back next year!
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