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Old 03-06-2013, 10:04 AM   #1
cocoabio
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Planning our 1st DVC trip. Need advice please!

We just bought DVC points last Oct and would like to plan our first DVC trip to Disney World next year. We are thinking of going in mid April for 7 to 8 nights when our kids will get Spring Break (according to their school district's schedule for next year). We have two kids boy at 8 and girl at 6 when we go next year. We are from the West Coast and have never been in Disney World. Therefore, we need some helps from all of the experts in this forum regarding:

1) Is it a good month to go in-term of weather?

2) Which resort should we stay? We are thinking of Animal Kingdom with Savanna View (my daughter loves animals).

3) Should we stay in one DVC or split? If split, which resort should we stay?

4) How many Park Ticket Days should we purchase? We have heard the Parks are super big compare to Disneyland and might be too tired for the kids to walk around. Any suggestion?

Thank you so much in advance for all of your advices.

Last edited by cocoabio; 03-08-2013 at 10:45 AM.
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Old 03-06-2013, 10:58 AM   #2
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We have never been in April, but keep in mind that spring break is a notoriously busy time at WDW. Our spring break is always end of March/beginning of April which just happens to coincide with Easter this year. It won't next year, so I'm not sure how a late Easter will affect crowds.

We did our first DVC stay last October at OKW (2 nts) and THV (4 nts) and loved the split stay, but we are seasoned park goers and used the trip more to relax. For our next trip, our kids really want to split between BLT and AKV. If I were you, I probably wouldn't do a split stay on my first visit.

Once you get past 4 day tickets, the cost increase per day is minimal. I would get tickets for every day you are there. Some people like to take a day off in the middle. We prefer to do a few half-days. The biggest difference at WDW vs DLR for us is that we can't go-go-go nonstop at WDW for a week like we can for 3 days at DLR.

You'll probably want 2 days at MK (unless your kids have done DL many times), 2 days at EP, and a day each at DHS and AK. Add a 7th/8th day in there to make up for bad weather days, days you need a break, or returning to a favorite park. Your kids will be fine, just remember that you can't do it all. It's usually me who's tired of walking before my kids are.
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Old 03-06-2013, 11:10 AM   #3
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I have been for my kids' spring break (mid-march) one time and swore we would NEVER go during that time again. It was so crowded that I actually understood what my friends were saying when they said they "didn't really like Disney"

I have stayed at Old Key West; Animal Kingdom (Kidani and Jambo); Bay Lake Tower; Saratoga Springs. If I was just looking at resorts ONLY, I would pick AK (Jambo House) hands down. We are staying at Board Walk in May so I'll let you know if I change my mind to that resort.


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Once you get past 4 day tickets, the cost increase per day is minimal. I would get tickets for every day you are there.
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Old 03-06-2013, 11:23 AM   #4
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Keep in mind that Easter is April 20th in 2014. So if you are planning on going in mid April it's going to be really crowded. The weather will be great but the crowds...not good...We go to WDW every 18 months and swore we would never go around Easter.

In terms of the resorts, I would totally recommend a split stay especially 7-8 nights. We are going in October with a split stay of 4 nights at the BLT and 4 nights at BCV. If your daughter loves animals, AK is a good choice and then we love the BCV the best out of all of the resorts. Our boys are 7 and 5 and they can't get enough of the Stormalong Bay at the BCV. It is like a water park all in itself. And the location is easy walking to EPCOT and a boat ride to DHS.

I agree with the previous poster in getting Park Tickets enough for all of the days you are there. The price becomes minimal at a certain point and it's really worth going to the parks for part of the day and going back to the hotel for a swim for part of the day...or just to relax... And this is just my opinion, but I couldn't do it without the park hopper. It's extra but totally worth it.
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Old 03-06-2013, 02:04 PM   #5
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Keep in mind also that April 13-26 is premier season for 2014, which means it will cost you more points than any other time. Just something to keep in mind!

Last edited by amym2; 03-06-2013 at 02:15 PM.
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Old 03-06-2013, 02:25 PM   #6
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Thank you all for your responses. My husband and I don't want to take them out of school and summer might be too hot. How is the water temperature at the pools in April and which resort has the best pool with slide for the kids?
Our kids are still staying in the same bed with us. :-( Hopefully by next year my boy will sleep in his own bed as he promised he would on his 7th birthday coming up this April.

Once again, thank you all.

Last edited by cocoabio; 03-06-2013 at 04:49 PM.
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Old 03-07-2013, 10:34 PM   #7
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Hi OP,


My family went to WDW on April 21st of last year. We stayed 10 nights and it was our first trip to WDW as a family. The first couple of days it was very, very cool in the mornings and at night. The rest of the trip warmed up considerably. We did 2 days at MK and 1 day at each of the other Disney parks plus 1 day at Legoland, 1 day at Downtown Disney, and 1 day in Celebration, FL for their annual all-u-can eat Pie Festival. We also spent some time enjoying the resort's pool and the temperature was great. That being said, we only got 5 day Disney park passes b/c we were going to do other things. I absolutely loved visiting WDW in April and I would do it again in a heartbeat. You will love EPCOT's Flower & Garden Festival! My kids were 4 and 5 at the time and we spent all day at the theme parks.....couldn't have done it w/o strollers!
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Old 03-07-2013, 10:38 PM   #8
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Forgot to mention.....we stayed at the Port Orleans Riverside and my kids loved the slide......it's not fancy but u can use the pool at the Port Orleans French Quarter which has a dragon slide! Regardless, my kids loved going down the slide at Riverside! This resort also has a boat that takes u to Downtown Disney......SO relaxing and nice!! You can also ride the boat to French Quarter and it drops u off right by the pool!
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Old 03-07-2013, 10:49 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cocoabio
We just bought DVC points last Oct and would like to plan our first DVC trip to Disney World next year. We are thinking of going in mid April for 7 to 8 nights when our kids will get Spring Break according to their school district's schedule for next year. We have two kids boy at 8 and girl at 6 when we go next year. We are from the West Coast and have never been in Disney World. Therefore, we need some helps from all of the experts in this forum regarding:

1) Is it a good month to go in-term of weather?

2) Which resort should we stay? We are thinking of Animal Kingdom with Savanna View Studio (my daughter loves animals).

3) Should we stay in one DVC or split? If split, which resort should we stay?

4) How many Park Ticket Days should we purchase? We have heard the Parks are super big compare to Disneyland and might be too tired for the kids to walk around. Any suggestion?

Thank you so much in advance for all of your advices.
The weather is usually very nice in April. We went 3 Aprils in a row. Crowds are usually not bad at the end of April, but with a late Easter, that might not be so next year. We have never gone earl in April.

My family loves split stays. I think it might be easier though, since its your first stay to just choose one resort. We are staying AKL for the first time this summer and can't wait!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cocoabio
Thank you all for your responses. My husband and I don't want to take them out of school and summer might be too hot. How is the water temperature at the pools in April and which resort has the best pool with slide for the kids?
Our kids are still staying in the same bed with us. :-( Hopefully by next year my boy will sleep in his own bed as he promised he would on his 7th birthday coming up this April.

Once again, thank you all.
I have heard good things about the Kidani and Jambo pools. Beach Club has the most talked about pool, as it is quite large and has a nice slide. We love it. My children also like the slide at Bay Lake Tower, which is another good choice for proximity to Magic Kingdom. You could probably get opinions from people that recommend each of the resorts for different reasons. It really comes down to what your family loves.

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Old 03-07-2013, 11:37 PM   #10
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We stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge 2 years ago. It was pretty cool to wake up to see animls roam around outside. Only thing that I didn't like was that our room was on close to the end of the hotel and it seemed like we had the longest walk to the buses and back to the room, which sucked when we were out in the sun all day.
We normally stay at the Carribean Beach Resort. I love it! Has different "islands" that you stay at. The buses pick you up in front of the "islands" and drive you back. There is multiple pools through out the resort and of course the main family pool that has a slide, plus you have a area where you can find different choices of food.
Parks have more things to see, but best to get there in the morning for the early times to try and get away before the heat. And of course you can always check the maps the night before you go to the park and choose what you want to do so you can get to what you want to
Hope this helps!
Have a ton of fun!!
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Old 03-08-2013, 01:06 AM   #11
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would do either AKV/BLT split

or
AKV/BCV

you have to decide which park your family would like the best either Magic Kingdom or Hollywood Studios.

both have access to Epcot - either walking (BCV) or monorail BLT.

kept in mind it is bus transportation to either HS or MK. both can take a while with BCV the buses will either be BC and Yc - or it will D & S, then YC, BC, then BW before it leaves to the parks. It depends upon when you go.

with BLT - it is always CR, Polyn, GF then it goes to HS.
they both are about the same length of time.

the Magic Kingdom is not like the one in Disneyland at all.

the Magic Kingdom is very hard to get to if you are not using WDW transportation. So even if you get a rental car - don't try to drive to the MK.

the MK will probably be the busiest park doing your visit. Although the flower/garden festavial will be going on at Epcot.
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Old 03-08-2013, 07:35 AM   #12
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April is beautiful weather. We were at BLT (our first DVC stay) Easter Week 2011. We then stayed at AKL in August that same year.

I agree with maybe spilling your stay AKL and BLT. BLT is a great location.
The two resort are so different that you get a great sense of how varied your resort stay can be.

Easter week had really great Magic Hours. MK was open to like 2am one night.

We like to go early to the parks 3-4 hours, then lunch (at the park or back at our resort), then swimming, relaxation, shower, go to dinner, and back to the parks in the evening. This way with the down time in after noon you have energy for the parks at night.

I personally think 5 day park hopper is probably enough. I like to explore other activities while at WDW. Like, Downtown Disney (movie, bowling at Spiltsville new, DisneynQuest, dinner and shopping), water parks, boating at BLT.

Do not forget you can order groceries for your stay (breakfast, snacks, water, drinks and quick dinners). Make ADRs (advanced dinning reservations).

With a little advanced planning.....I personally like to keep it flexible. You can always cancel ADRs etc. and a little research. You will have a great time.

I have never been to DL, but WDW is a world......it is more than a brunch of amusement parks.....Epcot and Animal Kindom Lodge are unbelievable. The theming of the resorts are spectular.

Remember now that you are a DVC member, this is only your first visit. You will now see why people go back to WDW time after time. Also, future visit can be to other Orlando Attraction, Cape Canaveral and also a quick stay befor a cruise.......

Good luck with your planning....
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Old 03-08-2013, 02:54 PM   #13
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Thanks everyone. Sounds like we will do split stay between BLT and AKV. It does make sense to do the split like most of you suggested when looking at the Walt Disney World's Map. Do we need to have a rental car during our stay? We only plan to stay within WDW. Reading all of your comments make me so excited to plan for this trip even this early.
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Old 03-08-2013, 05:21 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cocoabio View Post
Thanks everyone. Sounds like we will do split stay between BLT and AKV. It does make sense to do the split like most of you suggested when looking at the Walt Disney World's Map. Do we need to have a rental car during our stay? We only plan to stay within WDW. Reading all of your comments make me so excited to plan for this trip even this early.
First, congrats on your first DVC stay! It'll be a blast no matter where you stay. Second, I only quickly perused the prior comments, but did you mention where you bought points? Keep in mind that since spring break is a busy time of year, you may be limited where you can book. You shouldn't have any issues at 11 months at your home resort, but when you get to the 7-month point, if you wish to stay at other than your home resort, the pickings may be slim. The best strategy is to book at 11 months where you own (obviously, VGC won't do you any good at WDW if that's where your points are), then come the 7-month point, try to get where you want. If you can't, then go on a waitlist.

All things being equal, if you do AKV, you might consider renting a car. Arguably, it's the most remote of the resorts, and you must rely completely on buses if you don't have a car. BLT sits on the monorail, so it is very accessible to parks, and you can walk to MK. If being close to MK is important, beyond BLT there is VWL which has a boat that goes direct to and from MK, plus it has boats that go to CR and FW. It's a smaller resort, so it's cozy and serene. They also have some of the best bus service of any of the resorts. As others have stated, get park tickets for all or at least most of your days, and that way you can alter your plans without worrying. Regardless, you'll have a great time!
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Old 03-09-2013, 10:13 AM   #15
cocoabio
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Thanks Sleepydog for the tips of booking. Our home resort is SSR. I am very new here so I still have a lot to learn from all of you. Love reading your reports.
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