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Old 06-12-2013, 01:14 PM   #1
kdaniels16
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How do I even start to plan..

I have started to get our dinning reservations planned out...how do I start to plan the rest? I am thinking I may like to know about must see shows and attractions (we have a 5 and 7 yr old)- and at least plan a little. Are there threads for this? I can't seem to find any. Newbies to WDW and feeling overwhelmed.
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Old 06-12-2013, 01:21 PM   #2
Fivemuggles
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We used www.easywdw.com - it's a great resource! He has all park hours listed, as well as projected crowd levels. I would recommend choosing your parks first, then the restaurants. (Unless you have a park hopper of course)
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Old 06-12-2013, 01:32 PM   #3
MHSweb79
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Choosing your park days wisely can make a HUGE difference in the crowds you will encounter. If you do not have park hoppers, then the recommendations over at easywdw.com are your best friend. They work.

If you do have hoppers and are eligible for Extra Magic Hours, then it gets a little more complex. Do you wish do use EMH? We like to hit each park's morning EMH once during our trip, since you can get all of the super headliners done during those first couple hours when everyone else is sleeping in. Then we head out around noon to the recommended park (again, easywdw) or the park that had evening EMH the night before.

So you need to fetch the park hours (they are listed on this site) and see which parks have EMH on which days during your trip; which days certain parades or shows (like Wishes, Fantasmic, etc) and whatever else you're interested in and then map out a simple park day schedule. I usually block out mornings & afternoons, but if you don't plan to park hop it's even easier.

THEN, with those parks picked out for each day, you can plan where you'd like to eat. For example, 'Ohana or Chef Mickey's are best done on your MK day. Plan on trying the restaurants in Japan or Mexico pavilions? Then you need to plan those for your Epcot day.

And, finally, once you have these things blocked out, remember to be flexible. I know it sounds silly after all that planning, but seriously, if your family is having too much fun and doesn't want to leave the park for dinner, then skip the dinner! If they hate HS or AK and you have two days planned there, change your plans! Prefer the resort pool in the afternoon? Stay at the pool! The only consideration is if you have dinner reservations that needed a credit card hold, which need to be cancelled before that day in order to avoid charges.

PARK HOURS: http://www.wdwinfo.com/wdwinfo/hours.htm
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Old 06-12-2013, 01:38 PM   #4
ArwenMarie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kdaniels16 View Post
I have started to get our dinning reservations planned out...how do I start to plan the rest? I am thinking I may like to know about must see shows and attractions (we have a 5 and 7 yr old)- and at least plan a little. Are there threads for this? I can't seem to find any. Newbies to WDW and feeling overwhelmed.
To start, just check out the actual Disneyworld website. Go to each of the four parks and scan through the attractions and shows and pick out five things that look like "must-dos." That will give you a list of twenty things that you want to do to start with! Don't go too crazy trying to plan out every minute. If you get a few must-dos done every day, along with some surprises, you will have a great trip.

Also highly recommend picking up a copy of the Unofficial Guide and reading that. SO helpful to put the whole place in perspective.

GL and have fun!
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Old 06-12-2013, 01:39 PM   #5
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I would plan out your dinner/breakfast reservations first. Make ones for the restaurants that sound like what you would enjoy. If character meals are something you want to do I would schedule those first and plan the rest around it.

The biggest mistake you can make is to micro-plan. Usually we make reservations, talk about must do shows/parades/fireworks and make a list to take with us of park open/close times and extra magic hours. After that we play it by ear.

We have park hopper passes and whatever park we start out in depends on if we have breakfast reservations (usually only 1 or 2 for the week). We usually head back to the hotel for swim/nap/down time around 12-1 and head back to whatever park we have dinner reservations at.

Remember that you will not see/do it all so if you accept that before you leave for vacation you will be a much happier camper! Most important thing is to have fun - remember that all kids will have a melt down (or 12 ) - anything you miss will just be an incentive to go again so you can check it out! lol

Good luck!
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Old 06-12-2013, 01:44 PM   #6
memakwed
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Disney is so much fun with a little planning so don't feel overwhelmed. This is how I plan. First I see how many day we will be there. We then evenly divide among the parks. This works for us, most people would give Animal Kingdom less time but we really enjoy the park and looking at the birds monkeys tigers gorillas. We take that time that maybe others don't.
Once our days are divided I look at the park and see what we want to do. I do this by reading the unofficial guide to Disney, and checking out allears.net.
Disney with families is also a great resource to read it gives scare factors for kids in the guide.

Try your library. They'll have books on Disney in the travel section.
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Old 06-12-2013, 01:54 PM   #7
rwdavis2
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Don't give up and decide to wing it. IMHO, the 2 most important things are to pick which park each day (yes, easywdw.com is good for this) and then get to each park before they open. You will get so much more done that way.

Once you have those 2 ideas in mind then go to the Walt Disney World site, start looking at the maps of each park and, as a group, decide what you all may want to do those days. Keep a list. Then at your leisure do a little research about those attractions to see if you still want to do them.

As you look over information you'll see that some rides are more popular than others so consider doing those first thing in the morning before the crowds build up.

Finally "must see" is pretty much up to you and your family.
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Old 06-12-2013, 02:03 PM   #8
jadelane1
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I have to agree with everyone else. Research crowd levels on the days you will be there and book dining and your park days according to the lowest crowd levels for that particular day. Then be flexible, don't micromanage everything. That'll just lead to disappointment and more stress. The only other tip I have is to fast pass the bigger rides asap. Oh and Toy Story Mania, we run to the back as soon as we get there because that gets backed up fast. Good luck and don't sweat the small stuff
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Old 06-12-2013, 02:05 PM   #9
bdklein
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kdaniels16 View Post
I have started to get our dinning reservations planned out...how do I start to plan the rest? I am thinking I may like to know about must see shows and attractions (we have a 5 and 7 yr old)- and at least plan a little. Are there threads for this? I can't seem to find any. Newbies to WDW and feeling overwhelmed.
perhaps go to a local library and get some books. Internet sites like this and allears and wdwinfo are great, especially for specific details (like park hours, refurbishment closures, etc.), but sometimes just browsing a book helps even more and is easier to get a good start
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Old 06-12-2013, 05:44 PM   #10
msmileyface
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[QUOTE=ArwenMarie;48664483]
Also highly recommend picking up a copy of the Unofficial Guide and reading that. SO helpful to put the whole place in perspective.

QUOTE]

I agree! I can't emphasize enough how much the "Unofficial Guide" helped my plan my last trip, and the upcoming one. It gives you an amazing understanding of how things are at Disney- not just a plan of "go here that day". It costs between $10 and $15 or so on Amazon.com. I think you will really find it helpful.
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