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Old 12-20-2004, 10:09 PM   #1
RadJad56
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Lightbulb Your Guide to a Fun Disney Vacation

Hello all!

Before I begin, just some background on me- My name is Judah, im 20 years old and ive been going to Disney world every winter for 15 years with my family- my parents, my older sister and younger brother and sister. Now many people I talk to wonder how I could possibly manage to enjoy going to the same place every single year. Well I hope to show you all how my family and I were able to experiance Disney to the fullest.


Pre-Planning


So youve decided that youll see for yourself what all this "Magic" you keep hearing about is and have decided to fly down to Disney World. Well now you have many things to start thinking about-

How long- We always go down for a week and are always able to go to all the parks withought missing anything major. Youll probably have enough time to go outside to Sea World or Universal Studios. If you have less time than this, latter ill show you which parks are a must and how to manage your time.

When- If anyones ever told you that he/she didnt like Disney World, odds are they went down during the Summer. Summertime in Disney World is like feeding time in the zoo- chaos filled with screeming monkeys and maybe even a panda. Its hot, expensive and the length of the lines rival that of the length of the Great Wall of China. Garunteed right now you will not have as much fun in the Summer as you would any other time. I have always gone during the winter, usually after Christmas (this year I will be there for New Years). Trust me you will have much more fun in the winter. Lines are very short, weather stays in the 80s and lower prices. Its the low season there and you should use that to your advantage. You can base your vacation around your childs (if you have) winter vacation and youll be glad that you did.

Airline- Im not too smart when it comes to comparing airlines but what I do know is that so far, ive been very happy with Jet Blue- low prices, comfy seats, and the big one- INDIVIDUAL TVs. Flight attendants were nice and I felt very happy flying with them. (btw fly early- youll want the entire day to spend in Disney)

Where to stay- Another big mistake people make- staying outside of the Disney World area. Not only does it add an unneccesary hassle to travel to the parks, but you miss out on the Disney World feeling. Youll feel much more comfterable at a Disney Resort.
But which one do you choose? Well this depends on the following things-
1. Size of family- I have a family of 6 so we usually go suites but for couples or smaller familes, a normal room should suffice.
2. Location- Are you a Magic Kingdom fan? The Contemporary is your place. Love Epcot? Anything on the Boardwalk will do fine. Try to put yourself nearest to your own cup of tea.
3. General Theme- Outdoorsman? Fort Willderness or the Wilderness Lodge. Upper-class buissnessman living in the 1800's? Go Grand Floridian. Themes are great so you should try finding your own place where youd feel most comfterable.
4. Cost- If your looking expensive, look at Disneys "premium" resorts- the Grand Floridian. the Dolphin and the Swan... Or if thats too expensive, theres always the "more for your money" resorts, such as the "All Star resort"

Although id love to go through each and every resort, ive only been to a handfull so here are my personal reviews from each resort ive stayed in-

Grand Floridian- Sorry too young to remember

Disney Village- Gone now but was pretty good though I hated the noise generated from Downtown Disney. Also very young so dont remember too much (but I HATED the noise)

Fort Wilderness- Stayed her for about 3 years. Your own little cozy cabin- fit all of us nicely though we did cram a bit. Very nice being outdoors- use it to your advantage- bike paths, petting farm or just a nice walk outside. Pretty nice pools and great night activities- eating smores with Chip and Dale or watching some classic Disney films outside. Overall I enjoyed my stay there though it was a bit crammed for my family plus I felt a bit too isolated from the rest of the Disney area. 3 1/2 out of 5 stars.

Wilderness Lodge- By far my favorite resort- we stayed in the suites in the Wilderness Lodge for 2 years and loved it. Rooms are big, lobby is BEAUTIFUL, staff is very nice and plenty to do right in the resort. I personally enjoyed searching for hidden mickeys while my siblings enjoyed relaxing by the pool or walking down to Fort Wilderness. The place is very nice and transportaion to other parks, especially to Magic Kingdom (very nice boat ride) was easy. I highly recomend you stay here. 4 1/2 out of 5

Old Key West- 2 years here and my most recent stay also. Very nice, calm resort. Very large rooms, nice golf course and within walking distance of Downtown Disney. I really enjoyed myself here although I did feel that the rooms are a bit crammed together. But overall a very nice resort. 4 out of 5

This year I will be staying at the Beach Club Villas on the Boardwalk. Ive heard very good things about this and I can already tell you that the pool is sick.

So youve packed up, got on your flight and finally made it to the happiest place on earth. Check in and settle down. You dont want to rush anything up. After all, this is your vacation. So now the big question is what to do now. First of all, if you need to go shopping for food or whatever other things you will need in your stay. There is a nearby Wal-Mart (ask a Castmember for directions). So now that your all unpacked youve got 4 parks to chose from along with 2 water parks.

Before you go in though, you must learn the art of going through parks. I pride myself in knowing this quite well and I will share with you the best way to go through a park. And that art is- the Fastpass. The Fastpass is your friend. The Fastpass loves you and you should love it back.

How it works- You put your ticket into a ride with a long line- Long line = Line with time longer than an hour (since most times the time given is an over-estimation) and youll recieve a ticket with a one hour time period, usually a few hours later from the time you got one. This pass will alow you to jump the entire line for a wait of at most 5 minutes.
While your waiting for your time period, go to a ride with a short to medium line and wait- by the time your done, youll be able to use your pass and at the same time, get a new one. Rinse and repeat. Youll avoid long lines and will be able to ride everyting in a short amount of time. Its genius. Its a must- USE FASTPASSES AND USE THEM WISELY

Now that youve decided which park to visit, Ill break down each one and the must sees in it.

Magic Kingdom- Heres a no brainer. The centerpeice of the entire Disney area. This should be your top priority. Youll need all day for this park.
MUST RIDES- Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, Pirates of the Carribian, Space Mountain, Haunted Mansion...basically everything. This is an all day park so bring a lunch or bring some extra cash to buy some.
SPECIAL EVENTS- Fireworks (they always change the theme, now i think its Wishes), Electrical Parade (MUST SEE! TONS OF FUN!)
FAMILY FAVORITE- The Winnie the Poo rode- even my Father who hates rides loved this one. Fun for the entire family. Also Jungle Tour- FUNNIEST RIDE EVER

Epcot- Not the most popular park but with some new additions, this ones become a keeper. Youll love the walk around the World Showcase. This is a 3/4 to a full day park.
MUST RIDES- Test Track, Mission: Space (LOVED THIS! MUST MUST MUST GO ON!), Hunny, I Shrunk the Audience
SPECIAL EVENTS- Illuminations (best fireworks show around)
FAMILY FAVORITE- The ride by Norway with the trolls- fun and educational.

MGM Studios- By far my favorite park- love the Holywood atmosphere and the rides there. You could probably finish this park in 3/4th of a day.
MUST RIDES- Star Tours, Tower of Terror, Muppets 3D, Rockin' Roller Coaster
SPECIAL EVENTS- Fantasmic (one of the best shows in Disney)
FAMILY FAVORITE- Living the Movies ride- fun going through famous movies and very funny tour guides.

Animal Kingdom- The newest park so not as much to do/see but a fun park nevertheless. YOu can easily plow through in half a day.
MUST RIDES- Kiliminjaro Safari, Kali River Rapids, Dinosaur
SPECIAL EVENTS- Well its a zoo so i guess animal watching
FAMILY FAVORITE- A Bugs Life 3D show- alot of fun- NOT FOR LITTLE KIDS it nearly traumatized my 5 year old brother


Typhoon Lagoon- Fun park, awsome wavepool and relaxing tube rides.
MUST RIDES- Wavepool, tubes, long slides
SPECIAL EVENTS- None that I saw
FAMILY FAVORITE- The long steep slides- lots of thrills

Blizzard Beach- Ill admit it- ive never been here before but a friend says that its fun except that apparently lots of walking is invloved to get to the top where the slides are which could be fustrating. But if you have the time, you should defanitly check it out.

When your not at the parks, take it easy back at your resort- youll be glad you did. Rest up, go swimming or take a nice walk. Disney World isnt just about going on rides!

Downtown disney- A nice place to shop or just get a bite to eat. Very relaxing
MUST RIDES (or go to)- Disney Shop (HUGE), GR Deli (too annoying to try and spell but great ice cream)
SPECIAL EVENTS- might be able to get some fireworks in the sky
FAMILY FAVORITE- Just walking around (very nice lake), nice path

Some other random things you might want to also do-

Character Breakfast- we do this every year for at least 4 meals- alot of fun, good food and who doesnt want Pooh Bear dropping by to say hello?

Resteraunts- Our family doesnt go to resturaunts- they are expensive and we are just as happy making our own food (make sure your room has a kitchen with it). If you do decide to eat there though, make it only a few meals, or youll watch your money vanish.

RELAX- It can get fustrating out there- just remember its vacation and your here to have fun. Dont feel rushed and dont feel obligated to do anytinng. Just sit back, relax and enjoy your stay.

One week later youll feel like youve conquered the world- I GARUNTEE a great vacation for you, just as I have for the past few years. The general idea im trying to say is- BE SMART and youll have a great time

I hope you enjoyed- feedback would be nice (since id like to add on to this if neccessary)

HAVE FUN!

Last edited by RadJad56; 12-28-2004 at 02:23 PM.
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Old 12-21-2004, 01:25 AM   #2
okapi
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Hey I really like that run-down - Good job!
I'm just back and after reading your report, I'm ready to go back!
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Old 12-22-2004, 12:28 PM   #3
Drizzo67


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Very nice report. Thanks for all the wonderful information. Love to hear that the whole family goes. That's what Disney is all about.
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Old 12-22-2004, 05:21 PM   #4
minmom
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Go to Blizzard Beach this time. You will love it!!!!!!!!! It is the best water park we've ever been to. We Did both last time and it was much more fun.
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Old 12-22-2004, 06:41 PM   #5
bassoongirl
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Judah,

Thanks for all the information! You are lucky to go to WDW every year!

I loved your "GR Deli" comment. I knew just what you meant!

We are staying at the WL Villas for the first time in February. I am glad you gave it such a good review!

Gayl
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Old 12-22-2004, 08:01 PM   #6
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Good job, thanks for posting.

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