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Been to the Land...now planning for the World

Discussion in 'Welcome to the DIS' started by rosie2283, Jan 24, 2013.

  1. rosie2283

    rosie2283 Well-Known Member

    Hi everyone, so I've been through numerous posts and trip reports but Wow, do I feel very overwhelmed. I've now made three trips to Disneyland and for more than seven days at a time. Hence, I have the Land figured out.
    I know on the Disneyland forums, they have an extensive thread on Dosneyworld vets. Is there something similar over here for Disneylanders? I can't even figure out where to start! Thanks in advance for any help!
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  3. jesswindsor

    jesswindsor Well-Known Member

    Planning for me is almost as much fun as the actual trip!! If I could suggest to you of how to start this would be it: Decide on if you are staying onsite or off. There are resorts for every budget, and they all provide travel to and from everywhere on property. Next how long are you planning on staying, I would suggest at least 7 days, 10 being better. There is alot to see and do, and it is nice to be able not to have to rush. Next Food ressies, if you are wanting to make any, there are some great food reports under the restaurants, with pictures and descriptions of some of the food to help you decide. If you do make food ressies, just keep in mind what park you will be at on the day of your ressie. You don't want to spend all your time traveling. And lastly for the parks, I would suggest to pick the "must do's" for each of the 4 parks and work on doing that first, anything else will be bonas. Get to the parks at rope drop, you can usually get a whole section of the park done by noon that way. I hope I helped in some way!! Have Fun!!
  4. rosie2283

    rosie2283 Well-Known Member

    Thanks so much! It helps to have some sort of guideline to get started!
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc <font color=royalblue>We had a wonderful time, but

    Not that I'm aware of, so let me help.

    First, you'll want a place to stay. Assuming you're planning to stay on site, take a look at www.allears.net and look at the resort slide shows and fact sheets. Disney's resorts are broken down to 3 different categories: Value, Moderate, and Deluxe. Each has a different set of ameneties and a different price point. Get a feel for what you can swing with your budget. (As an aside, many of the Deluxes will accomodate 5 people in a room, the exceptions being the Wilderness Lodge and Animal Kingdom Lodge. Also, 2 of the Values offer Family Suites-- basically the size of 2 small rooms, but combined to one. They offer a separate bedroom for mom and dad, and convertible beds in the main room. They have a small kitchenette area. They can be found in All Star Music and the new Art of Animation.)

    There are several advantages to staying on site. Primary in my mind are Disney's Magical Express (free transportation to and from the airport), transportation to the parks-- the busses, monorails and boats run constantly during park hours, EMH (extra hours at the parks) and access to the Dining Plan.

    OK, once you have a resort in mind, take a look at the calendar. The price of your resort will vary significantly from one part of the year to the next. (For us, this is a no brainer. We're both teachers; we go over the summer during Value Season.)

    If you're staying on site, you'll want to look at the dining plans and decide whether or not they're a good idea for you. We didn't have it last trip, and really missed it. But not everyone agrees that it's a good fit.

    Dining plan or not, many of us make our dining reservations 180 days before the start of our trip-- you can google a countdown calendar to let you know when your 180 day mark is.

    Once you've gotten through all that, you can start to look at the parks.

    Does that help at all?
  6. emilyindisney

    emilyindisney Well-Known Member

    If it makes you feel any better, I'd be totally lost if I made the jump from the World to the Land! :rotfl:

    I'd suggest heading to your local library and grabbing a planning guide. Even if its not the most up-to-date it will lay out your basic policies and how to start planning. That way, if you want to jump into a site like DIS to get the rest of your details, it won't be so overwhelming!

    Good luck! :goodvibes
  7. rosie2283

    rosie2283 Well-Known Member

    Wow! That helps immensely! Glad to hear you missed the dining plan. That is one thing that I am leaning toward but still checking it all out. For hotel, onsite of course but I think we are going to do AoA. The family suite is too good to pass up. We are a family of five (DS13, DS10, & DD7). We need our space...namely my 13 year old needs his space! ;)

    The dining...oh man the dining. This is a process all on its own trying to decide where to eat isn't it? I will keep the 180 day mark in mind. Any recommendations for show-type dinners? Hoop-De-hoo or the luau one? Also, what about the Fabtasmic! Dining package? Yay or nay?

    Thanks again!
  8. rosie2283

    rosie2283 Well-Known Member

    Yes I am definitely picking up the unofficial guide! Awesome!
  9. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc <font color=royalblue>We had a wonderful time, but

    Here are our choices, though they change from one year to the next:
    - We always do a character meal, and one of our big choices is Chef Mickey's on arrival night.

    - For your 7 year old daughter, take a look at either Aukerhaus in Norway (Epcot: 5 different princesses come up for autoraphs and pictures. We did a late breakfast/brunch, since my crew wouldn't do well with unfamiliar lunch or dinner items.) Or look at dinner at 1900 Park Fare (in the Grand Floridian, on the monorail near the Magic Kingdom.) Cinderella and the prince, the stepsisters and stepmother are there, and the steps are hysterical. Ask one of the sisters who is prettier if they don't already go into their spiel.

    - Consider the Coral Reef. Although it gets mixed reviews, we enjoy it. And the view is unbelievable.

    - We love LeCellier. It's now a double credit except at lunch, so we'll do lunch.

    - Our new favorite is the seafood buffet at Cape May. (In the Beach Club, a 3 minute walk from Epcot. Seriously, it's no hassle to get there!!!) Everyone loved it!!!

    - In Animal Kingdom, we enjoy Yak and Yetti for lunch.

    - We've enjoyed the atmosphere at Sci Fi in DHS, and your kids would probably get a kick out of it.

    - Next trip we're definitely going to Whispering Canyon. We had ADRs there last year, but cancelled them when a medical emergency came up. My Assistant Principal raves about Whispering Canyon.

    - We did Hoop De Do this year, and loved the show. We thought the food was just so-so, though my sister loves it. The show is definitely worth it though.

    - We did the Fantasmic dining package our first trip. My girls were terrified of the show at that point, so keep it in mind with your youngest. (My youngest still has issues with loud noises and fireworks, so she still hasn't seen the whole show.)

    On a different note, try to get in to the Tomorrowland Terrace Dessert party. It's wonderful!!!! And it's a seat for Wishes!!! It's not part of the meal plan, but totally worth it!!!! ADRs can be tricky, as they're something (but not exactly) like 90-100 days out.

    On the subject of the shows, make sure you see Illuminations at Epcot. I think it's the best show in WDW-- it's simply awe inspiring!!!
  10. rosie2283

    rosie2283 Well-Known Member

    Awe!! So awesome. Thank you so much for the recommendations! I will definitely check them all out and see which suit us the best. This is exactly what I was looking for!
  11. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc <font color=royalblue>We had a wonderful time, but

    You're so welcome!

    For a wider variety of opiions, take a look at the "Dining" forum; some version of your question comes up on a pretty regular basis, or you can post it yourself.
  12. rosie2283

    rosie2283 Well-Known Member

    We loved Big Thunder BBQ and was thinking Hoop Dee Hoo was similar. I think our family will really enjoy it. We did enjoy the character meals at DL but I am swinging towards doing more shows at DW. My DS13 even enjoyed the character meals but he is a huge Pluto fan and Pluto and him did some very funny stuff together!

    Sci-Fi is definitely something we are trying. That is totally in our element as a family!

    I am disappointed to hear about F! We love DLs F! And did the dessert package with it. I think maybe we will skip it and try the Tomorrowland Terrace Dessert Party for Wishes. It's always good to change things up anyway. :)

    Thank you for the excellent recommendations. This trip is starting to become less overwhelming!
  13. NedsTJ

    NedsTJ Only 5.67E+06 feet from MK!

    Make sure you take a listen to last weeks podcasts (ep 565, 1/23/13). (sorry if this was mentioned in an earlier post...I'm a skimmer, what can i say)
    One of the sessions was specifically on "Selecting a Disney Package". I found it very helpful and informative, even though we stay DVC and the typical "packages" don't really apply to us.
  14. SA mom

    SA mom Well-Known Member

    We made the jump from WDW to DL this summer and here are some things I think you should know:

    1) Your 13 year old and 10 year old would be considered adults on the dining plan. That makes a huge difference in the cost.

    2) You will needs a lot of time to go from one place to another, even within parks. It was so awesome to park hop at DLR this summer. We park hopped 4 times in one day. Very difficult to do at the World. There are many fewer attractions in Magic Kingdom than DL park. (Does that make sense?)

    3) Two resorts on property, Swan and Dolphin, are run by Starwood Hotels (Sheraton, Westin, etc.) and you can book them on points. Awesome.

    4) The Unofficial Guide cannot be beat and Tour Plans really work. We have friends that can't understand how we see and do so much more then them. They refuse to try the plans and become frustrated.

    5) Like Disneyland, there are great off property resorts that are a wonderful value. With the exception of transportation to MK, driving your car is comparable and sometime faster than Disney transportation.

    Have a great time!
  15. SA mom

    SA mom Well-Known Member

    Another thought:

    You really do need to make dining reservations 180 days in advance for the top character meals (Cinderella, Chef Mickey, 1900 Park Fair, Crystal Palace, etc.) and some of the other choice restaurants.
  16. reddfrogg

    reddfrogg Well-Known Member

    Disneyland is tiny compared to the WDW!! Disneyworld is it's own little susburb ( it's Huge)!!!! I've been to both and I just can't explain to people how large it is ( they never seem to believe me).

    That being said, It's awesome and you'll have a great time!!! Take a look at Port Orleans, a family of 5 will fit, but it's closer to everything than AOA (AOA is one of the farthest resorts, but very nice and new). If you can afford it I would stay at one of the EPCOT resorts!!!! It's the center of the world!!

    Listen to people about the ressy the longer you wait the less choice you will have!!
  17. SA mom

    SA mom Well-Known Member

    The Swan and Dolphin have these cool Deluxe Alcove Rooms. You can easily fit 5 people with a roll away bed. We did this two years ago and we booked on points, at Thanksgiving, so we paid no money.

    The water out of the park fountains tastes really bad. We are not water snobs. I'll drink tap almost anywhere. The water at the hotels is fine, just in the parks. Hot and yucky.
  18. rosie2283

    rosie2283 Well-Known Member

    Good to know. I'll check those out. I am a water snob and I drink ALOT of water so I'll definitely keep lots on hand!

    Whew! There is a lot of planning involved to go to the World. I see how you are planning a year in advance.
  19. SA mom

    SA mom Well-Known Member

    I did a lot of planning four our trip to the Land, too. I think that we are so accustomed to which ever park we first visited, that it takes a while to change that mind set. So many of the attractions are similar, but they can be in very different places, like Star Tours is in Hollywood Studios instead of next to Space Mountain.

    And the there are SO many restaurants!

    I hope you have a fun time learning some new parks!

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