How to do Disney - Different views on how to do Theme Parks and endurance

Discussion in 'Theme Parks Attractions and Strategies' started by khaoskat, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. eeyoresmom

    eeyoresmom Guest

    op, I wouldn't do it. It is difficult even with groups more evenly matched. You owe it to your family to do Disney at your pace. Chances are great that you will miss a lot of great stuff or they will be miserable. If your family were WDW vets I' d be more inclined to say go for it, but I think your plans are more suitable to a beach vacation not Disney.
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  3. glassslippergirl

    glassslippergirl Mouseketeer

    Jul 15, 2010
    I agree with two pieces of advice already offered.

    1. Reconsider before you commit. It seems like you're very good friends. But you don't seem very excited about spending your first trip to Disney World with them. It's a lot of money to spend to not have the vacation you want. Things that happen on the vacation could also negatively affect your friendship.

    Two years ago we invited my brother-in-law and his family on my husband's birthday trip which coincided with the first Star Wars Weekend and with the opening of the new Star Tours ride. It was a dream vacation for my husband, a Star Wars enthusiast. And to be able to share with his brother-well that was just going to be the cherry on the cake. But it turns out that my sister-in-law's one of those Floridians who always complains about the heat, and my brother-in-law liked to rush through a few things then go back to the hotel. After I, at their request, waited for over an hour to hold a place for their little girl to watch the motorcade, and they just decided to leave, My husband and his brother got into a fight. We parted ways for the rest of the day and had a much better time without them. We were only there for a short two-day trip together, so I can imagine how bad it would be over the course of a week.

    2. If you do go, avoid ADRs that require money down. On the same trip with my brother-in-law, we planned to go to the HDDR for my husband's birthday celebration. Because of their fight earlier that day, my brother-in-law said that he and his family would probably not make it. We were going to lose the money we had already paid for he, his wife, and daughter to go. My husband had to explain to his brother how expensive the meal was, and that was the only way he could convince him to go.

    Again, this is just a short two-day trip, and we go to Disney World often, so one bad experience really didn't make much of a difference to us. Recently, my sister-in-law suggested that she wants them to go with us for our son's first trip in May. I will probably just suggest that we go together some other time.
  4. mickeyluv'r

    mickeyluv'r DIS Veteran

    Feb 14, 2005
    A few thoughts frm someone who has gone to WDW many times with extended family:

    First, it may not be fair to judge how kids react to non-WDW parks vs. WDW. I'm a good example. At non-WDW parks, especially if it is a pay-per-ride type situation (fairs?) I rarely ride more than one ride. WDW is almost the opposite- we ride almost everything at least once. There are also so many interesting things to see that are not rides- like real gardens, educational displays (Innoventions), interactive water fountains. The food alone is enough to send me running from most amusement parks. Think about/discuss what common interests you share.

    If you are dealing with differing endurance levels, then I think offsite is the WRONG choice. I speak form experience. When we stay offsite, there is a TON more pressure to travel together. It is also MUCH harder to get everyone going in the morning. We also had considrabel disagreement about which gorceries to buy. Eveyone wanted somethign different, then we fought when someone took the wrong food! The $14 parking fee alone is reason to travel together. I have seriously found the complete opposite to be far more effective- stay at the best onsite hotel you can afford! If value is where youa re at, that's okay. skip the mods. If you can swing deluxe- do it! Also since you said offsight might be an option- strongly look at the Swan and Dolphin. They offer some pretty good deals, and when it comes to trnasportation- they are equal to a deluxe, for about the price of a mod. You just can't get ME or DDP. Not only will it be much easier for everyone to deal with transportation, but it will also make you feel better about compromises. I have little desire to hang out at uninteresting hotels;they are just a bed. Disney resorts are FUN to explore. The pools, extra amenties, decor...all make hotel time enjoyable.
    Ah...I just read back thorugh the posts....if this is your frist trip to WDW, I'd reconsider your plan to go together - at least for this go round. Another option to consider- is to plan to meet up just one or two days- or have your trips overlap by just one or two days. That would reduce the pressure.

    Another way approach is to merely splurge on a deluxe resort those one or two days you plan to spend together. A split stay will help you shift gears mentally.

    money. Try to avoid committing your money on them. (including a cc hold on anything) If you are going to do prepaid dining, or places that require a cc hold, have them prepay you well in advance. Maybe consider the dining plan. The dining plan is a good way to estimate food costs. Look at what each meal plan offers, then add $ for tips. Don't expect the plan to save much money, but it serves as a good estimate of what food costs are. Also, it serves as a commitment.
  5. pickles

    pickles <font color=red>Just call me Capt. Barbossa-someon

    Apr 30, 2006
    I have 2 words CELL PHONES

    I cant believe touring is even a worry, since folks have cell phones. Split up or stay together..then text and meet as you want. When they get tired , they go their own way, when they want to meet up do so.
    I agree about staying onsite. this makes coming and going a bit less pressured.

    Plan as you want and let them keep up as they want.
  6. joanchris

    joanchris Mouseketeer

    Jul 24, 2005
    Do you know that the dad will stay in? In our family my husband is generally (always) the type who stays in, would rather be in and watch sports than socialize and such. However, at Disney he's out all day every day with us at the parks. He's a totally different person at Disney than the rest of the time. Just something to think about in trying to figure this out!
    That said, I think planning part of each day together (like make a Lunch ADR or plan on meeting up at a particular location for lunch) might be a good idea, then you're not locked into waiting on them to go in the morning. Then you can see how it goes. with dynamics like you describe I don't see everyone being happy if you try to spend too much time together.
  7. dchronister

    dchronister Mouseketeer

    Oct 12, 2007
    My DBinL, DSinL, DN19 and DN5 went with me and my DD15 last April, she had no internet access and therefore wasn't as informed as well as I was the first time my family went, but she did know of a few things that she wanted to do, some from her friends and some from my suggestions. But I basically laid it all out for her, this is what , me and DD15 are going to do, and this is where we are going to eat at this appointed time. So she made her decisions on what she wanted to participate in with us or what they wanted to do on their own. Sometimes when we were touring together, DN5 would want to do this or that, something that I wouldn't want to do or she would have a 5 year old I'm really tired melt down so we would part ways for awhile and then get back together for something else. If you really feel that yours touring styles are going to clash, I would just say no, no way. Disney cost to much money to not be happy while you are there. Regardless of what you do, have fun, don't let anybody hamper your vacation.
  8. CarrieR

    CarrieR DIS Veteran

    Jun 10, 2008
    If you really want to travel with these friends, I might suggest you travel "at the same time" as them rather than "with" them.

    I live far away but we go to Disney... a lot. We have taken multiple groups of friends and family through the parks, and this is what I have learned.

    1) Stay onsite. The transportation is marvelous in the sense that anyone can go anywhere unaccompanied. No need to coordinate who is taking which vehicle where when. This was a Godsend when I had a friend who just.could.not get going in the morning and we ended up screaming at each other because I was mad that she wasn't ready and she was mad that I didn't want to wait for her. We realized that those who were ready could go - and those who were not could hop the next bus.

    2) Pick a select "together" thing or two - then let the rest fall as it may. We did a trip for Marathon weekend - me and my bestie, and her brother and sister-in-law. We also spent time with her (CM) cousin, and the cousin's mom and son. The five of us did the 5k, and we scheduled one meal (LC) with everyone. Aside from that, we would sometimes meet up when agendas allowed, but other times we'd be going totally opposite directions. We also had small goals, like, ride the TTA together, since that is inexplicably a favorite of all of ours, but we had never all done it together. It was easy to fit in on a day we were all at MK.

    3) Set expectations... and know your party. Prior to the bus-screaming trip, I sent out a detailed itinerary. I asked my friends what they wanted to do and was told "everything" - so I scheduled "everything." Bus-friend could not hack it, and if I'd thought about it ahead of time, I KNEW that about her. For our Marathon trip, I sent out a very low-pressure email that was essentially an FYI. To BFF's B, SIL and cousin, I explained that BFF and I have a touring pattern we "automatically" fall into and here is how the weekend would likely go for us. I further explained that anyone was welcome to join us, but that I tended to get very cranky if plans change, so to not expect us to bend to everyone's whims. I also set a note in there for "let me know if there's something not on here that you would really like to do together." That trip went off famously, we all had a great time and no one ended up screaming down Main St...

    It's hard, though, with it being your first trip. You can't tell the other family how your family will be because you don't know how it will be! I mean this respectfully, but - despite all of the planning, your family will tweak things throughout the week. After a billion trips, I can easily say, "We arrive at DHS 45 minutes prior to scheduled rope drop, we hit abc and xyz, and then we move on to EPCOT." So be cautious about setting too stringent of expectations, and asking others to work around them, because you may want to change them yourselves.

    I dunno, I love taking others to WDW but like LaurenT above, I go enough that I am happy to accomodate what others request (within reason) and if I miss something, oh well, I've seen it before and I'll see it again. We skipped AK totally in January, it just didn't work (but B&SIL went one afternoon.) We opted to spend an extra evening at MK with B&SIL, and we took cousin on our next trip. (Yes - cousin is a CM but didn't start going to the parks until we took her with us!!) If it was my first time? I would not have been so laid back about that.
  9. RedfromNL

    RedfromNL Mouseketeer

    Oct 7, 2011
    Best advice!

    Don't force one another to travel a way you or they don't like. Meet up on occasions do a few things together and still have fun your own way!
  10. MinnieTink

    MinnieTink DIS Veteran

    Mar 29, 2007
    I agree as well :) We have met up with friends and when we tried to stay all together for too long it was disastrous. We are go go go-ers and they needed to stop and get a snack or drink every half hour. We are dare devils and they are chickens. Lol. Many rides ended with my kids yelling woohoo and their kids in tears.

    The times we enjoyed more was when we would meet up for a meal or a swim after spending most of our day separate.
  11. Kae

    Kae DIS Veteran

    Oct 21, 2002
    I would not do it. Don't share this trip, if you do decide to do not share a house with them. I would pick my own resrt based on my families needs & wants, pick the tickets we feel are best. If you guys meet up for a meal or some park time great if not that is ok too.

  12. susanm

    susanm DISNEY MANIAC ºoº

    Dec 3, 2005
    when i went with my sister & family we did splits... meet at cosmic rays at 1130 for lunch....who wants to go to do mountains, went with me.....haunted mansion and hall of presidents etc went with my sister.... meet at 230p by LTT for switch off kids and areas to cover...worked well for us...time together and some time apart and everyone got to do what they wanted....some several times :hyper:
  13. cobright

    cobright DIS Veteran

    Jan 6, 2013
    I will reiterate something already said ... and stress it. Stay On Site!

    Whatever the extra cost is it is worth it. First of all, I have never got the level of customer service off-site than I have from even a value wdw resort. Then there is the transportation, it makes shuttling back and forth between parks and resort and DTD a breeze.
  14. Masonmj84

    Masonmj84 DIS Veteran

    Jul 28, 2011
    My experience has been that it's very difficult for two groups with different touring philosophies to stay together all that much (especially if they aren't staying at the same place, don't have the same ADRs, etc.).

    Whether or not that will be a problem depends largely upon how insistent people in your group are about staying together.

    For example, I'm the epitome of an uber planner rope drop junkie. On our most recent trip, some of our exended family was staying in a different resort, had different ADRs, and generally didn't arrive at the parks until somewhat later. In addition, we like leaving the parks at around 2 to swim wereas they preferred staying in the parks until early evening and then swimming after returning to their resort.

    The only time we spent much time with them was in the afternoon between about 1 and 2.

    Generally, everyone got along okay once we realized that our different touring styles just didn't mesh all that well. The only time we had a bit of friction was when we had FPs for something they wanted to do (for example, at HS, we got FPs for TSM at rope drop and then immediately rode it standy. By the time our relatives got to the park, all of the FPs were gone and they sort of resented us for not being willing to give them our FPs, seeing how we'd already been on the ride once).
  15. mickeyluv'r

    mickeyluv'r DIS Veteran

    Feb 14, 2005
    I realy like this post! :thumbsup2

    The only thing I disagree with is that after a billion trips...I can say....rarely does anything go the way I think it will.

    My extended family all know WDW quite well, and every visit they continuously throw zingers at me.

    Also, even as someone wh has been many times, it's truly impossible to perfectly manage your time. For a start, you don't control weather, lines, or transportation timing- and each of those can mean variations of 30minutes or more.

    It's probably not a bad idea for you to research what you wan tot do each day, and maybe do set up a commitment that you'll all try to met up at a certian time each morning, go to a certain park each day. Do use cellphones.

    But also - we have a running joke in our family, "Those who can't keep up will be left behind." In truth, we rarely split up- but the truth behind the joke is that we all agree up front, no hard feelings when someome does want to split up. If you take too long getting up- you have no grounds ot whine that you mised out on something. Conversely, we all agree to do our best to compromise. You are not going to get to do everything you want the moment you want to do it. When the pressure gets to be too much, rather than force the gourp to do what you want- you get to go your own way. (except the very young kids. They get a voice, and a turn to do their thing...but not always the moment they want it.)

    I love the idea that you should keep your preplanning commitments toa minimum. It easy to adjust up (time together), and hard to adjust down.

    I also agree that the (old) fastpass system is sometimes a sticking point...then again...Disney will soon be changing how FP works. OP is new to WDW, so she may not even use fp all that much anyhow, and none of us knows all the details of how new fp willl work.
  16. nooneshome

    nooneshome but us dis shutins-send help or APs

    May 27, 2007
    Good luck.
  17. khaoskat

    khaoskat Mouseketeer

    Feb 21, 2013
    Thanks All.

    I will talk with the parents when Dad is home for a week off in a few weeks.

    I know my family and I know not to make detailed/scheduled plans (*LOL*) they always go wrong....but on that point, we will probably do something like look at each of the park maps and decide what we want to ride (or rather have each of the kids in advance) and I am sure that will change even after we get there...but it will give us an idea of what the kids like/don't like in advance. I already know at HS we will be spending ALOT of time with Toy Story...

    We also plan on doing the Halloween party at least one night.

    The other family is not wanting to stay on property due to the expense. Last time they used hotel points and stayed at a Holiday Inn one bedroom suite. If we go as a group, I was going to look at a 5 bedroom house close to the property...The adults could relax together in the evening after the kids are asleep...but if the do not come we are staying on property.

    I am still just in the figuring this all out phase, but I do know how our kids run through Cedar Point and King's I am sure they will be kind of like that there as well. My oldest has already made a concession - he will do CRT if we allow him to do the pirate cruise (he dislikes Princesses)...*LOL*.

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