What IS the Research??

Discussion in 'Disney World Tips' started by DisneyFanatic1215, Mar 1, 2013.

  1. DisneyFanatic1215

    DisneyFanatic1215 Earning My Ears

    Feb 19, 2013
    I've seen so many posts about doing Disney the wrong way, or not being prepared, or getting terrible advice, or knowing how to do WDW because you "researched."

    We are going in May, and while I feel prepared, when i read some of these threads I feel like I am missing something.

    So what is the "research" ?? Is it reading crowd calendars, making ADRs, knowing what park you will go each day, or making a detailed touring plan of what ride goes next?

    I feel overwhelmed, as if I am missing a key piece of planning our vacation and that I simply do not know nearly as much as I should...

    Help me out please!
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  3. Cheshire Figment

    Cheshire Figment <font color=red><marquee behavior=alternate>Friend

    Jan 12, 2001
    It actually would be understanding Disney World. Such things as there is no charge for the internal transportation of for Fastpasses. Knowing what kinds of tickets there are and what will work for your touring. Things like that.

    My most severe example of cluelessness was a few years ago when I was working as a Greeter at DHS Gate. I was over near the map rack just providing general assistance. This was the week between Christmas and New Years, and our internal crowd prediction was for about 98% of capacity that day. About 11:30 a woman whose family had just entered the Park came to me and asked what restaurant I would suggest that she try for lunch that day. And she wanted sit-down and not Quick Service. I was polite and did not burst out laughing. I explained that more than likely every table service location was fully reserved months out, and if she were lucky she might find a QS with a wait of not more than 30 minutes to get to the counter.
  4. Hootch

    Hootch DIS Veteran

    Mar 4, 2006
    a few key areas will help someone going for the first time.

    1) Understand the layout of the parks. The parks are large and crisscrossing time and again will eat up time and wear you out. Note where the attractions you want to are located and consider grouping them. People using pedometers often report 7-9 miles of walking per day. (Added, start walking before the trip to get stamina up)

    2) If you want a specific restaurant, get that ADR ahead of time. If you are really flexible and crowds aren't huge, you can try calling Disney Dining that morning

    3) Understand fastpasses. They are one of the great time savers in the parks.

    4) Hopping can take a lot of time. It can also be worthwhile. Just plan the time.

    5) If you have younger ones, know the height restrictions.

    6) Understand EMH. Whether staying on or offsite, EMH can impact your touring plans

    7) I use the available apps to get a feel for wait times and return times leading up to our trip. That helps plan the order of attractions.

    I probably missed some but that is a start.
  5. msp2mco

    msp2mco DIS Veteran

    Feb 16, 2009
    Great advice from pp'ers.

    It is helpful for everyone in your party to know that the resort is huge. You cannot walk between parks (except HS and EP), and you will not be able to do everything. Rides may break down or attractions are closed for refurbishment, so something everyone wanted to do may not be available. Getting from your hotel to a park also takes a lot of time.
  6. mom2jcg

    mom2jcg Mouseketeer

    Jan 12, 2013
    This is what I was going to say. We always allow 45 minutes to an hour for travel time unless you are on the monorail line and going to MK, in which case we allow 30. Keep that in mind when trying to make a dinner reservation, and add more time if you're traveling to/from DD or between resorts.
  7. Shelly F - Ohio

    Shelly F - Ohio Disney Extraordinaire

    Feb 22, 2004
    Knowing how the transportation system works. Like the monarail does not go to all the parks just Epcot and MK. You can't get from a park to DTD via a bus. You have to take a bus from the park to a resort and transfer to a DTD bus.

    Making good use of your time by using the fastpass system.

    A friend of mine who is also a DVC member had a coworker who went to WDW and reported back to my friend and said, "I don't know how you can go there for a week and spend all that time at just one park". As my friend found out this person only went to MK because she did not know about the other 3 parks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  8. tessa67

    tessa67 Mouseketeer

    Aug 15, 2003
    For me research is using a trip planner so I have a plan for each day. I, personally, enjoy a schedule with extra time padded in for spontaneous character greetings, snack breaks, etc. I would hate having to regroup after each ride to decide what we are doing next.
  9. rjb123

    rjb123 Mouseketeer

    Apr 6, 2011
    I personally am not a in depth trip planner. That said, I have been to WDW a LOT (maybe 20 times growing up and before getting married and pretty much every other year since being married) and am pretty familiar with the lay of the land. I do make ADR's and have a general idea of what parks we will plan on doing on each day and what are the "biggies" that we want to do in each park. I also know which QS places are good bets for meals in each location. The rest we leave up to a little magic and try to go with the flow. :goodvibes I don't stress too much because I will probably be back.;) I will admit though, while this works for our family, I am a bit in awe of the folks on here with their plans. and a little envious tbh! :goodvibes I have picked up a good tip or two and have also thought "that would NEVER work for our family" a few times. I think that the most important thing is to plan the basics and then as much or little as works for you and your family.
  10. SpartanMommy

    SpartanMommy Mouseketeer

    Feb 21, 2013
    I Feel like I am missing something also, so thanks for this thread, there are some great tips. I have been to WDW 6 times and I can't believe all the things I have learned on these boards in the last few weeks!
  11. mom2jcg

    mom2jcg Mouseketeer

    Jan 12, 2013
    Also....get to the parks about 30 minutes before they open. You won't believe how much you can see/do in the first few hours the park is open because so many people sleep in.
  12. figment814

    figment814 Mouseketeer

    May 9, 2008
    I think the one thing about "The Research" that is true across the board is to do enough research so that your expectations are met. Depending on your personality type and your expectations, this could mean a lot of research or a little. Two people who look identical on paper can both have a magical trip even if one does a lot of research and one does very little.
  13. myzel

    myzel Mouseketeer

    Oct 18, 2010
    First, and foremost. It is your vacation you create your own stress. If you don't do everything you think you should plan another vacation. Don't stress I've done many Disney World trips and have yet to do everything. Relax it's a vacation :cool1:
  14. phillymummer

    phillymummer DIS Veteran

    Jun 30, 2012
    I have only been to wdw two times as adult, and only planned my last trip by myself. I "researched" by reading almost every post on these various boards for months before my trip (tips and strategies, wdw for families, the resort boards, the restaurant boards). I also read allears.net and easywdw.

    By reading so much, I find out information to things I would have never even thought to ask about. This led me to doing even more reading and digging for information.

    Just keep reading. You'll be fine.
  15. tina.tina

    tina.tina DIS Veteran

    Oct 18, 2010
    The following things were very helpful to me:

    researching fast pass strategy
    researching which rides are slow/fast loading, most/least popular, etc to be able to make your touring plan
    researching crowd levels & how the affect the parks because we went a busy time
    researching why you should have a touring plan- even a very loose one- rather than deciding on the fly what to do 1st, next, etc
    researching what you want to experience- Dinosaur would terrify me & DS!
    reading trip reports to see what worked or didn't work for other people
    picking up from DISboards & other sites countless other tidbits too numerous to list from reading all I can on threads that interest me

    I wish I had studied park layouts a little more.

    DH has not researched but we have both been to WDW. He knows what he likes now and can easily make decisions about what to ride. He even knows that getting to the parks early makes a huge difference. He may even have some idea of what he should do first from listening to me plan.

    I have researched so that our first experience was better than my co-worker's who has been several times. (Better in that we accomplished more and experienced less crowds and waiting.) On top of knowing what I want to ride, I know what order we should try to do things in to maximize our time and minimize our waits. I didn't have a step by step plan written down but I have a very good memory. Because of my research, I was also able to adjust as we went and cut down on zigzagging around the park, too.

    So, the difference between research and no research is that if DH & I were in a competition, I would accomplish a lot more than he could get done in the same amount of time because I understand the parks more than he does & also more than even a person who had already visited several times- just like Cheshire Figment said. I've soaked up lots of knowledge by reading his posts!
  16. adamsclan

    adamsclan Mouseketeer

    Mar 21, 2010
    I think the biggest thing is to be aware of what to expect and how large the DW layout is. A biggie for us was to plan one sit-down meal a day somewhere where everyone can find something to eat. (2 of my kids are picky). Looking at menus, revues, and locations was so helpful. There are tons of little tips and tricks that add to the magic that would take years to find on your own, but you can search them out after you find them on the boards and decide on one or two to add each trip. You can't get it all seen or done in one trip, but that's a great reason to go back next year!
  17. ghoweywilson

    ghoweywilson Earning My Ears

    Sep 26, 2012
    I would suggest understanding the FP system as well as whichever Dining Plan you have chosen (if you have). Then making your ADR's and planning your days a bit around them. (Though no one's plans ever goes 100% accordingly) Become familiar with your methods of transportation as well too. ie. cost of booked shuttles for other parks, time it will take to get to parks be it by bus or car as well as how to get to all your ADR's if they are at other resorts etc etc

    I would also get to know the layout of the park and plan what rides you and your party really want to do and the best way you can go about doing all these things. You don't want to waste time running across the park from ride to ride.

    I would also check and see what's going on at Disney during your stay. What is closed, what's open as well as any special events that may be going on. Epcot's Flower and Garden festival will still be ending mid May and Star Wars Weekends at Hollywood Studios will be beginning both of which can effect your days in parks.
  18. ZoZo

    ZoZo DIS Veteran

    Jun 16, 2005
    Great suggestions from other posters. OP, iIt sounds like you're way ahead of lots of visitors who make no plans whatsoever and spend lots of time standing around and looking at a map, trying to decide what to do next. As Cheshire Figment said, many first-time WDW visitors do not even know about making advance dining reservations, how to use fast pass, and other WDW "basics."

    One things that I would recommend is to try to make it to the park prior to rope drop most days (every day if you can). You will get more done in the first three hours than many people would be able to do in an entire day if you arrive before park opening. Most folks think, "I'm not going to get up early - I'm on vacation!" and stroll into the parks around 11:00 am. By that time, I've been able to do most of what I want in any given park, and the rest is just gravy!

    Another suggestion would be to get a good guidebook - the Unofficial Guide is my favorite by far. By reading through it, you'll have access to great tips, tricks, and excellent reviews of rides, hotels, and restaurants. I always recommend the UG to "newbies" because it gives you a great foundation about how you want to plan your trip. Even if you don't use a detailed touring plan (I don't!), you'll be able to figure out a great general strategy to use.

    Have a great vacation!
  19. VanellopeVonSchweetz

    VanellopeVonSchweetz Earning My Ears

    Mar 14, 2013
    Great thread! Being technically a "newbie" (last trip 16 years ago!!) I had NO idea about how to use the fast pass! I thought it was like 6 Flags where you pay for it! Awesome tips!
  20. nonstopdisneymom

    nonstopdisneymom Mouseketeer

    Nov 21, 2012
    How can you walk from HS to EP?
  21. gdrj

    gdrj DIS Veteran

    Jan 13, 2012
    A couple of add'l items.
    - I would recommend Park Hopper passes so you can leave 1 park and go to another if it gets to crowded.

    - Pick a few must do for each park so you can go there first or fastpass.

    - There are a number of detailed "tour books" IMO I would stay with a simplier one for the first trip. The official guidebook is colorful and easy to read. Go to a bookstore, grab a cup of coffee and start reading the books. If you can't put one down thats the one for you.

    - If you are staying on property enjoy the resort.

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