THE CAST: MKFan-PR: Me, 34. Disney nut since my parents took me when I was 5. This is my 10th trip overall, number 6 with my DW and number 2 with my DD. Carmen: DW, 38. Her 7th trip (6 with me). Knows a little English but enjoys Disney a lot. Larissa: DD, 3.5. This is actually her 2nd trip, but this is the first that she will actually have memories of. Has been excited about the trip ever since she saw the vacation video. We live in Puerto Rico, so a trip to Disney involves quite some planning and investment; it is very difficult to go more than once a year. With Larissa starting school this will be the first time that our family will NOT be going off-season, and who knows when we'll be able to return, so this trip is extra-special for my DW and me. The MKFan Family's trip: The Goodbye & Final Thoughts Well, it had to end sometime. I won't bore you with the 'mundane' details of our departure day. We were obviously sad that our trip was over, but at the same time we were re-energized to take on everything that was waiting for us back home. As we were leaving WDW property, we saw the 'See you real soon!' sign, and we said a big 'Amen!'. I don't know when we'll come back, but I know that we WILL come back! Here are a few thoughts, observations, tips, rants, raves, etc. 1-If you come in the scorching hot summer, as you may have read throughout these boards, bring lots of sunscreen and water, and take a midday break if possible. If you're a late starter like us or you like to stay the whole day, take breaks in air conditioned areas and don't push yourself too hard. 2-When it rains, just cover yourself and keep going if it doesn't bother you too much. From our observation, crowds disappear when it starts to rain. 3-From our experience, the MK is insanely crowded on Mondays and Saturdays. Avoid those days like the plague. If those are the only days it stays open late (happens in the off-season), then start your day at another park, then go there to see FITS or Spectro, but don't expect to do much in terms of rides. 4-AK is great in rainy weather. The heat is not a problem and the animals come out in the cooler weather. 5-If you have a child that needs to be carried around every now and then, take a stroller. We bought an umbrella stroller with canopy and reclining seat that folds in one motion (you unlock it with your foot) at strollers4less.com I think it was $45 or $50 plus S&H. It's been a hit. Be advised that jogging strollers are not being allowed in the parks (I saw a couple of them not being allowed to enter). 6-Children live in their own world, and sometimes what you think will excite them doesn't and the most mundane things will (I remember my DSIL sent my DD a beautiful doll, and when she saw it she was so excited. When we opened the box and gave har the doll, she just looked at the doll, then grabbed the box and started playing with it!). Don't be disappointed if your child doesn't react the way you expected. Let him/her enjoy the atmosphere, don't push them, and he/she will suprise you! 7-WDW is huge, so have at least a general plan! We're laid back, but we at least know what park we'll go which day, and more or less what we'll like to see (maybe even a PS). The thing is we take it easy because we know we have options and we know what the options are! Do your homework: What do you expect of your vacation in WDW? What would you like to do? What interests you the most? Read all the guides you want, then read and talk to the people on these boards. Trust me: it will make a world of difference. I'm a WDW veteran and these boards made this vacation memorable! 8-WDW is too big and with many options; you CAN'T do it all in a week or 10 days! 9-On the same vein: use the guide maps! Pick one up when you enter! Don't wait! I know the parks by heart now, but I always needed the maps to find the new paths, restrooms, and character locations. It was frustrating when we didn't pick one at the entrance and we were looking for a restroom! 10-FP is Fantastic! Use it! It makes all the difference. If you come early, you can combine that with FP to do everything. Look around in these boards to find great early visit/FP/standby strategies! UE does the same for IOA/USF, but I think the way WDW does it (machine takes ticket, then prints FP; return times posted in boards vs. scanning/swiping tricket, with no return time posted in boards), is better. 11-The new Non-Smoking rule in the parks is fabuolus! It makes them so much more enjoyable! My only regret is that now, not only did WDW take my favorite secluded corner in MK (the nook behind the Christmas (?) store and LTT on Liberty Square) and added a pathway to it, now it's a Smoking Area! But I'll trade that for a Non-Smoking park anytime. 12-Air travel really is down. I saw license plates from all over the USA. At one time, I was parked at CBR, there were about 10 cars and my rental was one of only 2 cars with Fla. plates. I saw a family arriving from Ontario, Canada. And I even saw one from Washington state! 13-We'd really like to see La Nouba. It didn't fit into our budget in this trip, so we'll try to see it in our next trip. 14-Aren't those 'Zip-a-de-doo-dah tip for the day' commercials great? 15-Finally, I don't really care if this sounds corny or if you think it's corny... WDW is really a magical place for us. For us getting there requires a lot of planning and investment, and once there I enjoy everything. BEING there is enough for me, and it's money well spent. We come back home with new energy and ready to take on the Real World again. If you have any questions, I'd be glad to answer them if I can. Again, thanks to all of you who took the time to read and/or post on our Trip Report!