Saturday, January 14, 2012

Disney advice?

We are heading to Disney World in Florida in February! Our first time, and we are so excited.

Have you been? Any tips?? We have no idea what we are in for...... :)


Nicole said...

You will have such a great time! We are headed to Dismey World at the end of this month and it will be the 4th time we have been in Jan/Feb. it is a perfect time to go! Nice weather and no crowds!

Little Island Quilting said...

Nope. Never been.
My tip.
Don't go ;-)

bethanndodd said...

We are taking the boys in early June for their first experience. I haven't been in 12 years so I don't really have any good tips for ya. You can bet I will be reading all your comment though ;)
Have fun planning! Smiles~Beth

Jocelyn said...

One thing that is very important is good walking shoes. You might even stick an extra pair in a back pack to change. You won't regret that. Also bring a sweatshirt. Although we have great weather in Florida, February can be cold. It was 39 degrees here this morning, and believe me that's cold for Florida. I would also suggest bringing a bottle of water, and refill them at the water coolers. Food is very expensive and sometimes the lines are very long. The last time I was there, you could purchase something like a fast pass (can't remember if that is the correct name). In other words, you have a pass for a certain ride at a certain time, and you don't have to wait in line. That was a great time saver and allows you to get around to see much more. Have a great time. Any time is a great time to visit Florida :-)

carol said...

my tip is to schedul meals like dinner with the reservations line. We go often and we pick which park to be in based on early and late hours. We hop form park to park, morning in Animal Kingdom, then afternoon at Hollywood studios. You can find the hours under parks /hours. Sign up for the Disney bus from the airport to the hotel for free.

Katie B said...

I live one state away and have never been. Can you believe that? You'll have a blast.

Ann Marie @ 16 Muddy Feet said...

Dress for all kinds of weather. Bring shorts and pants, along with jackets too. Comfy walking shoes and lots of $$$$$$$$$$. When the kids were little we would go every February because there are no crowds that time of year, and sometimes the weather is perfect other times it is on the cool side. Sometimes it is cool in the morning and then nice in the afternoon and then cool again when the sun went down in the evenings. You picked the perfect month to go there. A Lot of the water rides have the majority of the water turned off so you don't get soaked, but packing extra socks is a good tip too. Have fun and enjoy all there is. Park Hopper tickets are the best because you are not stuck at the Magic Kingdom all day long you can go to the other 3 parks by monorail as well. I highly recommend it. It was in the 30s this morning but highs are in the low 60s for the day. Get the maps for the park when you enter and just start at the gate and keep going, pay attention to the times of the shows and hit some of them too, they are all really good and give your feet a short break. If you go to Animal Kingdom, there is a theater beneath the HUGE tree, go watch that show, you will be glad you did!

Kaelin said...

OMG!!! I'm ashamed to admit this, but my hubby and I are completely obsessed with WDW and we've been like 10 times. I will tell you everything you need to know. Email to follow shortly.

Kristy said...

You're gonna have a blast! It's truly magical!

One piece of advice we received from one of our friends who is a regular, is to stay off site. We found a super nice condo about 10 minutes from the gate that was a huge savings and would go back mid-day for a break and to eat most days. Ours were little and needed the break and eating outside the park for at least some meals was another huge savings. Have FUN!!!!! :)

Sew Festive said...

I live about 30 minutes from Disney, and I haven't been in at least 6 years. Because I live 30 minutes from Disney haha.
My tips from an almost lifetime of living in Central Florida? Be ready to walk through the gate when the park opens, and choose something that you all really want to make sure to do to go to first. If you really really want to ride Space Mountain, as soon as the park opens for the day, you go straight there and get in line. Lines can be 1-2 hours, depending on the day, especially for the big rides. Hydrate days in advance [yes, the weather has been in the mid 60's the past few days, but we've also had days in the high 70's low 80's this past week] and make sure you wear sunscreen even if its cloudy. Get a map and take 5-10 minutes to plan out a route, so that way you're not just walking back and forth across the park, because you will get tired. If you want to watch any of the parades, you're going to need to be sitting in a spot about an hour in advance to get a seat right in front of the parade route, so if you time that with eating a meal then you can plop the kids and one parent down while the other gets the food, and then sit there and eat, and by the time you're done the parade will be starting.
All in all, it is a magical place for a kid. Just be glad you don't have to fight all that traffic on a daily basis :)

Anonymous said...

Well it has been several years since we took our children to Disney. Our "baby" is now 25! My advice is to have a good breakfast, leave the possible "sick" rides for late morning. After a full morning at the park, go back to the hotel for rest....maybe poolside for a while and then just some quiet time. Then back to the park, either have dinner at the park or just a snack then a late dinner. It's an exhausting day any way you look at it but we found a couple of hrs. of rest in the afternoon was extremely helpful for kids and parents! Have fun!

fourkid said...

In Magic Kingdom - go way to the back of the park to Mickey's house. (The train at the front entrance can take you right back there if you want a nice train ride.) You go through his house to get a personal few minutes with just you and Mickey and get your picture with him. It is well worth the time.

We always went early - took a break for lunch and afternoon rest or another attraction - then went back in the evening. You avoid the worst of the lines and are fresher for evening events.

Epcot - my favorite park - is a lot of fun. Each of the pavilions have interesting shows. I loved the Japanese drums, and the Norway food.

Lindsay@fortheloveofcotton said...

I have been twice. The first time we went was in Feb. and the second was in Jan. You will definitely want to take some shorts. I spent a fortune on a pair because it was so hot and I didn't pack appropriately. Unless you think that you are really going to need them, don't by the hopper pass. It takes all day and then some to make it through an entire park. We never went to two parks in one day. Take a lot of extra money to go shopping in Downtown Disney. It's expensive, but so much fun. Make sure you take Big G to the Lego store there. He will love the gigantic statues built out of legos!!! Most of all, have fun and make it as stress free as possible.

Dana said...

Join the forum "the Dibb" its for disney mad people and there is TONS of info in there. We stayed in a villa in Kisimee as it was so close to disney, it was wonderful, enjoy!

LeslieG said...

Well, we took our boys to Disneyland, so slightly different. Bring a decent backpack (security checks so no knives - cut your fruit before you go) bring some snacks because some of the food lines are long and snack costs add up. Granola bars are waaaay lighter than beverages - so we bought drinks. Bring along a variety of zip loc bags for wet socks plus a medium drawstring garbage bag for your backpack - if you decide to go on the wet rides. Don't want your camera + extra clothes to get wet. Take in a few shows so that you can rest. Go early for the good rides and have a total blast. Fireworks are always worth the trip! Great memories to be enjoyed by all! Don't take 10 years to scrapbook those memories either!

Jen W said...

We've been 8 times in the last couple of years....LOVE IT!!!!
Definitely go here: AllEars.Net - the Unofficial Disney Vacation Guide

Can't find better information anywhere about Disney World - times, food, rides, ANYTHING you would want or need to know. Have a wonderful time!! Email me if you have any specific questions and I'll try to help.

Sara said...

Head to a Disney hotel front desk or Guest Relations in any of the parks. If you tell a cast member that it is your first time, they will give everyone a special button. (They do the same for honeymoons, birthdays, etc.) Cast members go out of their way to say hello or make the trip more special for anyone wearing buttons.
You can also get maps from the front desks of hotels and local motels in advance. It's a great way to let the kids pick out which ride to head to first or plan out your show schedule. We used it to build excitement the night or had them mailed in advance (contact Disney and they will mail to you,) as a way to keep kids entertained on the plane.
There are phone apps for ride wait times and a program you can buy to plan out your trip to the minute. Don't waste your money. Even the wait time boards in the parks aren't perfect. They get the updates once an hour, so after the first 15 minutes each hour, your guess is as good as theirs.
If you are going to do Disney pin trading, check your local Disney store or You can stock up on the cheap ones and trade in the park. Actually, there are shirts and park merchandise on clearance right now at the Disney Store. You can save a ton of money if you buy your Disney themed merchandise now, instead of getting a tshirt for $20 at the park.
You can get fast passes for some of the shows. Ask a cast member or check the park maps to see which ones provide fast passes. If it's offered, it's a good idea to get one as soon as you can that day. It means the show is popular and you want to be able to grab a good seat!
If you know a cast member, see if you can talk them into going with you. I used to work for the company and from day one we got 20% off merchandise and food. Cast members who have been there for more than 3 years get 35% off. You can save a ton! (Maybe consider getting a part time job at your local Disney store. lol)

Emily said...

My first tip is irrelevet... but if at all possible hire a tour guide. (hehe they're impossibly expensive) we had the luxury of having a guided disney experience about a year ago (through my husband's job) WHOA that trip was amazing. I learned so many facts and skipped lines....

My next tips aren't as exciting, but worthwile. Stock up on disney paraphanelia before you go - disney fruit snacks and juice boxes, even mickey shaped cheese -- and pack a lunch each day in the park. These things are exciting for the traveling time too.

Also, once you're there head to the local wal-mart you'll find TONS of disney stuff (t-shirts and magnets etc) for much cheaper than on disney property. Go before you hit the park and your family can be wearing new disney shirts (or whatever) and be less likely to want every little thing they see).

If you have a free afternoon stop by Give Kids The World (just off disney property). Check out their needs list on their website and bring them a donation to help them provide the most amazing Make-A-Wish trips possible for so many!

While you're in the parks you'll see stands selling gigantic turkey legs. Eat them. YUM. (and bring one back for me). You'll eat for less $$ by eating funny things like this... and there is so much variety to be had. :)

Bring and wear sunscreen.

Have fun!!

Emily said...

Oh I forgot to add - splurge one night and eat at the restaurant that is on site of the hotel near animal kingdom "Sanaa" it's so delicious yet if you're traveling with a picky eater they still have a kids menu with pizza. :) Try the salad sampler and the tandori chicken. Make reservations ahead... a late lunch wasn't busy when we were there. Also they have a walkway just outside of the restaurant where you can see zebras and giraffes!

Anonymous said...

I live in South FL and go to Disney many (many, many!) times a year. The best advise I can give is to visit to help plan your trip. The site is AMAZING! Full of facts and photos of the parks, restaurants, and hotels as well as tips.

Chantie said... me, worth every little penny!

Anonymous said...

Im from Jacksonville fl....wonderful weather down here. make sure u get a meal plan with your stay in much cheaper that is expensive otherwise. have fun

nicole w said...

i've never been, but would like to take my boys in a couple years. one of my co-worker (who goes every year) says one (saving) tip is to buy shirts now before you go, pack them and give them to your kids (without letting them know that you bought them before you left). so they can wear it there. so you don't have to buy their clothes there, which i'm sure they're a lot more expensive.

have fun!!!

Adam said...

Hi there. You are going to have so much fun. I researched like Crazy before my first trip to Walt Disney World.

Here a few suggestions:

Disney World has a lot of hotels of varying price ranges, so consider staying "On property." IF you do stay at a Disney Hotel, seriously look into the Disney Dining Plan. It's a very good deal and does save money.

A great site for info for saving is

Go to the Disney World Website and look at all the restaurants at the parks and even Resort Hotels. You can make reservations for a lot of them and you'll definitely want to. Some great restaurants include Jikos, The California Grill, Le Celier, The Coral Reef, Victoria and Alberts, The Crystal Palace, Liberty Tree Tavern, Goofy's Kitchen and many, many more.

If you stay at a Disney Hotel you can have merchandise you buy in the parks sent to your room for free at the end of the day. You can also have stuff sent to the front of the park to pick up at the end of the day.

This is a big one. The FastPasses. The FastPass gives you a one hour window of when to return for a ride. *YOU DO NOT* Have to return before the End time is up. As long as it's past the start time, they will accept them anytime for the rest of THAT DAY. This is a huge tip. You can stockpile FastPasses early and use them later. You can always get a Fast Pass either 2 hours after you get one, or whenever the start time listed on the FastPass you have begins, whichever comes first.

That's all I can think of. Have a Blast!

-The boyfriend of the girl who made the Mickey bag (AKA Adam)