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    What's the best way to enjoy Disney World?

    We are traveling to Disney World for our summer vacation. My 18 year old son, my wife, my 15 year old daughter, and her friend.

    We are staying at a Marriott Villas resort in Orlando that is 2 bedrooms so that everyone has more privacy. My daughter really wants to go to the beach a couple of days, too. So we will likely drive to the Atlantic and back a couple of days.

    What is the best way to enjoy WDW? Are there any secrets or tips about getting cheaper tickets? Do they still have the priority ticket where you get to go to the front of lines, or something like that?

    Do you recommend the meal plan since we are not staying on WDW property?

    Any help is greatly appreciated.
    Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

    -George Carlin

    #2
    If only there were someone on here who is a Disney aficionado. Oh wait...

    If you havenít already check out http://https://www.mousesavers.com

    I believe the parks have fast pass.

    Comment


      #3
      You asked a bunch of great questions. Some have easy answers, some are more involved but I'm happy to address them.

      First, head over to wdwinfo.com. That's the best site for research and their discussion forums are the place to get all of your questions answered.

      There are no secret tips to get cheaper tickets. There are some small discounts available. We always buy through undercovertourist.com so check them out.

      Disney doesn't have a priority ticket or front of the line pass. You may be thinking of Universal. Disney has FastPass, a free system that everyone can use to pre-book attractions. If you are staying offsite, you can make those arrangements 30 days in advance of your trip. It's done through their website or app, MyDisneyExperience. I highly recommend the app over the website.

      The meal plan is a waste of money but that's irrelevant because you can only get it if you are staying onsite.

      There are lots of other tips I can give you. I'm out of town currently but I'll message you when I've got some time.
      Steve

      * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
      * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
      * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

      Comment


        #4
        We've been to Walt Disney World twice in recent years, we have never done the meal plan. It covers far more food than we would ever eat. We ate off site for breakfast, either at the resort hotel, or the hotel had a free breakfast.

        Lunch and snacks in the park. Read forums suggested for tips on which in park restaurants have lots of food for the money. We often ate dinner outside the park, at least the majority of the time.

        I remember taking advantage of TourGuideMike years ago, but it seems his site is no longer in operation. It had helpful tips on food, which attractions to see at what times, which ones to get Fast Passes for, and which parks were the busiest on which days. If I remember right, if the park has Early/Late Magic Hours, these were likely the busiest parks that day.

        It has been nearly seven years since we last went, so sorry if my tips or park specific words aren't exact! Just remember you can't do it all, but you will have fun doing what you can. Just figure out how not to spend all your time in line!! That makes the trip so much more enjoyable.
        My other blog is Your Organized Friend.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Jluke View Post
          If only there were someone on here who is a Disney aficionado. Oh wait...

          If you havenít already check out http://https://www.mousesavers.com

          I believe the parks have fast pass.
          Mouse savers is good for finding discounts on rental cars and hotel offers. Sign up for their newsletter for further discounts and current information.
          My other blog is Your Organized Friend.

          Comment


            #6
            OP, I don't think you are military, but if so you can get discounted tickets at Shades of Green on Disney Property. No sales tax. Or an MWR office. No sales tax. They can also be purchased at the gate, but tax is added.
            My other blog is Your Organized Friend.

            Comment


              #7
              It's good that you are researching your options. WDW takes advance planning to take advantage of opportunities.

              Two things to start thinking about right now: the type of dining you would like to do while at Disney and fast passes.

              If you are just going to do counter service restaurants, then you are golden-no reservations are required (except Be Our Guest for lunch). But, if there are certain restaurants for which you would like to get reservations--now is the time to research and then reserve. (Reservations can be made as far as 180 days ahead of time for offsite guests).

              Fast Pass Plus requires you to already have purchased tickets in order to make fast pass reservations. You enter your ticket numbers into the AP and then you pick your fast passes. It is a good idea to study up on which attractions you would like to see. Some attractions are in higher demand and having a fast pass is very worth while. Just as an example, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is a relatively new ride at the Magic Kingdom and standby waits can be very long. But, maybe your children might prefer the "Mountains" (Splash, Space and Big Thunder) which can have long standby lines as well. This is by no means an all inclusive list of the most popular attractions with the longest lines, so it pays to do some research before you go.

              Disney does offer VIP services, but it will cost your big bucks!
              https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/ev...tour-services/

              Comment


                #8
                I had no idea they had VIP services. I would pay the $350 pp, depending on how expedited the "expedited access" is to the rides. My last memory of DW is standing in the hot sun for 4 hrs with whiny children for what was supposed to be an hour wait for some Little Mermaid ride, and the ride sucked. The only way I would go back is if I stayed in the park so we could get in before the unwashed masses.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by msomnipotent View Post
                  I had no idea they had VIP services. I would pay the $350 pp, depending on how expedited the "expedited access" is to the rides. My last memory of DW is standing in the hot sun for 4 hrs with whiny children for what was supposed to be an hour wait for some Little Mermaid ride, and the ride sucked. The only way I would go back is if I stayed in the park so we could get in before the unwashed masses.
                  You basically get unlimited fast passes so your wait is much shorter. I believe at Disney itís a set price up to a group of 10-12. I go to DW often enough that it isnít worth it but when I finally go to DL Iíll probably spring for Disney guide.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    The past few times I have been I chose to stay on the property. This was a perk for me because I didn't have to drive anywhere (the resorts provide buses and other modes of transportation to-and-from the parks). The value resorts are GREAT - but it sounds like you've already gotten your place to stay.

                    The next thing I would say is that, generally, the meal plan isn't worth the money. Also, as previously stated, you should check out the WDW app and start doing some planning. Some restaurants - like Be Our Guest, for instance - require reservations. Take a look at that app and map out your trip that way

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by MooseBucks View Post
                      I go to DW often enough that it isnít worth it but when I finally go to DL Iíll probably spring for Disney guide.
                      Sorry to the OP for the derail, but a Disney Guide at Disneyland would be awesome! https://disneyland.disney.go.com/eve...tour-services/

                      But, if you want to go a little cheaper route you can pay for MAXpass.
                      https://disneyland.disney.go.com/gue...ices/fastpass/
                      I have had pretty good luck with MAXpass--(although it might not work as well as it catches on and more people buy it.) One good thing is you can only buy it on the day of--so you have a better chance at getting a FP for the more popular rides. And, they let you get 1 at a time, so if you start early enough you can get quite a few passes in a day. Finally, it lets you see standby times and FP times to let you decide if a FP is worthwhile for a particular attraction.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Oh! I just thought of another thing regarding meals.... (Even if you are mostly doing counter service) There is Mobile Ordering at select restaurants on the My Disney Experience AP
                        https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/bl...-world-resort/

                        It is a huge time saver. (I've used this several times at Be Our Guest restaurant for lunch.) It seems so simple, but if folks are not all that familiar with the menu it can spell trouble for making orders prior to getting to the restaurant. So, if you can get your party read in on how it works and coax them into making choices prior to getting to the restaurant it can save you a lot of time in line....

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by TexasHusker View Post
                          We are traveling to Disney World for our summer vacation. My 18 year old son, my wife, my 15 year old daughter, and her friend.

                          We are staying at a Marriott Villas resort in Orlando that is 2 bedrooms so that everyone has more privacy. My daughter really wants to go to the beach a couple of days, too. So we will likely drive to the Atlantic and back a couple of days.

                          What is the best way to enjoy WDW? Are there any secrets or tips about getting cheaper tickets? Do they still have the priority ticket where you get to go to the front of lines, or something like that?

                          Do you recommend the meal plan since we are not staying on WDW property?

                          Any help is greatly appreciated.
                          Heading there on Friday for the week. I'll give you the low-down when I return as it's been 5 years myself since I've been. Hoping this is the last trip LOL
                          Gunga galunga...gunga -- gunga galunga.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by TexasHusker View Post
                            We are traveling to Disney World for our summer vacation.

                            We are staying at a Marriott Villas

                            What is the best way to enjoy WDW?
                            1. You are going during the summer. Be aware that central Florida in July and August is like vacationing on the surface of the sun, except more humid. Plan for temps in the mid to upper 90s and humidity in the 90+% range as well. Very hot. Very sticky. Very oppressive.

                            How do you deal with that? Dress appropriately. Wear light colored, lightweight clothing. If you can, warm weather exercise shirts and shorts like Under Armor or similar, stuff that wicks the moisture away from your skin. And comfortable, supportive shoes. No flip flops or sandals (the good kind are okay). Open toe is fine for the ladies as long as they are comfortable and supportive, not trashy fashion shoes. I'm amazed how many women I see in the parks in heels and boots and things that can't possibly be comfortable. Keep in mind that during a day in the park it is very possible to do 8-10 miles of walking.

                            Get an early start. Be at "rope drop", meaning park opening. You want to be in the first wave of the crowd that enters at 9am when the park opens. Look online to find the days each park has early opening (extra magic hours) for onsite guests and AVOID going to those parks on those days. You don't want to get there at 9 when all of the onsite guests have already been flooding into the park since 8.

                            Take a mid-day break. By about 1pm, the park is at it's most crowded and the heat is peaking. You may not want to go all the way back to your timeshare but go somewhere. It's a good time to hop on the monorail and explore one or more of the monorail resorts: Contemporary, Polynesian, and Grand Floridian. Ride over. Relax in an air conditioned cafe and have a snack or a drink. Browse the shops. Get off your feet and cool down for a couple of hours. Plan to head back into the park around dinner time or make advance reservations for dinner at one of those resorts and head into the park after dinner.

                            Wear sunscreen! Drink lots and lots of water. Bring sport-type water bottles that you can refill throughout the day. Don't blow money buying bottled water. You can get all the water and ice you want for free.

                            2. You are staying offsite and will have a car. Parking is $22/day at Disney so be prepared for that.

                            Being in a timeshare, you'll have a kitchen so you can stop at Publix (local supermarket chain) and buy basics to keep in the room and make breakfast in the morning. That will save both time and money. And you can keep snacks and drinks. We find it's even nice once or twice to do takeout and eat in the peace and quiet of our rental home rather than amongst the crowds and chaos of a restaurant.

                            3. How best to enjoy WDW? That's largely personal preference but do your homework. Learn about what's there. Get each person to identify one or two must-see attractions and do your best to at least hit as many of those as you can. Some attractions may be unattainable (Flight of Passage in Animal Kingdom is probably on that list) unless you are willing to stand in line for 2+ hours. Focus on enjoying being there, taking in the atmosphere and the details, and not just rushing from one attraction to the next. You can't possibly see and do it all so don't even try. Go with the short list of things you really want to accomplish and if you do those things, or as many as you can, you'll consider the trip a success.
                            Steve

                            * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                            * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                            * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by disneysteve View Post
                              1. You are going during the summer. Be aware that central Florida in July and August is like vacationing on the surface of the sun, except more humid. Plan for temps in the mid to upper 90s and humidity in the 90+% range as well. Very hot. Very sticky. Very oppressive.

                              How do you deal with that? Dress appropriately. Wear light colored, lightweight clothing. If you can, warm weather exercise shirts and shorts like Under Armor or similar, stuff that wicks the moisture away from your skin. And comfortable, supportive shoes. No flip flops or sandals (the good kind are okay). Open toe is fine for the ladies as long as they are comfortable and supportive, not trashy fashion shoes. I'm amazed how many women I see in the parks in heels and boots and things that can't possibly be comfortable. Keep in mind that during a day in the park it is very possible to do 8-10 miles of walking.

                              Get an early start. Be at "rope drop", meaning park opening. You want to be in the first wave of the crowd that enters at 9am when the park opens. Look online to find the days each park has early opening (extra magic hours) for onsite guests and AVOID going to those parks on those days. You don't want to get there at 9 when all of the onsite guests have already been flooding into the park since 8.

                              Take a mid-day break. By about 1pm, the park is at it's most crowded and the heat is peaking. You may not want to go all the way back to your timeshare but go somewhere. It's a good time to hop on the monorail and explore one or more of the monorail resorts: Contemporary, Polynesian, and Grand Floridian. Ride over. Relax in an air conditioned cafe and have a snack or a drink. Browse the shops. Get off your feet and cool down for a couple of hours. Plan to head back into the park around dinner time or make advance reservations for dinner at one of those resorts and head into the park after dinner.

                              Wear sunscreen! Drink lots and lots of water. Bring sport-type water bottles that you can refill throughout the day. Don't blow money buying bottled water. You can get all the water and ice you want for free.

                              2. You are staying offsite and will have a car. Parking is $22/day at Disney so be prepared for that.

                              Being in a timeshare, you'll have a kitchen so you can stop at Publix (local supermarket chain) and buy basics to keep in the room and make breakfast in the morning. That will save both time and money. And you can keep snacks and drinks. We find it's even nice once or twice to do takeout and eat in the peace and quiet of our rental home rather than amongst the crowds and chaos of a restaurant.

                              3. How best to enjoy WDW? That's largely personal preference but do your homework. Learn about what's there. Get each person to identify one or two must-see attractions and do your best to at least hit as many of those as you can. Some attractions may be unattainable (Flight of Passage in Animal Kingdom is probably on that list) unless you are willing to stand in line for 2+ hours. Focus on enjoying being there, taking in the atmosphere and the details, and not just rushing from one attraction to the next. You can't possibly see and do it all so don't even try. Go with the short list of things you really want to accomplish and if you do those things, or as many as you can, you'll consider the trip a success.
                              This is all great info. I have some consternation about visiting Central FL in late May/early June, but it's not practical for us to go any other time, and it's kind of part of my son's graduation. So we will make do and go.

                              Wow, looks like $400 a ticket for 4 days! $1600 just for the four of us to get in! The good news is our lodging will only be around $700 total because of my Marriott points, and I only had about $600 out of pocket on our flights after points. That leaves park admission, meals, and a car. Looks like a $5K trip to me.

                              I do remember that I really enjoyed seeing all of the "countries" in Epcot, and I am really hoping the 360 degree Canada film/exhibit is still there - that was one of my favorite things.

                              We decided to stay at a Marriott Villas place because I have enough Marriott points to pay for the bulk of the stay.
                              Last edited by TexasHusker; 04-25-2018, 01:33 PM.
                              Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

                              -George Carlin

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