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  • [Question] Whats HAS to be done at WDW?

    My mother, younger sister (9), and myself (18) are going to WDW in April for the first time, and we're planning on being on a budget. However we want to know what's worth the extra cost? Shows? Restaurants? We're willing to do a few nice things and have the rest of time.

  • #2
    Re: Whats HAS to be done at WDW?

    Gosh, this is a tough one for me.. I can't think of much that is really worth spending extra money on while on vacation at WDW. However, maybe you should treat yourself to a nice dinner at Cinderella Castle's Royal Banquett, or any of the pricey restaurants at the luxurious hotels... but that's about all I can think of.

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    • #3
      Re: Whats HAS to be done at WDW?

      If this is your first trip, I would recommend you invest in a good guide book, like the Unofficial Guide. They have tons of information of things you wont want to miss. What might be a splurge for me, might not be something you'd like.

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      • #4
        Re: Whats HAS to be done at WDW?

        I would say try to stay on site at a Disney hotel. You will save a bit of money if you stay at a non-Disney hotel in Orlando, but the theming at Disney hotels, the free transportation and especially the Extra Magic Hours make it worthwhile. You can stay at a value resort and get the 4 for 7 package that is advertised at the bottom of this page.

        Also, you would probably enjoy one of the after hours parties at the Magic Kingdom. Other than that, I second the advice about getting a WDW travel guide and reading through it thoroughly.

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        • #5
          Re: Whats HAS to be done at WDW?

          Originally posted by mikeland View Post
          If this is your first trip, I would recommend you invest in a good guide book, like the Unofficial Guide. They have tons of information of things you wont want to miss. What might be a splurge for me, might not be something you'd like.
          I would second this idea. The Unofficial guide book should be read before anyone goes to WDW. It can save a lot of time and money.

          Also get good walking shoes and break them in before going on your trip. Your feet will thank you.
          Plague Of Vampires | A Novel by Eric and Elizabeth Gerds:

          Buy Now at Amazon

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          • #6
            Re: Whats HAS to be done at WDW?

            April? oh jeez, love. After spring break is when the crowds get worse, though I understand the timing isn't really under your control. Some of the REALLY upscale restaurants don't allow children, like Victoria & Albert's. Jiko's at Animal Kingdom Lodge is really fabulous food, even if the prospect of South African cuisine doesn't initially sound so appealing. It's one of my family's favorites.

            If your sister is in the princess phase, I have two reccomendations,one for lunch at Cinderella's castle and the other at the Cinderella Dinner at 1900 Park Fare at the Grand Floridian. There is a thrill of eating in the castle, but the characters are present ONLY for lunch and the food is only so-so, but you get a free picture with Cinderella. The dinner at 1900 Park Fare has excellent food in upscale buffet style, but you have to take all the pictures.

            If you have the means, may I recommend staying in either Animal Kingdom Lodge or the Yacht and Beach Resort. AKL has room views of the savannah and the animals and it a truly beautiful hotel. Y&B (two hotels that share a kicka** pool, essentially) are very upscale and family friendly,in walking distance of Epcot and the boardwalk.
            Where hinges creak in doorless chambers and strange and frightening sounds echo through the halls...Whenever candle lights flicker, where the air is deathly still...That is the time when ghosts are present

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            • #7
              Re: Whats HAS to be done at WDW?

              I'm going to also so that you should get the Unofficial Guide. I can't begin to praise it enough!! Bob, Len and crew have done a phenomenal job writing the guide.

              I would also recommend a good character meal. Chef Mickey's is my personal favorite, but you have plenty of options around property.

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              • #8
                Re: Whats HAS to be done at WDW?

                Originally posted by mona.lisat View Post
                My mother, younger sister (9), and myself (18) are going to WDW in April for the first time, and we're planning on being on a budget. However we want to know what's worth the extra cost? Shows? Restaurants? We're willing to do a few nice things and have the rest of time.
                First off Grab yourself some water filtered bottles at your local wilderness sports store. I bought one and saved loads on bottled water. Make sure they are empty before you enter the park as I'm not sure if the people at the front gate would make a huge fuss over bringing in water, you can always fill up the filter bottles inside with tap water. Trust me, bottle waters adds up quick and fast, especially with a family of four.

                All resturant experiences at the parks are expensive when added up by a family of four. You'll want to first think of your options via the Walt Disney World dot com website and then decide on the experience you can not experience anywhere else but at the WDW resort. Example. Cinderella's Castle dining experience, only at WDW. Rainforest Cafe at Animal Kingdom, I'm sure there's a Rainforest Cafe near you to enjoy so skip that one.

                My best advice is to select a dining experience at a Deluxe Disney Resort Hotels near the Magic Kingdom so you can eat, take your time, interact with the characters, tour the resort to walk off your food, take Disney transportation to the Magic Kingdom or tour the other Deluxe Disney Resort Hotels near the Magic Kingdom. And in case you were wondering the 4 hotels are The Polynesian, The Grand Floridian, Wilderness Lodge, The Contemporary but I'd skip the last one as it is truely more hotel and less themed like the other 3.

                Now if you REALLY want a true dinner and show experience then by all means do experience Disney's Spirit of Aloha Show at the Polynesian hotel. It's almost like going to Hawaii without going!

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                • #9
                  Re: Whats HAS to be done at WDW?

                  I second the unofficial guide recommendation .... Len (co author) also contributes heavily to a podcast at Walt Disney World planning podcast - WDW Today ...hours of useful info, and entertainment.

                  Paul
                  Last edited by Thorpeedo; 01-20-2009, 03:28 AM. Reason: spelling
                  Smile, you never know who's looking !

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                  • #10
                    Re: Whats HAS to be done at WDW?

                    Thanks for the tips. I'll definitely pick up a copy.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Whats HAS to be done at WDW?

                      First off Grab yourself some water filtered bottles at your local wilderness sports store. I bought one and saved loads on bottled water. Make sure they are empty before you enter the park as I'm not sure if the people at the front gate would make a huge fuss over bringing in water, you can always fill up the filter bottles inside with tap water. Trust me, bottle waters adds up quick and fast, especially with a family of four.
                      We always come in to the parks with full bottles of water, and never had any problems.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Whats HAS to be done at WDW?

                        haunted mansion

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                        • #13
                          Re: Whats HAS to be done at WDW?

                          Originally posted by mona.lisat View Post
                          My mother, younger sister (9), and myself (18) are going to WDW in April for the first time, and we're planning on being on a budget. However we want to know what's worth the extra cost? Shows? Restaurants? We're willing to do a few nice things and have the rest of time.
                          You have to eat at Ohana' If you do not, then your entire trip was a monumental waste of time...ok well not monumental, but you do need to eat there..

                          It is located at the poly.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Whats HAS to be done at WDW?

                            Originally posted by mona.lisat View Post
                            My mother, younger sister (9), and myself (18) are going to WDW in April for the first time, and we're planning on being on a budget. However we want to know what's worth the extra cost? Shows? Restaurants? We're willing to do a few nice things and have the rest of time.
                            Fortunately most of the shows are free with park admission, so no worries there. Restaurant wise it depends on what kind of food your into, WDW has some really nice restaurants most (but not all) of which are on the Disney Dining Plan. With the Buy 4 get 3 promotion being extended you can rally save a lot there as well if you plan properly or work with a Disney Travel Planner to guide you though it there are just so many choices it can be a bit overwhelming. In lieu of that I would second the recommendation for the unofficial Guide, it goes into good detail on all the options.

                            Also I'll back Parisi's recommendation for Ohana's it's one of my favorites as well.

                            If your going in April of this year you best start making the dining reservations right away, your already well within the 90 day window and a lot of the more popular dining spots may already be booked. if that's the case look int other resorts especially the Swan and Dolphin as they are not on the DDP and you can sometimes get a reservation there when all the others nearby are booked. Todd English's Blue Zoo at the Dolphin is particularly good if your up for something fancy.
                            Last edited by Jerren; 02-10-2009, 02:45 PM.
                            Hi I'm Jerren and I'm a Disneyholic...

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                            • #15
                              Re: Whats HAS to be done at WDW?

                              What has to be done? Well first WDW needs to admit that Disneyland is better (ducks and hides from everything being thrown at him from the WDW fans)
                              Growing older is manditory
                              Growing up is however, optional

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