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First time going to Disney World (Disnyland Experienced)


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  • [Question] First time going to Disney World (Disnyland Experienced)

    Hello there all. I am a huge Disney park fan and have now decided to go to Walt Disney World(WDW) for my first time. I have no idea where to stay or what to do. But I do hope to bring my mom and maybe my sister of 18.

    Please Note: We are Disneyland people and have never been and we do plan to stay on property. We are also thinking of staying a week.

  • #2
    Re: First time going to Disney World (Disnyland Experienced)

    Well I'm a HUGE FAN of WDW so here's my thoughts.

    Depending on how much time you think you'll devote to your hotel experience will depend on what kind of Disney hotel you'll want to pay for.

    Remember there's Value {Pop Century, All Star Resorts}, Moderate {Carribbean Beach, French Quarter} and Deluxe {Grand Floridian, Wilderness Lodge}. Now I didn't list every single hotel because you can of course get most of your visual answers to these hotels from WDW's website.

    If you just there to sleep and you know....use the restroom then Value, if you want more of a huge property that has a theme that you can find yourself immersed in then Moderate and if you want the top of the line hotels then go with Deluxe.

    Every resort offers something, some having hidden charges: example, renting a fridge at a value resort is gonna cost you extra whereas Moderate has a fridge already in the room. You just need to figure out your budget, what you think is inexpensive and what you feel is overpriced and then make a decision on which level of hotel to go with and then pick your hotel based on theme and location, use the WDW property map found anywhere online to see hotel location.

    Remember if you have any questions on the resorts their pages on the WDW website should have their direct phone number. You can call them anytime. Sometimes if you get an employee who just doesn't want to really help you over the phone and you just get the sense they don't want to hear you out then hang up and try again in an hour or later in the day, you usually always get another operator to talk to immediately or ask to speak to someone else. Don't let one irritated employee give you a bad impression of a hotel.

    A week is your best option here. This way you get to spread out your days and repeat a park if need be plus there's no pressue in trying to see everything and do everything when you can have the option to return to your new "favorite" park and see what you missed last time.

    As for Disneylander visiting WDW for the first time. Well don't get me started on that issue because everyone has their opinion on how below WDW is to Disneyland. My simple advice is just to accept the park as for what it is, another park that ISN'T Disneyland. Millions visit WDW and enjoy it for what it is. A small percentage of WDW visitors, in my own opinion, are devoted Disneyland fans who visit MK and judge it endlessly. You know, whatever gives you pleasure, run with it. I would just hope you find a balance of comparing the 2 parks and just enjoying it for what it is.

    As for what to do... well you'll have to be specific here. What are your interests, your mother's, your sisters. Write down a few things each are into and research here or on the WDW website if anything matches what you're into.

    The endless amount of activities at WDW can be overwhelming but as long as you have some kind of game plan in terms of what is more important and what can be missed for a future trip, well the stress of not getting to do everything on your first trip won't be so bad. Just always remember in the back of your head "We can come back soon". I just can't picture people here on these boards only visiting DL or WDW just once. I'm sure there's a few out there but still hard to imagine.
    Last edited by Micoofy Duck; 07-23-2009, 01:31 AM.


    • #3
      Re: First time going to Disney World (Disnyland Experienced)

      Okay, the first thing you need to do is decide when you are going to do there. Realize that WDW isn't in California so the weather is completely different. The only times the weather tends to be nice in Orlando are late fall through early spring. The other times of the year it is hot and humid or crazy hot and humid. And make sure you are ready for rain. Thunderstorms happen often and normally don't last that long, but can be huge down pours long enough to soak anyone outside.

      If you are wanting something special when you go, you can plan for mid-September thru October for Mickey's Halloween party (it cost extra but is worth it) or if you go from mid-November thru December you can do the Mickey's Christmas Party (again it costs extra but is worth it).

      Once you have decide when you are going you can start the other planning. Frankly I would suggest you get a rental car. Even if you are staying at one of the monorail resorts they are worth it if you plan on going to the Animal Kingdom or Hollywood studios. The bus service at WDW can vary from "fine no problems" to "god this is horrible where can I rent a taxi"... and for me I don't want to have to waste time waiting on a bus during my vacation. If you don't mind the headache then feel free to use their buses.

      Now decide which type of hotel you want to stay at. If money is no concern then I would suggest the Contemporary it has the largest rooms of all the resorts and is the only one where you can actually walk to the Magic Kingdom without having to use a monorail or boat.

      If money is a concern you might want to consider deciding if the perks of being in a Disney hotel are worth it. You do get free parking at all of them (which saves $13/day) and you do get some extra magic hours (only you can tell if you will use them or not). Those are the only real benefits. Their are some bad points to consider. No fridges in the values, No microwaves in any of them (except the cabins and suites), larger crowds (off-site hotels can often be more peaceful especially when compared to value resorts that can be very crowded and loud).

      People will claim you only get the complete Disney experience if you stay at a Disney resort.... frankly I think those people are a bit snobbish. Having stayed at every level of resort as well as off-site hotels, neither I nor my family felt we had less of a Disney experience because of the hotel we were in. So don't think you have to stay in a Disney hotel to have a good vacation you don't.

      Another thing to consider. IF you are going to stay at a disney hotel then you might consider an annual pass for the person that is going to be booking the room. Annual passholders can often get rooms much cheaper than non-passholders. On one previous trip the savings on a weeks stay at a moderate hotel was so great that it was cheaper for me to get the annual pass even though I knew I would not be back down any other time that year. So if you are going to stay at a Disney resort it is something to consider. For example saving fro annual passholder during October of this year are $36 a night off standard rates for value resorts, $71 a night off moderates and $121 a night off deluxe resorts.... multiply that by a 6 night stay and the savings is $216, 426 or 726.... with the cost of annual pass starting at $469 and the fact that you would also save the $228 for a 7 day ticket) you would be better off with an annual pass on the deluxe and moderate and near breakeven on the value.

      Also, once you know you are going decide what places you want to dine at that require reservations and make them now. Some places are extremely hard to get into and often reservations are made 6 months in advance... so if there is a special place you want to go to make the call now.

      One last thing, you might go to for more information they are one of the best sites for WDW planning information.


      • #4
        Re: First time going to Disney World (Disnyland Experienced)

        Thank you so much for your help! I should mention that I am not sure when I am going to go. We were thinking January but now my sis wants to go in September so she can do Universal as well!


        • #5
          Re: First time going to Disney World (Disnyland Experienced)

          It is well worth going, but you should probably be warned about some things. You will be used to the ways of the DLR, while WDW is a completely different experience in ways both good and bad.

          Prepare for a lot more hassle. As you well know, WDW is divided into 4 parks. Most of these have a very minimal number of quality attractions compared to DL. This isn't Disneyland which has Indy, POTC, Haunted Mansion, Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, the Matterhorn, and Space Mountain all in one park plus numerous great C and D-Ticket rides. Parks outside the MK are seriously lacking in quality C and D-Tickets. The main focus is generally on a couple of E-Tickets and shows.

          The hassle comes from hopping from park to park to get to other attractions. Hopping times can easily take out a large hunk of your day. It is still worth going, but I thought it wise to warn you that it isn't as convenient and easy going as DL.

          Also, for the love of all that is holy, DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT go into the following attractions:
          Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor
          Stitch's Great Escape
          Tiki Room Under New Management

          The following attractions are Must Sees:
          Tomorrowland Transit Authority (People Mover)
          Carousel of Progress
          Country Bear Jamboree

          Support those classic attractions before they become extinct.

          Also, be sure to check for ride closures at WDW's website. WDW is notorious for refurbing E-Tickets over the summer months.

          The EPCOT you will see, is going to be a sad shadow of its former self. EPCOT used to make WDW unique, but it was ruined by greedy execs that didn't understand what EPCOT Center was suppose to be.

          The 12/25-1/1 time frame is unbearably busy. Going before Christmas is a better choice if you want to go that time of year.

          Animal Kingdom is a great park in a lot of ways, and shows what imagineers are capable of. However, budget cuts and slow growth in number of attractions make it not as great as it could be.

          Also, the more time you spend at WDW, the cheaper the tickets get, after either 5 or 6 days, it only costs like 3 dollars to add an extra day to your ticket.

          I personally prefer DLR, but I still like WDW, it has just gone down hill over the years. If your main interest is shopping and dining than WDW is the place for you.
          Last edited by GhostHost2; 07-26-2009, 12:52 AM.


          • #6
            Re: First time going to Disney World (Disnyland Experienced)

            Originally posted by Sub_Voyage fan View Post
            Thank you so much for your help! I should mention that I am not sure when I am going to go. We were thinking January but now my sis wants to go in September so she can do Universal as well!

            You should really wait until Spring when weather is nice in Florida. Also Harry Potter will be open in IoA. It isn't busy (I don't believe) in the Spring time. SM will be open and better than ever (in September it won't be).
            I take banner requests!


            • #7
              Re: First time going to Disney World (Disnyland Experienced)

              A few comments on what people have said so far...

              I happen to like Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor. Not a great attraction, but fun, in the same vein as Turtle Talk with Crush. I agree they pretty much ruined the Tiki Room, but it still has a few good parts. Stitch is just a bad attraction, but the AAs are top notch. So for all of these, they might be worth checking out, but not waiting in an endless line to see 'em.

              Space Mountain and People Mover are both closed for refurb. SM is scheduled to reopen in November, TTA a bit sooner.

              If you want to visit all four WDW parks plus both Universal parks, one week will be pretty tight. I would recommend maybe 10 days to see six theme parks, considering the travel time between them.

              I recommend winter rather than spring, because the crowds are lighter and Florida gets very hot quickly. I went in May this year, and it was at my limit of tolerance when it comes to heat.

              Get a WDW guidebook, which will discuss the hottest attractions at each park. Those are the ones to make a beeline for in the morning, or get a fastpass. Don't forget that at WDW, both Fantasyland and Toy Story Mania have fastpass. And when you go to Disney Hollywood Studios, show up in the morning and go straight to TSMM. It's just wildly popular and always packed. I grabbed a fastpass for it first thing, then got in line, and came back to grab another FP the second my first FP became valid.


              • #8
                Re: First time going to Disney World (Disnyland Experienced)

                Originally posted by Sub_Voyage fan View Post
                Thank you so much for your help! I should mention that I am not sure when I am going to go. We were thinking January but now my sis wants to go in September so she can do Universal as well!
                Make sure you can take the heat because September is still hot.... I would personally go in mid to late January instead of September, but we all have to do what we have to do.

                If you are going in September, then I would try to push for later in the month. It isn't going to offer you any great reduction in the amount of heat and humidity... but the Halloween party usually starts in the later part of September and it is well worth it (what other time will you be able to walk about in any costume you want without fearing someone lock you up for being crazy).


                • #9
                  Re: First time going to Disney World (Disnyland Experienced)

                  Hey I'm in the same situation. My friends and I have been to Disneyland many times but decided to try Disney World this year. We did some research and posted a thread on here which was extremely helpful. Here is the link:


                  Hope this helps, have a good trip!
                  Partner in Crime: Smaps.

                  Go Huskies!!!

                  Disneyland: September 12th to 19th




                  • #10
                    Re: First time going to Disney World (Disnyland Experienced)

                    Originally posted by Sub_Voyage fan View Post
                    Thank you so much for your help! I should mention that I am not sure when I am going to go. We were thinking January but now my sis wants to go in September so she can do Universal as well!
                    If you can push it to October, you can really take advantage of the season and get to experience the International Food & Wine Festival at EPCOT (which is ridonkulous), the Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party (I did this last year, and it was a blast. You walk around in the park dressed up for Halloween and they have certain stations set up where people give you Halloween Candy. I had about 4 bags worth by the end of the night). The other reason I love to go during October is because Universal (I know you mentioned your sister wants to go there) puts on an AMAZING Halloween event, Halloween Horror Nights. This event (and I know the Universal Hollywood has it as well) is so amazing that I always make sure to go if I am down in FL during this time.

                    Good Luck!!

                    PS. If you decide to go in the fall, make reservations for Ohana's RIGHT NOW!!! It is the best food in all of WDW, and is located at the Polynesian Resort. Trust me!!!!


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