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  • [Question] Newbie Help

    Hi, This is my first time to micechat. It will also be my families first trip to WDW. Any newbie tips for WDW like transportation (bus vs. rental car) would be a helpful. If we take a rental to the parks is there seperate parking for WDW resort guests?

    I hope that I am posting this right. : )

  • #2
    Re: Newbie Help

    My 2 tips for a first timer would be
    1) Explore all of your options inside and outside of disney (costs may prohibit exploring them all!)
    2) Have a plan and be prepared to change it - often.
    3) Learn how the fastpasses work before you go.

    As for parking, I'm from UK and use disney transport happily, they drive on the wrong side of the road and even the wrong side of the car in Orlando. Others will not even entertain using Transport. that leads me to say that for all the opinion you may receive on the merits or otherwise of various attractions, try some of them for yourself before dismissing all things labelled as rubbish, one mans trash is another mans treasure.

    How long are you there for ? that will help others recommend various things.

    Also look at for best times to visit each attraction. It may sound like overkill uber-geeky to plan to that level, but It can make masses of difference to your overall do not want to remember being bored in a queue that you could have avoided(although there are some entertaining queues). Somebody I know endured a 2hr plus queue for a single ride on summit Plummet...I managed 2 rides in 30 minutes, by turning up 2 weeks later and at the right time of day. I could have done more except for the sore cheeks!

    Oh and Welcome !
    Smile, you never know who's looking !


    • #3
      Re: Newbie Help

      Originally posted by Thorpeedo View Post
      I could have done more except for the sore cheeks!
      This had me picturing a face-first plunge, until I remembered you said you were from the UK
      Kevin Yee
      MiceAge Columnist

      I am the author of several Disney books:
      Jason's Disneyland Almanac - a daily history of Disneyland
      Walt Disney World Hidden History - tributes, homages, and ride remnants at WDW
      Your Day at the Magic Kingdom
      Mouse Trap
      Tokyo Disney Made Easy
      101 Things You Never Knew About Disneyland
      Magic Quizdom (The Disneyland Trivia Book)


      • #4
        Re: Newbie Help

        @thorpeedo....We will be there for 6 days.

        @KevinYee...I will check those out! Thanks.


        • #5
          Re: Newbie Help

          Here is my suggestion for a newbie if WDW is your sole location. I do highly recommend checking out Universal and Sea World too if you have time since they're fantastic, but if you're only going to visit WDW then do these:

          1. Stay on Location. Its more expensive, but its more convenient. You don't have to have a car (especially since you can use magical express to get to and from the airport) and Disney provides transportation all across the resort. While the buses can sometimes be slow, its nice to not have to worry about finding your way about, especially on your first visit. I can drive around just fine now, but the place seemed so huge when I first visited that I was glad to not have to.

          The drawback to this is that for the most part you're stuck on location. No trips to the mall or Wal-Mart, no eating off of the resort, no visits to other theme parks. If you don't care to do those anyhow, then its fine.

          2. Do as much research as you can ahead of time. WDW is immense and people too often head to the parks without any idea what to expect. As a result they feel harried and lost most of the time and don't have a very good trip. Make certain you understand the basics of visiting the parks, ie...

          • Know about the differences in all 4 parks and what attractions you'll find at each one as well as what attractions will be down for refurb on your visit.
          • Make certain you understand how fastpass works
          • Realize that you're not going to see everything there is to see and be ok with that. Too many people try and make certain they see and do every ride, show, etc.... that there is to do at WDW and as a result they find their trip less than relaxing. Understand that this is impossible, map out the most important things to you and see those, and then catch the others if you can. I've found its far more enjoyable to just have a relaxing trip, taking in the beauty of WDW rather than running past everything trying to get to every ride.
          • Make certain you're prepared for lots of walking. People are rarely prepared to walk as much as this requires. I know that our first trip we had to extend by a day because we just couldn't walk anymore on the 4th day. So we just took that day as a hotel day and stayed off our feet so that we could enjoy our final day at the parks without being in severe pain. If possible do a lot of walking as a family for months before the trip so you can be athletically prepared for it. Also, wear good walking shoes to the park. Do not wear flip flops or cheap sandals.
          • If its the summer, it gets very, very hot. Bring water, and wear sunscreen. There's nothing worse than being sunburned on vacation.

          That's all I can think of off the top of my head. Other than that, use this forum to ask any questions you have about anything, we're fanatics here and will answer everything. Also, ignore most of the negative posts on here. We're fanatics and we get a bit overly focused on everything. We only do it because we love the parks so much and want to see them perfect. Don't go on your first trip looking for all these flaws that we talk about, just go hoping to have a great time. The parks aren't as perfect as they can be, but they're still fantastic and I'm certain you'll have a great, great time.


          • #6
            Re: Newbie Help

            If we take a rental to the parks is there seperate parking for WDW resort guests?
            No. But you'll have to show your resort parking pass or room key as proof you're staying on site or else they'll charge you for parking. But they'll just direct you to park like any other guest.


            • #7
              Re: Newbie Help

              @kcnole...Thanks for the wonderful advice. I am already doing soo much research. I almost feel overwhelmed, but in a good way. We will be staying at WDW Saratoga Springs at the Villas in February when the crowds are down. Today I discovered the intercot also has lots of wonderful info available just like micechat. : )

              I may have to start walking soon! lol


              • #8
                Re: Newbie Help

                I would recommend using Disney transport over a rental car any day. We have experimented with using both and time and again Disney transport got us there quicker than by car. Granted, there are always exception but the busses have almost always been more reliable.

                As for any other advice, always stay on property whenever possible, it is more fun to not leave the Disney magic when you go back to your hotel.

                I know many people like to sleep in while on vacation, but we have found that it is better to get up early and be at the parks for rope drop and get as much done in the parks before the crowds get to thick. Then if it gets too crowded you can either hop to another park or take a swim break back at the hotel.

                This brings up another point which is to always get park hopper passes so that you can make the best use of your time in the parks. If you manage your time well you can spend your day at one park and then when it closes hop to another park and get in a few more hours of fun.


                • #9
                  Re: Newbie Help

                  If you plan on going off property though, a rental car is a must.


                  • #10
                    Re: Newbie Help

                    Originally posted by JasperIN View Post
                    I would recommend using Disney transport over a rental car any day. We have experimented with using both and time and again Disney transport got us there quicker than by car.
                    While I'm sure your way works well for you, my experience has been just the opposite - that the Disney transporation, particularly the busses, add 45 minutes to an hour to each one way trip over a rental car. But if I were a first time visitor and not that familiar with the property, I'd go with the Disney transportation, especially the Magical Express from the airport.


                    • #11
                      Re: Newbie Help

                      We always have a rental car but often use Disney Transport. Sometimes it doesn't feel convenient to use the bus.
                      My main bit of advice is DO NOT over research WDW. I did that on my first trip. I knew about everything (including all the hotels) and looked at as many pics and video as possible. As a result there were NO surprises. It would have been great to wander into the Grand Floridian and not known about the lobby, or know what the inside of Spaceship earth looked like.
                      It is great to have knowledge but not too much.


                      • #12
                        Re: Newbie Help

                        For a first timer I recommend using the disney transportation around the property, especially if you'll be there in a slower season. I will not use it during the busy seasons however because often you'll have to wait through 3 buses or so before you get on, and when you're exhausted after a long day at the parks, the last thing you want to do is wait for a bus just to get crammed in like sardines.

                        However, during the slower seasons when I like to go, they're great.


                        • #13
                          Re: Newbie Help

                          How long, on average, would you say the monorail route Epcot - Transport Station - MK takes?
                          Just countin' the days til the next visit!


                          • #14
                            Re: Newbie Help

                            Wait in Epcot station - no more than 5 minutes.

                            Trip to TTC - 15 minutes.

                            Move to MK platform, and max wait for monorail - 5 minutes.

                            Non-stop trip direct to MK - 5 minutes.

                            So around 30 minutes, but I'd add another 15 for delays and possibly long lines to get into the MK.


                            • #15
                              Re: Newbie Help

                              Welcome to Micechat, tjewelcat. Have a great time in February!!! My advice is to look over all the attractions and make a list of what your favorites are! Hit those first!!! The crowds should be light then.
                              We utilize taxis sometimes if we want to avoid the busses....
                              Check out for a grocery can save some money, if you want to eat in!!
                              Check out wdwdailynews for other tips!
                              author, "Sharing the Magic"
                              We are proud to be a MiceChat Partner Website!


                              • #16
                                Re: Newbie Help

                                If you take a rental to the parks and your staying at a Disney hotel, your parking is free of charge. They will direct you to the parking lots like a person staying off property. You can use Disney Transportation if you wish but we've always used a rental car because it's not crowded and it's faster. Have fun!
                                Since May 2003


                                • #17
                                  Re: Newbie Help

                                  The single biggest piece of advice I have to offer is to get to the parks before they open and take advantage of those uncrowded early hours! Also, collect your first fastpass as soon as the park opens, and continue to collect as soon as you're allowed to get the next one (it'll say on the fastpass when that is). You don't have to rush back before the end time on the fast pass.

                                  Regarding transportation: I do hate the buses because I feel they waste a lot of time. I hate waiting for the bus, I hate trying to squeeze my family and my belongings with a bunch of other people on the bus, and I hate how, at the end of the day, the bus makes several other stops before getting to where you're staying.

                                  However, you have never been here, and to be honest the signs can be hard to follow, turns easy to miss. If you do rent a car, you will have the advantage of being able to come and go on your own schedule. I would recommend studying transportation maps ahead of time, see if you can become confident of knowing where you are going. Some people are terrible with directions, others are not. Know thyself! If you do drive, keep in mind you need to add extra time for the tram (or to walk) to the entrance of the park. For the Magic Kingdom, you need to add monorail time too. For example, if MK opens at 9am, I like to arrive around 8:15.

                                  First timer! I'm so excited for you!


                                  • #18
                                    Re: Newbie Help

                                    For the buses, it all depends on how many people will be with you and how old they are. If you are traveling with young children, the buses are more of an inconvenience and a rental, for me , is a must. I have used the buses when traveling with just 1 other person. I will not use the bus system when traveling with my children. They get really crowded at closing time and the wait can be long. You have to cram yourself and all your belongings onto the bus. For me, its not worth the $130 for 5 days I pay for a rental. The car also allows me to venture outside the parks, like a trip to 7-11 to stock up on milk and snacks, which I than do not have to buy at the much higher prices at the parks.
                                    Fratsor Sister - Delta Mu Chi Alpha



                                    • #19
                                      Re: Newbie Help

                                      Mp, I agree with your reasons, even though I almost always visit WDW alone. I don't like the wait, and I really don't like the crowds. I can get to most places far faster and easier with my own car. But others hate driving, or are on a very tight budget, and the busses make sense for them. In one way or another, everyone comes out happy!


                                      • #20
                                        Re: Newbie Help

                                        tjewelcat, get a WDW travel guide book, read through it in advance, and bring it with you on your trip. That's the best advice I can offer.


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