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First Trip to WDW


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  • First Trip to WDW

    After years of being AP holders at Disneyland we finally decided it was time to take the plunge and book our first trip to WDW in Feburary (week of the 12th)!!!!

    We are looking at 5 days at the parks. (Hope this is enough time)
    Originally we looked at booking a room at the Wilderness Lodge but than we began to think about how much time we spend in the room when we go to DL. So, at this point we are looking at Pop Century and will save about 700 bucks. What do you guys think?

    Also, do you guys/gals think it is a good idea to do the meal plan? Is it a good use of the money?

    Any advice/must see/don't do's/ you can give me would be great.

  • #2
    Re: First Trip to WDW

    Any value resort is good if you can tolerate wild school groups & more.

    Most of what I've heard has said that the meal plan is a bad idea. I haven't tried it personally.

    Must Do's
    MK: TTA, COP, CBJ, The Enchanted Tiki Room - Under New Management(You either love it or hate it )
    EP: All of Future World except The Circle of Life Film and Innoventions, American Adventure, France, and El Rio Del Tempo (I can still hear/smell/see that cheesy goodness) )
    DS: TOT, RNRC, TGMR, Walt Disney-One Man's Dream
    AK: Whole park with the exception of Rafiki's planet watch, train ride, and The other show in Camp Minnie-Mickey (forgot name :bang: )

    Don't Bother with (unless free time)
    MK: Snow White, All of Toontown, Astro Orbiter(The line is always INSANE!)
    EP: Circle of Life Film (Go there if you want to be board out of your mind), Innoventions, O Canada!, Innoventions
    DS: Sounds Dangerous, HISTK Playset, Narnia (If open), Animation
    AK: Triceratops Spin (Be sure to ride Primeval Whirl, fun ride with horrible theming), and what was listed above

    Have fun and a great trip! People complain about WDW plenty but, don't let that discourage you, it's magic & charm outweigh the problems of the place.:thumbup:
    - Horizonsfan


    • #3
      Re: First Trip to WDW

      Congratulations on your first trip.
      Certainly do not miss:
      Wishes at the MK.
      RoE at EPCOT (the earth globe will be back from rehab so you wiil be able to experience the new LCD screen and possibly new and relocated ALF).
      Test Track at EPCOT aswell as Living with the land.

      Myfavorite places to watch the Firework shows:
      MK(Wishes)- Directly in front of the Plaza Restaurant.
      EPCOT(RoE)- World Showcase Plaza at the top of the incline, infront of the large "planters".
      Last edited by WDW Monorail; 12-11-2006, 05:36 PM. Reason: Addition of information.

      Originally posted by Phonedave
      Well, if your parents can't teach you, maybe you can learn from a taser.


      • #4
        Re: First Trip to WDW

        The meal plan isn't exactly bad, but it's not good either. It won't save you money, you basically just pay all your food money up front and they give you vouchers in return. Most families don't even use all of the vouchers, but it usually includes a breakfast, lunch, and a decent dinner plus some snacks. Its more of a convenience than a money saver.

        I love the Pop Century, probably my favorite out of the Value resorts. You're also going at a great time of the year, crowds are almost non-existant. In fact, I'll probably be there at that time myself.

        My Do's and Dont's


        Disney-MGM Studios

        Tower of Terror, Rock n' Rollercoaster, Light, Motors, Action Stunt Show, Walt Disney's One Man's Dream, Star Tours.

        Soarin', Mission:Space, Test Track, Turtle Talk with Crush, and the American Adventure.

        Animal Kingdom

        Dinosaur, Primeval Whirl, Expedition Everest (but get a fastpass), Kilamanjaro Safari (go very early to see the animals at their most active), Festival of the Lion King, and It's Tough to be a Bug.

        Magic Kingdom

        All three Mountains (Space, Splash, Big Thunder), Maickey's Philharmagic, Jungle Cruise (my favorite), Haunted Mansion, Pirates (a shorter version compared to Disneyland), Peter Pan, Country Bears, Its a small world, Caroussel of Progress (a classic), and let's not forget Dole Whips.

        Do's if you have extra time

        MGM: Beauty and the Beast Stage Show, Voyage of the Little Mermaid, Indy Stunt Spectacular, Mupper Vision 3-D, The Great Movie Ride, and even Playhouse Disney Live!

        Epcot: Spaceship Earth (do this in the late afternoon), The Universe of Energy, Living with the Land, Maelstrom (in Norway), and The Imagination Pavilion.

        AK: Pangani Forest Trails, Maharajah Jungle Trek, Flights of Wonder Show, and Rafiki's Planet Watch.

        MK: Disney World Railroad, The Enchanted Tiki Room: UNM, Swiss family Treehouse, Hall of Presidents, Snow White's Scary Adventures, Dumbo, The many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Tea cups, Tomorrowland Speedway, Tomorrowland Transit Authority (Peoplemover), Buzz Space Ranger Spin (long lines), Stitch's Great Escape.

        Most likely Don't (keywords: most likely)

        MGM: The Magic of Disney Animation, Sounds Dangerous, and the Backlot Tour (not much backlot left to tour).

        Epcot: El Rio de Tiempo and Circle of Life Film.

        AK: Pocohontas and her Forest Friends and Triceratops Spin.

        MK: Magic Carpets of Aladdin, Tom Sawyer Island, and Astro Orbiter.

        My favorite restaurants (both counter and table service)

        MGM: 50's Primetime Cafe, Mama Melrose's, and the ABC Commissary.
        Epcot: Sunshine Season and Electric Umbrella in Future World/ San Angel Inn, Cantina de San Angel, and the Rose and Crown pub in the World Showcase.
        AK: Flame Tree Barbecue and the Tusker House.
        MK: Aloha Isle (Dole whips), Cosmic Ray's, Liberty Tree Tavern, and the Tomorrowland Terrace Cafe.

        Parades and Fireworks:
        MGM:Stars and Motorcars Parade (Some very interesting cars, but not something I usually wait for) and Fantasmic (not as great as Disneyland's in my opinion, also try to see the second show if it's offered)
        Epcot - Illuminations: Reflections of Earth (my favorite nighttime show, good spots are, the Cantina de San Angel, the Rose and Crown Pub if you can get a good spot, and over in Japan.)
        AK: Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade (very easy to get a peak at this parade)
        MK: Disney Dreams Come True Parade (I prefer Frontierland for the daytime parade), SpectroMagic Parade (Try and Grab a spot on Main Street because the fireworks are not long after), Wishes! (the best fireworks show the Magic Kingdom has seen, if you can be on Main Street, try the area just to the right over near Tomorrowland)


        Keep an eye out for Push in Tomorrowland
        Animal Kingdom has a couple unique things, like a Talking Palm Tree like Push at the Main Gate, a De Vine a walking vine performer.
        If you get the chance, try the Ohana's Best Friends Breakfast with Lilo & Stitch, the best character breakfast, usually a lot quieter than the others.

        Hope this all helps
        Last edited by goofgeek; 12-12-2006, 08:14 AM.


        • #5
          Re: First Trip to WDW

          First off Congradulationson your first trip to WDW. I would strongly suggest the Wilderness Lodge or any of the other MK resorts over any of the value resorts mostly due to the better transportation and emenities. (The Hottubs at the WL are a Godsend after walking all over the parks... and the parks are much larger than what you may be used to.) They have been refurbishing those hotels as well so you will get the advantage of a in room fridge, high speed internet, coffee makers, irons/ironing boards, hair dryers, hd plasma TV's etc.

          Meal plan - I am so torn on this issue, yes if you actually use it and like to eat at nice sit down restarants and relax, they can save you a lot of money... But you have to be smart about it!
          • Book your meals early! Use the online menu's and pricing to guide your decision and book as soon as you can. many places even the hotel restarants book early. Last October we couldn't get a dinner reservation when we changed plans due to illnesses at our onw hotel till after 9:30pm!
          • If you decide to stay at a value resort keep in mind that there are no sit down restaurants, they have a mall style food court and in room pizza delivery.
          • Park restarants book up early, some parks like AK do not really have much to offer in sit down service.
          • Plan what to use your meals on and what not to... do the math. Some restaurants are much more expensive than others, some of the two cupon meals are simply not worth two cupons if you plan to eat around the world at epcot every night.
          • Remember that you get dessert and apatizers with your meal, also at counter servie you get desserts, many of them you can save in your pack for a snack later at the hotel or in the parks saving you some cash there.

          Do your homework, plan it out early and you'll be surprised how much you can save on the meal plan - if you eat all the courses including dessert apetizers and all. I think it works out to $65/day or so and you can spend that on one dinner if you order all the courses so yes its worth it for my family, but we're big eaters.

          The bad side of the meal plan: When Disney offers it for free... like they did last fall... you may not be able to use all your meals since you will not be able to get into restaurants if you didn't plan ahead or are not willing to sit and wait. Some restarants will not take walk ups if they are busy, I think Cinerella's royal table and Crystal pallace are two of these. We didn't book dinners untill a little less than two months before the trip and it was slim pickings, hopefully it will not be as bad when you book but book early!

          Good luck and have a magical trip!
          Hi I'm Jerren and I'm a Disneyholic...


          • #6
            Re: First Trip to WDW

            and slightly cheaper because its technically in another county than the others
            Not for much longer if it already hasn't changed. The county that Pop is in has raised their taxes so that they are the same as the other resorts now.


            • #7
              Re: First Trip to WDW

              OMG!!! I'M going to Disney World on Feb. 13 and staying at the Pop Century!!!! It's a small world after all!!! )

              Also, I can't imagine NOT doing the Magic with Dining option! When we went on our first trip in July 2005, we did it and it was the best part of the trip! Now, I wouldn't even think about taking a trip and not including it! My reservations for the entire week are already made, and I can totally rest easier knowing food isn't going to be a concern!
              It's actually "Cars Land", not "Carsland".


              • #8
                Re: First Trip to WDW

                $700 is alot of money to save and then spend else where. I liked the Deluxe resorts in the past but the past three visits I have stayed at the moderate resorts (tried to save a little money and ended up liking) and had a great time/stay. This year I stayed at Port Orleans (both sides) and they were really nice. Just this past weekend I stayed at Caribbean Beach Resort and that too was great. No fancy restuarants but the quick food is descent. All have hot tubs. Of course all have gift shops.

                The bus transportation I found to be getting better all the time. I really couldn't complain. I don't think the wait time was any different from the deluxe resorts but keep in mind, some deluxe resorts you can walk to a park. Nice for that one day or so but the rest of the time will be bus time.

                Another thing to keep in mind are the park hours. In February the hours are generally shorter then in the summer time. Meaning, you'll have more time to spend at the hotel if so desired.

                Here's a link to park hours:

                Enjoy your stay and have fun, thats whatyour there for!


                • #9
                  Re: First Trip to WDW

                  You know, here's what you really need to do:

                  DO listen to all the lists of "dos."

                  DON'T listen to all the lists of "don't dos."

                  The thing is, you might actually enjoy some of the things people are telling you to avoid. So, you may want to skip Magic Carpets of Aladdin or Astro Orbiter or Triceratop Spin since they're pretty much all the same Dumbo-like ride. But, things like El Rio Del Tiempo do have a fan base and it's not much wasted time (never has a line). Same with Circle of Life, which is an environmental tale, but does have a couple funny moments. Again, not much wasted time. Experience everything yourself. Don't go by what people tell you to skip.


                  • #10
                    Re: First Trip to WDW

                    I've read that some folks don't like the dining plan. Well, it is not a one size fits all, but for us it is a good value.

                    What is basically includes is one snack, one counter serve meal, and one table serve meal per day and, BIG AND it inlcudes all taxes and gratuity, and they list on the receipt that they give the servers an 18&#37; gratuity, so the servers are well taken care of.

                    We are at WDW now, and so far we've eaten at Chefs de France (meal would have been about $80+ with tax and tip), Marakesh, (another $80 meal) and we've had two counter serve meals at about $30 each. So if yhou look at just the counter serve and full serve, we would have spent $55 per person, then there's the snack (about $2.50 per person).

                    If you like to eat at least one full serve meal at a nice place and a quick meal and a light snack, I believe the dining plan definately saves money. As for not using it all, just make sure you use all your table serve meals and you will more than break even (or better).

                    But, BIG BUT, if you do not like to eat at a nice place each day, if you eat mostly on-the-go food, then the dining plan may not save you money. It is all a matter of how you tour and eat, if you like a table serve meal per day, good value, if not, well, you might not save money.

                    More about our trip when I get home.

                    Just MHO, YMMV


                    Last edited by CUatDL; 12-12-2006, 12:47 PM.
                    What is, is... What is not, is not.


                    I don't ask for much... Just a few little things!

                    Extra effort yields extraordinary results!


                    • #11
                      Re: First Trip to WDW

                      Originally posted by dags View Post
                      After years of being AP holders at Disneyland we finally decided it was time to take the plunge and book our first trip to WDW in Feburary (week of the 12th)!!!!

                      We are looking at 5 days at the parks. (Hope this is enough time)
                      Originally we looked at booking a room at the Wilderness Lodge but than we began to think about how much time we spend in the room when we go to DL. So, at this point we are looking at Pop Century and will save about 700 bucks. What do you guys think?

                      Also, do you guys/gals think it is a good idea to do the meal plan? Is it a good use of the money?

                      Any advice/must see/don't do's/ you can give me would be great.

                      Im sooooo jealous.... All i can say is have fun and see eveything and of course make sure you have park hopper tickets..
                      Originally posted by aashee (Farter Extraordinair)
                      Wow. If regular MiceChatters saw this thread they might think we are normal. Thanks Dan & Gina!


                      • #12
                        Re: First Trip to WDW

                        All this information is Great!!

                        We love to do the sit down meals at DL so I'm sure we will be doing them at WDW. It's our time to take a breath and recharge for the rest of the day. So, most of your comments let me know the meal plan is the option fr us.
                        As for the resort I would love to stay at Wilderness Lodge but I just have a difficult time dropping an extra 700 bones for what will most likley be just a place to rest my head.

                        Now I need to start making reservations for dinners it looks like.

                        What is the sit down place at the Animal Kingdom Lodge that people say is amazing? (Is that a two voucher meal?)



                        • #13
                          Re: First Trip to WDW

                          There are two place at Animal Kingdom Lodge, Boma takes one, and Jiko takes two.
                          Here is a link that will tell you all the dining plan places and what kind of vouchers that they take.

                          Hope this helps with your trip, have a great time.


                          • #14
                            Re: First Trip to WDW

                            There is also a 2007 brochure. I'm not sure if it's changed much, but just be aware that the 2007 brochure IS available. I know on our last trip the Coral Reef (EPCOT) was 2 dining credits, and now it's only one. So the program changes slightly from year to year.
                            It's actually "Cars Land", not "Carsland".


                            • #15
                              Re: First Trip to WDW

                              The 2007 one is VERY different. Many restaurants in World Showcase are being taken off the list!


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