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  • Hints for a first time visitor

    I am looking for ideas, hints and tips for a first time visitor to Disney world. I'm very familiar with Disneyland have been there numerous times. However, I'm unfamiliar with Florida, the weather, etc. Any information from you Disney World veterans would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you in advance.
    Grumpy Pete

  • #2
    There's millions of suggestions I could give. Anything specific that you want to know?
    Typical park advice- be there before the park opens because the first hour or two are your best chances to have short lines. Same with the last hour or two of the day. Book your fastpasses in advance (30 days with regular tickets, 60 days if staying at Disney resort), don't eat at normal meal times when lines are longest, book dining reservations well in advance.

    Weather is dependent on time of year you are going. May-Sept expect hot and rain every afternoon for 15 minutes to 2 hours. Rest of the year can cool off, and when I was there in Jan it was 30 degrees in the morning, though that's very unusual. I've also seen January in the upper 70's and low 80's.

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    • #3
      Visit allears.net or www.mousesavers.com for first-time info. They have tons of info on tickets, park info, weather, links to other sites, packing tips, menus, reservations, and much much much more. You'll spend hours reading them.

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      • #4
        One big tip on weather, if you are going in the summer months and you look at the forecast before you go, it will likely show rain every day of your vacation. Don't panic, in the summer it's very common to get a brief afternoon storm almost every day, these are not normally all day rains.

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        • #5
          Thank you for good info. The recommended site opened me up more more sites to study and learn from. I didn't realize how much more organized you should be at Disney World. Looks like I've got a bit of research to do. Thank you so very much.
          Grumpy Pete

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          • #6
            Stay on property if you can afford it. You get extra hours at the theme parks. Aldo, avoid renting a car. You can get around fine with Disney transportation. Just give yourself time. If need be, it is cheaper to use Uber to get around than pay for renting a car plus parking fees.
            remember, even though the same attraction may be at Disneyland, it is probably different in Florida, so don't skip it.
            http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...oto-heavy.html
            http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...ip-report.html
            http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...oto-heavy.html
            http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...oto-heavy.html
            http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...something.html

            No matter where you go, there you are.

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            • #7
              1) Go in January. Everyone I spoke to who had been there or lived nearby gave me this advice and I took it last year. Very glad I did. Cool and daily avg temp for the week was 75 or less. Occasional quick rain but otherwise perfect.

              2) Stay on property. Pricey but worth the perks and closeness to everything. Free transport to and from Orlando International (Disney Magical Express) as well as free on-site transportation. If you don't feel like waiting, Uber and Lyft are both minutes away. Drivers are always prowling the property.

              3) Most important - hit up Fairy Godmother Travel to do the heavy lifting. They can find you deals for the time period you are targeting and arrange all the details for you. Magic Bands, Meal Reservations, etc. Tell them your economic target and they'll work with you. Saved about 500.00 by calling them.
              "The old man's gonna knock on the sky. Listen to the sound."

              AP'er since 2004. Yup.....I'm one of THEM.

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              • #8
                i'm also a first time visitor to Disney World. i'm going in June.

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                • #9
                  I agree 100% with staying on property.

                  One thing to remember is that WDW is different. Advanced planning is better but you don't have to plan it down to a gnat's 'you know what'.

                  This is what worked for us, we're retired, no kids with us, and staying at Ft Wilderness in our trailer;

                  Tickets;
                  First time we got hoppers. This time getting one park/day with an extra day tagged on 'just in case' we want to revisit somewhere. We've booked in two 'down days' just to kick back at the campground so we'd use one of those if need be. We didn't hop but once our first time and that was just for a fireworks show that could easily have been planned for our Epcot 'park day'. We do two days at MK, one day in the other three.

                  Hopping at WDW isn't just skipping across an Esplanade. It involves transport from park to park via WDW transport systems or your vehicle. Since parking is free, we drove our truck to all parks but MK. We took the boat from Ft W for that.

                  FP+;

                  The 60 day window for onsite is a huge reason to stay onsite. Remember that there are different levels of onsite, you can get rooms at the value level for $100/night or thereabouts so where we'd think "Oh, I can't stay at DLH, PP, DGC it's too expensive" there are more options at WDW. Just be sure you do your FP+ reservations as soon as your window opens.

                  And remember the rules are different. There's no '90 minute/2 hour' rule to pull another FP. You must use ALL THREE reserved FP before you can get another. So do get them close together and in the AM if possible. And if I've got this right, when FP are gone, they're gone. They don't hold any back for later release. So take what you can get especially for popular rides/shows, you may be able to rearrange them later. For example, we got 'Slinky Dog Dash' FP+ for our DHS day, but they were gone 2 days later. That means they were GONE 57 days before the day we're going to be there! Cancelled FP go back in the 'pool' but getting those will be like lightning striking.

                  I printed a list of attractions for WDW and compared them to DL attractions, eliminated 'duplicates' unless they were very different than the DL version and concentrated on the 'WDW only' rides, then the 'different from DL attractions'.

                  Dining Reservations: Do make reservations if you're going to do any 'signature' dining or there's a place you want to be sure you eat. We've made 3 for our trip for our 'don't miss' places, the rest we'll just 'wing it'.

                  Good luck and I know you'll have a great time!
                  Last edited by Stormy; 03-10-2019, 10:48 AM.
                  "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.​"

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                  • #10
                    Go to a dollar store and buy a bunch of ponchos for when it rains. When the rain stops take it off and throw it away and use more as necessary.
                    Not anxious to die Sir, just anxious to matter.
                    http://www.youtube.com/user/jediz28

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                    • #11
                      Beware the weather. Florida gets hot and SO humid. If you go in the summer, you will die. Late summer and fall is hurricane season, good to note. Outside of summer, we've found the weather to be so random. In a week, we had 8C one morning at Epcot, through to afternoons that are sunny and 26C and quite warm. Temps swing 10C in a matter of days.

                      Ponchos are key, for rain or wet rides. Because it is so humid, you won't dry out like you think. Two pairs of shoes, switch once you're out of the parks and wear the second pair the rest of the time. Your feet will thank you. Not to be indelicate, but some people get sweaty thighs or bum cheeks, and they can rub and chafe. Vaseline is your friend, before you head out in the morning.

                      Always be there for rope drop, be ready to go 5 min before opening. Plan for MK, as it can take a while to get from your room to Main Street. It isn't DL where you can just walk in, it is literally Planes Trains & Automobiles to get in.

                      Eating in the parks is fun and all, but it takes time and costs money. We pack lunches for speed and money savings. Fill water bottles at water fountains. Pack snacks, sunscreen, Advil, things you might need. Do not pack for the apocalypse, you will regret lugging too much around by the afternoon.

                      Plan your days, know where you are going and what the waits are before you get there. Plan your FP+s, do not try to go by the seat of your pants. Everything is bigger, there is a lot of walking. Know the benefits of sit-down shows inside, in the shade, with AC... trust me.

                      Buy the kids something when you first arrive, head that whole issue off at the pass. Then they have a toy, they are happy, should not come up again. Grab a Dole Whip when you're in the area and then they get a treat. Happy kids make for happy parents. No one wants whining or crying - my wife gives me crap every time I do.

                      Have fun!

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                      • #12
                        I am also a DLR aficionado visiting WDW for the first time (well, I doubt 1985 really counts!) and am freaking out a little bit over the amount of planning WDW seems to require. And the COST!! My biggest quandary is the lodging. We have a timeshare (Worldmark) that is not "free" obviously, but already paid for. This is our "once-in-a-lifetime", "big one before my 15 yr old flies the coop" trip. I can't decide if we should fork out the extra $$$$ to stay on property for this trip... not to mention, in our TS, we'd have a 2 bedroom suite complete with kitchen. We sure as heck can't afford that in a Disney property. We're going in late March. (Sorry, just realized I may have hijacked this thread!)

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Maleficent2B View Post
                          I am also a DLR aficionado visiting WDW for the first time (well, I doubt 1985 really counts!) and am freaking out a little bit over the amount of planning WDW seems to require. And the COST!! My biggest quandary is the lodging. We have a timeshare (Worldmark) that is not "free" obviously, but already paid for. This is our "once-in-a-lifetime", "big one before my 15 yr old flies the coop" trip. I can't decide if we should fork out the extra $$$$ to stay on property for this trip... not to mention, in our TS, we'd have a 2 bedroom suite complete with kitchen. We sure as heck can't afford that in a Disney property. We're going in late March. (Sorry, just realized I may have hijacked this thread!)
                          Obviously, it boils down to what you can afford and what is important to you. For me, personally, I would choose the Disney property over a better timeshare property. I try to spend as little time in the room as possible, so I don’t plan on doing much cooking, so a kitchen isn’t a big draw for me. I like not having to worry about how to get to or from the theme parks from my hotel room. Disney hotel guests also get other privileges like extra time in the parks, and earlier reservations than those who stay off property. Given my choice, I’d stay on property, every time.

                          That said, I have to say that my last trip there in 2016, due to finances we stayed off property through our timeshare. Our choice then was timeshare or don’t go. Timeshare was still better than not going, and we had a great time.

                          to be honest, thanks to Uber, getting there wasn’t too bad. And figuring in cost, had we driven we would have paid for a rental car and $20 a day parking, so I think we did better not renting a car.
                          and we saved money and time in the morning eating a quick breakfast in the room and then rushing out.

                          to me, though, there is an extra Disney Magic that I missed by not staying on property, and I hope to always stay somewhere on property for each of my future visits.


                          https://discuss.micechat.com/forum/d...lots-of-photos
                          Last edited by sbk1234; 08-24-2019, 05:51 AM.
                          http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...oto-heavy.html
                          http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...ip-report.html
                          http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...oto-heavy.html
                          http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...oto-heavy.html
                          http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...something.html

                          No matter where you go, there you are.

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                          • #14
                            I saw several references to Fairy Godmother travel on these forums, so I reached out to them. Maybe they can get me a whole package deal that will be only marginally more $$ than what I had already budgeted. (Fingers crossed!) I'll update when I get some hard numbers, and compare them to my current numbers... may help other make those hard decisions, too!

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                            • #15
                              I would join Touring Plans. $8/year. They can optimize your day with years of data to minimize your wait times, show crowd level estimates across the year. Lots of reviews of rides, restaurants.
                              Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream.
                              Mark Twain

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