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  • [Question] First Trip to WDW: I need help!

    My fiance and I will be traveling to WDW for our honeymoon in late feb/early march. We're big disneyland fans but don't know anything about WDW. Any advice on good restaurants, what to ride, and where to stay would be helpful. Also, I'm participating in the 5K and the half marathon if anyone else has done this could they provide any helpful information please? Thanks so much!

  • #2
    Re: First Trip to WDW: I need help!

    any others can help him?
    I am traveling now.

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    • #3
      Re: First Trip to WDW: I need help!

      Kinda a broad, sweeping question, sorta along the lines of, "We're going to Europe...what do you recommend?"

      You're going to need a bit more structure before people can give you the details and the minuatae.

      First off, congratz on the honeymoon and good to see you're heading off to the Parks! I'm a transplant here in Florida, and I'll start the ball rolling!

      1. Good restaurants: You'd be surprised at the amount of places to eat. Do you want sit down, counter or just on the go? I do recommend you check out some of the posts already listed here in the Orlando section. PM me if you some other websites that post menus. I do recommend that you make dinner reservations for places that catch your fancy NOW, especially for anything at the World Showcase. What do you and your fiance hope to eat? What's your favorite? Do you want to eat on site or off? Now, just a warning, there can be some negative nellys here on the boards, people who love Disney more then anyone can ever imagine. That's cool, just go with the flow. The fact is, Disney feeds a few gazillion people every day--and because of that, the food can be wildly inconsistent between tables, but quite edible. Just sometimes, not so great.

      2. What do ride? EVERYTHING! I don't know if you're a coaster junkie or the cool-laid-back type, so if you can elaborate what you like to do at D-Land we can tailor our response here. However, be careful with comparisons. The same name does not offer the same experience, and, in essence, that's kinda what's cool about going to both coasts. Invariably, you'll compare our huge park to yours, it's hard to avoid. But try not to--you'll find each experience unique here at D-World. I do recommend making an effort to see that which D-Land doesn't have. Like, Expedition Everest and the Safari, as well as, Dinosaur at DAK; Rock and Roller Coaster at the Studios; and, well, damn near the majority of things at EPCOT. In fact, just accept the fact you might wanna hit EPCOT over two days. It's that big.

      3. Where to stay? Well, do you want onsite or offsite, and will you notice the difference? If you can let the boards know a bit what you like or need in place of amenities, we can tailor our responses. I'd recommend staying onsite, but it can cost you a pretty penny. But the perks outweight the negatives (aka, early entry). However, you might need to rent a car, etc and there's no wifi. Offsite is, by far, cheaper, but you aren't getting that magic Disney tries so hard to create. Let us know your thoughts, and we'll get back to you!

      4. I don't run, nor know anything specific...I'll let someone else handle that.

      Welcome to my adopted homeland!

      Peace,
      Roo
      husband, petowner, wordsmith, imagineer, martialist, playwright, traveller, ardent, wit, critic, barista, Taoist, superhero, fortuneteller, reader, fidget, teacher, dreamer, author, blogger, ghosthunter, voter, patient, bear, gourmand, Floridian, friend

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      • #4
        Re: First Trip to WDW: I need help!

        What is your budget? How long are you planning to stay? These things really will determine what you should do and when. I would always stay on-site but to say the choices are varied on-site is an understatement. For example - if you have a budget for $100 - $150 a night, your choices are very different from the places available for $300 - $400+ a night. Some of us know the parks so well that we could help you plot out a plan (yes, you need one) for how to attack the parks, but it depends on how long you plan to be there.

        Get a good travel guide for the parks - what we all like and dislike in the way of attractions might not be your cup of tea - get something that has descriptions for each attraction. We could answer your questions with regards to individual issues, ie-fast/slow moving attractions, issues regarding any physical issues you have, etc...

        You've come to the right place - just give us a bit more info up front.

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        • #5
          Re: First Trip to WDW: I need help!

          I'll assume a reasonable budget for WDW.

          Stay at a Disney hotel. It greatly enhances the experience. Also, you won't need a car. I've stayed at a bunch of Moderate and Economy hotels. My favorite was Dixie Landings (Now called Port Orleans Riverside).

          Favorite restaurants include Cinderella's Royal Table, Liberty Tree Tavern, Biergarden, Rose and Crown Pub, Chefs de France, Sci-Fi Dine In, Fifties Prime Time Diner. There are others. These are all sit-down table service places.
          Get dinner reservations. Resort guests can even do this from their hotels. They do fill up.

          All of the hotels have nice restaurants, too
          If you can, see a dinner show, such as Hoop De Doo, or Polynesian show.

          Open up the parks, if you can. They get crowded. You'll save a lot of time this way. Also, if the parks have early opening for resort guests, you may want to go to a different park that day if you're not going in early. Those parks get more crowded those days.

          My personal favorite attractions: (I know, yours may be different) Spaceship Earth, Journey Into Your Imagination, The Land, Impressions de France, Oh Canada, El Rio de Tiempo, American Adventure, Great Movie Ride, Tower of Terror, Indiana Jones Stunt Show, Kilimanjaro Safari, Dinosaur, Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Carribean, Winnie the Pooh, Mickey's Philharmagic... Yes, I realize I really like WDW.
          I'm not a thrill ride type guy, so they aren't mentioned here, but they all are really good if you're into that.
          Have fun, and post a lot of pictures.
          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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          • #6
            Re: First Trip to WDW: I need help!

            Since it's your first trip to the World, (congrats by the way, it's an awesome experience) I definitely suggest getting the Unofficial Guide to WDW. It's a great book. It can answer almost any question you've got. Prices may be a bit different from the 2010 version to when you're booking, but it's definitely worth reading.

            Budget is the big question here. While you're not obliged to tell us a specific budget that you have in mind, it would be helpful if you could tell us what you plan to spend for per night in a hotel. If you want to keep it cheap, many would suggest the Pop Century resort; for a bit more expensive, the Port Orleans: Riverside or French Quarter are great choices; and if you want to spend big bucks and have luxury, the Grand Floridian or Polynesian are great choices as well.

            As for dining experiences, you may want to look into what other people suggest for couples dining. It varies greatly when it's just a couple versus a family with kids. Character dining may be an option for you if you're big Disney fans, but there's also plenty of option otherwise for a sit-down meal. If you're planning on getting quick-service (Disney's equivalent of fast food), Tomorrowland Terrace (Magic Kingdom) is one of my favorite places to eat. Keep in mind that portions are big at Disney World, so it might be good to plan a time for a meal each day when you're most hungry.

            Although it may take away some of the magic, it is a great idea to have a plan for what you want to hit each day in each park. They fill up quick, so it's best to hit the big things early in the day when the crowds aren't bad. If you start to get tired or cranky, going back to the hotel for a little bit of rest after lunch is a fantastic idea. When we went over the summer, the days we didn't rest were miserable because we got fed up with each other, and we didn't agree on what to do next. The days we did get a break in, it was much smoother and enjoyable. It's one of the best things you can do, plus you spend more time in your hotel room, making it worth your money a bit more.

            Hope this helps some.

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            • #7
              Re: First Trip to WDW: I need help!

              Hi!! Happy to help..., agree with everybody saying we need more info on your tastes, length of stay, and budget, but I'll give you all my top picks and tips:

              First off, I recommend renting a car, as opposed to relying on the Disney transportation. The buses are pretty miserable, particularly at the end of the day.

              Allow plenty of time for transportation, particularly to the Magic Kingdom. You have to walk or take the tram to the Ticket and Transportations center from your car, then you take the monorail to the park from there. I try to get to the parking lot a half an hour before opening.

              To stay: it's one of the pricier ones, but I can't recommend the Wilderness Lodge enough. It is, in my opinion, far and away the most gorgeous accomodations, inside and out. You can take a boat to the Magic Kingdom from there, which is kind of fun. They have a geiser, and a majestic waterfall which surprises you when you see that it is actually part of the pool. Eat breakfast one morning at the sit-down restaurant in the lobby (help me out with the name, guys), the wait-staff there like to have fun with the guests.

              My "don't miss" restaurants: Boma's at the Animal Kingdom Lodge (a fantastic buffet, worth getting to even if you are not staying there), the Plaza at the Magic Kingdom (great for sitdown lunch and oldfashioned icecream sundaes), and Prime Time Cafe at the Hollywood Studios (great food, highly entertaining wait-staff). Without a doubt, start making reservations!

              "Don't miss" attractions (and I am keeping in mind that you are a native Disneylander):
              Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom
              Haunted Mansion at Magic Kingdom (better than Disneylands)
              Rockin Rollercoaster at Hollywood Studios
              Fireworks at Magic Kingdom

              Of course there's tons of other attractions you'll want to do.

              I echo the "open the park" sentiment, and get those fastpasses.
              Last edited by lily23; 11-07-2010, 12:59 PM.

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              • #8
                Re: First Trip to WDW: I need help!

                I know this isn't really answering your questions, but these are the most important things I tell all first time visitors...

                1. Read and learn as much as you can about WDW before you go.
                2. Make your dining reservations as far in advance as possible, because they fill up fast.
                3. Be at the park gates before they open.
                4. Use Fastpass! (Learn as much as you can about the Fastpass system before you go)
                "Who inspects these rides anyway, Dopey and Goofy?"

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                • #9
                  Re: First Trip to WDW: I need help!

                  Just go on the stuff Disneyland doesn't have anymore. (Tomorrowland Transit Authority) PeopleMover, Country Bear Jamboree, Swiss Family Treehouse, and (Walt Disney's) Carousel of Progress. Also ride things that Disneyland has, but are different from the others. The Enchanted Tiki Room: Under New Management (you might wanna skip this though), Winnie the Pooh (again, you might wanna skip), Tower of Terror, Jungle Cruise, Snow White, Hall of Presidents (DLR has Lincoln), Nemo (not subs though), Astro Orbiter, and Expedition Everest (DLR has Matterhorn).
                  And stuff I recomend you see: Splash Mountain, Dinosaur, Universe of Energy, Spaceship Earth, Test Track, Kali River Rapids, Big Thunder Mountain, Buzz Lightyear, PhilarMagic, Pirates, Space Mountain, Barnstormer, Haunted Mansion, Great Movie Ride, Rock N Roller Coaster, Backlot Tour, Toy Story Mania, American Adventure, Captain EO, Maelstrom, and Soarin'.

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                  • #10
                    Re: First Trip to WDW: I need help!

                    Originally posted by CaptainEO,ATIS View Post
                    Just go on the stuff Disneyland doesn't have anymore. (Tomorrowland Transit Authority) PeopleMover, Country Bear Jamboree, Swiss Family Treehouse, and (Walt Disney's) Carousel of Progress. Also ride things that Disneyland has, but are different from the others. The Enchanted Tiki Room: Under New Management (you might wanna skip this though), Winnie the Pooh (again, you might wanna skip), Tower of Terror, Jungle Cruise, Snow White, Hall of Presidents (DLR has Lincoln), Nemo (not subs though), Astro Orbiter, and Expedition Everest (DLR has Matterhorn).
                    And stuff I recomend you see: Splash Mountain, Dinosaur, Universe of Energy, Spaceship Earth, Test Track, Kali River Rapids, Big Thunder Mountain, Buzz Lightyear, PhilarMagic, Pirates, Space Mountain, Barnstormer, Haunted Mansion, Great Movie Ride, Rock N Roller Coaster, Backlot Tour, Toy Story Mania, American Adventure, Captain EO, Maelstrom, and Soarin'.
                    If I may add, Expedition Everest is a Thrill Ride; Matterhorn is quite tame by comparison.

                    Philarmagic, should have put that on my "don't miss" list...

                    I'd make Backlot Tour a low priority, it ain't what it used to be

                    Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure Soarin' is exactly the same

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                    • #11
                      Re: First Trip to WDW: I need help!

                      Something else. The last time I was there, I didn't plan well one night, and I was trying to get into a restaurant in MK. Every restaurant - including the one I wanted most: Liberty Tree Tavern. Every place I checked at, including some outside the park had more than an hour wait, and my kids, wife and I were HUNGRY. However one of the folks on the reservation phone line recomended to go back after a certain time. We got a few snacks to time them over for a while. When we went back to Liberty Tree Tavern, we had about a 5 minute wait. Had a great dinner, and didn't rely on fast food for dinner. Even if they say there's a long wait, you still might be able to get in. So it may be worth it to give it a try.

                      And for that matter, carry a few snacks in case you can't get into dinner when you want to.
                      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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                      • #12
                        Re: First Trip to WDW: I need help!

                        My sis and I went to WDW for our 1st time and are Disneyland passholders. I looooved WDW! Magic kingdom and Hollywood studios seemed really similar to DL and DCA, while Animal Kingdom (a seriously fun park) and Epcot (best place to eat drink and check out) we dont have anything like them...and these were so awesome. If you like pizza Via Napoli @ Epcot will change your life. Also, be sure to go on expedition everest & rockn roller coaster for fast rides. Philharmagic is cute. The Beauty & the beast show and the nemo musical are awesome. Have fun!

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                        • #13
                          Re: First Trip to WDW: I need help!

                          Do make time to venture beyond Walt Disney World. Universal's Islands of Adventure is phenomenal, and it would be a trajedy to go to Orlando and miss the Harry Potter ride, which is better than anything at WDW at the moment.

                          Check out www.allears.net. They have all the WDW menus, and that may help you decide where to eat.

                          With park hours being so short in the off-season, I would try and schedule dinner a little later, after your park of choice for the day has closed. At WDW, time is money after all.

                          Some of my favorite meals have been Boma (a buffet at Animal Kingdom Lodge), Sci-Fi dine-in (unique ambience), and Les Chefs de France. Every restaurant should have something you'll like, so if nothing else, go for variety. Epcot in general is the place to go for the best and most varied dining.
                          My Micechat cruise trip report, Part 1:http://micechat.com/14795-disney-wonder/

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                          • #14
                            Re: First Trip to WDW: I need help!

                            In EPCOT, be sure to chat with the cast members in the World Showcase pavillions. They are all from the countries they represent, and it is a unique experience and part of the fun to chat with them.
                            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.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: First Trip to WDW: I need help!

                              Echoing some of the other posts and adding some things we do:

                              1. Get dining reservations. This requires you to plan your trip beforehand, but it is hard to get in to some restaurants. Look at menus online. Fave restaurants are 'Ohana, Sci-Fi and Liberty Tree Tavern. Note that Victoria and Albert's has a dress code.

                              2. Stay on site. I knew WDW was by far larger than DL, but I couldn't believe it when we got there the first time! It takes more time to get to/from the parks. We allowed 45 mins from where we were staying (via bus). By the time we got to the bus stop, waited a little, got to the park and walked to the entrance, this is how long it took us!

                              3. We do not change our internal clock (many will disagree with me on this). We stay on CA time. Not sure what state you live in. We got up at 9:30 -10 am ish Florida time which was 6:30-7 am in CA (usual for us). We have a quick in room breakfast (cold cereal or granola bars or fruit) and were out the door within 30 mins. We would get to the park around 11 am and would have lunch at 2:30 Florida time (off peak time at the restaurants!) and dinner at 7-8 pm, sometimes 9. It would not work for our family to get up at 6:30-7 am in Florida (4 am in CA) to get to the parks at 8 am. Keep in mind that if the park closes early (like Animal Kingdom at 5 pm) that you are limiting your day if you do not get there until 11 am. This is okay with our family.

                              4. We do not do early park openings but will do late park closures (again, many will disagree with me on this). Personally, we would not enjoy running across the Florida parks to get a fastpass for Soarin or Toy Story Mania in the morning. We can do those in California. In fact, we go to another park rather than to the park that has early opening. As an example, we will go to Animal Kingdom from 11-5, then go to the room to rest and then go to the Magic Kingdom at 8-9 pm and stay for their Extra Magic late hours. Also, not all attractions are open late so keep that in mind. Staying that late pushes the next day back even further!


                              Have a wonderful time at the Marathon and on your honeymoon!

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