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  • [Question] first timers tips

    In September I will be taking my girlfriend to Walt Disney world for her first trip ever! I have been going to the resort for twenty plus years now, but never gave much thought to a first time experience. We will be staying on property at old key west, and I was just hoping for some tips on how to show her the most without overwhelming her. Oh also we will be there for 4 days.
    There’s a great, big, beautiful tomorrow
    Shining at the end of every day
    There’s a great, big, beautiful tomorrow
    And tomorrow’s just a dream away

    i dont need to tell you where this is from...

  • #2
    Re: first timers tips

    First, see if you can add about a week onto your stay! If you can't do that, see what are her priorities, and go by her pacing. As you know by being a veteran guest, that's not nearly enough time to see it all, so don't try. Everybody likes different things, but for me, look to do those things that you just can't do anywhere else. Try to find that definitively WDW experience. Of course, this is different for everybody. If she's a trouper, and doesn't mind missing some sleep, try to open up the parks and try to find those quiet little spots for some one on one time.
    It's great going with a first timer, since you'll get to experience everything as a newbie, yourself. Take time to enjoy what you see. and make plans to go back.
    And post lots of pictures here for those of us who won't be back for far too long!

    No matter where you go, there you are.


    • #3
      Re: first timers tips

      Like the previous poster, I would focus on definitive experiences such as Wishes, Illuminations, Fantasmic, certain rides etc. I would also suggest a really nice dinner say at Cali Grill to view fireworks etc. If only 4 days, I would skip AK. Ensure you pick a recommended day for the park you want to visit to minimize crowds etc. (good place here at EasyWDW). I would also do one awesome character meal as that really gets me in the Disney spirit.


      • #4
        Re: first timers tips

        I would not skip AK. I would, however, limit my AK trip to a couple of hours with a parkhopper pass. I would either go first thing when it opened, grab a fastpass for Expedition Everest and then head over to the Kilimanjaro Safari, and leave after riding Everest, or I would get there very late, maybe 2-3 hours before closing time, and walk right up to the safari and get in line right before closing at Everest.
        Fight On!:sc: Beat the Red Wolves!

        Tom Chaney Memorial Debate Lounge Quote of the Week:

        The brick walls are there to stop the people who don't want it badly enough - Randy Pausch


        • #5
          Re: first timers tips

          This sortof ties in with some of the other comments that have been made, so I'll mention those first.

          1) AK isn't worth a whole day trip if you have a limited schedule. There is a lot to do and see, but you can easily work that into a half day and then round out the whole experience by returning to MK to catch the fireworks one last time. I go with a kid, so we do the princess dinner at Cinderella's Castle...once on the first night, and once on the last night. Then I book a late flight out the next day and do a 1/2 day at MK (I've been lucky that extra magic hours have been on those days, so we get in early, and first access to the characters, great way to get last minute signatures/photos)

          2) Stay longer. 4 days isn't nearly enough to see everything. But, if you can't stay longer, I'd sit down with her and use the online mapmakers that are on so you can plan out your days.

          3) If you are a vet of DW, you won't need any of us to tell you the standard newbie advices (like which rides pretty much demand that you get a fast pass, like toy story and sourin)

          4) I would try and book a nice meal (if you got the dining plan, which I also highly recommend). A good one is Brown Derby (though Le Cellier is by far one of the best steakhouses around)...the nice thing about the Brown Derby is that you can request preferred seating at Fantasmic when you make your reservations. This means, instead of walking the normal queue, you go off to the right a bit before it, and cast members meet you and take you down to "reserved seating" in a golf cart. Not required, but really helps with the crowded nature of the show.

          4) Try Rose and Crown. Make a late reservation, as they have illuminations seating. It's a great way to end a night.

          5) For Magic Kingdom, the best place I think to watch the parades is in Frontierland. If you plan your day around it, you can get a turkey leg (HAVE to get a turkey leg) and grab a seat on one of the decks, or if you are lucky, you'll get a rocking chair. Then you can eat lunch and watch the parade without all the crowds that are on Main Street...and far more comfortable.

          6) Since you are both adults, she would have fun with the "hidden mickeys" book. You can get it at any of the resort gift shops, as well as the park gift shops. It's a great thing to read on the bus before visiting a park, or while in a line...then the two of you can do a "treasure hunt" to find them.

          7) With 4 days, you probably are not going to make it to Downtown Disney, but for adults, that's a great place to go. Most of the restaurants do not take the disney dining plan, though...but Planet Hollywood does.

          If I were planning your days, I'd do them in this order (and I'd get the deluxe dining plan, but you don't need water parks, but I'd pay for park hopper just in case).

          Day 1

          Magic Kingdom
          (Fast pass rides mountain, splash mountain, big thunder mountain)

          - Breakfast at Crystal Palace (1 credit on your dining plan, iirc)
          - Lunch of a turkey leg while watching the parade (drink, leg + chips, one credit on your dining plan)
          - Aloha Isle (after seeing the tiki birds) for a Dole Whip (1 snack on your dining plan)
          - Dinner (depending on timing, do NOT miss the fireworks on your first day)...either the Luau at Polynesian Resort (2 dining credits), the Diamond Horsehoe (1 credit).
          - Funnel Cake at Sleepy Hollow
          - Fireworks - Also Tomorrowland Terrace seasonally has a dessert and fireworks thing that is a lot of fun, if it's running when you visit. You get to sit on the Terrace and watch the fireworks while drinking coffee and tasting different sweets. It's a lot of fun, and gets you up out of the crowd...though, it doesn't trump sitting below the castle on the hot pavement looking up at's still fun.

          Day 2 - EPCOT
          (Fast Pass Rides are Sourin', Test Track, Mission Space you MUST do a fast pass for will save you easily a 1 - 2 hour wait. Also at EPCOT they have Phineas and Ferb thing that replaced Kim Possible. Sign up for this. It's a really fun way to appreciate the details of the international pavilions, and enjoyable for all ages. Also be sure to take her by the Cool Spot and have her try a Beverly!)
          - Skip breakfast or eat at hotel (10 - 15 bucks per head if you do that, though you don't need to buy a drink if you do the dining plan, as you'll get a resort refill mug to use for coffee, juice, soda, whatever.)
          - Hand dipped ice cream at Fountain View (great to do after the character meet and greet)
          - Lunch at Le Cellier (2 credits, iirc)
          - Snack from Boulangerie Patisserie (in the French pavilion)
          - Dinner at Rose and Crown with Illuminations seating

          Day 3 - MGM / Hollywood Studios
          (fast pass rides - Toy Story, Rockin' Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror and possibly Star Wars)
          - Breakfast at the hotel, or skip it.
          - Snack from Starring Rolls cafe
          - Lunch at the Sci-Fi dine-in theater. Remember, you can swap a hand dipped milkshake for a dessert option here.
          - Snack from Hollywood Scoops
          - Dinner at Brown Derby with Fantasmic Preferred Seating included
          - Fantasmic

          Day 4 - Animal Kingdom / Magic Kingdom
          (Fast pass rides are Everest and the Safari)

          - Breakfast at Tusker House (this is a character breakfast)
          - Snack at the Kusafiri Coffee Shop
          - Lunch at Yak and Yeti

          (hop parks to Magic Kingdom)

          - Snack at the fudge shop on main street
          - Dinner at Cinderella's Royal Table
          - Fireworks

          Sorry so long, I really got into it. I hope you guys have a great trip!
          1982 - Contemporary (1 week), 1987 - Visit (2 weeks, offsite), 1988 - Visit (1 week, offsite), 1989 - Visit (3 weeks, offsite), 1990 - Visit (5 weeks, offsite), 1991 - Visit (6 weeks, offsite), 1992 - Visit (6 weeks, offsite)
          1993 - Visit (6 weeks, offsite), 1994 - Visit (6 weeks, offsite), 1995 - Visit (6 weeks, offsite)
          2010 - Carribean Beach (2 weeks), 2011 - Carribean Beach (2 weeks), 2012 - Pop Century (2 weeks...upcoming)


          • #6
            Re: first timers tips

            Two words, FAST PASS!


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