Disney World help

<p>collage1: I’d call the resort room only booking line: (407) 939-7429
Explain you’re booking a trip for your 16 year old’s birthday and that you haven’t been in a few years. Ask if they any specials for the times you are going. They will probably try to upsell you the disney dining plan; we generally don’t do that because we don’t like having too many reservations during our stay. </p>

<p>As for HP World: D1 went 2 Christmas’ ago with her BFF & family during a Disney Trip. The lines were really long & HP World is a much smaller part of Universal than the commercials would have you think. No one’s a bigger HP fan than she is, and she’s glad she went but she said she has no reason to go back. </p>

<p>Since you’ll only be in the parks for 3 days, and there are 4 WDW main parks, plus Downtown Disney, 2 water parks, etc. I’d stick with just Disney this trip.</p>

<p>For a special birthday treat, you may want to look into Afternoon Tea at the Grand Floridian: [Afternoon</a> Tea at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa | Garden View Tea Room | Walt Disney World Resort](<a href=“http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/dining/garden-view-tea-room/]Afternoon”>http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/dining/garden-view-tea-room/) I did that a few years ago with my girls & it was lovely.</p>

<p>If you go at a busy time, learn about Disney’s FASTPASS Service, where you get a ticket with a window of time to come back and ride it. Our family would arrive at opening time. Most of us would head for one ride, while DS would sprint to another popular one to get us the passes. There is also info in the guides about which days are busier at which parks, and even which DIRECTION you should go in when you arrive, to avoid crowds. My family laughed at me for being so anal, until they saw all the long lines that we didn’t have to stand in! Planning really is important.</p>

<p>allears.net is the best trip planning site IMO. Great tips and tricks, pics of all hotels, menus of all restaurants, etc.</p>

<p>Also check out oyster.com for extensive, large HD pics of WDW hotels- very helpful before deciding where to stay.</p>

<p>All properties on site are themed and fantastic so a value or moderate hotel will be great for first time staying on property. My favorite is the French Quarter because it is the smallest so shorter lines at the bus stop and food court.</p>

<p>Sent from my DROID BIONIC using CC</p>

<p>Hi collage! </p>

<p>The Disney Vacation Club is on property and has many, many 1 and 2 br suites w full kitchens; they are time-share properties but can be booked out on a nightly basis…dont hold me to it but I think the phone number is 1-800-villas1 but check on that…</p>

<p>Please don’t tell me you are going Election day week! The entire state of NJ has part of that week off and it is usually a mass exodus to Orlando…</p>

<p>For WDW look at the Swan (Westin) and Dolphin(Sheraton). Great location in between the Yacht Club/Beach Club and the Boardwalk. Most of the perks of a Disney Hotel (bus service, early entry, etc) at a much lower cost. Teenagers can walk to Epcot and Hollywood Studios (or take boat) and quick bus to Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom.</p>

<p>Room prices are much lower during non-peak times and when a large convention is not there and they need to fill the rooms. AAA . teacher and government discounts also apply.</p>

<p>A 4 day trip would not leave enough time to include Universal, but my teenagers prefer Universal to Disney. Must stay at one of the “Universal” hotels which are (in order of decreasing cost) - Portofino, Hard Rock, Royal Pacific Resort. Your room key functions as a front of the line pass, you move to the front of the line on virtually every ride (Potter not included) and it’s the easiest way to see Universal. Can go on favorites as many time as you want!</p>

<p>Have fun.</p>

<p>Unfortunately, October seems to be peak season for prices. Our anniversary falls in October, always around Columbus Day, so planning a trip is always problematic for us, which is why we booked the Contemporary a year ago. Our son’s fall breakwound up falling when our trip was planned, so we tried to change to the following week, but yes, the Contemporary was booked! </p>

<p>I’m not looking forward to the crowds, and we are concentrating on doing what we can, but doing some dinner shows, like Fantasmic and Aloha, and signature restaurants for the celebration, which is why we got the Deluxe Dining Plan. October is both Epcot Food and Wine Festival and Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. There will be nights when you have to have a separate ticket for Magic Kingdom, as the Halloween Party is going on then. Your girls may enjoy this event, though, since they’re still sort of young. Supposed to be trick or treating and lots of costuming. </p>

<p>Also, as part of the Food and Wine Festival, there is an Eat to the Beat Concert Series, where you can catch some free concerts. Many are old fogie groups, but I’m excited that Smash Mouth will be playing while we’re there and hope to catch them if we’re in the area. H does not want to plan our park time around the concert, but if we’re in the area, we’ll be sure to drop by!</p>

<p>I’m from NOLA, so I definitely did not want to stay at the Port Orleans properties, but many people from here who go frequently stay there and love it, saying it is the best price. I have also heard that the Coronado is nice, and there are less little kids around. </p>

<p>H and S did a father son trip several years ago, and they stayed at one of the All Stars. Felt like they were always waiting for the bus. Both guys love the monorail and S just wanted to ride that all day. </p>

<p>As for the DIS boards, when I first booked, I spent hours on the forum, but it is so overwhelming. I even bought the unofficial insider book, also overwhelming, so I’ve decided to book restaurants I don’t want to miss, use the iPhone Apps as much as I can, and try to be as spontaneous as possible. The restaurant reservations throw a monkey wrench into this, but H insists on this part of the trip. He loves fireworks, so I’m trying to coordinate my dinner reservations with prime firework time, but for nights we’re just wiped out, we’ll be able to view the fireworks from our Contemporary room.</p>

<p>Looking forward to hearing about your trip, and I’ll be sure to share my experiences as well.</p>

<p>There are some really good Fast Pass strategies on the internet. As Mainelonghorn says it does make you appear somewhat anal and more than a bit of a tour director, but it definitely cuts hours out of the wait time. Also Disney tour plans has lists of what attractions to hit at what times for the least lines–and they work too! We’ve never stayed at the park (too much cheaper outside). Priceline can really get you some good deals on hotel rooms.</p>

<p>Be at the castle for the fireworks–the show ON the castle is amazing.<br>
And at Epcot be next to the water for the fireworks.</p>

<p>collage–I know you’re being inundated but just wanted to add that I think it’s really really worth it to stay on-site. The free shuttle to/from the airport, the free bus service around the parks–FastPass alone is worth it. I’ve been there I think five times with various subsets of my kids (and am taking myself for my birthday at the end of October–hooray!) and never waited in line for more than a few minutes. </p>

<p>My strategy–decide on your favorite ride for the park you’ll be attending that day (or half-day–we always went to one park in the morning, came back to the hotel and swam/rested, then to a different one in the afternoon/evening), make a beeline toward that ride and get your FastPass, then do some other things while waiting for your FastPass time (if you have to wait). Get another FastPass as soon as you’re allowed for your second favorite ride (I think you have to wait two hours in between), and repeat.</p>

<p>(And I heard from a Disney employee that some people avoid the parks that have the extra morning hour for that day–they’re always more crowded. Re: Universal/HPW/. . . , I just can’t imagine a trip to Orlando not focussed on WDW, but I have a soft spot in my heart for the place.)</p>

<p>I unfortunately have planned my days/reservations around the EMH, but I did hear that, too, that the parks with EMH are the most crowded. But, I have to avoid MK for the Halloween Party nights, as I’m not interested and don’t want to pay an extra admission since I’m already shelling out major bucks for this trip. We’re starting on a Monday for Fantasmic and ending on a Friday with the Luau. The other days are more flexible for parks, except for the days when I have my Winnie the Pooh and Cinderella Breakfast reservations. My H will get his fireworks, but I will get my Tigger and Castle time, too!</p>

<p>[Disney</a> World Offers Beer, Wine at Magic Kingdom for First Time | Moneyland | TIME.com](<a href=“http://moneyland.time.com/2012/09/14/at-long-last-booze-comes-to-walt-disney-world/?iid=pf-article-mostpop1]Disney”>http://moneyland.time.com/2012/09/14/at-long-last-booze-comes-to-walt-disney-world/?iid=pf-article-mostpop1)</p>

<p>We stayed in Downtown Disney a couple of years ago at the Buena Vista… Very nice newly redone hotel. It had a bus stop with free buses to the park and we could walk across the street to Downtown Disney for resturants, and entertainment and shopping! If you go on the web site you can pick a room that will allow you to see the fireworks every night on your balcony.</p>

<p>@missypie–why do you think I waited so long to go back? ;)</p>

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<p>A nice lunch with wine at one of the World Showcase restaurants has always made an afternoon at Epcot more pleasant.</p>

<p>We went the week between Christmas and New Years several years ago. It is always the single busiest week of the year which made me skeptical about planning a trip at that time but we were meeting my brother and sister and their families, so we did it. The single tip I discovered which helped us more that anything is to wake up early everyday and go to the early entry park at opening (they usually open up a little earlier than the published time). Then leave that park at lunch because that will be the busiest park that day. Use the Disney transportation to hit another park in the afternoon and evening. You can even plan lunch someplace on the way- a nice way to check out other hotels. </p>

<p>Also get to know the Disney Transportation system because you can likely save time by getting creative with your bus route planning. Like someone already said you can sometimes wait in lines to get on a bus to where you need to go. But you can usually find an alternative route with a stop in between or look for someplace nearby your desired destination. If you want to go to Epcot, take the bus to the Swan and Dolphin and enter Epcot through the International Gateway. Want to go to Magic Kingdom, take the bus to the Contemporary and walk to MK.</p>

<p>When I was there in February, Hollywood Studios was not having the firm dash to the ride rope drop, but was letting people trickle in. So do some reading because you could be able to arrive 45 minutes before the stated opening, wait 15 minutes to get in, ride Toy Story, then start other rides when others are just getting there.</p>

<p>Check out Saratoga Springs also… it is a Disney Vacation Club property but you can stay there even if you’re not a member, and they have suites. Sometimes you can get a pretty good rate, depending on time of year. Epcot Food and Wine is going on, so not sure how that will affect rates. The good thing about Saratoga is that it’s within walking distance of Downtown Disney, which is fun to poke around in when you’re burned out with park-hopping. Also check out Port Orleans resort… it’s a moderate Disney hotel and my favorite of all (and I’ve stayed at them all)… the bayou and Dixie Landings sections, that is. The bayou section is secluded and quiet, and has little private pools and beautiful landscaping. Take advantage of the extra park hours if you stay at Disney. If you stay at the value resorts, be prepared to navigate the bus system and be prepared for waits. It can take up to an hour to get to a park 3 miles away sometimes, depending on lines. I generally opt to drive myself into a park when I’m not staying on the monorail line or at an Epcot hotel. If you are navigating the online reservations site, you will get those “alternative” popups within the same cost category that you’re searching in… if you want to see less expensive hotels, do a search within a less expensive category. You can also advance search and check specific hotels that you’re interested in. Let me know if you have any questions… I’m a Disney cast member and live right behind the parks so I’m pretty familiar with everything there. Can’t say as much for that-other-park-that-shall-remain-nameless.</p>

<p>Don’t forget to read up on the Hidden Mickeys! That makes visiting the parks a lot of fun on another level.</p>

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That way lies madness!</p>

<p>Kidding. Sort of. What I would say is that WDW rewards careful (even anal) planning more than many other kinds of vacations. While you can wander around Paris without much of a plan and have a wonderful time, at WDW this will result in spending all day at a park and going on two rides after waiting two ro three hours in line.</p>

<p>And if you know about the hidden Mickeys you will be able to sidetrack yourself with that somewhat while you stand in line. Makes the time go by faster. Those Disney Imagineers are no fools.</p>