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Disney Vacation

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We were yelling at them "We are at Disney! We are going to have fun!"

We're going to have so much fun, we'll be whistling "zippedy-doo-dah" out of our #######s. We'll have to have plastic surgery to remove our ####### smiles.

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The kid won't appreciate Epcot.

Do yourself a favor and do not stay on the resort, it'll cost you a fortune.

A 5 year old kid won`t appreciate anything about Disney! He will be just as happy at a Holidome 1 mile from your house swinng and playing.

Again, just as when this thread was started, I must ask....

What age children have you taken to Disney?

You failed to answer the question last time, I can only imagine that you will do the same here.

I took my 5 YO son around Thanksgiving and he still brings it up in conversation 3 months later.

He appreciates it, and appreciates the fact that his parents took him there.

My kids still talk about the time we stayed overnight in a hotel 10 miles away that had an indoor water park.

I'm not sure I see your point. I'm pretty sure your kids love you whether you take them to Disney or whether you take them on some other family trip.

My 2 year old talks about the place all the time. When a disney commerial comes on he runs to the TV and points out all the characters he knows, the Big Ball (Epcot) the Big Castle, the Big Tree (Animal Kingdon) and the Big Hat (Disney Studios).

We told him that we were going at the end of this month, so every time he sees anything Disney, he tells us that we have to go to the plane, then get on the big bus (Magical Express) to go see Pop (PopCentury) and then take Mickey's bus (the inter-park transportation) to go see Mickey.

Maybe he more alert of his surroundings, but he loves the place and everything about it. As soon as we walk into the Magic Kingdom in a month, he will drag us to the Indy Race Cars, Pooh's Corner Park, and the flying Carpets with the spitting camel. Once in Epcot, it's almost impossible to get him away from the outside of Spaceship Earth, and last time we took him to the French pavilion he remembered exactly where the yummy treats were (the bakery) to get cake.

Maybe he would have just as much fun in other places, I don't know. But we do a lot with him and except for anything having to do with Thomas the Tank Engine, he isn't as glued to anything like he is to the Disney world.

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2 words

Disney Dining

Thank me later

Tell me more about this?

I calculate rougly $100 a day for myself($38), my wife($38), and my 9($11) & 4($11) year old for the Dining Plan. This is 1 table service meal, 1 counter service meal, and 1 snack per person, per day correct? I can see this working out to a great deal if every meal you eat there is large meal, but 5 years ago when we visited the World, most of our meals were fast food combo meal type stuff... burgers, sammich, chicken, pizza, etc. I have no idea how much $'s we spent on that kind of stuff or the current menu prices. Hell maybe that stuff does work out to >$38/day, but it sure didn't seem like it. Seems like with this plan, you would have to plan your entire trip and itinerary around your meals instead of just doing your thing at the park and run in a grab a quick burger at the nearest eatery when the kids get hungry..

The way that I looked at it, I was on vacation and was going to have a nice meal for dinner every ngiht. So we did schedule our days around dinner to a point.

Most of the time, for dinner alone you can knock out the $38 per adult since it includes appetizer (1 per person), entree, and desert.

And dinner (meal) can be used most anywhere on Disney properties. We ate at Wolfgang Puck's in Downtown Disney one night and at the main hotel another night. We also ate at the Italian Rest at MGM.

All good meals everywhere we went.

The only day it was break even was the day we did the Character Breakfast at the main hotel.

Otherwise, the days that we did the meals for dinner, the snack and counter service were basically free when we figured it all out.

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The kid won't appreciate Epcot.

Do yourself a favor and do not stay on the resort, it'll cost you a fortune.

A 5 year old kid won`t appreciate anything about Disney! He will be just as happy at a Holidome 1 mile from your house swinng and playing.

Again, just as when this thread was started, I must ask....

What age children have you taken to Disney?

You failed to answer the question last time, I can only imagine that you will do the same here.

I took my 5 YO son around Thanksgiving and he still brings it up in conversation 3 months later.

He appreciates it, and appreciates the fact that his parents took him there.

My kids still talk about the time we stayed overnight in a hotel 10 miles away that had an indoor water park.

I'm not sure I see your point. I'm pretty sure your kids love you whether you take them to Disney or whether you take them on some other family trip.

My 2 year old talks about the place all the time. When a disney commerial comes on he runs to the TV and points out all the characters he knows, the Big Ball (Epcot) the Big Castle, the Big Tree (Animal Kingdon) and the Big Hat (Disney Studios).

We told him that we were going at the end of this month, so every time he sees anything Disney, he tells us that we have to go to the plane, then get on the big bus (Magical Express) to go see Pop (PopCentury) and then take Mickey's bus (the inter-park transportation) to go see Mickey.

Maybe he more alert of his surroundings, but he loves the place and everything about it. As soon as we walk into the Magic Kingdom in a month, he will drag us to the Indy Race Cars, Pooh's Corner Park, and the flying Carpets with the spitting camel. Once in Epcot, it's almost impossible to get him away from the outside of Spaceship Earth, and last time we took him to the French pavilion he remembered exactly where the yummy treats were (the bakery) to get cake.

Maybe he would have just as much fun in other places, I don't know. But we do a lot with him and except for anything having to do with Thomas the Tank Engine, he isn't as glued to anything like he is to the Disney world.

I'm not busting on Disney. We're planning on going there in a couple of years.

I just thought the statement about how "My kid talks about it even three months later so he must have really appreciated it" was amusing.

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The kid won't appreciate Epcot.

Do yourself a favor and do not stay on the resort, it'll cost you a fortune.

A 5 year old kid won`t appreciate anything about Disney! He will be just as happy at a Holidome 1 mile from your house swinng and playing.

Again, just as when this thread was started, I must ask....

What age children have you taken to Disney?

You failed to answer the question last time, I can only imagine that you will do the same here.

I took my 5 YO son around Thanksgiving and he still brings it up in conversation 3 months later.

He appreciates it, and appreciates the fact that his parents took him there.

My kids still talk about the time we stayed overnight in a hotel 10 miles away that had an indoor water park.

I'm not sure I see your point. I'm pretty sure your kids love you whether you take them to Disney or whether you take them on some other family trip.

My 2 year old talks about the place all the time. When a disney commerial comes on he runs to the TV and points out all the characters he knows, the Big Ball (Epcot) the Big Castle, the Big Tree (Animal Kingdon) and the Big Hat (Disney Studios).

We told him that we were going at the end of this month, so every time he sees anything Disney, he tells us that we have to go to the plane, then get on the big bus (Magical Express) to go see Pop (PopCentury) and then take Mickey's bus (the inter-park transportation) to go see Mickey.

Maybe he more alert of his surroundings, but he loves the place and everything about it. As soon as we walk into the Magic Kingdom in a month, he will drag us to the Indy Race Cars, Pooh's Corner Park, and the flying Carpets with the spitting camel. Once in Epcot, it's almost impossible to get him away from the outside of Spaceship Earth, and last time we took him to the French pavilion he remembered exactly where the yummy treats were (the bakery) to get cake.

Maybe he would have just as much fun in other places, I don't know. But we do a lot with him and except for anything having to do with Thomas the Tank Engine, he isn't as glued to anything like he is to the Disney world.

I'm not busting on Disney. We're planning on going there in a couple of years.

I just thought the statement about how "My kid talks about it even three months later so he must have really appreciated it" was amusing.

Yeah. I don't usually defend the place - they have enough in their arsenal. But we have done a lot of vacation and playtime things and we enjoy Disney the most.

Given that my wife always does her homework we always get good deals and it's not that expensive. We've paid more to rent a house in the Keys for a week, for example. And the prices in the park aren't that bad considering the captive audience aspect. A bottle of water in my local mart costs roughly $1.50 - in Disney it's $2.00. A $.50 mark up isn't that bad to me.

The alcohol is expensive - very expensive. But it's only slightly more expensive then Yankee Stadium - although not by much.

All told, for everything you get at Disney - transportation, food, hotel, entertainment, everything - if you do your homework and get the deals that they give like crazy, it's hard to find a better vacation spot - if you are looking for all those things in once place.

And my wife and son love the place. That helps.

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All told, for everything you get at Disney - transportation, food, hotel, entertainment, everything - if you do your homework and get the deals that they give like crazy, it's hard to find a better vacation spot - if you are looking for all those things in once place.

And my wife and son love the place. That helps.

:thumbup:

I've been to Disneyland once about 25 years ago :o .

Wife and Daughter have never been to either one so looking forward to taking them to Disney World this December.

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2 words

Disney Dining

Thank me later

Tell me more about this?

I calculate rougly $100 a day for myself($38), my wife($38), and my 9($11) & 4($11) year old for the Dining Plan. This is 1 table service meal, 1 counter service meal, and 1 snack per person, per day correct? I can see this working out to a great deal if every meal you eat there is large meal, but 5 years ago when we visited the World, most of our meals were fast food combo meal type stuff... burgers, sammich, chicken, pizza, etc. I have no idea how much $'s we spent on that kind of stuff or the current menu prices. Hell maybe that stuff does work out to >$38/day, but it sure didn't seem like it. Seems like with this plan, you would have to plan your entire trip and itinerary around your meals instead of just doing your thing at the park and run in a grab a quick burger at the nearest eatery when the kids get hungry..

The way that I looked at it, I was on vacation and was going to have a nice meal for dinner every ngiht. So we did schedule our days around dinner to a point.

Most of the time, for dinner alone you can knock out the $38 per adult since it includes appetizer (1 per person), entree, and desert.

And dinner (meal) can be used most anywhere on Disney properties. We ate at Wolfgang Puck's in Downtown Disney one night and at the main hotel another night. We also ate at the Italian Rest at MGM.

All good meals everywhere we went.

The only day it was break even was the day we did the Character Breakfast at the main hotel.

Otherwise, the days that we did the meals for dinner, the snack and counter service were basically free when we figured it all out.

Personally, I'd love that. But my wife and kids mostly snack all day long and eat like birds at meal time.

So the table service meal can be used as a Character Meal.... interesting.

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For those of you that haven't gone in awhile, here is a little tip that might be helpful - but probably only if you are planning to go again or are staying for a long time (over 1 week):

Don't try to do everything there. When we go, we make sure we do 2 or 3 things that we always enjoy, but other then that, we take each day as it comes. We find that our friends that go who have the mentality of "we have to do everything" never have any fun because they spend their time running from line to line of the important rides and never just enjoy themselves.

Obviously if this is going to be your only trip for some time you want to hit the big stuff. But if you let the day flow and enjoy everything in the parks and not jsut the 6 or 7 big big rides and all the other popular stuff, you might enjoy it more.

Just one example - MGM was packed one day we were there and everyone was fighting to get to the top amusements - and no one was paying attention to the new character calendar that MGM gave out that day - so my wife and I took our son to go see Mickey in his Phantasia outfit and we were the only ones there for about 20 minutes. He ran around the room with Mickey the whole time. The person in the suit was really nice to play with him and take the time.

You miss stuff like that if you focus on trying to get everything done.

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I'm travelling there with a family of 4 (kids are 7 and 11) at the end of May.

A few people have been to Pop Century, how was it? Better, worse or no different from the other value resorts? We're considering getting adjoining rooms. All Star Music is opening family suites but not til the week after we leave. Are they really noisy and cramped? I'd like to save the $$ but I'm having trouble committing to the value thing.

Other consideration is a moderate, but I'm not sure it's worth the money. Then we'd likely just get a single room. Disney rooms are SO SMALL. Everything else we've looked at is $300+ per night. :angry:

Last time we went down we rented a condo and had tons of space. We decided to do the full Disney experience this time, heaven help us.

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Obviously if this is going to be your only trip for some time you want to hit the big stuff. But if you let the day flow and enjoy everything in the parks and not jsut the 6 or 7 big big rides and all the other popular stuff, you might enjoy it more.

What are these "big stuff" you talk about? Never been to Disneyworld.

Understand the wife HATES rides and my daughter will only be 8 years old so rides won't be the main attraction for us.

I got a feeling we will be walking around every day bugged eyed ( :eek: ) not having a clue where to go next.

Dang virgins... :kicksrock:

;)

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Obviously if this is going to be your only trip for some time you want to hit the big stuff.  But if you let the day flow and enjoy everything in the parks and not jsut the 6 or 7 big big rides and all the other popular stuff, you might enjoy it more.

What are these "big stuff" you talk about? Never been to Disneyworld.

Understand the wife HATES rides and my daughter will only be 8 years old so rides won't be the main attraction for us.

I got a feeling we will be walking around every day bugged eyed ( :eek: ) not having a clue where to go next.

Dang virgins... :kicksrock:

;)

Depends on what you want. If rides aren't your thing there are shows/animatronic shows/ movie type things like Mickey's Philharmagic which is 3D.

If you enjoy tours, there are backstage tours and in depth behind the scene tours.

If you like sports, there is golf, water sports, miniature golf, and a bunch of other things.

If you want to just walk around and take in visual things, there are little things/games you can play. There is a book out there called "Hidden Mickey's" that is really cool. Basically, throughout the entire park and all the hotels and everything in the Disney World universe - there are hidden mickey's everywhere. Basically little mickey heads in various poses everywhere. One of the clouds in the Big Thunder Mountian is a hidden Mickey. There a literally thousands of them. Walk around and look for them - the book has a guide to hlpe you.

You can walk around the Animal Kingdom and check out all that stuff - not too many ride type things there.

In Epcot, you have the World Showcase which is my place. Basically, start eating and drinking in England and don't stop until you hit Mexico. There are also very easy to take boat rides in Norway and Mexico which are more tour-like then excitement-like.

In MGM you can just walk around and take it all in. At Christmas time, the entire MGM Studio park is covered in Christmas lights. It's some family's lights from Arkansas who donated them to Disney. It's really cool.

Then there is Disney Marketplace which are just shops and toy stores. There is always some kind of outdoor concert or school choir or something.

You can stay there for a week and never go on a ride and still have a great time.

Make sure that you take in some of the food joints, though. Some of them are just outstanding. The Italy pavilion is some of the best Italian food I've ever had. The Japanese place is suposed to be real good to.

But - if you want the big rides that everyone wants to see you have:

Magic Kingdom - All three mountain rides, Pirates of Caribbean

Epcot - Spaceship Earth, Sorin, Test TRack, Mission Space

Animal Kingdom - Arctic Mountain (something like that) is opening soon

MGM - Rockin Rollercoaster

There are others, but those are the real real big ones that everyone wants to hit.

And then there are the water parks.

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I'm travelling there with a family of 4 (kids are 7 and 11) at the end of May.

A few people have been to Pop Century, how was it? Better, worse or no different from the other value resorts? We're considering getting adjoining rooms. All Star Music is opening family suites but not til the week after we leave. Are they really noisy and cramped? I'd like to save the $$ but I'm having trouble committing to the value thing.

Other consideration is a moderate, but I'm not sure it's worth the money. Then we'd likely just get a single room. Disney rooms are SO SMALL. Everything else we've looked at is $300+ per night. :angry:

Last time we went down we rented a condo and had tons of space. We decided to do the full Disney experience this time, heaven help us.

We love Pop. The problem with All-Stars compared to Pop is that in All-Stars the buses to parks alternate between one bus per hotel, to one bus for the whole thing that stops at every bus stop. You could be on the bus for over a half an hour while it makes all the stops.

Pop is only one stop. It's also very close to Downtown and Epcot.

The rooms are small, but nice. If yo have kids and the cleaning crew notices them (by toys out or a crib in the room) at least once during your stay the cleaning crew will take all the toys that are out in the room and decorate the window in your room with a Disney window display with stickers and towels folded like Mickey and other things. It's really neat.

The food in the PopCentury cafateria is, I think, better then any of the All Stars.

At Pop there is also a walk of history around the place that you can take. There are signs on the walkway with historic moments of the 20th century. There is a big foosball table that you walk through - cool stuff like that.

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Obviously if this is going to be your only trip for some time you want to hit the big stuff. But if you let the day flow and enjoy everything in the parks and not jsut the 6 or 7 big big rides and all the other popular stuff, you might enjoy it more.

What are these "big stuff" you talk about? Never been to Disneyworld.

Understand the wife HATES rides and my daughter will only be 8 years old so rides won't be the main attraction for us.

I got a feeling we will be walking around every day bugged eyed ( :eek: ) not having a clue where to go next.

Dang virgins... :kicksrock:

;)

Depends on what you want. If rides aren't your thing there are shows/animatronic shows/ movie type things like Mickey's Philharmagic which is 3D.

If you enjoy tours, there are backstage tours and in depth behind the scene tours.

If you like sports, there is golf, water sports, miniature golf, and a bunch of other things.

If you want to just walk around and take in visual things, there are little things/games you can play. There is a book out there called "Hidden Mickey's" that is really cool. Basically, throughout the entire park and all the hotels and everything in the Disney World universe - there are hidden mickey's everywhere. Basically little mickey heads in various poses everywhere. One of the clouds in the Big Thunder Mountian is a hidden Mickey. There a literally thousands of them. Walk around and look for them - the book has a guide to hlpe you.

You can walk around the Animal Kingdom and check out all that stuff - not too many ride type things there.

In Epcot, you have the World Showcase which is my place. Basically, start eating and drinking in England and don't stop until you hit Mexico. There are also very easy to take boat rides in Norway and Mexico which are more tour-like then excitement-like.

In MGM you can just walk around and take it all in. At Christmas time, the entire MGM Studio park is covered in Christmas lights. It's some family's lights from Arkansas who donated them to Disney. It's really cool.

Then there is Disney Marketplace which are just shops and toy stores. There is always some kind of outdoor concert or school choir or something.

You can stay there for a week and never go on a ride and still have a great time.

Make sure that you take in some of the food joints, though. Some of them are just outstanding. The Italy pavilion is some of the best Italian food I've ever had. The Japanese place is suposed to be real good to.

But - if you want the big rides that everyone wants to see you have:

Magic Kingdom - All three mountain rides, Pirates of Caribbean

Epcot - Spaceship Earth, Sorin, Test TRack, Mission Space

Animal Kingdom - Arctic Mountain (something like that) is opening soon

MGM - Rockin Rollercoaster

There are others, but those are the real real big ones that everyone wants to hit.

And then there are the water parks.

Whew.... going to need longer than 6 days to get all that in. ;)

Thanks.. Going to be an interesting week come December, trying to start a list now so as to not leave and :kicksrock: because I forgot something.

Edited by snogger

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Obviously if this is going to be your only trip for some time you want to hit the big stuff.  But if you let the day flow and enjoy everything in the parks and not jsut the 6 or 7 big big rides and all the other popular stuff, you might enjoy it more.

What are these "big stuff" you talk about? Never been to Disneyworld.

Understand the wife HATES rides and my daughter will only be 8 years old so rides won't be the main attraction for us.

I got a feeling we will be walking around every day bugged eyed ( :eek: ) not having a clue where to go next.

Dang virgins... :kicksrock:

;)

There is a book called something like "Professional Guide to Walt Disney World" or something. It has some great tips and rates the rides for ages, etc.

My 6yo loved splash mountian and the river rapids ride. She's now 8 and her sister will be 7. They are talking about wanting to do Tower of Terror...we'll see...

I never figured my two girls would love rides like that, but they do...

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Obviously if this is going to be your only trip for some time you want to hit the big stuff.  But if you let the day flow and enjoy everything in the parks and not jsut the 6 or 7 big big rides and all the other popular stuff, you might enjoy it more.

What are these "big stuff" you talk about? Never been to Disneyworld.

Understand the wife HATES rides and my daughter will only be 8 years old so rides won't be the main attraction for us.

I got a feeling we will be walking around every day bugged eyed ( :eek: ) not having a clue where to go next.

Dang virgins... :kicksrock:

;)

Depends on what you want. If rides aren't your thing there are shows/animatronic shows/ movie type things like Mickey's Philharmagic which is 3D.

If you enjoy tours, there are backstage tours and in depth behind the scene tours.

If you like sports, there is golf, water sports, miniature golf, and a bunch of other things.

If you want to just walk around and take in visual things, there are little things/games you can play. There is a book out there called "Hidden Mickey's" that is really cool. Basically, throughout the entire park and all the hotels and everything in the Disney World universe - there are hidden mickey's everywhere. Basically little mickey heads in various poses everywhere. One of the clouds in the Big Thunder Mountian is a hidden Mickey. There a literally thousands of them. Walk around and look for them - the book has a guide to hlpe you.

You can walk around the Animal Kingdom and check out all that stuff - not too many ride type things there.

In Epcot, you have the World Showcase which is my place. Basically, start eating and drinking in England and don't stop until you hit Mexico. There are also very easy to take boat rides in Norway and Mexico which are more tour-like then excitement-like.

In MGM you can just walk around and take it all in. At Christmas time, the entire MGM Studio park is covered in Christmas lights. It's some family's lights from Arkansas who donated them to Disney. It's really cool.

Then there is Disney Marketplace which are just shops and toy stores. There is always some kind of outdoor concert or school choir or something.

You can stay there for a week and never go on a ride and still have a great time.

Make sure that you take in some of the food joints, though. Some of them are just outstanding. The Italy pavilion is some of the best Italian food I've ever had. The Japanese place is suposed to be real good to.

But - if you want the big rides that everyone wants to see you have:

Magic Kingdom - All three mountain rides, Pirates of Caribbean

Epcot - Spaceship Earth, Sorin, Test TRack, Mission Space

Animal Kingdom - Arctic Mountain (something like that) is opening soon

MGM - Rockin Rollercoaster

There are others, but those are the real real big ones that everyone wants to hit.

And then there are the water parks.

Whew.... going to need longer than 6 days to get all that in. ;)

Thanks.. Going to be an interesting week come December, trying to start a list now so as to not leave and :kicksrock: because I forgot something.

Mousesavers

AllEarsNet

Intercot

It's worth a few buck to pick up a guide book. We have the Unofficial Guide. It's funny and insightful. You really do need to plan ahead. It's so huge it's over whelming.

You must have reservations in advance for the good restaurants. You can actually reserve up to 180 days prior to arrival if you have on-site hotel accomodations.

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The Internet's Largest Unofficial On-Line Guide to Walt Disney World

Good info here. Make sure the check out the message boards for tips, as this is home to the Disney Veterans who can tell you how to pack, what to wear, what to see, when to fart, etc...etc...etc...

Edited by Big Blue Wrecking Crew

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Mid-March, i took the wife, 4 kids (ranging in age from 14 to 7 months), and two parents to Orlando for our spring break. Some suggestions...

Lodging

We stayed at Regal Palms, located about 15 minutes west (away from the worst traffic) of Disney. We loved it and recommend it highly. It came recommended from Travelocity and AAA (3 diamond). You'll find mixed reviews, but i think most of the negative ones come from folks staying in the high-traffic townhomes near the pool complex, or folks that stayed a while back in the midst of construction.

We had a 5-bedroom house with a private pool for around $160/night. That is fantastic value compared to Disney hotels. Lots of space to spread out and enjoy, without stepping all over each other. Almost new, very nice furniture. And on the golf course, for those so interested.

Regal Palms has a great pool, complete with waterslide and lazy river.

Theme Parks

I used Touring Plans to figure out a basic gameplan. I found it very helpful to arrive before the park opened. For example, we had hardly any wait, even for Space Mountain, for the first 3 hours of our day at Magic Kingdom. By lunchtime, the place was nearly choked full of people.

Most people already know about FastPass. It's nifty, though a bit overrated. We used them for a few key rides. Note that you can also use them after the time period on your pass, but not before.

Our favorite ride, and this was unanimous, was the Tower of Terror at MGM Studios. Even the 6-year-old was thrilled as he gripped the handrests with his hair flying straight up.

Dining

Compared to some of the Disney fanatics, we didn't have much advance notice for our trip, so i didn't even try to get reservations. We did sign up for a character breakfast at the Grand Floridian, which was well worth the time, money and effort. The counter service places (the fast food type places) are actually pretty good, with varied menu choices and reasonable prices. They get crowded, so plan an off-time for lunch. I wasn't impressed with the table restaurants we tried, including the Brown Derby at MGM.

Other

- The Cirque du Soleil show, La Nouba, at Downtown Disney is worth its steep price (~$60-$100), especially if you've never seen one of their shows. If you're a CdS veteran, you may not be as impressed.

- We also tried the Holy Land Experience. Christ-followers will probably appreciate this place. It has a phenomenal collection of ancient Biblical documents, and some decent shows.

- If you buy park tickets from AAA, you can get a parking pass that lets you park up close. Still have to pay the $9 that everyone pays to park, but it's a pretty convenient in & out.

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Your 5yo will LOVE Magic Kingdom. Research the availability of character meals, and you'll want to make reservations well in advance (they start taking reservations either 60 or 90 days in advance, I can't remember which). Different sit-down restaurants have different Disney characters. We got our 1998 trip off to a fantastic start with a Winnie-the-Pooh character breakfast. It set the perfect tone. EPCOT isn't for most youngsters. Animal Kingdom is an excellent idea, but there are not a lot of rides. I hear the new roller coaster there is excellent. As for outside parks, Sea World is a great option. I've only been to one of the Universal parks, but my impression was that it had a good mix of thrill rides and kid-friendly ones. Personally, I'd go to Orlando every year if I could afford it. There's just so much to do, and I'm a big kid when it comes to amusement parks.

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There is a lot of good info in this post and since we plan on going this December I need to get this up the list so it doesn't get the dreaded Purge..

Carry on.

If anyone has anything new to add, please do..

Right now, staying at one of the All Star Resorts on site for 7 nights is going to run us( two adults, one 8 year old child) between $2,100 to $3,000 so anything you can add to make it cheaper would be very nice.

TIA

Edited by snogger

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Check out the Sheraton Vistana Resort. It's about 3/4 mi to Downtown Disney - has shuttles to all the parks, etc. Got a 2 bedroom suite there for $259 on New Year's Eve - place had a huge living room, full kitchen, 1 bedroom with 2 doubles, a master suite with a king bed and sunken jacuzzi tub, plus, we had a balcony overlooking the pool.

Great, great place - lots of amenities, room service, etc. Check it out and compare price to the Disney resorts. you could do a LOT worse than that place.

Plus, Sheraton's beds are so damn comfortable....

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There is a lot of good info in this post and since we plan on going this December I need to get this up the list so it doesn't get the dreaded Purge..

Carry on.

If anyone has anything new to add, please do..

Right now, staying at one of the All Star Resorts on site for 7 nights is going to run us( two adults, one 8 year old child) between $2,100 to $3,000 so anything you can add to make it cheaper would be very nice.

TIA

I just returned from a trip to Disney and stayed at the All Star Movies resort. The resort itself wasn't bad, the rooms were somewhat small, but we had 3 kids. Having the buses take you everywhere was very nice.

We had the Disney dining plan that has been mentioned and I am still trying to decide if it was worth it. It was nice to not have to worry about paying for meals and they give you a ton of food. However, we never ate all of the food we ordered and had we been payinig ourselves, we would never have ordered that much to begin with. At dinner, for 2 adults and 2 5-year old kids, you get 2 appetizers, 2 entrees, 2 kids meals and 4 desserts. These bills would have been around $125-$150 (talking about Planet Hollywood and Wolfgang Pucks).

The key is the reservations at the parks. If you want to eat at the Magic Kingdom for table service, call now and get reservations, especially for character locations.

If you have extra counter meals or snacks (we had 5 days worth of meals, but were only really there 4 days because they included our travel day), you can use them for breakfast at the hotel.

On a separate note, the one thing we learned right away, was to use the fast pass option at the parks if you can. Most of the big rides have this where you can get passes for certain times, a few hours later in the day, and you don't have to wait in as long of a line. So instead of waiting 40 minutes for the jungle cruise, you can get a fast pass to go between 10:00 and 11:00 and spend the time doing other stuff until then and you only wait 5-10 minutes. I think they let you get one of these every 2 hours or so.

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Not sure what part of December you'll be there, but Early December is usually their cheapest rates... with rates shooting up even above peak rates around Dec. 20th through New Years.

What type of passes do you have?

We are leaving in 16 days for 6 nights/7 days at the Port Orleans FQ. My wife and I plus our 9 year old daugther and 4 year old son. We are taking advantage of their Free Upgrade to Park Hopper, Water Parks, and More Ticket offer. We are also on the Dining Plan. Total damage of $2,408.

So your numbers seem kind of high to me once factoring in the upgrade from value to moderate resort, the dining plan, my one extra kid, and my trip being during regular season and yours during offseason.

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There is a lot of good info in this post and since we plan on going this December I need to get this up the list so it doesn't get the dreaded Purge..

Carry on.

If anyone has anything new to add, please do..

Right now, staying at one of the All Star Resorts on site for 7 nights is going to run us( two adults, one 8 year old child) between $2,100 to $3,000 so anything you can add to make it cheaper would be very nice.

TIA

I just returned from a trip to Disney and stayed at the All Star Movies resort. The resort itself wasn't bad, the rooms were somewhat small, but we had 3 kids. Having the buses take you everywhere was very nice.

We had the Disney dining plan that has been mentioned and I am still trying to decide if it was worth it. It was nice to not have to worry about paying for meals and they give you a ton of food. However, we never ate all of the food we ordered and had we been payinig ourselves, we would never have ordered that much to begin with. At dinner, for 2 adults and 2 5-year old kids, you get 2 appetizers, 2 entrees, 2 kids meals and 4 desserts. These bills would have been around $125-$150 (talking about Planet Hollywood and Wolfgang Pucks).

The key is the reservations at the parks. If you want to eat at the Magic Kingdom for table service, call now and get reservations, especially for character locations.

If you have extra counter meals or snacks (we had 5 days worth of meals, but were only really there 4 days because they included our travel day), you can use them for breakfast at the hotel.

On a separate note, the one thing we learned right away, was to use the fast pass option at the parks if you can. Most of the big rides have this where you can get passes for certain times, a few hours later in the day, and you don't have to wait in as long of a line. So instead of waiting 40 minutes for the jungle cruise, you can get a fast pass to go between 10:00 and 11:00 and spend the time doing other stuff until then and you only wait 5-10 minutes. I think they let you get one of these every 2 hours or so.

Thanks :thumbup: Already been reading on the fast pass and will do that as much as possible.

Did you take advantage of the Early ins/ late outs to the parks that you get for staying at the resort?

That's one of the main reason we want to stay at the resort. That and being able to go back to the hotel in the afternoon for down time before heading back for the night.

How about "Park Hopping" or is there enough to do at one park a day so as to not pay for that?

Thanks again!

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How about "Park Hopping" or is there enough to do at one park a day so as to not pay for that?

Thanks again!

We always like to finish every night at the Magic Kingdom. If not to enjoy the fireworks and night parade, then to enjoy the really short lines while the fireworks and parade are going on. So Park Hopping is a must for us.

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We (6 adults and 5 kids) are heading the last week in September this year, and have read pretty much all the threads on FBG's, and still have a question that someone may can answer. Has anyone purchased the 'Tour Guide Mike" package for like $21 and if so was it worth it??? We are going for a week and I am in charge of which day to go to which parks????

Any help would be appreciated!

TIA

TJ

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Not sure what part of December you'll be there, but Early December is usually their cheapest rates... with rates shooting up even above peak rates around Dec. 20th through New Years.

What type of passes do you have?

We are leaving in 16 days for 6 nights/7 days at the Port Orleans FQ. My wife and I plus our 9 year old daugther and 4 year old son. We are taking advantage of their Free Upgrade to Park Hopper, Water Parks, and More Ticket offer. We are also on the Dining Plan. Total damage of $2,408.

So your numbers seem kind of high to me once factoring in the upgrade from value to moderate resort, the dining plan, my one extra kid, and my trip being during regular season and yours during offseason.

Unfortunately it looks like we are going December 22nd - December 29th. The most expensive time of the year. :rant:

But Daughter has school right up to that day. May talk the wife into leaving on Weds. of that week, but that will be pushing it.

Also, we will be flying in from Minnesota so there is some of the cost.

We don't have any passes yet.. I've been hitting the web sites posted here and trying to get a good package deal(Air/Hotel/Passes). Not upgrading to a better hotel mainly because we don't plan on being there short of sleeping and Down time.

Wife & Daughter have never been to a Disney park so we will be going, going and going.

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Disney, never been and have zero interest in going.

Thanks for adding to the conversation

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Not sure what part of December you'll be there, but Early December is usually their cheapest rates... with rates shooting up even above peak rates around Dec. 20th through New Years.

What type of passes do you have?

We are leaving in 16 days for 6 nights/7 days at the Port Orleans FQ. My wife and I plus our 9 year old daugther and 4 year old son. We are taking advantage of their Free Upgrade to Park Hopper, Water Parks, and More Ticket offer. We are also on the Dining Plan. Total damage of $2,408.

So your numbers seem kind of high to me once factoring in the upgrade from value to moderate resort, the dining plan, my one extra kid, and my trip being during regular season and yours during offseason.

Unfortunately it looks like we are going December 22nd - December 29th. The most expensive time of the year. :rant:

But Daughter has school right up to that day. May talk the wife into leaving on Weds. of that week, but that will be pushing it.

Also, we will be flying in from Minnesota so there is some of the cost.

We don't have any passes yet.. I've been hitting the web sites posted here and trying to get a good package deal(Air/Hotel/Passes). Not upgrading to a better hotel mainly because we don't plan on being there short of sleeping and Down time.

Wife & Daughter have never been to a Disney park so we will be going, going and going.

Ahhhhh... that explains the pricing. You'll be there in super peak price season. Man the crowds are gonna stink too. Good Luck my man.

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Disney, never been and have zero interest in going.

Perfect thread for you to be in then. :rolleyes:

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We (6 adults and 5 kids) are heading the last week in September this year, and have read pretty much all the threads on FBG's, and still have a question that someone may can answer. Has anyone purchased the 'Tour Guide Mike" package for like $21 and if so was it worth it??? We are going for a week and I am in charge of which day to go to which parks????

Any help would be appreciated!

TIA

TJ

Depends on what kind of information you are looking for. What do you want to know?

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our trip in Sept cost about $4500 for 4 days.

I went there about 3 years ago with my now wife. We spent 7 days at the all star movies resort in disney, airfare, and meal plan, plus unlimited use of all the parks it ran about 1400 dollors. You must be a big spender. I prb spent a few more hundred on a few resturants that wern't involved in the meal plan and gifts for family. Edited by mchaps55

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Thanks :thumbup: Already been reading on the fast pass and will do that as much as possible.

Did you take advantage of the Early ins/ late outs to the parks that you get for staying at the resort?

That's one of the main reason we want to stay at the resort. That and being able to go back to the hotel in the afternoon for down time before heading back for the night.

How about "Park Hopping" or is there enough to do at one park a day so as to not pay for that?

Thanks again!

We did not take advantage of the "Extra Magic Hours", but only because we have little children and there was no way we were going to get to the parks by 7am or stay at night until 1am. Just make sure to check which park on which day is offering them, because it varies by the week. Some of them have them earlier in the morning, others later at night.

We had planned on leaving the park in the afternoon's to go rest a little, but to be honest, we never did that. By the time you catch a bus and get back to the hotel and then catch another bus back to the park, that is an hour right there. What we did do was take one day off from the parks. We went to a park on Sunday and Monday, lounged around the pool and Downtown Disney on Tuesday, back at a park on Wednesday.

Lastly, we did not do the park hopping. There was plenty for us to do at each park. The first day at Magic Kingdom we only made it through half of the park. Of course, had we known more about the fast pass and reservations, we probably could have done more. Our second day was Animal Kingdom. This closed at 5pm, so it would have been nice to have the park hopper this day. Instead, we just went to Downtown Disney for dinner then back to the resort. Our last day was back at the Magic Kingdom and we did everything we missed the first day and did repeats of what everyone liked the first time.

One more thing to mention, not knowing how old the children will be. There were some things that scared my kids more than I thought they would. If they don't like 3-D shows, stay away from Mickey's PhilharMagic. At the Animal Kingdom, they have a great live show about the Lion King, but it is loud and one part of it is the "bad" guy with thunder and lightning. The last thing was the Enchanted Tiki room at Magic Kingdom. This is the one with the talking birds. It also has a part with thunder and lightning and is supposed to be the bad guy. Granted, my kids are 5, so this might not be a problem for you.

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Disney, never been and have zero interest in going.

Perfect thread for you to be in then. :rolleyes:

:goodposting:

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We (6 adults and 5 kids) are heading the last week in September this year, and have read pretty much all the threads on FBG's, and still have a question that someone may can answer. Has anyone purchased the 'Tour Guide Mike" package for like $21 and if so was it worth it??? We are going for a week and I am in charge of which day to go to which parks????

Any help would be appreciated!

TIA

TJ

Depends on what kind of information you are looking for. What do you want to know?

I guess mainly are the sample plans for the parks, the best day to go to this park, the best time to ride this ride, type thing!

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Thanks :thumbup: Already been reading on the fast pass and will do that as much as possible.

Did you take advantage of the Early ins/ late outs to the parks that you get for staying at the resort?

That's one of the main reason we want to stay at the resort. That and being able to go back to the hotel in the afternoon for down time before heading back for the night.

How about "Park Hopping" or is there enough to do at one park a day so as to not pay for that?

Thanks again!

We did not take advantage of the "Extra Magic Hours", but only because we have little children and there was no way we were going to get to the parks by 7am or stay at night until 1am. Just make sure to check which park on which day is offering them, because it varies by the week. Some of them have them earlier in the morning, others later at night.

We had planned on leaving the park in the afternoon's to go rest a little, but to be honest, we never did that. By the time you catch a bus and get back to the hotel and then catch another bus back to the park, that is an hour right there. What we did do was take one day off from the parks. We went to a park on Sunday and Monday, lounged around the pool and Downtown Disney on Tuesday, back at a park on Wednesday.

Lastly, we did not do the park hopping. There was plenty for us to do at each park. The first day at Magic Kingdom we only made it through half of the park. Of course, had we known more about the fast pass and reservations, we probably could have done more. Our second day was Animal Kingdom. This closed at 5pm, so it would have been nice to have the park hopper this day. Instead, we just went to Downtown Disney for dinner then back to the resort. Our last day was back at the Magic Kingdom and we did everything we missed the first day and did repeats of what everyone liked the first time.

One more thing to mention, not knowing how old the children will be. There were some things that scared my kids more than I thought they would. If they don't like 3-D shows, stay away from Mickey's PhilharMagic. At the Animal Kingdom, they have a great live show about the Lion King, but it is loud and one part of it is the "bad" guy with thunder and lightning. The last thing was the Enchanted Tiki room at Magic Kingdom. This is the one with the talking birds. It also has a part with thunder and lightning and is supposed to be the bad guy. Granted, my kids are 5, so this might not be a problem for you.

Thanks for the answers.

Daughter will be 8 and currently shows no fears of loud noises or scary movies. She wanted me to take her into a haunted house last year but I told her she needed to wait at least another year so Disney worlds "Haunted House" will be a good start.

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our trip in Sept cost about $4500 for 4 days.

I went there about 3 years ago with my now wife. We spent 7 days at the all star movies resort in disney, airfare, and meal plan, plus unlimited use of all the parks it ran about 1400 dollors. You must be a big spender. I prb spent a few more hundred on a few resturants that wern't involved in the meal plan and gifts for family.

We're going this weekend - 2 adults 2 children, 7 days at the All-Star Movies resort, park hopper tickets and dining plan for about $2100. (no airfare - we're driving).

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We (6 adults and 5 kids) are heading the last week in September this year, and have read pretty much all the threads on FBG's, and still have a question that someone may can answer. Has anyone purchased the 'Tour Guide Mike" package for like $21 and if so was it worth it??? We are going for a week and I am in charge of which day to go to which parks????

Any help would be appreciated!

TIA

TJ

Depends on what kind of information you are looking for. What do you want to know?

I guess mainly are the sample plans for the parks, the best day to go to this park, the best time to ride this ride, type thing!

OK. If you expect to just punch in your information and for it to spit you out a printable itenirary... that ain't gonna happen. It's pretty much the advice you can get from any book.... Get to the parks before they open, use fast pass, blah blah blah.

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Just got back on Saturday and we had a great time. Me, my wife, my 7-year old daughter and my mom. I did a lot of research and here's some tips:

1) Jet Blue

2) Don't bother getting park-hopper passes. They were $120 extra and there was no need for the option whatsoever. We were exhausted enough without going from park to park in one day

3) Universal Studios stunk. Your 5-year old will love Islands of Adventure. I would only get a 1-day pass and go there.

4) tourguidemike.com. Tips and tricks from a VIP tour guide. The site even gives you an intenirary. This guy nailed everything on the nose. The longest I had to wait in line the whole time was 15 minutes for the Dumbo ride. This is the best money you will spend the whole trip. His advice is worth 10x what he charges. I can't emphasize enough that you should go here.

Hit me back at mmuro@optonline.net if you have ANY other questions...

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What we did do was take one day off from the parks. We went to a park on Sunday and Monday, lounged around the pool and Downtown Disney on Tuesday, back at a park on Wednesday.

I've been to Disney three different times over the years and strongly recommend this idea. It makes everything more enjoyable to go to the park for two days, take a day off to just relax and lounge about, and then go back to the park for two more days. Without the day off, you get a little burnt out.

Some other recommendations I have:

Make sure to hit the Animal Kingdom safari early in the day. Preferably, get to the park before the gates open so you can be in line when they do. Go to the safari the first thing. The animals are out and about a lot more in the early morning than they are at anytime during the day.

The best end-of-the-day shows are the ones at the Magic Kingdom and Epcot.

Use the FastPass, makes getting into the popular rides much easier.

Soarin is a MUST. Absolutely outstanding ride at Epcot.

My family and I also like to mix in a show regularly throughout the day to give everyone a rest and sit down for alittle bit. Keeps everyone in a better mood and makes the day more enjoyable.

Other than that, just have FUN. Enjoy the time with the family and make a lot of great memories, I'm sure you will.

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i'm going july 7 - 16...

7-13 staying at the peabody, but not sure what to do the rest of the time..

suggestions appreciated...

kids are 5 and 3

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I guess mainly are the sample plans for the parks, the best day to go to this park, the best time to ride this ride, type thing!

see my post (#117) above for a link to Touring Plans.

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Got any friends or family that live in Florida? Florida residents get discounts on the tickets for the attractions.

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Guest CrossEyed

i'm going july 7 - 16...

7-13 staying at the peabody, but not sure what to do the rest of the time..

suggestions appreciated...

kids are 5 and 3

Wait about 4-5 years. Everyone will have a much better time

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I'm travelling there with a family of 4 (kids are 7 and 11) at the end of May.

A few people have been to Pop Century, how was it? Better, worse or no different from the other value resorts? We're considering getting adjoining rooms. All Star Music is opening family suites but not til the week after we leave. Are they really noisy and cramped? I'd like to save the $$ but I'm having trouble committing to the value thing.

Other consideration is a moderate, but I'm not sure it's worth the money. Then we'd likely just get a single room. Disney rooms are SO SMALL. Everything else we've looked at is $300+ per night. :angry:

Last time we went down we rented a condo and had tons of space. We decided to do the full Disney experience this time, heaven help us.

We love Pop. The problem with All-Stars compared to Pop is that in All-Stars the buses to parks alternate between one bus per hotel, to one bus for the whole thing that stops at every bus stop. You could be on the bus for over a half an hour while it makes all the stops.

Pop is only one stop. It's also very close to Downtown and Epcot.

The rooms are small, but nice. If yo have kids and the cleaning crew notices them (by toys out or a crib in the room) at least once during your stay the cleaning crew will take all the toys that are out in the room and decorate the window in your room with a Disney window display with stickers and towels folded like Mickey and other things. It's really neat.

The food in the PopCentury cafateria is, I think, better then any of the All Stars.

At Pop there is also a walk of history around the place that you can take. There are signs on the walkway with historic moments of the 20th century. There is a big foosball table that you walk through - cool stuff like that.

We stayed at Pop this past April and loved it. We also stayed at the Coronado Springs Resort (a moderate) later in the week and HATED it. What a waste of money.

Pop was a much more fun atmosphere, had that "Disney" feeling, and was a way better value. The food court was better and far more convenient too. We'll stay at the Pop from here on out, just a great atmosphere and fun resort for families.

Edited by Preds

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Got any friends or family that live in Florida? Florida residents get discounts on the tickets for the attractions.

They check for Florida ID's at the gates for any florida resident discounted tickets.

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Just got back on Saturday and we had a great time. Me, my wife, my 7-year old daughter and my mom. I did a lot of research and here's some tips:

1) Jet Blue

2) Don't bother getting park-hopper passes. They were $120 extra and there was no need for the option whatsoever. We were exhausted enough without going from park to park in one day

3) Universal Studios stunk. Your 5-year old will love Islands of Adventure. I would only get a 1-day pass and go there.

4) tourguidemike.com. Tips and tricks from a VIP tour guide. The site even gives you an intenirary. This guy nailed everything on the nose. The longest I had to wait in line the whole time was 15 minutes for the Dumbo ride. This is the best money you will spend the whole trip. His advice is worth 10x what he charges. I can't emphasize enough that you should go here.

Hit me back at mmuro@optonline.net if you have ANY other questions...

I was less than impressed with tourguidmike for easter break last month. Personally I think his site is information overload that is poorly organized and doesn't deliver fully on what he promises. Most of his "advice" is common sense. I wouldn't pay for it again, but thats my 2cents.

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We just went for a week at the end of April. Stayed at Pop again.

I know people have very different tastes and different ideas about what a vacation down there is like, but for me some of the info on here would just never work.

Anyway, I've probably been there more then most people on this board, so if you want to ask any questions that haven't been answered yet, I'll do my best and get my wife to chime in as well - she really is magic with that place with the deals she finds.

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I was less than impressed with tourguidmike for easter break last month. Personally I think his site is information overload that is poorly organized and doesn't deliver fully on what he promises. Most of his "advice" is common sense. I wouldn't pay for it again, but thats my 2cents.

I agree with this. If you want to spend 20 bucks on planning for your trip, get a nice book. It'll give you the same plus more information in a much nicer presentation.

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We (6 adults and 5 kids) are heading the last week in September this year, and have read pretty much all the threads on FBG's, and still have a question that someone may can answer. Has anyone purchased the 'Tour Guide Mike" package for like $21 and if so was it worth it??? We are going for a week and I am in charge of which day to go to which parks????

Any help would be appreciated!

TIA

TJ

Depends on what kind of information you are looking for. What do you want to know?

I guess mainly are the sample plans for the parks, the best day to go to this park, the best time to ride this ride, type thing!

Arrive at the park gates (not the parking lots) early (15-30 minutes before opening), hit the big attractions 1st, don't waste time for character pictures, or site seeing, do that later in the day while people are standing in lines.

In the early morning, hit the most popular attractions before the line builds (Magic Kingdom=Space Mountain, Dumbo, etc.; EPCOT=Soarin and Test Track; Animal Kingdom=Expedition Everest (great ride) and the Safari, MGM=Rockin Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror), also get fast passes whenever you can to the most popular attractions, if you want to ride twice, get fast passes, and jump in line right after while the lines are short. Avoid parks that have Extra Magic Hours like the plague, especially at peak seasons, as Disney resorts can pack the parks like no others on these days. If a park had EMH evening hours the night before, it is probably a good choice the next morning. Look at the EMH schedules and plan your park visits to avoid them. EMH morning hours are only OK if you have no better alternative, Magic Kindom in particular isn't a bad spot for the morning EMH.

Vacate the parks by early afternoon when they get packed, chill at your resort and relax for a few hours, and return in the evening for a show or fireworks. Repeat next day or take a break at your resort. Avoid late evenings followed by early mornings.

It's all pretty much common sense, just think what most people will be doing and consider your options.

I pretty much did the above in 2005 for Presidents week based on reading DISboards and it worked great. Also for the most part did it this past Easter Break, but it wasn't as succesfull, since all 4 parks had record crowds. Still a good base plan to follow.

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