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Travel & Vacations Family travel and vacation ideas, fun activities, movie night, game nights, plenty of ideas for fun and relaxation.

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Old 10-01-2002, 10:26 AM
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First Disney Vacation

We are planning our first trip to Disney World with our two children ages 7 and 5. We are very excited! Can you give me any tips on the 'must haves', and the 'must see's', and the things I shouldn't leave home without. And also some money saving tips if they exist.
Thanks
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Old 10-07-2002, 02:14 AM
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Pinkie Winky

When we went I purchased a book about how to see everything in just 3 days. We did it and it was exhausting--more days would have been better. I can't remember the title of the book (I lent it and lost it).
The best things we liked were: when you ride the monorail from Epcot to DW, go stand in the very front part and be willing to wait a trip or two and you can ride in the cab where the driver is--really neat! and when you get to DW, the first thing you do is go into the city hall and get tickets for the luncheon in the Western town...I cna't remember the name. They give the tickets for free. You have to be in line just prior to your time on the ticket. You pay for lunch--a sandwich, a dessert and a drink--and while you eat, you watch a dance hall extravaganza. It wasn't over the kids heads or offensive in anyway (my opnion). It kept us out of the heat in the middle of the day and was one of the cheapest meals we had there.
The next thing to know is that the cheapest cafe is between Space Mountain and the tea cup ride on the left. Again, they have several shows there each day with Disney characters--if you plan it right, you can sit, eat and watch.
We als found out that you could go to the head of the line in Space Mountain if you were willing to not ride together. They hae couples who want to ride together and there is one seat extra, so they ask if anyone wants to ride alone--my son leaped for the chance and was bodily passed over 5 rows of people by the men in rows. My husband was waiting at the end to pick us up, I took the next opening and crawled through the rails to the front of the line. Not elegant, but it beats the wait.
The tiki birds and the bear music thing are both wonderful. The submarine ride is cramped and old fashioned--good in the afternoon to get out of the sun.
At Epcot, all the rides were good--especially the Mexican and Norway. We took the boat across to France and bought a dessert apiece--took them outside and cut them up 4 ways, so we could try them all. Be sure and go the the Americanna Film and Canada--both are really good. So is the underwater aquarium. The cheapest place to eat there is the restaurant just before Mexico as you come into the park. We thought this was the best of all the parks. (I hyped it a lot before arrival.)
At the other park, the things worth seeing are Little Mermaid. Indiana Jones and the Great Muppet Caper. You can catch a bus at Epcot and go there for the afternoon and just see the things you want to see.
We did DW the first day, Epcot the second and Epcot the AM of the third and the other park until closing. We caught the last of the buses back to Epcot to get our car.
Also, we stayed off site at a place that had free continental breakfasts one time and at a place with a kitchen another time. The kitchen was the best.
Hope that helps.
Di
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Old 10-07-2002, 03:45 AM
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I'm jealous-- Never been myself, but have several friends who have. They suggested to get reservations to have breakfast with one of the Disney caricatures (sp). And make sure to bring a back pack with bottled water. After you finish your water, there are many places that you can re-fill them. This will save alot of money as the drinks are expensive and will add up. With the money that you save on drinks, you could buy t-shirts or something materialistic that you'll beable to remember the trip. Who's going to remember what they drank all day? LOL They also stayed outside the part. Said get be the first there and the last to leave. Also, they said that the fire works are fantastic. If your going for Halloween, bring costumes. I beleave that they said you get into the park for free if you do. You'll have to check into this. Go into Disney web site. They may have more suggestions and who knows, maybe some discount coupons to print and bring with you.

Well, hope this helps and enjoy yourselves!!!!

Still jealous
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Old 10-07-2002, 06:01 AM
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I belong to a WONDERFUL Disney online message board/list. You'll learn so much from this list! If you're interested, it's www.disneydollarless.com

As far as getting into the park for free if you wear Halloween costumes, sorry, but that's not true. They do host a Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party for after-hours, but it's a whole seperate ticket.

ºoº We've been to Walt Disney World 11 times so far! Going back for Christmas 2003!
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Old 10-07-2002, 01:05 PM
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1st disney vacation

We went for our first time last November. It was so much fun!!! We were on a tight budget too. We stayed at a Days Inn Suites just a mile outside the park (we had a kitchenette, living room area, bath and bedroom with 2 full/queen beds). It wasn't fancy by any stretch of the imagination, but it was only $59 a night. We could put our 5 year old to bed at a reasonable time, and not have to go to bed with her. Also, we opted to drive to the parks instead of the hotel shuttle, so we would have the flexibility to stay as late or not as we wanted. BEfore going, we got a book from our public library called "An Insider's Guide to Disney World" or something close to that. It really helped us plan our 3 days so we got maximum value for our time. Because we had a kitchen, we bought food at a local supermarket the afternoon we arrived, and ate our breakfast in the hotel. We also took snacks and bottled water in a backpack with us each day. By having a late breakfast, and then eating an early dinner at one of the restaurants in the park, we kept our meal expenses down. We made reservations for the character dinner at the Liberty Tree Tavern in the Magic Kingdom. It was fun, plus it is served family style, all you can eat, so was a great deal! We spent 1 day at Magic Kingdom, the next morning at Animal Kingdom, back to Magic Kingdom for the afternoon/evening, and MGM Studios on day 3. With the park hopper pass we could go back and forth like that. Because of the age of our daughter (5), we opted to skip Epcot this time and concentrate on the parks she would enjoy more (translate as ones with princesses) and save Epcot for the next time we go in 5 years or so. Hope that has helped some. What time of year are you planning to go? That will affect you plans also. Have fun! It is an amazing experience.

Jane
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Old 10-07-2002, 01:35 PM
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Thanks Jane, and everyone else too.
We leave next week. October 17th. and we too are staying off site. We have a kitchenette in our room and will take full advantage of that, by stopping for groceries at some point our first day. I am thinking of going to Blizzard Beach, anyone know anything about that? We will get the park hopper pass as well, but I guess there is a park hopper plus pass that allows you entry into a water park, for an additional fee.
Thanks for all your tips, gals.
Diane
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Old 10-09-2002, 12:19 PM
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my son and i were at disney two years ago this month. we stayed onsite at the all star sports motel and used the disney bus system and found it was great, no need to rent a car. he was 10 at the time and we tried to do and see as much as possible in 4 and a half days, we went to epcot but did not go back to the countries, "too boring" according to my son. we skipped MGM studios in favor of Blizzard Beach which was a good idea, we were both exhaused from running all over magic kingdom, animal kingdom and epcot. we spent the day at blizzard beach then the evening at epcot. we actually did two evenings at epcot, first after the animal kingdom and then after blizzard beach. there was an area at blizzard beach when i sat and could see him on the various watch slides and things for little kids which was great, he loved it. we went on all the other water slides and things together. don't forget to play minature golf at blizzard beach, we played the winterpark golf, they also have summertime golf. at winterpark the snowman golf obstacles squirted water and it was just fun. we had an afternoon flight home and were able to go back once more to epcot to play some of the computer games and see one of the pavillions we didn't have a chance to on one of our previous days. definately was a great trip. can't wait to go back but i would add one more day to just hang out by the pool and relax. my son't only complaint was we didn't have enough time for the fun pools at the resort.
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Old 10-10-2002, 09:07 AM
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Mouse Savers

I'm hoping to go in 2003. A friend told me about www.mousesavers.com. It has some great info as well as discount info and newsletters.

Say hi to Mickey for me
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Old 10-11-2002, 01:19 PM
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Disney World Vacation

Everyone has such good ideas. When I went to Disney and took my daughter (5 at the time), she said the "best" parts were 1) the swimming pool at the hotel, and 2) the Cinderella carousel -- LOL!!! So remember that what YOU think is great is different than your child's idea.

Try to plan "downtime" everyday -- the pools are full of kids in the afternoon because they just can't keep going all day. Try to get a book from the library that gives you "the best of" ideas, focus on your family's interests (i.e., my daughter loves dolphins so we also included a trip to Discovery Cove to swim with the dolphins -- very expensive two years ago at $200.00 per person per day -- but when she was 8, it was the "best" part of the trip for her), and don't overplan yourself!!!

I made a calendar on the computer and tried to plan everything we wanted to do for each day. We were there 10 days and still didn't have enough time for everything -- be prepared not to get to all of the parks and all of the attractions. Make reservations for specials, such as character meals, well in advance.

As for the water parks, we went to Typhoon Lagoon and just loved it. Blizzard Beach was too rough for our bad backs! Have fun.
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Old 10-16-2002, 10:53 AM
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We have been several times and really loved it. I would have several recommendations.

-Go off season. The guidebooks will tell you when.

-Go twice a day. Pull into the parking lot 45 minutes before opening time. Stay til noon or one. Get food on the way back to the motel for a swim and a nap. Come back about 4:00 and walk into less croweded park passing all the poor tired people with screaming kids who tried to stay all day. Stay late and don't miss the fireworks.

-Be flexible and learn to spot a short line. So what if you are headed for Dumbo. If you pass the Pirates of the Carribean and the line is short JUMP IN!

-Don't be afraid to ask for anything! I was amazed at what the kids asked for and got. To go around again when the line was short. To sit at the best tables.

-Buy 'souveniers' before you go. Sounds a little weird but local stores carry a lot of Disney merchandise (virtually the same stuff) at a fraction of the cost. Shop ahead. Give it to the kids when you get there. They will be just a thrilled and you will save big bucks.

Have fun!
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