Planning a Trip to Disney: 12 Common Questions

Posted by Fodor's Community Members on August 26, 2009 at 5:21:59 PM EDT | Post a Comment
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The magical world of Disney can be an overwhelmingly complex place. Meal plans? Park hopper passes? On-site resorts? Luckily, our members know a thing or two about making the most of a visit to the Mouse. Here are some of the questions that crop up most often, paired with answers from our community.

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"Where can I find the best suites in Orlando for families?"

"Just reporting back on the Doubletree Suites... we thought it was great -- it was very nice, had everything we needed and inexpensive ($113 for a suite with two beds and pullout sofa). Yes, the breakfast buffet was totally overpriced ($15 for adults, $8 for children), but the room was very nice (microwave, mini fridge, 2 flat screen TVs, pull-out Queen sofa) and the hotel was convenient in that it had a small 'grocery' store inside (snacks, milk & cereal, microwaveable food, etc.) and the restaurant was very kid-friendly. The staff was helpful and friendly. It was only about a 10 minute drive in to Magic Kingdom." -- CarolM | View all responses

"We've been to Disney many times; what's something 'off the beaten path' that you recommend at the parks?"

"Have you ever done a Segway Tour at Epcot? That was the most fun we've ever had at WDW." -- mikesmom | View all responses

"Where should we eat at Disney to celebrate a special occasion?"

"If you want to wow her try and get a table at California Grill at the Contemporary. It sits atop the Contemporary resort if you can get a table at night when the Magic Kingdom's fireworks are going of you will get a great view from your table." -- Bon_Bon | View all responses

"What do we do if it rains during our Disney trip?"

"First, buy some rain ponchos before you get to the park and pack them in a backpack or bag; you can buy them in the parks but they will easily cost double or triple. If it rains, just put them on keep on truckin' (we did just that a week ago!). Here's the downside...you won't see the fireworks or parades due to inclement weather. Here's the upside: crowds tend to disappear when it rains, lines are much shorter, getting into restaurants is much easier." -- cmeyer54 | View all responses

"What character meal do you recommend?"

"As far as character meals go Chef Mickey's at Disney's Contemporary Resort has the 'Fab 5', a wonderful breakfast, and is conveniently located near the Magic Kingdom so you can dine with Mickey, hop on the monorail and be in the MK in a matter of minutes. A wonderful alternative that is often overlooked is the character breakfast at the Cape May Cafe in the Beach Club. The buffet is wonderful, and because few people know about it, you get more time at the tables with characters like Goofy, Minnie and Chip and Dale Crystal Palace in the MK is another great choice for breakfast, lunch or dinner (Pooh and friends)." -- WDW_RadioShow | View all responses

"What age is the best for a child's first trip to Disney World?"

"We took ours at 4 and 5. For us, the big issue was that everyone was potty trained and no longer needed an afternoon nap. We ended up coming back to the hotel each afternoon for a short rest anyway but that allowed us to go later at night. There were rides the kids couldn't or didn't want to go on but there was a ton for them to do. We look forward to going back in a couple years when they are older and doing a different mix of rides and maybe even some of the water parks. " -- taitai | View all responses

"Does anyone have any suggestions for affordable family suites on Disney property?"

"Another option we considered were the 'villas' at Fort Wilderness (not the Wilderness Lodge). Seemed like the best value, gave you some room plus outdoor space which will come in handy with the 5 and 3 year old. Plus Ft. Wilderness has lots of cute activities like the campfire with Chip and Dale." -- boyney | View all responses

"Is Disney so popular at Thanksgiving that we'll just be frustrated by the crowds?"

"We went to WDW last Thanksgiving with our older grandsons 6 and 11. It was definitely packed and lines were fairly long, but in all fairness, it wasn't too bad. Staying on the monorail is smart too. Just go as early in the day as possible - afternoons get the busiest of course. Just take a deep breath and jump in. For one who does not like the Florida heat, I thought it was a perfect time of the year to be outdoors." -- fasttrips | View all responses

"How's this itinerary for a family traveling to Disney without park hopper passes?"

"We went to WDW last Thanksgiving with our older grandsons 6 and 11. It was definitely packed and lines were fairly long, but in all fairness, it wasn't too bad. Staying on the monorail is smart too. Just go as early in the day as possible - afternoons get the busiest of course. Just take a deep breath and jump in. For one who does not like the Florida heat, I thought it was a perfect time of the year to be outdoors." -- fasttrips | View all responses

"Do we need to make restaurant reservations at Disney if we have the meal plan?"

"Those restaurants are very good and very popular. They do require reservations as far ahead as possible. However, there are other restaurants that do not require such reservations, so you won't starve. You could always get on the waiting list for Artist Point and/or California Grill and just get in a little later whenever a table opens. But, as padams421 says, call Disney NOW!" -- Orlando_Vic | View all responses

"What's the best on-site resort for families traveling with young children and toddlers?"

"I would go with Polynesian or the Grand Floridian for proximity to Magic Kingdom and on the Monorail. The Yacht & Beach Club isn't on the Monorail." -- tchoiniere | View all responses

"Is a stay at the Animal Kingdom Lodge worth the extra money?"

"Your kids will be excited about seeing the animals from their room but how long that excitement will last depends on how animal crazy your kids are. I have nephews that would want to just stay at the Animal Kingdom Lodge to see the animals, and skip the parks. When we stayed at Animal Kingdom Lodge, my sons liked seeing the animals out of our window whenever we were in the room but in the time it takes you to read this post, they were ready to leave for the parks. You know your kids best." -- padams421| View all responses

Photo credit: © Walt Disney World

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