Get me excited about DisneyWorld

Old Apr 25th, 2006, 12:06 PM
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Get me excited about DisneyWorld

I like Cedar Point amusement park. I love travel: Chicago, San Francisco, Key West, San Diego, Montana, Charleston, New York,Jersey Shore etc. I had a great time in Pittsburgh.
I'm not that hard to please.

In May I have to go to DisneyWorld and meet my 23 yo daughter there for her dream-come-true 5 day vacation. I've gone to Mouseboards, talked to friends, and it all seems terribly confusing and requires lots of planning and I am just not enthused. Can anyone help me get "up" for this trip?
eileenleft is offline  
Old Apr 25th, 2006, 12:16 PM
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Can I make this as easy on you as possible? Go to a bookstore and buy a copy of the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World. Do not read it. Go to the back and cut out the touring plan for adults. Draw a line through any attraction that doesn't interest you and just follow their order of events. It is really that easy.

Are you staying at a Disney resort? If so, you might want to take advantage of the Extra Magic Hours (EMH) if the parks aren't terribly crowded. If they are crowded, check the EMH park and go to some other park. Disney has 30,000 rooms - encouraging that many people to head to one location at the same time means big crowds. You'll benefit more by going to another park with lower crowds.

Once you get there, get the entertainment times schedule. Disney has some great live entertainment. Also, Epcot's World Showcase can feel like Epcot's World of Giftshops if you don't know when the entertainment is.

Get to the parks a little before opening and hit these first, if you are interested in them: Magic Kingdom - Space Mountain or Splash Mountain. MGM Studios - grab a Tower of Terror fast pass as you hurry over to Rockin' Rollercoaster. Animal Kingdom - Expedition Everest is brand new, go ride it immediately or get your fast pass if the line is too long. Epcot - go straight to Sourin'. Both Sourin' & Expedition Everest often run out of fast passes by late morning or early afternoon.

Final tip - MGM Studios: try to hit Star Tours DURING the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular. It can get crowded just before and just after a show.

ajcolorado is offline  
Old Apr 25th, 2006, 12:29 PM
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Even better is Birbaum's Disney for Adults book-it has restaurant reviews, adult activities, etc. My husband and I have taken 3 trips to WDW without kids and love it. May is the EPCOT flower show-go on the website and see if any of the free presentations or concerts interest you. Use the Fastpasses for the big rides and the best advice is DON'T try to pack everything in on your first visit. You'll have a great time.

Post back if you have any specific questions.
swalter518 is offline  
Old Apr 25th, 2006, 12:50 PM
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Go to If the regular posters there can't get you excited about WDW, then there's no hope for you.
nina is offline  
Old Apr 25th, 2006, 12:58 PM
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I love the disboards but I'm afraid that those are the ones that have eileenleft so weary. You have to admit that they're fanatics over there.

ajcolorado is offline  
Old Apr 25th, 2006, 12:59 PM
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May is a great time to go and your daughter will be so excited, you will have a great time.

One of the funniest trip reports ever posted on Fodors was one reporting on a trip to Disneyworld--it won't get you excited, but it will make you laugh--if you can find it.
LindainOhio is offline  
Old Apr 25th, 2006, 01:00 PM
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eileen, it isn't that Disney requires so much planning it is just that the Disnuts love to overplan.

Agree with unless that is the board that put you in a tizzy.

Basically, there are four parks at Disney:

The Magic Kingdom (the original)
Epcot (adult fun)
MGM (more thrill rides)
Animal Kingdom

Aside from the above there are also shopping and dining venues, water parks, a sports complex, Disneyquest and lots of other stuff I'm leaving out along with 25,000 hotel rooms.

Disney is its own city. They generate their own utilities, water, police, fire, maintain their own roads etc.

It is a massive place and I agree with the above, get a guidebook so you can check out a map.
Old Apr 25th, 2006, 01:12 PM
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My family has been to DisneyWorld many times - it is everyone's favorite destination (except me). The last time we went we did something we had not done before and as a less than enthusiastic park-goer, you might find it fun, too. When we went to the World Showcase at Epcot, we "ate around the world". We started with churros and margaritas in Mexico and ate something at every world showcase, food cart, or whatever that we came to. We had a blast, it took a while and was leisurely paced, and we learned a lot about what the cuisine is in the different countries. We finished up with Fish and Chips in England. And I have to tell you, even though I had rather be on just about any beach than at Disney World, I love Soarin', Mission Space, Rockin' Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror and Space Mountain. STAY AWAY FROM DOWNTOWN DISNEY. It is the most crowded, congested, obnoxious place in Florida. I hated every minute of it and you can shop in all of the parks; you don't have to go there. I agree with getting either one of the Disney guides - unofficial or official, we have used both. The touring plans make everything much easier. Relax - you'll have fun whether you plan every minute or wing it and if you go now, maybe you won't have to go back!
TexasJill is offline  
Old Apr 25th, 2006, 01:22 PM
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This is great! Thank you. Yes, it's the disboards that put me over the top-I can navigate NYC but am blown away by Disney. Thanks for the perspective.
eileenleft is offline  
Old Apr 25th, 2006, 01:22 PM
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In my opinion, 2 things make people insane about WDW. First, the competitive nature of past visitors - who saw the most things in the least time. There is no way to see everything, nor would you likely want to. If you are frantically running from ride to ride and park to park, like some sort of sick Amazing Race stunt, you will need a vacation when you get home. It really is OK to sit on a bench, people watch, or (gasp!), even sleep late and sit by the hotel pool.

Second, the overkill of it all. By the end of a trip, I am a little weary of characters, cutesy, hotdogs, and whining kids. So again, following rule #1 - don't get sucked into the excess of it all. Stroll thru Epcot. Have a nice meal at one of the restaurants. If you see a crowd racing in one direction (probably for a photo op with a character), go the other way for an enjoyable and slightly less crowded area.

Read a little about each Park, pick which ones most appeal to you, get a map, and wander in a semi-organized fashion. If there is one ride or attraction that really interests you, head there first. People plan independent safaris with less angst than planning a WDW trip. It can all be fun, without going with a checklist.
gail is offline  
Old Apr 25th, 2006, 01:43 PM
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Eileen, you're getting a lot of good advice here. As someone who lives near Orlando, I've escorted countless relatives and friends through the parks - imagine how hard it is for me to get enthusiastic! But I do, because my guests are having so much fun (in my 7 year old niece's phrase: "I think this is the happiest day of my life.").

So, grab a touring plan from the Unofficial Guide, pack your comfy-est shoes, bring the sunscreen, and RELAX. As Gail says, you don't get a prize for getting on the most attractions and there's no trophy for fewest minutes spent in line, so just go with flow and enjoy.

And here's my big bit of advice: there's much more to the area than the Mouse. Winter Park (just north of Orlando) is a lovely town with a museum (Charles Hosmer Morse museum) filled with lovely Tiffany windows, lamps, jewelry, and pottery. Great restaurants, shopping, and a lovely boat ride through a chain of lakes. It's very relaxing and authentically Central Florida.

And yes, just chilling out by your hotel pool works too. ;-)
dsquared is offline  
Old Apr 25th, 2006, 02:07 PM
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Okay, maybe for an 8-12 year old, but it's a little surprising to read that a trip to WDW is your 23-year-old's dream-come-true vacation. So I like TexasJill's idea. Maybe Epcot's World Showcase would put a different dream destination in her head.
beachbum is offline  
Old Apr 25th, 2006, 02:10 PM
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Okay, I admit that I'm one of those compulsive over-planners on the DISboards. But here's a new idea: go to and read the restaurant menus. Choose the ones that sound great to you and make reservations. Arrive at a park 30 minutes before park opening. Do "commando" touring with an unofficial guide or Tour Guide Mike touring plan ... grab one final fast pass then then stop for a terrific lunch...they serve alcohol at all parks except the Magic Kingdom. After lunch, use your fast pass, then leave the park or do some shopping; get some rest and then come out again in the evening for dinner.
missypie is offline  
Old Apr 25th, 2006, 02:21 PM
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I don't think I made my ponit very well in my last post. My point is: You trip will be SO much nicer and more relaxing if you schedule at least one (if not 2) "sit down" meals a day.

When we went to Disneyland 3 years ago, I was pretty budget conscious and aside from a few character meals (which are decidely NOT relaxing) we ate fast food. I was so sick of beige food and was totally craving vegatables.

I knew that I'd never make it through a 10 day trip to Disneyworld that way. I scheduled at least one sit down meal a day. It was nice to "chill", have some wine, rest away from the crowds, etc.
missypie is offline  
Old Apr 25th, 2006, 02:29 PM
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Don't over do it in planning. Disney is supposed to be about fun. Get a guidebook or check their website and decide what you want to do. Keep it simple.

Don't overdo it when you get there. You'll end up hating every minute of the trip and will vow never to go back!

Do not spend all your time stalking Minnie. That girl gets around!!

Always leave time to take at least one picture with Goofy!!!
JAGIRL is offline  
Old Apr 25th, 2006, 03:00 PM
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If it all gets too much, take a side trip to Gatorland in Orlando. It is one of the most hysterically tacky places in the country - including entering thru a giant plaster gator mouth and a show several times/day where the gators jump for raw chicken strung across their pond on a clothesline. About as anti-Mickey as you can get.

gail is offline  
Old Apr 25th, 2006, 07:36 PM
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After living in Orlando for 18 years, my only advice is to bring lots and lots of money!
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Old Apr 26th, 2006, 03:37 AM
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Ok..... I was born and raised about 20 minutes from Disney World......I have been there lots and lots of time. I have never grown tired of it and I am sure I never will. I am 23yrs old......
A five day trip is plenty of time to do all the parks. Here are a couple suggestions and personal "traditions" when I got to DIsney.

Magic Kingdom (my personal favorite): If you start on one side of the park and go all the way can hit everything. It is a lot easier than looking at the map and going from one side of the park to the other. A great place to eat lunch is the Crystal Palace. It is a character buffet lunch and it is pretty decent food and price. A few attractions that are a MUST when I go are......IT'S A SMALL WORLD (the song will be stuck in your head ALL day, but still a good time), PIRATES OF THE CARRIBEAN, HAUNTED MANSION, SPACE MOUNTAIN, SPLASH MOUNTAIN, THUNDER MOUNTAIN, MICKY'S TOON TOWN (this is more for the kids, but if you want to see ALL the characters, this is the place to go.....they will ALL be there!), THE TEACUPS.....that is a few of the originals and MY favorites. You should stay for the fireworks show which I think is at like 9:30pm.

Animal Kingdom......wonderful place if you like animals. My only suggestion is to get there as soon as it opens because once the sun starts getting really hot, the animals like to hide in the shade and it is harder to see them.

Epcot......this is a nice place to catch up on the world I guess you could say. You can try food from all around the world......just a neat place to go.

MGM.....definitely for movie buffs......has a lot shows

If you are going to all the parks, you could spend one day at each. I recommend a FULL day for Magic Kingdom at least.
If your daughter likes to go out I would suggest checking out Pleasure Island while you are there and maybe going shopping in Lake Buena Vista. These are both very close and I am sure your hotel will have transportation. Are you staying at a Disney Resort?

Well, I hope this LONG post was helpfull and not too annoying! Have a WONDERFUL time......I always say that Disney really is "The happiest place on Earth".........of course, I live in Hawaii now, and it is pretty great too!
floridagirl is offline  
Old Apr 26th, 2006, 04:08 AM
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If you like Cedar Point, you may want to spend a day at Universal's Islands of Adventure. GREAT rides there.
schmerl is offline  
Old Apr 26th, 2006, 06:24 AM
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You people are great! Thank you!

And, incidentally, my 23 year old daughter had a mother that didn't want and couldn't afford to take her to Disney-and a father that always promised to take her and didn't. Through good fortune and great friends she's spent a week each in NYC, Chicago, San Francisco, San Diego,St Louis,DC-but never Disney. Now that she's grown up and has to attend a conference in Orlando,I am flying down to meet her in Mouseville.

And now I am waaay more relaxed about it!
eileenleft is offline  

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