HELP!! Planning a trip to Disney

Old May 23rd, 2005, 10:59 AM
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HELP!! Planning a trip to Disney

My wife and I are planning a trip to Disney in October with our son for 8 days. Having trouble deciding on where to stay(hotels) any/all suggestions will be helpful. thanks
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Old May 23rd, 2005, 11:23 AM
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WHich DIsney and how old is your son?
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Old May 23rd, 2005, 04:57 PM
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We need to know if you're going to Florida or CA. For either Disney, go to for loads of info.
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Old May 23rd, 2005, 06:37 PM
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I'd be happy to help you out when you let us know fl or ca.

I have been to WDW in Florida 4 times. Going to Animal Kingdom for the day a week from today.
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Old May 24th, 2005, 06:19 AM
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sorry for the delay! florida and he is 7 years old.
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Old May 24th, 2005, 06:46 AM
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I grew up in South FL & have been to WDW for every occassion, seems like 1000 times. 8 days is plenty of time, maybe a little too long as it can be an exhausting trip. Stay on the property if at all possible, even for a few days then switch to off-site for lower rates if necessary. I recommend on-site because you can go back & forth to the room for R&R then back to the park at your own schedule. Also, food in the park is extremely expensive, so you could easily go back to the room for meals/snacks to help defray cost. Don't miss the fireworks shows at night! Animal Kingdom is a MUST! If you have the chance to visit other area parks, Sea World is great. Remember, Disney has a lot more to offer than the Magic Kingdom and something for everyone of all ages, so enjoy every moment of it together!
Old May 24th, 2005, 07:36 AM
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look at the lady that runs that website is devoted to disney, knows all sorts of tricks and hints, what hotels are good for what, etc. it was a great help when i planned my trip to disney, and i still use info for other trips to FL. For a diversion, Your son might love a side trip to cape caneveral (sorry about the spelling) on the east coast.
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Old May 24th, 2005, 08:42 AM
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thank you all for your feedback. i will check out that website (
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Old May 24th, 2005, 09:16 AM
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Oct is a great time to visit WDW. Not too busy but still nice & warm. But 8 days seems waaaay too long to me! I think 3 days is more like it. My favorite place to stay on site is The Boarwalk Inn. You can walk to Epcot @ night for dinner & watch the fire works! Others here have recommended The Yacht & Beach Clubs as good choices for close proximity to Epcot restaurants. Heading to Cape Canaveral sounds like a good idea.But I do not know how long a drive that wld be from WDW. Then hit the beach for the remainder of your trip. You can head over to the East Coast & back to Orlando for your flight home. Or, maybe you want to break it up this way: Beach/WDW/Beach. Fly into Ft Lauderdale or Miami or even West Palm Beach for this one.
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Old May 24th, 2005, 09:30 AM
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I am so thrilled that your son is 7, he will so enjoy Disney, I know I will get a lot of flak for saying this, but do not not understand parents at Disney World with kids under 4--hello not in a 1,000 years will those kids remember anything of their experience. the kids are miserable, the parents are miserable, and yes I too am miserable as the kids scream, cry and hate every moment of being confined to a stroller the whole day.

Ok that said, I think you are fine for 8 days if you do much more than Disney, there is Sea World, Discovery Cove, Epcot, Universal Mgm, if you get sick of all of that yes the space center is only like 2 hours away, there is canoeing and rental boats to go down the chain of lakes. Lots of stuff. Let us know what you want and we will help you.
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Old May 24th, 2005, 09:59 AM
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I have boys ages 7 and 9. We have been to WDW 5 times. Our sons (and a lot of other families with boys that I know) like staying at the Wilderness Lodge, the Animal Kingdom Lodge, or
the Contemporary because of their theming. The Polynesian and the Beach Club would be good back up choices because of their pools.

Have fun!
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Old May 24th, 2005, 12:01 PM
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I disagree with those who say 8 days at Disney World is too long. There is so much to see and do there, you can't possibly fully cover it in a week. Between Magic Kingdom, Epcot, MGM, Animal Kingdom, Downtown Disney and spending time at your hotel, you will be kept busy. Your little one may like the Magic Kingdom the best, so if you want close proximity to that park then I would vote for the Polynesian Resort. The Beach and Yacht Club are also nice and you can walk to Epcot from them.
Animal Kingdom Lodge looks nice as well, though I have not yet stayed there. It is less convenient to all the parks though.
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Old May 24th, 2005, 04:29 PM
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I think 8 days is the right amount of time. Having said that I do not have children, let me say that up front.

We have stayed at the Contemporary and Port Orleans, French Quarter. Both hotels were very nice. Obviously the Contemporary has many more amenities. We were on our honeymoon for that one, so it was a little bit of a splurge. The rest of the times we looked at our hotel as a place to crash.

We thought the pool at Port Oleans' Serpent Pool was neat. Kid's love it.
We also like to take the Sasagoola River Cruise to get to Downtown Disney.

We will only stay inside WDW at one of their resorts when we go. I have stayed off property once, and much prefer staying at one of their resorts and using their transportation system.

October is the time we go. I think it's the best month.

some general tips:

1. When staying at a WDW resort (especially with kids) it's a nice break to head back to your hotels pool while the crowds are peaking at

2. If you want to enjoy a more expensive restaurant and $$ is an issue, go for lunch and it will usually be the same menu and cost less.

3. Generally, if two lines are open, the one to the left will be shorter.

4. Take advantage of disney's fast pass system. A little more walking, but you save time and it works!

5. Character breakfasts are fun! I like the breakfast at Cinderella's castle. Make priority seating arrangements early!!!!! 90 day advance booking is required. They ask for a deposit now, but it is refunded if you cancell with a 24 hours advance notice. The Contemporary has a nice Character meal as well. Garden Grill is one in Epcot, and 1900 park fair @ the Grand Floridian. Call 407-wdw-dine for current details, and to book. There are more than I listed, if you are interested in a certain hotel or Park, just ask. Also they all have different Characters at each one. Does your child have a favorite? I had my picture taken with Mary Popins.

6. At the Magic Kingdom the evening parade tends to draw less of a crowd.

7. Wear comforable shoes!!!!!!!

8. At an attraction where you may want to ride, but your child is too small you can "parent switch" One can ride while one waits and then you can swap without having to wait in line again.

9. Always check your tip boards as you head into the park.

10. Don't miss the fire works! Also at Epcot illuminations was really geat.

Have a great time!
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Old May 24th, 2005, 04:50 PM
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I also don't think 8 days is too long at WDW. We have been more times than I am willing to admit - incuding when our kids were too young to remember. We have the pictures & some of my & my husband's best memories are of the early trips. The wonder in the boys' eyes was worth every dime - even at two.
We have always stayed on property. Wilderness Lodge is a great suggestion. If you are interested in a value resort, they have great themeing and decent food courts (the deluxe resorts lack food courts). My kids would be hard pressed to tell you whether they perfer All-Star Movies to Pop Century for value resorts. Pop Century is newer & more centrally located. For a moderate resort, our family likes Dixie Landing/Port Orleans - cool slide at the Port Orleans pool. ANy of the Disney resorts are a great choice. Definitely visit the resorts board at
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Old May 24th, 2005, 06:50 PM
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I have been several times and I also do not think that 8 days is too long. My husband can squeeze 8 days of action into 5 and we come home totally exhausted. So, go with the flow and relax at the hotel pool for a little while. I agree with making some character dining reservations prior to arrival. I believe it was 60 days out last we went. Otherwise you are shut out. I have stayed at the Polynesian. It is very convenient being on the monorail system, but I thought it was pricey for what it was. We actually got a great price with a AAA discount at the time. I have stayed at the Port Orleans and I think this was a great hotel with a fun pool (mentioned above you come down the slide on the serpent's tongue!)It has a cafeteria type restaurant which was great for a bagel and coffee quick in the morning. We have also stayed at Downtown Disney at the Hilton. It is a nice property, but I also recommend staying on property at Disney. I have always wanted to try the Wilderness Lodge. To be able to walk to Epcot (like the above poster mentioned about the Boardwalk) or to take the monorail are the most convenient places to stay.

Your son is a great age and you will all have a blast. Just remember to pace yourselves and make some dining reservations prior to going!
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Old May 26th, 2005, 12:08 PM
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My youngest son is 7. We stayed at the Wilderness Lodge last year for a week and at the Port Orleans French Quarter four nights earlier this month. The 7 year old liked them both. He really enjoys eating dinner at the Wispering Canyon restaurant at the Wilderness Lodge because of the antics of the servers (and the milk shakes) - he also enjoyed the Sci-Fi for lunch at MGM Studios. Although he liked them all, his favorite park is the Magic Kingdom - especially loves the Buzz Lightyear and Space Mountain rides. He also enjoyed Blizzard Beach for a day of water fun. Your 7 year old will love Disney - hope you do too. Enjoy your vacation!
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Old May 26th, 2005, 12:54 PM
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We stayed at the Port Orleans Riverside with a 7 and 5 year old. The hotel was great and I highly recommend it. The pool there has a big slide which is perfect for a 7 year old as well. We had no problems with Disney transportation. Just ask for a room near a bus stop so you won't have to walk too far on that late ride back with your exhausted son. We basically spent 1 day each at MK, MGM, AK, Epcot,and Sea World. Each park has some must-do/see rides and shows. Sea World was fantastic as well. As was listed, the "parent switch" is great if you and your wife want to go on a ride but your son doesn't (like the Rock-n-Roller Coaster). Some favorites for my 7 year old were:

MK - Buzz Lightyear, Pirates of the Caribbean, Splash Mountain
AK - Safari,Lion King show, Tough to be a Bug
MGM - Muppet Vision, Indiana Jones Show, Tower of Terror, Fantasmic (Sci-Fi Theater great for lunch as well)
Epcot - Honey I shrunk the Kids, Test Track, Illuminations
Sea World - Feeding the Dolphins, Feeding the Rays, Shamu, Journey to Atlantis, Clyde & Seamore

Have a great time!
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Old May 26th, 2005, 09:44 PM
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Eight days at WDW will be great. Check out Not only do they give info about the themeparks but also indepth info about hotels and restaurants. They also have a lot of suggestions for often overlooked activities. For example, do you know that WDW resort guests are welcome to go over to the Fort Wilderness campground for the nightly campfire sing-along with Chip & Dale? It's free. You can buy s'mores kits for a few bucks. Then you can see a Disney movie outdoors there (monthly movie listing posted on camping forum)also for free. The campground has a free petting zoo and there are pony rides for about $3.00. There is a nightly hayride for about $5.00 per person.

Also, you can ride the boat from the Contemporary resort over to the Wilderness resort. Try to schedule it to go when the fireworks are occuring at Magic Kingdom. It's a neat experience. Then go check out the man-made geyser that goes off every 1/2 hour at the Wilderness resort (7am to 10pm, I think).

Plan a day each for MGM Studios & Animal Kingdom. You'll need two days for Magic Kingdom and Epcot cannot be done in a day. Then there are the waterparks...

You can ride the resort monorail (Contemporary, Polynesian, & Grand Floridian) and ask for your son to ride up front. You might have to wait for the next monorail but my kids thought it was a really neat experience.

It is expensive but worth every penny to go to La Nouba (Cirque du Soliel). Our whole family loved it - ages 7 to 60. Discounted tickets are available from &

My husband took his nephews to the character ice-cream social at Epcot. The boys loved it and it is the least expensive of the character events.

You'll be happy with any of the Disney resorts. My kids love the theming at All Star Movies. We're leaving in a couple of weeks for our first trip to the Boardwalk Villas - we rented points from someone on

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Old Jun 2nd, 2005, 03:53 AM
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I also feel that 8 days in Orlando is not nearly enough. There is so much to see and do. I would recommend seeing a couple of theme parks on your first trip, with alternating days around the pool or water parks.You will feel refreshed for the following days tiring schedule. Then return another time to see the rest of the theme parks and other places of interest.We have been to Orlando 12 times now and still havn't seen everything, but neither have we been overtired or irritable.I have a special birthday next year and my husband has asked me where I want to go. I didn't hesitate. It's the happiest place in the world.Apart from theme parks don't miss;-
Old town.- classic cars "cruise nights"
Friday and Saturday.
Downtown Disney.Great "Lego" shop with "Lego" Dinosaur in the lake.Visit in the evenings.
Your 7 year old will love them.Have fun!
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Old Jun 2nd, 2005, 07:58 AM
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