First trip to Disney need help!

#1

I will be taking my first trip to Disney with three children all boys ages 3,7,8 and 5 adults including grandparents. We are staying on-site at the All Star Sports Resort. We have gotten the hopper passes plus the dinning pakage. We will be visiting from Dec. 27th - Jan. 2nd 2007. My questions are how crowded is it really? What are some things we can’t miss, attractions, dinning etc. Any info would be GREAT!!

#2

Never been there at that time but have heard that is the most crowded week of the year, sorry. Joe

#3

It probably will be EXTREMELY crowded. Be prepared to wait in line! Take advantage of the fast passes. Get an early start. Go directly to fantasyland…Peter Pan and Dumbo get ridiculous lines quickly. Same for Space Mountain and Thunder Mountain. Last year the line even for Small World at one point was like 70 minutes. Perhaps eat meals at odd times. It is hard to get a table at the counter service type restaurants if you go during regular meal times. If you want to eat at a specific restaurant make sure you get reservations before your trip. As to the things to avoid…I am not a big tiki bird fan nor am I a Hall of Presidents fan. I would pass on those.

The parks are so pretty at that time of year. I am sure you will have a great time even with the crowds.

#4

Can’t tell you how the crowds will be becuase I’ve never neem at that time of year, but from what I hear you will get to see all the holiday decorations. We loved All Star Sports. Request a room in the Football Building. It is just as close as the preferred bulding (Surfs up?) and won’t cost extra $. I would definitely do a charcter meal. Our favorite is Chef Mickey’s at the Contemporary Resort for breakfast.

#5

OMG, I thought I was the first post, and while I typed 3 more posts popped up!

#6

Buy the ‘Unofficial Guide’ to WDW. It is extremely useful and Cavey endorsed. This will tell you wait times; describe rides/restaurants; give you touring hints - everything you need.

#7

Don’t be dismayed, but it really is VERY crowded. That being said, we return the same time every year! I agree with what everyone has posted here. VERY important to get an early start- even earlier than you think possible! You can have a great time at WDW even if it is crowded.

#8

It is extremley crowded that time of year. I have been there that time of year when they have closed admission to the Magic Kingdom because it has reached capacity. Be prepared for long lines and waiting. Take advantage of extra magic hours if you can and just be patient. I have always had a good time that time of year, but just be prepared.

#9

I am in agreement here. Grab that guide and read it front to back.

#10

I just noticed the length of your stay. I think you will be there long enough that you could even do maybe 3/4 a day at a park and then maybe take a break, go back to the hotel for awhile. Then when you get a second wind go back at night or wait til the next day. With 3 kids and grandparents in tow plus the crowds you may want that break. Or maybe make a reservation at a resort for dinner. Kids and adults as well get cranky with those lines.

#11

WELCOME to DC!!!

I have never been there that time of year either, but it will be wonderful to see all of the holiday decorations around, I am so happy for you!

I would get the guide and have a family meeting where you discuss what each person would like to see, do, etc. Then work on the plan from there. Just remember you don’t all have to go to the same things all together. A little split up time can be a wonderful thing!!

#12

One thing I did notice the last few times I went to WDW is the number of little ones between the ages of say 4-8 yrs old that get separated from their family. After I witnessed frantic parents first hand I started to really drill my 4 yr old about the importance of holding the hand of the person they are suppose to be with (parent, aunt, uncle, whoever it is suppose to be) and not to wonder off. He also witnessed the frantic parents and I think that helped make him understand how important it is for him not to wonder off. As parents we know how easily kids could disappear but when I saw those parents…it was heartbreaking. It made me really watch ds…I dont take my eyes off him for 2 seconds.

So what I am getting at is, and this is just my opinion, that when the trip time arrives have a talk with your kids before you go, and give them constant reminders throughout the trip…ESPECIALLY the youngest one…about how important it is to stay together at the parks.

#13

I highly recommend www.tourguidemike.com, you can follow his plan and not have to wait so long in line because you are doing it the way others don’t.

#14

First of all welcome to DC! You will get tons of advice here, as you can see. The unofficial guide is really great, and I would also recommend www.allearsnet.com

Stick around, we’ll all be glad to help!

#15

Welcome to DC! There is TONS of info on here for you, just look through all the previous threads.

In addition to the Unofficial Guide (which is GREAT, btw :wink: ) you might want to check out PASSPORTER. Since you are going at the busiest time of the entire year, you REALLY need to make a lot of plans…like ADRs! (Advance Dining Reservations) If I were you, I’d make at least 1 per day to be SURE you have a place to dine. And since it’s the busiest time to go, I would make those ADRs as soon as humanly possible…on the morning of the 180 day mark!!!

#16

Caramia, I have a 4 year old and when we go in December, he will have just turned 5. And it will be his first trip without a stroller. It’s freaking me out a little! :noo: My little guy is the type to just wander off! If he doesn’t do well on our first day in the parks, we will just rent a stroller for him. But like you said, it is DEFINITELY important to have “THE TALK” with little ones about strangers and getting lost!!!

#17

First of all - a very warm welcome to DC! The advice you’ll get here will be excellent.

Is there any possible way you could change the dates of your trip? I know it seems like it’s a “Christmas” trip - but if you could arrive at WDW on January 2 - instead of leaving, the difference will be day and night. Especially since this is your first trip. That alone is overwhelming. That combined with the busiest week of the year at WDW is Very overwhelming. I don’t mean to sound negative - if you can’t change, lots of planning and advice will give you the best possible time - but if you can change - it would make a real difference.

#18

In addition to everyone’s great comments, may I add that I am a forgetful person. I can’t count the number of times I have left packages on a ride, or my camera on the train, and yes even our 8 yr. old got away from us at Blizzard Beach. The first thing I do is get everyone aquainted with how the park is laid out, and we have a designated spot for meeting if we should get seperated. The kids sneakers are labeled, the camera and my purse have if lost return to stickers on them…with my name and the hotel and dates we are staying there, the Pal Mickey has a return address label on Him, etc.( Luckily I showed my daughter the Lost Children Booth as the entrance to BB when we arrived that day, and we were only seperated minutes, but all parent’s know even minutes can be terrifying… but I went over to the booth, and thats where she was, happily coloring with a cast member.) Also get the guide books & Plan Plan Plan!

#19

I have to agree with Llama…if you can change your dates you should. If not, you DEFINITELY need to do TONS of planning! If you don’t, your first visit might be your last…especially if you go during THE MOST CROWDED week of the year!!! You will get such a bad taste in your mouth if you are stuck not being able to experience anything due to lack of planning.

#20

I send and third the recommendation about tourguidemike.com. It is great…it will make you enjoy your vacation, not enjoy standing in line. There is a strategy and it does pay to join his site… We did it last week and I really enjoyed it! We did not wait!!!