WDW Planning....HELP!


#1

WOOT WOOT…47 days and counting. Ok, trying to finalize my “plans” for WDW AND all the trip post are very helpful, BUT can you please clarify some things for me. DH, DS and myself have been to Disney before, but this is the FIRST time staying in the resort. We’ve always been a “go with the flow” vacation planner, however, with the babies…I want to have somewhat of a game plan. KWIM??? Can you please give me YOUR opinion of the following and why: (FYI…We do not have hopper passes…just MYW for five days)

  1. EMH…(worth the hassle of getting to the rides early and FP OR just not worth it? Also, alot of the websites say that the parks have less crowds on the days that the parks do not have EMH…have you found this to be true?)

  2. Disney Transit…(we are staying at the ASM resort and it looks like most buses take about 30 minutes to the park…I’ve got the small double stroller and I’ll be baby wearing…so not worried about the kiddos, BUT would it just be easier to get in our own car and drive? I have to admit I really like the idea of not having to worry about transpo.)

  3. Chef Mickey…(the only rezzis I could get was 7:05 am…which means that my fam will have to get up at 5am leave the resort at 6am. Also, I’m thinking this should be a MK day because of the proximity…Would we there before the rope cut at 9:00?)

  4. Fantasmic…(never seen it…we always leave the park early, because we don’t want to have to deal with driving at the same time as everyone else. Would you stay…also would it be worth it not being overcrowed to just go on a non-Fantasmic day?)

  5. Crowd Calenders…(ok, I know they are just a guess, but how accurate have you found them?)

Thanks in advance…I’m sure I’ll have more questions!!!


#2

And what the heck is up with the lanyards at Disney? I mean I know about Disney pins, but what do you use the clear holder for? I’m thinking room keys/tickets???


#3

That is what we do. I can’t really help you out with most of your questions bc this will be our first time with a child.


#4
  1. EMH…

EMH can go either way! We only used them once, otherwise we tend to avoid those parks as they do seem much more crowded around the time of the EMH. So if it’s an early EMH, i think that park is busier until after lunch, then people may park hop. so if you h ave park hoppers, this may be an option for you if you find that park is too crowded.

  1. Disney Transit…

If you can handle the stroller and the kids on the bus - try it at least once. then if you find its too tough, drive the next day. and them compare. which is easier? since you are staying onsite, there is no charge for parking. I prefer buses/monorail if I can. just nice to not worry about my car, finding parking, finding my car at night when I am exhausted, then finding a good spot at the resort. but that’s just me.

  1. Chef Mickey…

7am is really early for me to get somewhere, but it’s just one day and if Chef Mickey’s is a priority, then go for it! I’d bet you could be at MK by rope drop, but not up close ( i like to be right at the front, lol) the contemporary is walking distance to MK, and it’s a buffet, so you are at your own timing. it all depends on priorities - if Chef Mickey’s is a must do, then you can 1- get up early or 2 - keep calling to see if you can get a little later time (and miss rope drop for sure unless it’s at like 10 and you do rope drop just to be there then head to breakfast)

  1. Fantasmic…(never seen it…we always leave the park early, because we don’t want to have to deal with driving at the same time as everyone else. Would you stay…also would it be worth it not being overcrowed to just go on a non-Fantasmic day?)

I really love fantasmic - it is so neat! but, having said that, HS isn’t one of our top favorites and we always seem more tired and grumpy there than any other park. so we don’t always see fantasmic. if you haven’t seen it - i say do it! if you aren’t sure about staying at the park that long - maybe get there a bit later? if you are doing buses, no worry about leaving earlier. I don’t remember the people being unmanageable after seeing it - no more than any other time at closing. however, it is a LONG walk back into the park area from the theater - DH HATES that walk!!

  1. Crowd Calenders…I think they are pretty spot on! I use them as a guide, but I prefer to pick based on events - certain parades or shows or fireworks are only a certain day so we choose based on that. also, i look at EMH and pick to avoid those sometimes.

I’m sure you’ll get tons more advice! have fun!!


#5

Hey Christina…thanks for the reply. I work in the medical field and wear a lanyard all the time and it’s the last thing I want to wear on vacay…lol. I’ll make DH and DS wear them. :laugh:


#6

I know the feeling we may skip out on those this time too. Where in GA are you from?


#7

I’m sure you’ll get tons more advice! have fun!![/QUOTE]

Thanks Sarah!!! That is some great advice. That is why I luv this board!!


#8

I live about 35 minutes north of ATL in the burbs. How old is your LO? Such a cutie!!!


#9

Thanks. He is 6 1/2 months. DH says he is going to be a football player.


#10

Without parkhoppers, I would avoid EMH. It’s great to get a jump on the crowds, but the parks tend to get really crowded around mid-day. This may not be too bad if you’re way ahead of the crowds, but with 2 children, that may not be the case. As for Disney transportation, I would drive to all the parks except the MK – the bus will drop you off right in front of the park; when you’re at Chef Mickey’s, I would drive to the Contemporary, and use the monorail or walk to MK. You will be there before rope drop as long as you’re mindful of the time. I think Fantasmic is worth doing at least once.


#11

Oh, and yes, I find the crowd calenders to be pretty accurate.


#12

Lol…he needs to be a GA Dawg!!! My 8 mos old is 20 pounds, so I know what you mean. :slight_smile:


#13

Thanks PeterMac!!!


#14

My opinions-
EMH- we NEVER go to the park that is open earlier but we DO go to the park that stays open later. When you are going to the early you are stuck there with everyone else that decided to hit that park that day. But later everyone is leaving not arriving for the after hours and its worth it.

Transport- I would NEVER drive- not worth the parking lot and all the trams etc you will have to do in addition to driving. There is nothing better than just getting on a bus right outside the gate and letting your legs rest with sleepy little ones on your lap. We drove in for my birthday because I stayed with a friend in Orlando- I was so sad that I was on first a boat and then a tram and then a walk to the car rather than just on my bus.

Chef Mickey- just do it… you will regret not doing it later if you try and get a ressie for another time and its not avail- trust me BEEN THERE DONE THAT!

Fantasmic- ABSOLUTELY WORTH IT!!! It is a show and fireworks and characters all wrapped into a grand package! I would not miss that!!!

Lanyards- yes its to hold your key, photopass etc… Its a lot easier than digging out your wallet all the time.

Crowd calendar- yes it works, no it is not perfect and it does not take random things into account like weather, cheerleader conventions and so on. Use it as a guide but not a determining factor.


#15

I think I’m mostly duplicating answers, but sometimes getting multiple opinions, even if they are the same, can be helpful. So here goes:

  1. EMH…(worth the hassle of getting to the rides early and FP OR just not worth it? Also, alot of the websites say that the parks have less crowds on the days that the parks do not have EMH…have you found this to be true?)

We have only made it to the early EMH twice, despite the best of intentions. But one thing to consider is that taking advantage of the evening EMH can be fun. It is a whole new experience riding in the dark. I would highly recommend trying it if you can.

  1. Disney Transit…(we are staying at the ASM resort and it looks like most buses take about 30 minutes to the park…I’ve got the small double stroller and I’ll be baby wearing…so not worried about the kiddos, BUT would it just be easier to get in our own car and drive? I have to admit I really like the idea of not having to worry about transpo.)

We really enjoy Disney Transit. There is something to be said for not having to worry about where you are going. It is also an experience by itself. It is kind of fun being on the bus with other people, some of them on the first day of their trip, wearing their character hats, kids wide-eyed at the new experience. We really consider it part of the whole experience. Also, I love not having to get into a hot car on the way there and on the way back. Definitely a plus.

  1. Chef Mickey…(the only rezzis I could get was 7:05 am…which means that my fam will have to get up at 5am leave the resort at 6am. Also, I’m thinking this should be a MK day because of the proximity…Would we there before the rope cut at 9:00?)

I’m pretty sure that you can actually walk to MK from the Contemporary in 10 minutes or so, so you should have no problem making rope-drop, although, like someone else mentioned, you will probably not be in the front row. Something to think about is that riding the Monorail out of the Contemporary to MK is a really fun experience too. I’d recommend giving it a shot. Have you checked out the transportation wizard at www.ourlaughingplace.com to get an idea of the transit times?

  1. Fantasmic…(never seen it…we always leave the park early, because we don’t want to have to deal with driving at the same time as everyone else. Would you stay…also would it be worth it not being overcrowed to just go on a non-Fantasmic day?)

Fantasmic is something you should experience at least once. The excitement of the crowd in the auditorium, The Wave, the light toys as you wait for it to begin, the announcements telling you it is almost time…and that is before the show even begins. The music by itself is amazing, but the show is stunning! You also get the delight of walking out of DHS in the dark with like-minded Disney lovers, making even the exit a memorable experience!

  1. Crowd Calenders…(ok, I know they are just a guess, but how accurate have you found them?)

We’ve found them pretty accurate on our trips. I’m curious to see what others say on this, myself.



#16

[QUOTE=UGAmomof3;1072225]WOOT WOOT…47 days and counting. Ok, trying to finalize my “plans” for WDW AND all the trip post are very helpful, BUT can you please clarify some things for me. DH, DS and myself have been to Disney before, but this is the FIRST time staying in the resort. We’ve always been a “go with the flow” vacation planner, however, with the babies…I want to have somewhat of a game plan. KWIM??? Can you please give me YOUR opinion of the following and why: (FYI…We do not have hopper passes…just MYW for five days)

  1. EMH…
  • Def FP regardless if you do EMH or not. Soooo worth it. As for EMH, we usually do morning EMH, have done a park w/o several times and have done eve EMH twice. Have gone in Feb, June, July and many times in Oct. Except for the timing of the year, I really haven’t found EMH to be more busier that a park without. In the mornings we have gotten in the park at rope drop and did most EVERYTHING on the “must do” list by 1 or 2. Depending on what time the parks close we stay till closing or take a mid-day break then come back around 6ish.
  1. Disney Transit…
  • Dis transpo with stollers. I can honestly say I HATED that the most of anything on ANY of our vacates. When the girls were much younger we stayed at ASMu twice. We would pack our strollers and roll out the room. Getting on bus we’d have to unpack, fold up and get crunched in while triying to hold the kids, bags, strollers etc. Granted we’d have to do the packing to get in our car but w/o all the stares and glares of those wishing we’d hurry up and get our stuff on the bus so we could go. I remember leaving the park one night on the bus holding our bags and a 2yr old, asleep, DH holding 2 strollers and a 3yr old, asleep and a 6yr old 1/2 awake leaning against me while all standing up trying to hold on to the railing because no one would offer any of us seats. I swore against buses ever again till they were older. At least in our car we could take our time transferring the little ones, and be guaranteed seats after a long day.
  1. Chef Mickey’s…
  • you’ll have plenty of time to get to MK from Chef Mickey’s, but remember to get there by 8:40 for a “special” opening.

4)Fastasmic…

-Seen it. I suggest everyone see it at least once to form their own opinion. Personally I like Illuminations better. Not sure if it’s a better show in itself or the fact that I can walk up and get a decent spot 20 min before showtime rather than 2hrs for Fantasmic. Yes, I have noticed the park a bit more crowded on show day since all those with non-hoppers will hit that park that day.

  1. Crowd calenders…

-for the most part can be pretty accurate. But remember, they are based on crowd levels for that day/date from previous years and a number of things (weather, parties, Brizilian groups lol) can alter those numbers.

Edit to add that the later in the day you arrive in the parks, even when hopping, you chance the machines running out of FP’s on some attractions which then puts you at a 60-90+ wait for some rides. Something to ponder while planning.


#17

I’ll be back to answer your questions (enjoying my lunch, child free :wink:). I just wanted to quickly pop in and say YAY for babywearing! I was so glad to have experience with my wrap and ring sling when we went in 09. DD had just started solids so she was still nursing for most of her food source and to be able to pop her in and out of the RS to eat while we walked was fantastic. She slept in it a lot too (cosleeping family so she wouldn’t sleep alone at the time). And it kept her so happy on the Disney transportation. No fussy baby coming from our seats! I have the most beautiful Tinkerbell RS and got tons of compliments on it from CM’s and other guests who noticed her on the fabric. :happy:


#18

Crowd calendars this year have been way off because of the late Easter and Spring breaks being spread all across March and April. They were calling for 9’s and 10’s when were were there in March and most days were barely a 6. Friday was another story.


#19

Thanks Everyone!!! Your opinions really help make my decisions easier!! Keep them coming…


#20

Enjoy that child free lunch…I work three days a week and take advantage of mine!!! lol I went ahead and purchased the Baby Hawk Mei Tai carrier and so far I am loving it. We also co-sleep so she sleeps in it just fine. I could use any advice with having small kids at WDW. Your kiddos are such cuties!!!