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Disney Planning Addicts Unite! Post your favorite WDW vacation tips here!!!


besroma
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There are numerous smaller threads addressing specific questions people have asked about WDW trip planning, but I hope we can put much of the advice in one place.

 

The Hive clearly has some Disney planning aficionados. I wanted to see if we could collect your Top 10 (or 20 ;)) tips that we can glean from when planning future trips.

 

So, do you have a list of Top 10 Tips for Planning a Great WDW Trip?

 

ETA: Okay, so most of us think of our tips better when asked specific questions rather than working from a "Top 10 List." So.....

 

If you have a "Top 10 List," please post it. Otherwise, we'll keep this "chatty" and post tips as we think of them and answer any Disney questions Hive members want to ask!

 

So, feel free to post 'em as you think of 'em! :D

Edited by besroma
ETA: A bit of change to the thread
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We go to DisneyWorld regularly, so mostly we just go and do spur of the moment things, because we know we'll always be back (DVC members). (Most has been 4 trips within one calendar year).

 

But, driving home from our last trip in May, everyone made a list of "must dos" because we won't be going back for 2 years! So, I had to make a plan. :lol: The personalized plans applet at http://touringplans.com/ works pretty darn well! I was suprised how much I could influence it to "my" way of doing things v. their recommended way of doing things.

 

I hesitate to put too many recommendations down because we're weird, and we know it. :tongue_smilie: Wouldn't want to ruin anyone else's fun because of influencing someone to do things the way we do 'em!

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I do Disney quite differently than many here. We are frugal Disney folks. We also go off-season. The crowd level the first week we will be there is 3s and 4s (the lowest it goes.) The second week will be 5s and 6s because it it Jersey Week. But we have gone other Jersey Weeks and it hasn't been that bad.

 

We don't go at rope drop, haven't seen the need since we are off-season. We don't eat at the buffets, for us, it is too costly we have BTDT, and since the "free dining" thing started, we have seen the food quality plummet in our opinion. Paying $250 for one meal for the 5 of us is not in the budget.

 

We typically do a Rainforest meal or a T-rex meal and use our Landry's card for a discount. The meals are huge so we typically get one appetizer, two meals, and a large dessert to split. Around $75.

 

And we like the Beaches and Cream (at the Boardwalk) Kitchen Sink. A HUGE 8 scoop ice cream bowl with all the toppings they offer on top! My boys think they have died and gone to heaven.

 

I do pay close attention to easyWDW.com for suggestions on which park to visit which days. If there is a special event that day at one park, we avoid that park as it will be more crowded (Fantasmic nights, early openings, etc...) We may still venture over for the show later, but the park itself is avoided.

 

Dawn

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Hey Dawn, the one buffet that saves my $$ is the evening one at 1900 Park Fare. My kids don't really eat off the kid's section, and last sitting my 5 yr. old ate over 30 pieces of sushi...as well as the cold noodle salad, etc. A bargain at whatever they charged me! Plus, he darn near got engaged to Anastasia last time. :lol:

 

We also really like going off-property to eat for a change of pace. And to keep some more money in our wallets! We used to need the immersion experience and to never break the magic. Now, we find that going in and out reminds us how well Disney does most things.

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I will work on mine. LOL I do better with specific questions. What does that mean? :lol:

 

 

 

Diane, Whatever it means, I am right there with you! I started the thread and thought, "Now I need to get to work on mine. I am not even ready to post it yet!" :blushing:

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Plus, he darn near got engaged to Anastasia last time. :lol:

 

 

Now, she would be a fun DIL, wouldn't she? :smilielol5:

 

I completely love 1900 Park Fare at dinner. Those step-sisters are HYSTERICAL!! Plus, Lady Tremaine....she looked at my dd's dessert place last time and said, "You just keep right on eating like that, dear. That'll eliminate you as competition for the men in the kingdom in no time." Then she went to the buffet and got her a few more pastries. :lol:

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Make use of Fastpasses, especially for really popular rides like Toy Story Mania.

 

We don't do sit-down meals but we have our favorite spots for counter service dining and always go to those when we're in a certain park.

 

I agree with visiting the Disboards site -- great information available there!

 

I have a Disney World Wait Time App on my smartphone so that I always have fairly accurate information about wait times for the parks.

 

We stay off-site at Windsor Hills -- nothing like having a 3 bedroom townhouse with a private patio pool to come "home" to instead of a cramped hotel room! It's also less expensive.

 

We avoid those parks with extra magic hours as they're usually the most crowded parks. We also try not to go to Magic Kingdom on a Saturday or Sunday because it tends to be more crowded on those days. We've founded lower crowds on the weekends at Animal Kingdom and Epcot.

 

We're going again the 2nd week of May and will attend our first Star Wars Weekend, so will be watching for more tips! (This will be our 3rd visit, but we can always learn something new!)

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when we get fast passes, we get them for everyone in our group even those who will not be going on the ride, for ex. dh and ds will not go on Soarin but we still get them fast passes along with getting ones for dd and myself and then dd and I get to go thru the fast pass line twice

 

we don't go to the parks really early, we would rather stay late and the nights that are late night resort quests only are great, no lines, we go on tons of rides then. Epcot is especially great for this, since the park is so large any crowd is really spread out and most people seem to be in the World Showcase so no lines at all for Future World (is that what it is called?) rides

 

oh and here is one last one, if you and your family are eating late in a park restuarant and you are the last to leave the restuarant and you come out of the restuarant to find that the park is closed, you are informed that your family are the very last people in the park and all of you walk out thru the park followed by all the security guards who escort your family thru the park where there all no buses left, they will call a bus to come and pick up you and your family only and take you to your resort. Disney will not leave you stranded. And actually all the security guards and bus driver were very nice and were joking about escorting us out of the park lol

Edited by Jeannie in NJ
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Only one of my kids is a KID according to Disney though, so we have to pay for 4 adults and 1 child. $162 plus tax and tip. It still comes out to about $200 for one meal.

 

Dawn

 

Hey Dawn, the one buffet that saves my $$ is the evening one at 1900 Park Fare. My kids don't really eat off the kid's section, and last sitting my 5 yr. old ate over 30 pieces of sushi...as well as the cold noodle salad, etc. A bargain at whatever they charged me! Plus, he darn near got engaged to Anastasia last time. :lol:

 

We also really like going off-property to eat for a change of pace. And to keep some more money in our wallets! We used to need the immersion experience and to never break the magic. Now, we find that going in and out reminds us how well Disney does most things.

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when we get fast passes, we get them for everyone in our group even those who will not be going on the ride, for ex. dh and ds will not go on Soarin but we still get them fast passes along with getting ones for dd and myself

 

 

Jeannie, I hope you think this is funny.... I took a double take when I read your post, thinking you must be really nice because you were picking up Fast Passes for your ex dh! :lol:

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I had to read it a few times too! I kept wondering why you would go on vacation with an ex DH!

 

:tongue_smilie:

 

Jeannie, I hope you think this is funny.... I took a double take when I read your post, thinking you must be really nice because you were picking up Fast Passes for your ex dh! :lol:
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Only one of my kids is a KID according to Disney though, so we have to pay for 4 adults and 1 child. $162 plus tax and tip. It still comes out to about $200 for one meal.

 

Dawn

 

Yes, clearly it's specific to a younger, expensive food eater. I don't think Disney is in general a good value for the food. Hence, why that one sticks in my mind. ;) Plus, I almost had a guarantee that he'd be out of the house at 18 or 21. Now that's cheap!!!! :lol:

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We definitely pick and choose our Disney meals. The buffets just aren't for us due to cost and the fact that our family tends to eat smaller, more frequent meals.

 

With my luck they would not eat much and then whine 3 hours later that they will

Want to eat.

 

We typically share restaurant meals and eat snacks.

 

Maybe one day we will stay at animal kingdom villas and get the dining plan.

 

Dawn

 

Yes, clearly it's specific to a younger, expensive food eater. I don't think Disney is in general a good value for the food. Hence, why that one sticks in my mind. ;) Plus, I almost had a guarantee that he'd be out of the house at 18 or 21. Now that's cheap!!!! :lol:
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We definitely pick and choose our Disney meals. The buffets just aren't for us due to cost and the fact that our family tends to eat smaller, more frequent meals.

 

See that's why I generally refuse to give advice. My kids are weird in that they are 3 squares a day, maybe a Mickey bar, and love chilling out in a restaurant dining room. I used to pack snacks and have stopped because I was also always packing them to go back home! We never ate them.

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We have gone several times recently, and are going next month - YAY!!

 

I enjoy going during free dining. I just like that I don't have to worry about the cost of the meals at all. We have done the regular dining plan in the past; this time we are doing the counter service. I'm actually looking forward to no reservations, and to trying some different counter restaurants.

 

We are ride FREAKS, so we get up early, are there for rope drop, and ride our faves multiple times before lines get long. After that, we utilize fastpass to ride them more, or for other popular attractions. The last few times we have gone have been low crowds, so we really haven't dealt with long lines.

 

If we are in the parks late, we hit our faves again once the lines die down and ride multiple times. Sometimes we'll do single rider to ride more if we really want to.

 

I like Tour Guide Mike for the touring days - we don't follow his touring directions because our "plans" work for us, but I do like to go to the parks with the lowest projected crowds.

 

This time we will be going with a toddler. Ds and I are going in early to do all the thrill rides we love. Dd (pregnant) and dgs will meet us around lunchtime and we will do afternoons with dgs and the kiddie rides we want him to be able to ride. We'll watch parades and shows and stuff like that in the evenings with him.

 

I'm not sure what else to add, but if I come up with more ideas, I'll post them.

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I do better with specific questions, too.;)

 

We're DVC members, we also do Disney differently than most, and we're definitely not frugal Disney-goers, so I always hesitate to give advice about doing Disney on a budget.;)

 

My DH plans each trip with a spreadsheet. He puts the day's meals and parks on it, then we all look over it and start making reservations. We always do our favorites and try some new places, too.

 

There's a pencil mark on the door frame of our closet marking 40 inches so we'd know when all of the kids reached the "main" height for most of the rides.(the Mountains, Test Track, Soarin', etc.) All of them have now reached it. Just barely. :D

 

We've also done the cruise 9-10 times. Feel free to ask about that!

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Starlight Cafe in Magic Kingdom is a good place to eat. Their half a rotisserie chicken is reasonable and you can get a salad out of the condiments (lettuce, tomatoes, grilled mushrooms, pickles, onions, etc.).

 

The turkey leg is also a very reasonable buy at WDW.

 

We always take 2 strollers along even though our youngest is now 10. We load up bottled water, umbrellas, snacks, etc.

 

Parking passes can also be bought for cheap on ebay.

 

If you stay on Disney property, make sure to plan to stay the extra Magic hours at the different parks. Another good reason to take strollers. If you have young ones, they can nap and the older can keep going.

Edited by Sandra in FL
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More tips, any tips! We are going in December and I haven't been in 9 yrs and never with a child! I will have my 7 yr old and my Dh. I like weird, I will take all insider tips! :bigear:

 

Do you have anything specifically you want to know about? Lots of us seem to do better with exact questions. :D

 

I'll ask you a few to start:

 

Are you staying on property?

 

Do you have the dining plan?

 

When in December are you going? Because that makes a WHOLE lot of difference.

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More tips, any tips! We are going in December and I haven't been in 9 yrs and never with a child! I will have my 7 yr old and my Dh. I like weird, I will take all insider tips! :bigear:

 

Here's one you might think is weird, but since you have littles, you might like it:

 

The sensors on the automatic-flushing toilets are so sensitive, that often when you pick your little one up off the toilet, it starts flushing (loud, hard and fast) way before you can attempt to get out of the stall. This could also happen to your 7yo depending on how fast she exits. If you take small post-it notes with you and place over the sensor, you can remove it right as you are ready to exit the stall. Weird, I know, but helpful when you have several littles with you! ;)

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Annual pass, annual pass, annual pass. Make sure one person gets the premium annual pass. There is a huge discount on the room as well as 20% off all merchandise. Some restaurants, like the Landry ones, give 10% off the meal as well.

 

So this weekend in Disney we bought 5 t-shirts (roughly $30 each), one purse ($200), and 5 of those stupid little plastic Vinylmations ($13 each). So my savings was $83. Sure, one can run off to the discount mall and buy the overruns at cheap prices, but I'm not that great in finding the best deals. I also saved $150 on the room. So, in just 3 days of savings, that's about 1/2 the cost of one annual pass.

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For those who like to eat well in Disney, then the Tables in Wonderland card is a must. It costs about $75 a year and gives one a 20% discount at the sit down Disney restaurants. So if you are a Citricos, Steakman's Yachthouse, etc. fan, then this might be a good savings for you.

 

:)

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Disney Visa card gives $2 or $1 for every $100 spent. My entire trip this weekend was paid for in Disney Visa points.

 

Sure, one can get cash back and points on other cards for other things. The Disney Visa card is, therefore, reserved for the Disney geeks.

 

:)

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Here's one you might think is weird, but since you have littles, you might like it:

 

The sensors on the automatic-flushing toilets are so sensitive, that often when you pick your little one up off the toilet, it starts flushing (loud, hard and fast) way before you can attempt to get out of the stall. This could also happen to your 7yo depending on how fast she exits. If you take small post-it notes with you and place over the sensor, you can remove it right as you are ready to exit the stall. Weird, I know, but helpful when you have several littles with you! ;)

 

This is a BIG deal! My poor dd STILL HATES those toilets.

 

Annual pass, annual pass, annual pass. Make sure one person gets the premium annual pass. There is a huge discount on the room as well as 20% off all merchandise. Some restaurants, like the Landry ones, give 10% off the meal as well.

 

So this weekend in Disney we bought 5 t-shirts (roughly $30 each), one purse ($200), and 5 of those stupid little plastic Vinylmations ($13 each). So my savings was $83. Sure, one can run off to the discount mall and buy the overruns at cheap prices, but I'm not that great in finding the best deals. I also saved $150 on the room. So, in just 3 days of savings, that's about 1/2 the cost of one annual pass.

 

We just checked out the annual passes and are they really $600 each? Is there any way to get a discount? For my family, that would be $3600 just for the passes. Now, I understand that we can then get room discounts and all. But, we usually spend less than $2000 each time we go (during free dining). Even if we go twice a year, that just doesn't justify it for our family. I'd love to buy them though - so please convince me! Actually, I think I would add a third trip if we had those passes. But, we live in MI. We rarely buy souvenirs. Maybe a pin or two. That's it. We like to eat a really nice restaurants.

 

Would there be a benefit for us to have one of us buy an annual pass? How would that help us? What are the benefits? Can our entire family take advantage of the discounts if only one is a member?

 

For those who like to eat well in Disney, then the Tables in Wonderland card is a must. It costs about $75 a year and gives one a 20% discount at the sit down Disney restaurants. So if you are a Citricos, Steakman's Yachthouse, etc. fan, then this might be a good savings for you.

 

:)

 

Do you have to be an annual pass holder for this? We would love any excuse to visit more often! If I have ONE annual pass for one of my family members and can take advantage of the room discount with that. Buy tickets for the rest of my family and maybe stay during free dining? (Fairymom did that!!) Can I still use this card for meals if we don't get free dining?

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Most romantic thing to do in Disney:

 

Drop off kiddos at The Neverland Club at the Polynesian. I believe kiddos must be potty-trained and either 3 or 4. Walk with hubby hand-in-hand from the Poly on the backside, along the water's edge. View the castle in the background and recall how you first met. Walk past the marina and recall the early years, childless and penniless. Keep walking toward the Grand Floridian. Listen for the Luau drums on the left. Look toward your right at the Wedding Pavilion. Hopefully, Cinderella's coach will be dropping off a bride as you stroll by. Enter the Grand Floridian and eat at Citricos. Ask for a bottle of Fairytale Cuvee.

 

After dinner, stroll back the way you came. I promise you will fall in love all over again....and again...

 

:)

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Disney Visa card gives $2 or $1 for every $100 spent. My entire trip this weekend was paid for in Disney Visa points.

 

Sure, one can get cash back and points on other cards for other things. The Disney Visa card is, therefore, reserved for the Disney geeks.

 

:)

 

We have two of those cards! But they aren't our main cards. We have one card that gives us cash back where we get more back. So, we cash it in before a trip and use it. But, my Disney card is used for on-line purchases. So, we usually go with $200 on a card. It pays for a lot of tips during free dining!

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Jennifer, out-of-towners should only have one person get the annual pass. And the annual passholder must be there to get the discounts. But do the math. Sometimes, the free dining or some other promotion is cheaper. For us Florida residents we get a nice discount on the annual pass. For the rest of your family, regular ticket prices might be a better deal.

 

The reason I always tell people about it, is because sometimes it saves a family a lot of money, especially if they are staying for a week or more, or coming twice in one year.

 

:)

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Last tip of the day and I promise I'll leave everyone alone.

 

This is for seasoned Disney fiends only. Spend some time with a cast member. Yep, whatever your dream might be, a Disney cast member can teach you how. It might take a little time finding the right person to book the event, but one can spend time with a Disney photographer, botanist, chef, animal keeper, imagineer, engineer, etc.

 

One can even have a favorite character find your little one and give him a surprise!

 

There's less expensive ways to get an education, too. Check out the pirate cruises, Animal Kingdom private tours, Magic Kingdom tours, Disney Homeschool Days, Epcot or Typhoon Lagoon scuba diving, etc. The list of tours is almost endless.

 

:001_smile:

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Last tip of the day and I promise I'll leave everyone alone.

 

This is for seasoned Disney fiends only. Spend some time with a cast member. Yep, whatever your dream might be, a Disney cast member can teach you how. It might take a little time finding the right person to book the event, but one can spend time with a Disney photographer, botanist, chef, animal keeper, imagineer, engineer, etc.

 

One can even have a favorite character find your little one and give him a surprise!

 

There's less expensive ways to get an education, too. Check out the pirate cruises, Animal Kingdom private tours, Magic Kingdom tours, Disney Homeschool Days, Epcot or Typhoon Lagoon scuba diving, etc. The list of tours is almost endless.

 

:001_smile:

 

I TOTALLY agree!!!! The people who work there are always SO wonderful. I have SO many stories of the cast members spreading magic to my kids.

 

I swear someday we will go to Disney and do ONLY the tours! They look so good and we've not done any yet!

 

Jennifer, out-of-towners should only have one person get the annual pass. And the annual passholder must be there to get the discounts. But do the math. Sometimes, the free dining or some other promotion is cheaper. For us Florida residents we get a nice discount on the annual pass. For the rest of your family, regular ticket prices might be a better deal.

 

The reason I always tell people about it, is because sometimes it saves a family a lot of money, especially if they are staying for a week or more, or coming twice in one year.

 

:)

 

Is there a website that lists the promos offered for annual passholders in the past? I will work the math and see if it makes sense to get one. What if my brother or SIL buys the annual pass (they live in FL)? Can they get us the FL discount? Or do we actually have to be residents? (I think I know the answer, but it's worth asking!) Every time we go to Disney my brother meets us there and I'm SOOOO jealous that he can just walk in! I want to be an annual passholder too!!!!

 

If I can get a 40% off room rate, that would certainly save money, but I'm not sure if it would save enough over the FD to make it worth it. I can't wait to do the math though!!!

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Nono, I want to hear your weird tips! And are you on facebook? I was asking about you there the other day :001_smile:

 

 

I am not on Facebook, I think I put my account on hiatus, though I still get emails in spanish from them all the time! We used to game on there a lot a few years back, and then when everyone got on it, it wasn't fun anymore that it was so "real" so I kinda let it drop. Should I be back on there??

 

Tips? Hmmm...

 

OK, if you ever go to one of the Halloween parties, always take the off-the-beaten path trails -- there's often characters giving out treats in strange places! :)

 

For 3 weeks before you go, put your kids through bootcamp. I am totally serious. I have mine walk a mile, then two, then add a half mile running, etc. Then, we go on bing maps and measure out how far we would have gone in say, Epcot. It's a real eye opener to them. My kids haven't done strollers in the parks since they were 5 & 4. They are always ready after 3 weeks of "training." ;)

 

If you do get a place with a kitchen, don't be afraid to cook. Breakfast in one's pjs and still making rope drop is a pretty stellar combination in my book!

 

If you get out to Whole Foods to go shopping, have the kids take their time picking out a treat at the bakery. Right behind that is a bar pouring beer (and wine I think), and it makes the $$$ I drop at the check out more palatable. In our case, my dh takes the list and does the shopping while I "supervise" the bakery purchases and then drives us back. He says since I do most of the driving to get us to FL, the least he can do is get me drink in the grocery store.

 

Some tips don't apply any more...esp. now that almost everywhere has a kids menu. Also those types of tips wouldn't apply to anyone on a dining package anyways...so...

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Definitely do the math and see if the passes are worth it! Who knows? You may be surprised! We get a discount because we're DVC members.

 

We live out of state and are there enough to have annual passes. We also have Tables in Wonderland, which is definitely worth it for us.

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Definitely do the math and see if the passes are worth it! Who knows? You may be surprised! We get a discount because we're DVC members.

 

We live out of state and are there enough to have annual passes. We also have Tables in Wonderland, which is definitely worth it for us.

 

 

 

See, Diane? Yet another reason to buy DVC! :D

 

Does anyone know if you can get the discounted AP if you purchase a DVD remake?

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We love the UT.

 

We also love a small book called, "Hidden Mickeys." My kids pour through that and look for the hidden mickeys all over the parks. Totally FREE entertainment!

 

 

 

Dawn

 

 

Book: The Unofficial Guide to Disney

 

There is also a book that tells you if the kids rides are - bumpy, dark, loud, etc. This is a very useful book if you have a kid that gets frightened easily.

 

Ride with the monorail driver and avoid the crowds.

 

Nap in the afternoon.

Edited by DawnM
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We love the UG.

 

We also love a small book called, "Hidden Mickey." My kids pour through that and look for the hidden mickeys all over the parks. Totally FREE entertainment!

 

Dawn

 

:iagree:

Hidden Mickeys are our favorite. Our girls just squeal when they find them, even ones that really aren't "hidden."

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I am not on Facebook, I think I put my account on hiatus, though I still get emails in spanish from them all the time! We used to game on there a lot a few years back, and then when everyone got on it, it wasn't fun anymore that it was so "real" so I kinda let it drop. Should I be back on there??

 

Tips? Hmmm...

 

OK, if you ever go to one of the Halloween parties, always take the off-the-beaten path trails -- there's often characters giving out treats in strange places! :)

 

For 3 weeks before you go, put your kids through bootcamp. I am totally serious. I have mine walk a mile, then two, then add a half mile running, etc. Then, we go on bing maps and measure out how far we would have gone in say, Epcot. It's a real eye opener to them. My kids haven't done strollers in the parks since they were 5 & 4. They are always ready after 3 weeks of "training." ;)

 

If you do get a place with a kitchen, don't be afraid to cook. Breakfast in one's pjs and still making rope drop is a pretty stellar combination in my book!

 

If you get out to Whole Foods to go shopping, have the kids take their time picking out a treat at the bakery. Right behind that is a bar pouring beer (and wine I think), and it makes the $$$ I drop at the check out more palatable. In our case, my dh takes the list and does the shopping while I "supervise" the bakery purchases and then drives us back. He says since I do most of the driving to get us to FL, the least he can do is get me drink in the grocery store.

 

Some tips don't apply any more...esp. now that almost everywhere has a kids menu. Also those types of tips wouldn't apply to anyone on a dining package anyways...so...

 

Great tips! And I think you should be on facebook but what do I know? :D

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We love the UT.

 

We also love a small book called, "Hidden Mickeys." My kids pour through that and look for the hidden mickeys all over the parks. Totally FREE entertainment!

 

 

 

Dawn

 

OH! Yes, Hidden Mickeys are great fun!!! They have them on the cruise ships, too!

 

We make our own all the time around here.;) Just yesterday at lunch, I arranged hard boiled egg slices on a board, and there was a "Hidden Mickey" to find.:D It's so much fun when the kids start finding "Mickeys" everywhere. Mine will stop in the middle of a parking lot to enthusiastically point out an oil stain---"Look!! A Hidden Mickey!!":001_huh:

 

But yes, the book is so much fun when you're there!

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Try to book a character breakfast at The Crystal Palace before the park opens. Make sure it's not a magic hour day. Then as you are walking down Main Street, you can get some great photos of your family and the castle without other people in them.

 

:)

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I am looking at the disboards to find out if discounted APs are available to DVC members who become members buying resale, but there are sooooo many threads.

 

Does anyone here know?

 

 

http://dvcnews.com/forum/showthread.php?10761-Restrictions-on-Resale-Buyers&highlight=resale+restrictions

 

There's a couple of DVC-only focused bulletin boards out there. :)

 

 

P.S. Don't read anything into the speculating beyond that. It's nothing, just something for DVCers to analyze to death.

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I second the tip about booking a TS meal in the parks before they open. You are admitted for your ressie and you can get some fabulous photos before anyone else gets there! Try Crystal Palace in MK, Akershus in Epcot or Tusker House in AK. Hollywood Studios doesn't really have a great place for an early morning breakfast...Hollywood & Vine is for preschoolers and the food is icky.

 

If you don't have an early morning breakfast ressie, be at the park by the time it opens (rope drop). I know it's early, but honestly, you'll get more done in the first hour after park opening than you will all day if you wait to enter the park until after 10 AM. We get there early, ride every ride we want to, have lunch, see some less crowded (or high loading) attractions, then go swimming back at our resort and come back to the parks for dinner and night time touring.

 

If you are there at Christmas, don't overlook the amazing gingerbread houses and other creations at the resorts. We've taken an entire day and just toured the resorts to see their Christmas decorations. Beautiful!!

 

My new favorite breakfast is at Sleepy Hollow (in Liberty Square) in Magic Kingdom. A Belgian waffle, slathered with nutella and filled with strawberries, blueberries and bananas. :drool5: I'm also partial to the cinnamon roll at the Main St. Bakery that is bigger than my head. :D

 

Another fun blog that I LOVE to read, because this guy's Disney photos blow my socks off (and make me feel like a LOSER photographer...I'm so jealous): http://www.disneytouristblog.com/ He has free Facebook cover photos for anyone to use (and I will be whenever FB forces me to have timeline), and his photos are just gorgeous to look at.

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where does one get those "hidden Mickey" books? Is it important to get one per kid...or just one per family? And what is the appox. age for this? thanks.

 

Here you go:

http://www.amazon.com/Hidden-Mickeys-Disney-Worlds-Secrets/dp/1887140921/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1344957575&sr=8-1&keywords=hidden+mickey

 

Hidden Mickeys are EVERYWHERE in WDW and super fun to look for. You'll get amazingly good at finding them, too. :D One book is all you need, and there's no age limit!!

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