First Disney world trip

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-08-2012
First Disney world trip
28
Sun, 01-08-2012 - 9:40pm
I have a few questions I am booking my family's first trip to Disney world. I plan on going April 23 - 29. My questions are the following. 1) can we swim during this week? 2) are park hoppers smart to get? 3) is the dining plan worth it? 4) has anyone stayed at Coronado Springs? If so did you like it? Any answers are appreciated!!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-01-2006
Mon, 01-09-2012 - 1:36pm

How exciting!!!!

You should be okay to swim in the end of April. Disney is supposed to be incredibly nice to visit in April and May, weather wise.

 Melissap.jpg

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-08-2012
Mon, 01-09-2012 - 5:11pm

Thank you for the reply.

I will be traveling with 3 adults and my daughter, she is 8. So I was thinking the park hoppers might be a smart idea for the days spent at Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios since one closes early and hollywood seems to be directed more towards the older kids.

I was thinking yes on the dining plan as well. I find comfort in knowing 99% of the trip will be paid for in advance! Im trying to pre plan as much as possible so we can get everything in! Most important being autographs and photos with all the princesses and tinkerbell and friends!

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-07-2002
Mon, 01-09-2012 - 5:47pm
The best tips I can give are:

1) Be there at park opening. Or as early as you can manage. You can get more rides done in the first hour the park is open than any other time of day.

2) Use FastPasses. Have one at all times (unless the park just isn't that busy). Get one for a ride, when you can get another, even if you haven't used the first one, get another. You can use it any time after the window. So if the window is for 10:30 am, you can still use it at 7:00 at night. Do it - you won't regret it. :)

allears.net is great for planning. A book I'd really recommend (I think most libraries have them) is The Unofficial Guide to Disney World. It's a very realistic approach (as in, not produced BY Disney), but it gives you the tips you need to know how to plan your days optimally. I read that book first and always appreciated the candor. (Some people think it's a little anti-Disney in its comments, but I think it's just realistic.)

Are you going THIS year (like in a few months)? If you're getting the dining plan, you'll need to make reservations (unless you're just doing the quick service dining plan). You can start making reservations 180 days ahead of time, so lots of restaurants will already be getting booked. Just try to do it as soon as you know where you'll be each day. (Which means, yes, you need to plan which park you'll be at each day. I think a lot of people who've never been before think they don't have to plan ahead. You only really do if you want to make meal reservations - you don't want to have to leave a park and go elsewhere just to eat.)

Let us know if you have any questions- we all like to plan other people's trips for them! :)

Avatar for shelb31
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-12-2006
Mon, 01-09-2012 - 8:06pm

Great advice from Melissa & Hilarie.

Disney 2010
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-08-2012
Mon, 01-09-2012 - 10:33pm
Wow it's so nice to chat with other mom's who have been many times before!! It's nice to be finally jumping on the band wagon! I plan on booking our trip ASAP probably within the next week! I have been checking in with the dinner reservations making sure its even possible to get them at reasonable times. Surprisingly it is still possible to get them at some of the places I have looked and at good times! Is there any places to eat that are a must? I am going to do the standard dining plan with one sit down and one quick service. I plan on bringing my daughter to 1900 park fare! She is going to be so excited once she finds out we are going! Do the characters sign autograph books at the character dining? Would you guys say 6 days is a good amount of time to spend there? I have read somewhat mixed opinions on this. I read 3 days is perfect and some people say 10 days! Such diffrent opinions! My daughter received Disneyland on the kinect for Christmas and has not stopped talking about all the things she wants to do if we are able to go! ( I am surprising her with the trip.) Meet and greets are appearing to be very very important to her so it's good to know I should expect to wait in lines for awhile. I will plan on getting there first thing in the mornings! I have been doing tons of research on where to meet everyone. Hoping it's all current!! It's getting so exciting. April is just around the corner!!!!! I fear I'm going to become a Disney addict :)
Avatar for shelb31
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-12-2006
Tue, 01-10-2012 - 2:55pm

That's great about the dining options.

Disney 2010
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-01-2006
Tue, 01-10-2012 - 9:27pm
1900 Park Fare is one of my favorite character meals and I think 8 is the perfect age to appreciate it!!! Your daughter will be in heaven! I think 6 days is perfect too. We usually have five full days and then our two travel days which add up to one more... I have done the ten day thing and with kids I think it would be way to long and in 3, you would have trouble seeing all you want to. Good luck with the character meet and greets. Some of the lines are daunting to me, so much so that we passed them by this past trip! Getting to the parks at opening like M'Shell said and heading right for the most important character greeting will be good ways to see the most popular characters (Rapunzel and Flynn and the Fairies, both in Magic Kingdom both are very popular and seem to match your daughter in age!) Being a Disney addict is worth it. All the preparations will translate to a great vacation!

 Melissap.jpg

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-08-2012
Wed, 01-11-2012 - 11:01pm
I am going to have to look into the Kim possible adventures! She would have a blast going on adventures through Epcot!! I do have the Disney planning DVD I've been viewing it from time to time in the last year. I've been doing my best to slowly but surely plan this vacation out to the best of my abilities.

By the sounds of it the best places to meet characters would be MK and Epcot?
Will two days at each of those parks be good for rides and character meet and greets? Or to much time? Keeping in my I will be doing the 1900 park fare for the cindrella dinner. So we should be able to knock out quite a few meet and greets here!

I get to officially book our trip next week and start making all the dining reservations. Hopefully I can still get in where I want to eat. One good sit down meal a day is a must with my family.

Has anyone pre bought souvenirs and brought them to Disney with them? Is that a good idea? Have any of you ladies stayed at Coronado springs? Wondering if the beds are comfy. The grounds look beautiful!! The pool looks amazing too. Hopefully weather coperates with us and swimming is a possibility.

Next week the madness ensues once I'm booking everything!!

Everyone's tips are a huge help so keep em coming please.. For never being there anything more that I can learn is a huge advantage.

Thanks ladies :)
Community Leader
Registered: 06-28-2001
Sat, 01-14-2012 - 12:23am

You've received lots of great info so far but I wanted to welcome you to the board too!

Val, Co-CL Disney Vacations

Avatar for shelb31
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-12-2006
Sat, 01-14-2012 - 7:05pm

We generally plan to visit each of the 4 parks on our trip.

Disney 2010

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