Calling all Disney World vacationers, need help planning!

Discussion in 'Disney Chat' started by Disneychildwithin, May 7, 2017.

  1. Disneychildwithin

    Disneychildwithin Well-Known Member

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    Hi guys, I'm super excited because my hubby and I are taking the kiddos to Disney this July! Yay!! My kids are excited, but not as much as I am. Lol I haven't been in well over a decade so I would appreciate some advice. Looking to not break the bank but don't want to miss out on too much either, so any and all recommendations are appreciated. Planning on visiting all 4 parks and driving down. I started filling out the Disney vacation go thingy but wasnt sure if it's the best place to start. Help me out! Lol. TIA,

    Lucy

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  2. FoolishMortal71

    FoolishMortal71 Active Member

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    I'd recommend booking your restaurants now. WDW dining starts 180 days in advance so a lot of the popular places, like Be Our Guest, book quickly. And, yes, that's a recommendation for Be Our Guest. They seem to have some good deals at the resorts over the summer including some free meal plans. *edited - Turns out the meal plans don't start until late August.

    If you don't have a WDW account created, make sure to set those up and download the park app. You can do all of your Fast Pass reservations, your Magic Bands, and manage dining as well. What else... have a plan of attack for what parks you want to visit on what days. FP+ is essential for maximizing time. Esp. with the new Pandora. FP+ bookings start at 7:00 AM (ET) exactly 60 days out from your stay if you stay on property. Be ready to be up and online to book because popular rides like Mine Train, Soarin, Pandora, Frozen, etc. will go quickly.

    I'll post more as I think of it!
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2017
  3. FoolishMortal71

    FoolishMortal71 Active Member

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  4. Disneychildwithin

    Disneychildwithin Well-Known Member

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    So all the fast pass reservations are for staying onsite only? What are Magic bands?
     
  5. FoolishMortal71

    FoolishMortal71 Active Member

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    If you aren't staying at a Disney resort, you can only make your FP+ reservations 30 days in advance. By then, the popular attractions will likely be unavailable. You can sometimes find a solo seat here and there but your whole party wouldn't be able to ride together. I was just reading up on Pandora and they mentioned if you don't book those 60 days in advance, you def. won't get a FP+ for those attractions. And, even at 60 days, some time slots for FP+ go very quickly.

    Magic Bands are the new system WDW moved to. It's a band you wear throughout your stay and similar to a cruise ship, it controls all your access. You link your tickets, credit card, reservation, hotel, FP, etc. You can pretty much go cashless, paperless, room key-less throughout your stay. You can set up controls on it for your party. They're free and part of your hotel reservation if you stay on property. You don't need them but they're incredibly convenient.

    https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/plan/my-disney-experience/bands-cards/

     
  6. Disneychildwithin

    Disneychildwithin Well-Known Member

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    Wow, those magic bands sound amazingly convenient. Wow, so it looks like I might be too late for the fast pass as of right now since our stay will be the first week of July. Any onsite hotels people recommend?
     
  7. FoolishMortal71

    FoolishMortal71 Active Member

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    Well, some will be available and depending on how fast you book your reservations so you should be okay. Again, the popular stuff may mean a wait!

    Here are the most popular FP+ at each park -

    MK
    Mine Train
    Meet Mickey Mouse
    Space Mountain

    EPCOT (Has a tiered system so you can only pick one of the most popular rides out of tier one and two from tier two.)
    Soarin'
    Frozen Ever After
    Test Track

    HS (Has a tiered system so you can only pick one of the most popular rides out of tier one and two from tier two.)
    Toy Story Mania
    Rock-n-Roller Coaster

    AK (Has a tiered system so you can only pick one of the most popular rides out of tier one and two from tier two.)
    Flight of Passage (Pandora)
    Na'vi River Adventure (Pandora)
    Expedition Everest
    Kilimanjaro Safari

    Do a search on the WDW website for resort deals. I normally stay at POP Century. It's a value and I know some people "poo-poo" Values but I've always had a good experience with POP. It's on a dedicated bus line so unlike the All-Star resorts, you don't have to share buses with other resorts. For Moderates, I love Port Orleans. We stayed at Caribbean Beach last summer and it was nice but it's huge so you have to leave extra time to get around.

    And if you're there for July 4th, that day is usually a capacity day and the crowds will be insane! The fireworks are amazing though.

     
  8. Disneychildwithin

    Disneychildwithin Well-Known Member

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    "value" is music to my ears! I'll go on the website to research, just a little confused about the tier system...

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  9. Disneychildwithin

    Disneychildwithin Well-Known Member

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    And yes, it's my daughter's bday the 4th! Where should we be?

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  10. FoolishMortal71

    FoolishMortal71 Active Member

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    The Values are the All Stars (Music, Sports, Movies) and POP Century. Looks like they have a summer special around $130-140 a night in July. They will automatically factor in tickets on the website as you start to price so just watch what's in the total. Once you think you're ready to book, it also doesn't hurt to call their 800 reservations line. If it's been a while since you've been to visit, they can walk you through all your options. As a heads up, when you book, you will need to pay a deposit for the room and purchase your tickets to book the FP+.

    When I used to work down there, Magic Kingdom and EPCOT would fill to capacity on July 4th by the afternoon. Here's the crowd calendar for that week to help plan.

    http://www.characterlocator.com/?p=cal_index&mo=07&yr=2017&cweek=2
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2017
  11. FoolishMortal71

    FoolishMortal71 Active Member

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    I hope all this helps! Please feel free to ask if you have any other questions!
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2017
  12. dancecats

    dancecats Administrator Staff Member DPF Administrator

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    That depends upon a number of factors. First, even though Disney room occupancy (and rates) are based upon two adults and two children (ages 3-17), there is a practical aspect to how many people one would *want* in a room - and the rooms get larger with the increase in price.

    For starters, yes the value resorts are cheapest - but they also are the smallest. Realistically speaking, just because you can have four people (as described above) in one room does not mean you would want to. I would not recommend any more than two adults and one young child in a value resort, the rooms are that small. They also do not include refrigerators or ceiling fans or on site table service dining (only quick service). For just a little more, relatively speaking, a moderate resort will get you all of that.

    As far as where you want to be, which park(s) do you plan on visiting? As I recall, the value resorts tend to be clustered closer to Animal Kingdom, the moderates closer to Downtown Disney, and the deluxe resorts (most expensive) near Epcot and Magic Kingdom. The thing to remember is that ALL of the resorts offer complimentary transportation throughout WDW, so if that is your concern, it doesn't matter so much where you stay.
     
  13. FoolishMortal71

    FoolishMortal71 Active Member

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    Good point, it depends on how many are in your party and how cozy you're willing to be. The rooms at POP are two double beds but I found the overall space wasn't that small. The last time I stayed at POP, I did have a mini-fridge in the room and a spacious vanity area separate from the bathroom. I haven't stayed at the All-Stars in ages so not sure if they're smaller and don't include those options. I also agree, if budget allows, the moderates are my preferred choice.

     
  14. Counselor

    Counselor Member

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    Taking another tact for "where you should be" ... If you were talking about viewing of the fireworks, know that the parks will be VEEEERY full that day and most will stay for the fireworks show. I feel compelled to also offer this advice ... anywhere there is a "Cross walk" marked out in tape on the road, will also be staffed by a cast member as there is ZERO tolerance for standing in those cross walks. However, you are allowed to stand AT the crosswalk. There are several, and each is about 5' wide ... Your call where you watch from but if you do not want anyone directly in front of you ....
     
  15. Disneychildwithin

    Disneychildwithin Well-Known Member

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    So stand by the tape and we won't be blocked?

     
  16. Counselor

    Counselor Member

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    Correct. At least for the space of the crosswalk.


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  17. speedwaystar1

    speedwaystar1 UK Disney Fan

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    I'm sure others can add more than I , however I highly recommend Port Orleans if it's within your budget . I loved staying there , the water transport to Disney Springs alone made each day exciting for me :)
    If you go with value resorts avoid the All Stars unless you plan on driving yourself to each park , they all share a bus route so those buses are frequently packed which isn't much fun .
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2017
  18. FoolishMortal71

    FoolishMortal71 Active Member

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    I know! I'm staying at All-Stars Music for the Aug. pin trading event and am already dreading the early morning departure times to get to the event by 9:30am. But, it saves money which means more budget for pins!

     
  19. speedwaystar1

    speedwaystar1 UK Disney Fan

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    I found early morning buses quite quiet , I never bothered with the EMH at parks but still made it to rope drop everywhere with plenty of time to spare and always got a seat easily enough . Getting back at the end of the day was another matter , hopefully they'll add a few extra buses for the higher numbers
     
  20. starry_solo

    starry_solo Judge of the Dark Court Staff Member DPF Super Moderator

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    What are the dates you are looking at? This would help a lot in vacation planning.
     
  21. Disneychildwithin

    Disneychildwithin Well-Known Member

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    Check in day on Monday the 3rd of July, check out either Saturday or Sunday...depends on when we can make it to all 4 parks.

     
  22. Disneychildwithin

    Disneychildwithin Well-Known Member

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    I do have four kids so it'll be 6 of us. I've noticed the packages usually are for families of 4.
     
  23. starry_solo

    starry_solo Judge of the Dark Court Staff Member DPF Super Moderator

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    For six people, you'll need to get a suite in the values and those are pretty pricey. You might consider possibly renting a home nearby?
     
  24. Disneychildwithin

    Disneychildwithin Well-Known Member

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    I think everything is an option right now...I have to weigh the cost/convenience/benefit of staying onsite vs offsite.


     
  25. lynn99

    lynn99 Member

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    To make price comparison easier, make sure to price "room only" vs packages. (a package is usually room + tickets).
    For 6 people, on site gets more complicated, since most rooms are designed for 4 (in a few cases, 5). How old are the kids?
    Options:
    ROOM: (google room floorplans, there are many sites that have them)
    1) 2 "regular" rooms. This is usually the cheapest option. HOWEVER you are not guaranteed connecting rooms (though disney will try hard to do so).
    2) Suite. There are 2 room suites at the values that are basically 2 connecting rooms laid out as a suite. Art of Animation has great suites for 6. I don't know about the moderates and suites (coronado springs has them, but if I recall they are very pricey)
    3) Rent DVC points. Disneys vacation club. Still pricey, but not as much $ as going direct through Disney. If you are not going to be at the resort much, probably not the best choice, but it does give you more bang for the buck....
    4) Off site. There are many vacation rentals very close that are much more space, much less $, but you loose the Disney bubble....

    Once you figure out rooms, then you can start figuring out which park/which day/touring details etc. (I like kenythepirate and www.easywdw.com and forums for park touring planning).

    One could write pages on trip planning, but "where to stay" is the first hurdle to get over.

    I've stayed at many over the years, and have liked them all, some more than others, and different reasons - they all have pros & cons....
     

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