I am taking my children to Disney World. I need suggestion on hotel, airport, and others. I did all the Internet and DVD stuff, but I prefer the first hand experience of parents and children. My children are 5 and 8. PM is OK.
You'll always see different suggestions on whether to stay on property with a Disney hotel or stay off property to save money. Many prefer to stay on site because the bus picks you up at Orlando airport, takes you to the hotel, and while you're at all the parks the shuttles take you back and forth and you never need to rent a car (and head back to the room for a much needed rest on the longer days). On the other hand, a person with time on their hands could easily find cheaper rates outside the Disney properties.
I'm on my way out the door, but when I get back, I will offer some suggestions that work at the "Mouse" West Coast that I'm confident will work on the East Coast Mouse too.
Other suggestions will definitely depend on how many days you're planning on being there, on whether you're going to SeaWorld or Universal Studios parks when you're there, or if you'll get over toward Tampa and the parks there.
But my simple suggestions that apply to virtually any park:
Be at the gate when the park opens. Not in the parking lot, not getting ready. The first hour or two a park is open is its least crowded time. You can easily knock out several popular rides in that hour.
Understand and make use of FastPass reservations on popular rides.
Avoid the busy weeks (check the blockout dates from the annual passholder section of the website for more details), but essentially avoid Spring Break, Summer vacation and any 3-day weekends if at all possible.
Tuesdays and Wednesdays tend to be the least busy at most parks (West Coast, anyway).
Avoid going back and forth a lot with littler ones. Knock out one "land" after another rather than bouncing all over the park.
Study the maps, and put your kids in charge of the "must-dos."
Travel light. Rent a locker to store jackets which could be needed for cool nights. Bring simple snacks (granola bars, etc) that can be placed in pockets and eaten just prior to a child's temper tantrum.
You'll have to go through security, so if you can avoid carrying a purse, go without. By the end of the day, it's really heavy.
During the middle of the day (when it's most crowded), go for the attractions that are shows or less popular--that assures shorter lines.
Decide if you really need to see the parade, and if you do, go ahead, but during the parade is a great time to go on rides as there are thousands of people stuck in one part of the park, and you can be ANYWHERE else.
These are just a couple, and I honestly have never looked at WDW maps, but if you would like some more help, message me, seremen, and I will be happy to try to look up some stuff and give you more specific pointers.
There are TONS of websites with advice from Disney fanatics. If you're interested, I'll pass them along.
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