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Disney World Planning Thread 2018

  1. Charm54

    cantaloupe / 6885 posts

    @Mrs D: @mediagirl: thanks im so proud of my Dh; he’s gone from a reluctant “ill-go-once-for-the-kids” to a full on Disney dad he uses a go pro. He made one for us last year too and the girls love watching it over and over throughout the year.

  2. nanilani

    apricot / 374 posts

    @LuLu Mom: Epcot would probably be your best bet for this when limited to the parks. Tutto Italia is nice. The food is better than Tony's and it doesn't feel as cavernous as Via Napoli. We really like San Angel Inn too, although the open setting within the pavilion might be a little busier than you'd like for a holiday dinner. I've never tried La Hacienda de San Angel, but it looks like the environment might feel a bit more intimate? I've always been interested to try Chefs de France too, it looks cute.

    At MK, I'd go for Be Our Guest (though this is rumored to be changing to signature dining this summer, I think) or Liberty Tree. It's a buffet, but the menu makes me think of the holidays (turkey and the works).

    You might also consider the restaurants at resorts that are easily accessible from the parks (by monorail/boat from MK or walking from Epcot), like The Wave at the Contemporary or Trattoria al Forno at Boardwalk.

  3. 808love

    pomelo / 5839 posts

    I've heard nothing but bad things about Tony's. I was a one and done Disney mom and now I'm unstoppable. Hehe.

  4. Charm54

    cantaloupe / 6885 posts

    @LuLu Mom: I would recommend Liberty Tree Tavern as well.. we had Christmas dinner there once and it felt very “christmassy” with it’s all you can eat turkey, pot roast, mashed potatoes, Mac and cheese etc. The Ooey Gooey Toffee cake they serve for dessert is 💯

    @808love: I heard bad things about Tony’s too but we gave it a chance for the parade package. We were pleasently surprised!! All 12 of us enjoyed our meals. The ravioli was especially good and maybe one of the best things I had all week. I think they had a menu change recently so maybe that helped.

  5. LuLu Mom

    GOLD / wonderful olive / 19030 posts

    @Charm54: Thank you! I had Liberty Tree written down for this very reason, a traditional dinner. Glad to hear that it's good.

  6. 808love

    pomelo / 5839 posts

    @Charm54: That's good to hear. I love ravioli.

  7. erinbaderin

    grapefruit / 4699 posts

    We’re officially booked! A week at the Beach Club in the first week of March, hooray! Now I’m debating whether the dining plan is worth it - I don’t want to waste money but I love the idea of not having to worry about paying for things as we go and feeling like we should scrimp. I know we want to do the Crystal Palace, Biergarten, Ohana, and one other character breakfast, plus probably Beaches and Cream and Tony’s Town Square to get the VIP parade seating (I don’t have my heart set on these, but they’d be nice). Thoughts?

  8. Mrs D

    grapefruit / 4545 posts

    @erinbaderin: I was (am) torn too. So far I have priced out my character and table service meals for our family of 4 (2 adults, 5 yo and 2.5 yo) and have ended up at nearly $700 on just those. So that means for $300 more I can have all the rest of my food for the week. So I am leaning towards just doing it to have the flexibility/carelessness...

  9. Charm54

    cantaloupe / 6885 posts

    @erinbaderin: exciting!!! We will (hopefully) be at Beach club the exact same week just waiting (impatiently) for my in laws to confirm so we can put our request in. Since you are staying at BC I would definitely recommend Beaches and Cream (make a reservation even if you just want to go for ice cream - they do have a to go window but the really good sundaes require a reservation and the theming is so fun inside!) also cape May cafe at BC was the best character breakfast we have ever done, the food was SO good. The characters are in their bathing suits which my daughters loved

    For the dining plan, a good site to use is distripplanner.com - you input where you will be eating each day and it calculates if the dining plan is worth it. We do it every year - we don’t save a ton of money but we don’t lose any money either. It is SO nice not to come home to a huge bill. And I love not stressing if my husband gets steak and beer for dinner every night

  10. Mrs D

    grapefruit / 4545 posts

    @Charm54: thanks for that website...such a great tool!!!

  11. erinbaderin

    grapefruit / 4699 posts

    @Charm54: Thanks for the link! According to the calculator it would be slightly more expensive for us to do the meal plan, BUT I tend to get into a stress spiral about how much meals cost (especially when they’re not good - I’ve been angry about paying $60 to eat at DENNY’S for the last three hours) and I think if I didn’t have to think about the prices I’d enjoy myself more and wouldn’t get into to “well, I really want x, but y is $5 cheaper, and I’d like a glass of wine but do I want to spend $12 on it?” loop.

  12. erinbaderin

    grapefruit / 4699 posts

    Ok, advice from people who have been! The plan is go to for a week, and buy a 6 day pass, one park per day. My current thinking is two days at Magic Kingdom, one each at Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom, and then one day up in the air so we can go back somewhere we feel we didn’t get enough time at. What this means, however, is that I have to do breakfast at Crystal Palace and lunch at Tony’s Town Square (to do the dining package) on the same day (I’m thinking parade one day, and the other MK day we’ll go back to the hotel early-ish, have a relaxed afternoon, go to Ohana for dinner, and then back to MK for the fireworks). Does this make sense, or should I just commit to three days at MK (which, let’s be honest, is probably what we’ll end up doing), and split up the meals?

    I know I’m getting ahead of myself and I have five months to figure this out. I can’t help it, I’m too excited!

  13. 808love

    pomelo / 5839 posts

    @erinbaderin: I recommend AK or Epcot two days.

  14. Charm54

    cantaloupe / 6885 posts

    The best part of Beach Club is being steps away from Epcot. I would definitely do 2 days there if you can swing it. It’s a massive park and it’s our favourite. The restaurant choices are 💯 . I find 2 days at MK enough personally.

    This year we did Be Our Guest Breakfast, Tony’s, and Ohanas in one day. OMG it was a lot of food but it was the only way it would all work out and we didn’t want to drop any meals lol. If you did an early Crystal Palace, and 1:00pm Tony’s you might be OK. But Crystal’s is a buffet and Tonys is a big 4 course Italian meal ... it would probably too much for me.

  15. erinbaderin

    grapefruit / 4699 posts

    @808love: @Charm54: Interesting - Epcot seemed like it would be the most boring, especially for little guys! I do love the convenience from Beach Club, though!

    @Charm54: Would it make more sense to do Crystal Palace for breakfast and Ohana for dinner one day, and then Tony’s for lunch the other? I was also planning to do BoG lunch because I think the boys would like getting to be in the castle.....too many options!

  16. Charm54

    cantaloupe / 6885 posts

    @erinbaderin: my girls love epcot... Soarin, Test track, frozen, turtle talk, Nemo, Living with the Land, Spaceship earth are their favourite rides... and then we spend a lot of time in world showcase watching all the pop-up shows in each country (acrobats, drummers, Mimes, etc)

    For your MK meals, i would do exactly that - crystal palace breakfast and Ohanas for dinner on one day then Tonys for lunch on day 2.

    BOG is gorgeous and definitely worth a visit! If you cant fit lunch in, you can consider breakfast. If you book a pre-park opening time and order your meals ahead of time you will be in and out with lots of time to get a head start on rides before the rest of the crowds are even allowed into Fantasyland. Both breakfast and lunch are quick service credits which is such a good deal if you are on the dining plan.

  17. Mrs D

    grapefruit / 4545 posts

    Ok Disney experts!!!

    We have decided to do 1 day for each park...so I only have 1 full day at MK, plus the time spent there for Mickeys Very Merry Christmas Party.

    So...dining...one day (the first full day of our trip)....what do you pick in MK? FYIY - dd's are 5 and 2.5 and princess obsessed!

  18. mediagirl

    hostess / wonderful persimmon / 25482 posts

    Does anyone know if you can stand in line with your party for a ride and then skip out on actually riding that ride? Or do you have to wait outside the whole time?

  19. Mrs. Champagne

    coconut / 8238 posts

    @mediagirl: yeah I don’t think anyone would have an issue with that. Lots of kids get to the front and chicken out! I did tons of rides while pregnant though, if that’s what you’re concerned about

  20. Mrs D

    grapefruit / 4545 posts

    @mediagirl: I'd be shocked if you cant stand in line with them, but I dont know that for sure...

  21. looch

    wonderful pear / 26210 posts

    @mediagirl: Most rides have a way that you can exit from the front of the line, like if you decide last minute it's too scary.

  22. Charm54

    cantaloupe / 6885 posts

    @mediagirl: that’s no problem at all. As long as you meet the height requirement you can enter the line. You can’t bring a baby/too short toddler in line to a height requirement ride to wait but if it’s just you you’ll be fine.

    @Mrs D: I would recommend Be Our Guest - the atmosphere is spectacular. It’s changing to 2 credits/signature at dinner this summer though. So if you don’t want to spend that $$ book breakfast or lunch - they’re just a quick service.

    I also like Liberty Tree Tavern at lunch and Tony’s for the parade Package. Cinderella’s castle is an experience for sure but I find the food just so-so for the $$$.

    You could also hop on the monorail and head to Grand Floridian and do 1900 Park fare for Cinderella, step mothers & step sisters. They are hilarious !

  23. 808love

    pomelo / 5839 posts

    Hi! I just got back from our 3rd family trip. It was amazing!! Just gets better every time. I never think we can 'outdo' our last trip, but then we do! I think I just love traveling.

    I recommend BOG for breakfast---we timed it to get early entry reservations- 8:35 was the best I could do-- and showed up 10 minutes early. Be sure to pre-order online so they get it ready when you check in. Also we always eat there and then at Columbia Harbour House. (Unless of course we are doing Cinderella Round Table.) This time I used Mobile orders everywhere at DW. So easy for pickup and avoiding lines. Be sure your credit card is loaded, then look at the menu ahead of time. On the day of your meal, you load in your order and pay during downtime. Then press "Make my order" - or something like that-just as you start walking over and voila- ready to go when you get there.

    Tried new places Canteen (at Avatar) -ok and Sanaa breakfast at Animal Kingdom Lodge- very good...then the good ole Yak and Yeti, which we do everytime because I love it so much.

  24. Charm54

    cantaloupe / 6885 posts

    @808love: so glad you had a good trip!! Mobile ordering was my favourite thing ever. Animal kingdom is the park I have the hardest time choosing a table service for - I’ve never tried Yak & Yeti though so will add that to the list for next time!

    Still waiting on the wait list for Davids DVC rental points... I am crossing our fingers that we hear something soon, we don’t really have a backup but lots of time to figure it out I suppose

  25. 808love

    pomelo / 5839 posts

    @Charm54: So fun!! I hope all works out with the points.

    DH and I did a monorail date while DD was ecstatic to go to Lilo's Playhouse for the night. We started with a walk around the Polynesian- was going to Captain Cook's for coconut meatballs but it was too busy, then drinks and apps at Mizner's Lounge, Grand Floridian where there was a huge ole southern live band/orchestra, then a ton of rides and a great spot to watch fireworks show at Magic Kingdom castle. MK was open til midnight but we left early, around 10, beating the crowds and cruising over to Contemporary to shop. I think they are doing away with the kid activity centers this summer but $55 was a steal for 7.5 hrs (we did less) of childcare/downtime for her/us. DD came back with lots of Disney crafts, gifts, met Chip and Dale, saw science experiments and baked 'magic' cookie--not to be confused with magic brownies....lol. I'm so happy to have that experience in the middle of a 5 Days of Parks/ 7 day trip to Orlando.

  26. Charm54

    cantaloupe / 6885 posts

    @808love: that sounds incredible !!!!

  27. 808love

    pomelo / 5839 posts

    BTW, we did Animal Kingdom (not Epcot) two days and didn't regret that hard choice. We got to do everything we wanted like the Safari 3X- sunrises and a sunset, 2X Rapids and 2 days of Avatar Flight of Passage. FINALLY did Planet Rafiki and saw the gorrillas who were putting on quite the show.

    Also if anyone is looking for an off-site activity, we went to Chocolate Kingdom on a groupon and it was soooooo much better than expected. We really liked it a lot as the chocolate was made to order in front of you and best I've ever had.

  28. PinkElephant

    grapefruit / 4118 posts

    @Charm54: Really?! You can't do single rider hand-off with a child who is too short to ride a ride (so that each parent can ride alone, for example, or with an older sibling)? I'm glad you posted this, because that seriously impacts what I'd think about our timing for a visit with our three kids (one of whom is 18 months old and really small for her age) - I'd always assumed we could all wait together.

  29. Charm54

    cantaloupe / 6885 posts

    @PinkElephant: no, they won't allow anyone in the actual line who is not tall enough to ride. BUt - they do offer rider swap passes right at the attraction entrance so you don't need to wait twice. They give you a ticket to come back later and ride (up to 3 people) whenever you like. I prefer this, as I could take my youngest for an ice cream, on another ride, or let her keep napping in the stroller rather than make her wait in a line she couldn't ride.

  30. mediagirl

    hostess / wonderful persimmon / 25482 posts

    @Charm54: @Mrs. Champagne: @looch: Thanks!

    @mrs. Champagne did you do the 7 dwarves mine train? That's the one I'm most bummed about.

  31. mediagirl

    hostess / wonderful persimmon / 25482 posts

    @808love: did you use resort babysitting for your monorail date or how did that work? I'm curious about it! Well be there for 7 days, as well and staying in a camper means a lot of togetherness.

  32. Mrs. Champagne

    coconut / 8238 posts

    @mediagirl: no I don’t think that one was pregnancy approved. I did Winnie the Pooh, pirates, buzz, carousel, small things, little mermaid, dumbo, jungle boat. We found a list online that had every pregnancy safe ride for every park.

  33. mediagirl

    hostess / wonderful persimmon / 25482 posts

    @Mrs. Champagne: I just looked up the list and I was surprised to see the safari at Animal Kingdom is on the no-go list. !!! I'm glad we're not going to AK now because that's the best part of that park!

  34. skinnycow

    pear / 1530 posts

    @808love: Sounds like you had a great time!

    We leave in 9 days and I'm so excited!

  35. erinbaderin

    grapefruit / 4699 posts

    Question for people who’ve been before - is planning dinner at T Rex on our last night a mistake? The plan is 6 day Park hoppers, 2 days at MK, one each at Epcot, HS, and AK, and then we’ll decide where we need more time on our last day and go there. We’ve got a 5 year old and an almost 3 year old so I expect that we won’t be having super long days, I anticipate heading back to the hotel (Beach Club) in the afternoon most days. So I’m thinking that last day we’ll be at a park from, like, 8-2, then back to the resort for a break, then Disney Springs for some wandering, a bit of shopping, and dinner? Will I regret that?

  36. Charm54

    cantaloupe / 6885 posts

    @erinbaderin: I think that’s a great idea ! We always soak up every last minute and the atmosphere at T Rex is so fun. What time is your flight the next day? If it’s direct to Canada the magical express picks you up 4 hours early 😫 So it can be an early wake up the last day if you have a morning flight home.

  37. Mrs. Champagne

    coconut / 8238 posts

    @mediagirl: yes we didn’t love ak because we couldn’t do that... didn’t seem like lots for us to do there with kids ages 4 and 1.5 and me being pregnant.

  38. looch

    wonderful pear / 26210 posts

    @erinbaderin: We love dinner at that Dino place. They even have that sand pit out front where you can dig.

    We always spend a late afternoon at DS and then have a dinner there.

  39. 808love

    pomelo / 5839 posts

    @mediagirl It is called Lilo’s Playhouse and it is at the Poly. There are a few of these Activity Centers like at Beach Club and Animal Kingdom. Not sure if you have to stay at resort to use it and they are closing in June or July. We stayed at Pop Century. It was a flat fee $55 from 4:30pm to 12:00 midnight (or park closing) and it includes dinner and snacks.
    I still can’t believe it was only $55. I just made a typo on the amount.
    For a first timer MK is your bet for a double day (we usually do Epcot twice though) but we have been before and AK is so big -it was the one place we never saw it all. For the big kids they do this junior ranger book throughout the kingdom which is fun for kids like DD.

  40. erinbaderin

    grapefruit / 4699 posts

    @Charm54: Our flight is at 10:30, so I think we might Uber back to the airport - I have no interest in a) being ready to go at 6:30 or b) entertaining the boys at the airport for that long! The other Disney Springs option is our first day but I don’t love that idea for a lot of reasons - it’s going to be a SUPER early day (6:30am flight and we live 45 minutes from the airport) plus I don’t really want to start our trip with all the shops, I’d rather save that for the end and buy everybody a final souvenir. Thanks for the reassurance!

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