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Disney World Planning Thread 2018

  1. buttermilk

    nectarine / 2086 posts

    @SteelerGirl: it was still hot and humid. Dresses and shorts for sure! And yes you’ll def be able to swim.

  2. 808love

    pomelo / 5822 posts

    @SteelerGirl: We went in Oct. Shorts yes, swimming no. Although there were people swimming.

  3. Hypatia

    apricot / 386 posts

    Kingdom Strollers rents a City Mini GT Double that holds 50 lbs each side with heights up to 48”. I think that might be big enough! We won’t know for sure until the time draws nearer.

    I considered a push wagon, but technically they aren’t allowed at WDW. Lots of people bring them anyway, but I wouldn’t want to chance it.

    I just realized that we could get free dining if we book a five night stay at an eligible resort (if we are able to snag it once the promo goes live). So the plan is a five night stay in December 2019 at Pop Century (near the new skyline gondolas!). I’m going to book our room as soon as I’m able (I think this September by phone is the earliest they allow). Then sign up for an email notification from one of the third party sites when free dining goes live (it opened April 24 at 5 am this year, so sometime around then throw spring).

    I will say that I kind of hate that this is the way disney does things now. Having to get up at 5 am to book dining reservations, fast pass, and the free dining promo just seems like a lot of extra stress that didn’t exist when our parents booked disney.

  4. 808love

    pomelo / 5822 posts

    @Hypatia: We went with Kingdom Strollers two years and they were great. Also Pop Century was a wonderful value hotel. Can’t believe the gondolas will be up so soon. How fun!!. I never went to DW as a kid so to me, this is just all in a day’s work. I also want to go back here in a few more years!!

  5. erinbaderin

    grapefruit / 4645 posts

    @Hypatia: Orlando for Families (https://www.orlandoforfamilies.com/stroller-rentals.html) rents Keenz wagons, which are apparently the only kind officially allowed in the park.

  6. Mrs D

    grapefruit / 4545 posts

    Some decent deals to be had at Disney.com today using the code "disneypals"...

    I snagged some super cute special Disney World pjs and some other things...

  7. erinbaderin

    grapefruit / 4645 posts

    @Charm54: Given the rumoured price increase, are you still holding out for a Canadian residents ticket sale? I can’t decide what to do!

  8. Charm54

    cantaloupe / 6885 posts

    @erinbaderin: I haven’t heard of a price increase? That’s not to say there’s not...Usually they only raise prices in February. There were rumours that they would “tier” multi day prices based on when you are traveling : ie Christmas would be more $$$ but I haven’t heard any more rumblings of that lately.

    I think I’m going to hold out for a Canadian discount (hopefully end of sept/early Oct) but it’s hard to say what’s best to do!

  9. erinbaderin

    grapefruit / 4645 posts

    @Charm54: I read this on the Disney Tourist Blog email:

    Disney already announced in the spring that they would be switching to tiered pricing for multi-day tickets this year. That means another price increase is going to occur before the end of the year--likely before the heart of the busy holiday seasons in late September.

    So that’s what has me concerned...but I guess probably they’ll announce it before they actually do it so there will be time.

  10. Charm54

    cantaloupe / 6885 posts

    @erinbaderin: I’m hoping the Cdn discount gets announced before they tier. Usually all the blogs announce a few days before disney raises their prices so I will let you know if I hear anything!

    Have you been making any dining plans? Our dining booking day is less than a month away but I can’t decide what we should do!

  11. erinbaderin

    grapefruit / 4645 posts

    @Charm54: I think I’m pretty set on dining plans - this is what I’ve got planned for reservations (I think I stole a lot of stuff from you):

    Sunday (Epcot day) - dinner at Biergarten
    Monday (Magic Kingdom) - breakfast at Be Our Guest, lunch at Tony’s Town Square (the parade package)
    Tuesday (Animal Kingdom) - breakfast at Tuskegee House
    Wednesday (Hollywood Studios) - dinner at Beaches and Cream
    Thursday (Magic Kingdom) - breakfast at Crystal Palace, dinner at Ohana
    Friday (TBD based on where we want more time) - dinner at T Rex Cafe

    Any suggestions? Must dos that I’m missing? I can’t believe we’re almost at the six month mark!

  12. Charm54

    cantaloupe / 6885 posts

    @erinbaderin: yum!! those are all awesome choices! The hard part for me is that I want to do all our favourites over and over but there’s so many new places to try. But most of those are my family’s favourites so we will probably do them again, lol.

    Are you doing the Dining plan? If so you can book the Tusker House Rivers of Light Package for the same one credit that gets you VIP access to AK’s night time show. I’ve never seen Rivers of Light personally and have heard mixed reviews, but it’s an option.

    Only other suggestion is that Hollywood Studios has really fun dining options - Sci Fi is our favourite - it’s themed like an outdoor drive in and you eat in cars which my kids love. The food is delicious too. 50’s Prime Time is hilarious with lots of waiter antics but the food is just OK IMO (some people love it though). Mama Melrose (Italian) is yummy and you can get a package for Fantasmic show for one Dining credit if that interests you.

    But Beaches & Cream is super good and fun too. We like to do that one on our arrival night because it’s right at the resort and is really casual. It’s not that expensive so we typically don’t use a dining plan credit for it, we just pay out of pocket.

  13. skinnycow

    persimmon / 1499 posts

    @erinbaderin: All good choices! We love Ohana and it's our arrival night tradition

    Agreed on Sci Fi Diner. A lot of people say the food is mediocre but we really like it!

  14. skinnycow

    persimmon / 1499 posts

    I finally got DH on board for a December 2019 trip! I'm sooo excited and have already begun planning. DH thinks I'm nuts since it's over a year away. We're TTC currently and will hopefully have a 7-8 month old or younger baby so that will make trip planning a little different this time around...

    We're staying at the Wilderness Lodge which I've heard is beautiful at Christmas.

  15. erinbaderin

    grapefruit / 4645 posts

    @Charm54: Ooh, that is also a good suggestion - I’m just not sure the kids will make it through a full day anywhere so figured we might not want to leave HS, go back for a nap, and then get back over there. More thought required!

  16. Charm54

    cantaloupe / 6885 posts

    @skinnycow: fun!! Wilderness lodge looks beautiful, especially at Christmas. My sister brought her 8 month old this year and it wasn’t nearly as difficult as I thought it would be. He was super cute meeting the characters

    @erinbaderin: the nice thing about Hollywood studios (and Epcot) is that it is within walking distance to Beach Club so it’s super easy to pop back to one of those two parks after an afternoon break. We don’t typically do afternoon breaks anywhere else because it’s more of a hassle and makes my kids more tired. But Epcot and HS, definitely. You could always do lunch there too if you thought that would be better for your kids

  17. erinbaderin

    grapefruit / 4645 posts

    @Charm54: Oh, I totally forgot! What a good point! Ok, then yes, I think I might make that change, thank you! And then we can share the Kitchen Sink for dinner on our first night and just pay our of pocket.

  18. 808love

    pomelo / 5822 posts

    Absolute yes to Be Our Guest breakfast for early park access. Also Sci Fi had poor service and food when I went, plus a little creepy theme but I did like the novelty of if.

  19. Charm54

    cantaloupe / 6885 posts

  20. Hypatia

    apricot / 386 posts

    Has anyone park hopped from MK to Epcot for dinner? We weren’t thrilled with the food options in MK when we went two years ago, but I’m wondering if we’d just lose too much time traveling between parks with small kids if we tried to eat dinner are Eocot. We will be going during a slow time of year, with the MK crowds will be 2 or 3 and Epcot 4 - 6 on the same days.

  21. erinbaderin

    grapefruit / 4645 posts

    @Charm54: Too funny, I was coming to post the same thing! Tickets: CHECK! And now only a few days until meal reservation day!

    Anybody have any opinions on doing Tusker House at 8am vs 10:30ish?

  22. SteelerGirl

    cherry / 147 posts

    Can anyone share their strategy for the three fastpasses that you book ahead? In particular, what times you chose? We have kids that nap so I struggled with making them early enough they we would use them before nap time (and so there was enough time to re-book new ones later in the day), and late enough that the lines we're actually longish. I didn't want to book any at 9:05 AM when the park opens at 9:00. Is 10:30 AM late enough to actually have a line? Will any fastpasses be left by the time we use all three around 2:30?

  23. skinnycow

    persimmon / 1499 posts

    @SteelerGirl: We usually book ours for 10, 11, and 1 - give or take. Remember that each FP has an hour window, so if you have a 10 FP you can use it through 11 (or technically 11:15 with the 15 minute grace period). We usually do rides without fast passes for the first two hours and then hit our first fast pass at the end of the window. We've always had good luck picking up additional fast passes in the afternoon.

    Another popular strategy is to book at 9, 10, and 11 to have earlier access for additional fast passes but I've never done that. In that situation you could just wait until 10 to use your first FP and take advantage of short lines for the first hour.

    Are you going when crowds are high?

    ETA - you can book an additional FP as soon as you tap into your third one (you don't have to wait for the window to end). So in our case, we tap in at 1:00 for our last FP and then immediately book an additional FP.

  24. Charm54

    cantaloupe / 6885 posts

    @Hypatia: It would be fairly easy to take the monorail (you’d have to transfer monorails at the TTC to Epcot) but most of the Epcot restaurants are in the very back of the park and Epcot is pretty big.

    Have you looked at any resort restaurants around MK? Ohana and 1900 Park Fare are great and very easy to get to from MK

  25. Charm54

    cantaloupe / 6885 posts

    @erinbaderin: 10:30 would be my recommendation because if the park opens by 9 you want to be out of Tusker House by then (lines are shortest in the first hour) and I hate to rush a character meal. 10:30 also has the added bonus of trying both breakfast and lunch foods when they start changing over around 11:00/11:30

  26. Mrs D

    grapefruit / 4545 posts

    @erinbaderin: remember to do the ROL VIP seating package at Tusker House! We are doing 8:30am...but we're also thinking of heading home for naps...so 10:35 would make that challenging...

  27. SteelerGirl

    cherry / 147 posts

    @skinnycow: crowds are projected to be moderate to light so I'm probably over thinking it. I hate that you can't overlap windows because I just know we're going to be caught in a situation where we have half an hour to kill before the next fastpass. I guess that's lunch or snack time?

  28. Charm54

    cantaloupe / 6885 posts

    @SteelerGirl: there’s lots to do in between fastpasses .. lots of rides have little to no wait... see a show, meet a character, snack, bathroom, shop... we’re never bored!

  29. Hypatia

    apricot / 386 posts

    @Charm54: Thanks for pointing that out! I think we will just stick to MK.

  30. erinbaderin

    grapefruit / 4645 posts

    @Mrs D: Good idea! I’m not sure we’ll make it there - my tentative plan is to go back to the hotel for naps around 1 and then not go back - but it doesn’t hurt to have the booking in case!

    On that note, how do I do that? I was looking around the booking app today and didn’t see options for the special packages, either this one or the Tony’s Town Square one.

  31. skinnycow

    persimmon / 1499 posts

    @erinbaderin: They don't list them on the main restaurant page - they're separate for some reason. Just search for the package you're looking for and it should pop up! Here's the Tony's Town Square parade package.


  32. erinbaderin

    grapefruit / 4645 posts

    @skinnycow: Thanks for this - I just used this link directly to make this reservation!

    Reservations done, more or less all at the times I wanted - yay! Now on to figuring out Fast Passes!

  33. Charm54

    cantaloupe / 6885 posts

    @erinbaderin: awesome! Glad you got everything you wanted.

    We are all set for Dining too... I’m excited to try some new restaurants (Teppan Edo, Homecoming,, Spice Road Table..) we are doing a lot of our repeats though because we love them so much !

  34. SteelerGirl

    cherry / 147 posts

    Looking for advice regarding the dining plan. We just learned they don't offer dining plan for children under age 3. My daughter will be two years, 2 months. They said she can eat off our plates. This will work fine at buffets, but personally I don't want to order mac n cheese for myself for every lunch because that's what she will eat.

    How did others handle this? Did you find it necessary to purchase your 2 yo their own meal? Did they snack so much they didn't eat much at meals? Did you just order whatever you wanted and they ate off your plate?

  35. skinnycow

    persimmon / 1499 posts

    @SteelerGirl: We went when my daughter was around the same age and she ate off our plates for most meals. The portion sizes are pretty big so she was never hungry (and I kept pretzels/applesauce in my bag for snacking).

    We did order her her own meal a few times and regretted it every time. The portion sizes are huge for kid meals and she just picked at the food and barely ate anything. They're not cheap so it felt like we were throwing away money!

  36. skinnycow

    persimmon / 1499 posts

    Soooo we're going back to Disney World at the end of the month (we just went 5 months ago). My husband and I were planning an anniversary trip but were unable to find childcare for my daughter. We decided to take a trip as a family, my husband suggested Disney, and here we are.

    We booked about two weeks ago and it has been a test of my Disney planning skills to plan a trip about 1.5 months out! It's gone well and we have dining reservations for BOG, Ohana, Tusker House, and other favorites of ours! The only fast pass we haven't been able to snag is Seven Dwarf's Mine Train but that's not a big deal because we have a pre-park opening breakfast. I've learned that it's definitely possible to plan a last minute trip!

  37. SteelerGirl

    cherry / 147 posts

    @skinnycow: How did you get Ohana?! Are you eating at a weird time? I'm so jealous we couldn't get that reservation even 3 months ahead!

  38. skinnycow

    persimmon / 1499 posts

    @SteelerGirl: The reservation is for 6:30 so not a weird time at all! I used the touringplans.com reservation finder - you just put in the restaurant and time you want and it will text you when something is available within your parameters. I think I got Ohana 2=3 days after setting it up! You have to make an account but shouldn't have to pay for a subscription.

  39. Boymama3

    apple seed / 3 posts

    Question for all of the Disney experts! We are going in April with our 2 boys (4.5 and 3). I have most of our meals planned but we have one dinner spot open - what would you suggest?

    I have Crystal Palace, Ohana, Tusker House, Garden Grill and Coral Reef already on the list. Thanks!!

  40. Mrs D

    grapefruit / 4545 posts

    @Boymama3: We havent gone yet but Sanaa was highly recommended to us - its at AKL.

    I'm super sad we missed Ohana for ADR...hoping to catch one in the weeks leading up to our trip!

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