first disneyworld family vacation

Joanne - posted on 02/05/2009 ( 9 moms have responded )

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In March we are going on our first disneyworld (orlando) family vacation. we have 4 kids (17, 11 and 10 years old and a 9 month old baby) From those who have been there I am looking for any advise and for your top 3 things to do while there. tks

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Rena - posted on 02/06/2009

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First, go out and buy the book 'Walt Disney World WIth KIds'. We just went this past summer and that book was our bible while there. It tells you everything! We carried it along with us the entire trip. It tells you what kind of restaurants are kid friendly, what rides are best for the kiddos, what times to arrive at certain attractions, etc. You've just got to have it.



Since you're going in March it won't be TOO hot but it's probably going to still be a bit warm.  Make sure to take a water bottle with you everywhere. There will be plenty of places for refills. Buy the entire family ponchos. We were there in July and it rained EVERY day. Not really a bad thing though. First, it cooled things off nicely. Second, lots of people clear out of the parks when it rains which is always a good thing.



Make sure you set one night aside to watch the nightly parade and fireworks show at the Magic Kingdom. A must see. Epcot has only a couple of rides the kids might like, MIssion to Mars & Nemo. But, walking around to all of the 'Cities' is really boring. Not much to see. More for adults. If you've got a park hopper pass, might as well go. If not, I wouldn't pay for it. We liked Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Universal Studios & Downtown Disney(that one's free. Shopping, dining, shows. Have to take the kids to see the Lego store. My then 6 & 11 year olds absolutely LOVED Cirque du Soleil. More than worth the admission and great for kids and parents.)



My biggest tip though would be to take advantage of the Fastpasses available at almost every big ride. When you get to the ride there will be a clock with a fastpass time. Basically, instead of standing in line for 90 minutes, you scan your ticket, get a printout with the time to come back to the ride and when you come back at that time you pretty much get to skip to the front of the line. Well, almost, you'll still have to stand a round for a few minutes but not 90!



Don't forget the Tylenol or Motrin. You're tired tired legs are going to need it at the end of the day!

John-Jenna - posted on 02/06/2009

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PS... if you are bringing your own lunch to the MK, there is a hidden picnic table in the best spot on Tom Sawyers island. It is by a stream with ducks and fish on one side and a old fashioned playground on the other. You take a little ferry over and explore the island.

John-Jenna - posted on 02/06/2009

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We go at least once a month and absolulty are addicted! We have 4 kids as well and let me advise you to do the new Kim Possible activity at Epcot for the 10, 11 and 17 year olds. They will love it and be amazed by the technology involved. I would also hit the Magic kingdom and visit the new Pirates ride and the firework show. Your little one will love the winnie the Pooh ride and the playground. The best resturant is the Crystal Palace at the MK for sure. If you are on a day were the MGM firework show is playinng, don't miss that for sure! Hope you have a great time!

Lillian - posted on 02/06/2009

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We brought food and snacks for our 3 boys and didn't have any problems.  It definitely saved us money. They looked through our bags.  My husband just said you just can't bring a cooler in.  A small lunch bag would probably work really well.  We brought snacks and food that wasn't perishable or had to be kept cool.

Joanne - posted on 02/06/2009

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i'm curious about something else....are we allowed to bring food in. My 11 year old has diabetes and can't be eating junk food. so I don't beleive the meal package would work for us since I need to count all the carbs she eats in order for her to be able to get the right amount of insulin. I was hoping to bring in our lunch and snacks

Lillian - posted on 02/06/2009

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My husband and I have gone  just about every year with our 3 boys...and a few more before they were born.  We have stayed both off and on the park.  As long as you are there to spend time and have fun and make a plan of what rides you would like to ride and which theme park to go to it is always fun.  At the Magic Kingdom--of course Splash Mountain and Space Mountain for the older kids, definitely Philharmagic and there are many rides you can ride with your little one.  We always try not to stay too long because the little ones do get tired, and we liked being at  a resort so we could go back and let the babies rest.  Epcot--there is Mission Space, Soaring, Honey I Shrunk the Audience, there is a Nemo ride and an interactive show with Crush, it isn't as boring...you can  hop from Epcot to Animal Kingdom or to MGM or Hollywood studios.  Animal Kingdom--Everest, Kali River Rapids ride, Dinosaur, It's Tough to be a Bug, Kilamanjaro Safari, Lion King is great.  At Hollywood Studios--Rockin' Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, and Muppet Show...definitely go see Fantasmic at Hollywood Studios and the laser show at Epcot.  You can buy park hopper tickets off the Disney website that don't expire.  If my husband and I can have fun with our boys who are a lot younger, then you will definitely have run with your older kids and the little one!  Just remember...most people like to go right and veer to the left and the lines are usually shorter on the left and when you're in the theme parks go towards the left first and there are usually not as many people going left, which we found out and have done really great.  Also take advantage of the Fast Pass so you can get on rides faster and while you're waiting for your time you can go on another ride.  Enjoy your vacation and hope you have a great time!

Tracy - posted on 02/06/2009

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I haven't been since 2003 so I'm not up on what's new there.  The Haunted Mansion has alwayus been one of my faves.  Space Mountain is a cool indoor space-themed roller coaster.  Epcot is amazing.  Different themes from various countries.  You can experience the cuisine from all around the world.  The best thing i can advise you is to check out the web site.  It lists all of the different theme parks.  You need to get to the park early.  To avoid long line ups they have fast pass I think it's called.  You get a ticket ahead of time for a specific ride, at no extra cost.  If you don't get to the park early enough you'll be faced with long waits, especially for the more popular attractions.  Take autograph books and pens (or sharpies) so your kids can collect signatures.  Have fun and tell Mickey I said hello!

Alecia - posted on 02/06/2009

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Our family went to Disney last summer. We made it a group affair and had two other families with us. 12 in all, 6 adults and 6 kids. Kids ranging in age from 3 to 10. If you are staying on property that is the best thing since you have bus service everywhere. Things we also found very helpful was getting the dining plan. The dining plan is paid for up front but then you don't have to worry about meals in the parks. Each person gets an allotted number of meals plus a snack per day. This made things so much easier and cheaper in the long run. Also look into the fast pass system for the bigger rides. The fast pass will let you "reserve" a time for a ride so the lines won't be as long. This was great for the safari ride at Animal Kingdom. There is also a shared ride system. This is for us folks with the little ones that can't ride the big rides. It allows your group to ride the ride and then the person who stays behind gets to go back on the ride with a guest but doesn't have to stand in the long lines. This helped our group out alot with the little kids. Only carry what you need into the park. Anyone with bags will be searched. The process is quick but gets old after a few days. Have a great time and enjoy the time with the family. Take lots of pictures.

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Disneyworld is a must obviously, but I also enjoyed Universal, MGM and Sea World is really fun too. Epcot is boring, especially for kids and I found Animal Kingdom to be kind of boring too, there wasn't as much to do as I had hoped.

I think even if you don't stay at the resort, many resorts sell park hopping passes, I think that's what they're called. You pay one price and can jump around from park to park if you only want to spend a half day somewhere.

I'm sure your kids will love it no matter what, and you'll have a great vacation!

Have fun!

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