Disney tips? Travel tips?

   / Disney tips? Travel tips? #1  


Veteran Member
Aug 19, 2008
Yanmar LX4900//Cub 7532//Cub Yanmar SC2400//Komatsu D38//Cub Volunteer//Cub SZ60/CAT 289C/CAT 308
Looks like it's about time to visit Disney world, July trip for the kids. Wife and I are long overdue for a vacation, haven't had a proper one in several years.
Anyone have any tips on Disney? How about good travel sites? All inclusive better? We will be flying down....I have lots of miles built up on Delta, wondering if i should use them or would it be better/cheaper to buy a whole package from an agency?
Time to start the research.....any hints/tips/recommendations appreciated!
   / Disney tips? Travel tips? #2  
BUY THE BOOK! Not sure where to find it - I got one from a friend - travel agent should know - but there is a book on how best to see all the attractions and the order in which to see them for the best use of your time. The one biggy I found helpful was " as quickly as you walk in the gate - make your dinner reservations!" Lunch is "on the fly" but dinner requires reservations at the attraction restaurants. BUT - my info is really old. like 20 yrs old -- so ask your travel agent.
   / Disney tips? Travel tips? #3  
Go on the net for Disney. You can get a CD or download the info right from the mouse house. Couple of mistakes I made: I bought the most expensive, go anywhere, as many times as you want tickets. Pretty much a waste, as we couldn't get to everything we wanted to see in our 3 days there. And the 1st day there, I looked at my Disney bucks statement, and it said we had $390 in Disney bucks!! How would we ever spend that much??? By the next morning, I'd found out!!!, I was digging in my pockets for more cash!!
   / Disney tips? Travel tips? #4  
I have friends that just went they got the transferrable tickets, and express passes. They said the Harry Potter world was excellent.
   / Disney tips? Travel tips? #5  
I have family that lives close to Disney so the wife, the kids and I have been there quite a few times. If you have a younger child I would get the stroller without a doubt. They are very big and you can put all your stuff in theback of them.

We also pack our own food. The food there isnt all that great but is is crazy expensive. a regular old ordinary size hotdog with mustard will set you back $7.00.
We pack a soft cooler with sandwiches and plenty of drinks and hang it off the back of the stroller.
We also get the "Park Hopper" passes so we can hit the different waterparks which my kids like just as much as the regular parks.
   / Disney tips? Travel tips? #6  
We went in 2008 and rented a house in Kissimmee. We ended up eating in at night due to wait times. The kids didn't mind played in the pool etc.
   / Disney tips? Travel tips? #7  
WOW, this could be the longest thread ever, this is a huge question. Planning a Disney trip is mind blowing.

We went last May and had a blast, we had a 5 yo boy and 3 yo girl when we went.

My sister is the 25 Disney trip veteran, we took some advice and skipped some other. We opted to mostly go and figure it out ourselves, and I think we did great.

The way we did it was shopped Disney on line constantly looking for discounts which usually come out just after Christmas, we ended up finding a 40% of package to their luxury resorts, we opted NOT to do any meal plan and I am happy we did not. In summary, the 4 of us stayed at the Grand Floridian last May for $3,300 that was Sunday through Saturday and included 5 days park hopper passes, no waterparks, kids too small, flight for the 4 of us was $1,050. I added up every receipt for food that we had and it totaled $750, we ate what we wanted and when we wanted, so round numbers $5,000 and we had a perfect room walking distance to Magic Kingdom with probably the best view of the fireworks there is, every night the kids sat on the balcony and watched them and the magic light parade.

We are going to go again this year and do the same thing, I like being flexible. My sister books virtually every meal 6 months in advance, the only thing we booked in advance where 2 character meals in Magic Kingdom.

The next time we book we are going to book in advance the 2 character meals but also book a princess lunch for our daughter. We found it IMPOSSIBLE to book a princess meal while were there, however, we were able to book a meal for just about anything else we wanted.

If you stay in the park one park opens an hour early every morning. What we did was get to the park on that day about a half hour before it opened, the line was still daunting but when the park opened after a few minutes it was easy to get where you wanted. So one morning we rode Space Mountain non-stop for an hour then we went over to Splash mountain and rode that non-stop then to the Thunder Mountain railroad. Then by like 10 AM it was starting to get packed so we would always do the fast pass ticket and basically go fast pass to fast pass, the lines go so that it was 15 to 20 minutes for every ride, even with fast pass, but that really wasn't terrible. We did the same thing at Epcot and the other parks.

Everyon'e experience at Disney I think is different. We really liked to be flexible so we didn't have to be anywhere at anytime and I think it worked great. Having little kids I don't think it is worth buying the meal plan, others may disagree. We loved the Grand Floridian and are staying there again with the park view, we checked out all the hotels and liked this one the best but others are really nice too.

The best thing my wife did was rent a double stroller for $100 for the week. They drop it off at the hotel then pick it up, full insurance lost or stolen. That made a huge difference, easier traveling, gave the kids a break and let us stash food and water for them.

Our big mistake was packing a big bag with food and snacks, could have cut that down to a couple packages of granola bars and raisins and stuff, food was expensive but it really wasn't killer. We bought those cups day one that you can refill so we had tea every morning, water for the kids all day and at night.

I was a disbeliever before but I found Disney really fun. That rat knows how to reach in your wallet for sure though.
   / Disney tips? Travel tips? #8  
My wife and I took each of our five grandchildren when they turned 6-7 years old. Worked out we went every other year for ten years. We really enjoyed both the grandkids and the attractions.

We chose to spend a little more and stayed on the monorail in one of the three original disney/monorail hotels...Polynesian/Contemporary/Grand Floridian. These are nice hotels but the main benefit is that you can catch the monorail essentially in the hotel front lobby...it takes you to Magic Kingdom/Epcot or the Travel Center where you can connect to any of the Disney locations. Also can catch buses directly at the hotel entrance.

Being located on the monorail allows you to go back to your hotel whenever for a break and rest...maybe spend a little mid day time with the kids around the pool. You can then return fresh and spend time into the evening. We are too old for a 7am to 11pm day at the parks :)

One thing to consider is La Nuba...by Circ de Solei (sp?). This is located at Downtown Disney which is also a great destination...particularly for an evening. I was a "doubter" when my wife made reservation at La Nuba...but it was great and the kids loved it. We usually went one or two evening to Downtown Disney...MANY restaurants there...major brands like Hard Roc Cafe/Planet Hollywood, etc. As mentioned earlier...plan to make reservations for dinner.

We went to Polynesian hotel with each of the five grandkids...wanted them to have the "same" memories and we also are people of habit. It has been 4-5 years and Grandma and I are ready to go again!...this time we would spend more time in Epcot. BTW...do not miss the GM Test Track "ride" in Epcot...it is interesting and fun...one of my favorites.

Regarding "Park Hopper" passes...they essentially have them priced to lead you to them. We found convenient and frequently went to two parks in same day. I don't think you pay much extra and you get nice flexibility.

Depending on kids age you may want to have lunch with Cinderella at the castle...quite special and always fully booked...you need to make reservations when you sign up for the trip...not when you are at Disney. The Disney "character breakfast/dinners" are also fine...the hotels on the mono rail have them as well as other hotels.

Our trips to disney were planned around 3 days at the parks the first visit and then we expanded to four days at the parks for the next four trips.

Hope you have a good trip...I will add more if I think of it or if you have any questions...Thanks...TMR
   / Disney tips? Travel tips? #9  
I guess as a Florida resident who first went to Disney to see the plans for it 1970 or so, my first suggestion would be don't. :ashamed: As a real suggestion, it is VERY hot there during July and the crowds can be pretty daunting. I found the middle of the day was really not good, but the evenings were bearable. Lots of sunscreen and water bottles were put in the stroller.

I guess my two best trips there with the young ones I stayed at Shades of Green, which is for Military families, and on the other trip, rented a House for a Christmas time visit with another family. The Shades of Green was convienent and the rental house allowed us to have a good time when not in the park.

I think I'll probably leave the Disney trips to my grown kids at this point. I do still enjoy Sea World in Orlando and will go there for July 4th this year. I did that two years ago and enjoyed it with the whole family of kids, grandkids, etc. While I am personally way over Disney, it is "magical" for the kids...
   / Disney tips? Travel tips?
  • Thread Starter
Wow, great information thus far, I am trying to absorb it all.
I was thinking about shades of green, as I'm retired military.....are the rates signifigantly different? Can you get package deals with shades of green? Understand it's relatively close? Access by the rail?
I'm debating whether to rent a car or not.....that rail system sounds pretty convenient, tho. And, we were contemplating visiting family while down there also....decisions decisions....
Kids are 9 and 6. Waited this long so they can remember the trip, and actually be more mobile than being carried/pushed....
I was thinking of staying 6-10 days. Disney, water park, and maybe sea world?? And visiting family?? Is it too much?? How far is Sea World? I understand the water park is right next to Disney?
Can't seem to access the Disney site....:mad: