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Posted: 1/7/2005 3:35:48 PM EDT
OK, I have gotten good advice on just about everything else I've ever asked so here's an important one...
What's the best way to plan a Disney Vacation? I plan on driving so I won't need airfare. There's three of us (my son will be 3) and we have to go towards the end of June.
My wife's a teacher so we have to go over summer vacation.
Is it best to book directly through Disney? A travel agent? Or any other suggestions?
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 3:37:58 PM EDT
Hope you aren't planning on going during, "gay day".

Link Posted: 1/7/2005 3:39:34 PM EDT
You mean gay week. Better check when that is cause it would suck to have it coincide.
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 3:41:16 PM EDT
Are you a AAA member? They do this stuff all of the time.

My wife has found some darn good deals hotels on the internet.

You may also want to stay the Disney resort on the property, there are like 3 different levels from medium price to very expensive.
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 4:01:59 PM EDT
First check some of the Disney World Vacation planners on line. Decide what is best for you and your family. Compare the packages offered by different travel agencies. When I took my daughter to Disney World, I wanted to stay in the park.

Next, decide which bank you need to rob
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 4:05:17 PM EDT
Thanks for the warning on Gay Week!
Anyways, my wife and I have gone a few times and we definitely want to stay on the grounds with the big guy!
Thanks so far...
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 4:11:09 PM EDT
Best way to plan???

Save EVERY penny you have....it's very expensive!!
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 4:20:37 PM EDT
We went two years ago (3 of us) and rented a house the first week of Sept. for a great rate. Sure was nice to have all the comforts of home (including a pool) after a day in the park.

Good luck!
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 4:29:07 PM EDT
I volunteered for booth duty at the Gartner Group Expo. Stayed at Disney Yacht & Beach Club which the company picked up including meals and airfare. All I purchased was the park tickets. If you can swing it, that is the way.
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 4:47:02 PM EDT
AA is probably close to the best way to go. there are a few bennies that only AAA purchased tickets and passes get.

By all means if you're afraid of gays avoid Gay Week. The more straights that stay away the less crowded the parks are. If you care to surrender in the "fight".

Disney might be able to help find the best days, but realistically you are going in the peak period. I have no idea when "Gay Week" might be, but I can give you a big hint, they don't go at the peak crowd season.
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 5:18:02 PM EDT
Gay Week is usually during the first 2 weeks of June.

I had booked a room and passes for myself, girlfriend and my 2 boys for a week one year. Turned out to be the wrong week. They won't warn you either so you'll have to ask. Needless to say I was Fucking Pissed (along with about 100 other parents) paid for our trip 6 months in advance. The fucks could of warned us. Although they did give me the same package anytime I want...Have'nt been back since. I'd rather do Sea World or Universal...
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 5:20:35 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/7/2005 5:27:25 PM EDT by KA3B]
It's no fun since Anaheim cleared the hookers from Ball and Katella....
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 5:27:33 PM EDT
There are various different packages for the tickets to the parks. If you decide to go to Universal I would only plan one day for that park, especially with a 3 yo. Focus more on MGM and The Magic Kingdom.

Are you in the Military? If so, see the nearest MWR for information on RCI. It will save you a bunch on the cost of your lodging and I guarantee that you will get a nice place.
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 5:33:19 PM EDT
Disney Florida or Anaheim?
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 5:35:34 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Javak:
Disney Florida or Anaheim?

+1 I have lots of advice for Anaheim, but have never been to Florida.
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 5:45:26 PM EDT

Originally Posted By colesteele:
Are you in the Military?

If so look into the Shade of Green resort on property. It is run by the .mil for the .mil, plus it is newly remodeled. It is jus to the west of the Magic kingdom.

If I can be of any more help do be afraid to Im me.

Rich B
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 5:48:49 PM EDT
When we went to Disney Orlando we got a package deal, (Discovery Magic, I think they called it) through a travel agent. We paid all in advance; much more relaxing and enjoyable that way. Stay on-property if you can. We stayed at Animal Kingdom lodge and loved it. Don't try to overdo it with a 3 yo. He'll get worn out pretty quick. We would go back to the hotel in the afternoons to swim/relax/nap and then close the parks down at night.
Lots of websites for hints. Do your homework/reservations 60-90 days ahead of time. One entertainment favorite-- the "Hoop de Do Revue" was hilarious. It's a dinner show at Fort Wilderness
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 6:01:30 PM EDT
Don't forget its hot that time of year and rains around three in the afternoon. AAA will get you the best rates. Do the Disney Cruise, Its an hour away and its first class. bring the sun tan lotion, rain coats. and money. If you can get those reserved ride time tickets get them. Well worth it if nothing else. Some rides have two hour waits. Its nice to show up and get on.

Link Posted: 1/7/2005 6:16:57 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/7/2005 6:17:29 PM EDT by Sukebe]
I've been to Disney World 7 times. My wife is a Disney fanatic and somewhat of an expert. Book through Disney. Stay at one of the Disney resorts. Pop Century is a good value resort and not much more expensive than off property plus you have the convenience of Disney's transportation system. The resort facilities are excellent. Go to your local book store and get Birnbaums guide to Disney World. It's full of useful information. It's the best Disney guide there is. Make sure you book a couple of character meals for the little one. My favorite is The Crystal Palace at The Magic Kingdom. It's an excellent buffet and the characters are from Winnie the Pooh. Book a lunch at the Rain Forest Cafe at The Animal Kingdom. Dinner at The German Village in EPCOT is great as well. A huge German buffet, Giant Beers and an Oompah band. The kids have a ball on the dance floor. All sit down restaurants require reservations.
All the parks have a fast pass system. You can only hold one fast pass at a time so you can't wait for your time on one fast pass while you go and get a fast pass for another attraction. Here's the secret to beating that. The back of every fast pass machine has an override button. Push the button and out comes a fast pass, no need to scan your park tickets. When you've got a little one and it's 95 degrees and 80% humidity, waiting in line is for suckers.

I can't stress it enough, GET THE BIRNBAUM GUIDE. Knowledge is the key to maximizing your Disney World experience.

One more thing, if you want to pack at Disney, make sure you carry something small like a Kel-Tec. Keep it on you. They search every bag at every park before you enter. They don't search individuals unless you give them cause to.
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 6:33:41 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 6:40:54 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 6:51:11 PM EDT
Thanks for all the replies!
We went to Disneyworld for our honeymoon...it is great for adults, but I think its gonna be even better with my son!! I like FL much better than CA....
I'm not in the military...my buddy just came back and he is military and raved about the grounds for the military...
Thanks again!
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 6:52:29 PM EDT
I live here in Florida and will NEVER go to Disney again. After their "Gay Days" theme that they came up with and didn't even let the park goers know about it, I won't be setting foot in those parks ever again. I will choose to go to Universal or Busch Gardens. Screw Disney!!!!
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 6:54:40 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Stormtrooper:
You mean gay week. Better check when that is cause it would suck to have it coincide.

Fixed it....
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 6:57:04 PM EDT
Pro Gay and Anti gun!!! Why go there? There are so many fun places in this country to visit why waste it on Disney Land???

Link Posted: 1/7/2005 7:07:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Frntsyt:
OK, I have gotten good advice on just about everything else I've ever asked so here's an important one...
What's the best way to plan a Disney Vacation? I plan on driving so I won't need airfare. There's three of us (my son will be 3) and we have to go towards the end of June.
My wife's a teacher so we have to go over summer vacation.
Is it best to book directly through Disney? A travel agent? Or any other suggestions?

Don't do it!!! Disney is planning on taking over the world!!! they are going to brain wash your children to get you to empty your pocket book!!

Yes dear . . . . I will take my medication now . . .
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 7:18:08 PM EDT
Disney is evil incarnate. Why would you throw your money at an organization which does its dead level best to brainwash your kids with liberal ideas?
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 7:21:27 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 7:21:57 PM EDT
I have been to Fla twice. Sukebe is definitely right about the Fastpass, without it you won't do anything but stand in line, it 's bad enough in June with the Fast Pass. Oh and get ready to sweat your ass off, I live in the south but it's nothing like being there, I love the beach in Fla as there is always a breeze, but not there. Quite frankly if I had the option of staying at home for a week off or Disney for a week, I'll take the week at home. Be warned: The food sucks at 90% of the places there in the park, and it is absolutely ridiculously priced. All they have are Coca-Cola products to drink and NO sweet tea, which means you are limited to Coke, Diet Coke, and Sprite. They don't even have Mr. Pibb for God's sake. My 7 year old son and I walked up to a snack bar at lunch, my son says "give us 2 cheeseburgers & fries". The limp wristed pimpleface teenager says"we don't have cheeseburgers, we have healthy food; would you like a turkey wrap & a fruit cup?"
My son looks at me & says "I think the fruit cup is behind the counter". It was truly the highlight of the trip.
The hotels are VERY expensive, and don't expect the kids to like Epcot as it is geared more toward adults and teens, not really for small kids. Lots of politally correct stuff, we went to a Pocahontas live show and the skit was about saving the rain forest. At the end I wanted to stand up & shout "Brought to you by our good friends at Kimberly Clark, and by Polulan chain saws". Consider yourself warned.

Link Posted: 1/7/2005 7:25:06 PM EDT
Been there once as a child and once with my kids. Was ok but lots of people . Honestly I liked Dollywood better. Not the right time of year now, but it was much more enjoyable and educational than the main part of Disney FL.
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 8:12:22 PM EDT
First, buy this book and read it right away:

The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World

There are several other good books on WDW (including the Official book) but Sehlinger's book is the best. Also check these web sites:


Many of the on-site motels and hotels are pretty nice. I've stayed on the property and it is better. Get up really early, the parks will open very early especially the early entry park. Take a break at the pool during the hot middle part of the day. I find the best deals are the buffets and the Disney hotels have some decent restaurants, as does Epcot.

Sometimes Disney has decent package deals but I doubt there will be any in June/July (last week in August can sometimes have deals there). You'll probably do best buying the hotel and tickets ala carte but check with AAA. Also you can sign up with Disney Visa and maybe get a bit of a price break (or a few percentage points).

Link Posted: 1/7/2005 8:23:10 PM EDT
Don't get sucked in by the hype. Take a trip to the great out doors and go white water rafting or something.
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 8:35:38 PM EDT
Do a search for the following :

Orange Lake
RCI Timeshares

They have deals on super low cost weeks about 4 miles from the park.
Yeah, you'll have to go to a mandatory breakfest buffet/sales pitch session, but you can bs your way through it (just tell 'em you can't afford to buy a share unless the next shipment of horse gets past the new Customs scanners.)

I ended up buying a week... Got me a permanent week in Wally World I can will to the kids... (besides, they have 3 Arnold Palmer designed golf courses so I can get some ME time)
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 8:46:41 PM EDT
my advice...dont go...
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 8:56:44 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/7/2005 8:57:54 PM EDT by geegee]
We went this summer, and plenty of advance planning is the key.

First of all, I was pretty lucky in how we payed for it. I traveled a lot for work, so we payed for the hotel stay and all the park passes with Hilton Honors Points. Now that aside, there are some other things to consider.

If you're going in the summer, it will be like a visit to the Congo. Plenty of water, and pace yourself. We also drover 9from the DFW area), and the AAA online Trip Tik was great. When we got there, we planned not to do Disneyworld the first day, but instead to hit some of the other attractions. The reason was that to really get your money's worth, you have to be at the parks when they open. That means getting up early, and we knew we wouldn't want to the day after driving there. We did a helicopter ride, pool time, and some other fun things like Go Carts.

Try to stay someplace like a suite that will have a refrigerator in the room (we didn't stay on the property itself, but a nice place a few miles away). This will help you save money on food, which is freakin' ridiculous. Any meal you don't have to eat there will really help you save. That said, it's pretty hard not to eat lunch there, just because getting away in the middle of the day is next to impossible once you're already in the park.

If the weather is nice, and everyone can keep up, do try to stay until the evening's final show of the day-the fireworks. Excellent shows that you won't forget. You ought to plan for some rain, and to help in thatarea, buy some poncho's at Academy for $2-3.00 a piece. Not the $10-15.0 ones at the park.

Just had another thought about bringing knives and such in the park. Here's a thread I started over at Knifeforums:

Why You Must Carry a Knife Into Disneyworld

When you're there, always do the Quick Pass. No reason to do the park anyway else.

Good luck and have fun!
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