Bad Disney Advice

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It happened again this weekend. I was on the monorail heading to the Magic Kingdom when I overheard a family talking about where they wanted to go for dinner. They all agreed that the Beast’s Castle looked like the most fun so they’d go there. Then they struck up a conversation with another family and found out there was a restaurant IN Cinderella’s Castle! They decided that’s where they would show up for dinner later that night. Yep- one of the hottest tickets in all of Walt Disney World and they were planning to stroll up like a dinner at Denny’s. I couldn’t help mentioning to these folks that they might want to check at Guest Services if there were reservations available but they dismissed my suggestion. The other family agreed they should be fine to get in by just approaching the podium whenever the felt like it.

Have you been in this situation before? Holding your tongue because you know that people are giving bad advice… and there is nothing that you can do about it. I find myself in this position really often. I’m surprised how often I hear advice that is bad or just plain wrong! So today I’m going to cover some of the absolute worst advice I’ve heard. I’d love to hear from you in the comments if you’ve heard something worse or if you’ve unfortunately fallen for one of these before. Thanks in advance for sharing!

There’s a great view of the fireworks from the Yacht Club… or not.

Don’t waste your time doing anything besides Disney when you’re in Orlando. Wow, I love Disney! I live for Disney! If you cut me I bleed pixie dust, but even I don’t agree with this statement. There is so much to do and see when you’re here. Why not visit one of the other parks? Or spend a day at the beach or Kennedy Space Center? Or have I mentioned the awesomeness that is Gatorland? If you’re on a budget it’s totally understandable to limit your trip but if not at least see what else is available. Orlando might just surprise you!

Get there in the afternoon to avoid the heat. This is one I hear all the time and it’s honestly terrible advice. Of course, I don’t practice what I preach. I get to the parks in the afternoon all the time but I also don’t do very much when I get there as the lines are all very long at that point. Not to mention, during the hotter months it’s still incredibly hot in the afternoon. If you’re going in the summer it’s a better idea to go first thing in the morning and head out BEFORE noon. That way you get the coolest temperatures of the day and the shortest lines.

You can get tickets cheaper at… I always shy away from shady sounding ticket offers. Sure there are reputable travel agencies that offer slight discounts but if anything sounds too good to be true it probably is. Disney isn’t cheap and I understand the temptation when you can’t drive 2 miles in Kissimmee without seeing neon signs advertising discounted tickets. Just keep in mind you might have to sacrifice an entire day of your vacation on a timeshare sales pitch to get that price on your tickets.

You should go all day every day. I think it’s important to accept you’ll never do everything at Walt Disney World during your trip. I feel sorry for people that try to go all day, every day during their vacation. It’s a frantic pace, I don’t know how people do it! More often I think people try and fail at this strategy. A better idea is to go in the morning, take a nap, and then head back in the evening. When you’re walking back in refreshed be sure to look at the haggard people heading for the exit.

The best time to go is… The honest truth is there is no “best” time to visit Disney World. There are peak times, slower times, hotter months, colder months, and different festivals and events throughout the year. Everyone will have a time they prefer but there isn’t a universal “best” time. Do your research and decide what makes sense for your family. Our crowd calendars are a great resource for tracking how busy the parks will be during different times of the year.

Pomme frites obtained without a reservation at Cafe Orleans in Disneyland!

Wing it! Planning what time of year to visit brings me to some of the absolute worst advice I’ve heard.. to just be spontaneous on your Disney vacation. In a perfect world this would be a great idea! But we live in a world where reservations for Cinderella’s Royal Table open up for booking 180 days in advance. Especially with the addition of Fastpass+ it’s becoming increasingly impossible to have a great time at Disney World without a game plan. If you want to wing it Disneyland is a bit easier with dining reservations but you’re Touring Plan will be just as important to not get stuck in long attraction lines.

There are shorter lines during parades and fireworks. Depending on the season this can be true. However, if the lines are short enough to really empty out during the night time events then you likely would have time to ride them during the day. During busier times if Space Mountain had a 90 minute wait all day then the wait might get down to 70 minutes during Wishes. Is it really worth saving 20 minutes to miss the parade and fireworks? It might be for someone like me that can go see them any night, but for most people I would think the fireworks are more important.

You have to stay on property / off property. I just wrote another article on this topic but it continues to be an area where I hear a lot of bad advice. There are good reasons for both sides of the debate and they should be weighed against what you’re looking for in your vacation. Here are some of the things you should consider when making this decision.

It’s the Sunshine state!! Yep, that’s a name that we earn with beautiful, clear, blue skies. But you have never seen rain until you’ve seen crazy, sideways, Florida rain! In a matter of minutes the sky can turn black and dump more water than you thought possible. In the summers you can almost time your watch with our afternoon downpours. A rain plan is a must when touring the parks. I’ve determined after many years of trial and error that a nice rain coat, crocs, and a baseball cap will get me through any storm. If you can brave through the weather you’ll be rewarded with much shorter lines. Some attractions (like the HauntedMansion) will let you ride over and over with no wait when it’s pouring!

Photopass is a scam – just bring your camera! I will start this one with admitting that I used to be a person that gave this advice. I have a great camera why would I pay Disney’s crazy prices just for photos? But I ate crow a couple years ago at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. My entire extended family was able to attend and the photo I wanted more than anything was all of us with the seven dwarfs. Earlier in the night I had just taken a PhotoPass card because it was easier than declining over and over. At the end of the night I was looking through all my photos and realized my lens was zoomed in on my seven dwarfs photo. The photo was garbage and I was broken hearted. Later that night I found the PhotoPass in my pocket and pulled it up online. There it was – my dream photo!! And it would have been a bargain at twice the price. So now I will say PhotoPass is my insurance policy. 😉

So there are ten of my favorite pieces of bad advice. What are yours? I’d love to hear! Please share in the comments below. As always thanks so much for reading.

Daisy Lauren

I'm just about the biggest Touring Plans fan ever and still pinching myself that they let me be part of the team! I love sharing all things Disney with you and always appreciate your ideas and feedback at: or @dizdaisylauren on twitter Above everything else THANK YOU for reading and commenting!

50 thoughts on “Bad Disney Advice

  • February 14, 2014 at 7:51 am

    You should’ve stalked that family to see if they got into any of the two restaurants. Now I’ll wonder for ever if they did or not.

    • February 14, 2014 at 8:10 am

      If they got into either of those places the day of they need to play the lottery. I had to stalk the Disney site for a month before I finally was able to get reservations to Be our guest in Feb!

      • February 14, 2014 at 9:13 am

        I tend to agree. Even in the off months these places can be really tough to get into. Especially if you just stroll up and expect to walk right in.

        Is it wrong that I really did think about following them to see the show? 😉

        Thanks for the great comments, guys!

        • February 14, 2014 at 12:34 pm

          I made reservations for Be Our Guest at 6:00 am 180 days out because I’d heard it is so difficult to get in, and even then I still had limited times to choose from. However, when we went to the check in, someone walked up and asked what was still available that night. I kind of snickered under my breath, but to my surprise, the cast member said they could fit them in an hour later. You never know if someone might cancel at the last minute!

          • February 20, 2014 at 7:19 pm

            People cancel. We walked up to the Cinderella’s Table to find a reservation, and got one. But no big deal if we didn’t. we just decided to try our luck. I did hear them tell other people they were fully booked. So we simply lucked out, as I assume those you saw did.
            It only matters if you are planned on going there and that doesn’t work.

  • February 14, 2014 at 7:57 am

    I’ll add the corollary to your Photopass one: “Just use Photopass – don’t worry about carrying your camera around the parks!” I have happily used PhotoPass for what it does, but it’s not like there are PhotoPass photographers all around to take all the pictures you want – they are just in certain places and situations. It can be great to get the “everyone in the picture” shots there – but if that is all the photos you get for your vacation you will likely be disappointed.

    • February 14, 2014 at 9:09 am

      While photographers are not everywhere, I’ve found them to be extremely accommodating in getting candid shots. When my grandson got his first haircut at the barber shop, we asked a CM to help us find a photographer to capture the moment. They radioed for a photographer, and we ended up with some adorable photos! If you have a special photo request, it never hurts to ask!

      • February 14, 2014 at 9:17 am

        I will always, always, always carry my own (several pounds of) camera! Now I use Photopass as an insurance policy. I think anyone that just uses Photopass will be disappointed. But then I’m really into pictures! I’ve had great luck with making requests for photos at Disneyland – but there aren’t as many people using the service there. We actually had our own photo shoot all through Carsland!

        I know this is a topic that really divides people. I used to hate it but after they saved me once I’m a fan. Thanks so much for reading and commenting, you two! 🙂

        • February 14, 2014 at 12:23 pm

          Also, as someone who blogs about my trips, I’ve found that it’s a lot easier to use the pics I take w my own camera for that. Never mind the fact that Disney photographers are more than happy to use your camera if you ask.

          • February 14, 2014 at 7:48 pm

            If you have BBB reservation, get a photo pass! The photographers know exactly when and what shots to get to capture your princess!

  • February 14, 2014 at 8:06 am

    I agree with all of your statements, except for one. Thankfully, your books have taught us all of this amazing advice. But we NEVER relax when we go on vacation anywhere. We always try to see EVERYTHING! So why should Disney be any different? We are from Iowa, save our pennies to go every 5 years, and just can’t get enough Disney magic. We are at the gates at opening, enjoy the short lines. But we’ve never been able to leave the park for a nap. We are always too far into the park to think about leaving. Lunch is usually a relaxing 1-2 hour sit somewhere. (And we don’t dine at any of the reserved restaurants, cause who’s got the time? I know you won’t like that either…) And we are always at the parks until long after closing… We do this for a couple of days, then we hit the beach for a day to unwind, then we’re back at it again. The thing is, my friends all say the same thing: we have no idea how you would leave in the middle of the day. But it’s such a special event for us that we don’t mind.

    • February 14, 2014 at 9:18 am

      Haha – you’re stronger than us! Even for our first trip to Disneyland Paris we took naps almost every day. I do agree with having a nice, long lunch if you’re going to try to power through a full day. Good advice!

    • February 14, 2014 at 10:10 am

      I disagree with this one too….I can sleep at home. I am not able to go to DW every year, or even every other year. When I’m there, I’m going to make the most of it, even if it means my butt is dragging by the evening. I pay a lot to be at Disney World, so I’m going to make the most of it!

      On another note…about riding rides during the parades, etc….If there are 2 of one show (like Fantasmic!), we have always found that the lines are way down during the first show. We have ridden Star Tours, by ourselves, 10 times in a row a couple of times while we were there and there were 2 shows of Fantasmic!. Same with 2 of the Main Street Electrical Parade…

      • February 14, 2014 at 11:52 am

        We only go for afternoon rests on days where the parks open late like when Magic Kingdom is open until 1

    • February 14, 2014 at 4:54 pm

      I can see both sides to this one, and have done both. For us, it is a balance of length of trip and daily planning. We used to power through and deal with melt downs (adult and child) after a few days. Now we pace ourselves with a mix of naps, late starts, and even some early evenings. Getting up early for opening every day is hard when you come from two time zones away.

    • February 14, 2014 at 7:11 pm

      We don’t follow the nap advice either since we can’t burn the candle at both ends (staying until park closing and at rope drop the next morning). When we need a break, we usually go to a longer attraction (i.e. Ellen’s Energy Adventure or Carousel of Progress) so that we’re not “missing the magic”. If we’re on a longer trip of 5+ days, we plan a “down day” by sleeping in and hanging out at the hotel pool or Downtown Disney.

  • February 14, 2014 at 8:55 am

    I completely disagree with the Photopass recommendation! I have NEVER had a worthwhile pic taken by a Photopass photographer- ever- in 3 trips! I am always so disappointed when I see them. It can’t be a coincidence. Also, I can tell someone’s crappy Photopass pic a mile aqay when I see it. I’d much rather tote around my own camera!

    • February 14, 2014 at 9:22 am

      Aw, I’m sorry you had a bad experience. It really depends on the photographer too. Some just don’t know how to use their camera. I think I’m going to pre-purchase for our next DL trip. (I’ve always just purchased the one or two I loved) I sure hope I don’t feel this way after! 🙁

      But I will always have my own camera. I’ll never depend on someone else to take my photos. Well – unless THE Tom Bricker volunteers or something! 😉

    • February 14, 2014 at 10:38 am

      I would say to certainly have your own camera in any event. PhotoPass shots absolutely aren’t a replacement for that, but it IS a way for me to be in the same picture with the rest of my family. I’ve had a mix of results – I do find that PP photographers have an annoying tendency to take shots that are a closeup of the family while capturing a small portion of the big photogenic icon behind us. With a little thought and a different angle, they could certainly capture both in the same shot. And then if I want just the closeup, I can crop to my heart’s content… PhotoPass was also a way to get some decent still shots of my son in the Jedi Training while I focused on shooting video.

    • February 20, 2014 at 7:21 pm

      I was really unhappy about how hard it was to find Pp photogs to take the magic shot pictures. WDW must be really eliminating those, except for Timkerbell and Simba.

  • February 14, 2014 at 9:01 am

    For me, the best time to visit is the week after Thanksgiving. Less crowds and the Christmas lights make it a great time to go. Of course it would be a not so great time to visit for someone who wants to visit the water parks. The temperatures can get chilly during the fall. So I guess you’re right about there not being a “best” time to visit. 🙂

    We also had people tell us that it was better to stay outside the parks because it’s cheaper. Without the options of staying on property – one of us stays with some of the kids in the park while the other takes the cranky one back to the room for a break – we would never make it through our vacation with any amount of sanity! 🙂

    • February 14, 2014 at 9:27 am

      Hey Neula – yep that is exactly what I meant. Everyone will like different times. We’re looking at our next DL trip and I don’t think I can pick. It might have to be an AP year! May for lower crowds and amazing weather? July for the summer fun and Magical fireworks that I’ve never seen? September for HMH? I’m actually working on an article for you guys on my planning process and some money saving tips. I’m excited to share – hope you’ll come back and take a look! 🙂

  • February 14, 2014 at 9:28 am

    Living in Florida we take our preschoolers to Disney every couple of months. People often ask us for advice, and the one that gets to me is: At what age is the perfect age to take my kids to Disney? Should I wait until they are 7 or 8 so they remember it? What!!! I had one lady tell me on the monorail that they left their 2 year old at the hotel with the grandma- because she couldn’t go on most of the rides and enjoy Disney like their older kids! First of all, a 2 year old is free. Secondly, I have been taking my kids since they could barely walk because every kid enjoys the atmosphere at Disney. They love waving to characters,riding Winnie the pooh and Small world. Seeing the animals at Animal Kingdom etc…. They don’t demand to ride Space Mountain or see Ariel 6 times. They just enjoy Disney for Disney. I don’t need my kids to personally thank me when they are 25 because they ‘remember’ that awesome Disney trip when they were 8. I enjoy the time I have with them now at Disney, and take pictures to talk about for years. And for the record, my 3 year old still won’t stop talking about Disney and remembers every little detail.

    • February 14, 2014 at 9:35 am

      Oh, Laura! This is a great one! Thank you for sharing it. And I totally agree with your advice that any age is a great age for Disney! 🙂

    • February 14, 2014 at 10:02 am

      I agree Laura! I have been taking my 4 kids since they were babies. My favorite picture of one of my sons is when he was a chubby 6 month old meeting Belle in France. He loved her and was all giggles. She gave him a big kiss on the cheek that left a lipstick mark. I love seeing them when they can barely walk running as fast they can to hug Mickey. And I love taking my older kids on the “mountains” for the first time! Every age and stage of life has potential for magical memories. And those may not be remembered by my child but they might be by their siblings and I will cherish them forever!

    • February 14, 2014 at 3:09 pm

      I agree 100%. Every age is a great age for Disney. They seem to enjoy something different at every age. We’ve been taking our girls since each one could walk. We just got back from a trip last week and both my 4 and 5 year olds were constantly saying, “Hey, remember last time when we did this? Remember the time we went on that?” They definitely remember so many of the details from their past trips and our last trip was a year and a half ago when they were 2 and 4, and frankly, some of the things they would mention were from the trip before that! Children are constantly making memories and it’s never too young to start 🙂 And I know because my parents started taking me to Disney when I was a toddler and I have vivid memories of our trips as a child. On our latest trip, my 5 year old went on Space Mountain for the first time and while we waited in line, I told her about the first time her grandfather took me on Space Mountain when I was her age. As soon as we got home, she couldn’t wait to tell my dad that she went on Space Mountain just like he and Mommy did when she was a little girl. Priceless memories 🙂

    • February 18, 2014 at 8:41 am

      My MIL gives us the hardest time for taking our young children to Disney (they were 1.5 and 4 last time and 2.5 and 5 this coming trip in May). My response always is I frankly don’t care if they don’t remember everything. The joy it brings my husband and I to watch them is priceless in and of itself. And even my little one enjoyed herself in her own way. I couldn’t agree more that the magic can be enjoyed by all!!

  • February 14, 2014 at 9:59 am

    This article really makes you stop and think though.
    Should it really be as difficult as it sometimes can be to visit a theme park as a first timer?

    • February 14, 2014 at 11:43 am

      Are you a first-timer? I’d like to write an article dispelling the myth (possibly promoted by guidebooks and web sites that I myself contribute to) that visiting WDW is akin to storming the beach at Normandy. Write me ( if you’d like to talk about things that feel difficult or scary.

    • February 14, 2014 at 12:40 pm

      I guess that if you go to a theme park with the mentality of “oh, I’ll just walk around getting into attractions that have short lines and eat at any restaurants with available seats, and won’t regret not going to specific attractions or restaurants”, you don’t really have to plan it.

      I used to think that Disney was only for children. I live in Brazil, so going to Disney World isn’t something you decide to do impulsively. So I never thought of going there. In 2012 I went to Japan for vacation, and decided to go to Tokyo Disneyland since it was only one hour by train from the hotel I stayed. I wasn’t expecting anything of this little adventure other than saying “I went to Disneyland”. Then about the third time I cried (first was watching this show – and yes, this is me in the video – second was watching Mickey’s PhilharMagic and the third watching the parade), I admitted that I fell in love with Disney. Disneysea was awesome, too. As I was expecting nothing, I went with the mentality I said before, and I was pretty satisfied.

      Then after my vacation, I made the “mistake” of actually researching about the parks. I found out that Splash Mountain, that I refused to go because I didn’t want to get wet, was a “must go” attraction. I found out that I could’ve gone to Toy Story Mania if I had gotten there earlier. I found out about other shows that I would’ve loved to watch. If I have planned everything, I’m certain that I would’ve enjoyed even more.

      After that, I decided to go to Disney World on my next big vacation. And I’m researching and reading everything I can about Disney World so I’ll have no regrets after I come back home. I’ll even try to get some Advanced Dining Reservations for Be Our Guest and Cinderella’s Royal Table – keep your fingers crossed for me!

      Too long, didn’t read version: Going to Disney without a plan is wonderful. Going to Disney with planning and research is even better.

  • February 14, 2014 at 10:09 am

    I understand that PhotoPass can lead to amazing photos like you describe, but I still think it’s a waste of money. My wife’s all about finding unique pictures of the little details all over Disney and rarely wants the standard ones, so the PhotoPass does little in that regard. Plus, they aren’t always great photographers. That said, the main reason is the exorbitant price.

  • February 14, 2014 at 10:53 am

    Just to join in this PP debate, one of the most valuable pieces of advice I’ve received is to go ahead and use the PP, BUT ALSO hand them your camera. We’ve actually never purchased a PP photo (too expensive), but we have a lot of WHOLE family shots that we wouldn’t have if we didn’t have PP take them for us. GREAT TIP!

  • February 14, 2014 at 11:02 am

    I think one thing the PhotoPass naysayers are forgetting is that PhotoPass includes attraction photos. How else are you going to get that embarrassing photo of dad screaming on Tower of Terror?

    • February 14, 2014 at 1:04 pm

      You take a picture of the screen that has the photo on it. Do it yourself-be your own photo pass photographer.

  • February 14, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    Several families have told me that they only take their kids to Magic Kingdom, never to the other parks “because they just aren’t kid friendly.” I feel sorry for their kids. No Disney Junior Live On Stage, no Festival of the Lion King, no Living with the Land…

  • February 14, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    “I will never go on Mission Space because I miss Horizons.” Or “I never take the kids to Mission Space because they aren’t tall enough to ride.”

    Mission Space has some great entertainment value in the games area between the ride exit and the gift shop. My daughter and I spend more time “playing” in here than we do in Innovations East and Innovations West combined.

    AIR CONDITIONED PLAYGROUND = My family’s favorite place to escape on a warm afternoon.

  • February 14, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    Initially, I did not want to participate in Photo Pass. But during my last three trips with my grandchildren, I used Photo Pass and will always use it again. We still use our camera. On our last trip with the Photo Pass, we got discs with over 2000 photos on them. We certainly took advantage of the process. By the way, most were great photos. I feel that it is a great value.

  • February 14, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    I used to find myself giving too much advice to first timers, which can make good advice bad if it overwhelms people. Now, I just buy them the Unofficial Guide and tell them to (1) get there early and (2) follow the touring plans. Everything else (ADRS, photopass, etc.) seems to me to be things people can ease into on subsequent trips. There’s so much magic – no one can do it all at once. We still have so much to do after numerous visits, which is one reason we keep coming back.

  • February 14, 2014 at 5:11 pm

    The debate about the “best” age to visit does depend on just how far you have to travel to get there! This April will be my first visit with my children (I have been once before when I was 20!), we are coming from a Scottish Isle and it will be an epic, once in a lifetime trip for us so we have definitely waited until the children are old enough to remember but are still young enough to have the utter belief in the magic of Disney (and Universal, the beach, etc, etc!). It would a shame for them to be too young to remember the only visit they might ever have! I have been studying this brilliant website for months now planning it all!! Love it!

  • February 14, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    Daisy, thanks for the entertaining article! As an AP holder who lives just a few minutes away from WDW, I find myself actually restraining myself from giving too much advice when friends or family want to visit the parks. For the most part, guests know their own priorities better than I do. If I’m not going to be there with them, I suggest the Touring Plans app (shameless plug), but otherwise just give general suggestions. For example, I had a friend staying offsite near Downtown Disney. I gave her directions to the different parks that avoided traffic bottlenecks and gave her the lowdown on how FastPasses worked, but otherwise let her plan her family’s days on her own. (I guess if she brings her family back, I’ll have to tell her, “Forget everything I told you last time about FastPasses.”)

    When I’ve played “unofficial tour guide” to friends in the parks, I let them set the priorities. I find out their top 4 or 5 things they want to do and make sure we get to those things. I let them know that they can see as much or as little as they want, but that you can’t “do it all” in just one trip to WDW. Knowing my way around the parks lets me pick a path that is the most efficient for getting to their priorities, but I also stay flexible and let them change the plans if they want. For me, getting to see the parks from my friends’ perspectives is the most enjoyable part of being a “guide.”

    I guess the bottom line for me is that the best advice is the kind that steers people away from obvious pitfalls (like trying to get from Pirates to Big Thunder Mountain while a parade is running). Trying to take control of another person’s vacation (“You should definitely do ‘this’,’this’, and ‘that’ while you’re at WDW.”) is usually not a good idea.

  • February 14, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    I had a co-worker going and was a first timer and the only advice I have him was show up for rope drop, hit the most popular attractions first, have a basic plan and take a few hours in the afternoon off for a nap (He has a four year old) then come back in the evening. He reported back that my advice was perfect – rode a ton of rides and no melt downs due to the nap.

    On the other had I had a friend go with another one of her friends and their kids (3 Adults, 5 Kids 11 & Under) and they did no research, showed up late, no naps and did not have a plan and came back not having that great of a trip and everyone being mad at each other due to missing rides and wondering around aimlessly due to not wanting to wait in long lines.

    So basic advice does help….as long as it is good advice!

  • February 14, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    We pre-bought the Photo Pass and it was OK but not sure I would do it again. We have no children. We saw lots of great shot that we would love to have but was told by the photographers that it is set up with kids in mind and normally people wouldn’t want a picture in front of…of The Seas…or even some of the Disney designated “Photo Places”. I saw maps of where the photographers were suppose to be and many of them….no photographer. Could be because it was mid-Sep but they should have a disclaimer if they are not going to have as many photographers. We also ran into very overwhelmed young people trying to take pictures. When a line would build up, several of them said they had equipment problems and walked off. We did get some really good shots but not enough to warrant the expense of the entire package.

  • February 14, 2014 at 11:48 pm

    I think one of the best pieces of advice for a first-timer (or “amateur”) is that you can not do everything on one trip. I’ve been on 12 trips and still have yet to do “everything.” Also, comfortable shoes are a must because there is a lot of walking.

  • February 15, 2014 at 10:07 am

    When you are considering the “perfect age” to take your children, I feel you really need to take their personality into account. And their ability to tolerate the stimulation. We love Disney World. The first trip with our kids, then 5 and 8, was amazing. As were subsequent trips. We then had a third child and I could not wait to take him. We decided to go on our first Disney trip as a family of 5 when our kids were 12, 9, and 18months. Being the trip planner Iam, I researched ways to help our toddler have a great time. I kept himon his regular schedule, brought stickers, bubbles, coloring books etc. We planned lots of down time/pool time. In the end, our toddler did not seem to enjoy it as I had imagined.

  • February 15, 2014 at 10:26 am

    I think when you are considering what is the “perfect age”, one should consider their child’s personality, and ability to handle the stimulation. We took our first family trip to WDW as a family of 4, kids ages 5 and 8. We all had an amazing time and went on several more trips. All equally amazing. We then had a 3rd child and I couldn’t wait to take him so he could enjoy the magic. We went last summer on our first trip as a family of 5, kids ages 12,9 and 18months. I researched ways to make a toddler’s time in WDW enjoyable. I kept him on his regular sleep schedule, including naps. I brought stickers, bubbles, coloring book/crayons etc to keep him occupied in lines. In the end, none of that mattered. He only really seemed to enjoy the pool time. He did not enjoy the parks, characters, rides. We left the parks earlier than anticipated because we were the people with the screaming toddler (which I never would have thought!)
    He is now a little over 2, and loves Mickey Mouse. As much as I want him to enjoy WDW as the rest of our family does, I’ve realized he wasn’t ready yet. So we will wait until he is a little older.
    Bottom line: when deciding the “perfect age” to take your kids… it is a very individual decision. There is no “perfect age”.

    • February 15, 2014 at 10:47 am

      OOPs! Sorry for the repeat comment

  • February 15, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    I’m one of those people who cannot keep her mouth shut when she hears people giving terrible advice. I once was in line for early entry at Disneyland when I heard this lovely couple excitedly talking about what they were going to do during early entry….and not one of the attractions they mentioned were actually open during early entry.

    I politely excused myself for interrupting and set them straight about what parts of the park would be open for that hour. They were so relieved. I just couldn’t bear the thought of them spending half of that hour going to the wrong part of the park and then trying to figure out what to do instead!

    And I almost didn’t go on Expedition Everest because the drop seemed so intimidating. I actually exclaimed (fairly loudly) Holy crap, I am not going on that! And this lovely family who just got off the ride enthusiastically told me that I HAD to go on, that it’s a smooth, fast, awesome ride. They were absolutely right!

  • February 17, 2014 at 12:16 am

    The worst advice / complaint I hear all the time is that Disney is SOOOO expensive.

    With a 40 mpg car, $35 per night hotel room, and paid for FL resident season passes (easier to get than one might think), I did a 4 night weekend trip for
    $150 for hotel, $200 ish for transportation (of a 2000 mile round trip). We eat fast food outside the park or use the fast food inside the hess stations on property;

    4 night Disney trip for under $400 or $500…

    That’s the beauty of the pass. No ticket purchase;

    And now, with the monthly payment plan for tickets, it’s so much cheaper.

    For a townhome and 10 days of vacation, I could get that vacation done on about $1000.

    I can’t think of any vacation destinations that would pack in the kind of entertainment that you can get at Disney for the low cost.

    The key is that the more you go within the year, the cheaper each day’s admission.

  • February 18, 2014 at 3:33 am

    Here’s great advice that has always worked for me in the parks: MYOB.
    I’ve painstakingly booked a Castle meal at 7:00 A.M. On the dot 180 days out and walked up with my family on a whim Easter weekend and was seated within an hour. There is joy in planning and luck in spontaneity and the world (and the World) is a big place where other people manage somehow. It is rude to butt into other people’s conversations and I have enough to worry about just keeping myself on track. Remember what Mary Poppins said about busybodies! 🙂

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