What I Won’t Do On My Disney Vacation

by on May 8, 2017 50 Comments

Filed under: Just For Fun, Walt Disney World (FL)

There are so many things to do at Walt Disney World that it would take months or even years to experience them all! It’s one of the many reasons why I keep going back year after year. Still, there are a few things at the parks and resorts that I skip when visiting Walt Disney World. These activities or choices are either a poor use of time, rookie mistakes, or just not as magical as I expected. So here’s what I won’t do at Disney World.

Boma Breakfast

Character Breakfasts

Don’t get me wrong. I love character meals. I’m all about meeting not one, but multiple characters in A/C and with heaping plates of food. But what I won’t do at Disney World is a character breakfast. Here are my reasons…

For starters, character meals aren’t famous for their food, but my issue with character breakfasts is that breakfast fare is pretty much the same everywhere at Walt Disney World. I know character buffets do offer a lot of food and some have unique or special dishes. But honestly, it’s mostly eggs, fruit, breakfast meats, and Mickey Waffles. My thoughts are if I’m paying a character meal sized bill, I want more than I can get at the resort food court.

Secondly, mornings are prime park time! The parks are empty, most attractions are walk-ons, and no one is worn out or overheated. If a character meal is on my to-do list, I would rather save it for lunch or dinner when the lines are long, not short.

Use FastPass+ For Shows

Shows such as Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage, Indiana Jones – Epic Stunt Spectacular, or Mickey’s Philharmagic, offer FastPass+. But trust me, you don’t need them. Most theaters at the Disney Parks are massive and accommodate huge numbers of guests. The only waiting required is waiting for the theater to open. This is why I don’t use FastPass+ for shows as I would rather save those reservations for a ride.

copyright Tom Bricker

Photo – Tom Bricker

Anything at DinoLand U.S.A.

I know, I know, it’s supposed to look cheesy. But at the end of the day, it’s still a carnival, people. TriceraTop Spin, Primeval Whirl, and the carnival games make me feel like Disney isn’t even trying. The restaurants here, while highly detailed, or blah and does anyone else find Primeval Whirl super painful?

Now the Boneyard is kind of cute, but I skip it as I don’t have little ones. But I will not do DINOSAUR or Finding Nemo – The Musical. I find DINOSAUR terrifying and disorienting and I ride pretty much anything. Most guests love Finding Nemo – The Musical, but I just can’t get into it. Maybe it’s the puppets or maybe it’s because it’s a 40 minute show and I would rather be riding an attraction with that time instead? Either way, DinoLand U.S.A. is what I won’t do at Disney World.

Eat at a Hollywood Studios Quick-Service Restaurant

Hollywood Studios is home to a number of themed restaurants, such as 50’s Prime Time Café and Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater, which specialize in experiences as well as a yummy meal. Sadly, the same cannot be said of the park’s quick service restaurants. It’s basic, substandard park fare with the Disney price tag, which is hard to swallow with so many tastier options at the other parks, resorts, and at Disney Springs.

Photo – Disney

Stay at Caribbean Beach or Coronado Springs

I have stayed at all of Walt Disney World’s Moderate Resorts through the years; but unless Port Orleans or Fort Wilderness is in one of their names, I wouldn’t stay there again.

Apart from slightly improved rooms, Caribbean Beach and Coronado Springs feel more spread out than Value Resorts. I did enjoy Caribbean Beach’s Pirate Rooms, and both resorts have gorgeous pools, but long treks to the lobby and the sensation of being stranded and detached from the main part of the resort are not worth the price to me. However, changes are coming to these resorts so my tune may change in the future? (Ed. Old Port Royale at Caribbean Beach is currently closed for refurb. This means the table service restaurant, food court, and outside bar are also not available. Disney has added temporary food tents for guests. OPR is scheduled to be closed through June 2018. One more reason not to stay there. Coronado Springs is also experiencing construction, but there are no closures right now or scheduled.)

The Magic Kingdom parking lot at the TTC is HUGE. Make sure to note which section and row number are yours.

Drive to the Magic Kingdom

Unlike the other parks at Walt Disney World, the Seven Seas Lagoon separates the Magic Kingdom from its parking lot, otherwise known as the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC). To reach the park entrance, guests must park, walk or take a tram to the TTC, pass through security, and then board a ferry boat or the Monorail to the park.

While both modes of transportation are magical, getting there can be time consuming. If you’re staying on property, don’t drive yourself to the Magic Kingdom. Instead, take advantage of a Disney Bus which drops you off by the park entrance or take a ferry, Monorail, or walking path from your resort.

Purchase Base Tickets

This is a purely personal preference as I know guests can fully enjoy Walt Disney World with Base Tickets and they are the most economical option. But in recent years, my vacation style isn’t about doing it all, but rather hopping from place to place to revisit my favorites or try something new. For instance, I like beginning my day at the Magic Kingdom and ending the evening with dinner at Epcot, or experiencing my favorite Hollywood Studios attractions and then hopping over to Animal Kingdom for lunch. The freedom and flexibility that comes with a Park Hopper are why I won’t purchase base tickets.

Skip Resort Hopping or Disney Springs

Visiting the Disney World Resorts and Disney Springs is something I always do, especially during the busiest and hottest times of the day. The Magic Kingdom Deluxe Resorts are beautiful and non-guests are free to explore, shop, dine, and take in the entertainment. Disney Springs has been called a theme park for shoppers and foodies and it’s so true! Disney Springs offers plenty of Disney magic, plus fantastic shops and some of the best dining on property. Both of these locations are perfect retreats and must-dos for a Disney World Vacation.

So that’s what I won’t do at Walt Disney World and hopefully my experiences can help you avoid a thing or two that may be worth skipping during your trip. Do you have anything that you won’t do at Walt Disney World? Do you avoid thrill rides like Expedition Everest or Rock n’ Roller Coaster? Do you avoid certain restaurants or maybe Extra Magic Hours? Let me know in a comment below!

Posted on May 8, 2017

50 Responses to “What I Won’t Do On My Disney Vacation”

  • I feel the same way about Finding Nemo: The Musical. I didn’t really like any of the songs (and they were played WAY too loud), and I didn’t get how the performers sometimes emoted with their non-puppet hands. The puppets are cool enough to make it worth seeing once, but once only (unlike most of the theme park shows, which I’ll watch again and again).

    One thing I won’t do is get a pressed penny. I’m not really the collecting type, and if I’m not gonna collect them, there’s no point just getting one or a few.

    • by Savannah Sanders on May 8, 2017, at 3:54 pm EST

      I’m not a pressed penny collector either. I forgot to mention that one! Kids seem to enjoy it though and I get the process is fun to watch; but still, it’s not something I do. Thanks for commenting!

  • Agree re character breakfasts except when you can reserve one an hour before park opening. Fun to walk around when few people are around…and you can be first in line for attractions like Mine Train, Frozen or Soarin’.

    Also worthwhile as a dining package for shows like Fantasmic and Rivers of Light. Will be very helpful once Pandora opens…

    • by Savannah Sanders on May 8, 2017, at 4:00 pm EST

      Great point on the dining packages, Josh! Regarding character breakfasts, I find this perk has disappeared in regards to the Magic Kingdom since Main Street opens before rope drop these days. I used to book the Crystal Palace just to get in the Magic Kingdom early. Still, this perk remains for the other parks so its definitely worth mentioning. Thanks for commenting!

    • We were once fortunate enough to get the very earliest Cinderella Royal Table Breakfast time in early December. We’re walking down Main Street with the sun rising on the castle and there is NO ONE else around.
      Ten years later, all anyone ever remembers is how great it was to be in the park so early.

  • Very good point comparing character breakfast against the value of other character meals! I’ll keep that one in mind!

    • We’re doing the new breakfast option with TLM/Tangled in about 3 weeks. My 4 year old will be thrilled, and it will be worth it for us. It’s a 7:30 seating time, and DHS doesn’t open until 9 that day anyways so I don’t think it’s a big deal park time wise.

  • Kayla Ramirez Disneyland Disney cruise

  • I agree on most points, but…

    I am completely unimpressed by all of the table-service options at Hollywood Studios, so I will grab a quick burger at Backlot Express or salad at ABC Commissary for convenience to speed up the day since at the moment DHS is not a full-day park.

    I also use FastPasses for shows because I can’t handle some thrill rides due to motion sickness problems. I’ve seen the Little Mermaid thing at DHS so many times while friends and family do Tower of Terror or Star Tours. Same with Finding Nemo and Lion King at Animal Kingdom. Really hoping the new sections include stuff I can ride.

  • I see that you mentioned refurb. I am looking at mid November in Animation and see that it says it will be under construction. Any information on how extensive it will be. We have little ones who will nap midday. Thank you.

    • by Laurel Stewart on May 8, 2017, at 11:25 am EST

      From Disney:
      In an effort to make future visits more magical, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is currently undergoing some refurbishment projects across the Resort. During this time, the Resort will be in full operation with all amenities available, including dining, merchandise and recreation locations. It is possible that construction may be seen or heard, but noise should not be heard from Guest rooms between dusk and 9:00am.

      So they’re not being specific. However, we do know that this should include work on the gondola project – http://blog.touringplans.com/2017/04/18/gondola-system-officially-announced-walt-disney-world-resort/

      That’s really all we know right now.

  • When paying out of pocket, a pre-rope drop character breakfast can be cheapest way to accomplish one and still get you into the park before the crowds build.

    And I know I’m in the minority, but I think Dinoland is still one of the best themed areas of all the parks.

    • Thanks for all the tips. We all have have our personal choices. It’s good to experience everything at least once to have one’s own criteria for judging.

  • I disagree on a lot of this. The breakfast is the only character meal we will do. We have tried just about all of them for dinner and the dinner food is nasty. Breakfast food is hard to mess up. When we do a character meal we make sure to do it either first thing so we are still in the park for RD, or we do it on our non-park day off day.
    Nemo is fabulous. So is primeval whirl.
    We like Caribbean beach, the quite pools are great (been there alone sometimes) and I enjoy an early morning peaceful walk to the food court to get a cup of coffee.

    To each their own.

    • We also like the more spread out layout of the Caribbean resort. The walk to Town Center early morning, or around the lake is chill time during a busy week

    • by Savannah Sanders on May 8, 2017, at 4:04 pm EST

      You have a good point about the quality of food at the buffets. Breakfast food is hard to mess up so I completely agree with you there. I can also see how the walks to the food courts can be relaxing. I tend to rush too much at WDW and need to slow down and enjoy more. Thanks for commenting!

    • I also agree I love staying at Caribbean Beach. If you’re doing an adult only trip, it’s a great resort. There are kids (which are great) but you don’t feel overwhelmed. Plus the walk from the different Country areas to get food is a nice, scenic walk. It will be interesting to see what the resort looks like after the refurb is complete, but we love staying at CBR.

    • Have you tried The Tusker House, unless the food is different now, that should be at least one with quality

    • Have you tried the Tusker House? That place is always really good

  • by Scott Bartlett on May 8, 2017, at 11:58 am EST

    I agree with 99.9% of this list… but I love “Dinosaur”. That said, I can appreciate it being disorienting to some, but scary? Really? 🙂

    ScI-Fi Dine-In is a fun experience, but truthfully the menu is kinda’ boring… mostly just burgers and sandwiches. 50’s Prime Time on the other hand has a much more varied menu and the food is really good. The waitstaff antics are a riot, AND you can get a “drink” drink… if I recall correctly, ScI-Fi is soft drinks only – maybe a beer.

    • I had a beer at Sci Fi, and the menu shows wine and mixed drinks too. I haven’t tried them though.

    • by Savannah Sanders on May 8, 2017, at 4:19 pm EST

      Scott, it IS scary! It’s like a Jurassic Park nightmare come to life! All joking aside, I understand what you mean about Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater’s menu. 50’s Prime Time is perhaps the better of the two in regards to food and the Cast Member experience. Thanks for commenting!

  • We do the character breakfasts but at a later time, usually the latest time of serving (11ish) and treat it as brunch instead. That way we’ve already had a few hours in the park and are ready for a break. Also, my kids aren’t big eaters but will both eat their own body weight at breakfast, so for me it is the best value character meal.

    Totally agree about the Quick Service Restaurants at Hollywood Studios, during our last stay we ended up leaving the park and going to Epcot instead for lunch, although we had done pretty much everything we’d planned to do anyway. This might not be a viable option once all the promised new attractions come in, so I really hope Disney address this soon!

    • My kids are the same, grazing all day but can eat you under the table at breakfast! Plus it’s cheaper and like you said booking it later givers you brunch! I’m also a vegetarian so I have a limited selection when it comes to buffet lunch/dinner. I hate having to ask for special treatment from the chef, though they are always willing to make me something. Breakfast has more options for me so it just works for us. Plus, my daughter loves seeing the characters, from a distance She can get her autographs and take pictures of them while she is safely tucked in a corner where they can’t touch her

    • Totally agree with the start time. we get to a park before rope drop with snacks and eat as we wait. we hit all the rides and consider a very late breakfast an early lunch. We also have young kids who would want to wait hours to see characters we can see all at once. But if you can’t go before the drop or really late, skip it.

  • Coronado Springs has it’s moments if you get the right room.

    • Yes! I stayed at CSR in late March and LOVED it. For someone who spends more time in the parks than at the resort, the size was a non-issue. My room was quiet, calm, relaxing, and the view I had (Thanks to the TP room request fax feauture) was amazing. Waking up to the view alone made my stay at CAR 100% worth it.

  • About character breakfasts… we like to do them as a brunch around 10:30 or so.

    Things I won’t do at WDW
    1) Stay in a family suite at a value resort (If I’m paying that kind of money then I want deluxe amenities in the common areas of my resort)
    2) Ride Mission:Space orange (I’m not going to take the chance on getting motion sick)
    3) Eat at the Japan pavilion at Epcot (not a fan of Japanese food)

  • I agree on the moderates, but I also hate the Pirate room. Once time too many getting bashed on the shin passing the other bed in the dark, and that glowing pirate through the bathroom curtain … Hated the room.

  • by bobaloo000 on May 8, 2017, at 2:24 pm EST

    I disagree with so much of this I don’t know where to start. From the beginning I guess.

    Character Breakfast – While I understand your basic premise it’s hard to argue with the uniqueness of some of the breakfasts. Whether it’s eating in a Castle or meeting Mary Poppins your missing out on some fantastic one of a kind opportunities by skipping the breakfasts. They are also a great way to start a non park day that might include resort hopping, a dip in the pool and Disney Springs. Here’s a tip I picked up years ago from someone on this very site. Book a 10:30 breakfast reservation at CP. You still get some prime touring in (even better on an EMH morning day) and you get brunch not just breakfast. You hit the end of breakfast and then the change over to lunch and CP is usually much less crowded so you get some quality time with the characters.

    Dinoland – While we skip past the carny rides Dinosaur is a must do every trip. Nemo we usually go to every other trip and it’s a great place to take a break during the day to cool off.

    Hollywood Studios QS – ABC Commissary has really stepped up their game. Their is normally at least one non-traditional item on the menu. When we went in February my wife and I had the salmon and were pleasantly surprised at how well prepared it was. Plus it is large so there is often no wait for a table and during a hot day it’s a great place to get some cool air and a free cup of water.

    CB and CS – We have stayed in both and if you were in a pirate room I get your frustration. We were stuck in one a few years ago that we didn’t even request. However, even then we found the walks to the pool and food court doable and they were probably the rooms furthest away. CS we stayed in once as well and enjoyed the pool, food court and the lounges. Even with a little bit of a walk we would stay again.

  • Things we won’t do on a Disney vacation again.
    – ScI-Fi Dine In, the food is just OK, hard to share since there are two rows of
    seating like a car, and it’s dark.
    – Won’t ever do Stitch again, thankfully it looks like they might be changing it.
    – Never stay on site, costs too much for an average room.
    – Don’t park hop. Except for DHS, the 3 other parks can take up your whole day and then some.

    • by Scott Bartlett on May 8, 2017, at 3:18 pm EST

      Can’t overstate the benefits of staying on site, but I used to be right with you on it being too expensive… until I discovered renting DVC points. Still not cheap, by any stretch, but it’s reasonable and for far better than an “average room” – especially given the perks that come with it.

      • by Lee & Robin on May 8, 2017, at 5:35 pm EST

        There are almost no benefits of staying onsite, at least for us. For $50 less per night than a typical room at a value resort, we can rent a town house with three bedrooms, three baths, a full kitchen and den, AND our own private splash pool. We have compared times from out the door to in the parks with friends of ours who always insist on staying onsite and use Disney transportation. More than half the time we beat them into the parks. In addition, the neighborhoods with town homes aren’t slap full of cheerleaders running around at all times of the day and night.

        We’ve stayed both onsite and offsite. For us, the town homes offsite are much more comfortable.

        Disclaimer: We have no financial interest whatsoever in any property or business in Orlando. We just can’t believe anyone would stay onsite and pay the outrageous prices.

        • You’re comparing prices paid for off site to rack rates at value resorts. Who pays rack rates? If I’m paying rack rates at a value resort I’m getting free dining where me and my wife save 60 a day in food. No need to pay for parking. No need to rent a car. 10 day booking window for dining reservations. 60 days for fastpassess. The benefits of staying on site are absolutely there.

        • by Scott Bartlett on May 9, 2017, at 9:01 am EST

          Can’t disagree about the comforts that come with renting a vacation house – having done it once myself – but having now rented DVC points for an on-site stay I don’t see ever staying off-site again. Was able to get a 2 BDRM villa at Saratoga Springs for Thanksgiving week for about $2K… no driving, no parking fees or long line of cars waiting to pay them, and no trek across the parking lot – the bus drops you right at the park entrance. Disney Springs was a short walk or boat ride away so no parking nightmare there.

          • by Lee & Robin on May 9, 2017, at 5:22 pm EST

            To answer your questions:

            1) We have annual passes, so we don’t pay parking either.

            2) We never have a problem getting the fastpasses we want at 30 days out.

            3) We drive to Orlando from NC, so we don’t have to rent a car.

            4) We’ve never had trouble booking the restaurants we wanted, to include Dine with an Imagineer (twice).

            5) I’m not comparing rack rates. During slow seasons we get a town home for something like $80/night without pool heat. The most we’ve ever paid is $120/night (Christmas). And no, these town homes aren’t dumps. They are very nicely furnished and maintained.

            6) We wouldn’t do the dining plan if you put a gun to our heads. Given that we can eat much cheaper and better meals once or twice a day in the town home (typically breakfast and a quick lunch before we hit the splash pool), we’re saving more than you per day on food.

            For us, the “benefits” are just a way to put more money in Disney’s pocket. No thanks.

          • I 100% agree about not staying on property. We would NEVER spend $60 pp per day on food, we too are passholders who don’t pay for parking and we just rented a VERY nice condo in a gated community for $1800 for an entire month (fees and taxes included!). You just have to be willing too do your research or be a repeat guest and be willing to haggle on price directly with the owner. We prefer off season so driving into the parks takes 15 minutes or less. As much as I want to be convinced staying on property is worth the money, I’m just not convinced. For what most pay for one week, we can go multiple times. We do occasionally splurge on WDW dining, but most of the time we agree that a better meal could be had elsewhere for less money. Orlando is full of varied cuisines that won’t charge you a theme park premium.

      • I haven’t been able to price a two room suite on site that compares price wise with what we pay to be at a Disney Good Neighbor Hotel. Also one that includes free breakfast.
        We have been fortunate enough that EMH haven’t ever factored into us not getting all we can out of a park.

  • by Disney Duchess on May 8, 2017, at 2:50 pm EST

    I’ve stayed at both Port Orleans resorts and the Corronado Springs resort, I’ve NEVER had a room close to the lobby or the pool. It’s always been a 10 mile death march to either location. I LOVED both PORS and POFQ. They are themed beautifully. I forget I’m in Florida when I’m there. The princess themed rooms at PORS are AWW INSPIRING!!! Then there’s Corronado Springs that’s just kinda blah. For me, I thought Corronado Springs could have been more themed. The hotel is a peachy terracotta with green trim. I think I was expecting the Mexico pavilion with more detail. It seems like they spent more time on the pool then the resort. The restaurant was also disappointing. It had a very limited menu, and I personally wouldn’t have eaten anything on the menu. I did end up ordering the 3 mini tacos. They each had a different meat, chicken, beef, and pork. The pork was SPICY. I don’t find spicy food enjoyable, but if you do, you will love the pork. The beef and chicken were bland. I didn’t care for the layout of the food court either. The pizza guys are in a corner, and there’s a beverage refrigerator that impedes the line. When the line gets long, it starts to get mixed in with the soup and sandwich lines. Also, there’s not a good place to wait after you’ve ordered ur pizza. When there’s a lot of people waiting for their pizzas, and waiting to order, it’s a giant cluster F—.

    Hollywood Studios is frustrating! All of the restaurants only accept reservations. If you’re unable to get a reservation, you’re forced to eat the quick service meals, and there’s not a lot to choose from. Mostly buyers. Which aren’t bad, but I would take Jack over those. I can see where people who came to the park on whim get pissy. I usually end up getting the burgers at the ABC commissary, which are better than the burgers by ToT. I wish there were more hot dogs and clam chowder bowls in all if parks! Those 2 food items make my Disney vacation complete. I have noticed that Disney is slowly taking away my hot dog carts. These past few trips to WDW and DL I’ve had to go from critter country all the way to Main Street to get my daughter a hot dog (gma and I had clam chowder). I remember when there was at least one vendor and one quick service in each land offering hot dogs on the menu. Now it’s like the hunt for the holy grail (GRAIL GRAIL GRAIL). I miss the Worldshowcase Players in EPCOT ☹(incase you didn’t understand the grail thing). They were hysterically funny drunk or sober. I’m sad to see them go.

    I WILL NEVER DO THE DINNING PLAN AGAIN!!!!! It was not convenient nor flexible. Getting biscuits and gravy, bacon, and 2 milks for breakfast was a hassle. The biscuits and gravy are considered a side and I didn’t want a cookie, I wanted an extra milk cuz those little milks aren’t enough. They lady ringing me up was confused about milk/ cookie thing. I couldn’t substitute, which was fine. I had no problem paying for the extra milk. Then she got very snippy and ordered me to go back and eggs and potatoes bc the biscuits and gravy are considered a side and I have to get the cookie for it to be considered a complete meal. I had tried to explain to her that was too much food, and it would go to waste. But she ordered me again to go get more food. At that point I just paid with cash. For the rest of the trip, it was kinda the same experience. I got hassled at the California Grill at the Contemporary. Raul was very forceful and rude. The appetizer and entree I wanted couldn’t be paired together. The only 3 appetizers he told me I could get if I wanted the steak, were nothing I would I eat. We finally settled on a regular salad. Again, when it came to dessert and I didn’t want any, the attitude comes out. I told him I was full and it would go to waste. He asked if I wanted a few minutes. I said no I would like the check. And then he tried to persuade me into a dessert. And every time I said no, he would get a little more pissy. Til finally he walked away. I thought he was getting the check. We sat there for what felt like hours. The guests that were seated at the same time as we were, had already left. Raul is taking other orders and giving us dirty looks. He finally comes to our table with this platter full of desserts. I lost it. I asked for the manager. His name was Robert. Told him what happened and Robert told Raul that the next time this happens, just ring them up. If they don’t want dessert it okay. Robert then calmly explained the dinning plan to us for future reference so this doesn’t happen again and he did the manager thing and comped our meal. Which was nice. I had no problems paying for my meal. I’m not trying to get a free meal. I’ve never had so much food trouble in my life! I expected a little more understanding from the servers when I told them it was too much food. They weren’t even willing to pretend I ordered a dessert. After that experience, I’ll never do it again.

  • I agree with Jo on the character breakfasts. Ohana family style breakfast is our favorite meal! We do it on a day off, at a late breakfast/brunch time, and the kids eat more there than they do anywhere else. It also gives us something to look forward to on our “break” day. We ride the monorail around the resorts after.

    I do agree with the QS at HS though. Last time we did Mama Melrose table service for lunch with the VIP Fantasmic package, and then for our QS meal we had a late dinner at Epcot after Fantasmic was over since it was a EMH day at Epcot.

  • Yeah, I would have to disagree on the character breakfast as well. I tried the new Bon Voyage breakfast at the Boardwalk and it was amazing!! The food was definitely not your standard Mickey waffles and pancakes. Steak and potatoes was an option (which I got) and it was delicious. The pastries were a nice touch. PLUS, you got to meet some characters (Flynn and Eric) who aren’t meeting normally in the parks. Definitely worth the trip if you can spare an early morning.

    Most of Dinoland isn’t great, but Primeval Whirl is awesome. I would say it falls in that category of “It’s so bad that it’s good” and I have had a great time on that ride every single time. I even did it twice in a row once because the line was short haha. Dinosaur is a great ride as well and I don’t understand how it’s scary. Thrilling sure, but not to the point where I scream like I’m in a haunted house or something.

    As for DHS quick service, yes, ABC is a much better place to eat than the other quick service restaurants. I like how they try to make it look upscale with their plastic silverware that looks fancy and different menu items. Also, cool thing about Backlot Express is you can get free refills on your sodas!! That should justify the price somewhat. And as for driving to MK, I wouldn’t say it’s awful. Now, getting out of MK late at night with all the crowds and then having to go to the TTC first and then walking/taking the tram to your car… yes it’s terrible.

    • A few things I think are a waste, and some things you should not miss. Nachos at sci-first cafe..after going to bathroom you will want to show everyone the color of your BM..several of visitors I know have taking a picure of it. Backyard barbaque, you can get very confused getting there, and if your late you mite not, unless you like country music it is actually boring. The food tastes like regular food with barbaque spices sprinkled on it.NEVER go on 4th of the July, especially if you go late or drive. The pArk is filled to capacity, and they stop taking taking visitors as early as 11am. Things I find are a change of pace..keys to the kingdom at wdw.it is extra, but you do get to go behind the scenes, first on line, under the ppark which I’d quiet interesting, back past the wooden fence in frontier land where the store the parade. (On that note that area is the best place to watch the parade and less crowed.) I’m very old school and enjoy the polonesian. I plan on staying there for a week w no parks..the view of the mk across the lagoon, fireworks, the water parade. It has one of the best food courts, and character meal..the atmosphere is very laid back and we’ll decorated, even though the rooms need updated. Even though the lua (sp) is nice for one visit, your pretty cramped in. Once the show starts there is no drink service and they won’t let you double up before the show..I just think it’s great to stay, hearing all the sounds coming from mk, less children. Snacks at any resort, don’t buy if your staying on property and have a car..go straight across from downtown disney, straight across route 4, theur is a grocery store..much cheaper..lastly if you get sick at the park it is nearly impossible to get medical help, and the hospital is a distance away..if you can buy vacation points..the old key West is a awrsome, quite, lots to do place to stay. Food at animal kingdom resort (actually forgot the real name)are odd and not of the normal..if you don’t like to try new food, skip eating there. Last if you plan to visit Wdw more then once in a year,and your a parkhopper, look into the price of a year pass..it may actually be cheaper!

  • We really enjoyed 50’s Prime Time and Sci-fi Dine In. The theming is great and the food was pretty good as well. We also really liked the Nemo show and Dinosaur. We are going back this fall and will probably kill some time in Dinoland because we will have a three year old with us this time.

  • Here are my thoughts on some of your examples:

    Character Breakfasts – I feel that way about character meals in general. My daughters like meeting the characters, but it isn’t that hard to do so in the parks.

    FP+ for Shows – Correct! That’s a no brainer.

    Purchase Base Tickets – I have to disagree on this one, but it’s about our current state with young kids. I find that park hopping just creates more stress and wears us out too much. I’d rather take the break if needed.

    Dinoland – I’m with you for most of the area, but I do like Dinosaur. Finding Nemo is well-done, but it’s a little too long for a theme park show. It was a nice break from the sun on our last trip, but we could feel the time by the end.

    Drive to the Magic Kingdom – We made that mistake (again) on our last trip. The buses haven’t always been great for us, so I forgot just how long it takes to get there.

  • Great topic and here are my 2 cents – I agree that park hopping is a must have – get there early, ride what you want, go back to the resort at lunch time for a nap or pool, go back somewhere else and enjoy an awesome dinner and use fast passes at night at a different park – We love Coronado and Riverside – while I agree there is plenty of walking, it comes in handy with all the calories being consumed and the scenery is awesome. I also agree about Dinoland, just nothing magical about it. I’m on vacation so I leave the driving to someone else, but to each his own. As we have now been fortunate enough to visit the World 5 times now, some of the shows are really only worth seeing once (Indiana Jones, Nemo) so using a FP for them would be a complete waste for us, really depends on if your thing is rides or shows. As stated above, the Lilo & Stich ride can be ranked below Dinoland for us- just awful. The worst thing you can do is not use this site for preparation.

  • Agree with not driving to the Magic Kingdom! I made the rookie mistake of hopping into a cab at the Dolphin after just missing the bus to MK. Never again! The cab drops you at the Ticket and Transporation Center so you can wait in line there. Ugh!

  • I like it when a door handle has a slightly disapproving look on its face.

  • by Rosalie Landis on May 12, 2017, at 12:16 am EST

    Character breakfast before park opens is the BEST! Eating at the Cinderellas Royal Table at 8:00am not only allows you entry into a near empty park for great pics in front of the castle, but when you’re done with breakfast, you are right in fantasyland before the people have gotten through the gates. This is true if you book your reservation an hour before park open at every park, Akershush or Garden Grill at Epcot, then after eating you have immediate access to Frozen ever after or Soarin. Tuskerhouse at Animal Kingdom and you can head right onto the safari ride. On a ‘resort day’ where we are either not doing a park or doing just evening at a park, ‘Ohana at the Poly is a wonderful character meal with AWESOME food. The same can be said for the new Character breakfast at Trattoria al Forno. I will say that we only do two ‘before park opens’ character meals for a 7 day trip, because waking up that early everyday is not worth it to our family, but once or twice is totally worth it!!!

  • by Rosalie Landis on May 12, 2017, at 12:22 am EST

    Our family loves the Caribbean resort, the updated rooms are beautiful, the pool is one of the best themed pools on property, and we request the Jamaica or Aruba sections as they are a quick walk across the bridge to the main pool, and we have never had an issue with the bus system. Now that you can check in on line and have magic bands, there’s almost no reason to go to the lobby anyway.