Disney World Map

David asks…

What should I pack for Disney World?

Hi, I’m a 14 year old going to Disney World for a week and I was wondering if you can name the things that I should pack :)

Orlando answers:

Hey! I’m 15, and I’ve been going to Disney World every year since I was born since I live in Florida! I always seem to forget things, but I’ve got everything for when I make my week long trip in August!

Cell Phone
Cell Charger
Contact Lenses/Solution/Glasses
Camera! (Unless you want to take from your phone)
Hangers (If you’re really neat)
Jacket- gets cold in hotels!
Chap stick and Sunscreen- The Florida heat is almost unbearable sometimes, I recommend bringing Aloe as well.
NNail polish, Nailpolish Remover (Nails always get chipped!)
SUNGLASSES! Especially if you’re planning on going to the pool.
Ipod/MP3, and Earphones
Comfortable shoes, and Flip Flops if you’re going to the water park
Bathing Suit
Make Up
Razor/Shaving Cream

Also, here’s a couple SMART things to bring/buy there
1. A rain poncho, umbrella, or hoodie. Yes, Florida is sunny almost every day of the year, but Summer is when it gets the not so sunny days.. ):
2. Disney sells these little fans that squirt water, and they’re very helpful to keep cool when it’s hot. A ton of people buy them!
3. There’s tons of Apps for Iphones that allow you to see wait times for rides, and maps of the parks. Just type in “Disney Wait” in the App Store and I recommend the one with the Frog on it. There’s one for free, and one for 3.99. It’s helpful for wait times, dining, planning, GPS, etc.

Have a fun trip! :)

Donna asks…

Any Walt Disney World Tips Please?

I am going to Walt Disney World in Florida soon and was wondering if there was any good tips anyone has for any of the parks?
So can you please give me tips about dining, free things, rides and anything to do with the the parks?
Also any websites that give good tips?!
Thank you all for helping! XxxX
I am not staying in a disney resort, but thanks!
I am going from the 22nd August to 5 September.
I have been to disney quite a few times so we know about fastpasses and things like that. We were just wondering about ways to cut queue times, free things and best ways to do things around the park!
Thanks! XxxX

Orlando answers:

Plan, Plan and Plan! That’s the best way to do Disney. However, don’t make your schedule so tight you can’t change it up if you need to (for weather or dinner reservations for example)

1) Get your fast passes early, and beat most of the crowds by starting at the back of the park, before lots of people get there. At the Magic Kingdom, don’t enter through Cinderella’s Castle, you can exit that way later. Instead, try going to Adventure land & Frontierland, or Tomorrowland. You can hit Fantasyland later. Here is a map : http://allears.net/tp/mk/mkmap2008opt.jpg . As for Hollywood Studios, my best advice is to get your fast passes early. Epcot, the World Fair opens later than Future World, so once again, get your fast passes. Enjoy the countries as you visit them.. There’s some great movies and a couple of rides. Animal Kingdom – do the Kilimanjaro Safai’s first thing to get the best view of the animals. Get your fast pass for Expedition Everest before that , and once you get off you can head over there. Make sure to go on a nice day, because there’s no where to hide from the rain!.

2) Bring a light backpack. Don’t bring unnecessary things. Just your wallet, sunscreen, park passes, keys, maybe a water bottle if you plan on doing that and a cell phone. Also, try bringing some granola bars or something for snacks so you can wait longer between meals.

3) Dining – Your staying off property, which will save you a lot of money. However, don’t skip out on Disney restaurants! Try getting reservations at one or two during your stay. They are great. Try eating dinner after you leave the parks, it’s a lot cheaper. My fav. Is Olive Garden, and TGIF. They also have some great buffets like Golden Corral! The bakeries at Disney often have some cheap snacks too so always look there if your hungry! My favourite quick-service restaurant is the Columbia Harbour House in Liberty Square, right across from the Haunted Mansion Ride. Http://allears.net/menu/men_chh.htm – For the menu. Also, try the Giant Turkey Legs. I always see people eating them, and apparently they are very good. I’ve never had one (I dont like Turkey) but they do smell good!

4) Free things – Downtown Disney is completely free to walk around! They have some great shops as well. Try looking for Hidden Mickey’s, they are everywhere! Also, character autographs are free!

Also, try this website : http://www.allears.net for great Disney tips. It’s the best one out there!

Don’t let the weather ruin your day. It’s probably going to rain, but most of the rides at Disney are indoors anyways. The sun is great. Also, try and take a day to just relax at your hotel and go shopping at the outlets. It’s a good break from the parks! Your going for 2 weeks so you’ll have plenty of time to do everything. Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon are also really fun, so if it’s super hot and you don’t want to walk around the parks, try going there for some cooled down Disney magic!

Hope this helps

Lisa asks…

Disney world paper!?!?

I have to type a paper about going to Disney world. This trip has not happened yet so sentences must be like “I will go to the beach. I will have fun. etc. . .” Help! I need more! (:

Orlando answers:

That is so easy, Just narrow it down to one park like the magic kingdom. Start from arriving at the parking lot and hoping on the tram to Ticket and Transportation center. Waiting in the massive line for the monrail to the Magic Kingdom. Traveling through the Contemporary hotel and seeing the castle in the distance.

Then move through the park and talk about the day your planning. Look at a map of the magic kingdom and imagine yoruself on the street walking through and the things you want to see and do.

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Disney World Vacations

George asks…

Walt Disney world vacation help?!?

my family is thinking about going in June/July.I’m 13 and my brother is 9.My parents are both 43.We don’t have alot of money to spend.We have to pay for passports too.Me or my brother have never been on a plane and its to far to drive(we live in Ontario).We want a cheap hotel(preferably on Disney property) but it has to be 3-5 star.Is it worth it to go even though my brother has outgrown disney?I am very nostalgic when it comes to older Disney movies(i watched them all the time as a toddler/young child).We also want to go to universal studios,are there any packages that come with tickets to both?Thank you!
not VERY little,but i dont want to be broke.
its a 24 hour drive

Orlando answers:

Why do you think its too far to drive? I live in the buffalo/niagara falls ny area and we have driven down many times. You don’t live that much farther than i do.

If you want to stay on disney world property but don’t want to spend a fortune then i’d suggest a disney value resort. My favorite value resort is pop century. (it starts at $82+tax per night).

Since disney world and universal orlando are two completely different companies no they don’t sell a package with both disney and universal tickets.
If you are trying to be cost conscious then i suggest you get a 4 day base ticket to disney world and a one day one park ticket at universal. (i personally like universal studios better than islands of adventure)

your brother is 9 and has “outgrown” disney world?! Thats insane! Disney world is for all ages and if he doesn’t think so then show him all the awesome attractions on the disney world website.

Nancy asks…

This is regarding a Disney World Vacation in Orlando that I booked through Liberty Travel?

I booked a vacation through Liberty Travel to Walt Disney World in Florida and got a good rate on the room at Pop Century Resort and airfare round trip. I did not, however, purchase tickets to the parks yet as I will probably do this through AAA. I am wondering if anyone knows if I will be getting Magical Express with my purchase through Liberty? The deal mentioned complimentary service to and from airport but I am unsure if this will be on the Magical Express. Has anyone ever booked through Liberty who has an answer to this?

Thanks in advance!

Orlando answers:

If you’re arriving @ OIA/MCO (Orlando International Airport / FAA designation MCO), then…

You’ll be on Disney’s Magical Express Transportation. Let’s call it DMX for short. To be sure, call to verify…(407) WDW-MAGIC or (407) 939-6244.

Some things you should know:
> DMX is actually owned & operated by Mears Transportation Group, not by Disney. Very few people realize this. Mears is the official ground transportation provider for WDW. Their partnership goes back from the inception of WDW. Even the DCL (Disney Cruise Line) motor coaches are actually Mears’. The only Disney buses that are not Mears’ are those that provide transport w/in the resort complex.
> Once you step off the plane, go directly to the DMX Welcome Center (Main Terminal Building, B-side, Level-1).
> As long as you’re arriving from 5am-10pm, you’ll be skipping baggage claim (given that you follow the instructions that will be mailed out to you). Disney will handle this for you. Your bags will be taken directly to your room.
> You can also get your RETURN boarding passes & have your bags checked in right at the hotel, skipping the entire process @ OIA. Make sure you have proper ID & your rm key for this process.

Donna asks…

Disney World Vacation?

A good friend and myself want to take a vacation to Disney World next summer. We are students and we would like to stay in a Disney hotel. Does anyone know the average cost for a 5 or 6 night stay in hotel, a flight there and back (from Bangor, Maine or Halifax, Nova Scotia), one Disney Park, Universal, and Sea World? Also, if anybody knows of a deal on flights, hotels, or parks, PLEASE POST! Thanks!

Orlando answers:

SEA world is in san diego

so you would have to rent a car to get from LA to SD ( 2 hour trip) there and back!

Just something for thought!

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Disney World Dining

Ken asks…

Walt Disney World Favorites…?

What’s everybody’s favorite Walt Disney World park? Fave ride? Fave dining area? Fave hotel?

Park – Magic Kingdom
Ride – It’s a Small World
Resort – Contemporary
Dining – Grand Floridian breakfast

Orlando answers:

Park-Disney MGM Studios ( I’ve heard they’re going to change the name soon)
Ride-Splash Mountain ( Have you ever seen “Song of the South” that the ride is based off of???)
Resort-The Swan (beautiful hotel and within walking distance of Epcot and boating to Disney MGM)
Dining-The Hollywood Brown Derby (perhaps the finest dining at Disney MGM… And it’s where to get a COBB salad)

If your favorite ride is “It’s a Small World”… Have you ever been to DisneyLand in California?? That is where the “original” It’s a Small World ride is that had been created for, I believe, the New York World’s Fair back in the early 60′s!! It is a much more spectacular looking ride at Disneyland… At least from the outside!!

Sharon asks…

Does Disney World ever offer free dining for annual passholders?

We’ve made our reservations for a WDW vacation package. We’re hoping they will have a free dining promotion as they’ve had in the past during the dates of our trip. However, since we’ll probably return again next year we’re considering getting the annual pass for our family. Does anyone know, though, if Disney has ever offered passholders free dining?
Since I posted my question I’ve discovered that Annual Passholders are allowed to book a vacation package (room and dining). While the dining plan is never free for passholders, it can be purchased. Hopefully they’ll offer a discount on the room during the dates of our travel. I’ll still have to crunch the numbers to see if an AP will save us more money in the long run or not. Thanks to everyone!

Orlando answers:

The free dining plan is for people booking a room at a Disney Resort PLUS the tickets. If you have an annual pass you would not qualify. They actually give annual passholders 20% off dining now.

BTW the Cast members DO get pretty good discounts on dining, merchandise and lodging. I should know I am a cast member and have been for several years.

Paul asks…

Disney World Question?

Can anyone help me out? I keep hearing about this “Key to the World Card” that you get when you stay in Disney property. I am so confused, what does it? how do you use it? I am going in September and staying on property where do i get it?

Orlando answers:

Everyone in your room will receive a Key to the World card upon check-in. This card is your room key, it has your park tickets loaded onto it, your dining plan credits (if you purchased a dining plan) and you also have the option of using it to charge purchases to a credit card tied to your room number (they will ask you if you want to do that at check-in). Since you are staying in a Disney World resort you can take advantage of the Extra Magic Hours at the parks, and you will have to show your Key to the World card at the attraction entrances to prove you are a resort guest.

Your Key to the World card has your information printed on it, like your name, and you can take it home as a little souvenir when your vacation is over (you don’t turn it in at check-out).

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Disney World Vacations

Susan asks…

Disney Vacation Club Members?

How much do you typically pay to join?
I have watched the DVD and I really think its worth it.
Mom isn’t so convinced, although it would save us money because we go to Disney World every year.
So is there a specific amount you have to pay to join?
How much?
How much did you pay?
okay, thanks in advance.

Orlando answers:

To join DVC (Disney Vacation Club), you have to purchase points – either through Disney or as a resale from another member. The new points purchased directly from Disney are currently $101 each. The minimum purchase for new members is 150 points. Disney WAS (not sure if they still are) offering a $13 per point incentive on purchases. Think of this as a credit toward your down payment.

Financing is available directly through Disney. If you have good credit, the typical down payment is 10% of the total purchase price (# of points x $101). If your credit is worse, they will require a larger down payment – up to 30%.

Check out allearsnet.com or dvcbyresale.com to review a points chart. That will tell you have many points are required for each room type during the various seasons. The points are listed per night.

We just purchased 180 points at Saratoga Springs. That will allow our family to stay in a 2 bedroom unit for 5 nights (Sun – Thur) during the 4th of July week every year.

Mary asks…

Disney World vacation, to go..or not to go?

The answer to this may be obvious to most, but I’m not sure if we should go or not because we have 2 daughters, ages 3(almost 4) and 1. We are not sure if they will be able to do much, or if it will be worth going & spending thousands of dollars if they won’t remember it. Any tips from parents of young children that have went on a vacation or to Disney world would be so greatly appreciated! Also, we were trying to think of going somewhere not quite as far away as Disney world this year & maybe Disney world next year if we do put it off.

Orlando answers:

I went to disney land in france when i was about 4 i think, but sadly i don’t remember any of it….whatsoever. I rely on videos about it really. DisneyWorld in Florida is a once in a lifetime oportunity, i was lucky enough to go last christmas when i was 13 and i will never forget it. It was THE best holiday i have ever been on in my life. If i were you, i would go somewhere else this year and go to Disney World when they are a bit older and will appreciate it more. Disney-Land in France would be better because that is more of a place that they will enjoy and depending on where you live now would be a lot cheaper. Disney in Orlando is a place to go when you can really get a feel for it and go on all of the big rides and do everything, it really would need a week or two there to get through all of the parks. In France you could go for a few days and go on the children’s rides (snow white, peter pan etc) and they will enjoy it then. Bu8t whatever happens, if you do decide to go to Orlando this year, it was amazing and i loved every single second of it, so worth everything!
Another thing is, don’t go at Christmas time because it is extra crowded and quite cold, however the christmas eve fireworks display was absolutely incredible!

James asks…

Walt Disney World Vacation?

A while ago their was a guy (I think he was part of some type of vacation club with WDW or something) on 102. 5 atlanta’s grown folks radio station on the STEVE HARVEY SHOW talking about Walt Disney World Vacations and how WDW was an Oasis and that WDW was affordable for everyone. He gave out a 1-800 number for people to call. Does anyone know the telephone number.

Orlando answers:

Go directly to the World Disney website. There, you will be able to get all the information you will need to put together the best vacation you’ll ever go on. Disney is absolutely incredible.

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Disney World Map

Susan asks…

whats the quickest route to disney world from eastern kentucky???

Orlando answers:

I put it in google maps for you, i used phelps because i’ve been there before, i hope this helps. Http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&hl=en&saddr=phelps,+ky+&daddr=Kissimmee,+FL&om=1

Nancy asks…

Is Disney World Sports at Disney world?

I need to know if Disney world sports in IN Disney World. Please help me!
Well I’m a cheerleader and I want to know for nationals if we would be able to go ride rides. I think we are staying at a hotel there like at the sports place (thanks for telling me what it’s called but I forgot haha). I just want to know if it’s close enough so that we could go to ride rides.

Orlando answers:

It would help to know exactly what you are referring to.
Are you talking about the all stars sport value resort? If so yes it is on disney world property.
Are you talking about the wide world of sports complex? If so then yes that is also on disney world property.
If you are talking about something else entirely then if you could give me some more details i could help you further.

ok so now that i’ve seen your other question and i know that you are talking about the wide world of sports complex here is my updated answer:

the wide world of sports complex is located on disney world property.
Disney world is 47 square miles in size so there are many things on disney property.
If you want to go to one of the disney world theme parks (magic kingdom, epcot, hollywood studios, animal kingdom) then you would need to purchase park tickets for those places.

Just because you are on disney world property doesn’t mean that you can go on all the rides.
There are many areas in disney world some are free to walk around such as downtown disney but others you have to pay for like to enter a theme park located on disney world property.

Here is disney world’s website you should find it useful:


and here is a direct link on the disney world website to the “wide world of sports complex”:


also here is a map of the walt disney world resort. It shows all of the major sections of disney world which include magic kingdom, epcot, hollywood studios, animal kingdom, tyhoon lagoon, blizzard beach, downtown disney, as well as 23 hotels, and of course wide world of sports complex.
**please note on this map there is a park called “disney’s mgm studios” this map is a bit out dated cuz that park was renamed “disney hollywood studios” in january of 2008. Also note that the numbers on the map coinside with the list of hotels at the bottom of the page:


****EDIT AGAIN****
nothing is within walking distance of one another but yes everything is close enough with disney transportation. There are 3 main modes of transportation all of which are FREE. There is a bus system that links EVERY part of disney world. And there are boats and a monorail system but of course these modes are only available where there are water ways and the monorail track. It takes anywhere from 7-20 minutes to get to where ever you are wanting to go on disney world property. And the buses are easy to catch. In fromt of your hotel will be a row of bus stops. You just wait at the one that says where you are wanting to go and every 20 minutes the buses come by.
But like i said before just cuz you are already on disney world property that doesn’t mean you can go to the parks and ride the rides when ever you want. If you want to go to the parks you will need to purchase tickets.

Donald asks…

The Coordinates of Walt Disney World, Florida?

This might seem a little odd, but let me explain. I’m writing a book at the moment (an action/thriller), and the characters receive a piece of information about where they are supposed to go next – Disneyworld. Does anyone know the coordinates for Disneyworld? It’s just a story, so they don’t have to be bang on. Just an indication of where on the map they have to go. It’s a coded message you see, so I thought coordinates would be a good.
As a note for ‘Shoredude2′,
Thanks for your ‘help’.
For your information, I’ve been to Disney in Florida several times, so I don’t know how you can assume that I do not. However, I don’t think that writing the name without a space automatically means that I know nothing about the place, I just didn’t particularly think that this was such a major issue. Obviously you do. If you don’t believe I know the name, why don’t you take a look at the title of the question. Also, to correct my English seems foolish, as you appear to have written ‘Walt Disney World is never written as word.’ Now, pardon me for thinking this amusing, it just seems odd that someone who cannot get their grammar right in their answer would try and put down the question.

Orlando answers:

Ask disney. Since you are writing a story, this is not a travel question.

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Disney World Vacations

Robert asks…

Vacation ideas for family with two 3 year olds? (Not Disney World or Land)?

Looking for vacation ideas for my family for August. My husband comes home from deployment around that time and we are taking a family vacation with our two 3 year old’s, one boy & one girl.

Orlando answers:

Disney World Vacation:-
Spend some time in the world’s premiere vacation destination. Home not only to
the Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Studios, Orlando turns even the most
ordinary things into a night of fun and entertainment. Deals from $89.


Susan asks…

Disney World vacation and hotels?

My girlfriend and I are planning a Disney World vacation in November and some of our close friends may be coming too.

We have a couple problems though, none of us are 21, so that means that we can’t get a hotel by ourselves. Does anybody know a sure fire way to get around this?

And secondly we are all broke college students! We live in PA but when we go there I will be in Georgia on clinical rotation for school. So I will not be flying so theres a few hundred bucks off of my cost right there. As far as tickets goes anybody have any tips for us? Also we would like to stay on property in one of the Value resorts.

I know a ton of random stuff about WDW but when it comes to planning a trip there I am clueless. So any advice is very helpful.

Thank you!

Orlando answers:

Dont some hotels let you check in at 18? Maybe not the resorts on Disney, but there are hundreds of hotels in the area many very close to Disney for very reasonable prices that may let someone check in at 18. It depends on the hotel. Visit www.expedia.com and search hotels in Orlando and when the search comes up click view by price and it will list them in order of price from least expensive to most expensive.

But if you can get a resort on Disney, we have stayed at the Pop Cenutry twice and cant wait to go back.

David asks…

I need help with planning a vacation to Disney World for my family…Please help!?

Hi! I am wanting to plan a vacation for me and my family sometimes next summer. I would like to go around the 1st week of June 2011. Arrive on a Friday and leave on a Monday morning. It is 2 adults, my husband and I, and our 4 children. Ages on arrival will be 3, 5, 9, and 10. I just need 1 room, with multiple beds. I would like it to be close to the park. I’ve never been, and I am wanting any information that I can get. I need info on pricing, for hotel and for park. Does it cost to get into park? And when you pay ti get into park, are there any other prices? I know you have to pay for food and things like that. But do you have to pay for rides and shows? I am wanting to take them to the Walt Disney World park, and to Sea World also. 4 days, 3 nights. Also, I would need the hotel to have a fridge. Can I buy groceries and bring them into the hotel? I am looking for the best budget and deal that I can get. Also, I guess I need to know about travel. Prices of tickets, and will I need a rent a car to get around? Prices of those if so? If anyone has traveled to Disney World with children, what were your prices for the travel, hotel, and admittance to the theme parks and so on. Also, I’m traveling from Tennessee if that is any help at all. I would greatly appreciate any feedback that I can get. Thanks :-) !

Orlando answers:

First, I will highly recommend this excellent planning website to you: http://www.allearsnet.com
And I would highly suggest that you invest in a good guidebook or two, or get some from your local library. Birnbaum’s is a great starter one, and Passporter is another great choice.

Second, I’ll start trying to answer your questions. When you buy your admission ticket, everything in the park is included. You’ll pay for food and souvenirs only. If you choose to stay at a Disney hotel, you are eligible to purchase the dining plan option if you want, which basically pre-pays for your food. You are certainly allowed to go buy groceries and bring them in, and you can save a lot of money by doing that (more than the dining plan would save you). There are several grocery stores and a Wal-Mart within a reasonable drive.

Disney has free transportation all over property, so you can use their excellent system to get everywhere on-property. For Sea World, you would have to provide your own transportation there.

There are 4 Disney parks, so you would need to look at the different parks and choose the ones you want to go to. You should purchase multi-day tickets to save money, not purchase 1 ticket per day at the gate.

With that many kids in one room, your options are limited if you want a Disney hotel. The All-Star Music has family suites that sleep 6, you may want to try that. There is a queen bed (sleeps 2), full-size pullout sofa (sleeps 2), convertible ottoman and chair sleeper (sleeps 2). The kitchenette will have a microwave and small refrigerator (4.3 cubic feet) plus a coffeemaker. There are two full bathrooms. Otherwise, you are looking at the villas which get quite expensive.

Another option, which has always been cheaper for me when I have a big group, is to rent one of the many houses or villas nearby. They will definitely save you food money, because you can get a full-size kitchen. The disadvantage is that you are going for such a short trip, you won’t get the perks of a Disney hotel. The perks include extra hours in the parks (either early or late, depending on the day) and also obviously the closeness so therefore, shorter travel time. You would have to drive in every day and pay a little for parking. If your very little ones get burnt out and need to take a mid-day break, it’s much easier to do so at a Disney hotel than having to drive off-property and back. On the other hand, Disney transportation can get quite crowded and unpleasant, and you may have a hard time dealing with it with your smaller kids and prefer your own car, anyway.

Now all that being said, if it were me personally, I would skip Sea World and stay just at Disney, and I would try to get one of the family suites at All-Star Music. And since you are really just starting your planning and have several questions, I would find a Disney travel agent to work with. If you don’t have one locally, there are several who will work with you online. They can book your whole package, they can add discounts if they become available, and they can help you answer all your questions. And it’s free!

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Disney World Map

Daniel asks…

Can’t wait for Disney?

By boyfriend and I are taking our first vacation together to Disney World in 51 Days (Sept 22-28) and I am so excited. I mean uber excited. What are some ways I can make sure that I am not disappointed? We already have all our reservations made (dining, hotel, flight, transportation, tickets, etc).

What are some good things to do in preparation a week or 2 before we leave?

Also what are some ways to get pumped up for the trip? Right now, I am watching a Disney movie almost every night. Any other ideas?

I am a Disney freak though, just so you know,s o I am not going to “Disney” myself out.

Orlando answers:

Oh, I’m so jealous!!! We are planning a vacation to Disney too, but its not until November. I don’t know how I’m going to wait.

First of all, have a GREAT time. Its such a fun place to go as a couple. My husband and I went a few years ago, right before we decided to start having children. It was our last “not-tied-down” vacation b/c we wanted to be able to experience it as adults and ride all the big rides. In November, we are going for the first time as parents with our 2 yr old son. It’ll be a whole different trip, but I’m so psyched.

Ok, I’ve got a bunch of suggestions, I’ll try to put them in categories:

Planning suggestions on the web:
Check out Disneyworld.com
1) Sign up for an account. This will register you for individualized trip suggestions and let you keep track of your vacation.
2)You can use their site to select “favorites” – whether its rides, restaurants, shows, etc. Then, you can build a customized map (free) with all of the places you need to get to highlighted. It takes a few weeks for the maps to get to you. But, you can just print them out at home if you don’t have enough time.
3)You can actually build an “itinerary” with what you want to do each day. Add in your dinner reservations, etc.
4) If you are staying on property, take advantage of Magical Express. You can sign up online or by calling Disney. Give them your flight info., and they will pick you up at the airport and take you to your hotel free of charge. They’ll also pickup your luggage at baggage claim and send it to your room!

1) Check out this site for GREAT detailed descriptions of all things DisneyWorld. They have menus for the restaurants, tips, suggestions, packing lists, show times, etc.
2) This site lists “Magic Hours.” If you are staying on Disney property, you can enter one park early or stay later than the general public each day. These are priceless times to get on the rides faster. This site has a list of which park will be open early or late each day.

I haven’t posted on this site yet, but I’ve lurked around the threads. Its a discussion board for all things Disney. There’s alot of other Disney “freaks,” as you put it, who share your enthusiasm. Many go to Disney regularly and have some good tips.
Also, check out the threads about “Fairy Godmailers.” I haven’t figured it all out yet, but the idea is that people who go to Disney send postcards “from the characters” while they are there to someone with kids who is going just after them. The kids see the postmark and really think that Mickey has said he is excited to see them soon! It sounds like so much fun, I’m planning on participating when we go.

Books to buy or check out:
1) Birnbaum’s Guide to Disney: A great guide. Lots of firsthand info. Make sure you get the latest addition, it updates every year or so.
2) Hidden Mickey’s: A really fun book to carry around the park. It helps you locate all the hidden 3 circled Mickey Ears incorporated all over the parks into the designs by the Imagineers.

Stuff to Buy or pack:
1) More than one pair of really good sneakers! You’ll do an enormous amount of walking. Halfway through our trip, we wound up shoe shopping b/c our sneaks were shot! It might pay to hit an outlet at home and buy an extra.
2) Some packable Disney paraphenalia. Remember how fun it is to act like kids again at Disney. My hubbie and I decided to go all out and get the characters autographs and pictures while we were there. We hit the Disney store before we left and picked up autograph books. It was a little cheaper than shopping at the resort and one less thing to do. And, the autograph signing is one of my best memories from our trip. It really brought out the kid in us.
3) If you are really jones-ing for some Disney/trip related fun, try going to a craft store and picking up scrapbooking stuff to use when you come home. I’m not a scrapper myself, but my Mom is, and they have SO much Disney stuff for scrapbooks. Its so neat. I may break down and do one from this trip. You could buy your book and prep some of your pages so that when you came home, you could just add in your pics and have a great record of your trip.

Also, from a non-Disney perspective, it would probably pay to check in with your airline and find the current restrictions and packing regulations for carry-ons, etc. It stinks to travel and find that some item you’ve put in your carry-on will have to be lost forever b/c it doesn’t meet the current rules. (I appreciate the restrictions… I’m all over anything that makes flying safer, but a few co-workers of mine have had tools or small items confiscated b/c they were unaware of restrictions, and unless you have time to get them shipped back home b4 your plane leaves, you pretty much stand to lose them.)

Mostly, enjoy the anticipation and have a wonderfully magical time!!!

Safe travels.

Lizzie asks…

Fort Wilderness Campground at Disney World?

I have been to Disney World 16 times and have stayed at Fort Wilderness every time. This is the first time we are staying in the cabins, though, instead of in the motorhome. We were there in ’07 and major renovations were going on around the campground.

Maps look like there are cabin loops only, but I know they can’t show every single cabin on there. Are the cabins still scattered throughout the loops or are all of the cabins in “cabin” loops now?


So, there are not cabins in the camping loops anymore? That’s depressing.

Orlando answers:

The campsites are in loops 100-2000.

The cabins are in loops 2100-2800. There are two cabins in loop 100, but they are for Disney usage, not guests.

Linda asks…

Disney World Information?

I am just want some tips about disney world because I am going in July. Tips like what rides to ride, where to meet characters, what to pack, what will the weather be like. Any tips will help. thankss:)

Orlando answers:

Oh boy, July. Well, it will be VERY HOT and VERY HUMID and VERY CROWDED. So the number one tip to remember is just to know ahead of time that it is going to be that way, and be prepared. Realize that you are not going to be able to run from ride to ride all day long. There will be waits, there will be people, and there will be heat. You will need to stop and take breaks. You will have to keep hydrated. Being prepared is half the battle.

Getting to the parks when they open will help a lot. You might consider taking a mid-day break and then coming back in the evening to miss the worst heat and crowds of the day.

Characters spots will be marked all over the maps. Also, if you get to the parks when they open, they usually have all kinds of characters on the main “streets” into each park. If you are looking for one in particular, you can ask at Guest Relations and they can tell you if they are appearing and exactly when and where.

If you don’t know about Fastpass, read about it and use it as much as possible.

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Disney World Dining

Nancy asks…

Ever traveled to Disney World as a group?

My family is considering going to Disney for a week in June 2008. It would be for a family celebration (anniversary) and we would need about 6 or 7 rooms total. Is this enough to get discount rates? Are there any other special arrangements we should make ahead of time to be sure restaurants can accommodate the 18 to 22 people who will be dining together every evening? Any other tips or suggestions? Thanks.

Orlando answers:

Contact Disney World immediately. (even go to the website) When a group of 8 or more get together at Disney World it is called a “Grand Gathering”. (your group definitely fits those requirements)

There are several “special events” that you can participate in, such as a special character meal, a special safari, a fireworks cruise, and more. (these things cost extra, but they make wonderful memories)

Definitely make reservations for your groups dining. While most of the restaurants take “reservations”, they don’t actually “hold” the table for you, you would get the first available. But with such a large group there must be exceptions. (We had a group of 8 that went last year, so we didn’t have too much trouble with seating)

I don’t know if there are room discounts, you would have to contact Disney. You can get discounts with a AAA membership.

One thing you might want to consider is to add the Disney Dining Plan onto your reservation. It allows you 2 meal and one snack for each night of your stay. It is a very flexible plan. It costs roughly $40.00 per person per day, but you can eat just about ANYWHERE and it includes tips!

You can have special shirts made up that signify the special event. (ex. Mary & John’s 25th Wedding Anniversary, or Smith family reunion) These are fun to wear as a group!

To squeeze a little more time into your day, consider using “Single Rider lines” on some of the rides. Say 3 of you want to go on Test Track, but there is a 40 minute wait- usually single rider lines move quickly, and all 3 of you will probably get to ride within 15 minutes! (you won’t ride together, but you go in the same door, go out the same door, and it isn’t like you have all kinds of conversations during a 60- 90 second ride!! This is something that has helped us to do and see so much more during the day!

Well, I hope that this has helped some.

Have a great trip!!

George asks…

Disney world HELP?

So i am kinda excited about going to disney world kinda not, maybe because i want to see pictures so bad and want to know what is in the giftshops and gift prices. When ever i look stuff up, it never gives a visual perspective. So i am leaving in three days and want to know everything a kid and adult would love along with photos if possible. Thanx! I really dont know what to expect, even though i have been researching it for ever! Thanxs again!

Orlando answers:

That is so wonderful! I’m not leaving for another 22 days, but as I just went in August, I can tell you that there is so much to see and experience when you are down there. The beautiful shots that are on Disneyworld.com do not do it any justice. I would check www.allears.net to see real photos from recent vacations and get information on all the different rides. Shops, restaurants, etc. Where are you staying? On-site or off-site? If you are staying on-site, take advantage of the guest provided Disney Transportation and the Extra Magic Hour. Some Disney Parks (on specific days) will open up an Hour Early and Some Parks will stay open up to three hours after closing.

My best advice would be to enter the parks and start from the back and work your way to the front. This idea works best for the Magic Kingdom due to it’s design. You can work your way around in a circle and visit each “land” making stops at the more popular attractions.

The greatest addition to the theme parks is the use of Fast Pass. The kiosks are set up at the more popular rides (Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, etc.) and are designed to all guests to enjoy the park and still enjoy the more popular rides with little to no wait. You would go to a kiosk, enter your park ticket and you would receive your park ticket back along with a FastPass ticket that has a return time on it. Then you can go and visit other attractions, shops, restaurants and then when your time comes on, you go back and jump in on the Fast Pass Line. You cut your wait time in half (sometimes even more).

Some definite stops to make: If you have a child, visit Mickey’s Toontown Fair in the Magic Kingdom and the rides in FantasyLand. Epcot may not be as fun for a child, but there are some definite fun places like the Seas with Nemo and Friends and the Character Stop in Future World. Animal Kingdom and the Hollywood Studios both have rides & attractions/shows for both (Expedition Everest, Dinosaur in AK & Tower of Terror, Rock’n'roller Coaster in HS) adults and children.

Dining: If you are planning on eating at any restaurants besides quick/counter service ones, then you should check with Disney Dining and make Advance Dining Reservations. The restaurants fill up quick.

Overall: A vacation at Disney is really not a vacation, but more a stealth mission. You want to make sure you see everything in a short amount of time. Make sure to note that the weather can change in the blink of an eye and be prepared for anything. All theme parks require that you have your bags, pocketbooks, backpacks, etc checked before entering the park, so allow extra time for that. Bottled Water can be extremely expensive, so bring a refillable water bottle with you. Stroller prices recently went up, so if you will be using a stroller, it is worth it to bring an umbrella stroller with you.

If you need additional info, email me. Have a great time!

Robert asks…

Suggestions for Disney dining?

I am taking my six year old to Disney the last week of February. We have never been before. I have already booked reservations at Epcot for dinner on Saturday and Hollywood Studios for dinner on Sunday, but I still need a cool dining suggestions for Disney World, Animal Kingdom, etc. I need suggestions that my son will like as this trip is for his birthday and it’s all about him having fun this week.
Thanks for the suggestions!! I will call and see about booking some of these.
I have “Coral Reef” booked at Epcot, “Sci Fi” at Hollywood Studios…”Rain Forest Cafe” also sounds right up my son’s alley as he loves animals, fish, etc. and anything to do with space or cars!

Orlando answers:

The Animal Kingdom doesn’t have a lot in the way of dining, but a Character Breakfast at the Tusker House is VERY popular and I’ve heard is one of the best character dining experiences on property. I always have to work, though, so I haven’t had the chance to check it out!

Ohana’s is great too – it’s at the Polynesian Resort so you can just take the Monorail there from the Magic Kingdom. It’s a family style buffet, meaning you sit at a big table with other people, and they bring a bunch of food to your table and you pick from that. You can see the Magic Kingdom fireworks from there if you get reservations at the right time. Also, they have games that they get all the kids involved in like ‘Heads, Shoulders Knees and Toes’ in Hawaiian and pushing coconuts through the restaurant with brooms..

The Prime Time Cafe is one of my favorites. It’s in Hollywood Studios and set up like an old 1950′s kitchen. The waiters are moms dads, uncles, etc. But you have to be sure not to put your elbows on the table, because you will get in trouble!

As far as Epcot goes, I like the Biergarten. They have a band that comes out and plays, and they have a little dance floor for the kids. It’s also a buffet, so if your son is a picky eater, he can just try something else! And of course, they have mac and cheese and chicken nuggets incase he’s anti German food. :)

I hope you have a magical vacation! Be sure to sign up for the “What Will You Celebrate” thing too, and get him a birthday pin at your resort (all totally free)!!!!

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Disney World Vacations

Susan asks…

Disney World vacation with a rottweiler mix, please help!!!!!?

Ok, so my girlfriend and i live in tampa and love the short trip to disney. What we do not like is leaving our dog Hachi home. He has alot of special needs and there are few qualified to watch him for more then a few days at a time. So our next trip we want to bring him with us. I know we can’t stay at a nice hotel with a large dog. and the hotels i have researched that do allow dogs require someone in the room with the dog at all times. Is there a hotel near disney that i can keep him in a crate when i’m not there? Or will i have to rent a dog friendly vacation home? Thanks!

Orlando answers:

Disney recently opened a really nice pet care center right on Disney property. It’s right across from the Port Orleans resort. You can find more information here:


Daniel asks…

Where can I get a disney world vacation package?

Orlando answers:

You should go to on www.dizneyvacationworld.info/disney-package-vacation-world to find where you can get a disney world vacation package.

Sharon asks…

Going to Disney world?

Well I’m going to disney world during Easter vacation. I’m 14 years old and idk If I’m going to like it:p so what is it like? Is it fun? Haha thanks and if you have stories you’d like to tell about you experiencing diney world then I would be more than glad to hear them(: thanks!

Orlando answers:

Disney World is great. However, some kids your age have a kind of attitude problem about it because they are at the stage where they are poo-pooing anything that they perceive to be childish. Later these people grow up and pretty much get over it.

So, Disney World can be great fun. But, like most things, it really depends on your attitude going in. If you are open to the fun and want to have a good time then you will. I have seen people have a lousy time at an amusement park, and I have seen people have a good time digging a ditch. (Not an exageration. We were digging footings for a picnic shelter with picks and shovels.)

So, relax and go with it. It will be a great time.

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Disney World Dining

Nancy asks…

tips for disney world?

so im going to disney world with my family & want to know what to see! what are the best rides to go on? (im a fan of big roller coasters, but will ride everything) what are some of the best performances to see? what are the best parks to visit? what are some great restaurants? what are some of the other great places to go? like some of the good shopping stores? also, we are going around the last week of march, is it going to be crowded?! & what will the weather be like!?

Orlando answers:

Magic Kingdom:
~Go either Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday.
~Either do this early in the morning or in the evening. In the middle of the day there are millions of cranky kids, plus their cranky parents, and little shade to hide from the sun.
~For lunch try the Plaza Inn down at the end of Main Street to the right, if you’ve gone into Tomorrowland you have gone to far. They practically blast the AC in there (great place to hide from the heat), and have great food at decent prices. Plus, if you go at the right time the Mayor of Main Street and his wife will visit!
~Check hidden corners! Especially entering Adventure Land, we found Rafiki and no line!
~Ride the main rides first! Or else they will be ridiculously long lines later. Some of these include: Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, and Peter Pan.

~Go either Sunday , Wednesday, or Saturday.
~This took us a good full day! Especially with the World Showcase, we wanted to spend more time there. There were so interesting. Fun fact: Everyone who works in a country is from there and speaks that language. Plan as much time as you can for this!
~The fruit pupils from Mexico are GREAT!
~For the evening show, you can practically sit anywhere. Just before you stake out a spot make sure there isn’t an island in front of you!
~Are you a Disney Visa card holder? If so, you can get a free picture with a character. You can find more info on all you perks here:http://disneyrewards.disney.go.com/credit/themeparkperks.html

Animal Kingdom:
~ Go either Sunday, Tuesday or Thursday.
~This doesn’t take long. For us it took barely half a day. But if you have animal lovers then stay if you want.
~Also do this early in the morning. It’s cool so the animals are usually still out.
~Do the Kilimanjaro Safari first things too. Go get a fastpass for Expedition Everest then go ride this! Go back to Everest ride it, and then use your fast pass!
~Be sure to see Finding Nemo The Musical! Get there early to get good seats.

Hollywood Studios:
~Go either Thursday or Friday.
~If you like Stars Wars go on Firday! Trust me!
~Ride the Rockin Roller Coaster. It’s great. We waited 70 minutes to ride it. WORTH IT! If you are scared to ride it because it’s fast and upside down, don’t worry! I was and I didn’t have time to be scared!
~We didn’t get as much time here so I can’t really give anymore.

Downtown Disney:
~We did this the day we got there and the day we left.
~For food eat at Paradisco 37. They have great food!
~WORLD OF DISNEY! Plan to be there for hours, literally. I got lost in it. It’s HUGE! If you are staying on property they can deliver your purchases to your hotel, this goes for a lot of those places around the park.
~There is a giant tethered hot air balloon. You can ride in it for a small price! This is a must! You can see major icons from each park up there!

Character Meals:
~We always do one. I’m 17 and LOVE it, my dad even gets into it and takes pictures with some of them!
~Usually we save this for one of our last days in the parks.
~Yes, they are pricy, but they are really worth it. If you have a birthday or anniversary tell your server and they’ll come sing!
~I suggest Akershus in Epcot. It has classic Norwegian food that’s very good!
~Here is a website with more character meals and such: http://www.wdwinfo.com/Just_for_kids/character_dining.cfm

Have fun! If you have any other questions feel free to contact me!

Helen asks…

Anybody have any real good ways to save money on dining in and around Disney World?

Orlando answers:

If you actually want to dine at some of the great restaurants around Walt Disney World, check out the Disney Dining Plan.


It’s a pretty cool opportunity to get to go to the really nice restaurants.

If you still don’t want to spend money like that, try taking your own snacks and foods. Disney allows you to take in your own food. You could take sandwiches and chips and drinks. The first couple of years my family went we were so poor that’s the only way we got to go is if we took all of our own food.

Also check out http://www.mousesavers.com/. They will have some great dining deals on there at times. They will also have ticket deals, and hotel deals. They are reliable.

Please let me know if you have any more questions jbwatkns@yahoo.com. I’ve been going for 15 years.

James asks…

Planning A Tip To Disney World, Help Please?

Im Planning A Trip to Disney World, Im 19 , My Wife Is 18 And Son Is 2 Years Old Around How Much Money Should Be Brought/Spent On Average For The Entire Trip
Plane Tickets Are Going To be $825 But I Round Everything To Da Higher Hundred To Be Safe So
$900 For The Plane, Hotel Is $438 ($500) For 7 Nights And Then The Disney World Tickets Were Getting With The Go To Any Theme Park As Much As You Want And Water Parks Included Average About 1,000 Total For 3 Of Us, Food I Was Thinking ABout $500, Another $500 For A Car, Then ANother For Gifts/ Souviners

Total Of ABout 3,900
I was Thinking ABout Saving Atleast 5,000 For The ENtire Trip Would That Be Good?

Orlando answers:

Hi there!
5 grand will definitely be enough for a Disney vacation! Good for you for being so prepared! The only thing you may want to consider is getting the dining plan because it does save money and it gives you the opportunity to get whatever you want and not worry about price. Also, do you plan on staying at a Disney hotel? Since you are getting a car and if you drive it to the parks the parking can add up. Parking is free if you stay at a Disney hotel or you could use their free transportation. If you want any free help in planning or to see if I can get it any cheaper feel free to email me misty@magicalvacationplanner.com I’m a Disney travel agent and love to help =) Hope to hear from you and if not, have an awesome time!

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