1st DISNEY timer- stressing out!

I completely agree! There is a time for being spontaneous, but a 1st trip to WDW is not it. Spontaneity is fantastic at the beach or camping at a state park, etc…

I always encourage first timers to have each member of their party pick 3 things at each park that they REALLY want to do. Then make a plan that makes those things absolutely possible. Then, high capacity things like shows, parades, etc. can be a little looser and you can fill-in with those things.


First, not all restaurants require ADRs at 180 days. Know which ones you need now and which you can add in later. Character dinners, evening show/dinners and BOG - for sure, book them at 180 days. Many of the others, you can leave until even a few weeks before your trip.

Second, with a park hopper, here’s a suggestion. Make RD every day, but be flexible about what you’re doing in the morning. Make your FPPs for the second park of the day and make that planned. You can switch it up the next day, but if you plan your afternoon FPPs at another park, you’ll know you won’t be standing in crazy lines at that time. I know some people here are totally morning FPP people, but really, the line ups to get the next FPPs once you’ve used your 3 can be crazy.

Take your time with your plan. As long as you have those ‘important’ dinners booked, you have plenty of planning time and can continue your research.

Good luck - keep coming here for any help you need. This is a great forum.

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Take a deep breath :slight_smile: You will enjoy planning just don’t get stressed out :slight_smile: It is fun to plan and then change those plans :slight_smile: I’ve been to the world 8 times and still love the planning :slight_smile:

Touringplans will help a lot with the little planning :slight_smile: When I made my plans I always used the EMH to determine which park we would be in. Some days we would hop, but remember hopping and transferring to other locations is time consuming for meals (if that is all you are going for). I always tried to choose which park we would be in and then do dining reservations around that park. *So if you were set on doing MK on Monday, then go to Chef Mickey during that time :slight_smile: The park hopper is great for the parks that close early and then you can go to another park for the later hours :slight_smile: Keep in mind that EP and MK are your two largest parks so you may end up spending more time there.

MNSSHP is AWESOME :slight_smile: We have loved going to it :slight_smile: I would love to go back every year if I could :slight_smile:

One of the websites that I frequent is allears.net. They have menus for each of the restaurants and that is where I decide which ones I want to try out.

Again :slight_smile: Take a deep breath and enjoy the planning :slight_smile:

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Great observation @PrincipalTinker! I did not realize it was during Food and Wine and would definitely recommend changing your EP days to a non weekend! When my kids and I went I listened to this info, but we ended up having to go back to EP to finish a few things (I believe it was a Saturday) and it was jam packed :frowning: You could hardly walk around the worlds :frowning: Good thing it was a quick in and out :slight_smile:


CHILL - it will be ok. I do think that Disney has caused this problem with all the “pre-planning etc”

Remember the following
1 - This is a vacation and you are there to have fun
2 - You will NOT see everything so don’t even try
3 - It is called walt disney WOLRD - you can’t see the WORLD in a week and you can’t see WDW in a week as well
4 - Plan some thing, be surprised by some things, stay flexible and enjoy
5 - DON’T over plan

We eat breakfast in the room - it is a more pleasant, nicer way to get people going and we aren’t stressed to GET OUT. Try Chef Mickey for Lunch or Dinner if you aren’t a breakfast person. Hoop de doo is dumb and stupid and corny and just a GREAT TIME - but we went several times to WDW before we went there. So if you don’t see it your first time - not a big deal. You still get a GREAT view from zones 2 and 3. Plus in slower times - they will just move you up from a “lesser” location - so don’t pay extra for zone 1. Rainforest - wasn’t my favorite at all. Loud, damp, musty and the food wasn’t good. I think there are better places.

Depending on where you are staying - save time to just enjoy your resort as well. Don’t GO GO GO and miss out on the fun. CHILL, enjoy and if you liked it - come back again


Thank you to everyone for the responses. I think I just need to spend more time browsing the menus. We are definitely doing some TS as I purchased the dining plan and we really enjoy going out to eat. I know we can’t see everything in a week and there are a lot of things I don’t care if we see or do since my kids are older now. Once I get the dining figured out I will start researching more about the attractions and what we want to see. My kids are aware of this trip because I want them to be involved in the planning! So excited and counting down for this first trip! Thanks again for the responses!

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I did get the park hopper and I know we will use it. The first part of the week we will probably be at one park each day. But towards the end it will be goi g back and re-living their favorites so we will go to a couple a day.

I know that planning 6 months in advance can be a bit of a head scratcher. But when your holiday begins, and you have all the major decisions figured out, you will be very happy you did.
It is fantastic when you walk up to a popular restaurant that has a long line, and you just walk right in. (within a few minutes)
Enjoy the planning now, enjoy the holiday latter.

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Epcot day one. Avoid all country pavilions. Day one try to get almost every ride in Future world part.
make a touring plan

Day two. AM: ride the two rides in future worls you missed on day one.
World show case opens at like 10 am. get as close to Norway as you can before World Showcase Rope drop.
Do the "Frozen ’ Norway first.
Then take a slow stroll, back track and visit Mexico, and then go moving clockwise.
Dinner in France. Trust me.
canada at closing time,
go home

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A world Showcase opens at 11. The bakery in France is open at 9:00 and most people are confident that the Frozen ride and meet and greet will open with FW as the A&E meet and greet did before it went to MK.

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You can totally get future world and part of world showcase done in a single day without rushing. it is also fun to do one side (Ellen, Mission, Test Track and then hit Mexico for lunch (or a drink) and then go back and do Journey, Land, Nemo, Soarin’ (if its open). Then hit Canada. It really doesn’t have to be so black and white


I’m on the same boat as you. My families first trip will be during the same week as yours. 10/06-10/15 at AoA with a 6 day Park Hopper and Meal Plan.

I don’t have any experience with WDW or planning, but I can tell you what’s helped me. I bought the Unofficial Guide to WDW 2016 before booking. The book has so much information and covers everything you need to know. If you don’t have it get it! Also Touring Plans and Pintrest has been my best friend with helping me plan. I’m constantly reading and pinning everything that may help plan the most magical vacation ever.

As far as ADR’s, I’ve looked at all the menu’s, read all the reviews I can find and based my decision on. I ended up making a dining plan, so here’s to hoping I can get most of my ADR’s.


Biggest piece of advise - is plan but be flexible. Just chill and it will all be good.


Touring Plans is gold but you need the Unofficial Guide Book too. It makes planning so much easier. I echo skipping HDDR and Rainforest. If this is your first trip to WDW I don’t think the add ons are worth it. You will already have so much to do each day in every park. You are going to have a great time!!

I use Passporter and LOVE it :slight_smile: There are several options :slight_smile:

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As far as downtime goes, I’m usually in favor of lots of downtime and as long as CLs aren’t really high it’s usually very doable. That said, with older kid and teens and mostly early park-closes during your trip I think you could do without, especially if you really avoid trying to hop to another park for the last few hours after the park you’re in closes, and maybe sleep in a bit on Friday, and just get to Epcot for WS opening.

One more thing to consider about energy levels is that while MK is about the same size as either of the Universal parks, it’s the smallest park at WDW, and by a very large margin in the cases of AK and Epcot… you’re going to be walking a whole lot more some days. It seems to me that comparing Universal to WDW might be like comparing a 5k to a half marathon. Most people can go full out for 5k, but it takes training to keep up the same pace over the long haul. I think it’s possible, but be prepared to build in some rest/pool/chill time in the second half if you’re feeling run-down, footsore, or maybe even a little “over it”.

One other thing is that I personally wouldn’t recommend Rainforest Cafe, simply because there are so many much better food options that are only found at WDW that I wouldn’t choose a nationwide chain while I’m there.

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I used to be a big passport we fan in the day.

We are first time WDW vistors. We were meant to arrive early Saturday evening. Ended up arriving in the early hours of Sunday morning. Straight away that threw our plans of going to a Disney Waterpark Sunday out the window. So we decided to skip it as we built in a couple of days into our trip with nothing on to revisit anything we love or if plans needed to change.

Yesterday we visited Animal Kingdom and after seeing how much our daughter struggled in the heat and knowing that it was going to be a similisr temperate on our Magic Kingdom day later this week, we adjusted our fastpasses for later in the day and decided to do an inside activity on the morning of our Magic Kingdom day and tour into the night when it will be cooler.

I am the worst Type A personality you will ever meet and had planned this holiday down to the smallest detail, but sometimes it does not work out how you plan and you just learn to roll with it (and I have found it pretty easy to do so far). My biggest advice is to build in blocks of time that are flexible so if you do have to move things you are not constantly restricted by things you cannot change (like hard to get ADRs).

The best piece of advice I can give you in just breathe and enjoy.