First time advice

So what would peoples top tips be for a family 2 adults 2 kids (13/15) who are ok with Early morning and busy days. Wanting to finish about 5 , to meet folks/eat outside of Disney be.

Ive got a good selection of Fastpasses, but what else should i consider

I would plan to be at the park as early as possible. You most likely will be able to accomplish a lot the first couple of hours. Plan fun but high capacity attractions for later, for example at MK PeopleMover and PhilharMagic.

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Are you not at all interested in the nighttime spectaculars? They really are amazing. If you can handle one long day consider staying for the fireworks, or taking a break that day and coming back. At the moment I would most recommend those at MK or HS (Fantasmic).

hmmm, i wasnt sure i was that fussed, But may do one evening, but im more a morning person. Hope to maybemeet a few folks in evening, and hope to drink some Beer in evening once im no longer driving.

But your not th only one to say so, so maybe one night we will stay later in park/come back bu laving and back just seems dead time, but none of the resteraunts in park look great, and id like to get some good food

Try to make time to see one night of fireworks. When kids think of WDW they think of Cinderella’s castle with fireworks going off - as this is what they see on TV. Kids ages 13 & 15 can handle a long park day. Besides, the whole park takes on a whole different feeling when lit up at night.

Also, plan time to meet characters. When my daughter was 13 she thought she was “too cool” to meet characters so I didn’t schedule but one or two. After her first encounter she was hooked. I had to basically “scrap” a whole planned day at MK later in the week just so we could spend the day filling her autograph book. Your kids may say they’re not interested, but once they see how fun characters are that can change.

If you are OK with early mornings consider doing Early Morning Magic, if offered on your travel dates. It does cost about $100 extra per person (tax included). You get access to 7 Fantasyland attractions before the park officially opens with little to no waits and a all-you-care-to-eat breakfast buffet.

The restaurants at WDW are known for being fantastic and I can vouch for many of them. It’s really great food and experiences. Not every restaurant is great but a lot of them are.

Sort of depends on one’s affinity for fireworks. I can take or leave them. I would enjoy them more if they could make them quieter. Much quieter. :smiley:

I do agree with this, though. I absolutely love seeing Tomorrowland after dark, in particular. Even more than the fireworks. :slight_smile:

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One of our family’s top tips is is not all about rides. Some here would disagree. However many of our best memories are from some of the park entertainment. Once at Magic Kingdom we got to listen to guys playing the steel drums. Another time with newbies, on our way out of Magic Kingdom for lunch when we about faced, got ice cream and listened to the Barbershop Quartet.

We’re always on the lookout for DeVine at Animal Kingdom. Once at Epcot Dreamfinder asked my niece how she kept her socks lit up (she was wearing neon pink and neon turquoise sox).

Really glad we were at Magic Kingdom at 5 pm for the Flag Retreat. Very moving.

Once at Hollywood Studios my sister saw an Ewok jumping up and down on some spilled popcorn. Too funny.

Also, another big tip: we always thank any Cast Member that helps us. Whether it’s putting us on a ride or serving us our food, we thank them.

We also try to remember the basic tenets of be kind, be patient, smile, and relax.


You’re not going to do everything in one trip (unless you’re there for weeks), so don’t expect that’ll happen. There will also be delays, unexpected diversions, like an interesting show, shop, character meet, or photo op. You won’t know for sure what the kids will like until you try things once, but odds are they’ll find a couple things they want to do more than once (maybe a bunch of times).

You’re off to a good start arriving early. The parks tend to open before their published times, so try to arrive well before the park is supposed to open. Even though that’s time you’ll just be standing around it’ll give you the jump on folks for at least one attraction. Animal Kingdom (Flight of Passage) and Magic Kingdom (Seven Dwarfs Mine Train) each have attractions that many people want to experience more than once and in both cases if you’re not lined up well before the park opens you’ll end up behind enough people that you’ll wait for quite a while even first thing in the morning.

Generally speaking, keep an eye out for what the kids (and other adults) are enjoying. At that age, one of my favorite things was hanging out at the pool. Some sort of break, just to keep kids from being overstimulated, can be helpful, so figure out what pace your group wants to move and pay attention to signs that they’re wearing down.

You are us. We start off early, get to RD early enough to be at the front of the pack and knock out as much as possible before lunch. Easier stuff in the afternoons - either FPs or things with shorter lines. I usually expect one ride a day to be a long line.

Oh, ice cream break in the afternoon, maybe some sit down stuff like shows to get you off your feet.

By 5, we are exhausted. We find dinner and head to our off-site house and sit in the hot tub. That is the most rejuvenating thing I can think of. No matter where you’re staying, make time to soak your feet at least. Then, off to bed to do it all again.

I should also say that we try to do a break in the middle, so 2 days RDing then a day of maybe shopping or Disney Springs and then another 2 days RDing. We’ve never stayed for a night show, but we did once get a room for the night at Contemporary with a balcony to watch the fireworks. That also worked out, as DH was sick and slept through it all, but the rest of us got a great show.

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The night time shows are spectacular - particularly fireworks at MK.

Where are you having trouble finding food options? I am a genuine foodie - outside of WDW and in. There are a couple places where food options are fewer, but WDW has som spectacular options both in the parks or just a short boat, gondola, or monorail ride away. Dinner at a neighboring hotel can be a great way to take a break and then go back for night shows.

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Were on the Quick service plan (free with our room) so will be eating inside the park for breakfast lunch. SO will wanting to be eating else where.

The places ive looked at so far (and yeah theyve mostly been the quick services places) seem to be of the burger natchos pub fayre variety

If you like burgers, fries etc. there is plenty of that, but if you want something else there are some great options for quick service. Epcot comes to mind for some good alternatives to burgers and fries. Animal Kingdom has some options with African and Asian flavours. Magic Kingdom has Pecos Bill. Be Our Guest is QS for breakfast and lunch with a French flare.

I would watch a few YouTube videos about best quick service food options or something like that. I got some ideas that way. Places I never would have heard about otherwise.

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I feel the same way about this and generally I agree with you, but there are a few restaurants at (or near the parks) that my wife and enjoy and think have very good food.

Epcot - There are a number of restaurants with good food in World Showcase. My favorite is a Hacienda de San Angel. You could eat at World Showcase and stay for the Epcot night show.

MK - While not in the park, California Grill is only a 10 minute walk from the MK at the Contemporary. And the Grand Floridan is only a monorail ride away for dinner at the Grand Floridan Cafe or Narcoossee’s. It’s relatively easy to have dinner at one of those and then head back to MK for the fireworks show.

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I was there in October with my 17 year old son. He enjoyed seeing characters, seeing some of the shows (Festival of the Lion King, in particular, but he enjoyed many), seeing the fireworks (especially the ones in Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios Fantasmic! show), shopping, and eating at many of the Table Service Restaurants (we especially enjoyed Skipper Canteen, Raglan Road, Yak & Yeti, and Teppan Edo). He liked riding rides, of course, too, but I was happily surprised at how much he enjoyed some of the other things.

You might try reading some of the trip reports to see what the highlights were for different types of groups.

Will you have Park Hoppers? We did a four park challenge one day, and that was our favorite day (both of us). We created the challenges we wanted to do - ride one headliner, see a show, eat something, meet a character, trade a pin, get a photo taken with the park icon, and get a magic shot photo taken. We had a blast.

Every palate is different, but I have rarely enjoyed a QS meal at Disney. To me, the food is usually too salty, greasy or fatty and typically tasteless at best. Docking Bay 7 at SWGE was the first time I had a QS meal at Disney where I thought “that was good.” We usually have QS in the park for convenience and then dinner outside of the park (other than Word Showcase where we will eat in the park).


I really enjoyed my ronto wrap at Ronto Roasters for breakfast one day. I think finding different options than burgers is the key often to finding good food. We really liked Flame Tree in AK, Ronto Roasters and Woody’s Lunchbox at Hollywood Studios, and some of the booths at Epcot. We also had QS breakfast at Be Our Guest, which was fine, although it’s a good value QS on the dining plan. On our previous trip we really enjoyed QS at Columbia Harbour House in MK.

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One other thing - look into Mobile Ordering if you haven’t already. You can save a lot of time using it.


Is on my Choice for MK :slight_smile:

And one more thing. The turkey legs are really good in my opinion. You can easily make a meal for two people with a turkey leg and some side dish (fries, corn on the cob, etc.).