First time visit

Good day !

I’m so happy and excited to be here. My family and I ( wife, 2 daughter aged 14,16 ) will be visiting WDW from #rd July 2018 until 10 July 2018 for the first time. We are coming from South Africa. Unfortunately the summer holidays is the only time we could fit in 3 weeks in the US, so busy it will be.

I heard Magic Kingdom is doing a special Fireworks for Independence day on 3 July, and Epcot on 4th of July.
We are arriving late on 3rd July, most probably only be able to make the Fireworks our first activity for the night.
1.Luckily it is Extra Magic hours, so how do you suggest i best make use of my Fast Pass+ bookings for that night ?
2. We will have 6 full days to explore WDW - what is the best split in terms of parks ? ( keeping in mind that I will visit Magic Kingdom on 3rd July for Fireworks, and 3 Fast pass + rides, as well as having the day we leave 10th of July maybe for a last visit with 3 Fast pass bookings ) ?
3. We will be staying in All Star Music Resort, any suggestions in terms of rooms ? WE preferably would like to stay on 1st/2nd floor in a quiet area.
4. We wont be using any of the Disney Dining plans, we were thinking of using Green Grocer to deliver food and drinks, any other suggestions ?

Wow…that is a lot. Please help and guide our family !

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You will get a lot of advice and different opinions out here on how to proceed. First off let’s address the room at All-Star resort. There is a fax option available here on TP. Use that first though there is NO guarantee that you will get the room you request. Also upon check-in you can talk to the CM’s about a room change if you do not like what you have been assigned. Again NO guarantees. Now MK has quite the fireworks display every night weather permitting. You didn’t state when you and yours would be arriving at your resort so I don’t know how much time you will have at MK. Popular FP’s are for the trill rides such as 7DMT, Space Mountain, and Thunder Mountain. None thrill are The Jungle Cruise, Peter Pan’s flight and possibly Pirates of the Carribean and The Haunted Mansion. The Haunted Mansion is great to do at night as it is all lit up for the proper outer effect. Park wise, depending on if you bought Park Hopper or Not, I would say MK first Epcot second and HS or AK. MK and Epcot will take the most time. Not much left at HS so it will take less than a day. AK now has Pandora so that will take a full day in itself. Don’t miss the fireworks at Epcot. The two hardest FP’s to get are the one’s at Pandora. Flight of Passage and The Navi river ride. Book them 60 days out if you can as well as any other rides such a Fast Track and Soar’in in Epcot. I will now let others add to this with their opinions as I have just touched on a few and of coarse these are my preferences. Have a Magical Vacation!

Just to clear up one thing. You can’t book FPs for EMH. So depending on what time you arrive at MK you may not be able to book all 3 FPs for that night.

Is it possible to reschedule your trip? Ive been to WDW during this time and it is so packed, humid, and hot that it is hard to enjoy. My apologies for the question, I use to live in Florida and now visit WDW once a year at the end of Jan/begining of Feb. Seriously, consider that the crowd levels and heat might ruin your well intentioned trip.
Best of luck.

Lots of questions. For splitting up days, I would recommend 2 full days ate MK and EP, and one day at DHS and AK. DHS is a bit thin on “rides” (although TSL should be open by then), but it has quite a few shows - you may not be able to fit them all in in one day. With the addition of Pandora at AK, it will be hard to get everything done there in one day as well.

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The All-Star resorts are very popular with student groups because of their price points. With that being said, July is very popular for student tourists groups, especially from Brazil. There are also groups of kids staying at them for events at ESPN. Therefore, I don’t know if you will find a “quiet” section of an All-Star resort at the time you will be there. We were at WDW last July and our original plan was to stay at ASM, but we changed our reservation to POFQ because of the students. I was so glad we did. The students can be quite loud in the parks and you definitely know they are there when they are in your area. Granted, I spend most of my time with h.s. students as I am a h.s. teacher, so I might notice them more than you will. For example, I yelled at a tour guide at Universal because he wasn’t controlling his group and keeping them from blocking the disability entrance to a ride. My first instinct would be to stay at the back of the resort away from the main pool. However, those rooms are cheaper than the rooms closer to the main building and pool. Student groups more than likely are not going to pay for a premium room. The buildings closest to the main building might actually be more quite if you get a room on an upper floor that faces the parking lot. Also, use the room finder on here and try for a corner room if possible.

I don’t have much help to offer for your specific questions except to say we were at WDW that week last year and it was an absolute blast! Definitely make the MK fireworks on the 3rd. We didn’t find the crowds that bad at all. With good TPs in place you’ll be fine. Enjoy!

Hi all
Thank you for all the replies, I appreciate it alot.

A few other questions:
a. Does anyone know how long it takes to get from Orlando International to ASM resort with the complimentary Transportation provided ? , and can I bring my luggage to the coach instead of having it delivered if I pick it up myself at baggage claim ?
b. Anyone ordered some food/bars/water/cool-drinks etc to their room via Garden Grocer etc - any other service you would advise ?
c. Is it easy/accessible to cook my food in microwave at ASM diner/eat place ?

Thank you

A. The general rule is to allow at least 90 minutes from getting to the gate (not landing as sometimes there is a long taxi to the gate or holding for your gate to open or ground crew to get to the gate) to getting to the resort - if you’re waiting on your luggage (which you’re welcome to do - just don’t put the yellow DME tags on them) you might need to add a little time to that. I try to stick with carry-on only and head straight to the DME area (sometimes a quick bathroom stop also). I’ve had it take as little as maybe an hour - I checked in right before my bus was leaving and they were able to radio the CMs at the front to hold the bus. And I’ve had it take in the 90+ minute range when I hit DME check-in right after my bus pulled out and I had to sit for a while. That time was also later at night when there were not as many arrivals so they held the bus maybe a little longer than usual and had maybe a couple more resorts mixed in.

B. Never ordered anything. I usually travel solo and am fine with the available food. Or I just bring my own from home.

C. Not a clue. I’m wary of public microwaves because you never know what other people are putting in there.

So I have 6 full days to visit parks.

I read that I need to do Magic Kingdom in 2 days, then 1 day each for the other parks. ( not doing water parks ). We are not using park hopper, so which park should/need we do in 2 days as well ?

Thank you

For a first timer I would do two days at Epcot. It is hard to do everything in one day at Epcot. HS can be done in less then a day. AK can take a full day with Avatar now.

You will need two days in MK and Epcot. They are the biggest parks and cannot be seen in one day. HS used to be a good park but for now many things are in transition. AK is quite good sized and depending if you are a Avitar fan or not can take additional time for the newest section Pandora. If I only had six days in the parks I would do MK for 2 days, Epcot for 2 days, and AK for 2 days. If you should get park hopper which is a good deal if you wish to eat mostly in Epcot World Showcase where many of the best restaurants are located.

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The 2-2-2 is what I’m doing for my upcoming trip. Given that I really only like Muppets and ToT in DHS, it’s just not worth the time getting there and then to another park to do those, even though I do have a hopper.

Hi again guys
Thank you for all the help so far. 2 questions again:

  1. If I want food/water/drinks be delivered to my room on my day of arrival, how do i do it without knowing my room number ? Is my surname with my reservation number good enough ? is there a limit to the size/amount of stuff I can have delivered ?

  2. I would like to know approximate times it takes from ASM resort to the different theme parks. I’ve read that it can sometimes take up to an hour ? is that accurate ? Would like to schedule some back and forth trips to my room from the parks, and this would make planning easier, but putting in an hour for getting from any of the parks to ASM resort, and then another hour to go back later is eating up a lot of time ?

Looking forward to your replies !
Lourens Scholtz

You can just put your name and reservation number on the order. I have used Garden Grocer and it is included in the ordering info.

I would always plan at least an hour. If you are trying to go to HS or EP at opening I would be at the bus stop by 7:45 for an 9:00 opening. You have to wait for a bus, drive to the park, go through the entrance…

It may be quick but you do not want to be behind the crowd. MK lets you in at 8:00 to see the castle and Main Street. AK opens about 45 minutes early and you should be at the gate very early (90 minutes) if you want to go to Pandora.

You could use this as a guide but it does not account for wait time to get the transport.

That also does not include getting off the bus, walking to the gate, and getting into the park. Please also be careful with that site. It refers to buses that go from resorts to water parks ( stopped a long time ago) and the Richard Petty driving experience.

Hi all

I have had such wonderful response here, and I LOVE the suggested Touring plans for Disneyworld. Is there anything like this for New York city ? WE will be there a week as well, and if touringplans had a new york, I would definitely subscribe.

Any help will be appreciated.

Thank you
Lourens Scholtz

I wish there was! I planned our NYC trip though after planning WDW and NYC was a breeze! Just make sure to reserve tickets early if you plan on visiting the Statue of Liberty. Especially if you want to go up into the pedestal or crown. Those tickets sell out early! Otherwise there is so much to do and see there that can be planned last minute. I love that city! Make sure to take in a Broadway musical!

It’s been a while since I’ve been, but my top three picks are:

The Empire State building at night — shorter lines and the views are still breathtaking.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art — something for everybody: don’t miss the sculpture gallery on the top floor that has amazing views of Central Park

The cable car to Roosevelt Island — just go there and come straight back, but you get amazing views of the city.

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