New to touringplans and first visit to disney

Hi,
I am new to touringplans and have subscribed to Disney world and universal. Can I use both for the same holiday in the same dashboard? What is the best way to plan our trip in May next year visiting the Disney and universal parks? We are visiting for the first time next year (27th April - 10th May) with 2 children (6 and 10) and would like to visit each park at its quietest and enjoy the shows. I'm not really sure where to start and any advise would be appreciated.
Thank you

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Welcome to the forums @helen13. There is a lot of information available so always feel free to ask.

I'd say in beginning to plan your trip start with looking at the Crowd Calendar to get an idea of what days might be best for each park...

http://touringplans.com/walt-disney-world/crowd-levels (sorry I don't subscribe to universal)

Then maybe decide on lodging. Decide if you are staying onsite or offsite, and if you'll have a car.

You can add multiple trips in the dashboard. That is a brand new feature that was just released yesterday so we're all working on figuring out how to best make it work.

Welcome to Touring Plans and the forum! When I first joined up here, I checked out the crowd calendars as well. You can also have it track those calendar days for you so that you'll get an alert when something changes for your dates.

Also, I highly recommend perusing the actual Touring Plan suggestions to get an idea of the latest Disney attractions and how to best visit them.

and as @Outer1 said, there's a wealth of knowledge here, both from the site and the users. So don't be afraid to ask! Have fun!

Welcome @helen13! smile

Welcome @helen13! The dashboard is brand new, so we're all still learning how to use it. Once you have a general plan the days of your trip, I highly recommend playing around with making personalized touring plans. It's so fun to see what you can pack into one day! Just ask if you get stuck or have any questions.

Welcome @helen13!!!

Welcome! You'll find we are very friendly here and most of us were new once too -- ask away, we love to help smile

Welcome ☺️

It's probably best if you give us a little info. Like how many adults and children, time of year you are going, type of tickets and how many days you'll have. You'll find no shortage of those that like to help plan on here lol.

Welcome smile @helen13

Hi @helen13! First step would be to figure out how many days you're spending at Universal and how many at Disney World. The Crowd Calendar (Disney / Universal) is good for that.

After that I would say to start poking around at the attractions and restaurants to get a general idea of how many days you think you'll be spending in the parks. You don't need that kind of specificity right now, but you'll be able to start making dining reservations at the end of October if you're staying at a Walt Disney World resort so you'll want to think about that over the next few months.

I'll stop there because I'm sure it's starting to feel overwhelming. Don't worry, it's not as bad as it sounds and we're here to help in any way we can.

@helen13 Welcome to our group. There is a lot of information to learn to make a good trip, but good for you for starting so early. Please know there are no stupid or silly questions. We all are willing to help as we can. I don't know anything about universal except for this one item:
If you want to go to Universal stay at one of their hotel and use the perks that come with it.

Which to do first is up to you. There are pros and cons to each.

These forums and the dashboard are new to us, but those in charge are close by and do come and help to.

@helen13 - Welcome. To answer your dashboard question, yes, you can have multiple trips. I'll be going in November; 7 days at WDW and 3 days at UOR. I first created a WDW-only trip, and then used the add a trip button to create my Universal trip. Worked great! Some tips for basic planning strategy:

  1. Lodging. On-site or off-site for either or both resorts? Due to early entry policies (that differ between WDW and UOR), this can effect everything else regarding your planning.

  2. Determine which individual parks you plan to visit on each day.

  3. Consider what Table Service meals that you may want to eat; some might be in the parks, some might be at a resort, so might be off-property. Ideally, this should be done more than 180 days prior to arrival. Believe it or not, some reservations are gone by mid-morning at the 180 mark.If all you are interested in is Counter Service meals, you can skip this step and make your dining decisions "on the fly". You may even be able to get "walk ups" at table service restaurants, but probably not at the popular locations, and probably not without a wait.

  4. After you have your dining reservations locked in, go to the Touring Plans page of this website and create a preliminary TP for each park

  5. At 60 days (if staying on-site at WDW) or 30 days (if off-site) make your Fast Pass+ reservations. Once you have these set, return to your TP and come up with your final plan.

This is admittedly VERY broad brush, but this is the basic process I use when planning a trip. If you do not already own one, I HIGHLY recommend getting a copy of "The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World". The 2015 edition is due for publication in mid August; the Kindle version is already available. This is an invaluable source book for all things WDW, and as the Touring Plans website is a "companion" to it, there is a lot of useful cross-referencing (including instructions on how to get the most out of this website).

And don't hesitate to ask questions! I couldn't begin to count the combined years of experience in these forums, and the cool thing is, we're all anxious to help you as much as we can.

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Welcome, @helen13!!