Thank You Friend - Planning Thread - March 2025

DH and I are taking our DFriend and her DFH and DFS to WDW during her Spring Break in 2025. She’s the only one that has been to WDW but that was back in high school. DFS hasn’t ever been on a rollercoaster before!!

Some background: I met DF when we were both new to the last school that I taught at in 2017. We just clicked right away and she is wonderfully snarky (unlike anyone here :raccoon: :raccoon:) and awesome!! She was a Deaf and Hard of Hearing teacher and we really enjoyed when we could work with each other, though now she is a special education supervisor. DFH is a stage 4 colon cancer survivor. She was pregnant during his chemo. When my DH got his cancer diagnosis in 2019 she was the first person I leaned on and she never let me fall. She’s also been the primary breadwinner for much of their marriage (various reasons), just like me, only they have a kid to provide for as well. I know that since I’ve known her, she has not taken a real vacation, only visiting relatives. She was also the only person at school who knew about my wls before I had it and she supported me and encouraged me (and still does) 200% the entire time. I truly don’t know what I did to deserve her friendship but I’m so thankful for it! DFS is an amazing kid. He seriously is my favorite young person!! Oh, and DF is the one of only 2 former colleagues/friends that has made time for me since I retired.

We are paying for their rooms and tickets and I get to plan everything! Even though they will need to cover plane tickets I told her I would be happy to find them so we all travel down together (DH and I may stay a couple days longer) and I’m trying a small version of “the points/miles game” and hopefully will be able to get their tickets (or at least most of) with rewards.


Dates: March 21 - 29 2025
Who: Me (56)
DH (54)
DF (40s)
DFH (40s)
DFS (currently 10 will be 11)
Where: ASS
What: Us (APs), Them (6 day park hoppers)
Extra: Harry Potter themed day at UOR as a day trip on the 28th


What an awesome thing to do for your friend! I’m sure you will have a wonderful time!


How generous of you! You are a good friend :two_hearts:


Just being you :blush:

This sounds like so much fun!!


This is wonderful! Can’t wait to read your recapa I don’t expect a “live” trip report, but hopefully you’ll have time to share your adventures!


I will be needing some assistance on a few things since I’ve never gone as an adult with a child in the group.

I talked with DF yesterday and got some preliminary information. They have not told DFS yet and asked me to do a trip reveal because they want him to understand that we are giving the trip and not just going with them. So I’ve been going down an etsy rabbit hole of things/ways to do a reveal. I want to do it once school is out for the summer because A) waiting longer would be hard (going to Disney!!!) and B) then DF and I can talk about it around him etc.

So it’s going to be about 9 months lead time and since he is a growing boy I think trip shirts should wait until closer to when we are going.

Also, since he’s never been on a rollercoaster (not even State Fair kind of rides) I need to think about the best way to introduce Disney to him. From what I’ve picked up from all the parents here is that 7DMT or SDD might be the best “starter” coasters??

If that’s the case I think our first day should start at MK because it’s iconic but not necessarily 7DMT but then hop to HS for SDD. Primarily because DH can’t ride 7DMT (his knees would get squished and that’s not good for fibromyalgia) and I’m not sure about DFH he’s probably on the borderline of fitting. So we would want a more forgiving coaster to start with, I think.

Also, DFH may opt out of things because he may need less people etc at times which I told DF was 1000% fine and not hard to do at WDW if needed. Oh, and DF will also qualify for DAS so if we split up they likely won’t need G+ unless it’s crazy busy or something.

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I would 100% start at Magic Kingdom. SDMT and SDD are great starter coasters. My 4 year old loved them both and SDD is his proclaimed favorite.

MK has a lot to do - even without coasters - and is so iconic because of the castle. I would definitely start there.

We kind of did a “movie bootcamp” before we took my kids - including a list of “movies to watch before we go” would be awesome. It really helped my kids get all of the IP. If they don’t have a Disney plus membership, maybe that’s something they could do OR they could rent movies from the library.

We also got them the Birnbaum WDW for kids book - so they could read and see pictures of what they might experience, as well as communicate with what they might want to do. It helped build anticipation.

Also, he might be a super excitable kid - but my kids looked at me like I had three heads when we revealed the trip to them (one month in advance). Just have low expectations for a reaction.


Thanks those are good ideas! I particularly like the getting him the kids book.

I do have low-ish expectations because the reveal is more for the adults lol. They want to make sure he understands who is behind this trip and I want to be able to talk to DF about it without having to watch what I say. I have many things I want to show her during the summer (because that’s when she will be least stressed) and having to talk away from him will be annoying at best. But remembering to have realistic expectations is a thing. Thanks!


Sounds like a great trip! I agree with @NervousRex that watching some movies would be great. When we were getting my middle kid and youngest used to coasters, we would go to our local zoo that had an old, wooden coaster. We were able to go on it repeatedly with little to no wait so it helped me know what to expect with their reaction to coasters. Any place near you like that? (Our family doesn’t like most Fair rides because we don’t trust temporary ride structures – and that was before the tragedy at the Ohio State Fair a few years back.)


One more thing – when I went in Dec, I bought my park tickets though AAA. It was a good bit cheaper but it is more of a risk. If you are staying at Disney and making the tickets part of a package, it is easier to back out should you need to.


I agree that starting at MK is always a great way to start a visit to WDW. Would BTMR work for your group? It was my kids’ first real roller coaster when they were 5 and 7 and they both loved it. Since DFS will be 11, he might appreciate something a bit more adventurous than SDMT unless he’s a more timid kid.


I will be getting them from Undercover Tourist they are currently having a adults for the price of children sale. Plus they have a 365 day return policy. It’s where we’ve been getting our tickets for all our trips. But I should check out AAA since I am a member. Thanks for reminding me!


I had thought about BTMRR but that’s where I need input from people who actually have kids. :blush:


It’s a bit dependent on the individual kid, but unless DFS is fearful about riding a coaster I think that BTMR is a really good first one. An eleven year old might not want to feel like he’s doing a “kiddy” coaster. I would ask DF what she thinks. Has he just never had the opportunity to ride a coaster or is he afraid of them?


Both of my kids loved BTMRR too - it was definitely more thrilling for both of them, but no complaints from either.


We had friends who watched YouTube videos of rides before they went so the kids could also determine what they were willing to try. I’m mixed in that because it can take away some of the magic but if the kid is anxious, I would definitely recommend it.


I think mostly he’s not had an opportunity for riding any. He is not a fearful kid in general. I think he will be excited :crossed_fingers:


If he’s not fearful then BTMR is a great coaster to start with. And if he likes it you can work up to EE and maybe Space or RnRC.


Chiming in to say my girls similarly loved all three of these from the moment they were tall enough to ride them (around age 5).

7DMT is definitely the mildest/least threatening one if you think you need to start off slowly, but unless he’s fearful of roller coasters I would guess many 11 year olds would be equally fine with the other two. I personally think SDD is smoother than BTMR (the WDW version is a bit rough and has given me nausea when riding more than once) - but my kids love them all, and the BTMR theming is really fun.

That said, every kid is different. One year, when traveling with my 6-year old niece we decided to rope SDD (which she had seen a video of and was super excited to ride). The moment we started moving, she began to scream and was in tears/full melt down by the end of it (and refused to ride another coaster on the whole trip).

Hope he loves them all!