Friday, June 4, 2010

Trip Advisor Ridge—Planning a First Trip to Walt Disney World

I have been to Walt Disney World roughly 40 times in the last 20 years; I was 9 on my first trip. Now I am helping my cousin Jeff and his wife Windy plan their first trip to the “World.” They have two adorable little girls ages 9 and 11. Jeff and Windy took appropriate measures and found themselves an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner locally. They also wanted to run the Planner’s information through me to compare it to what my family has been doing.

Here is some of the important information. Their trip is planned for November 1st though November 5th, 4 nights and 5 days, they will have their car, and they’ll be staying at Pop Century. They have the standard dining plan so they’ll have 4 credits per person for each of the following: snacks, quick service meals, and table service meals.

My mission recently was to take some of the mystery out of planning. I wanted to make sure they had access to all of the same websites I like to read in order to stay informed. We also did some restaurant planning.
They are not buying the park hopper feature so we need to plan only one park per day. This is where a little planning know how comes in. I took them to (*DING*) and showed them how the crowd calendar works and also how to generate the touring plan for each park.

Once we had a good general plan regarding which park they are visiting on each day, it was time to think about where to book advance dining reservations (ADRs) for the table service meals. I gave my suggestions for each park then showed them the dining choices with menus from . I suggested that they pick two or more restaurants from each park just in case they couldn’t get an ADR at the first choice. We looked through my suggestions, checked the menus and made decisions for each park. For Magic Kingdom, Crystal Palace; for EPCOT, Le Cellier (unlikely) or Coral Reef; for Hollywood Studios, Brown Derby or Sci-Fi Drive-in, and for Animal Kingdom, Tusker House. They’d also like to have breakfast at Chef Mickey’s. Jeff and Windy will end up paying for one of these meals out of pocket. I explained the Food and Wine Festival and they are getting geared up for that as well.

As we plan more and get closer to their trip, I’ll post updates on what they are hoping to do and share some of the suggestions I have on making the trip even more magical for the girls.

If anyone has any tips or suggestions, we would love to hear them. It would be great if we could help Jeff and Windy make this as special as possible. Add a comment below or email us at


  1. how about disney florist? they could put a little care package of treats,stuffed mickeys, balloons etc for the girls. it could be waiting in the room for them when they come home from the parks on night! i did it for hubby's birthday and he loved it (and our son has the mickey now!)
    twitter: @pixienancy

  2. Great idea Nancy! Thanks for sharing! We'll need your expertise as the series progresses.

    I love the Disney Florist too. I'm going to do a post someday on them.

  3. Mindy froggymork@aol.comOctober 30, 2010 at 8:00 AM

    the 1900 park fare in the gran floridian is a good buffet that features cinderella, prince charming, and the evil stepmother/sisters. we had a very fun time as the evil characters are really quite funny. it was a good value for our family. i also heard/read that the cinderella royal table is highly overrated.

    they could order a special treat from the gran floridian bakery like a white chocolate cinderella slipper.


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