We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

First time to Disney

NY
Level Contributor
43 posts
5 reviews
Save Topic
First time to Disney

Hi everybody,

I’m trying to organize a surprise 6 days (5 nights) vacation for my 9 and 8 years old kids in mid April.

Never been to Disney, nor us or the kids and I am so confused, so many questions…

Can you give me a starting point based on the followings :

- We are on a budget

- Would like to have breakfast included

- Willing to rent a car if a condo / resort out of Disney would be better

- Which option is cheaper ? Are the resorts better in value than the condos ?

- Is mid April a busy period ?

- Are there any packages with flight included (coming from NY)

Can you give me a starting point ?

Than you in advance ...

Magic Kingdom Park
Disney Parks & Activities, Theme Parks
Disney's Animal Kingdom
Nature & Wildlife Areas, Theme Parks, Disney Parks & Activities
Epcot
Theme Parks, Disney Parks & Activities
Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water Park
Water Parks, Disney Parks & Activities
Valley Stream, NY
Level Contributor
19,006 posts
61 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: First time to Disney

Hi, first thing is the week before Easter and the week after are two of the most crowded weeks of the year. I wouldn't pick that time for a first visit :)

Edited: 18 February 2014, 20:05
NY
Level Contributor
43 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: First time to Disney

Really ? OMG ... I did not know this ...

It is the week the kids have the Spring Break and I was hopping not everybody in the world has the Spring break at the same time ...the week I'm talking about is 04/12 - 04/19.

When you say busy means long, long lines ? Can we buy some kind of express passes ?

Valley Stream, NY
Level Contributor
19,006 posts
61 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: First time to Disney

I'm sorry (I don't mean to be a downer), that's like the worst week. Disney has fast passes (you can only get 3 a day and only in one park). A better time, if you can take the heat, is the end of August.

NY
Level Contributor
43 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: First time to Disney

Ok ...I'll think about this.

Can you guide me to find a good deal - package or just hotel / condo ?

Valley Stream, NY
Level Contributor
19,006 posts
61 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: First time to Disney

We like to stay on site. If you're thinking about August the summer discounts should be out soon. Then you can go on WaltDisneyWorld.com and price some stuff out, see what you think. We get our flights separate, always use Jet Blue out of JFK. (flights will be cheaper in August also compared to Easter)

I book a room/ticket package with a room discount. There may be room discount or free dining offered, you'll have to see what works out cheaper. You can certainly talk to a travel agent who specializes in disney (I had one but she retired, so I did my last trip on my own, I called Disney directly to book). If you belong to AAA you can also talk to the travel agents there.

pa
Level Contributor
54,491 posts
Save Reply
6. Re: First time to Disney

I agree, if you can change it up to August, it will be very hot and humid but the crowd levels will be easier to manage

Plus, it will give you a bit longer to save up :)

I also agree to book direct, use AAA ( if a member ) or an Official On line Disney Agent such as www.dreamsunlimitedtravel.com They can find you the best deals and continue to look for discounts for you

August Room Discounts have historically been very good :)

Are there any Disney Resorts you might have an interest in having more detailed info about ?

Fort Worth
Level Contributor
11,544 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: First time to Disney

As you have specifically mentioned "budget", it will be best to avoid "peak" seasons. They come with higher prices and massive crowds; 2nd week of March thru end of April, the weeks before & after July 4th, the week of Thanksgiving, and the week before Christmas through January 2nd.

Disney resorts do not have "breakfast included". You may wish to purchase a Disney dining plan; several plans to choose from. "Free Dining" is offered periodically; late August/early September are often included.

For a first visit, I recommend staying on-site for free airport transfers, ease of transportation to/from the parks, extra hours in the parks for Disney resort guests, early booking of "fast passes", etc. Having said this, you can certainly stay "cheaper" off-site.

Disney offers vacation packages and you should book directly with them, or an authorized agent. Most find that it is more cost effective to purchase air separately, from your vacation package.

Go to the Disney World site and become familiar with the resorts, parks, etc. Happy planning!

Level Contributor
10 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: First time to Disney

We went and stayed on property, value resort level, and found we saved money after you factor in NOT having to rent a car. I would strongly recommend contacting a disney certified vacation planner (travel agent). There are many online, and they do seem to know the best deals and packages. We did not use them in October, and I believe we would have saved some money, if we had. The disney site will give you quotes on hotel, dining plan, tickets, and even link with flights-so it would be a great place to start while budgeting.

Edited: 19 February 2014, 03:26
New York
Level Contributor
261 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: First time to Disney

I think that April is good time to visit, even on easter week. We visited WDW 15 times and 2-3 times during this same time (because of school vacations). Yes, it was crowded, but Disney is ALWAYS crowded. The pluses are that there will be beautiful weather in April, low possibility of rainy days, not too humid yet. It would be the perfect surprise for your kids. With Fast Pass (you are allowed to reserve 3 attraction in each park per day with FastPass) you can easy plan your day's attractions and see almost all of them.

The big minus is air tickets - the cost of them. If you are flying from NYC they cost around $800 per person that week. That's why we almost always drive from NY to Orlando. for 4 of us it saves us $3000+. It's not for everyone, but we like to drive and spending long time in the car in not an issue for our kids.

Other then that, you will have GREAT time!

Boston...
Destination Expert
for Walt Disney World, Orlando, Antarctic Adventures
Level Contributor
8,254 posts
160 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: First time to Disney

I am going to strongly disagree with post #9. We always used to visit during April school vacation way back when I was little and it was always super crowded, but I guess we didn't know any different. Once I started working there and got to see every month of the year there is a huge difference crowdwise. You won't be able to book your FastPasses ahead of time if you stay off site (which you will have to to get free breakfast) so you could very likely be locked out of getting onto the popular rides without waiting for hours.

In my opinion, if you have the option, take your trip at another time of year. April is going to leave a sour taste in your mouth for a first trip. Also, if you mean THIS April you are probably already going to be out of luck booking any of the popular restaurants.