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First timer questions, with no park hopper.

London, Canada
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First timer questions, with no park hopper.

So much info, need to figure out some basics..

We plan going within the last 2 weeks of August, for 7 nights. Likely will stay in the Little Mermaid rooms at Art of Animation. Really hoping for a free dining plan promotion. I've heard it's commonly offered the last 2 weeks of August?

If we stay 7 nights, are 6 base day passes good?

The kids will just turn 6 and 4. Both girls are into princesses, they like rides but not the big ones.

Is there an option to visit a water park one of those days, without adding it to every days ticket?

Should we base which park we're visiting on where we book character meals? I'd rather not be on a schedule, are there any character meals that are just walk-up (no reservations required)?

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Disney's Art of Animation Resort
Disney's Art of...
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Kissimmee, FL
Valley Stream, NY
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1. Re: First timer questions, with no park hopper.

Those rooms usually do not have discounts (they have no trouble filling them). 6 day passes are very good. You can visit a water park one day, just pay at the gate (if you do think you'll go twice, it's only a few dollars more though). You can add that when you get there, don't have to decide now. You won't get a walk up for a character meal, people start booking them 180 days ahead :)

New York
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2. Re: First timer questions, with no park hopper.

For your girls' princess experience you should visit MK and try to book Cinderella Royal table. At Epcot try to book dinner at Norwegian restaurant (I don't remember the name of it, but it's in Norwegian pavilion). They have incredible princess experience - you'll see all Disney princesses there. When we go to Cinderella dinner, my daughter always dresses up in Cinderella dress and puts a crown on her head. Last time she took picture with Cinderella and they both were dresses in exactly the same dresses and it was sooo cute!

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pa
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3. Re: First timer questions, with no park hopper.

If interested in the 1) the Free Dining Promo and 2) want to have Character Dining Experiences, I would have a look at The Port Orleans Riverside Resort, they have Royal Rooms, quite cute for your little Princesses and staying at a Moderate would give you the Regular Dining Plan that includes Table Service Restaurants, including all the lovely Princess Meals

www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3173085

I would base your Park Days on the Park Hours and Extra Magic Hours, then you can book your Dining for the Park of the Day or at a Near by Resort to the Park of the day. We enjoy the Evening Extra Magic Hours, especially during the Hot and Humid days of August and September, it cools down and the Parks are more Magical at Night.

The Free Dining Promotion, if offered, will not be announced for a while yet. There will be Room Discount Offers, in fact, there is already an offer out right now for up to 25% off room rates, end of August - Sept 30th, plus the Free Memory Maker, Resorts are limited however so I would wait for the New Offers.

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Disney's Port Orleans Resort - Riverside
Disney's Port Orleans...
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Indiana
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4. Re: First timer questions, with no park hopper.

You may want to see how much the "Water Park Fun and More" add on is to your tickets. If you get a 5 day ticket with the WPF&M option, you will have 5 days at the 4 parks and then 5 "extra" tickets to use at either waterpark, Disneyquest or the mini golf courses.

You could do something like this:

Day 1 - Magic Kingdom

Day 2 - Hollywood Studios

Day 3 - Water Park - Mini golf

Day 4 - Animal Kingdom - DisneyQuest at Downtown Disney

Day 5 - Epcot

Day 6 - Magic Kingdom

That's 6 busy days with a 5 day Water Park Fun and More ticket.

The Water Park option added to your base ticket is about $58, give or take. One ticket to Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon is $53. For the $5 extra per person, you get 5 "extras" to use. Water parks, mini golf, whatever.

Also, I'd make a plan of some sort so you know what days you are going to be in what parks. That way you can book a character meal with the Princesses, which are in parks except the one at 1900 Park Fare at the Grand Floridian. While the Grand Floridian dinner is probably great, it's only Cinderella as far as princesses, along with her prince and stepsisters or whoever. The Cinderella's Royal Table and Akershus Dinning Hall is 4 or 5 princesses.

My usual advice to 1st timers - Plan on taking a break in the afternoon back at the hotel pool. From 1 until 5, it's usually hot and very busy. Also, it will recharge the kids for the night time fireworks. I try to get to the park 1/2 before it opens as the parks usually open a little early. Crowds are light, so you will have very little wait on rides for the first 2-3 hours. By 1, it's hot and busy. Time for the pool until you need to head back for your dining reservations. Eat and then head back into the (same) park for the evening shows. You can come and go with a regular ticket, you just can't change parks.

Since Animal Kingdom doesn't have night time entertainiment (yet), we usually stay until 4-5 and then go to Downtown Disney to wander, shop and eat. DisneyQuest is also there. It's a 5 story arcade for all ages. The other fun place is Disney Boardwalk. The Boardwalk area and Downtown Disney are places that you can go with no fee.

Sorry for the wall of text.

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Fort Worth
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5. Re: First timer questions, with no park hopper.

Do plan your park days around character dining and Extra Magic Hours. As there are only 4 of you, I would upgrade to a moderate resort (far better amenities) and skip AoA. As PartyPa mentioned, the Royal Rooms at POR would be fabulous!

While Frank has some excellent advise, I would not bother with the "Water Parks & More" option. Disney resorts have lovely pool areas. Can't imagine 2 little girls being interested in Disney Quest and you may or may not want to go to a Water Park. If you do decide to go, you can buy your Water Park at the gate, or add WP&M after arrival.

Happy planning!

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6. Re: First timer questions, with no park hopper.

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