Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Walt Disney World

taylor turns 4 in may and the girl talks about cinderella's time we take her to the castle.  but every time i go to book the trip, i get soooooo overwhelmed.  please help!!  i need advise:  where to stay- in park vs. outside of park, what to do if we are going to be there for 4 days, where to eat/ should we do a character dinner, if we should rent a house, take a stroller, bring food into the park, splurge on the dress up princess thing, which parks to visit w/ a 4 yr old, transportation to get to the park....whatever you feel the need to tell me, please do!!
y'all helped me so much yesterday w/ the mailing....hello, why did i not know that?!!!

*images courtesy of pigeon + pudding, disney world


Sylvie said...

One of the biggest perks of staying on Disney property is the transportation. And there's great choices for any budget. We always stay in The Contemporary so we can lay in bed and see the castle!

DEFINITELY do a character meal - they have a princesses breakfast and you can find different character events at lots of hotels and all the parks. Totally worth it. And I would encourage your daughter to wear a princess gown wherever you go - we've had some great experiences with cast members and characters. Plus the pictures alone are worth every penny you spend! (Just saw lots of princess dresses at Walmart)

EPCOT might go over a 4 yo's head, as will parts of Hollywood Studios. But they both have great things for kids.

One of the best resources is


The Swanky Socialite said...

If there is one thing I am an expert at, its Disney World!!! So excited for you that you are considering going.
I will keep this brief, and feel free to email me with any specific questions.
First, definitely stay inside the parks! That is the number one rule, I think! By staying inside the park, you have access to all disney transportation while you are there. There are so many hotels, I have no idea what your budget is, but to give you an idea, the "middle" category hotels that I can recommend are either the Caribbean Beach Resort or the Port Orleans Resort. Of course, the more you want to spend, the nicer hotel you will get with better amenities!
I think you should definitely try to do a character meal! The Royal Breakfast at the Castle would be amazing for your little girl. I would mostly plan to eat all your meals inside the parks.
I think with traveling with a four year old, you would definitely want to hit Magic Kingdom (Obviously!) and probably the Animal Kingdom definitely. The other two parks are my favorites, but if you are short on time, you could always just go and spend a few hours at each one.
Feel free to email me any other questions, I am excited for you!

Sarah said...

We've rented houses but last time we stayed at the Bay Lake Towers, it opened Fall 2009 and we just loved it! It's part of the Contemporary and on the shuttle line. Everything is just so new and pretty!

We found it much easier to already be at the park and just got a limo to and from the airport ( we have 13+ people when we go with our whole family) So no car rental hassle. A 4 year old would be happy as a clam in the Magic Kingdom Park!

Hope you have a great time!

Lauren said...

Hi Shannan. Your daghter will loove all of the princess stuff. Such a great age. We live 2 hours from Orlando and have been there a lot! I would definately try to stay on disney property. They offer special magic hours(early in the morning) great time to beat the crowds. Also, the buses to take you to the parks can be a very long wait, so we always drive to the parks and take the trams. The character breakfast at Cinderella's castle is really fun (food is so-so and expensive) but the look on their faces is priceless! We didn't do the dress up thing (to be honest, the girls look a little over done& weird by the time they finsih with all of that hair, make-up and glitter) but definately let Taylor wear her princess costumes..they really seem to get a kick out of it. We always bring our food into the park and splurge on the ice-cream and other treats. A really great family friendly place to stay at because you can put the kids to bed and you and your husband can stay up is the Fort Wilderness cabins. Also, you can cookout, do smores, etc. Whew sorry this is so long! Lauren

Rebecca said...

Hi Shannan...I too love all things Disney World! As an interior designer I would go by myself for years before I got married--even took our honeymoon there!
1. Stay on property- lots of benefits--if you fly use the Magic Express--it's awesome!
2. Stay in a moderate resort with a great pool...go to park in the am, then back to hotel of nap/pool time and back at night. A 4 year old many well be overwhelmed by all the activity--one of my 10 year old twins was in meltdown for the beginning of the stay!
3. You don't need to park hop- just stick to one park a day
4. Buy the Dining Plan...great for adults and the kids menu has good choices--adult food at the parks is OK but check out restaurants in Fort Wilderness and around the lake at the Yacht club and Epicot has the BEST!
4. loved the lunch @ Cinderalla's Castle and they do great one in Epicot.
Please feel free to email if you would like.

My Interior Life said...

As others have said, stay on Disney property. Just so easy. We stayed at Port Orleans' French Quarter and it was perfect for our 8 and 5-year-olds. We did the Princess lunch at the castle (but the breakfast is great too) - it's the only way to get inside the castle, and being a Cinderella-lover, Taylor would love it!

We also used a Disney travel agent as they have so much great advice/information and they can schedule the character events (and everything) for you. The one we used was called Travel Magic. Obviously, you don't have to pay them, Disney does, so it's a win-win.

Good luck!

Daniel said...

for sure do the princess thing. all of my cousins have done it with 4-7 year olds and it's the highlight of the trip.

hi, by the way and can't wait to see more of your house! started reading a few months ago!

Daniel said...

and i'm signed in under my hubby's email. opps.


Ayanna said...

Hey there,
I think that staying outside the park is the best option - it not only gives you a break from the constant Disney noise but also allows you to break up the trip into more manageable bits. We have a timeshare at Orange Lake - and I know rentals are always available there and at quite a few marriott properties too.

We started taking my daughter to disney when she was 2 and i think a character breakfast with 1-2 full days at the park is more than enough - you want to see the parades and the end of day fireworks.

We don't like hard and fast schedules - so the rest of our stay is pretty loose with visits to the quirky orlando area stops - silver lake, alligator wrestling, busch gardens, daytona beach or just lounging pool side.

Feel free to email me if you want anymore information about our stays.

KVP said...


Although I don't yet have babies of my own, I was a live in nanny during college and was a nanny for a family of three here in Baltimore for five years during college and one year after.

I am still very close with the family and after college we (The mom, myself and their youngest child. She was four at the time) went on a trip to Disney. I had no idea how many things would scare here so here is a list of the stuff that was safe for her and did not have her BEGGING to go back to the hotel.

We stayed at The Grand Floridian, and it was perfect. Tons of pools for the kids and even a small water slide. She loved the princess dinner at the hotel (even wore her Cinderella dress) but was VERY scared of the Wicked Step-Mother and step-sisters as they each play the role very well.

At Magic Kingdom, go to the Castle for the beauty shop experience. She LOVED IT! Your hotel will set that up for you. The Dumbo ride and tea cups were pretty much the only rides at Magic Kingdom that didn't scare her. And that she was tall enough to ride. You won't need a stroller. All of the parks have the fabulous ones you can rent. I want one of them when I have kids. You can literally push it with one finger. They are amazing! She loved the Light Parade and warmed up to the characters after a day.

We lasted about one hour in Animal Kingdom. Do not do the "It's Tough to be a Bug." She STILL talks about how scared she was and she turns 8 next week.

Hope that helps.


amanda (+ mike and elle) said...

on the park, on the park, on the park, on the park!! there are SO many perks! honestly, kids love the all star resorts as much as the fancy, expensive resorts... if not more! i've stayed at resorts at every price range, and they're all fab. the "value" resorts as well as the polynesian (although theirs isn't so great) have food courts, which are GREAT for everyone. the value resorts also have lots of pools which is great for the long, hot afternoons!

oh, disney world is the best!!

ps- the mall at millennia mall is nearby, and a great stop for shopping!

Kayla said...

Over Thanksgiving we took my nieces to Disney and stayed off the park. The hotel was GREAT. They had kid friendly beds so everyone got their own disney themed bed spread and private little tv. Made it so special but they also had hourly buses to and from the park so the extra money to stay on site wasn't really worth it. As for eating with the characters it's the one thing I truly remember from the first time I went when I was little and my nieces seemed to love it. If I had to suggest I'd say to look for a breakfast/lunch over a dinner. The dinners are usually packed and kids are already exhausted.

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The Remnant Room said...

I agree with everything Rebecca said! I took my son when he was 4. One more thing I would a stroller for the 4 yr old. It's ALOT of walking. Helps cut down on the hot, cranky, tired thing.

Amy said...

When are y'all going? We've been planning a trip for the fall with just Emory so that we can do all of the princess stuff that the boys won't want to do when they go. I've talked to a ton of moms at the dance studio that go to Disney yearly and they've given me some good tips that I'll pass along! One emailed me a copy of their itinerary so I'll forward that to you. Everyone says 4 is the magical age for Disney! We're gonna surprise Emory the day we leave, so she'll be VERY jealous of Taylor's trip since she'll have no idea she's going. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi! So we've never done Disneyworld but Disneyland is a family tradition here in Cali for us. We go about once a month and staying at the Park is the easiest thing especially with kids. We love the parks strollers but then you have to remember that when you turn in your stroller if you are not close by then you have kids to carry plus any other things. Yes it seems overwhelming and especially going to Disneyworld, but its all worth it once your there and you see how magical it is for the kids! :) Good Luck! Have fun!

Brooke @ Blueprint Bliss said...

Oh, sounds like a fun trip. Can't wait to hear all about it! I have no advice to offer!

Jill said...

we took our kids for the first time last year and it was magical. I would definitely stay on Disney property. We stayed in a villa at the Beach Club because we have 3 kids and we wanted a kitchen and a family room...

anyway some things that you must do are the bippity boppity boutique and lunch in Cinderella's castle. My daughter just loved it!! You will get to meet all the princesses at lunch and she was in complete awe!

We did a character dinner at Chef Mickey at the contemporary our first night. It was a great way to kick off our vacation because almost all the disney characters were there.

I would definitely recommend bringing a stroller for both your kids, they will get really tired!!

Disney was one of our best trips

Erin said...

Go to the website They are experts and will give you honest answers to any Disney World travel related question.

Allison said...

Stay at a Disney Hotel...FOR SURE.
I agree with the other commenter about the value resorts...we've stayed at all levels and had the BEST time at Pop's so kid oriented, music at the pool, games, movie nights, accessible food court...(you will not get great food in Disney, so just accept it:)

I think with children your age, you will do best at the Magic Kingdom and the hotel pool...Kids always love the pool the best for some reason...I love Epcot, but not so great for young ones...If they are into animals, the Animal Kingsom is awesome.

Have a ball...this will be the first of many trips, I think:)


Allison said...

Correction to the above was All Star Music, not Pop Century...long story, we were supposed to stay there and got bumped to Music...but it all worked out in the end...we loved it!

Brandi said...

The food inside the park is SO EXPENSIVE not to mention the long lines. We always take a backpack with lunches, snacks, and water bottles. It saves time, money, and cranky kids. But definately splurge one day for a character lunch/breakfast with her favorite princess. Very memorable.

Gretchen O. said...

I am on the "we need to do that bandwagon...!" Feeling like my little girl is the only one who hasn't been to "the castle" yet. So, I am going to sit back and read your comments, and hopefully get some info too!

BTW: love the little girls room in the photo

Tenia said...

I love Disney!!!!! I seriously want to retire there. The absolute best advice I can give you is to buy Birnbaum's Walt Disney World Guide (Not the one for kids) .... it breaks down every park, how to do a full day or half day, and it lists every character meal available along with what characters will be there. Best guide ever.
1. Buy the Birnbaum's Walt Disney World Guide.
2. Stay on site but I would not recommend a value hotel (just our personal experience)
3. Remember that you can go back so don't try to do everything on this trip. I would do 2 days at Magic Kingdom, 1 at Animal Kingdom, and maybe 1 to hop around Epcot and MGM/Hollywood Studios
4. HAVE FUN!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...


I love your blog! one of my daily reads ;) Now, I'm so happy that you decided to go to Disney! It makes for a magical vacation, for kids and adults alike:

-I haven't stayed inside the park, but I think Downtown Disney area has got to be the best place: hotels are close to an awesome array of shops (all kinds of Disney merchandise, Rainforest Café, Legoland) and restaurants (T-Rex, Wolfgang Puck, Earl of Sandwich is my absolute favorite!!) and you have DisneyQuest, Circ du Soleil and AMC theater.
I stayed at the Buena Vista Palace Hotel&Spa and it was really nice! they have buses to and from all Disney parks (for free!) and you can arrange shuttles to other parts (like Mall at the Millenea, Universal's Island of Adventure, Wet n' Wild, etc.) Also on some rooms you get to see Disney's fireworks!

-As for the parks, definitly take her to Magic Kingdom and if she likes animals then Animal Kingdom it's your friend. MGM might be a good option, considering they have Toy Story attractions, a Muppets 3D movie and Playhouse Disney shows. Epcot is very pretty, but I wouldn't recommend it for now.

-Also remember Disney has water parks too!

-Use FastPass! they come in very handy if you're going on a busy time of year. Avoid general crowds by going early in the morning and in the afternoon/night.

Sorry it was so long, I hope it helps!

Averill said...

Rent a house! It's great for little kids so you can cook and eat-in some days; plus, many of the houses in the area come with a pool!

If you rent though, you'll also need to rent a car as most of the transportation is just to/from the major hotels.

Anonymous said...

I am so excited for you! You are going to have a great time watching your daughter have fun. We have been 3 times in the last 4 years. Disney World is the place you'll be able to spend 2 days at and have tons of fun. BUT......toontown is closed right now and that is a huge part of the Disney experience for toddlers. That being said though, we just went and had fun. The other must is Animal Kingdom. My kids ages 4 and 3 love animals. So it is a must for us. If you go, head right to the safari ride early in the morning. You'll get right on and be happy you did. Fast pass is free and easy to do. Just go to a ride you like that has fast pass, take your ticket and pass it through the machine. You'll get your fast pass that will tell you the time to return. Then you basically have "backstage" access and walk right into the ride. It is awesome and such a time saver. If you have the budget, stay on the property at the swan hotel. If not though, there are plenty suite hotels to choose from that are perfectly fine.
Good luck and have fun! Oh last comment, I have seen many little girls done up as princess's. There hair is plastered back and looks very uncomfortable. They are also walking the park in princess gown's in 85+ degree weather. I have decided to pass on it thus far. We do get in line to see all the princess's and they are amazing!

sheaggy3 said...

I ship from home everyday, it is the BEST thing ever! As for Disney, we stay in the park, rent a stroller (nothing is worse than having to tote a stroller on and of the bus, PLUS the stroller pass is good for the boardwalk as well). We buy the meal plan which is WORTH EVERY PENNY....really good food at night, bring bottled water for the parks and packs of gummies, so when using your snack allotment you can use it for food and not drinks. We bring our own breakfast food since my kids are not big eaters (poptarts). We do not do character meals, as a mom of five, ages 2,3,7,10,15 the idea of meals with characters is too much outside of my comfort zone. Go see the princesses, they have them set up where you can see more than one at a time.
I have friends who have gone and tried to do it cheaper and when they added up the costs they regretted not getting the meal plan and staying outside the park.
MOST importantly, have fun, you can rest when you get home because Disney is work, but it is crazy fun work;)

paula said...

we were just there! we stayed at the coranado although I may have stayed at an ugly value in because we only slept there. We also got the deluxe eating plan (we love to eat) and it does SAVE money. Anywhere in epcot is amazing. the princess package is so much fun. Huge memories for ellie. we drove park to park because i am not a huge fan of really full buses at the end of the night. take a double stroller if you have one. You can rent one but I think its like 30 bucks a day. a stroller is a must for everyone! oh and sunscreen.

Marchlela said...

YAY for Disney!! I can see that you already got a ton of advice but I just want to comment on 1 thing...stay at Port Orleans- Riverside(I've heard that the French Quarter side is boring).

I've stayed at the Grand Floridian, Contemporary and Port Orleans- and although the other 2 hotels are GORGEOUS and perfect, PO is cheaper and you still get the feeling of staying "in the park".

The cafeteria/pools/arcade are all're kiddos will love it. We even spent a full day just hanging out at the hotel bc the pools and food was so much fun.

Transportation is provided by Disney buses that are constantly running all day. Again, not as fun as the monerails, but just as easy.

Ok good luck!

Stacey said...

Stay in the park and get the meal plan. I just got something in the mail about the plan being included for free. They run these specials every so often. We did that in 2009 with our 4 and 7 year olds and it was a blast. Everything was paid for in advance except souveniers. We did lots of character dining and it was so relaxing (no lines). We stayed five nights, but when we go back I think we should stay even longer. It is not much more per night once you have stayed 4 or 5 nights. We stayed in a value resort at Disney, but paid a little more to have the meal plan with a table service meal (character dining). Check out the Mom's panel at the disney site. They answered a ton of my questions.
Have fun!

Elizabeth James said...

Stay at the park! You also get (i forget what it's called) but a fast pass. Basically you can go and if there is a long line, you get a ticket and you can jump the line in like 30 mins. That is only avaliable if you stay on a park property. I think staying on the park property is the best way to go especially with young kids and the rooms are too cute!

VictoriaArt said...

We were there over Christmas, it was wonderful.
We bought a package with Jet Blue. Perfect. Stayed at the Dolphin Hotel, near the Boardwalk and everything is at your fingertips. we also got our tickets before online. You pick them up as you enter the first park. You can select every detail before you go. Always an option to upgrade. Do not forget to get fast passes ones you are there. Certain attractions give out so called fast passes, which let you re -enter your chosen attraction without waiting in line. You just have to do this rather early, since the sell out after a certain time. (Sell out meaning they will be gone, you do not pay for them.)
See Epcot! It's amazing!
Of course with your little one you might look for a hotel near THE castle! There is everywhere bus transport, free and strollers. Meal plan is good if you do not mind fast food and sometimes longer lines.
Have FUN! It's great!

Elaine Cascio said...

Wow - you've got lots of advice! Disney has their own "Mom panel" that you might want to tap into as well - Just go to and search on ‘Mom’s Panel’. They have lots of planning tips and there’s a Q & A area as well. Good luck!

Erin Nida said...

Isn't it hysterical? People are Passionate about Disney!
I've taken my now 10 year old daughter many times.
1. stay on site - my fav is port orleans for mid range
-my true fav is Portofino at Universal, but you cannot beat being on site
2. rent a stroller
3. have her wear her precious princess dress
4. do not let her get the hideous new princess hair do's at the castle - positively mortifying
5. do magic kingdom, animal kingdom, and i love disney hollywood studios - even when my daughter was little, she enjoyed the shows
6. get the unofficial guide to wdw, it is fantastic and will give you tons of tips!
love your blog!

robyn from whimages said...

I guess I'm have to give my 2 cents also! LOL I've been 26 times and stayed outside the park only one time and will NEVER EVER stay outside the partk. I'd rather not go if I couldn't stay in the park. Yes, it makes THAT BIG of a difference. HAVE fun most importantly and if you can get the dining plan there really are some FABULOUS places to eat...Chrystal Palace breakfast is FAB and if you get an 8:05 res you are in the park before it opens!

Casey said...

I didn't read the other responses but one mistake we made when we were there was I didn't realize there was one building that housed all the princesses for autographs. We ended up running around "princess hunting" for autographs when we could have done it during the time slot allowed.

Good luck and have fun!!

Katherine said...

Stay in the park! I haven't been in quite a few years but my family took yearly trips for about 15 years. The best option we found was to stay at the Grand Floridian. And if you can swing it, stay on the club level. They have food out for breakfast, afternoon snacks, and desserts. The food is so plentiful and delicious you can really make multiple meals out of it. And it is all right down the hall from your room!

Ava said...

Definitely stay in a park hotel. We've done both, and staying in a Disney hotel was so much better. Then you either hop on a bus or the monorail to get into parks. It's a breeze.
Most definitely do a character dining experience. My sons were 3 and 5 when we went last, and it was by far the highlight of our trip. We had a character breakfast at Animal Kingdom, a character breakfast at the Polyonesian hotel, and dinner at the Castle. If you are able to get into the Castle, that was a magical experience.
Also, in regard to meals. I would suggest getting the dining plan. You are able to try some amazing restaurants, and it's such a treat to order anything off the menu without checking the price.

Ava said...

Just a few more thoughts I had...
We stayed at the Pop Century, which is one of the cheapest hotels Disney has. Even that was wonderful. Our room was small, but we didn't spend much time in it. Our pool was great, and a little tip...You can use any pool at any Disney hotel if you are staying in a Disney hotel. It's not advertised, but it is allowed. So you can try out a more expensive hotels pool and still be saving money. Also, the lines for catching buses to the park were never long during our visit.
I didn't think Animal Kingdom was that great for kids. The 3D Bugs Life show scared my kids silly. But the safari ride was fun, and our boys did love seeing all the animals.
Maybe I'm not a foodie, because I loved every meal I had a Disney. The breakfast buffet at Tusker House in Animal Kingdom and the one at the Polynesian was delicious, as well as their special 'Jungle juice'.
The SciFi restaurant in Hollywood Studios had really good ribs. And the Coral Reef at Epcot had good food too.

Rebecca said...

Shannon...I posted earlier but just found this great app for a from iTunes or the Amazon Appstore...

Disney World Wait Times Free by Undercover Tourist
by Phunware, Inc.

tried it out and lots of great info like wait times, maps, menus etc....right on your phone!

Also there is a website...undercover

Have a blast!! Bet you received some great advice!

and since your post we just found out our 11 year old twins are scheduled to play soccer @ WDW next President's Day Tournament...Yeah!!

courtney said...

Stay in the park and get a 4 day pass for admission to the parks (should all come bundled). Not only is the transportation great (much better than sitting in line to get into the parking lot, then taking a tram to a boat to the ticket counter), but the themed hotels are a lot of fun. I have to imagine your 4 year old will love the pools at some of these places if you stay around the hotel and chill for a while. I've stayed in both Coronado Springs and Port Orleans, and they were wonderful. The Boardwalk hotel also had a really nice pool/outdoor area. Plus, with the 4 year old, I would say you might want to head to the park in the morning, come back to the hotel in the afternoon if she gets tired, then head back in the evening to that or another park. Simply catching a bus from your hotel is going to be great, instead of forcing yourself to stay there all day because you've paid whatever amount for parking.

As for the parks, I was a nerdy child, and Epcot was always my favorite, especially the World Pavillion where you could go through all of the different countries. I loved Mexico because there was a boat ride that was similar to Small World, and there was also a great Mexican restaurant inside the Mexican temple (the fancier restaurant - not the one outside). Norway had a fun ride as well that might be a little scary for a 4 year old. Most of the rides in Epcot are going to be okay for her, and it doesn't hurt to learn a few things while on vacation :-)

At Magic Kingdom, of course check out Fantasy Land and Toon Town - those will be best. Whatever you do, don't start with Pirates of the Caribbean in Adventure Land just because it is in the front of the park. That ride scared the bejezus out of my cousin on his first trip to Disney, and we liked to never got him on Small World, because he associated the boat ride with Pirates.

Other Magic Kingdom fun - the Jungle Cruise, the Tiki Bird House, Haunted Mansion, the rockets in Tomorrow Land.

Hollywood Studios has great rides for older kids mainly, but the 4 year old might find the Honey I Shrunk the Kids play area fun, as well as the Muppets show. The Great Movie ride might be boring, and there's one semi-scary part where gangsters hold up the cars your riding in. I loved the tour of the animation studios too, but I was a bit older kid when this park first opened.

Animal Kingdom's safari is definitely worth the trip over to that park. It's the only memorable thing I remember from the couple of times I've been there. If it's cloudy one day, on the verge of stormy, go on the safari, because that's when all the animals come out - when it cools down.

Character breakfasts are great! They're a must do.

Other than the Mexico restaurant I mentioned, always loved the Commissary at Hollywood studios. The Brown Derby was nice too. I would pay admission to Magic Kingdom just to go to Adventure Land and have a Dole Pineapple Whip float (pineapple ice cream in pineapple juice, and top it off with a pineapple spear). At Epcot I would also recommend the place in the Japanese Pavilion that serves yakitori, it's more fast-foody.

You'll have a blast!! It's fun to see a kid in Disney for the first time, and I still love going even though I'm in my 30s and we used to go every year as a kid. It never gets old. Hope the information helps!

Danae said...

We stayed just last year at the Port Orleans resort and at the Caribbean Beach resort - I preferred the set-up of Port Orleans better, plus the direct riverboat access they had to downtown Disney. Only thing is if you stay at Disney and don't have a rental car, it's very hard to find a way for little trips away from the resort. So for that reason a rental car is nice. I ended up paying $17 each way for a taxi to take me to a Target about 10 minutes away so I could buy diapers and some fruit and snacks (which probably ended up being worth my while though). Definitely bring snacks, especially healthy ones, like fruit and veggies. We definitely felt a little starved of healthy food by the end of 10 days there.

Alicia said...

I'd wait until she's 5. 4 is tough: we took my Goddaughter & as much as she adores the Princess she freaked out a bit. There are some overwhelming other rides, etc.
But if you do......
Park accomodations means first & foremost the finest service. WDW staff is there for you no matter what. Staying within also gets you easier access to breakfasts etc
(your concierge will be your best friend) & hello no problem returning to the hotel when you need it. Some of the hotels do need a bit of upgrade to the decor but my favorite is the Port Orleans Riverside. It was originally called The Plantation but not to PC so voila rename. Its moderately priced & quiet enough to not disturb a napper... still it so needs a redesign of the rooms..offer you're genius.

Charles said...

I can't speak to the girlie stuff because we took our 3 boys when they were around 9 or 10. But, the best advice we got was to make dinner reservations NOW for a different fun restaurant each night. The restaurants tended to be packed, so it was wonderful to be able to walk in to dinner and not have to wait. From all the recommendations you get here, decide where you want to go each evening and make the reservations as soon as you know when you are will be heaven to have that taken care of. We loved the one where you eat surrounded by acquariums, and the one where you sat in a car to eat at a drive-in and movies played....just pick what you think will be fun for your family!

BlondeMomBlog (Jamie) said...

LOVE all the advice in the comments. My older daughter turns 10 next June and we have GOT TO GOT TO take our girls before then! Can't wait to see what you decide. I am looking at Port Orleans and Coronado Springs. I was just at Disney World for a travel blog writer retreat and I think Hollywood Studios and Epcot are def. more for older kids. Not sure even my 6-year-old would like them. We are def. going to do the Magic Kingdom and the Animal Kingdom.

Love your blog...adding you to my feed reader!

-H said...

My mom used to take us every year: here are her tips

1. don't do the dress-up princess thing, most likely it costs a fortune and she'll only remember the cupcake they gave her at the end :)

2. stay in the park to decrease the time it takes to get a cranky kid into bed for a nap.

3. character dinners are fun and something I remember from being a kid/the pictures are priceless.

4. make sure you do the night festivities like firework shows and parades, those are really fun and memorable, even for a 4 year-old!

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