Completely Overwhelmed

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Completely Overwhelmed

Hi everyone!

I just found this website some time in the past week or so.

My other half and I will be going to Disney in 8 days! I am surprising him for his birthday and he has no idea about this trip, except that we are doing something for his birthday, and it's killing me! Lol

I am feeling a bit overwhelmed because I have never been and I just have no idea what to do about the parks/rides etc.

We're staying at the All Stars Sports resort and doing the dining plan to simplify things as much as possible. We will be driving to Disney since we live in FL.

We will be arriving to Disney on Monday, but I have dinner plans with his best friend who lives in town that night, so it will be low key as far as no onsite stuff going on.

On Tuesday, I have birthday dinner reservations planned at another resort. My plan is to do Epcot that day to kind of ease into the world of Disney.

On Wednesday, I have plans of doing Animal Kingdom. I have no dinner plans for that evening, because we're doing the Cirque show. I'm was worried about timing of dinner and getting to the show on time? Thoughts on that?

On Thursday, we've got another reservation scheduled for dinner and the day will be spent at Magic Kingdom.

On Friday, depending upon how the day before goes at MK will determine if I do a second day there or just do Hollywood.

I didn't realize MNSSHP was every night but Wed night and I had already bought the Cirque tickets so I can't do a full evening at MK. I am a little upset by this because I wasn't even aware about this until I called about making a dinner reservation at a restaurant and they told me I couldn't until I had the MNSSHP ticket as well since the time was 30 mins after it started. I was very upset by this, but what can I do? Nothing, really.

It's just my SO and I, so no kids.

He's not much of a thrill rider, but I am still hoping he'll be a good sport about the rides.

I barely feel like I have the dining information figured out and now I only have a week to try to understand/plan the parks.

Tips? Tricks? Ideas?....SOS! Smile

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Welcome and remember the words from the "Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy"....... DON'T PANIC!

You've done great so far, all you need to do now is figure out the parks. My next step would be to find out the operating hours of the parks for the days you are there. Also, figure out if you guys are morning people or night owls.

OK, everyone else, jump in.....

Bill

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Hi there! and welcome to the WDWFG forums! You've found a great place to get some hep and opinions, this is one of the friendliest Disney forums on the web. Let me see if I can offer you a little advice to consider.

crsp12 wrote:

My other half and I will be going to Disney in 8 days! I am surprising him for his birthday and he has no idea about this trip, except that we are doing something for his birthday, and it's killing me! Lol
I am feeling a bit overwhelmed because I have never been and I just have no idea what to do about the parks/rides etc.

First off Whoo hoo! yay Your Disney trip is almost here and I'm sure that you'll have a wonderful time. Yes, it can be overwhelming, but sit back and take a few deep breaths, the wonderful thing about WDW is that it will be there. Don't feel like you have to do and see everything in one trip, it's just not possible and that's okay. Pick a couple of things that you really want to do and focus and making sure that they happen. You can always go back.

crsp12 wrote:

On Tuesday, I have birthday dinner reservations planned at another resort. My plan is to do Epcot that day to kind of ease into the world of Disney.

What are the restaurants you have reservations at all week? Do you know what to expect from them? Do you think you need any help there?

I'm not so sure that Epcot is "easing in" to Disney right now. Hollywood Studios or ANimal Kingdom would probably be better for "easing in." Epcot currently has Food & Wine Festival going on, so World Showcase may get crowded in the mid-afternoon - evening with people sampling dishes from the food booths that are currently set up on the promenade around the Lagoon.

crsp12 wrote:

On Wednesday, I have plans of doing Animal Kingdom. I have no dinner plans for that evening, because we're doing the Cirque show. I'm was worried about timing of dinner and getting to the show on time? Thoughts on that?

What time does Cirque Start? I think that you can fit a meal in if you plan your day right. However there are also some great Counter Service establishments at Downtown Disney as well such as Wolfgang Pucks and Earl of Sandwich (though Earl is at the opposite end)

crsp12 wrote:

On Thursday, we've got another reservation scheduled for dinner and the day will be spent at Magic Kingdom.
On Friday, depending upon how the day before goes at MK will determine if I do a second day there or just do Hollywood.

Personally, I would take Friday to spend more time at either MK or at Epcot. I think that you will need it there, these parks are big and there is a lot to do and see. Take that day to go back and experience some things at one of those parks that you missed.

crsp12 wrote:

He's not much of a thrill rider, but I am still hoping he'll be a good sport about the rides.

There are a lot of rides for non-thrill riders too. If he can handle "light" thrill rides, Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain at Magic Kingdom are great options. I would avoid Space Mountain (I do avoid Space Mountain) but just about everything else is safe at MK.

At Animal Kingdom (AK) avoid Expedition Everest. However the queue for it is really fantastic, so if the crowds are light it's worth walking through. There is a "chicken exit" at the end of every Disney ride line. If you want to change your mind, or just want to see the queue themeing it's always okay to walk through the queue and not ride.

At Epcot the only thrill ride is Mission to Space, and that has two versions, and easy one and the one that they put you in a giant centrifuge. I don't do thrill rides and I can handle the "easy" version of this ride.

The "Big" thrill rides at Hollywood Studios are Tower of Terror, Rockin' Rollercoaster, everything else is pretty easy. Star Tours is a simulator based thrill ride "light."

The Disney Parks don't have to be all about the rides though. There's fantastic shopping, great entertainment, wonderful food, and a totally immersive atmosphere. The thing about Disney that sets it's parks so far and above all others is the details. Just walking around and really looking at the area that you're in rather than just tromping through it on your way to the next ride. That's where the real magic lies.

My advice to first timers is always "Relax" trying to get everything done in one trip will just leave you tired and frustrated, maybe even disappointed. Grab a map and a show schedule at the front gate, and then just have fun.

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welcome

Don't forget to stop at Guest Relations and get birthday and first visit buttons and wear them proudly.

What time are you going to La Nouba? My friends and I went two years ago and had dinner at Planet Hollywood. It was actually a late lunch / early dinner, around 3:00 / 3:30 and we had plently of time to get to the show. It was at 6:00 / 6:30 if I remember correctly. It was the earlier of the two shows.

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Hi crsp12 and welcome to WDWFG, my little piece of advice is that if you at all can, get tickets and go to MNSSHP, you will really enjoy it and give you a chance to enter MK at a time when it is not very crowded (because of limited ticket sales) and will give you those extra hours you would like.

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welcome to our little piece of heaven - Disney heaven that is. Everything that Kristen told you is exactly right. Don't try to do everything because you will be tired and get frustrated. Just remember, WDW will always be there and you can always return for another magical trip.

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I've been thinking about this some more and thought that I should add this. If you do want a step by step guide, or route to take through the parks check out this link. Many of us have a subscription to that site and find it very useful, however there are also a lot of plans and information for people who don't subscribe too.

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I guess I can say it too. Relax and take deep breathes. There are millions of people that do Disney with no plan (other then go have fun) or ADR's every year and still have a good time. So remember to just let Disney Magic work it's magic.

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Oh, what a fun birthday surprise! You're going to have a fantastic time. There's so much to see and do, but like the other folks have said, don't stress if you don't get to do everything, because that's an impossible task in one trip!

I find that it's helpful to check out some books from the library (the more recent, the better) or pick up a book from the bookstore that has maps of each of the parks. That way, you can familiarize yourself with the general layout so you can get your traveling legs a little easier once you get there. The one that I've always found incredibly helpful is the companion guide to the Touring Plans website that Kristen listed for you...it's called the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World, and they put out a new version every year.

And, yes, get birthday/1st time buttons and wear them every day! You may get a wonderful surprise (or two...or three!)

So glad that you found the board in the nick of time! The folks around here are friendly, and a wealth of information!

Welcome, and happy planning!

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The touringplans has a nice touring plan. Something easy to follow so you hit all the key point and not miss any of the big things. There is a plan for each park. Do remember to get show schedule in Epcot so you can see some of the street performances in world showcase.

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Is it possible for you to go to MNSSHP? I have been in the past and it seems like you are getting another day in the parks. If you are skipping the party because there are no kids going don't let that stop you. The party is so much fun and with the park admission being so limited you will get on the rides faster. You also will get to see the parade and fireworks.

Don't forget to get your buttons. Wear them all week and note the celebration on your meal reservations.

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Bill, Thank you for the welcome. It looks like we'll be doing Epcot on Tuesday (EMH 8a-9a, FW 9-9, WS 11-9), Animal Kingdom on Wednesday (9-6), and most likely Magic Kingdom for both Thursday and Friday (9-6)

I'll need to do some more research on what FW and WS are, though.

We're normally night owls, but for vacation, I am determined that we wake up early. Lol I'm sure we'll be exhausted after a full day at the parks.

Kristen K, Thank you for the welcome. I noticed your countdown almost matches ours! We'll be doing Yachtsman on Tuesday and Kona on Thursday. I looked at the menus and I think they will be okay. I had been hoping to get at Liberty Tree, but the hours + the MNSSHP conflict.

I know Epcot will be a lot of walking, but I was comparing it to like MK. I wanted to do AK on Wed bc of Cirque, so my only other option will be to do MK, and that's an even busier day. I think we're probably going to skip Hollywood this trip.
Cirque starts at 9. AK closes at 6, so we'll have 2-2.5 hours to find dinner. I saw Boma had reservations available for 6:45. Do you think we could get done with dinner in time to get to Cirque on time?

JoAn, Thanks for the welcome and advice. I'll be getting the buttons for sure! We are doing the later one, at 9.

Vette, Thanks for the welcome! I don't think emotionally I can handle the MNSSHP. We were originally supposed to be doing this trip with my niece we had custody of, but since she's back with her mom now, it's going to already be tough. I think MNSSHP will be just another big reminder that she's not there.

Pirate, Thanks for the welcome!

Angels, Thanks for the welcome. I think my biggest worry is going and spending the whole time looking around trying to figure out what I should do. I don't want to over plan, either, though. A balance, is what I'm looking for. J

Nancy, Thank you for the welcome. I will be going to get the guide in just a few!

Okay, one quick question. A lot of you mention that we should do MNSSHP. I am torn for two reasons. When we originally talked about going to Disney, we had always planned to take my niece with us, but she's back with her mother now (custody case) I'm already going to be very emotional about this trip and I want to enjoy this trip, but I worry MNSSHP will be an extra hard reminder about her and our infertility.

Is MNSSHP something we should still try to do? What all does it include?

Thank you all for the warm welcome. I am very excited about this trip. Smile

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crsp12 wrote:
Kristen K, Thank you for the welcome. I noticed your countdown almost matches ours! We'll be doing Yachtsman on Tuesday and Kona on Thursday. I looked at the menus and I think they will be okay. I had been hoping to get at Liberty Tree, but the hours + the MNSSHP conflict.

I know Epcot will be a lot of walking, but I was comparing it to like MK. I wanted to do AK on Wed bc of Cirque, so my only other option will be to do MK, and that's an even busier day. I think we're probably going to skip Hollywood this trip.
Cirque starts at 9. AK closes at 6, so we'll have 2-2.5 hours to find dinner. I saw Boma had reservations available for 6:45. Do you think we could get done with dinner in time to get to Cirque on time?

Yes! I hit my online check in window today and I'm so excited! I think you'll like both Yachtsman and Kona Cafe. See, look how you planned your Park days out already, you've got this! awesome

Boma is not at Animal Kingdom, it's at Animal Kingdom Lodge which is not attached. Will you be driving? If you will be driving you should be able to make it. If you're taking the bus system I would be less sure. I have real time/punctuality issues though and I'm always early everywhere. LoL... Ask Becks534, if I tell her I'll be there at 4:30, she plans on her doorbell ringing by 4:00-4:15.

I personally would probably get a reservation at one of the great restaurants Downtown Disney, so at least I was already nearby and could fill in my time shopping. There will probably be others that chime in saying you'll be fine at Boma.

crsp12 wrote:
Is MNSSHP something we should still try to do? What all does it include?

I don't think that there are any more children at the Halloween Party than any other time in the Magic Kingdom. If you like Villains, Pirates, and Ghosts it's really a must. There are LOTS of adults out with their friends having fun. At least that has been my experience the last two times I went. I can not however say that it won't make you miss your niece, but I don't think that it would be any more than just being at Disney general. If you don't think you can handle it, it's okay to miss it. The party is great for adults, but take care of your needs first. bighug

Here's a link to a recent article about the Party: http://www.wdwforgrownups.com/articles/2012-mickeys-not-so-scary-halloween-party

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Kristen, We will be driving. I may cancel Boma. I like to be early, too.

I had originally planned two days at MK, but if we do MNSSHP, we could be there from 9a-12a. Do you think thats more than enough time at MK? We could end up doing Hollywood on Friday if that were the case.

I just made reservations for Liberty Tree for Thursday lunch.

Hmmm.

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Kristen K. wrote:
Boma is not at Animal Kingdom, it's at Animal Kingdom Lodge which is not attached. Will you be driving? If you will be driving you should be able to make it. If you're taking the bus system I would be less sure. I have real time/punctuality issues though and I'm always early everywhere. LoL... Ask Becks534, if I tell her I'll be there at 4:30, she plans on her doorbell ringing by 4:00-4:15.

I personally would probably get a reservation at one of the great restaurants Downtown Disney, so at least I was already nearby and could fill in my time shopping. There will probably be others that chime in saying you'll be fine at Boma.

I checked the estimated travel times from Animal Kindgom Lodge to Downtown Disney. If you are driving the estimated time is 17 minutes. If taking the bus, it's 26 minutes. Keep in mind, you may need to wait for the bus. If driving, I think you will be ok.

I'm like Kristen; I would rather be early than feel like I'm rushed. I would find some place in Downtown Disney. I checked and there are reservations available in DTD.

One other thing to consider.... are you planning on going back to your resort after you visit Animal Kingdom to freshen up before dinner and the show? If you are, you'll want to factor in time for that.

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I think we will be heading back to resort. I'll probably cancel Boma.

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clapping clapping clapping

Hoorah for your Liberty Tree Reservations! I have heard that lunch is the better meal to hit that one at, the menu is different than at dinner.

I need 2 days at both MK and Epcot without being sad that I missed stuff. I'm not a park commando though, I like to take my time and take everything in. Everyone has a different opinion on that, some people can cover everything in one day.

I also don't count my time at MNSSHP as "park time". I feel that park time and party time are really two different things. The year we counted our party MNSSHP in as time in the park we just ended up disappointed because we didn't get in all the rides we wanted to hit AND we missed party things we wanted to see. We lost on both ends that year. However, you'll find just as many people that say you extend your park time by going to the party.

The way that you tour is really a personal thing and what you like best comes with experience. What works for one family doesn't work for another. I can tell you what I do, and others can tell you what they do, but it won't always be the same as what would work best for you. There is no right or wrong way to tackle the parks and plan your vacation. Don't over-think it too much. Smile

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Liberty Tree Tavern is one of my favorites.

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As a person who stays at AKL... I wouldnt cancel Boma, and thats hard for me to say. Its a unique experience that everyone should try once. The type of food that you get to choose from is amazing, and surprisingly good. I highly recommend it.

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Kristen K. wrote:
crsp12 wrote:
Kristen K, Thank you for the welcome. I noticed your countdown almost matches ours! We'll be doing Yachtsman on Tuesday and Kona on Thursday. I looked at the menus and I think they will be okay. I had been hoping to get at Liberty Tree, but the hours + the MNSSHP conflict.

I know Epcot will be a lot of walking, but I was comparing it to like MK. I wanted to do AK on Wed bc of Cirque, so my only other option will be to do MK, and that's an even busier day. I think we're probably going to skip Hollywood this trip.
Cirque starts at 9. AK closes at 6, so we'll have 2-2.5 hours to find dinner. I saw Boma had reservations available for 6:45. Do you think we could get done with dinner in time to get to Cirque on time?

Yes! I hit my online check in window today and I'm so excited! I think you'll like both Yachtsman and Kona Cafe. See, look how you planned your Park days out already, you've got this! awesome

Boma is not at Animal Kingdom, it's at Animal Kingdom Lodge which is not attached. Will you be driving? If you will be driving you should be able to make it. If you're taking the bus system I would be less sure. I have real time/punctuality issues though and I'm always early everywhere. LoL... Ask Becks534, if I tell her I'll be there at 4:30, she plans on her doorbell ringing by 4:00-4:15.

I personally would probably get a reservation at one of the great restaurants Downtown Disney, so at least I was already nearby and could fill in my time shopping. There will probably be others that chime in saying you'll be fine at Boma.

crsp12 wrote:
Is MNSSHP something we should still try to do? What all does it include?

I don't think that there are any more children at the Halloween Party than any other time in the Magic Kingdom. If you like Villains, Pirates, and Ghosts it's really a must. There are LOTS of adults out with their friends having fun. At least that has been my experience the last two times I went. I can not however say that it won't make you miss your niece, but I don't think that it would be any more than just being at Disney general. If you don't think you can handle it, it's okay to miss it. The party is great for adults, but take care of your needs first. bighug

Here's a link to a recent article about the Party: http://www.wdwforgrownups.com/articles/2012-mickeys-not-so-scary-halloween-party

Just a big ditto here. I would rather be 30 mins early then 5 mins late to anything. Just doing the math in my head I thought 9pm show, get there are 8:30 to get in and get to the seat, 30-40 mins by bus, that gives you 1 hour for dinner and thats if you get seated on time. There are plenty of great restaurants in downtown Disney. Boma is great but don't add stress to you night. Can you do Boma another night?

As far as the MNSSHP it is up to you. I agree though the Halloween party shouldn't be different then the rest of the parks. There will be kids every where very day. 9-12am is more then enough time for the park. There is enough time you could go back to the resort to rest so you can get all the way through the night. 15 hours of pure park time is really exhausting. If you choose to go to the party you will enjoy the extra hours and the parade and fireworks. You can't go to MK without seeing the fireworks , castle show (whatever it is called now a days) and the special halloween parade. MK just is not MK without fireworks.

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angels444 wrote:
You can't go to MK without seeing the fireworks , castle show (whatever it is called now a days) and the special halloween parade. MK just is not MK without fireworks.

Hallowishes is what the fireworks will be on all of the party nights. It and the Halloween Party parade are my favorite of those two things. Smile

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Kristen K. wrote:
angels444 wrote:
You can't go to MK without seeing the fireworks , castle show (whatever it is called now a days) and the special halloween parade. MK just is not MK without fireworks.

Hallowishes is what the fireworks will be on all of the party nights. It and the Halloween Party parade are my favorite of those two things. Smile

I was trying to recall the name of the projection show on the side of the castle.

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angels444 wrote:
Kristen K. wrote:
angels444 wrote:
You can't go to MK without seeing the fireworks , castle show (whatever it is called now a days) and the special halloween parade. MK just is not MK without fireworks.

Hallowishes is what the fireworks will be on all of the party nights. It and the Halloween Party parade are my favorite of those two things. Smile

I was trying to recall the name of the projection show on the side of the castle.

That's "the magic the memories and you," I think it's down for changes right now and will be back with a different show in early December.

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Thats the show I was thinking of thank you. I hope it is early Dec because I would like to see the new one while we are there.
Sorry you will not be able to see it crsp.

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I want to say it's December 6th. But, I'm not sure where that date came from, and I'm not home right now to look it up.

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The new show, "Celebrate the Magic" starts in November.

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Welcome to the group and congrats on your trip

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Thank you all for your tips. I may bite the bullet and do MNSSHP. I really did want to see some fireworks while we were there.. so this may be good.

You all have been amazing! Thank you!

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Kristen K. wrote:
LoL... Ask Becks534, if I tell her I'll be there at 4:30, she plans on her doorbell ringing by 4:00-4:15.

Absolutely true! She takes being punctual to entirely new levels. The first time we went to WDW together, we had a 6:00 am flight out of O'Hare. I live about ten minutes away so was planning on leaving for the airport at 4:00 am. I got a text at 3:45 am saying "We just went through security!". laugh I was still finishing my make-up for heavens sake!

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That's the military coming out in Kristen. laugh laugh

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Wow Kristen it seems like you have traveled with, met up with, or are friends with a lot of people here. Nice

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