Special Events & First Time Visiters

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Kristen K.'s picture
Joined: 09/01/2011
Posts: 23803
Special Events & First Time Visiters

My youngest daughter (who lord help me is now 19) is currently planning a Disney Vacation with her boyfriend who has never been. She asked me last night what I thought about taking first time visitors to Disney during special events, and I thought that it would be a great question to pose here as well.

Would you take a first time Disney guest to a major special event?

Is it fair to the first time guest to experience the crowds and craziness of Food & Wine, when really you just wanted them to go Epcot as a park on it's own? Would adding on an after hours party, or a tour, change the basic Park experience for them? Do you think it would be better, or worse? Are special events better for "advanced" Disney travelers that have been a time or two already? I would love to hear your thoughts on the matter.

Joined: 09/12/2010
Posts: 4703

She's 19 already??! Holy smokes times flying by....

That's a great question! How do you balance it so they aren't totally turned off or given the wrong impression versus seeing some of the great special events that Disney offers!

Here's my 2 cents for what its worth....

I probably would not take a first timer to Food & Wine. I think it's just too busy, too expensive, more "spirited" people than I care for and itty bitty foods for not so itty bitty prices. (I know, I'm in the minority here I think - it's just not my thing at all). People using trash cans as tables hands full or food and drinks and not paying attention to where they are going. I just wouldn't do it and think it's easier and better to explore and appreciate the World Showcase when the F&W is not going on. I like Epcot better during the Flower & Garden Festival though. I would do that with a newbie.

I would absolutely take a newcomer to MNSSHP though, if cost is not a big factor. That's a lot more fun, the crowds in theory are more limited, probably a better chance to ride the biggies (and classics!) without FPs and long lines.

I'd think a tour would be boring unless you know they have a specific interest in something. There's so much to see and do with rides and attractions that that would be way low on my list. As a matter of fact, I still haven't reach the point of saying "I want to do a tour!".

A newcomer might not really have any idea what Disney is all about or think Magic Kingdom is Disney, Epcot is just for nerds and nothing more than a boring educational center, and Animal Kingdom is a zoo. I'd arrange it so they got some decent time at each park with not-too-crazy crowds, a few FPs and a change to ride or see a good mix of the Disney classics and the newest/latest in Imagineering wonders. Add don't overdo it so they want to come back and see more the next time Smile

Allie's picture
Joined: 06/26/2012
Posts: 5477

I agree that I would probably do Flower and Garden over Food and Wine but Flower and Garden has become my favorite time of year to visit Epcot. I think it's fine to take a newbie to either though as long as you plan right and avoid weekends at all costs. I would absolutely do a party or Disney After Hours with a newbie but would probably skip a tour on the first trip as there is plenty to see and do already.