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Old    Brandon Stroud (stroh)      Join Date: Apr 2008       02-02-2010, 1:22 PM Reply   
I know there have been a ton of threads on Disney. We are going to take our daughter this spring and we're not sure what to hit up. Should we stay in one of the Disney resorts? Our daughter will be 4 and is into the princess thing. Any help at all would be great.
Old    all eyez on me (ponte_06_x2)      Join Date: Jan 2006       02-02-2010, 1:27 PM Reply   
must do the goofy's kitchen. i believe its in the disney land hotel. you'll be able to meet the characters while you eat. very fun

(Message edited by ponte_06_x2 on February 02, 2010)
Old    Elizabeth LaMarca (lizzyb)      Join Date: Sep 2005       02-02-2010, 1:27 PM Reply   
As Disneyland is my personal favorite place on Earth.. I'm sure I can offer plenty of advice.

You are talking Disneyland.. not Disneyworld, right?

The Disneyland resorts are really expensive. It would depend on your budget, but I'm sure it would be the preference for most with children if money isn't an issue.

How long will you stay?
Old    Elizabeth LaMarca (lizzyb)      Join Date: Sep 2005       02-02-2010, 1:29 PM Reply   
Definitely do Goofy's Kitchen in the Disneyland Hotel. It's a buffet style restaurant (really good food, actually), with character meet and greets. Really special for little ones. Be warned though.. it's pricey. 35 - 40 dollars per adult and around 20 for kids.
Old    Nick Tomsyck (sidekicknicholas)      Join Date: Mar 2007       02-02-2010, 1:36 PM Reply   
disney land or world?
Old    all eyez on me (ponte_06_x2)      Join Date: Jan 2006       02-02-2010, 1:37 PM Reply   
lizzy is right. right next to disneyland they have a lot of hotels that are in short walking distance, cheaper and real nice. i believe the name of the street is harbor. of course im talking about disneyland

(Message edited by ponte_06_x2 on February 02, 2010)
Old    Brandon Stroud (stroh)      Join Date: Apr 2008       02-02-2010, 1:40 PM Reply   
Disney World sorry. No sunny CA in my future.
Old    Elizabeth LaMarca (lizzyb)      Join Date: Sep 2005       02-02-2010, 1:43 PM Reply   
Ah.. I'm of no help at all then. I've never been.

Have fun!
Old    all eyez on me (ponte_06_x2)      Join Date: Jan 2006       02-02-2010, 1:44 PM Reply   
im out
Old    Nick Tomsyck (sidekicknicholas)      Join Date: Mar 2007       02-02-2010, 2:08 PM Reply   
Staying on site is nice but pricey... around Orlando there are a ton of NICE houses you can rent for the price of a room, most with pools of your own...

I'll take 2 days (at least) to do everything, 1 day to do two of the main parks
Animal Kingdom is a must visit.... with a daughter loving magic kingdom I'm sure you'll be there for a long long time... The other two (Epcot/Hollywood Studios) you may like, she'll prob hate.

There is a ski school on site, if you get a lesson/make friends with the coaches there they can get up to 3 people in for free a day, maybe worth trying.

If you stay off the park property when you drive in, at the parking line thing tell the guy you are parasailing at the contemporary and parking will be free.... and just ride the tram to disney then.

I would say stay off the park for money reasons, but I'm poor and don't have kids...
Old    Is it summer yet? (trentj6930)      Join Date: Oct 2007       02-02-2010, 2:48 PM Reply   
Brandon, we went with a large group and loved every second of it. Nick is right about the Magic Kingdom, she will love it. Try and book a dinner with the princess in the castle. At the end of the day when the fire works start going she will be able to see Tinkerbell fly from the top of the castle, my kids thought that was great.Also you can get her all done up at the Bibbiti bobitti boutique (sp) The Disney characters are all over the magic kingdom as well. I wouldn't over look Universal studio either. They have 2 parks and the one caters to the smaller kids with things like Suess land.
Old    Keith (rkg)      Join Date: Apr 2002       02-02-2010, 2:50 PM Reply   
I like staying on site. Decent packages out there, you get extra magic hours where the park is only open to resort guests (still alot of people), but with a 4 year old not sure how much that will help. Also, some deals include the meal plan. That can work out if you like one sit down meal, one counter service and don't mind being flexible on breakfast (we do bagels and cereal in the room while getting ready). I also enjoy using the Disney transportation, get frustrated dealing with parking and the lines trying to get out at closing times. If you do stay on site, keep in mind that the value hotels have a ton of people all trying to get on this buses. I used to stay at moderate or better, now stay at the Disney DVCs and have had excellent luck with transportation.

If she is into princesses:
In Mickey's toontown, Princess meet and greet, get there near opening or line will grow.
Can do meal in the Cinderella's castle, but the food sucks (even compared to Disney standards)
Try 1900 Park Fare (in Grand Floridian). Meet characters from Cinderella (including the step sisters which were really funny). Buffet, food is decent.
For steak, try Le Cellier in Epcot
Chef Mickeys in Contemporary is fun for Disney character meets, buffet, decent food.
OHanas in Polynesian was good food and ask for window seat if at dinner (time it you can see the nightly fireworks from there).

Morracan restaurant is decent and has a belly dancer going around (kids love it, no comment from me :-) )

Japanese steak house is supposed to be good, have not tried it yet (was under renovation last time there).

If she is into Princess Jasmine, she can be seen in the Moracco (Sp?) section of Epocot, Sleeping Beauty is in France. Can see other characters randomly throughout the park. I may have a spreadsheet with the standard character locations if you would like it (I found it somewhere on the net).

WDWinfo.com has some pretty good info, including renting DVC (timeshare) points to stay in some of the bigger rooms with kitchenettes (or full kitchens in the 1 bedrooms and larger)

My daughter was 4 when we went, will be 5 when we go this year, so I have had to learn the spots. We typically go once a year, so I have learned a few tips. Any more questions, just shoot. My recommendation would be to check out that site and look for stuff people overlook. If you just go there for the rides, its the wrong place. It is about the environment/feel and the attention to detail. Take time to look around and check out the little stuff (like Tom Sawyers Island, it drives me crazy but my son loves it).
Old    Is it summer yet? (trentj6930)      Join Date: Oct 2007       02-02-2010, 2:52 PM Reply   
We also had breakfast with Chef Mickey and booked a Pirates and Princess's night. They close the park early and then only sell a limited number of tickets to spend the evening there. That was the best part of the entire trip. No line ups, treasure hunts, entertainment etc.
Old    Manzo (zo1)      Join Date: Aug 2002       02-02-2010, 4:35 PM Reply   
We're going mid April. Staying at the Animal Kingdom. Just bringing the daughter for this trip. If you have not gone yet, i will give ya a report when we get back...
Old    Phantom (phantom5815)      Join Date: Jul 2002       02-02-2010, 5:45 PM Reply   
Staying at Disney Resorts give you certain privileges.. getting to the park before it opens to the public, priority restaurant seating.... little things.
Check out this link and it may lead you to other sites for discounts and information:
http://thedailydisney.com/

I might be at Animal Kingdom next month helping in the vet hospital. It's all tentative at this time.
Old    David Williams (wakeworld)      Join Date: Jan 1997       02-02-2010, 6:41 PM Reply   
Just did Thursday and Friday at Disneyland. Shortest wait times we've ever had. Pretty much walked on to a lot of the rides, even my favorite, the Mission Tortilla Factory! :-) Good times!

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Old    Brandon Stroud (stroh)      Join Date: Apr 2008       02-03-2010, 6:42 AM Reply   
Thanks. I'm sure I'll have more questions on what to do while inside. Right now we're trying to pick a room out. I think we have it down to the Yacht Club and the Animal Kingdom. Has anyone stayed in either? I've heard that the Yacht Club makes it easy to get around. I think my girl would like to be able to look out the window and see animals tho.
Old    Benjamin (bendow)      Join Date: Sep 2005       02-03-2010, 6:48 AM Reply   
Haven't been to Disneyworld in about 20 years, but I remember space mountain being my favorite thing about the trip
Old    C.I.E. J-Rod (jarrod)      Join Date: May 2003       02-03-2010, 7:04 AM Reply   
My daughter is turning 4 next week. Everyone keeps telling me to wait another year or two. I've heard that it's still more trouble than it's worth for a 4 y/o. Anyone else agree, or is my kid missing out?
Old    rich (sandman59)      Join Date: Aug 2002       02-03-2010, 7:30 AM Reply   
The Yacht Club is a short ferry ride to the Epcot back entrance. We had one of our dinners at the buffet located at the Yacht club, it was excellent. We did the meal plan, actually it was added free since we were previous customers. One big thing, if you are booking your meals with characters, do it as soon as possible, they are very popular. I believe the dinner in the castle may be booked out 6 months. We stayed over Thanksgiving - 4 nights at Disney, 2 nights at Universal, my favorite. Stayed on site at both locations, which is huge at Universal since your room key is also your unlimited fast pass to all the rides and shows.
Old    Melissa (psych3060)      Join Date: Sep 2002       02-03-2010, 8:00 AM Reply   
J-Rod, my son turns 3 next month and we are taking him for his birthday. One of his friends is three and goes monthly and his parents say he does great. Nathan is so excited and talks about going all the time. However, we will have 6 adults with us (us and both sets of grandparents) to keep him entertained.
Old    Scott (magicr)      Join Date: May 2004       02-03-2010, 8:01 AM Reply   
"My daughter is turning 4 next week. Everyone keeps telling me to wait another year or two. I've heard that it's still more trouble than it's worth for a 4 y/o. Anyone else agree, or is my kid missing out?"


If it was me I would wait until they were at least 5 or 6. My kids were 5 and 7 when we first took them, and I think the age was perfect. You see so many people with infants, and I always think what's the point. Way too much work.
Old    Elizabeth LaMarca (lizzyb)      Join Date: Sep 2005       02-03-2010, 8:07 AM Reply   
Jarrod - Gracie is mising out. We took Matthew when he turned two and he loved it. I think four is a perfect age. I might wait if I were you, if you lived exceptionally far away and going to Disneyland was a very rare occurance. However, being as close as it is.. I'd definitely take her.

Melissa - Trust me, you won't have to worry about having anyone to entertain Nathan. He will be so excited by everything to see that everyone there will be a non-issue.

I would have waited longer with Matthew.. but the rest of the family more or less demanded it. I think 3-4 is a great age.

We did, however, take Matthew on several rides and Jungle Cruise and Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters were the favorites. Pirates was the only ride that scared him a little bit.. but he still did great.
Old    Melissa (psych3060)      Join Date: Sep 2002       02-03-2010, 9:32 AM Reply   
Scott, we will actually have our daughter with us who will be 2 months at the time (but that is more because grandparents will be with us so that is where our baby-sitters will be). I know several people who have taken infants who had a great time. Also a lot of my friends who have 2-3 year olds have all reported their children had a blast.
Old    Melissa (psych3060)      Join Date: Sep 2002       02-03-2010, 9:36 AM Reply   
Infants are awesome cuz then you get to utilize the stroller pass to get on rides quicker! :-)
Old    David Williams (wakeworld)      Join Date: Jan 1997       02-03-2010, 10:04 AM Reply   
That's why it's good to take peeps with broken legs that are wheelchair bound too!

We're doing our annual Club 33 trip in March for my two little ones birthdays (they'll be 23 and 26, been doing it for about 15 years now).
Old    Knee Brace Boy (wstr01)      Join Date: Feb 2001       02-03-2010, 11:58 AM Reply   
Part of the reason we didn't take our kids to Disneyland when they were younger is, because what Elizabeth said, we live 800 miles away, and the car trip down alone would probably have killed me.

Plus I also patterned the trip on my childhood experience, my parents took me and my brothers when we were 6, 8, and 9. But if you live closer and can afford it, go for it.

Who's old enough to remember when Disneyland had the tickets you bought once you were in the park. A through E.

I've been to other amusement parks over the years and I'll get asked by some younger family members how a certain ride was and I'll tell them that it was an "E" ticket ride and they'll look at me like I'm crazy.
Old    Scott (magicr)      Join Date: May 2004       02-03-2010, 2:10 PM Reply   
We took our daughter when she was 4 since she is very into princesses. If your daughter is the same, it would be a good time to go. Our daughter is already showing signs of the princesses will not be en vogue for too long. She had a blast at Bippidy Boppity boutique, posing for pictures and truly got into being a princess. We are taking a May trip with some firends (our daughters are BFFs) and both girls will be doing the boutique together. Should be interesting.

Animal Kingdom vs Yacht club: Animal Kingdom is a lot of fun, Boma had good food, lots of activities there, just a neat hotel. The animals you see are giraffes, some birds, etc. It was cool to have a cup of coffee out there and chill. Bad thing is it is out on its own, buses to everyplace you go. I have not stayed in Yacht club, but have at Boardwalk which is just across from Yacht club (actually stayed at Boardwalk 3 times now). AWESOME location. Epcot world showcase has most of the good food and you can walk or ferry into the back gate of Epcot. You can also walk to Hollywood Studios (roughly 3/4 mile walk along water way), can also cut through Epcot to Monorail to get to Magic Kingdom - this eliminates waiting for buses - I do not mind walking so this option works for me. I enjoyed the vibe of boardwalk and it has some decent food too (ESPN is there if you need a sports fix).

Not sure how this would work on a package, see if you can split it over the different resorts. I know on the timeshare we can do this, the valets will move the bags. Just pack a small bag for the overnight or two night stay and unpack therest when you get to the other room. Thats how we did Animal Kingdom. Stayed one night, took it in, went to the parks next day while valet moved our bags. checked into Boardwalk rest of the week.
Old    Keith (rkg)      Join Date: Apr 2002       02-03-2010, 3:16 PM Reply   
The packrats that my parents are .... they still have a few Disneyland ticket booklets stored somewhere in the house. I do recall only a few "A" tickets left... .

Grew up going to Disneyland every few months as a kid. Now I'm a annual pass holder for DisneyWorld.
Amazing how park prices have soared from year to year.

You should check out EPCOT's Flower & Garden show while you're there. They will have things for little kids to do during the weekdays.... Ladybug & Monarch Butterfly releases is a big one.
Old    Phantom (phantom5815)      Join Date: Jul 2002       02-03-2010, 4:37 PM Reply   
I've been to both, the best advice I have is to try and buy your tickets on EBay. We ended up getting tickets for two days at Disneyland for $60 a person. That meant $30 a day for the both of us to go. We did get lucky as the guy gave us an extra day free since they were about to expire, but it still saved us money even for the first day we were there.

ESPN was an awesome place to eat, they had recliners you could sit in to watch the big screen or they also had personal TV's on your table.

For Disneyworld, if your limited on time, the Magic Kingdom is a given to visit, but the Animal Kingdom I think your daughter would enjoy more than Epcot. Epcot is much more adult oriented I thought.

I can't wait to go back to Disneyland/World, have fun!
Old    Nick Swan (goinbigg17)      Join Date: Jul 2002       02-04-2010, 5:32 AM Reply   
I've only been once when I was around the 3 or 4 age. After I was 5 I always had the choice of vacations. I think from age 5-17 I went to over 20 different baseball parks. Wouldn't trade that for anything.
Old    Brandon Stroud (stroh)      Join Date: Apr 2008       02-04-2010, 9:13 AM Reply   
After being raised on Disney and having been there 34 times I can say that all the stuff we learned can be taken advantage by going to Dreams Unlimited Travel They are experts in everything Disney.
These people here are the best at what they do.
They work for you getting the best deals they can. They can plan your entire vacation or just get you tickets. The best part is they offer this service for free they get paid by the theme park. Tell em Itch from the DISboards sent you.
http://www.dreamsunlimitedtravel.com/
P.S. they do packages outside of Disney too
Old    Itch (fullonsalesgrp)      Join Date: Jan 2004       02-05-2010, 6:59 AM Reply   
www.disboards.com
Old    Itch (fullonsalesgrp)      Join Date: Jan 2004       02-05-2010, 7:00 AM Reply   
Article from msnbc : Saving money tips for families going to Disney World
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34940356/ns/travel-family/

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