Mom and daughter on Expedition Everest
  • On Jun 8, 2012
    Denise Asked

    We are so excited to spend Christmas with our family of 5 (daughter 8yrs. and twins 5yrs.) along with the in-laws and sister in-law. It's our first time as a family and so much to celebrate(15yrs married& Nana cancer free)Where should we start first?

    Hi Denise!

    You should start by deciding when you want to visit Walt Disney World.  You wrote Christmas, but I don't know if you mean just that general time frame or if you already have specific dates. After deciding when to go, you need to decide where to stay.  Disney Resorts can be divided into the following categories:
    • Disney Deluxe Villas
    • Disney Deluxe Resorts
    • Disney Moderate Resorts
    • Disney Value Resorts

    My favorite Disney Deluxe Resort (and Villa) is the Wilderness Lodge.  My favorite Disney Moderate Resort is Port Orleans Riverside.  My current favorite Disney Value Resort is Pop Century, but I haven't stayed in the new Art of Animation Resort yet.

    The next step is to decide which parks to visit on which days.  I suggest visiting the independent website TouringPlans.com.  They are famous in the Disney fan community for producing a crowd calendar that predicts the crowd levels in the various parks on specific days.  They recommend which parks to visit on which days and which to avoid.  Their recommendations are based on a lot of math and years of data collection.  I am a huge fan of their work.  While there, you should  look at their touring plans.  Christmas is a very busy time at Walt Disney World.  Their touring plans are basically step by step guidance on the order to experience the attractions to minimize your wait in lines.

    After you know what park you are visiting when, you should make Advance Dining Reservations (ADRs).  ADRs can be made online or by calling (407) WDW-DINE.  ADRs can be made 180 days in advance and they are critical, especially during the end of year holidays.

    Our responses are limited in length, but I hope this helps to get you started.  I would be happy to help more!  Just write back with more questions and you can send them directly to me!

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Meet the Panelist: Bernie, Maryland

I am an engineer with NASA with prior Air Force service. My wife and I have two boys, ages 13 and 8. At home, I'm known as the "Disney Guy" and I've enjoyed helping guests plan their Walt Disney World, Disney Cruise Line, and Disneyland vacations. Learn More About Bernie

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