Family With Medals
  • On Jun 6, 2012
    Caleb from OK Asked

    I am planning my familys first disney vaction for this summer. What are your recomendations and suggestions for someone that knows nothing about how the parks work. I would like to stay a week. We would stay at animal kindom. The children are 9 & 11.

    Hi Caleb!

    Thank you for sending in your question to the Walt Disney World Moms Panel.

    You have made a good start by knowing when you want to come to Walt Disney World and where you want to stay. 

    To help you plan more I suggest visiting the independent website MouseSavers.com and TouringPlans.com.  Mouse Savers will help you with money saving tips and information.  I always include a stop there when I'm planning a family Disney vacation.  Touring Plans is the website for the research team behind the tour book "The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World".  They are famous in the Disney fan community for producing a crowd calendar which predicts what the crowds will be like on a specific day.  They make recommendations on which parks to visit on which days and which to avoid.  That can help you with your day  by day planning.  Their recommendations are based on years of data collection and a lot of math.  As an engineer, I am a huge fan of their work.

    Once you know where you are going to be on which day, you should make Advance Dining Reservations (ADRs).  ADRs are needed to enjoy the many Table Service (full service) restaurants at Walt Disney World.  They are really critical for the restaurants in the theme parks and you should make them as soon as possible.  You can make them online or by calling (407) WDW-DINE.

    I also suggest picking up the book "The Complete Walt Disney World" by Julie and Mike Neal.  It is a great book for first time visitors because it is full of information but it is not overwhelming.  It is also a beautiful book full of color photographs.  It will give you a good feel for everything there is to do at Walt Disney World.

    Our responses are limited in length, but I hope this helps!  Please write back with more questions!
thumbnail image for Bernie

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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