Family With Medals
  • On Jan 7, 2012
    Robin from NJ Asked

    I am ready to start planning my family of six ( 2 adults and four children ages 12, 10, 6, and 3), but I dn't know where to begin. Our buget is about 6,500, we want to stay for 5 days and visit all the parks. Any suggestions?

    Hi Robin!

    The first step is figuring out when you want to visit! Unfortunately, the parks are the busiest when children are out of school. So the summer months and the holidays are particularly busy, with the week between Christmas and New Year's being extremely busy! The prices for the resorts vary depending on the time of year and are greatly impacted by anticipated crowds. I recommend visiting the independent website MouseSavers.com. There you can see the rack rates for all of the hotels at Walt Disney World for various times of the year. You can also learn a lot of money saving tips from the site. It is fabulous and the information on there has saved me a lot of money over the years.

    Once you figure out how much a particular resort is going to cost when, you can select one and move on to the next part of planning. For the record, my favorite Disney Deluxe Resort is the Wilderness Lodge.  My favorite Moderate Resort is Port Orleans Riverside, and my favorite Value Resort is currently Pop Century; however, the concept art for the new Disney's Art of Animation Resort looks spectacular. I may have a new favorite Disney Value Resort later this year!

    Once you know when you are going, you can plan on which park you will visit on which day. A great place to get recommendations on this is at the independent website TouringPlans.com. They are famous in the Disney fan community for producing a crowd calendar that predicts the crowds on any given day in any of the theme parks. Their recommendations are based on a lot of math and years of data collection. I'm a huge fan of their work.

    After you know which park you are visiting on which day, you can make Advanced Dining Reservations (ADRs). ADRs are required for the fabulous Table Service (full service) restaurants at Walt Disney World. ADRs can be made up to 180 days in advance online or by calling (407) WDW-DINE.

    I hope this helps to get you started. Write back with more questions!
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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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