Florida Guide > Planning your Trip
First Time to Disney
You have probably finally given in to your children’s repeated request or feeling envious when you listen to your friend’s reports or when watching the numerous adverts on the TV and you have decided to go to Disney.
First you have to decide when to go, this is relatively easy if you have pre-school children. It is good to go when the weather is moderate and it is not too crowded. My favourite times of the year are in January/early February (lovely weather and low crowds), April and May (Epcot' s Flower and Garden Festival), October and November (Epcot Food and Wine Festival), and early December when all the Christmas decorations are up festivities are going on but there are very few crowds.
However if you have to go in school holidays I always feel the one to be avoided is at Easter as the UK Easter school holidays often clash with the US Spring Break and Florida gets very very busy.
Next you decide where to stay and this has to be personal choice. Our first holiday we stayed in hotels but even before we bought our villa we rented a villa as we enjoyed not only the space and having our own pool but also not having to sit in a hotel room at night with the TV turned low whilst the children slept.
You will need to research the kind of Park Tickets you require. Park Hoppers (these allow you to hop from one Disney Park to another using only one days admission) are one option whilst another popular one can be a Flexi Ticket which allows you x amount of admissions to various attractions in a 14 day period. Plan carefully before you go remembering to leave some rest days for being by the pool as Disney can be very exhausting.
The first of the four WDW (Walt Disney World) theme parks is the Magic Kingdom which comprises of several “Lands”. These are Frontierland, Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, Adventureland, Liberty Square, Main Street USA and Mickey' s Toontown Each land has a variety of themed ' attractions, ' many of which are based on Disney movies. Although Magic Kingdom is the park usually thought of as being for children there is still plenty for the adults to do, and it is, in fact, the favourite park of many grown-ups amongst them my Mother!
The second park is Epcot. This park has two sections Future World and World Showcase. Future World is mostly about science and technology, while World Showcase is a small-scale walk around the globe. It consists of pavilions arranged around a lagoon, with attractions, restaurants, and shops from 11 different countries. This park appeals to older children, we always find new activities to do in Future World every time we visit.
Disney' s Hollywood Studios is the third park and is themed around movies. This becomes the favourite Park of many children when they start to outgrow Magic Kingdom although in reality it has the best range of attractions for all ages. Be sure not to miss Toy Story Mania.
The fourth park is Disney' s Animal Kingdom and is themed around animals and has many live animals. Attractions in this park are rides, shows or live animal exhibits. Kilimanjaro Safaris is actually a ride through an animal habitat. Animal Kingdom is quite big and seems to end up being the hottest of the four parks, so try to go early in the morning.
In addition to their attractions, each park has entertainment throughout the day, usually including a parade in the afternoon and fireworks of some kind at night (except for the Animal Kingdom). When you enter each park, be sure to pick up a park map and entertainment schedule for the day. In addition there is usually a board near the entrance to each park listing the waiting timers for the attractions.
Not to be forgotten on your first trip to Disney are the two Water Parks Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach. Be sure to visit at least one of them. Here you can enjoy the rides or simply relax and get some sun.
Enjoy your trip to Disney I am sure it will be the first of many.
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Page added on: 31 December 2009
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