Mom and daughter on Expedition Everest; Animal Kingdom
  • On May 25, 2013
    Maria Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    Experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    We are heading to Disney World for the first time and I'm a bit overwhelmed by all the character dining and dinner show options. I want to make the best of our first experience. What are the best options for boys (ages 8 and 5)?

    Hi Maria,

    First time trips are fun and can be overwhelming! Here is my first piece of advice-breathe!

    Without knowing how many days you are going, I will give you some general starting points. You can then ask us more specific questions.

    I would just purchase a Magic Your Way Ticket. I would not add the Park Hopper option and focus only on one park a day. This will allow you to really explore the park you are touring for the day. You can enjoy the extra pixie dust such as impromptu entertainment or ride your favorite attractions more than once.

    Next, if your boys know, look at the website or order the Disney Planning DVD and ask them for their thoughts. Have them pick 3 things each to do each day of your trip and then make sure those things happen. 

    As for character dining, it is a great way to see a character and eat a meal. My family always eats a sit down meal so we can get a sense of how much longer we can tour. Our favorite character meals are Tusker House for breakfast and Crystal Palace anytime. I would do only one character meal for your trip and skip the dinner shows this trip because everything is new to you.

    Finally, stick to your children's schedule. This will keep them happy and you happy as well.

    Wishing you a magical first trip!
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Meet the Panelist: Beth, New York

My name is Beth C. and I love Disney. Since I can remember Disney has been a part of my life including my first movie in the theater – "The Aristocats." Learn More About Beth

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