Mom And Daughter Magic Kingdom Cinderella's Castle
  • On Feb 11, 2008
    Dana from VA 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.

    My how do you plan your first vacation at disney? Website is so overwhelming.  What are must dos with an 8 year old and a 18 month old? Do you recommend hopper passes and meal plan for 3 adults and the 2 kids?

    I know that planning your first Disney vacation can be overwhelming, but we're here to help!  My first piece of advice would be to get your hands on a copy of Passporter.  They were an invaluable resource to me when planning my first trip and I know they will help you as well.

    Park hopper passes-I think they are great and very handy if you don't mind spending the extra money for them.  However, they are also not a necessity and one of the first ways that I recommend people trim their itinerary if they are traveling on a budget.  We nearly always travel with an Annual Pass so we have the option to park hop, but we very rarely actually do it.  If we do, it's generally toward the end of our vacation when we want to hit our favorite attractions 'just one more time'.

    The meal plan takes some calculating to determine if it's right for your family.  It is very right for ours, and we always purchase the dining plan.  My best advice on this would be to visit and search the word 'menus'.  This very comprehensive site lists detailed menus for every restaurant on property and has very recent prices listed as well.  If you decide where you'd like to dine you can get an idea from there what each meal would cost you.  As a general rule, if you plan to eat a lot of table-service and character meals, then the plan is likely to be a good fit.  If you're happy grabbing a sandwich on the run, then you could probably save money by forgoing it.

    I ran out of room before I could get to the must-do's, but PLEASE feel free to ask us another question!  It helps if we know if your children are boys or girls too, so we can get very specific.  :)

    I hope this information helps you, and you dive into the planning with gusto.  After the initial intimidation I found planning our first Disney trip to be a lot of FUN, and I'm sure you will too.  Have a great trip!
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Meet the Panelist: Heather, Kentucky

I'm a member of the original 2008 Moms Panel and am happy to be back again to help you plan! We are DVC members who visit 2-3 times per year with our 3 young daughters, and I am only one visit away from being able to say I've stayed in every Disney resort! Learn More About Heather

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