Mother, Son, Giraffe, Kilimanjaro Safaris, Animal Kingdom, Savannah
  • On Feb 3, 2010
    Elya 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.

    Hi, planning my first trip to DW, please help, I have a boy age of 5 what are the best parks for him? Planning to sign for deluxe dining plan, where do I eat, how can I do reservations if I do not know restorants. Character dining-can we chose the characte

    Hi Eyla!

    A first trip to the Walt Disney World Resort can be overwhelming. I have a 5 year old myself and he loves all of the parks, though his favorite is the Magic Kingdom, followed by Hollywood Studios, Epcot, and then Animal Kingdom.

    First, I recommend ordering the free Walt Disney World planning DVD. Then I recommend buying the book "The Complete Walt Disney World" by Julie and Mike Neal. It is a great book for first timers and it is full of color photos; it will help you to determine what interests you and your 5 year old the most. It can also help you in selecting restaurants to try..

    You can get more information on the dining plans here. The Deluxe Dining Plan is a lot of food! I usually don't recommend it for first time visitors because eating a lot of meals in a Table Service (full service) restaurant takes away time from seeing attractions. When I'm planning for my family, I usually plan on each Table Service meal taking between 60 and 90 minutes. I usually recommend that first timers only have one Table Service meal each day; thus you might consider the standard Disney Dining Plan.

    Once you know when you are coming and for how many days, you can make a plan for which parks you will visit on which days. That should help you making dining reservations, which are critical for Table Service restaurants. A common mistake made by first time visitors is not making dining reservations before leaving home. With a 5 year old, you should consider some Character Dining Experiences. My sons absolutely love Chef Mickey's in the Contemporary Resort.

    Hopefully this will get you started. Write back if you have any 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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