Thursday, January 31, 2008

Vacation Planning Advice Needed

So I am working on planning several vacations, and am hoping some of you can help me.

1) DISNEY!!! We are hoping to take the girls to Disney (Big Man will stay home with Nana) for 3-5 days in November. I have never gone with kids (and haven't gone myself in about 10 years- but have probalby been10-15 times, just not recently). Give me all the tips! I found this great disney mom board, but am looking for other sources too. First, - where to stay. I am leaning towards the value resorts for money reasons, but also towards the Contemporary for proximity to the Park. We are thinking of only doing the Magic Kingdom this time (3 day pass) - and will probalby want to take at least one break back at the hotel during the day (the kids will be 6 and 4). Which would you chose? What other tips - should we keep it to one park, or could we also do Disney Studios or Animal Kingdom? MUST sees? Great books to get? Any advice would be VERY appreciated.

2) Ocean City, MD. We are thinking of going to Ocean City, MD for a few days in July. Where to stay? I think we want to be on the boardwalk to have easy access to amusement for the kids. Recommendations?

Thanks for any tips from you experienced mom and dads out there!


Laura said...

Oh - I have no advise or help for you - unless you are thinking of coming to bitter cold Ottawa Canada!

But I am looking forward to hearing what others have to say as I thnk we will be planning a trip to WDW in the next few years!

You are always welcomed to come visit the Great North!

Happy Working Mom said...

Ooohhh, I'm kind of an expert as we just got back from Disney!

If you will be back at the hotel during the day, spend the money and do a deluxe hotel (contemporary) - we did a moderate and spent so much time waiting for busses it sucked! And our rooms weren't very nice. Also, I would go for 5 days if I were you...we went for 7 and with time outs for naps and stuff it still wasn't enough time. I would also suggest visiting other parks. Hopper passes are only $40 per ticket for your entire trip.

I got the Unofficial Guide to Disney World (or something like that) and LOVED it! It had a ton of great ideas in it. I also went to ALL THE TIME! It's filled with true Disney experts and travel agents and Disney cast members. It has a fantastic message board!

Feel free to e-mail me if you want more tips or advice...I got so much help from other bloggers that went right before me!

Lil Mouse said...

i see happy working mom found you, i was going to suggest her and
"A Family Story" you can link off my blog if needed to find her. they both went last year..

Justice Jones said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Justice Jones said...

Hi There! First time visitor and right on time. We live a few hours from Disney and go with our three children (ages 6, 3, almost 2) all the time. We started going when we had just one. But I would agree with Happy, you should upgrade to a nicer resort on Disney property if you can. You can catch the bus right on the resort and they'll take you right to the park. My favorite is the Beach Club, right at Magic Kingdom and near the Boardwalk. It's PERFECT for the kiddies. It's a beach theme with water slides, tubes, and a "real beach." My oldest enjoyed hanging out at the resort just as much as the park (he loves swimming/water). The downside, Disney properties are expensive and the food is way overpriced. The upside, you are so close to the parks, you can return to the resort mid-afternoon for naps and relaxation, then return in the evening for more fun. It usually takes us 4-5 hours per park.

As far as parks are concerned, at your kids ages, Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom are probably your best bets. Universal (I think) has Playhouse Disney so actually, that's just as good.

Other quick tips, if you want to stay off Disney property, I would recommend the Nickelodeon Hotel or the Floridays Resort. Floridays is very reasonable, not too far away, and each unit is a huge two bed/2 bath suite with a FULL kitchen. The bathrooms have nice granite countertops and they are very nicely decorated. There is not much for the kids there so you probably would only sleep there. When we don't do Disney, we stay there. Being able to eat breakfast at your hotel will save you lots of money and time. Last time we stayed we paid $169. Much cheaper than any nice Disney property. The Nick hotel is also great, but the suites are pretty small. The upside is that the kids will LOVE it, and you can hang out there all day as well. They also offer free kids meals at the various restaurants on site. They design it so you don't have to leave.

The Lodge at Animal Kingdom is also cool.

Okay, sorry for rambling and hogging the comments! E-mail me if you want more tips. Have fun!

3XMom said...

woo hoo..thanks guys! Any more tips? Keep 'em coming!!!

Dan & Duffy said...

Also think through how much you are paying for the convience of Disney-provided transporation. Dan and I have often rented a car and paid for parking but then were able to stay at hotels that were a better value. We also love Animal Kingdom because it is newer and has better art design (meaning they have figured out some pretty things for you to look at while you wait in line - whereas I think Peter Pan still has you going back and forth along a chain)