Planning our first trip to WDW Part One

As Disneyland veterans we know where everything in the Disneyland Resort is, but never having been to Walt Disney World our trip there needs to be researched and well planned.


Since many other people also plan first time trips to Walt Disney World each year, I thought it would be nice to write information about my planning stages, and how each decision was reached.


Our trip to Walt Disney World will coincide with a business trip my husband will be taking, so right there it has eliminated some planning.  Since he will already have a hotel, there is no need for us to check into a second hotel, so for us, that research is not really needed.


However, there was quite a bit of planning involved to decide which hotel my husband should stay at for his business trip.  It was important for him to be close, or have easy transportation to the OrlandoConvention Center, where the conference he is attending will be held.  He had a choice of over 20 different hotels, all of varying styles and prices.


Knowing that he wanted to also spend time at Walt Disney World during his trip, the proximity to Walt Disney World was also quite important since he will just be able to go there in the evenings after the daily conference events have completed.


With all of this information in hand, Andy, my husband, at last reached a decision.  He would stay in the Hilton Resort in Downtown Disney.  Recently this hotel has added the Extra Magic Hours benefits to their other list of amenities.  That alone helped to make the decision easy, since that would then allow Andy to enjoy the evening Extra Magic Hours just because he is staying at a Disney property.  Or more to the point, the hotel, owned by Hilton is on Disney Property; therefore it now has the Extra Magic Hours.


So armed with the news that we didn’t have to worry about a hotel for our pleasure portion of this trip, the other planning has begun.  Taking the size of Walt Disney World into consideration, I must be honest in saying that I had absolutely no idea where to start!


Then I realized that the most important thing to determine is what exactly we want to accomplish while at Walt Disney World.  There are a few things that are very important.  One is to see and do as much as possible so that this website can reap the benefits, and we can expand our Walt Disney World section of the website.  The other important item is to do things that will make our five year old son happy.


Thinking about our son, I realized that the things he will most appreciate are at the MagicKingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  His overwhelming favorite rides are ‘it’s a small world’, HauntedMansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, Star Tours and Tower of Terror.


This alone presents a problem because the two parks that house these attractions are not walking distance from one another as they are in California.  Our son has been told he will not be able to ride Star Tours every day.  We think he understands that, but won’t know until we arrive.


It is also very important to note that our first trip to Walt Disney World will be a short one, with only two full days to enjoy the resort, and 2 half days because they are travel days.


With this information in hand, I then thought about stage two of my planning for this very special trip.


So for those of you planning your first trip to Walt Disney World, one of the first things you should do is decide what you want to do once you arrive at Walt Disney World.


Your next stage will probably be choosing the hotel, and that itself will directly relate to two things:  how much you want to spend, and where you want your ‘home base’ to be during the trip.


Please see Part II of Planning our first trip to Walt Disney World for the next portion of our planning.


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