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First impressions of WDW

Discussion in 'Walt Disney World Parks & Attractions' started by tweenie123, May 5, 2012.

  1. tweenie123

    tweenie123 Moderator

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    Is there anyone out there who didn't particularly enjoy their first experience of WDW?
    Though it grieves me to admit it, I didn't particularly get the 'WOW' factor on our first trip to WDW. We stayed on International Drive, didn't have a car so getting to and from the parks was a bit of a struggle as our hotel shuttle left before any fireworks! I didn't know anything about ADRs (Advance Dining Reservations) so we only ate at counter service meals and the holiday also coincided with one of the worst tropical storms for over ten years. We had a hopper pass for five days and it was more like a military expedition as we furiously tried to cram in every single attraction with precision. We reasonably enjoyed it but thought that it would be our one and only trip to Orlando and went to Crete the following year.

    A brochure then arrived from Direct Holidays and I spotted Port Orleans and decided to try out a Disney resort. Having the freedom to come and go as we pleased did it for me and seeing Wishes on Main Street was my 'WOW' factor..........I was hooked!

    Anybody else feel the same?
     
  2. dizneymom

    dizneymom New Member

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    My first trip was our honeymoon. I was so psyched, I couldn't breath. I remember I had $80 in cash with me. We stayed off site. AND my husband made sure we had a charge card. It was a Mastercard. Do you know back in 1983 WDW only accepted one card and it wasn't MC.:( It was VISA. I had to use my $80 to get in to the park. We had no money for food or drinks.:huh: Cash advances were available, but he never set up a PIN.:oops: He had a paycheck in his wallet thinking he could cash it down there. :eek: Our hotel would cash a personal check each day, but we had to use the cash to buy tickets to get into EPCOT and MK. It was THE worst trip I ever took with my husband. When we got home, I got a VISA because back then, some places only took one or the other. I never left the house without $500 in cash stashed somewhere in my purse. :unsure: I activated PINs on all credit cards.

    With the debit card it is much easier, but I still have trouble trusting him to be prepared to travel. I am the one who goes to the bank and gets cash and/or travelors checks.:D

    Outside of WDW our honeymoon was great. We ate at the fanciest restaurants, visited Cypress Gardens, Kennedy Space Center and other places in the area. But we had to purchase all Disney stuff at those little shops along the road. :lol:
     
  3. Vikki

    Vikki Moderator

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    Depends how you think about it. Our first ever visit to MK was different to say the least. We'd literally walked through the gates and we got evacuated 20 minutes later. It was the 11th September 2001.
     
  4. TimonAndPumba

    TimonAndPumba Disney-holic Family

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    Our first visit was similar to you Cath - we stayed at a horrid hotel on I-Drive for around 5 day and had no idea how Disney Transportation worked.... we spent a lot of time travelling between parks and trying to figure out what to do. :unsure: We didn't know about ADRs (Advance Dining Reservations) either so ate Counter Service a lot - and poor Mum who's a veggie ate a LOT of fries :(

    But then on the last couple of days we got the WOW factor... a CM told us about CRT at MK and got us a dinner reservation for the same day, because it was my birthday :yes: We ate "at the Castle" and loved it!! And then the next day, when we were in MGM, we saw huge crowd of people migrate towards somewhere at closing time. So we thought this is the way out and followed everyone else... we thought how badly organised the park was because it took so long to get out of the park!! Turns out it was the queue for Fantasmic! It was amazing!!! We missed our shuttle back to the hotel to stay and watch and decided we HAD to come back, spend more time and plan properly - so we did the next year.... :D
     
  5. Davy Jones

    Davy Jones 8 Sixes!!!!

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    Our first visit was indifferent to say the least, somewhat similar to you Tweenie, we initially couldn't find our hotel and this was my first experience of driving in another country so I was quite on edge. The hotel was Ramada Maingate West down on 192, it wasn't that bad from what I can remember but the transport to the parks was very limited at best. It was so much different from what I had imagined.
    We would basically spend a whole day and night at one park and rest the next day, this pattern continued for the full 2 weeks, We realised we were hooked on the flight home and 3 days after arriving home we re booked for the next year and have been going back almost every year since 1996, our first stay on Disney property wasn't until 1999 and we stayed at the newly opened All Star Movies Resort, this really changed our whole perspective about doing a "WDW" holiday
     
  6. Day Dreamer

    Day Dreamer New Member

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    We did get the wow factor the first time but felt overwhelmed as clearly hadnt understood the size of disney and other Florida attractions we only booked 5 days in Florida then went to the coast, we stayed at Animal Kingdom Lodge resort at Walt Disney World and I was mesmerised by it! That first time we saw the castle and the girls shouting "the castle! the castle" and the show was on the castle stage right at the moment we entered I thought it was just so magical I nearly cried! I regretted that we only booked 5 days, spent the beach days wanting to be back at wdw, and the week we returned back booked to go back for 3 weeks and plan it properly! That is when I found this forum to help with planning.

    Strange thing is my husband and I went to Disneyland, Calif back in 2000 and I dont remember a thing about it, dont even remember there being a castle or being awstruck or anything strange.

    Now in a few weeks we will have our first experience of DLP I wonder what we will think and feel on seeing that castle.
     
  7. dizneymom

    dizneymom New Member

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    One of the ladies from our church was there that day! She said the CM actually came into the bathroom to chase them out.
     
  8. Pilotdog

    Pilotdog New Member

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    We really loved our first visit, which was in Dec 2009. Both DH and I are from So. Cal and have always lived with in 20 min of DLR, so we knew we would have a good time at WDW.
    It was our 2nd time at WDW that left a not so great impression on us. I decided to try an August trip because DS was going to start kindergarten. I knew it would be hot but I was not expecting it to be that hot. We all have said never again in summer time. But now that we are buying Disney Vacation Club we are thinking that when DS is older and can't miss school that we will try summer again. But for 2 weeks taking it slow in the parks and spending more time at the pool (which DS loves) and seeing more things in Orlando. DH says we have never even done Gatorland. ::lol:
     
  9. pinkferret

    pinkferret New Member

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    i loved the first trip but with one thing or another it wasnt the best holiday ever but i knew i wanted to go back. the second trip was everything i knew it would be!! hooked and poor isnt a good combo. would go every damned year if i could. i love florida, only been twice but it feels like home.
     
  10. Vikki

    Vikki Moderator

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    It really shows you just how well trained they are. You could tell they were concerned but not once did they panic.
     
  11. lizzx10r

    lizzx10r New Member

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    The start of our first trip was terrible - couldnt find the hotel - didnt understand the street signs. We stayed on International Drive - opposite the big toy shop (I remembered seeing a pictiure of the shop in the brochure).
    The hotel remindered me of council flats.
    We didnt know that WDW was so far away.
    Didnt know anything about Park tickets or ADRs.
    Didnt know about this forum.
     
  12. Vikki

    Vikki Moderator

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    That's a good point, once you know a good forum, you're sorted :yes:
     
  13. lizzx10r

    lizzx10r New Member

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    Too Right:D:D
     
  14. Disney Dad

    Disney Dad Disney Enthusiast

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    Like most of you my first trip I went in blind. I had no idea of anything other then my cousins got to go to WDW when they were kids and I never did. So my first trip was to take my wife and kids and my mother to the place I never got to go and always wanted to. I did as much planning as I could...no information to go with...no guides or forums...just a phone number and a DVD. I called and since there were 6 of us we were automatically being booked in WL in a Jr Suite. This was 1999...value resorts if they were there were not known to me, there was no meal plan and I had no idea about having to ask about 2 conjoining rooms (that castmembers will answer questions you ask but can't offer information to you) So when I said there were 6 of us the room choices were limited. We drove (bought a minivan for the trip) the kids were small (6 and 3/12 and 3 1/2) and off we went on the adventure that I figured was a one time family trip. I was overwhelmed by the resort, the room...the whole size and expanse of the area. I knew I wanted to bring the kids back again to do things that we couldn't do due to time or ages and size. I spent more on that trip then I have on any since...so I tried to figure a way to go again without spending as much. That is when I got the brilliant idea to stay off property (without knowledge of othe resorts having rooms that connected :doh: I went seraching for a less expensive place to stay. Found a Days Inn and Suites near Main Gate that had a full kitchen and slept 6...booked it and drove again to WDW (kids were 8 and 5 and 5) This was the trip from H**L . With staying off property all I did was drive...no extra magic hours...no midday breaks. The killer was what took me maybe 15mins to get to in the AM took me 1 1/2 hrs to get too at night with all the mass exodus from the parks. I was totally wiped and did not enjoy the trip at all. Yes the kids got to do the things they missed and the odler one got to go on some of the rides that he didn't measure up to last trip, but for me it was a total bust...I went back to work more tired then when I left. I lieterally called WDW and almost cried to a castmember about the trip and how I wanted to go back but staying on property with 6 of us was too expensive. That was all it took...as soon as I asked how I could do it for less cost the suggestion of two rooms in a value resort and the pricing difference...I almost fainted. I gave it some time and planned another trip...this one on property at the ASMo and we drove again...kids were 10, 7 and 7 and we went again. That trip made the difference...I spent less then I did off property (after all the extra gas of driving to and from and parking fees), I didn't touch the car the entire trip so I got some much needed rest, and we got to use the extra magic hours. From then on anyone asks me I tell them I won't stay off property ever again...but I don't have to spend a fortune to stay on property. So far my trips include 1999 at WL; 2001 Off Property (NEVER again); 2003 at ASMo; 2007 at ASMu in the Family Suite; 2009 FWC in a Cabin; 2011 at Pop; 2012 at Caribbean Beach Resort at Walt Disney World in a Pirate Room.
     
  15. tweenie123

    tweenie123 Moderator

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    It seems that their are quite a few of us who didn't have such a 'magical' time on our first visits!
     

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