I am SO overwhelmed - first timer - please help - I know there must be resources

bexter

New Member
Hi All! I'm going to DW November 30 - December 5, traveling alone. I've never been to DW before and have no idea how to approach this in terms of what to do, where to stay, which restaurants to go to, how to get around, etc. Feeling so overwhelmed I'm considering cancelling! I can't be the first person to be so lost. Are there some resources for beginners?

Edit: I'm going now b/c my husband refuses to wear a mask so I'm traveling to places he wouldn't much care for. I know there are many things not on offer right now and while very disappointing, my thought was I'd least be able to enjoy the rides without having to stand in hour long lines.

Edit: Thank you for all your suggestions! I'm going to work with Kingdom Konsultants.
 
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crawale

Well-Known Member
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Hi All! I'm going to DW November 30 - December 5, traveling alone. I've never been to DW before and have no idea how to approach this in terms of what to do, where to stay, which restaurants to go to, how to get around, etc. Feeling so overwhelmed I'm considering cancelling! I can't be the first person to be so lost. Are there some resources for beginners?
What a shame your first experience of DW is when Disney have gone insane with 'safety' protections. It has become the most miserable place instead of the happiest place. Just returned from a 9 day trip - having gone at least once a year for 35 years- it was horrible - the worst vacation ever. If I were you I'd cancel.
 
Upvote 1

figmentfan423

Well-Known Member
Leaving out precautions because that's a discussion for another thread. IMHO this may not be the year to go for a first trip because some of what makes Disney, Disney isn't going on. If you still want to go run do not walk and get yourself a copy of the Unofficial Guide to Disney or get a subscription to touring plans figure out how you want to do your trip and then check here and Disney's site to see if you can do what you want. I hope that makes sense
 
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HouCuseChickie

Well-Known Member
Planning a trip to WDW at any time can be overwhelming for first-timers, and in this current environment that is constantly changing, it's even more of a challenge. We're currently planning to go in February and while we're seasoned WDW visitors, I'm struggling as well. Part of it is you never know what's going to change next week, next month, etc. So, I feel some of your pain.

I'd square away where to stay first. Even in this crazy time, I'd look at your budget, discounts currently offered (because they do cover your dates), and what some of your must do's are for this trip that you know are possible right now. Once you know where you want to stay based on these factors, you can figure out which parks you want to visit...how many times, which days, how you plan to get there, etc. Ex. if it's in the budget and HS is a priority for you, picking an Epcot/HS area resort may be a good option. If you'd like to put your $ into other things, maybe look to Pop instead and work on a plan for skyliner vs. bus vs. Lyft/Uber. Just examples. After that, you can figure out food. You'll be solo, so it's not as hard as trying to figure out dining like you would for a larger party. By picking your resort, you should know what food options should be convenient for your lodging...by planning your parks, you'll know where you'll be and be able to narrow down some dining options in and near specific parks...by picking parks, you'll also have a good idea of park hours and maybe know which nights you might want dinner at your resort or Disney Springs. You'll also probably find it fairly easy to pick some last minute stuff as a solo traveler. Menus on the Disney site should also help guide you some too. Either way...breaking it out like this vs. looking at it as one big planning jumble may make it easier.

If it's still too much, you could always look into hiring an earmarked agent. Kingdom Konsultants is all over this site and gets good reviews, but there are a number of other good ones out there and it won't cost you anything extra for their help. Alternately, if this is too much and there are still a lot of things you'd hate to miss that are cut right now due to Covid and Disney's cost cutting, it may be time to considering postponing.
 
Upvote 1

StarshipDisney

Well-Known Member
Best of luck and good fortune to you... but...if you go, please just realize that COVID has currently impacted Disney to the Nth degree. Disney right now has no fastpasses, no fireworks, no tours, no dessert parties, most shows closed (including Fantasmic, Rivers of Light, Electrical Water Pageant, Indiana Jones show, etc), and reduced dining options (even if they are open many have reduced menus). Park hours have been significantly reduced and I hear they are even backing off from cleaning the resort rooms every day now.

That said, you need to get acquainted with the My Disney Experience (MDE) website. That is where you can make your resort reservations, get park passes, dining reservations, etc. It's not hard at all just spend some time navigating and learning the site. Just type "My Disney Experience" into your search engine and it will come right up.
 
Upvote 2

yensid67

Well-Known Member
I want to add my advice and comments...
Having planned a few WDW trips for myself and friends and family I know the joys that planning a Disney vacation can bring,! And as others on here can tell you, you get just as excited with anticipation than being in the parks themselves!! That being said, even the seasoned planners are at a lose because everything changes from day to day, making trying to plan a good trip is difficult, let alone trying to plan your first trip!
You WANT your first trip to be MAGICAL and MEMORABLE! With the state of things as it stands it will be far less magical and memorable as your FIRST IMPRESSIONS TRIP😞
If I were you, planning my first trip, I would POSTPONE until things got back to normal at WDW. Meaning the parades and fireworks are back on a daily basis and the restrictions have subsided a little. I know being at Disney is a magical experience, but with all the restrictions and cuts to cast members and entertainment...Disney RIGHT NOW would not be enjoyable FOR ME.
I am currently planning a TENTATIVE trip in September 2022, but it all depends on how normal things are by then.

If you want any help when you are ready...PRIVATE MESSAGE ME. I have helped a few on here in private.
 
Upvote 1

Queen of the WDW Scene

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
Its really difficult to help when we don't know what you want help with or what your budget/interests are.
Right now is a very different time than normal with new policies and ways of doing things in place that many of us have not yet done ourselves.

I do know that you need to get your hotel and park tickets in order asap as you need to make park reservations.

I suggest that you first go to the Disney World website and explore.
Then you can come back with specific questions.

Until then think about your budget and base your hotel options on that.
I suggest staying onsite especially if you will not have a car.
Disney provides free transportation from MCO airport and to all the parks so once on Disnry property there's no need to worry about transportation.
 
Upvote 0

DisNerd86

Member
Hi All! I'm going to DW November 30 - December 5, traveling alone. I've never been to DW before and have no idea how to approach this in terms of what to do, where to stay, which restaurants to go to, how to get around, etc. Feeling so overwhelmed I'm considering cancelling! I can't be the first person to be so lost. Are there some resources for beginners?

Edit: I'm going now b/c my husband refuses to wear a mask so I'm traveling to places he wouldn't much care for. I know there are many things not on offer right now and while very disappointing, my thought was I'd least be able to enjoy the rides without having to stand in hour long lines.

How exciting! First, for first time planning as an adult, I used disneytouristblog.com A TON. They have 1 day touring plans for each park which will be hugely helpful in the no-park-hopping environment. They have reviews of all the hotels and restaurants, and lots of COVID specific updates to help guide your experience. I would caution against any planning tools that you have to pay for, since everything you need to help plan your trip can be found for free in these amazing Disney online communities.

Second, I am a firm believer in "experiences are what you make of them" so if you go anticipating being disappointed by the current restrictions, you will be disappointed. If you go thinking that wearing a mask in the Florida heat will be miserable, it probably will be. (In Nov/Dec it will still be warm but for sure more tolerable than July/Aug/Sept.) But I think your idea about enjoying it without having to stand in hour long lines is spot on! Stripping away the "extras" will give you, as a first timer, the chance to enjoy the details and ambiance that get lost in the shuffle of a regular Disney trip.

Lastly, if there was ever a time to just wing it at Disney, it seems like this is it! I wouldn't cancel just because the planning seems overwhelming. If the COVID risk and restrictions are what gives you that overwhelmed feeling, canceling might be the way to go, as there is no way to mitigate that risk/avoid the restrictions except. Good luck!
 
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yensid67

Well-Known Member
Quote From Queen of the WDW Scene
"Disney provides free transportation from MCO airport and to all the parks so once on Disney property there's no need to worry about transportation."

Magical Express will be shut down with the new layoffs on Oct 1 and as far as transportation on property...right now is just a BAD TIME to go. There are alot of things that are taken away that you WILL WANT to enjoy as a first timer!

Please postpone, regroup with your budget and ask for help then!

Some key things to do:

-Know your DATES(How many days including TRAVEL and PARK days)
-How many are going
-What Hotel (depending on your budget and transportation)
-How many rooms
-Mode of Travel: Planes Trains or automobiles
-What Parks
-Any Dining reservations?(or just use Quick Service meals)
-Any other activities: Universal, Sea World, Discover Cove, International Drive
 
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wannabeBelle

Well-Known Member
Hi Bexter, The best thing to do to discuss options is to call our offices as soon as possible. I am not in today but Maryann is and she is ready to assist you. Our phone number is 1866-566-7858. Have a great day!! Marie
 
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dmw

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
Hi All! I'm going to DW November 30 - December 5, traveling alone. I've never been to DW before and have no idea how to approach this in terms of what to do, where to stay, which restaurants to go to, how to get around, etc. Feeling so overwhelmed I'm considering cancelling! I can't be the first person to be so lost. Are there some resources for beginners?

Edit: I'm going now b/c my husband refuses to wear a mask so I'm traveling to places he wouldn't much care for. I know there are many things not on offer right now and while very disappointing, my thought was I'd least be able to enjoy the rides without having to stand in hour long lines.
Work with a travel agent who specializes in WDW. Marie (from the above post) is excellent. We have been to WDW many times but I still learn about the recent changes, especially ticket package options, through discussions with Marie.

Also, understand that just about everything you may read in books or online about crowds, park visit strategies, dining reservations, etc. was applicable before the Covid shutdown. So much has changed with the re-opening.

Did I mention that a travel agent would be the best option to help plan?

Hope you have a great trip!
 
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DisneyJoe

Well-Known Member
Quote From Queen of the WDW Scene
"Disney provides free transportation from MCO airport and to all the parks so once on Disney property there's no need to worry about transportation."

Magical Express will be shut down with the new layoffs on Oct 1
??? DME being shut down? That's going to have a huge impact - any sources for that?
 
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yensid67

Well-Known Member
??? DME being shut down? That's going to have a huge impact - any sources for that?
LOOK AT THE NEWS ON THE OPENING PAGE OF WDW...it says 6390 layoffs...including 49 from Orlando International Disney Express...


In further filings with the state of Florida, details of 6390 layoffs are given by Jim Bowden, Vice President Employee Relations.

6246 are listed at Team Disney's address, which are likely operational Cast Members deployed throughout property. 65 are located in Celebration, which serves as office space for much of Walt Disney World's administration, marketing and finance departments. 49 are located at Orlando International Airport, which may include retail and Magical Express. 22 are located at Walt Disney World's creative costuming facility, and finally 8 are listed at a building close to Central Reservations office space.

These layoffs go into effect on December 4 2020, and are part of the non-union employee layoffs that were announced this morning as a total of 6700.
 
Upvote 0

Queen of the WDW Scene

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
LOOK AT THE NEWS ON THE OPENING PAGE OF WDW...it says 6390 layoffs...including 49 from Orlando International Disney Express...


In further filings with the state of Florida, details of 6390 layoffs are given by Jim Bowden, Vice President Employee Relations.

6246 are listed at Team Disney's address, which are likely operational Cast Members deployed throughout property. 65 are located in Celebration, which serves as office space for much of Walt Disney World's administration, marketing and finance departments. 49 are located at Orlando International Airport, which may include retail and Magical Express. 22 are located at Walt Disney World's creative costuming facility, and finally 8 are listed at a building close to Central Reservations office space.

These layoffs go into effect on December 4 2020, and are part of the non-union employee layoffs that were announced this morning as a total of 6700.

How do you get DME is ending as of today from that?
 
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yensid67

Well-Known Member
But again... How do you get that DME will no longer be provided from that article? Point out where it says it please.
Even you're red bolded section only says it may include employees of Magical Express and that is certainly not the same as EME is ending...
Even the fact that it MAY no longer be provided makes anyone second guess using it. I HOPE they don't shutter this, I think it would greatly affect their attendance levels. If I used this and depended on it in the passed and am depending on it for my future trips, I would be concerned. Unless I would know for sure if its actually still running(and I am sure 'friends' on here will spread the word) I would find an alternate mode of transportation or postpone my trip.
I just wanted Bexter to realize that ME MAY not be an option!, therefore, may have to alter his mode of transportation or think about renting a car
 
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Queen of the WDW Scene

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
Even the fact that it MAY no longer be provided makes anyone second guess using it. I HOPE they don't shutter this, I think it would greatly affect their attendance levels. If I used this and depended on it in the passed and am depending on it for my future trips, I would be concerned. Unless I would know for sure if its actually still running(and I am sure 'friends' on here will spread the word) I would find an alternate mode of transportation or postpone my trip.
I just wanted Bexter to realize that ME MAY not be an option!

There is no "fact" that it MAY no longer be provided.
I think OP should know that this is all just based on your conjecture.
 
Upvote 1

yensid67

Well-Known Member
There is no "fact" that it MAY no longer be provided.
I think OP should know that this is all just based on your conjecture.
OK...Bexter this is MY OPINION AND FEELINGS If you intend on utilizing the ME, I would suggest you MAKE SURE its still running regardless of any layoffs!

You would think this is the best way for Disney to bring vacation guests in to the resort as a perk! The ME being shuttered WILL NOT ruin your vacation, you will just have to rent a car at the airport
 
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