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OK, remember back to your first trip, how much preliminary information did you learn about the world?

When you go to a vacation destination for the 1st time, how much pre trip info do you get?

  • Nothing. I'm a free spirit, I book the trip and wing it?

    Votes: 6 8.7%
  • Just the basics ma'am. how to get there, operating hours and what to wear are all I need.

    Votes: 5 7.2%
  • visit a website or buy a book.

    Votes: 24 34.8%
  • I'm insane, lol. The Geneva convention took less research. I scour websites and stalk people there

    Votes: 28 40.6%
  • Other: there are always other choices.

    Votes: 6 8.7%

  • Total voters
    69

eliza61nyc

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
So I was chatting to a very nice poster on another thread and we got to talking about folks going to the world and not knowing about ADR's and Fp+. I admit that if I drop 1000's of bucks on any vacation no way am I not going to do a little research. heck, I scout out where to eat when it's just a night at the theater. so I admit I'm the other end of the spectrum.
So when you think back on your first trip, did you just book the trip and go? were you like me and OCD about it? :D:D or some where in between?
 

Joe SC

New Member
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I did not know there was so much information out there. I just booked the cheapest motel I could find and bought tickets online. It was 2005.
 

aliceismad

Well-Known Member
I was a kid, so...

As an adult I research all my vacations. Researching and planning extends the fun and is relaxing for me. My DH is more loose. He'd be happy knowing the basics and winging the rest. But he always thanks me for knowing how to get into X, Y, or Z or for getting us a certain deal or whatever.
 

Minnie Mum

Well-Known Member
Ha. My first trip was back in 1975. There was no Internet then. There were no guidebooks in the library. You just had a TA book a hotel or lived dangerously and found a place once you got there. And you didn't buy tickets in advance or make dining reservations. You bought a BOOK of individual ride tickets, and if you wanted a dining reservations you went to guest relations.

NOW is a totally different story, and I'm usually scouring the Internet for 6 months before any vacation..
 

Moana76

Member
I can't remember the first time I went to Disney, and as a Florida resident all my life, I've been many times. However, I had not been since 2007 when I went with my boys in 2017. I researched the fast pass system, downloaded the app, read umpteen articles, and basically scoured for information everywhere. During planning for our trip this April, I found these forums so now I can stay up on everything. I like to plan my things in advance as it increases my excitement about the trip.
 

mdcpr

Well-Known Member
I have never planned a vacation as much as I have planned this one. We are the type of family that goes with the flow--buy a ticket or rent a car and get a hotel reservation, the rest always fell into place. This is so not happening with this trip.
 

Weather_Lady

Well-Known Member
I grew up going during some crowded school breaks, so when it came to planning the first WDW trip for my own DH and kids, I knew there was a need for "strategery" in a WDW trip. I planned (joyously, obsessively) accordingly. In addition to online sources, the local library was a great help: I was able to browse all the current guidebooks for free.

My mantra (and my advice to others planning their first WDW vacation) is to: (1) Have a plan; but (2) Ensure that you're well-educated enough about Disney touring (attraction priorities, locations, FP+ rules, EMH) that you can depart from the plan as circumstances arise. That way you have the best of both worlds -- an initial itinerary that you know will save time in line, ensure you see all of your "must-dos" and prevent you from wandering aimlessly -- and sufficient knowledge to be able to intelligently modify it whenever you want to (because a ride broke down, you opted to linger over a good meal, the kids wanted a second spin on Dumbo, or you stumbled onto an unexpectedly short line or a fun bit of street entertainment.... without fail, some of the most magical moments of a WDW trip will be ones that weren't on the itinerary!)
 
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John park hopper

Well-Known Member
First trip was in 1972 at that time there was only MK. I just got out of the service and was driving to Lake Worth FL and stopped for the day. Grew up on Disney so knew I would like it "It's Disney" what's not to like ---no planning
 

Janir

Well-Known Member
As I was planning to propose to my wife, I got bought some Disney guide books to learn what I didn't know and called the Customer Service line and talked about my ideas for a nice dinner and fireworks viewing to base my proposal around. Customer Service was extremely helpful to me in planning my proposal and getting different options on the table for me. I didn't know about ADR back then so some of my options were limited but I decided to splurge on Victoria and Albert's Queen Victoria Room and never regretted it.
As for other planning, back then there was old school FastPass system and the book I got talked about how to plan to go get FP to get what you wanted right away. We also stayed off site at that trip so I dealt with finding parking and the daily cost of that. I also Learned that staying ON site had plenty more options with buses and such when we came again for our wedding planning meeting the spring of our wedding. We also flew for that trip vs driving. It was only a 4 day stay, so we crammed a lot of stuff in 4 days, but we knew we'd be back by summer for the wedding itself and with 2 weeks to play, we needed more research. I think that's about when I signed up here to start reading forums for tips and ideas for ADR's and making up some touring plans to get fast passes.
 
First trip was in 1987. My in-laws both worked at the world. Didn't need much planning. No such thing as fast passes, dining plan then.
 

belledream

Well-Known Member
I went under my family’s expertise many times as a kid and started planning my own trips once I was in college. We look back and think we did a decent job... not much changed from how we do things now. I think the only “regrets” we have is wasting DDP credits (when we had the plan) on generic croissants at the food court when now, we’d save those babies for something much more interesting at the parks. :p
 

KBLovesDisney

Well-Known Member
Well, being 3 years old, the only advice I could give you from my first trip was get your kid a comfy stroller. The crap that my mother put me in hurt my legs so bad.

As an adult, I research like crazy before a trip, most likely why I am on this site.😏
 

JIMINYCR

Well-Known Member
Our first trip was special and at the time I didnt know if we ever would be able to do return trips. So I did major research because I wanted to ensure the trip went off without a hitch and we got to do as much as we possibly could in the time we had. We bought several travel guides, read them cover to cover, asked advice from our TA, researched on various web sites and talked to other friends who had previously gone. Even with all the pre planning I found I wasnt prepared for what all of WDW had to offer and realized we definitely needed to make return future trips. The research and planning part has gotten more involved and more necessary to make the kind of WDW vacation I want enjoyable and worthwhile. Also more frustrating for a guy like me thats not as tecchie comfortable and knowledgable as DW & DS.
 

aliceismad

Well-Known Member
I should go back and caveat. Yes, I love to plan and enjoy the planning. However, one of the issues with WDW (for me) is that there is SO much to see and do and SO much research you could do that it's easy to get caught up in the idea of needing to plan every day out to the second to get every possible experience or maximize my time. So what I have done is sit down and write out the "really want to dos." Those are booked/scheduled, and we've left some time open for relaxation/options/spontaneity. I just have a good idea of a lot of options so we know what we could do.

I think if you overbook yourself and don't leave some flexibility, it might be easy to get overwhelmed or disappointed. Like I have a rough touring plan/area for each day, but I realize things might change. Rides might be down. It might rain. Kiddo could get tired and need a nap. Kiddo could get super excited about a certain ride or character and we focus on that. Etc. At the end of the day, it's still a vacation, and I want it to feel like one, not a rat race to get through as much as possible.
 

winstongator

Well-Known Member
First couple trips my wife planned. At some point I took over and haven't looked back. We had ADRs our first trip as a family for character meals. Second trip my wife scored FP+ for the MK Anna & Elsa meet & greet. Skipping that 120 min line had me thanking her immensely for the planning. We go enough as pass holders that we don't need to over plan, but having FP+ and some idea of things we can do easily each day are helpful.
 

winstongator

Well-Known Member
I should go back and caveat. Yes, I love to plan and enjoy the planning. However, one of the issues with WDW (for me) is that there is SO much to see and do and SO much research you could do that it's easy to get caught up in the idea of needing to plan every day out to the second to get every possible experience or maximize my time. So what I have done is sit down and write out the "really want to dos." Those are booked/scheduled, and we've left some time open for relaxation/options/spontaneity. I just have a good idea of a lot of options so we know what we could do.

I think if you overbook yourself and don't leave some flexibility, it might be easy to get overwhelmed or disappointed. Like I have a rough touring plan/area for each day, but I realize things might change. Rides might be down. It might rain. Kiddo could get tired and need a nap. Kiddo could get super excited about a certain ride or character and we focus on that. Etc. At the end of the day, it's still a vacation, and I want it to feel like one, not a rat race to get through as much as possible.
My advice to people planning trips is that you can't do everything, so don't try, and don't overdo it. Take what you think is a perfect plan and then take one thing out. If you get that in, great, but if you don't, you won't miss it. However, you will remember your kids' meltdowns trying to squeeze that one last ride in. Focus on what's important, plan that, and have a rough idea what you can fill in with the rest.
 

NeedMoreMickey

Well-Known Member
First trip in 1983 and stayed at the Poly. I remember my husband going to hotel concierge to get reservations for Top of the
World dinner & show. We also talked to them about how to get to River Country, we had a car.
 

Susan Savia

Well-Known Member
Our first trip was in 1984. Very little planning went into that trip. Even today we much prefer a flexible schedule. Todays preplanning involves avoiding parks with the Extra magic hours, being at rope drop daily and allowing a day off mid trip.
 

ppet

Well-Known Member
First trip was in 2000. We bought Birnbaums guide to the world and it was a big help. We then proceeded to do a 5 day 4 night trip in the best commando style rope drop to finale kiss. We had park hoppers and didn't stop until we dropped at night. I still remember my daughter falling asleep standing on the bus. She didn't wake until the next morning. The whole family had a blast, but we had to rest up for a week after getting home. We still do a lot at the parks but have built in the down time that is needed.
 

KaliSplash

Well-Known Member
I took my first trip with my soon-to-be wife, who lives nearby. She knew everything. Or everything I needed for the first trip. In 1979 there was not much internet to search. :)
 
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