By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2017, from the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever. Paperback available on Amazon here. Kindle version available on Amazon here. PDF version available on Gumroad here.



yourfirstvisit.net—Disney World Instructions for the First-Time Visitor







Introduction to the Comfortable Guide to Walt Disney World



By Dave Shute

THE COMFORTABLE GUIDE TO WALT DISNEY WORLD

I’ve been publishing material in the series The Comfortable Guide to Walt Disney World for months now–giving alternatives to this site’s main guidance on key topics such as when to go, how long to stay, where to stay, etc.

But I’ve never properly introduced this series.

So here’s the formal introduction!

INTRODUCTION: THE COMFORTABLE GUIDE TO WALT DISNEY WORLD

This site is intended for first time family visitors to Walt Disney World, and is designed so that they can plan their trip as quickly as possible.

The home page reflects that design–it gives all the basic guidance on just one page.

For families who can’t follow this guidance, the next best options are just a click away from the home page, and are ranked in order.

However, the home page and next best options are designed for the “average family,” and many families don’t perfectly reflect that “average.”

As a result, there’s other planning tools that supplement the “exact instructions, next best options” architecture of the site.

One example, designed to help answer when to go, is the week picker.

Another, designed for those looking for a more comfortable visit, is The Comfortable Guide to Walt Disney World.

The Comfortable Guide addresses Walt Disney World vacations for a subset of first time visitors: those seeking the most comfortable visit.

  • Families seeking the most comfortable visit are willing to spend more than this site recommends
  • …if by doing so they can avoid some of the more difficult aspects of a Walt Disney World trip.
  • They are also less concerned than other families with seeing all the best of Walt Disney World on their first visit, as they can afford to come back, should they wish to.

See the bottom of the page for the full list of topics currently in The Comfortable Guide.

Because many families want to save money on some things so that they can spend more on others, I’ve also been publishing a companion series to the Comfortable Guide called The Tightwad’s Guide.

You can find the money-saving tips of The Tightwad’s Guide beginning here.

I hope this helps–and add your own tips for a comfortable visit by using the comment form below!

PUBLISHED SO FAR IN THE COMFORTABLE GUIDE TO WALT DISNEY WORLD

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16 comments

1 Lauren { 09.18.12 at 9:30 am }

Hi!
First time visitors, kids ages 6 and 8 but we’ll most likely return. We want a more upscale hotel with a king sized bed and separate sleeping area for the kids (could be pullout sofabed)… If we want to be as close to the action as possible, what are the best choices? I know you like the PV, but it looks like they only have queen beds side by side in the room and that won’t work w/my husband’s snoring 🙂

2 Dave { 09.18.12 at 9:38 am }

Hi Lauren! What fits best is a one bedroom Disney Vacation Club villa at Wilderness Lodge or Bay Lake Tower. WL has more kid appeal, BLT is more “close to the action.”

For links to reviews of both, see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/special-circumstances/special-circumstances-large-families/more-on-large-families-at-walt-disney-world/the-disney-vacation-club-dvc-resorts-at-walt-disney-world/

The floor plan above is of Bay Lake Tower. Note the private king, and the living/dining/kitchen space at its left (and the two baths.) The sofa and one of the chairs in the L/D/K space pulls out to make kid beds…

3 michelle { 02.16.14 at 10:36 pm }

Hi there! This will be our first time visiting Disney World. I have two boys ages 6 and 7. We have booked our travel for May 10-17, 2014. We currently have reservations to stay off site at the Waldorf Astoria in a 1 bedroom suite with a private balcony over looking Magic Kingdom. With resort fees and taxes included, we are paying $334/night. I am beginning to rethink our choice of staying at an off disney hotel. What do you think? The big draw for me at the Waldorf was that hubby and I do not have to share a room with the kids. From what I can see, suite options at a WDW hotel are just way too expensive. Any advice? Thanks!

4 Dave { 02.17.14 at 11:24 am }

Michelle, will you also have a rental car? If so you need to factor in rental car costs (whihc you don’t need at WDW, tho it is handy) and parking at 15/day (no parking cost if you stay in a Dissey hotel), and if not airport-hotel transport (free if you stay at a WDW hotel and add Magical Express) , plus what will likely be a weak shuttle from the hotel to the parks. (I’m not dissing the Waldorf–it’s just generally true…)

There’s a couple of Disney options near your price that let you get an extra bedroom. Your dates a family suite at All-Star Music is $307 on weeknights and $343 Fridays and Saturdays (including tax, there’s no resort fee); a family suite at Art of Animation is 364/418. Links to reviews, floor plans, etc for each is here: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2010/04/26/walt-disney-world-resort-hotel-reviews/

Moreover, there’s a deal out for your dates that may save you another 15-20%. See this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2014/01/06/disney-world-room-rate-deal-for-well-into-june-2014/

5 we are vegetarian we dont eat meat so how do i plan meal for my family { 03.30.14 at 9:57 pm }

since we are vegeterian and dont eat meat so is it worth to buy meal plan at the resort, where i would stay.
what are my options of dinner as we can eat lunch in the theme park we are visiting that particular day, and what about breakfast . we are a family of 5, kids 7, 16 and 19

6 Dave { 03.31.14 at 8:03 am }

Hi, first, I’d skip the dining plan, unless you have a lot of kids between 3 and 9 and plan to do a lot of character meals. It doesn’t pay otherwise. Second, Disney is really good with diets. See for example this: http://www.disneyfoodblog.com/vegetarian-dining-in-disney-world/

7 Shane { 08.14.14 at 8:14 am }

Hi Dave, we are planning a trip from Australia to WDW from 11th April to 21st April (10 Nights)…using it as our base for days at WDW of course and Universal Studios, Kennedy Space Centre etc. We have two daughters 8 & 11. When you visit the WDW resort sites the prices are pretty high…is there a way to get discounted accommodation or are the prices shown on their website the only prices available ?

8 Dave { 08.14.14 at 5:11 pm }

Shane, Disney commonly discounts its hotel rooms after Easter. You can book now and then if a deal comes out, try to re-book into it. Having a booking already neither helps nor hurts. Deals will be here: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2010/03/29/walt-disney-worlds-latest-spring-and-summer-deal/

9 Maria { 12.03.14 at 12:15 pm }

Hi Dave, I would like to plan a WDW Trip for Me and my five year old daughter. This will be her very first experience with the Disney scene every. I’m looking at hotel prices and dining, everything seems to be expensive. What can you recommend for us so that my daughter has a very happy experience?

10 Dave { 12.04.14 at 3:41 pm }

Maria, will she be returning again when she is older? The least expensive but still delightful choice for hotels is a Little Mermaid room at Art of Animation. See this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/09/23/review-standard-little-mermaid-rooms-disneys-art-animation-resort/

11 Andrea { 03.12.15 at 10:39 am }

Hi Dave. My husband and I are planning to take our daughter to Disney for her 3rd birthday next year. She turns 3 on 5/29, which, incidentally is Memorial Day weekend next year, so we thought taking her the week before would be just fine. She will still be 2 so no park admission (yay!)
Every time I think of this trip, I just envision spending $10k on this vacation and I really don’t want to do that. We’d like to fly late the night before we do any activities so we can all rest, get situated and be ready for a fresh start in the morning. As far as a hotel, we have no interest in staying in budget resort. We would like something that is nicer, little kid oriented and a Disney property.
My dad lives in Florida–would he be able to buy us passes? Do they really check to see if you’re a Florida resident?
Do you think 7 days is too much for a 3 year old (too much fun?!).
Thoughts, ideas and recommendations are needed and appreciated!
Thanks!

12 Dave { 03.12.15 at 2:34 pm }

Well, Andrea, assuming you’ll be taking her back later when she’s old enough to enjoy everything, you could spend as few as a couple of days at Magic Kingdom–two mornings, a late afternoon, and an evening.

At that age there’s not much at the other three parks–half a day’s worth at Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios, less at Epcot.

See the bottom row of this–although she’s too young for much of it (designed for a ~5 year old).

Dunno about the Florida resident question.

There’s no mid-level properties with great kid appeal, but you might consider the Royal Rooms at Port Orleans Riverside.

The best options among the deluxes for her would likely be the Polynesian and Grand Floridian.

13 Dennis Wessel { 06.01.16 at 11:07 am }

Hi Dave
We are staying off site in boardwalk area for 14 days. Will FP booking be available at 30 days prior or am I basically screwed? If available, will I be able to reserve FP for all days or will I have to book each day at midnight?
Thanks
Dennis

14 Kelly B - Destinations In Florida { 06.02.16 at 8:02 am }

Hi Dennis – FastPass selection is available to offsite guests 30 days before park visit. You must have pre purchased your park tickets (or have an annual pass). Make sure to link these tickets in your MyDisneyExperience.com account. While onsite guests are able to book for their entire stay, off site guests must return to the site and book each day (30 days before visit).

One important change to the FastPass booking system. The time to book has changed. You can now not book FastPass until 7 am Eastern Time. (No longer midnight).

15 Dave { 06.02.16 at 9:44 am }

Dennis, where exactly are you staying, as there’s not much “off site in boardwalk area” except the Swan and Dolphin, which both offer FastPass+ at 60 days just like the Disney-owned resorts…

16 Tim { 09.27.16 at 6:44 pm }

I need to get ahold of Josh- I am coming down with 4 more people (Ages 35-83) and we would like to hire his ascerbic wit for a few hours as a native guide on either Oct 19 or 20 at. Epcot for Food and Wine. As thinking around 100.00/hr plus food-drink. We are down every year, but looking at your book and web sites brings fresh perspective to the fall of the empire, as I’ve noticed over the last 20 or so years. If either one of you are available, please reply. Thanks!

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