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







Category — Reader Mail and Comments

Thanks, Danny!

GREAT DETAILED ADVICE FROM DANNY

If you look on the lower right sidebar “Latest Comments” section, you’ll see links to a million comments by Danny (or you will until other more recent comments push them off the sidebar).

Danny raised some questions a while ago about the practicality of my Epcot itinerary–which I’m gonna test and fix next week–and earlier this week asked if I’d welcome his other observations on opportunities to improve the itineraries.  Of course I said yes, as I’m always looking for ways to improve the site.

And so Danny has offered dozens of ideas!  Thanks so much, Danny!

A few I flat out disagree with; a few are judgment calls; but there’s a whole lot that I’ll take very, very seriously!

Any changes I make as much as humanly possible will preserve the park days and table service meal times, since those–if done properly!–have five to six month lead times.  But I’m gonna think about everything, and make the needed changes!

Thanks, Danny!!

And while I’m on the topic of thanks…thanks also to

  • The Mysterious J and the Mysterious B, for the heads up about free dining, and to
  • Sarah at All Things with Purpose  for her link that’s brought so many of you to this site!

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May 9, 2013   6 Comments

When Will the 2013 Walt Disney World Deals Come Out?

Update 10/5:  A 2013 deal may come out October 10see this.

DELAYS IN DISNEY WORLD 2013 DEALS?

I’ve been getting a lot of questions wondering about when–and if–early 2013 Disney World discounts might be coming out–especially since deals for the equivalent periods in 2012 and in 2011 came out in August.

My bet is that we’ll see the first set of Disney World discounts for January 2013 in early November, for a couple of reasons, but early December is also possible–as is tomorrow!

WHY DISNEY WORLD 2013 DEALS MIGHT COME OUT IN EARLY NOVEMBER [Read more →]

October 3, 2012   7 Comments

The Impact of Free Dining on Crowds at Walt Disney World

DISNEY WORLD CROWDS AND FREE DINING

Pretty much every time Disney World announces a free dining deal (like this one), I get a  bunch of comments like this:

“Dave–with free dining now announced for my week, should I move my dates to avoid the crowds it draws?”–Perplexed

My short answer is always something like “No, don’t change.  It’s mathematically impossible for free dining to much change park crowds.”

For the longer answer–and why the short answer is true–keep reading!

FREE DINING CAN PACK THE DISNEY WORLD HOTELS AND RESTAURANTS, BUT NOT THE PARKS

Here’s the basics:

  • The vast majority of people in the parks are NOT staying in a Walt Disney World hotel
  • Free dining only affects the number of people staying in Disney World hotels
  • Some people who take advantage of free dining arrival dates would have been in Walt Disney World hotels then anyway, so don’t incrementally add to park crowds
  • Some people are simply pulled into Disney World hotels from off-site hotels by free dining, so have no incremental impact on park crowds
  • Some people would not have gone during one of the eligible arrival dates at all except for free dining

Only this last group has an incremental impact on park crowds, and it is so small that it can’t affect park crowding much.

Here’s why:  including all the Art of Animation rooms, there’s about 27,200 Walt Disney World hotel rooms (excluding the Campsites at Fort Wilderness, which are never eligible for free dining).

The last bucket–people who would not have come but for free dining–is going to book at most 20% of these rooms, or about 5500 rooms.

At 3 people per room, that’s about 16,000 incremental people.

Divided across 4 theme parks, two water parks, off-days, Universal and SeaWorld, etc., the incremental effect on any given park is de minimis.

For example, on a slow day (and basically free dining is only offered during the slow periods–that’s why they offer it…), the Magic Kingdom will have 20,000-25,000 people in it; adding another 5,000 or even 10,000 people will have only a trivial impact on park crowding, as this will still put the crowd level well below the point where the park lines start going crazy.

Free dining does make the park crowds higher than they would be on the same exact dates without free dining, but not enough to change the nature of the parks or their lines.

It does crowd the hotels–that’s the point–and crowd the restaurants–that’s the tool.

But in general, you should view the presence of free dining during your week as an indicator that it’s a pretty low crowd week to attend!

August 14, 2012   11 Comments

My Sister’s Glasses

WRITE A CAPTION FOR THE PHOTO BELOW IN THE COMMENTS FIELD!

Welcome to those coming from Capturing Magical Memories as Magical Blogorail Teal gets even sillier than usual this month.

This month, we are each posting an image and inviting our readers to write captions for it in the “comments” section!

My image is from a family visit to Disneyland in the late 60s or early 70s.

I’m on the left; my sister is on the right.  Dumbo, with some astonishment,  is trying to see her glasses more closely.

My sister has since grown up a lot, and changed her glasses; I look pretty much exactly the same as back then….

Insert your own caption for the photo in the comments form below!

MORE FROM MAGICAL BLOGORAIL TEAL

Thank you for joining Magical Blogorail Teal this month. Our next loop will be in August with an all new theme. Keep checking in with our blogs in between loops to keep up to date with our Disney info, photos and stories.

If you are looking for more Disney magic, you can make your way over to The Magical Blogorail website to see all our members and their blogs, as well as all our previous loops.

Here is the map of this month’s Magical Blogorail Loop should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:

1st Stop ~   The Disney FAITHful
2nd Stop ~ The Many Adventures of a Disney Lovin’ Spectrum Mom
3rd Stop ~   Capturing Magical Memories
Final Stop ~ yourfirstvisit.net

July 24, 2012   4 Comments

I’ve Lost Some of Your Comments…

MOVING MY TALENTS TO 199.189.111.68, AND LOSING SOME COMMENTS IN THE MEANTIME

For reasons explained here, I moved this site from one physical computer to another at about 9.30a yesterday morning.  Because* it takes a bit for the internet to figure such things out, there have been two versions of this site floating around since then–the one you are on now is the “real one.”

Some people have asked questions or made comments since then on the “wrong” site.  Those are just gone, and I can’t get them back!

So if you made a comment, and don’t see it on the list on the lower right side (or on the page you first left it) I’m incredibly sorry but it’s gone…

(*and because I didn’t anticipate this and do something like post a warning and/or close off comments…)

June 22, 2012   5 Comments

Walt Disney World 2012 Cheat Sheet

A CHEAT SHEET FOR 2012 AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

James McC. emailed last month to thank me for this site, and among other things said “It really helped, it was kind of like a cheat sheet.”

A “Cheat Sheet” is a “concise set of notes used for quick reference” and is a great description of what the site is trying to do.

Moreover, noodling around, it struck me that the charts that people
pin on Pinterest create another kind of “cheat sheet,” as a crowd-sourced indicator of what people find worth bookmarking and sharing.

So based on these thoughts and what people have put on Pinterest, I’ve put together a four-page powerpoint Walt Disney World 2012 Cheat Sheet. Click the link to open up the (2.5 mb) powerpoint file. (The image at the top of this page is an example page from it.)

April 11, 2012   No Comments