144 responses

  1. Amy
    March 5, 2015

    Hi Dave,
    I noted on MDE that I can check-in online now for our April 10-18th trip. We are staying in a Nemo room because having a son and a daughter this is what they could agree on! I do prefer quieter though, so I am noticing to request the non-pool side…is there anything else I should request to get a “quieter” room in the Nemo section? thanks for your help!

    Reply

    • Dave
      March 5, 2015

      Amy, ask for an upper floor lake view!!

      Reply

  2. Megan
    February 15, 2015

    Thanks, Dave!
    I have arranged our FP already, yes. Well as many as they allow at least.
    Good to know about parking at DD.
    I managed to get in at Akershus so I’m swapping out dinner at Garden Grill for a princess Lunch at Epcot.
    I think if we don’t get enough of MK on Tuesday we can always skip AK on Thursday and go back to MK.
    We also may skip out on Chef Mickey on Friday as we might get to meet him at one of our other character dinings and we might just be exhausted.
    Thank you again for all your advice! I can honestly say I’d be lost without it!
    m

    Reply

    • Dave
      February 16, 2015

      Megan so glad to help!!

      Reply

  3. Megan
    February 14, 2015

    Hi Dave-
    I just have to say thank you so much for all the great advice. I’m so happy I stumbled across the site, it’s been a HUGE help! Your review on the Art of Animation made me change my reservation I had with the All Stars Movie Resort. I saw the Little Mermaid rooms and couldn’t resist! My girls are LM fanatics and are going to absolutely love it. Thanks to your page regarding the resort transportation I’ve come to the conclusion that instead of relying completely on the buses we will just plan on driving our own car. That was one of my biggest worries as far as how to get around in order to be on time for reservations. I am NOT a planner and being on time is not one of my families strong suites.
    We are arriving on March 1st through March 6th. I’m happy to see the crowd predictor say it’s going to be a good time for low crowds.
    Although is this way fairly last minute trip for us I was still able to snag some good reservations.
    Sunday night we have dinner at rainforest in down town Disney at 5. I’ve been advised its best to drive our own car.
    The only other day I have concerns about is Monday …I have our morning planned at Hollywood Studios and a late dinner around 8 at the garden grill in Epcot. I was originally planning on bus transportation but to avoid risking a delay we will drive our own car.
    Tuesday is our MK day. That day is my daughters 5th birthday so I’m very excited. I have no reservations for that day as I’m taking more of a play it by ear approach for the day.
    Wednesday is our rest day, I managed to get dinner at Ohana as it was recommended to me by many people. I was surprised I got in at all to be honest! It took a lot of checking back to get an opening.
    Thursday we have animal kingdom during the day and a lunch at Tusker house. I’d like to try and make it back to HS that night for the Fantasmic show, per everyone’s recommendations.
    Friday we check out and I got us a reservation at Chef Mickeys. I’ve heard that’s a big one.
    This will be our first visit to Orlando so I’m hoping I’ve made good choices so far. We have the Dining Plan so I hope that will help save us money as well.
    We were at Disneyland last year in April and it was so busy it was hardly even worth it,especially with the little ones. This year my oldest is 5 and our youngest is 2. I realize that still may be a little young for the kids but I’m expecting a third in May and know that it’ll be many years before we will be able to plan another trip like this, so we are taking advantage of it now.
    Any advice or further recommendations for me?
    Thanks again for all your candid reviews. The site as been so valuable to me. I’ve already spent so much time here! It’s absolutely the best site I’ve seen as far as preparing me, I feel so much better about the choices I’ve made so far thanks to you!!
    Keep up the good work
    Megan

    Reply

    • Dave
      February 15, 2015

      Hi Megan and I’m so glad to have been able to help!

      You have all your FastPass+ set, right? If not, see this now: https://yourfirstvisit.net/2015/01/27/disney-world-in-the-era-of-fastpass/

      Parking is horrible at DTD on evenings in general and weekends in particular, so I’d do the bus for that. Also for sure use the buses on your MK days.

      Your itinerary is short on MK days…at those ages skip either AK or HS and add MK. You are also, frankly, a little over-scheduled. Skipping Garden Grill won’t hurt and may help a lot…

      Reply

  4. jordyn
    October 7, 2014

    i think that it would be cool to have a hotel with the walls out of fishtanks with glow in the dark fish:)

    Reply

    • Dave
      October 8, 2014

      🙂

      Reply

  5. Troy
    October 1, 2014

    Just wondering if my two 8yr olds are not going to be into the little mermaid rooms. We have a boy & girl??? Your thoughts

    Reply

  6. Pat
    August 31, 2014

    I am planning a trip to WDW June 6th thru the 13th. There will be 11 of us. (7 over 18 and 4 under 18) think 3 rooms ( each sleeping 4) will be cheaper than two suites??? think about the Little Mermaid Resort but seeing all the questions and comments – it seems the Lion King rooms are closer to the transportation to the parks???? and it seems we might not get rooms close to each other- even if I book now???

    Reply

    • Dave
      September 3, 2014

      Pat, yes, three rooms will be less expensive than two suites. Disney will try to put you close together, but there’s no guarantees…

      Reply

  7. Nicole
    July 7, 2014

    Hi- amazing site!!!! We are staying at Art animation resort and have booked lm room. Is it possible to upgrade by paying the extra, either before we go or when we arrive? Thanks

    Reply

    • Dave
      July 7, 2014

      Thanks Nicole! I’ve been upgraded for free before from LM to a suite, but the easiest way to do it is just to call and re-book!

      Reply

  8. Christina
    April 19, 2014

    Hey Dave!

    I’m wondering if you’ve ever heard of Disney upgrading a family from a Little Mermaid room to a Family Suite? We are planning a February 2015 visit and I’m wondering if it would be crazy to ask for an upgrade to a suite when we check in. Just curious if you’ve ever heard or known of it to happen. Thanks! Love the site!!

    Reply

    • Dave
      April 20, 2014

      Christina, it happened to me in February! I turned it down as I wanted better photos of the LM rooms than you see here (I haven’t posted them yet)…but they offered!

      Reply

      • Mitz
        January 6, 2016

        I just had to say that they still did this for us in December 2015. We moved late one evening from All Sports (where we’ve stayed on all our prior visits) as it was kind of loud. Everyone we worked with at the check in was great at AoA. We had been given a room at LM bldg 8. At check-in (it’s now about midnight) my hubby asked if we could get an upgrade to a suite. They were awesome and gave us a suite on 4th floor of Mater’s bldg. We loved it there and plan to go back. The dining area, gift shop and the character designs in the room area all blew our old favorite out of the water.

        Reply

      • Dave
        January 7, 2016

        Mitz, that’s great!!

        Reply

  9. Lisa
    March 18, 2014

    Nice when good things happen unexpected! Good for you!!! I have read on other sites that people say that Disney never does upgrades and they have never heard of that. Oh boy does that eerk me!! I love your site lots of great information and positive talk!

    Reply

    • Dave
      March 19, 2014

      Thanks, Lisa!!

      Reply

  10. Lisa
    March 17, 2014

    I saw someone said something on here a while ago about free upgrades. Well just thought i would tell you what happened to me. We came in Sept. was booked for the little mermaid room. Drove 16 hours straight to get there and my ankle was very swollen. Asked how far is the mermaid room from the buses and it is rather a far walk (note if you have small children and are coming back late) . The staff member looked at my ankle had someone get me ice and i said is there anyway you give free upgrades to a room closer to the buses. She said sure and there we were going to the lion king room the closest to the buses!! So free upgrades really do happen!!

    Reply

    • Dave
      March 17, 2014

      Thanks, Lisa! I’ve gotten two upgrades in the last month without even asking! In late Feb an upgrade from a Little Mermaid room to a family suite (I turned it down, because I wanted better photos of a Little Mermaid room than I got my last visit) and last week an upgrade from a studio to a one bedroom at BoardWalk Villas!

      Reply

  11. Krista
    February 2, 2014

    I totally appreciate this web site I have just found. I am planning on a early February 2015 trip and have found your tips to be unbelievably helpful in my meticulous planning for the next year. Thank you so much!

    Reply

    • Dave
      February 3, 2014

      Thanks, Krista!!

      Reply

  12. maria evans
    January 11, 2014

    Thank you so much!!! We picked AoA!!!! I love your site it helped me so much in making all my choices!!

    Reply

    • Dave
      January 12, 2014

      Great, Maria!!!

      Reply

  13. maria evans
    January 10, 2014

    Im having a hard time choosing aoa standerd room or allstar movies standerd room. Will be 2 adults 2 children (1 girl & 2 boys) Is aoa that much better than movies?? I like that movies has toy story appeals to all children and well aoa seems to appeal more to my dd!!!

    Reply

    • Dave
      January 11, 2014

      Maria, part of the charm of each is walking around and seeing the OTHER movies highlighted. So I’d pick between the two based on the overall appeal of all the movies at each. That leads most to AofA…

      Movies: Toy Story, Mighty Ducks, Love Bug, Fantasia, 101 Dalmations
      AofA: Little Mermaid, Finding Nemo, Cars, Lion King

      Reply

  14. Katie
    August 23, 2013

    Thank you so much for your efforts and amazing website, so helpful! My questions: Are the rooms at Lil’ Mermaid built like a Motel 6, where you can hear your neighbors conversation or someone walking passed your door? We have really light sleepers.Second: We already booked our package for October 2014, but received an email to get 30% off at the Port Orleans (where we booked) for this October. I called and asked if they could apply that discount to next year and they said no, but that this deal always comes out in August for fall bookings and to call back next August for the deal and we would get the discount then. Do know if that is true? The reason we booked the Royal Guest rooms is because they told us that it would be the same price as the Lil’ Mermaid with the 30%. Thanks again!

    Reply

    • Dave
      August 24, 2013

      Hi Katie! Frankly, all the rooms at WDW are kinda loud. Little mermaid rooms are actually quieter than many, because the room door–since it leads outside–is heavily insulated to save Disney heating and cooling costs.

      On the discount point…I have mixed feelings. Yes, I do think there will be a room discount for some resorts during some weeks in October 2014. But I would never plan a trip assuming I would get one… there’s just too much base uncertainty–and prospect for disappointment–in planning on a deal…

      Follow yourfirstvisit.net on Facebook!

      Reply

  15. DEE
    August 1, 2013

    Hello Dave. planning a may 2014 visit to art of animation – the little mermaid rooms. we have 3 adults & a 5 yr old. do you think the room will be too cramped? also- would there be room for 4 suitcases ? thanks!

    Reply

    • Dave
      August 1, 2013

      Well, Dee, I wouldn’t…it’s really tiny, and the beds are full sized. There’s room under the clothes rod in the closet to stick the suitcases…

      Reply

  16. LeAnn
    July 25, 2013

    LOVE your website! My family and I are planning to attend Disney and stay in the LM rooms in June 2014. We are planning on having breakfast in Cinderella’s Castle at 8 am, what times do the buses start running to MK from the A OF A resort and what time do you recommend being at the bus stops to get to MK as early as possible. We also will be having breakfast at Chef Mickey’s one morning, what time should be arrive at the bus stop to make it there on time. Thank-you so much!

    Reply

    • Dave
      July 26, 2013

      Planning ahead a bit LeAnn? 🙂

      For in park early breakfast, DIsney runs special buses. Check with the concierge at AofA the day before to arrange this, and they’ll tell you when to get the bus.

      Chef Mickey’s at the Contemporary is an easy five minute walk from the Magic Kingdom, so unless you have an early morning reservation (i’d pick the latest breakfast available, spend the first hour or so at MK, then walk over) you just need to be at the MK bus stop 45 minutes to an hour befroe your time. If your have an 8a at Chef Mickey’s the buses may not be running at 7.15a. Again check with the concierge, this time for when the MK buses start, but you may need to take a cab…

      Follow yourfirstvisit.net on Facebook!

      Reply

  17. karen thomas
    July 13, 2013

    We r traveling to disney in july 2014 wit a group of twenty want to stay at one of value resorts wit connecting rooms , near pool and near transportion

    Reply

    • Dave
      July 13, 2013

      Hi Karen! The standard rooms at the values only fit 4 to a room, and charge more for more than two adults per room.

      No Disney hotel will guarantee either connecting rooms, or rooms close to each other. When you book, you can request all this–plus close to pools and transport–but no guarantees. Then 60 days before, you can do online check in, and at that time request specific areas (which will put you closer) and near transport. (Note that none of the standard rooms at Art of ANimation are convenient to transport.)

      The “family suites” at All-Star Music and Art of Animation fit six to a room, but have the same adult issues, and have no connecting rooms. They are also much more expensive.

      For rankings of the value resorts, see this: https://yourfirstvisit.net/2010/08/04/the-value-resorts-at-walt-disney-world/

      Follow yourfirstvisit.net on Facebook!

      Reply

  18. linda barretta
    July 9, 2013

    I will be staying at the lion king room with my 2 grandchildren and my daughter and son-in-law. we will be arriving on Dc 22 – Dec 28. any suggestions

    Reply

  19. Lily
    June 28, 2013

    How wonderfully helpful you are Dave !, Apparently I don’t need to do the online checkn as its all been done with my travel agent. Would you know if the rooms have a bath or only showers?

    Sorry for such trivialities xx

    Reply

    • Dave
      June 29, 2013

      Lily, I’m sorry but I don’t know!

      Reply

  20. Lily
    June 27, 2013

    Hi again Dave,

    Thanks for that. I will do the online check in and will give them a ring. I will let you know how it goes. Xxx

    Reply

    • Dave
      June 28, 2013

      Have a great trip, Lily!!

      Follow yourfirstvisit.net on Facebook!

      Reply

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My response to questions and comments will be on the same page as the original comment, likely within 24-36 hours . . . I reserve the right to edit and delete comments as I choose . . . All rights reserved. Copyright 2008-2022 . . . Unless otherwise noted, all photos are by me--even the ones in focus--except for half a dozen from my niecelets . . . This site is entirely unofficial and not authorized by any organizations written about in it . . . All references to Disney and other copyrighted characters, trademarks, marks, etc., are made solely for editorial purposes. The author makes no commercial claim to their use . . . Nobody's perfect, so follow any advice here at your own risk.

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