By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2018, from the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever. Paperback available on Amazon here. Kindle version available on Amazon here.



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By Dave Shute

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24 comments

1 Peter { 08.14.12 at 3:05 pm }

We coming to Coronado Springs me and my two daughters 10 and 15 yrs, we have the ”Disney Quick Service Dining Plan” is this any good? whats the food like on the plan….

Thanks

2 Dave { 08.14.12 at 4:53 pm }

Peter, this plan lets you get meals from any of the hundred or so “counter service” restaurants at WDW. These run the gamut from a nice selection to basic burgers and such.

3 Peter { 08.15.12 at 9:22 am }

Thanks Dave, that sounds like it will suffice for at least basic needs…..

4 Matthew { 08.16.12 at 11:35 am }

Hi Dave,
First, I wanted to say that this is the best planning site I’ve come across. My family is planning a disney vacation for the last week of Feb, 2013. (it was going to be the first week of March until I read your advice) First time for us, 2 daughters will be almost 5 and almost 3. Probably won’t get back to WDW for 2 or 3 years. We are planning on staying at the Contemporary for convenience and are springing for a MK view room so that our tired pre-schoolers can watch the fireworks in their jammies. We were also considering a BLT studio for about the same price, but from my research, it looked like the MK views there were hit or miss depending on how high you were and whether you were in an 18 room or a 28 room. Any advice on those 2 hotel options?? Right now we’re planning on staying 5 nights which would give us 4 full days and 2 half days in the park. We’re planning on skipping Epcot given our kids ages. Do you think this is adequate time for our situation? Lastly, my oldest daughter loves princesses and my youngest loves Winnie the Pooh. What character experiences (meals or otherwise) would you recommend? We are not planning on getting the meal plan. Thanks so much for your help and advice!!!

5 Dave { 08.16.12 at 1:37 pm }

Hi Matthew and thanks!

The Contemporary, because it is not curved, does have a more consistent set of views. BLT is great, but the curves can throw off some views. Both have lower and higher rooms; the lowest BLT rooms are lower than the lowest Contemporary rooms. So all in if view is important I’d go Contemporary.

For princesses, shoot for Cinderella’s Royal Table at MK–but you need to try for this soon, as it books up quickly. 1900 Park Fare at the GF is the best backup. For Pooh, book the Crystal Palace at MK.

For time planning, at those ages, given you can come back in a few years, I’d focus entirely on MK. You should plan on 2-3 mornings, one afternoon (for the parade) and, if they can stay up, one evening for the evening parade and fireworks.

Hope this helps and thanks again for the kind words!

6 Matthew { 08.17.12 at 8:37 am }

Thanks Dave!

7 Dave { 08.17.12 at 10:40 am }

You bet, Matthew!

8 Amber { 09.07.12 at 12:10 pm }

Hi Dave, your website is a gift for people like me who love a grasp on the unknown. I have spent hours already scanning over the endless pages of information you have provided. Great Job!!! I am planning a trip 4/20/13 thru 4/27/13. I know that reservations can only be booked out 180 days beforehand and truely for me that is right around the corner. YAY! So my question for you is, will Disney release the park schedules for my trip timeline at the same time frame (Oct 22) When I can begin reserving or is there anywhere I can view this to get my itinerary in order then shoot for the reservations like a pro?

9 Dave { 09.07.12 at 1:15 pm }

Hi Amber, and thanks!!! April schedules will be out by October 1…and I should have access to them, and have material for you on this page, even earlier: https://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/basic-itinerary/alternative-itineraries/

10 Kim { 10.15.12 at 4:07 pm }

I am planning our family’s first trip and had a few questions. We are a family of 6 and are planning on taking my Mother in Law with us too. My kids will be ages 5-G, 8-B, 10-B & 12-B. I am needing reccomendations on what would be the most cost effective for hotel (i.e. 1 large suite or 2 smaller rooms). We are looking at going Saturday to Sunday around the first 2 weeks of December in 2013. We are also planning on going to Legoland for a day while we are there. Do you have any reccomendations on transportation to and from legoland?

11 Dave { 10.15.12 at 4:33 pm }

Hi Kim! For where to stay, take a look at this: https://yourfirstvisit.net/2010/12/15/lower-priced-options-for-large-families-at-walt-disney-world/ And sorry, I don’t track LegoLand…

12 Nichole { 08.19.13 at 11:29 am }

Hello!
My family is planning a visit during the month of April. We are planning on staying at Coronado Springs – do you have any recommendations on a location to request for our room there? We have reserved a Standard View room. Thanks!

13 Dave { 08.20.13 at 7:20 am }

Hiya Nichole! My recommendations at Coronado Springs are in my review, which begins here: https://yourfirstvisit.net/2013/02/19/review-disneys-coronado-springs-resort-2/

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14 Paul { 12.30.13 at 1:25 pm }

Hi Dave
First time writing in, been checking the site weekly for last couple of years, you’re doing a great job. Got large fam trip (10) coming from uk mid Oct at Coronado. Have dining plan gratis from deal but Coronado dining options still not listed on dining plan!!! Any news? Also, can uk customers register for magic band colours/names in advance? – 3 of the kids and sister are newbies and it would be a great touch.
Thanks

15 Dave { 12.31.13 at 6:50 am }

Hi Paul and thanks! Last time I checked, you could customize your MagicBands if you were outside the US, but they aren’t sent to you–rather held at the hotel desk for you at check-in. This may change between now and then… it may have changed already!

The only sit-down restaurant at Coronado is the Maya Grill, which Disney does not own. These not-owned restaurants often negotiate to (or beyond) the wire before they get on the dining plan. I’d expect it’ll show up eventually…

BTW, Maya Grill, while OK, is not much–not worth more than one meal…

16 Paul { 01.01.14 at 4:55 pm }

Cheers Dave. Guess I need to register online closer to travel dates. Re Coronado, not too concerned about Maya grill, was more worried that Pepper Market wouldn’t be included as it would be major inconvenience not to be able to get breakfast on dining plan every morning..
Thanks again
Paul

17 Dave { 01.02.14 at 8:06 am }

Paul–got you…

18 Paul { 01.05.14 at 7:01 pm }

Hi Dave
Just had update from Disney guest services, Coronado food concessions have all signed up to dining plan, phew! They’ve updated the dining plan brochure and updated the link on the Disney site.

19 Dave { 01.06.14 at 8:14 am }

Great Paul and thanks for the heads up!

20 Steve { 02.06.14 at 4:07 pm }

We are planning on staying at one of the Starwood resorts (Dolphin?) which I believe it almost on the resort…With that being said, do I have meal plan options? Also is there any information on this site about the Photo Pass? Not sure if that’s the right terminology but I hear lots of people say that is a must have?

21 Dave { 02.07.14 at 9:34 am }

Hi Steve, no meal plan options except at the DIsney-owned hotels. The Dolphin is in the middle of the action at Epcot, but not Disney owned. And no I don;t have much here on photopass…

22 Sue { 05.19.17 at 10:05 am }

Hi Dave! Just my 7 year old son and I are going in December for a week. Trying to decide on meals. We are doing the delux dining plan and are going to a lot of sit down and character meals. As we are both into trying new foods AND enjoying characters. My son really wants to meet Belle and also Really REALLY wants to eat in the castle. Is he gonna be bored in there with only princesses and will Belle even be there?

23 Dave { 05.20.17 at 9:58 am }

Sue, no specific characters are guaranteed (other than Cinderella) but Belle is almost always there. Boys actually tend to enjoy it as they get fun attention…

24 Kelly B - Destinations In Florida { 05.20.17 at 4:09 pm }

Hey Steve – Photopass is the Disney Photo system. Memory Maker is the photo package. You can purchase it for $149 up to 3 days before you first activate it/arrive. After that it’s $169. If you are staying on property it can be added to your reservation. (I recommend to do this. Then it’s part of your package. Should you have to cancel it will cancel with your reservation). You can also purchase it through your MDE account (but then you have to pay for it at time of purchase and it is non refundable)

While visiting the parks you will see PhotoPass photographers located at different locations (character meet and greets, in front of the Castle, etc. Select rides and attractions have photos as well as some like Tower of Terror that has a ride video. You can take one picture or 1000 pictures. It’s totally up to you. Traveling with a group? As long as everyone is linked on one MDE account, you can all use ONE MM.

You’ll even have a chance to experience special Magic Shots.

It’s great. Everyone gets to be in the photos (I always joke that it looks like my kids go on vacation alone since I was always the one taking the photos). You can take as many photos as you want. Your photos will be available to download for 45 days from the day it was taken. You can share your photos with friends and family too.

Visit https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/memory-maker/ to learn more.

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