We will have four park days. So, I have a few questions... How do I know ahead of time which parks open early or have a special night time event so that we know where we want to go. I can't find that online.....I always use the Park Hours calendar on WDWInfo.Com. I like their format and it always seems to be up to date. You can also get the park hours while you are in the parks with the My Disney Experience App.
With four park days, you can obviously hit every park. Although, we tend to spend more time in Epcot and the Magic Kingdom than we do in Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom, but for a first time visitor, you might as well hit them all! But, if you want my opinion, Animal Kingdom is skippable on a first trip. If you feel like you haven't seen everything in Magic Kingdom or Epcot and want to go back, then consider skipping AK. It will always be there when you go back again someday (and you will want to go back!)
We don't want a 'princess lunch' or whatever, but we would like one or two 'sit down' meals. It may be too late to get reservations... We are going march 26. What do you suggest/ recommend?....I LOVE Chef Mickey's for a character meal, but it might be tough to get in there now. Although, you never know until you try! Call 474-WDW-DINE and ask! Try for lunch which is a less popular time of day. Also, try Crystal Palace. That is a fantastic buffet right in Magic Kingdom and I have had luck getting in there at the last minute. You can also book dining reservations online HERE through Disney. That site has has some issues in the past six months, but it seems to be working a little better these days.
Do we get fast pass there or do I have to get that ahead of time? It IS worth doing, right?....You used to get fastpasses there (and you still can), but if you have Magic Bands with your reservation, you should be able to book through the new fastpass plus system online. You should create a My Disney Experience account now HERE. That's where you can book your fastpasses. If you don't do them online, they have kiosks in the parks where you can also get FP+ at kiosks in the parks or through the My Disney Experience app. We tested it out on our August trip and we really liked the app. Get a FP for Illuminations if they offer it -- that was a cool location!
We paid for breakfast plan at the hotel. B/c it's not technically a Disney resort, we don't qualify for the meal plan. So we figured one or two nights we'd have a sit down dinner. I want to book them now. Do you prefer park eating or downtown Disney?.....We like both. Resort eating is great, too. Ohana and Kona cafe at the Polynesian are awesome. And T-REX cafe at Downtown Disney is one of our favorites, too. HINT -- call T-REX directly to make a reservation instead of going through Disney. They hold a bunch of the reservations back from Disney so when Disney says they are booked, that isn't always the case.
Do you ever go off-Disney? Anything worth doing down there instead of a park??We don't bother. Especially for a short trip. We did go to Kennedy Space Center after our cruise in August, but that's just because it was right there! It was awesome, but not worth trying to squeeze into a four day trip. we haven't done Sea World or any of that other stuff. There's always so much to do right at Disney and since the tickets get cheaper the more days you go, I can never see a reason to fork out $75 a person or something to go to Universal or Sea World for a day. Maybe one year I'll try it but I haven't bothered yet!
Thanks for your help.. PS any books I can get to stop bothering you??.
Nah. It isn't a bother! I love answering questions! But, if you want a book anyway, my favorites are the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World and its corresponding website and app at Touringplans.com. I also like the Passporter Guidebooks for Disney and the Disney Cruise.
Hope that helps!