Please help. I am lost. First time planning.

ChristopherFamily

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jan 5, 2020
This is my first time planning a stay on property. I have already booked my room/dining plan so I can no longer use the help of a Disney planner (I didn't know this was a thing until too late) so how can I figure out what the park hours are? We will be in the park 11/30 -12/4. We have the middle dining plan and it will be reservation for 4 plus a baby. Do I reserve it as 5 since only 4 of us have the dining plan?
I want to try for a BOG early morning breakfast but don't want to book it on a day that may have early magic hours or a day where they open at 8.

Any guidance would be appreciated.
 

Pumbaa_

>Hakuna Matata!<
Moderator
Joined
Jan 7, 2001
how did you book, direct w Disney? Can you transfer the reservation to Dreams Unlimited, the TA aligned w the Dis?

if not, it’s a process. Usually w a spreadsheet. Where do you want to dine? Any dining plan? Budget?

yes, you need to include the baby in your adr number. Anyone w a pulse needs to be included.
 


  • craigkerstiens

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 11, 2014
    If there are certain things that you have your heart set on such as BOG early morning breakfast, book 2 of consecutive days, then cancel once official park hours are posted.

    For all reservations book for 5, the baby will be counted as a seat. They won't charge you for the baby, and at check in will ask how many adults/children/etc., but do make sure to book for the full party.
     

    ChristopherFamily

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jan 5, 2020
    how did you book, direct w Disney? Can you transfer the reservation to Dreams Unlimited, the TA aligned w the Dis?

    if not, it’s a process. Usually w a spreadsheet. Where do you want to dine? Any dining plan? Budget?

    yes, you need to include the baby in your adr number. Anyone w a pulse needs to be included.
    I did book directly with Disney. I spoke with one lady but she said I would have to cancel my reservation and then re-book. We get the military discount and they are so far and few between I'm scared to cancel. We are currently booked at Port Orleans Riverside in a Royal Room.
     

    Pumbaa_

    >Hakuna Matata!<
    Moderator
    Joined
    Jan 7, 2001
    You can always have a dreams agent price it for you to see how you would compare. The advantages of having a TA make your fast pass and dining adrs is a lovely thing.

    if not, roll up your sleeves and start planning. Even before adding specific dates and times, start w a wish list for dining. where do you want to eat? Start there and start rough planning days

    one thing to always consider, it takes longer to get anywhere than you think. If using Disney transportation allow 60 minutes resort to park, park to resort

    90 minutes resort to resort, using a park/DS to transfer.

    even leaving MK to go to the poly is an adventure. It’s right there but by the time you walk out of the park, queue up for the little boat or monorail, travel, then head to the restaurant all takes more time than you think. a good rule of thumb is allow 3 hours to leave mk eat and return.

    best bet is to eat where you plan to be. Do not bounce around all over. Morning at MK, lunch at Epcot then back to MK would be an amazing time suck out of your day, starting in one park and ending at another is a decent plan. Comes down to you and your style. I do not enjoy the journey, I want to get to my destination. Others enjoy the journey as much as the destination.
     

    nkereina

    Last chance to lose your keys.
    Joined
    Feb 11, 2009
    Depending on how long ago you booked, you may be able to have the reservation transferred to a TA like Dreams Unlimited. The TA simply has to fill out a form, and it will be transferred to their control so they can assist you. Disney likely will not tell you this because they have to pay a TA commission when this occurs. The other thing to know about doing this is control of your reservation will then be with your TA, so you'd need to work through your TA for any changes or questions. Disney won't be able to help you if you call them directly.

    When planning our trips, we use the crowd calendars on Kenny the Pirate. It provides a rough guesstimate of park crowds and the best/worst park each day, along with estimated park hours. It gives us a framework to build our days around. From there, we decide how we want each day to look and choose our restaurants based on what we are doing each day. If we have any must do dining, we work those in accordingly. I will caution that this year, park crowds and best/worst park may be impossible to predict due to the virus, but still a good base for a starting point.

    I agree with PP that allowing 60 minutes for travel time is a good estimate. If you want to eat in a different park than you're in, I also agree its a time suck and it also requires park hopper tickets. We try not to do that. If we book resort dining, we try to align it to a day we're at the closest park (i.e. Wilderness Lodge on MK day, Beach Club on Epcot day, etc).
     
  • Mambo Junkie

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 6, 2011
    Since you are travelling with a baby this may not be feasible but we try to get 8 am. breakfast reservations inside the park, particularly Magic Kingdom and Epcot. If anyone in your party is interested in Soarin or Test Track, Garden Grill is a good place to get breakfast. It also has characters. We get there at 8, eat, then walk downstairs to get on Soarin, They'll usually let you on early so you can then head over to Test Track. Frees you up to do other things, even take a mid day break. Not sure how the new Ratatouille ride will impact this. For Magic Kingdom, you can catch 7 Dwarfs Mine Train, and Peter Pan. There's a lot to be said for getting in the park before it's officially open, if for no other reason to move and breathe. Be Our Guest is great and it's a quick service credit as opposed to table service. Garden Grill is table service but only 1 credit and you get characters.
    As someone said, read, read, read and have a spread sheet or list. I also look at hours from previous months and years. Also know that there are events which either open or close certain parks early. There are lots of tips on how to maximize your time, ability to get around the parks and attractions, as well as your dining credits. For instance, you can get breakfast, lunch or dinner at 2 locations (only Hollywood and Vine is open for breakfast) inside Hollywood Studios that also gets you a preferred seating for Fantasmic! and Hollywood and Vine has characters as well for 1 table service credit.
    In my opinion, the hardest to get reservations are: (for our party of 6)
    Any pre park opening breakfasts, especially those that give you an attraction advantage
    Cinderella's Royal Table dinner (2 credits)
    Storybook Dining at Artist Point with Snow White
    Sci-Fi Diner
    Beaches and Cream
    50s Prime Time Cafe
    O'Hanas can be difficult
    Be Our Guest dinner (2 credits)
    California Grill brunch (2 credits)
    Trattoria al Forno breakfast ( you can get it but sometimes the times aren't ideal)
    There are others, but these are ones and I've probably missed a couple, which are in or near parks. Most of these can be reserved if you are up and ready at 180 days. The morning of my reservation date the website was glitchy and I could only get Storybook at 8 PM and Sci-Fi at 4:00 but I'll keep trying. I have been able to move 2 of our pre park opening bookings up a little. Don't panic though. Discuss your must dos and go for them first.

    Edit to add: Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party was held Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday on the same week last year. That will leave only Monday and Wednesday to get a full day at the Magic Kingdom (the 30th and 2nd) if that is the same this year. If you are interested in the fireworks, plus, looking at historical dates, Wednesday usually has evening Extra Magic hours, so if you are planning a meal at the Magic Kingdom this is something to consider. What would work for my family is pre park opening breakfast at Be Our Guest, jump on a few time consuming attractions early, either through early morning advantage or fast passes, then take a mid day break and come back for late afternoon/ evening fun.
     
    Last edited:





    Connect

    Disney News and Updates





    SUBSCRIBE TO OUR DAILY EMAIL
    Subscribe and never miss out on Disney News, Deals and Updates.















    Top