I Know There Are 8 Million Disney Scrappers Here...

Discussion in 'Chatty Pad' started by LeeAndra, Jan 21, 2020.

  1. LeeAndra

    LeeAndra I'll have the pasta with a side of fingernails

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    ...So my mom surprised my sister, me, and our three kiddos (5yoB, 10yoG, & 15yoB) with the news that she was taking us to Disney for Spring Break this year. I am excited as my kids have never been but also in a time crunch planning this 2 months out during the busiest time of the year.

    We have plane tickets, park tickets, & a family suite on-site but now I need all of your tips 'n' tricks for Fast Passes, dining plan, etc. as I will be the one who needs to take care of those things now or we will all be wandering around crabby and hungry. My dad booked all of these things (but isn't going) but separately from one another so that's adding another layer of complication to things.

    I know there are Disney boards, etc. to dive into but I want to hear from digital scrappers because if I'm planning the whole thing, I'm going to plan it with scrapping it later in mind! :giggle

    (01) Does my 5yo, who barely eats, need his own dining plan? Can he just eat off of the plates of the rest of us? Is that allowed?

    (02) Do they have strollers to rent on-site for the same 5yo who will get tired of walking around after an hour or two?

    (03) How do you entertain your 5yo (are you seeing a trend here?!) in line?

    (04) My dad bought cards vs. MagicBands. Is there a big price difference between them? Can we still do Photopass if we don't have MagicBands?

    (05) Is Photopass worth the money? I told my mom I would buy it for her + me as my gift to her but I don't want to drop $169 if it's not worth it. She would want the photos printed, and i would want to download them all to scrap them.

    Thanks! I'm trying to be more excited than anxious but it's a close call at the moment.
     
  2. bestcee

    bestcee Lorelei and Rory are my neighbors

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    I have not been to WDW since 2008, but I did two trips one in dec 2007 and one in apr 2008.
    I bought the photopass for both. I don't know how they've changed it since, but I LOVED having photos of everyone together. The photos are as good as the photographer, but since they usually have practice being there and shooting in that light/circumstances I found a lot of them were awesome! They had special ones when I went "magic shots" that were so fun to see, like fighting captain hook. https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/b...find-magic-shots-at-walt-disney-world-resort/
    I also liked that when our group was split up, we could collect photos and add them all to the same account. I don't know if there's a limit on that? But it was nice to not worry about who had the camera, instead just grab the photopass photographer. It was totally worth it to me because I made sure to grab the photographers whenever we saw them. So we have lots of group shots, but also individual shots. There were very few rides then, I think they've added more of the rides since then.

    It's been so long, I've afraid to speak to any of your other questions.
     
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  3. bestcee

    bestcee Lorelei and Rory are my neighbors

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    @krscraps hey local Disney fanatic! What insight can you offer?
     
  4. QuiltyMom

    QuiltyMom I'll never run out of things to do!

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    How fun!!! I haven't been for years so I'm not up on the latest, but here's my thoughts from our time there.

    Photopass. It's only worth it if you use it. All photographers will take photos on your cameras, but I'll admit the quality isn't as good. I always purchase it because when you tell the photographers you have Photopass, they'll take a gadzillion photos for you. Otherwise, they'll just take a couple assuming you may just be purchasing a print or two. If you do get it, check out ahead of time where the magic spots are, for they are really fun. It'll also cover some ride photos and meal photos, too. It just depends on the venue. For my last 2-day trip to Disneyland I ended up with about 150 photos or so. To me it's worth it because the memories are precious.

    Planning. In the past I've always used Touring Plans to figure out what to do each day, and I love them. They'll literally take your itinerary and tell you which way to turn to get to the next spot (at least it did 10+ years ago!) Everything is editable, too. Since you'll be there during Spring Break it'll be crowded, and they will take into consideration crowd levels. I don't use them for Disneyland because you don't need it there, but definitely for WDW. DISBoards.com are another good planning tool.

    We brought an umbrella stroller with us for our 7 & 9-year-olds. It was small and lightweight enough that it wasn't cumbersome, and it gave them a rest while we continued walking. They do rent strollers, but I believe only at the front of the park.

    Some of the big lines have interactive things, but not all of them. I'll admit that when the kids were younger we would let them run around at the play areas whenever they seemed they'd had enough of waiting in lines. That gave us a time to rest, too. My kids were just sooooo excited to be there that they didn't mind waiting in lines. When they did get bored we'd play silly games, like I Spy. That would keep them entertained for quite a long time.

    I hope this helps!
     
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  5. bestcee

    bestcee Lorelei and Rory are my neighbors

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    We did that too when we took my four year old brother! There were a few spots we could leave the stroller, but we brought a super cheap $10 one so we didn't have to worry if someone stole it or anything.
     
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  6. djp332

    djp332 She sells seashells down by the seashore

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    I’m a Disney Florida resident pass holder. I think the bands are easier. Can’t lose them if you don’t take them off. I have the Photopass, too. I love it. You can get pictures all day long, including all the rides you go in that have photos. The pictures are sent right to your phone. They even sent me videos of us on certain rides.
     
  7. gonewiththewind

    gonewiththewind I choose joy.

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    Our last trips were in 2012 and 2015. We had the Magic Bands in 2015, but didn't in 2012. They are SOOOOO convenient for everything. I don't know how you could convert cards to bands, but seriously, it was a game changer for me because it's one less thing to worry about. We didn't do Photo Pass but I wish we had as I only took my cell phone for photos in 2015. While they were pretty good, they just weren't like my DSLR photos from 2012. I will take my good camera when we go again (but now I have a mirrorless, so it's like a little point and shoot now anyway). Those are my only inputs that I can think of right now as we used a individual who organized everything for our trip (there were 12 of us) and made sure we had reservations for dinner (we were there at Thanksgiving). And our 2012 trip, we decided to go 3 or 4 days before we left, so there was NO planning on that one (and it was actually the best trip we've ever had). We just don't go as frequently as others who go yearly or more often, so I feel there are others here that would have better advice. :)

    Well, I do have one final thing. Relax. Take things as they come (or don't). Disney is an exceptionally magical place, but not for the stressed out. I was able to do some serious meditation and self-encouragement before we left on both trips, and my attitude really helped not only me, but everyone else. I know you will have an amazing time!
     
  8. rach3975

    rach3975 Well-Known Member

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    Have an awesome time! That's so exciting. I can't say anything about strollers, but I'll try to answer the rest.

    Your 5 year old doesn't need his own dining plan unless you plan to eat at buffets and character meals. At those they charge per person, no exceptions.

    Photopass is worth it as long as you make it a point to stop when you see the photographers. They're at many character meets, iconic locations like along Main Street (for Castle photos), in front of the Millennium Falcon, etc. You also get photos from some of the rides. Photopass is the only way we get photos of all of us together, so I tell the kids that's my souvenir and they [mostly] cooperate.

    It sounds like you're on site, so you can book fast passes 60 days before your hotel check in date. Do it the second your available window opens (6 or 7 am) since the best ones go fast. There are lists online of the most valuable ones to get for each park, the ones that save the most time in line. If you want to ride some of the rides where FPs are hardest to get, like Flight of Passage and Slinky Dog Dash, put those parks near the end of your trip and try for those FPs first. (At your 60 day mark, book them in order of how hard they are to get, not in chronological order. So you may book a FP for the last day, then one for the first day, then a 2nd for the last day, etc.) So most of your planning can happen gradually over the next few months, but decide ASAP about which parks which day and start to plan FPs and dining.

    You may want to buy at least 1 Magic Band to use with photopass. They start around $15 each. For most things the cards are enough, but if you want the ride photos I think you need a band.

    ETA: We did family trips to WDW in March 2016 and November 2018, then DH and I got to go by ourselves in November 2019.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2020
  9. HavaDrPepper

    HavaDrPepper Space. The final frontier

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    As for the 5 year old, whether you rent a stroller or take your own, put lots of snacks in it. For both the 5 year old and every one else! I was with my cousin, her daughter and 2 grandchildren (ages 4 and 3) in 2013. Now, we didn't do the Magic Kingdom. We went to Animal Kingdom. They live in Orlando and have annual passes. AK was the kids favorite park so that's where we went.

    We only spent 5 hours there because by that time the kids were getting crabby. Plus the fact, the daughter is a dermatologist and doesn't believe in being outside in the middle of the afternoon! So with this in mind, do not hesitate to maybe plan some breaks during the day if you are staying on site. I know you want to pack as much in as you can, but the meltdowns aren't worth it IMO.

    No experience with dining plans though. We had our snacks and ate lunch in AK.

    Later that week I spent the day at the Magic Kingdom by myself. Took in what I wanted and for a couple of hours I sat on the porch of "city hall" and just people watched. I needed to recharge and since I was basically stranded there (my cousin's wife dropped me off in the morning then headed to Lauderdale with the rest of the family for a wedding rehearsal) until my cousin came to join me when he got off work. He and I got fast passes for Space Mountain then got something to eat. After SM, we went on a couple other attractions until fireworks time then headed home. It was a very long day for me, over 12 hours and I was wiped out... even with taking the break for a couple of hours in the late afternoon.

    So my best advice is to take breaks and if that means leaving the park to go back to your rooms, do it.
     
  10. rach3975

    rach3975 Well-Known Member

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    I second the mid-day breaks. If you're going during spring break, park hours will probably be long. The middle of the day gets very crowded. We like to get there early, usually 30 minutes or more before the park opens. (We go when hours are shorter; YMMV if they're 7 am openings as opposed to 9 am.) We get a lot done in the first few hours, then start using our FPs. If we want to be at the park for evening entertainment we go back to the room for a while. If we're leaving the park earlier, like 5 pm, we don't take that break. We also like to do sit down meals for lunch, usually a late lunch (1 or 2 pm) when ride lines are long. We save quick service for dinner so we have more flexibility about breaks and same day Fast passes.

    We also like to plan in a break day. That can be a non-park day or a day when we purposely only do a half day in the parks. If we try to do more than 3 long days in a row I end up with worn out, cranky kids. Even if you're on the fence about that, it might be worth planning a day when your meals and FPs don't start until 1 pm (or they start early and end by 2 pm) so that you have the flexibility to do a short day if your group needs it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2020
  11. bestcee

    bestcee Lorelei and Rory are my neighbors

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    This is so true! When we took my 4 year old brother, we would go back to the room and nap. Then head back. They were open late, so after fireworks pretty much everyone with little kids left because the kids were done. We had a fresh kid so we did a ton of the magic kingdom rides. On Dumbo - Donald Duck rode with my brother! It was a fabulous experience for him.
     
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  12. bestcee

    bestcee Lorelei and Rory are my neighbors

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    Here's a few of the Photopass photos I've scrapped:
    So, for this one since we were photopass peeps, the photographer actually started shooting my brother before he got to Sullly and Mike. We ended up with some adorable photos of him shocked to see them, as well as the running face first into Sully. [​IMG][​IMG] (Not a shot I would've gotten since I was by myself!)
    This is a magic shot: [​IMG]
     
  13. Aussiegirl

    Aussiegirl Why yes, I CAN help you get to Disney!

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    Yes to the Photopass! It's a great way to make sure everyone is in your photos! I think you used to be able to share it between families? Not sure if that's the case (we haven't been to WDW since 2012).

    You can always play the Disney Alphabet game while waiting too. A- Ariel, B-Bambi, C- Cruella DeVil.

    We have never done the dining plan, we just do quick service and maybe 1 Character meal out of pocket. My girls are picky eaters and not huge eaters, so a Quick Service meal works great for us!

    If you will have your own car (or if you want to do a Lyft/Uber) there is a Disney Character Warehouse Outlet store in the area. (assuming you are going to WDW). Everything comes straight from the Disney parks, but at a fraction of the cost. (My daughter bought a spirit jersey for $25 originally around $65). We shop here at the beginning of the trip, and then we aren't tempted to shop in the parks where everything is more expensive. Set a spending budget for the trip per kid (not per day, but per the trip...ours was around $150 per girl).

    I second using a touring plan to figure out a set plan for the day (undercover tourist and touring plans are great ones). They can tell you what park is the least crowded for a set day (a huge must when going during spring break). They can tell you an order to see the different rides during a day. My husband dislikes backtracking when we are in the parks, so I edit it to fit a constant flow around the park, yet still hitting the rides/attractions at the best times.

    I don't fully know about Magic Bands (they weren't a thing during our last trip). But I do know you can buy them at shopdisney.com (sometimes getting sale/discount ones if you keep looking). As far as Fastpasses, if you are offsite, you can book them 30 days ahead of time. Onsite you can book them 60 days ahead of time. Dining reservations (for character meals etc) can be booked 180 days ahead of time (if that is still the case anyways).

    Oh, there is a dining planner site. You put in restaurants you want to eat at, and it will tell you the costs out of pocket, dining plans, etc. (You can only do the dining plan if you are staying onsite). I can send you that link if you want.

    You will have an amazing time! :)
     
  14. krscraps

    krscraps I'm a nerd.

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    Hi. Just saw this. Haha. Let me see... @LeeAndra


    (01) Does my 5yo, who barely eats, need his own dining plan? Can he just eat off of the plates of the rest of us? Is that allowed?
    Yes, he needs his own dining plan if you're all on the dining plan. But don't quote me here...

    (02) Do they have strollers to rent on-site for the same 5yo who will get tired of walking around after an hour or two?
    They do have strollers that you can rent, but they are first-come first serve.

    (03) How do you entertain your 5yo (are you seeing a trend here?!) in line?
    I think there's a Disney heads up app that you can play on the phone in line. If not, make your own!

    (04) My dad bought cards vs. MagicBands. Is there a big price difference between them? Can we still do Photopass if we don't have MagicBands?
    You can still do photopass with the magic bands. Magic Bands are $15.00 each. I love my Magic Bands though, so I'm a little biased. I also find them to be much easier to use and a lot harder to lose.

    (05) Is Photopass worth the money? I told my mom I would buy it for her + me as my gift to her but I don't want to drop $169 if it's not worth it. She would want the photos printed, and i would want to download them all to scrap them.
    Yes yes yes yes to the millionth power yes. Haha. I am a huge proponent of photopass and would always get it even for the shortest of trips before I was a local.

    A lot of good things were said above though, like the spending budget. It's easy to get carried away in Disney. Don't feel like you have to spend the whole day in the park. Naps/breaks are going to be your best friend, especially during crowded park times.

    However, I would not recommend getting a Touring Plan. All it takes is one hiccup and the entire plan can go down the drain. I don't know if they've changed, I haven't used them in years.

    If you have any other questions, feel free to message me. I'm a local and love talking Disney. Haha.
     
  15. tinkerbell1112

    tinkerbell1112 Offical Ambassador of the Magic Kingdom

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    I'll pipe in my own 2 cents here - I think most of what you were looking for has been answered. I will reiterate though that I do believe if you're on a package, then everyone on that package has to be on the same dining plan if dining is added, therefore, your 5 year old would have to be on it as well. But not knowing the details of how you're booking the dining, the best option here would be to call Disney and ask.

    Stroller - bring your own! That way you have it when you leave the park too and don't have to unpack everything. They do have them to rent though.

    Magicbands - I'm fairly certain (98%) that you can add the hard tickets to a purchased magic band. I personally prefer the magicband. Only because it's easier to wear on my wrist than carry them around. I like to bling mine out and I like that everything is right on there (room key, credit card, tickets, photopass)

    Photopass - hello, you're on a digital scrapbooking site. I think you've answered that question for yourself. LOL. ALWAYS get it! You get the ride photos/videos, and any photos the photographers take. I use this as a chance to get lots of family photos and photos of ME (which never happens on vacation)

    entertainment - this one is a bit trickier. Lots of silly games. Eye Spy, Name Games like mentioned above, rock paper scissors, anything you can think of until the attention span wears out. I also carried books in my backpack when my kids were little - of course now you can have books on your phone, so that's a whole new world!

    And, yay for you! Have fun!
     
  16. klee73010

    klee73010 I might have a thing for drummers

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    I took my kids to Disneyland in 2017 at the busiest time of the year (Christmas) on a day they actually wouldn't allow more people in, AND the power went out.

    My kids were 4 and 5... both did great with no strollers. We stuck to "one side" of the park, mostly due to time and crowds, but also not as much on the other side were my kids tall enough for. So check height requirements on rides to be sure you dont find out later the shortest one isn't eligible.

    We did fantasyland, toontown, tomorrowland, and a tiny bit of adventureland. Unfortunately i felt like we ended up walking back and forth between the lands too much... but it was because i was going by line times on the disneyland app.

    I packed snacks well before our trip... my daughter has food allergies, so i needed to know she could eat stuff and where. So we did breakfast in the hotel by 7, then i had packed 3 snacks per person- pretty healthy balanced snacks to get us through the next few hours- set out for 9 and 11, and then we scheduled a late lunch in the park at 2, and then had snack again at 5, and dinner after we left the park, usually around 730. I wish we had done the nap thing... unfortunately we were concerned they wouldn't allow us back in because the park had closed entry for anyone else. We missed fireworks both nights of our trip, which is probably something i missed most.

    For lines... my kids had these tiny backpacks that had a "leash strap" (many people are opposed to "kid leash" but i am not. Also, we told the kids we'd only need the leash part if they ran off... which they didn't). I packed them... they had cameras, and i think a small notepad and mini crayons. I also picked up Disney EyeSpy from amazon and had those for any dire needs of entertainment. Honestly, in the lines, my kids were looking around and taking everything in. The cameras we bought were AMAZING for them... they are vtech brand. We gave them as Christmas gifts, right before we left. They have video games on them that are simple and entertaining. The kids used those in line... they also took pictures and videos I will be putting into our albums.

    My kids wore costumes from their dress up... my son was a storm trooper for Halloween, wore his storm trooper costume to Dland, and it caused storm troopers to stop and talk to him.

    My daughter was wearing a Cinderella dress, and I'm not sure that was the reason, but Snow White invited us to do snowfall with her in front of it's a small world. It was the most magical memories I ever remember having in all my Disney trips... so let your little kids dress up if they want!

    Sorry i can't help with any WDW info. But hopefully this park info will be transferable. Enjoy! I'm only a lot jealous! :giggle
     
  17. klee73010

    klee73010 I might have a thing for drummers

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    If i had a better understanding of Photopass before my trip, and the funds, i absolutely would have paid for it!
     
  18. Kat

    Kat Seeking wine/shopping/teeth brushing support group

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    Yeay to all the disney peeps in here. We are passholders now.

    I don't have kids so I can't help you there but definitely get magicbands. If you are staying on disney property, they usually include them. I love love love photopass. I am NEVER in the photos otherwise. Map out your must have locations.

    Spring break month can be super busy. Keep some simple things in mind.
    -You can do it all, there's no way. So it's important to set your top priorities and knock those out first.
    -Do things by section. Like Magic Kingdom for example is HUGE. You are walking a ton and it will be hot (it is always hot there)... schedule down time and breaks, go inside and have a snack somewhere or a cold drink or even sit on a bench and just people watch for 5 or 10 minutes to rest your feet.
    -Wear shoes that are rockstars of your life. The shoes make all the difference.
    -You probably won't close out a park with little ones, but if you do, don't miss the last transportation to the parking lot. We almost did once and walking from the gate at Magic Kingdom to their parking is a million miles.
    -Do a character meal like Chef Mickey's or something similar (I've done most of them so let me know if you need more details) but with a kid especially, it's a lot of fun, unless they are scared of them, in which case, maybe don't. I actually liked the one with Pooh and friends a lot. It's at Magic Kingdom. And I'm a grown-up lol
    -Fastpasses for some rides are super hard to get, if you need any fastpass advice, let me know. Here's a tip... schedule all your fastpasses if possible for close to the same time. Once you have burned through the first 3, you can choose one more, then use it, then one more, then use it, etc. Some rides run out of FP and so those are the ones if you want to ride, get a FP. Some rides aren't as popular and you can almost always get a FP after you have burned your important ones.
    -For photographing it... zoom in on some details. When you scrap a page, it's nice to have a few photos of the same thing and the details at disney are the best. Look at the concrete when you walk in, look all around. But if you want good parade photos, get to your spot at least an hour early, maybe more since it will be busy. Same for fireworks if you stay for those. But then don't get caught in the mass exit. Either leave before/during the fireworks or wait a while after. It's insane. lol
     

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