Best time to visit:
- The best time to visit would be between the third week in September to the third week in October for the fall, (amazing weather in Florida, btw - 80*F, clear and not humid! Perfect for all the attractions and nighttime spectaculars!)
- October is great because of Mickeys Not-So-Scary Halloween party, where they have free candy throughout the park and the BEST fireworks show. (Tip - if you don’t want to spend the money to go to a not-so-scary or its sold out then you can still view the fireworks from the beach of the Polynesian resort, accompanied with Dole Whip and all! :D They pump the music to the beach, so you do truly get the full experience!
- NOT the summertime. It’s too crowded and too hot. If you have to go in the summer, I would say the second or third week of July is your very best option/gamble.
- The second week of November until about the 2nd week in January is absolutely bonkers. The really good attractions become crowded and make the parks hard to really experience. No fun. March and April are also really crowded (due to Spring Break season).
- Christmas is lovely at the resort, but it is PACKED. Thanksgiving is also a great time to go, because all the Christmas decorations are up, but it’s not quite as busy.
- It’s a great idea to go directly AFTER any major holiday (like a 3 day weekend such as Labor day or the 4th of July).
Best places to stay:
- AT A DISNEY RESORT!!! Basically, any Disney resort comes with serious perks. You get to stay in the parks for longer, there are free shuttle buses, or if you want to drive to the parks you get free parking… they’re (a bit - a LOT) more expensive, but it’s worth it if you don’t mind dishing out the extra cash.
- If you can, do try to stay at one of the “Luxury Resorts” (The Contemporary, The Polynesian, or The Grand Floridian). They’re a little more expensive, but they are on the Monorail tracks, which are a million times more convenient than buses.
- Grand Floridian – beautiful, all-star hotel
- Wilderness lodge – it has a lovely view, a great beach, an amazing pool, it’s relaxing, and decorated so authentically and brilliant! Plus, transportation is great.
- Old Key West Hotel - great if you have a large group
- Port Orleans Resort - a nice middle-of-the-road resort that offers two themed settings, the French Quarter and the Riverside
- The Polynesian Resort - nice view of the Magic Kingdom fireworks from the beach and awesome volcano slide at the pool. This hotel also serves up the famous Dole Whip (mmmm) and Tonga Toast (banana stuffed French toast. I die.)
- Disney All Star Movies Resort - the pools are themed and it’s like a mini Disney park in itself; a great experience for a cheaper price.
- The Pop resort – great value (relatively inexpensive)
- The Contemporary Hotel – great location near the parks
- The Boardwalk – very close walk to Epcot
- Disney World Time Share - a fabulous option for families who anticipate many subsequent trips to the Disney World resort. Through the program, you can also build up ‘points’ that allow you to travel to other (international!) destinations. Inquire with a friendly DW Resort cast member and I’m sure they’ll be able to give you more information.
If someone is looking for something a little cheaper, you can always try outside of Disney itself. For example, the Holiday Inn, just outside Disney World, is just a quick walk away for a much cheaper price. Plus, it has a convenient little shuttle bus to the parks.
Best places to eat:
- Crystal Palace (great for sit-down, character dining)
- Tony’s (get there at 4 before reservation seating!)
- Cosmic Rays & Liberty Square Harbor House for quick service
- Chef Mickey’s (character dining!)
- Kona Café (delicious sticky wings)
- Ohana (food is served family style; If you go for dinner around 830 you’ll be able to enjoy Magic Kingdom’s fireworks from across the bay – request a window seat!)
- The Liberty Tree Tavern
- 50’s Prime Time Cafe (it’s set in the 50’s and your waiter/waitress acts like your mother and makes you eat your veggies and all that good stuff)
- The Hoop De Doo Revue (a fantastic dinner show)
- Donald’s Breakfastosaurus and Flame Tree Barbecue in the Animal Kingdom
- The California Grill at the Contemporary Resort (offers a spectacular view of the Magic Kingdom fireworks display)
- Sci-Fi Dine-In in Hollywood Studios (you sit in a car and watch movies while you eat.)
- Cinderella’s Royal Table in the Magic Kingdom (be sure to make reservations in advance cause it gets busy)
- In Epcot: San Angel Inn (Mexico), Marakesh (Morocco), Tato Italia & Via Napoli (Italy), Tepen Ido (Japan), Le Cellier (great meat ‘n potatoes – in Canada) and Journey to World Showcase
If you are looking for a sit-down-and-be-served kind of dinner, you NEED a reservation. No, ifs, ands or buts. Otherwise, you’ll most likely be stuck at a food court type of place (which aren’t that bad but not what you may have been originally intending to do).