Mar 092011
 

When you get in trouble and you don’t know right from wrong
Give a little whistle! Give a little whistle! — Jiminy Cricket

Do you have a Disney dilemma? Are you wondering about a certain attraction? Are you curious about a resort or a cruise? Give us a little whistle and we’ll help you sort out how to handle it. Questions should be sent to whistle@magically-speaking.com. If your dilemma is trip-related, please include when you will be traveling.

Q. Our very very first trip to Disney is in April. I’ve been reading guides and online. It seems like most people who know about Disney like to go to the theme parks in the morning, but my husband and I are night owls. Getting up early during a vacation would be a pain, but we will if we really have to. What do you think?

A. You are right that many guidebooks and websites do recommend getting to the parks early. That’s basically because most people don’t follow that advice, so the parks are less crowded at opening than they are later in the day.

We think there is something to be said for the fact that this is your vacation, though. Making you or your husband miserable by getting up early isn’t going to make for a magical experience. One of the best things that we can say is that as long as you are comfortable knowing that there might be some attractions that you might have to wait in longer lines for or not see at all because of the lines, you should do what works for you.

Depending on when you are going in April, and if you are staying on property, Extra Magic Hours can be your friend, especially at the Magic Kingdom. The evening EMH will mean that the park is open three hours past closing for guests staying onsite. So if the Magic Kingdom closes at 11:00 p.m., you can still tour the parks until 2:00 a.m. The crowds will definitely be thinner by then. We’ve had some nice trips taking advantage of EMH while staying onsite.

You may want to plan for some evening EMHs, followed by sleeping in the next day, along with a few early mornings. You can even get up, go to the parks and grab a FastPASS, then have a nice breakfast. This will allow you to see some of the more popular attractions without having to wait in the lines. You can even explore the option of afternoon naps if you find yourself getting up too early.

So it definitely is possible for night owls to have a nice vacation, with a little planning. Just map out your days by looking at park hours and deciding which attractions are on your must-do list. Have a magical trip!

Q. We are going to Florida for Spring Break and will spend one day, maybe two days, in Orlando. We’ll be me, my wife, and our kids (daughter 5 and son 11). Any thoughts on how to best use our one or two days? (Submitted by Mark C.)

A. Hi, Mark! One or two days in Orlando during spring break makes our heads spin just a little! There’s enough to do in Orlando to last a month, so know that you definitely are just going to get a taste of all that Orlando has to offer. Also know that there will be some significant crowds at the theme parks during spring break, so that is likely to slow you down a bit.

That being said, we suggest that you pick one theme park and spend your time exploring that. Based on the ages of your children (and assuming you’re going to focus on a Disney park), we would recommend Magic Kingdom as your park to explore. The magic and wonder of that park is perfect for all ages.

Since you have a younger family, definitely consider getting to the park (no matter which one you choose) before rope drop (aka park opening). You can be ready to go as soon as the park opens. Also, take some time to figure out from home what you absolutely must do while there. We like to have each family member pick one “A” attraction that they really need to do, and one “B” attraction that sounds wonderful. Work through those first, and then anything else you get to experience is gravy.

Also, because you are going during spring break, familiarize yourself with the FastPASS system. They will absolutely be your friend if you have limited time in the park. Grab your FastPASS for one attraction, explore another, and return later when your FastPASS time arrives. If you can spare two days, you will be able to go in the second day and see anything you missed the first time.

Don’t forget, too, that you can always go back. Take a little time to explore a few unexpected treats along the way. Oftentimes, those are the things that we end up remembering most after we return home. Enjoy!

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