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Disney World Do's and Don'ts

<center>Disney World Do's and Don'ts</center>

The Walt Disney Company

Do: Get a game plan

Prevailing wisdom says that age five is about right for that first mega-park outing, but whenever you go, make sure you have a detailed plan of attack. Former Disney World VIP host Michael Hewell of Tour Guide Mike charges families $21.95 to map out custom itineraries based on answers to a pre-trip online questionnaire.

Meg Lukens Noonan

Related: Best Disney World Money-Saving Tips

<center>Disney World Do's and Don'ts</center>

The Walt Disney Company

Do: Get a Fastpass

The most popular rides at Disney World offer a free “Fastpass” reservation option. Swipe your park ticket at any of the machines outside the ride, and retrieve a ticket with a time stamped on it. Come back during the one-hour window shown on your pass, jump on the Fastpass line (you’ll know it from the regular line because it’ll be moving!) and get on the ride. Hit the FastPass rides early in your visit—on busy days, the park stops issuing FastPasses when the slots run out.

Ann Shields

<center>Disney World Do's and Don'ts</center>

The Walt Disney Company

Do: Go easy on the extras

Choose carefully when purchasing Walt Disney World tickets, which in spring 2009 are a whopping $75 for ages 10 and older, $63 for ages 3–9, per day for one park. There are four Disney theme parks to tackle: Magic Kingdom (kiddie rides and the iconic castle), Epcot (World’s Fair fare), Disney’s Hollywood Studios (Tinseltown celebrated), and Animal Kingdom (lions and tigers and mice, oh my!). Many folks have had their fill after a long weekend—which means you shouldn’t let the reservations agent talk you into add-ons you won’t have time for. Water-park passes?If you only have a few days, fuhgetaboutit.

Jason Cochran



<center>Disney World Do's and Don'ts</center>

The Walt Disney Company

Don’t: Chase after discounted tickets

Advance purchases from Disney or third-party wholesalers knock off only a few bucks. (However, Universal Orlando, 10 minutes from Disney World, regularly posts excellent deals at universalorlando.com.)

—Jason Cochran

<center>Disney World Do's and Don'ts</center>

Disney’s Polynesian Resort

Do: Spring for a “deluxe” resort

Disney has eight “deluxe” resorts, such as Disney’s Polynesian Resort, if you’re after convenience and comfort. They’re fancifully designed, well-situated, and, like all on-campus hotels, offer guests early entrée to a different park each day, free parking, and sometimes free airport shuttles. Less expensive, if a bit less thrilling: Starwood’s Dolphin, Starwood’s Swan, and a Hilton—three of the better non-Disney-owned hotels that have sprouted right on Disney’s turf.

Jason Cochran

<center>Disney World Do's and Don'ts</center>

The Walt Disney Company

Don’t: Pay more for a view

If a room with a view at one of these “deluxe” resorts is going to cost you more, don’t bother. You likely won’t be there enough to enjoy it.

Jason Cochran

<center>Disney World Do's and Don'ts</center>

iStock

Do: Consider renting

It’s a good way to curb lodging costs. There are literally hundreds of available houses, many with their own pools, just a mile or two from Disney World. Web sites with rental listings: vacationwithconfidence.com, tropicalpalms.com, and allstarvacationhomes.com. Nightly rates start as low as $85 for a pastel cottage (through tropicalpalms.com); a two-bedroom condo can be had for $833 for a week (through allstarvacationhomes.com).

Jason Cochran



<center>Disney World Do's and Don'ts</center>

The Walt Disney Company

Don’t: Opt for Disney’s budget digs

Disney’s Pop Century Resort and three Disney All Star hotels—which all offer “value” category accommodations, the lowest price point of the lodging options—are a great bet, especially during school breaks. Yes, they’re on park premises, which has its pluses, but they’re crowded and as far from the action as scores of cheaper hotels on U.S. 192 and International Drive.

Jason Cochran



<center>Disney World Do's and Don'ts</center>

The Walt Disney Company

Do: Book a character breakfast

Reserve seats at one of Disney’s Character Breakfasts (adults from $19, kids $12), fun all-you-can-eat shindigs that often get booked months ahead. These guarantee your kids face time with costumed favorites, who get mobbed in the parks. Plus, you’ll fill up on so many sausages and rodent-shaped waffles that you won’t be hungry again until afternoon.

Jason Cochran

<center>Disney World Do's and Don'ts</center>

The Walt Disney Company

Don’t: Eat during peak lunch hours

Disney World during the peak lunch hours, from noon to 2 p.m., is a mad house—grub lines can easily gobble up 30 minutes. Instead, snack as you go. Turkey leg, anyone?

Jason Cochran



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