Hi All
I know I will get some great feed back here :)

I want to go to Disney this year. I was thinking either March or September 2012. When is the best time to go????? On resort off the resort????

Epcot Chick


If you can stand *really* hot and humid weather, but lighter crowds, I'd say September. The weather will be better in March, but lots of families come down for Spring Break. They usually have deeper discounts in Sept. I've seen (and personally used) the 40% room only discount or the Free Dining. (You can't double dip the discounts.)

We used to stay off site, but now we only stay on-site at the Beach Club Villas. You can walk to Epcot and the Hollywood Studios from this resort. I think you get more for money off-site, but we love the convenience of staying onsite. Plus you can use the Magic Express. You check your bags at your home airport and you don't see them again until you check in to your room. Then when you land, you just walk to the bus terminal in the airport and get on the motor coach that takes you to your resort.

If you have other questions, PM me or give me a shout out. I love talking about WDW. I have been going since I was kid and I'm now 37. LOL

A great planning site is AllEars.Net - The Unofficial Disney Vacation Planning Guide - Walt Disney World, Disneyland and Disney Cruise Line. Planning a WDW a 1st trip can be kind of daunting. It's a huge resort.


I would HIGHLY recommend buying one of the guidebooks if this is your first trip. I went to DW several times as a kid but when it came to planning our first trip for my family I was so glad I got a book. The one I used is The Unofficial Guide to WDW, but there are others that are good. You can search on Amazon. Like Epcot Chick said, the planning can be daunting. The books also tell when the crowds are lightest, for example between Thanksgiving and Christmas. We usually go in October for Fall Break. The crowds are there but not as bad as in the summer. We always stay off site. My parents are in a travel club so we can get a 3 bedroom/2 bath condo for less than the cheapest on site hotel rooms and the commute is 5-10 minutes. Of course you have to pay for parking each day but that's good for all of the parks if you wanted to park hop. One disadvantage of staying off site is you can't do the Dining Plan. But we always pack snacks and lunch and the Cast Members never say anything except "how good it looks or can they have some", etc. They are very cool about it. I've also heard the most economical resort's rooms are super small, so depending on the size of your family you need to look into that. You will LOVE Disney. It's top notch and the people are great...it's truly a magical place :)

Epcot Chick

If you decide to stay off site, I have the name of a company that manages rentals. It's not a timeshare company, they manage condos for owners who don't live locally. We always stayed in the same unit. It was a 2 br/ba condo. It was really nice and quiet. It's a 10 minute drive away, tops. Top notch service.

Rooms at WDW are costly for what you get. We've only stayed on-site since they've gotten aggressive with the discounts. I thought the discounts brought the rates close to the market rate. Although we love staying at the Beach Club Villas (Condo/timeshare accomodations), for more money, we had less space than we had off-site. For instance, we had a one br/ba villa versus 2 br/ba offsite. Also, the condo we always stayed at off-site seemed to feel more like home than the Disney one. But we were right in the middle of the action, so there's a trade-off. I love staying in condos. I'm a vegetarian and I have no problem rustling up a few meals throughout the week, but I recognize others might not want to do that.

There are pros and cons. I saw some really reasonable prices to stay at Reunion (fancy new golf resort community), but my husband likes staying onsite now. He likes to come back for lunch and have a beer or two. He couldn't do that off-site.

Just to overload you even more, there are 4 tiers of accomodation at WDW: value, moderate, deluxe, and villas. Then there are different "seasons" for room rates.

And I also recommend the book DixieGirl mentioned. It's pretty unbiased, IMO.

Sorry, I couldn't resist adding to this thread.


Big Disney fan here! We go to Florida often. I would third the recommendation for The Unofficial GUide. I often help coworkers and friends with Disney planning. There are different websites which track and predict crowd levels that would be great for you to check out.
Free Disney World Crowd Calendars, Ride Reviews, Resort Reviews, Restaurant Reviews, and More
www.touring plans.com

For tips on saving money, the best website is MouseSavers.com - Disney Discount Source - Disney World Discounts, Disneyland Discounts, Disney Cruise Discounts

The other website (besides Cathe) where I spend way too much time is The DIS Discussion Forums - DISboards.com - Powered by vBulletin

Rooms at DIsney vary in price depending on type (value, moderate, deluxe or villas), and season. Hotels can be as low as $69/night (values in offseason). We love to stay onsite, Disney picks you up at the airport, and we save money by no rental car, no daily parking, and we are in the magic all day long. We often travel in large groups and love the convenience of Disney transport where different family members can return to the hotel when they are ready rather than all travelling in a rental car. Also staying on site gives you extra hours in the park.

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