I had a few great questions asked from a reader on the “Beginner’s Guide” blog post… Enough questions that I thought it was worthwhile to make a short post to answer them…
Thanks for your fantastic blog! I was trying to find a video or blog from a dad’s perspective on Disney to get my husband on board with going. He has the mindset that Disney is only for the kids and he will be hot and board standing in line for a few days. We are thinking about going in mid or late October so hopefully it’s not sweltering hot then. We do want to have a chance to swim. From what I’ve looked at I think we can still swim in October. Still debating staying at the resort. Have you stayed in a value resort? Was it worth the money? You also said the dining plan wasn’t really worth it. I’ve heard this promoted a lot. Is it more of a convenience factor to pay ahead? My kids will be 5 and 7 when we go for the first time. What kind of height restrictions are there for Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom? Any rides you wouldn’t recommend for a 5 year old? That was a lot of questions! I’m a planner like you! I’m trying to get some details figured out so I can pitch the trip to my husband. I know Universal/Islands of Adventure isn’t Disney but do you have an opinion on these for younger children? Thanks!!
The Disney Dad’s Answers:
Hey, Pepper! Thanks for the questions… I’ll see if I can get to all of them…
1. October is a GREAT month weather-wise. Most days will still be perfect for the pool (we have done the pool in November on warm days without issue). It will be warm since it’s FL, but not sweltering like August and September.
Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival is in full swing in October. It tends to make Epcot more of a madhouse but if you enjoy trying unique flavors from around the world, it can be a positive for you.
2. Value resorts at Disney are great. None of them are within walking distance of a Theme Park so they usually run a lot of buses which is really a good thing. The quality of room is to that of a really clean and well kept motel, with some awesome theming thrown in. I think Disney property is worth the money but you can save by staying offsite… but you will pay $20 a day for parking at the theme parks if you don’t stay with Disney.
3. In my opinion, the Dining Plan is not worth it if you don’t get it for “free” with a package deal. You would be better off putting that amount of money on a gift card or in cash. It does have that nice feeling of being “prepaid” but you will overpay. 10 years ago it was a good deal.
4. The highest height restriction in all of WDW I know of is 48 inches. The only ride at Magic Kingdom above 40″ is Space Mountain (at 44″). My two boys (also 5 and 7) are polar opposites. The older LOVES thrill rides and would ride anything at 5. The 5 year old barely likes anything resembling a roller coaster. 7 Dwarves Mine Train is a safe bet and The Barnstormer is definitely for little kids. Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain are definitely a step up and Space Mountain is absolutely a thrill ride because it is in the dark. Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom is a big roller coaster and has a 44″ requirement… and Primeval Whirl is 48″.
5. Honestly, I have no experience with Universal yet, but I know there are a lot more thrill rides and everyone I’ve asked says Disney is your best bet until the kids are a bit older.
I’m actually the one who had to sell my wife on Disney. She had many of the same concerns your husband does. She has come around and enjoys our trips very much, but I’m still the biggest Disney fan of the two. As you’ll probably see around my blog, I encourage taking some days away from the parks. I know it seems counterintuitive to go to Disney World and not hit every ride/attraction known to man, but it’s good to remember this is a vacation and it’s ok to find some ways to relax. Check out this post about going over to Ft. Wilderness campground for some inexpensive fun… And there are more things like that. Hmmmm.. I need to start work on a post about cheap/free things to do around WDW!
The Disney Dad