20th Anniversary and Walt Disney World
March 2, 2012 11:25 AM   Subscribe

Preparing and planning for 20th Wedding Anniversary in Walt Disney World, recommendations?

We'll be celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary in the spring of 2015. As in 1995's honeymoon we're off to Walt Disney World. We are agile, flexible, and are used to walking. We have taken a Disney Cruise and some combination of cruise/WDW would work too. We've stayed in New Orleans and Boardwalk and very much enjoyed the canal transportation system esp. to and from Pleasure Island. Just the two of us. The timing is likely April or October 2015.

As the planner what should I be doing, arranging, or considering now to make this a great bookend to 20 years of marriage? Guide books?

Thanks for your assistance.
posted by KneeDeep to Travel & Transportation around Orlando, FL (12 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
You will probably get some good info from a recent Disney thread, regarding adult couples visiting WDW, including my own suggestions.

posted by Fleebnork at 11:34 AM on March 2, 2012

I don’t know what your budget is, but you could do a vow renewal at Disney’s Wedding Pavilion, which is on the grounds of the Grand Floridian.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:38 AM on March 2, 2012

DISboards.com is a message board with over 41 million(!) posts about Disney vacations
posted by sanderman at 11:39 AM on March 2, 2012 [2 favorites]

They can be a bit excessive on planning of some details but I really like the Touring Plans people (then again if you are planning this 3 years out maybe you'll enjoy the excessiveness of it all). You can buy their book which they update twice yearly but you can read a lot of it on their blog which is essential a first draft for sections of the book. They also have some iPhone/Android apps that you might find useful. One final suggestion is that there are some no-fee Disney focused travel agents that you can work through that could help you find what you want or at the very least get you the best rate on your rooms.
posted by mmascolino at 11:40 AM on March 2, 2012

Victoria and Alberts in the Grand Floridian is probably the best and second best meal I've had.
posted by neilbert at 11:41 AM on March 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

The online boards are good (albeit sometimes hard to sift through), but I'll chime in with just one recommendation. If you are foodies, try to get the chef's table at Victoria and Albert's. I've never done it, but we've done the regular restaurant and it's amazing enough, can't imagine what it's like to have an excellent chef craft a personalized on-the-fly menu based on what you like.
posted by punocchio at 11:45 AM on March 2, 2012

My standard suggestion for WDW is Tour Guide Mike. This is great if you want to actually ride rides, but also if you want to know the earliest possible moment you can book at Victoria and Albert's.
posted by DarlingBri at 1:08 PM on March 2, 2012

I would work out when is the first date you can book accomodation and advance dining reservations and mark them on the calendar, then you know how long you have to decide, and you can always cancel accomodation if you get a better deal. I can't remember when accomodation booking opens, dining reservations currently start 6 months out. At this point, I'd just start looking through the various Disney message boards, reading up and deciding what you want to do, and the actual booking and planning doesn't need to start until much later.

A few recommendations, which hopefully won't be out of date before 2015: If you like walking and it's within budget, I'd consider staying at one of the Boardwalk area hotels - you can walk to Epcot and MGM, or get the boat if you're feeling lazy or it's too hot to walk. If you really want to splash out, I've always liked the hidden garden suites at the Boardwalk, they're tucked away near the quiet swimming pool. Dining-wise, I haven't eaten at V&As but I really like the California Grill - get yourself a table around sunset and ask for a window seat where you can see the Magic Kingdom, have a leisurely dinner, and stick around to watch the fireworks later. If you're going in October, pick a day when it's Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party - you'll get the special Halloween fireworks without having to pay for the extra ticket. Also in October there's the Food and Wine Festival - look out for when they start releasing tickets to the various events (wine tastings, special meals and parties), it's usually a few months out.
posted by penguinliz at 3:16 PM on March 2, 2012

penguinliz makes a good a point about calling for reservations ahead of time. This is also something that you can leave to your travel agent to do for you. They can and will reserve tables for you at the earliest possible window.
posted by mmascolino at 3:51 PM on March 2, 2012

With the advent of the Disney Dining Plan, making reservations ahead of time is essential -- the chances of walking up and getting a table at most in-park restaurants is pretty slim.

I'll second the recommendation for any of the Epcot Resorts (Boardwalk, Yacht Club, Beach Club) -- they're in a great location and Yacht & Beach has one of the best pools on property. Yacht Club and Boardwalk, especially, have great club level rooms that can be worth the splurge if you're into that sort of thing.
posted by ThatSomething at 6:22 PM on March 2, 2012

I love all of the Epcot Resorts. I really like the pool at the Yacht and Beach club and they're kind of stingy about access, so I think you need a reservation at one of those two hotels to use it. Staying at the resort hotels also gets you the extra morning and evening hours at the parks, though you'll have to check the schedules to see which parks are open longer each day. I personally wouldn't bother with a cruise and would just spend more time at WDW.

I would choose October over April because it'll almost certainly be less busy (with April you're getting the Spring Break crowds). Our family always had Florida Resident season passes, and I would go for October/November or late January/February for the quiet low times.

After years of experience, our method for Disney World involved heading to the parks right at opening, choosing the one that opened early. We stay until around lunch time, and then take a break until the early evening (4ish) and head back to the same park or another park for dinner and rides/shows.

Pleasure Island definitely isn't what it was in 1995, so don't expect the nightlife that used to be there. I would consider, however, going to see La Nouba in Downtown Disney. But then again your plans aren't for another 3 years, so who knows what things may be like then!
posted by that girl at 3:18 AM on March 3, 2012

I totally recommend renting points from a Disney Vacation Club owner and staying in one of their gorgeous units. Much more luxurious and much cheaper than staying in a regular upscale Disney hotel room. We rented directly from a member but here's an agency that handles it: http://www.disboards.com/announcement.php?f=29&a=272

We stayed part of a week at Animal Kingdom Lodge. Room was gorgeous, full kitchen-and there's nothing like sitting on your balcony with a glass of wine, giraffes so close you can hear them chew.
posted by purenitrous at 1:49 PM on March 3, 2012

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