Disney for a 11 Year Old

Updated on March 01, 2010
D.F. asks from Rockland, MA
12 answers

We want to go to Florida with our 11 year old son. Any advice on where to stay and what kind of packages are available for Disney.

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answers from Boston on

Go cheap.. All star resorts.. you will only be there to sleep anyway.. it's clean, has a pool, cafeteria, shuttles to the parks..

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answers from Miami on

Comming from a Floridian who travels to disney a few times a year. Staying in a disney resort is the easiest because you can park your car if you are driving and if you are flying they pick you right up from the airport. You can stay at the cheapy Pop century which are still good, mid market Corranado (sP) is great .The new orleans is great for some folks but I didnt enjoy climbing the stairs at 10p to get to our room and if you are high end nothing beats the floridian and the Animal kingdom resort. If you are staying 4 days or more I would get the dining plan, they have different levels and does really save and make life easier. You want to sign up for the Character breafast at the Floridian. Its the best one in disney. Also make sure you get the pass hopper if you can. Your 11 year old probably will love animal kingdom for mt Everest if she is into roller coasters. If you go in the summer the water parks are great but really full of people. Majic Kingdom and Downtown disney also have plenty of 11 year old rides. Definitely get the fast pass for those rides. Saves lots of time. If you need any other information on Disney let me know

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

All of the advice here is good - I would also suggest that you sign up for www.disboards.com - lots of personal recommendations/warnings, etc. for just about any question you can come up with.

We've stayed at the Wilderness Lodge, Saratoga Springs, and the Boardwalk. The Wilderness was close to the Magic Kingdom and the Boardwalk was close to EPCOT. Saratoga wasnt' close to anything at all. It's a lovely resort, but was just too far. The bus rides were long and that ate into our day.

Have a great time!



answers from Gainesville on

It depends how much you want to spend really. There are tons of hotels in Orlando that you can get good weekly rates on. Everything is close to the parks, even if you only stay 20 min away theres always tons of stuff to do. As for packages, I'd call and see. Probably can get tickets cheaper purchasing online rather than buying at the gates. Have fun !



answers from Houston on

I would just call Disney travel. The Disney people are great at helping families set up the right vacation. I would suggest staying at Disney so that you can pop back over to the hotel for a nap and then head back into the park again after. With Disney, rule of thumb is, the longer you stay, the less money you spend per day as far as park admission. They make the money off of you on food and hotel so they can afford to give you the 4th, 5th, 6th, day park admission for practically nothing.

Ooops, I thought you were talking about an 11 month old!!! Guess your 11 year old won't need a nap, ha ha!!! Still, staying at Disney works out so much better, especially if you want to do the late night extended hours, which I would recommend since lines are so much shorter! We have stayed at the economy resort (the sports one) and it was just great!


answers from Boston on

Go cheap. Use Priceline or Hotwire. You can get phenomenal deals. Your child is old enough to ride shuttles or buses to the various parks. My stepdaughter did that with her 8 year old. You really won't use the hotel much at all with a child that age. When our son was very little, we stayed at the Polynesian which was walking distance to the monorail for Epcot, and it had a little water shuttle that went right to the Magic Kingdom. That worked great because we could take him back for an afternoon nap, and my husband could take his older daughters out for something else appropriate for them. The lobby had live macaws and a jungle theme so it was great for him, and it had a pool and a lagoon beach where he could play in the sand. But it's expensive. However, given the economy, there are tremendous deals out there thru more conventional means. Also consult AAA - if you are member, you often get discounts at major hotel chains, and their agents can help book your travel and get you combination packages (air/hotel/park tickets). One year, when he was about 7 or 8, we actually drove to Virginia and took the Autotrain to Florida, then we had our car with us and could go to Sea World and other attractions without waiting for shuttles. That was a fun adventure in itself and he LOVED sleeping on the train. Good luck and have a great time!



answers from Boston on

We went to Disney in 2006 and my sister and internet guru practically planned the whole thing. First of all you should subscribe to the email site allearsnet.com they send you emails with interesting stories from the parks but the best part about this email is that they let you know what attractions/resturaunts/etc are going to be closed for repairs when and for how long. Also they provide tips from readers that have been there recently. I would also recommend staying at one of the Disney Hotels if only to get the benefit of easy travel and Extra Magic Hours. They open a different park each day an hour early for Disney hotel guests and they keep a park open each night for an extra three hours. The park and days change but if you stay for a week you will have access to each park opening early and staying open late at least once. As Kellhy mentioned the Dining Plan is a REALLY good idea. With the dining plan you get one table meal, one counter service and one snack for each person, each day. The table meal is the real benefit. We had character meals every night and I remember looking at the receipt and a character meal for my husband and I would cost around $50-80.00 but with the dining plan our bill would say $0.00. We were able to eat in Cinderella's castle for dinner just as easily as eating in one of the Epcot resturaunts. Even better sometimes Disney offers the Dining Plan for free, usually twice a year at their "slow" times so watch for info on that or ask a Disney Travel Agent when that might be available. If you are planning to attend character meals, like Cinderella's castle make sure you reserve 180 days in advance. Really they fill up that fast!! Another thing you can do to cut back on cost is keep food in your room, breakfast things like cereal, donuts, non perishable things. You can either buy them at home and mail them to your hotel to be waiting for you when you arrive or if you are going to have a car you can shop in Orlando. As others have mentioned the Disney Travel planners are awesome and will give you all kinds of tips. You should also go on Disney's site and order the travel planning guide. It has a DVD showing what is happenening this year, attractions, new rides, etc and then it also comes with a CD to help you plan your vacation. I don't know if you have Triple A but you can get some pretty good discounts through them and help with planning the trip. Another good site is mousesavers.com with all kinds of tips to help you save money while having a great time. Hope you have a blast. I am hoping to go back in the fall of 2011. Let me know if you have any questions.



answers from Boston on

Go to the bookstore and get The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World by Bob Sehlinger. It is updated each year and is invaluable! It will tell you about accommodations both on Disney property and off. It will tell you how to plan an itinerary for your trip based on your specific needs and the time of year you will be there. It tells you about some things you may not find on your own -- Like the fish and chips at the Great Britain Pavilion in Epcot :D or where to stand/sit to get the best views for shows. The book gives an overview of each ride and lets you know how intense/scary it is if you have small or nervous kids. We carried it around the parks with us our first trip there... so helpful! It is compiled by scouting trips made by the authors, but also from survey forms and letters received from recent travelers. Go buy the book today. You'll be glad you did!



answers from Providence on

Hi D.,
My husband and I just booked our trip to Disney. We're going this May with a 4 year old and a 17 year old. We are staying at the cabins in Fort Wilderness. I have never stayed there but have heard nothing but great things about them. Great location too - right between the Kingdom and Epcot. It's categorized as a moderate resort so it isn't the cheapest but it's reasonable. I have stayed at the All Star Movies resort, which is also nice. It's your basic hotel but jazzed up a bit for the kids - it's cool and very inexpensive. My only negative about staying there would be that the bus ride to the parks is long but otherwise, it's a great option especially if you're looking to spend a little less. We booked our trip through a travel agent but it was the same price as what we priced out on the Disney website. And Disney is having a great promotion right now. Depending on what category resort you book, you will get a $250 (value), $500 (moderate), or $750 (deluxe) gift card when you check in to be used anywhere there at Disney. We are getting the dining plan because, from what we've been told, it's so worth the $$ for just the table meal alone. Not sure if we'll really utilize the snack/lunch option for all 4 of us, every day, but if you average out what the price of dinner would be every night for 4 at even just an average priced restaurant, you're probably looking at $100 easy for just dinner each night. Passes - we've opted for the Hopper passes. We originally thought of just getting the base tix because we figured with a 4 year old, we wouldn't be going to more than 1 park a day. But then someone pointed out to us that there may be times when one park is just too crowded, lines are too long, rides are closed, etc. and we may spontaneously decide we want to try another park. This way we'll be able to do that. Plus, my husband and his older son will be able to go back out at night, just the 2 of them, and enjoy some of the rides together as well. Well, good luck in your planning! And thanks to some of the other Moms who posted websites - I'll definitely be checking those out before my trip!

Happy Travels!

-A. B.


answers from Columbus on

We just went to Disney for the first time last month. My MIL did most of the booking, but went through the Disney online agents. They were phenomenal!! They take care of everything and can answer any of your questions. We reserved our dinners at the different parks and just made sure what we planned for the day corresponded with the location of the dinner that night. Our group was 3 families with kids ranging in age from 9 months to 12 years old. We did not get the park hopper (lets you go from one park to another in one day), because we were perfectly content to stay at one park a day and had plenty to do. My kids (and my 12 yr old nephew) really enjoyed the Mt Everst ride at Animal Kingdom - It was their favorite. They also really enjoyed Hollywood Studios with the rides "Rockin Roller Coaster" - you will too, especially if you like Aerosmith! :) And the "Tower of Terror". My kids loved all the rides, really. I also recommend the Fast Passes. You pick a ride/show and get a Fast Pass for it. It gives you a time to come back (usually within 45 min. to 1 hour later). You can go eat, get on a different ride, etc. Then when you come back, you basically get right on. Very little waiting. We were there in January and it was COLD!!! I'm sure it was a much slower time for Disney, but we never had to wait more than 8-10 minutes for a ride. We stayed at the All Star Music Resort. There were 3 of these resorts...music, sports and movies. It was a nice place with 2 heated pools, clean, staff was courteous, etc. The Disney agent will let you know about all this stuff. I can't help you out with what is available off-park. I can see doing that if you've been to Disney more than once and can navigate your way around, know what's available for lodging, etc. Staying on park and having them get you around was super easy, so that's my recommendation. I'm sure you'll have a great time no matter where you stay. I can't wait to go back. It's true there is no age limit for Disney!!!


answers from Dallas on

It depends on how much $$ you plan to spend.

We've done Disney 7 times, the last time was last Spring Break. We ALWAYS stat at the Polynesian Resort on the monorail line. It is our favorite hotel, super easy access to everything. We stayed both in the Conceirge building and the regular rooms. Both are very nice, the concierge is way more pricey but they have food set up pretty much all day for guests. We were't buying many food/drinks in the parks.

Also, being at either the Polynesian, Grand Floridian or Contemporary..conceirge member, we were able to go on a semi private safari at Animal Kingdom and that was a highlight of our trip.

I've always booked everything on the Disney website or by calling Disney directly. I book my own airfare as well. Although there are free shuttles to and from the airport, we choose to take a cab which is about $80 each way because it is a straight shot and we are not waiting around on stops to all resorts. It's s personal choice.

I hope you have a great trip!! It's a lot of fun. We had 2 14 yr old girls last year, our daughter and a friend. We've found that vacations workj well and are more fun when we have one of daughter's friends tag along since we have an only child. Then, another teen gets to have a great trip as well.



answers from New London on

Honestly, it all depends on what your family and son are into. We've been many times and stayed at a few different resorts at Disney. The best advice I could give is stay on Disney property! They have plenty of different resorts at different costs and different themes and it's all done with a BANG. You can't go wrong with Disney. Plus you get free transportation, extra magic hours in certain parks on certain days and just the best service experience ever. I know plenty of people who do both and still agree on property is the best. If your flexible about when you go there can be great discounts and even getting the meal plan free.
Here are some websites I visit for every trip we take.
The actual Disney site can take you from park to park, to view all the resorts and resturuants...basicly anything Disney. I love checking out the calendar of events and park hours as well.
The Forum is a bunch of Disney lovers who have tons of advice and money saving tips.
All Ears is a plentiful array of info on what each resturaunt serves and prices, what is going on when, etc.
Private message me if you have questions or want more specifc info. I could fill a huge page for you but will leave room for others. My Mom and I are all about Disney and if we don't have the answers, we'll get them.

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