Ok, so Me, my Wife and 4 kids piled into the minivan, drove 1000 miles and spent a week at Disney World. We had a great time. Let me give you the run down on what we did and my recommendations...
If you ever go to Disney on a non-peak week, you will never go at another time again. We went the week after labor day and never spent more than 15-20 minutes in any given line. Most waits were between 5 and 10 minutes. When you have small kids with you, this is tremendous!
Since September is a slow month for Disney, they were offering the Disney Dining Plan for free with certain packages. This plan gives each member of your group a Snack, a Counter Service Meal and a Table service meal every day of your visit. We tried our best to keep track and we totaled about $1000 worth of meals. So if you are going, check this out. It saved us a chunk of cash and allowed us to eat some meals that we probably would not have eaten. The $25 Prime Rib at Boatwrights was especially good. :) I also learned not to ask for Ketchup at the Wilderness Lodge resturant.
I don't know how they do it, but the Magic Kingdom never ceases to amaze me. I really think it is Disney's attention to detail that really draws you into their parks. Every waiting queue for every attraction is in some way decorated so that you want to check it out.
Disney / MGM
3 things really stood out to me at MGM:
1: The Lights,Motors, Action Stunt show. This was a really cool car/motorcycle stunt show and was very impressive.
2: The Tower of Terror. I went on the ToT in 1997 and it was fun, but apparently there was an upgrade in 2004 that added random drops. That made it much better!
3: The Rockin' Roller Coaster. Ok, the lamest name ever, but the best thrill ride at Disney. A linear induction coaster goes from 0-70ish in 2.8 seconds, and sends you into 3 inversions including a really nice corkscrew, and all in the dark with some blacklight scenery and Aerosmith blasting in your ears the whole time. mmmm fun!
Animal Kingdom was a nice park. The safari ride was cool, some nice views of the animals. The River Rapids ride was good, but really short. The best ride there is definitely The Everest Expidition. So good drops and some good speed and some backwards coasting as well. I was a little surpised about the "kiddie ride" area it felt almost like a midway at a county fair. Some of the rides seemed like they were assembled that day. Strange for Disney.
Epcot was fun as always. They have done a lot of updating. The Test Track ride was pretty good, especially when it goes outside for the banked curves. I took my 7 year old on the tame version of Mission: Space. I would like to go on the intense version next time.
We saw the afternoon main street parade, the Spectralmagic parade, the Illuminations show and the "Wishes" fireworks display. I think sitting in front of the castle watching Wishes was a real high point for everyone.
So all in all, it was a great vacation. I can't wait to go back.