We’ve been to Disney World lots of times.
One of the best books to get beforehand is “The Unofficial Guide to Disney World” by Bob Sehlinger. He has a new one out every year. All his info is really good, he will tell you what to see for your age children, where to eat, etc. He is NOT a commercial for Disney like the 'Official Disney Guidebook" from Birnbaum.
After our many visits, I’ve concluded Disney World food is very average. They have exceptional ambience with the different characters and Epcot is fun with the different countries, but the food is really not that great.
I never liked the crowds either, so I would pull my children out of school and go in the ‘off’ times. That was much better.
Last time we went we used the ‘fast pass’ and it was great.
We always stayed at the Beach Club or the Yacht Club. They have an incredible pool with sand on the bottom! My kids loved it.
If you end up staying at a Disney property, figure on a couple days of just hanging at the pool. Unfortunately, you have to get there early to get a chair…but sometimes you need a break from the parks.
Have fun and let us know how it goes.