OT- Disney World trip

Discussion in 'Off Topic Archive' started by GemParty, Oct 6, 2016.

  1. KingOPancakes

    KingOPancakes

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    Disney shuttle from the airport is very convenient. A few weeks before your trip they mail you luggage tags. As long as you use those tags, you don't go to luggage claim. Just get off the plane and follow signs for Disney's Magic Express. There's dozens of shuttles that each go to a specific hotel or a few hotels that are close to each other. Your luggage will be waiting for you in your room later that day.
     
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  2. Marat

    Marat

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    We went when my daughter was 5 and stayed in the Polynesian onsite which made it very convenient to return back to the resort after 1/2 day at park, relax/swim and go back via monorail to the parks. This made it easy for my wife since she was also pregnant at that time. It was expensive but worth it.

    We returned back to Disney when my second daughter was about 5 years as well, but stayed off site to minimize costs.

    Now, I'm also planning to return next Spring but plan to stay outside property @ Hyatt Grand Cypress. The kids are older now and would likely enjoy the property (pool, activities) between going to Universal, Epcot, etc...

    One of my great memories is when I went to Disney in 1999 a couple weeks after UConn won the NCAA. I was getting high 5s everywhere while wearing my UConn attire - lots of Husky fans in Orlando.
     
  3. August_West

    August_West Shall we play a game?

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    Good advice. They let you bring in food AND water bottles. Bring whatever you feel will help your day.

    Also, meal plans are polarizing. Some people swear by them. I dont. I dont like the constraints. Nor does it save as much money as you think it will.

    Adult tip.

    My wife and I fill the water bottles with Clear tequila (me) and Clear rum (her)

    I dont think this Gemparty trip is conducive to that level of depravity yet. :) .
    No booze needed when seeing the parks through a 5 year olds eyes.
    But for the last couple years my daughter and her friend split off from us (you know, teens) for pretty much the duration of the trip (there is no safer place on the planet than Disney) and my wife and I go wild in Epcot drinking our way around the world (Epcot a short walk from boardwalk we would stumble back to boardwalk...usually Big River cafe for a night cap before the room, after the fireworks) We got the water bottle idea after drinking our way around Epcot by buying booze in every country (mexico sells tequila and margaritas, Germany jaeger and beer, England, Guinness, etc..... and I think our booze walk costs us over 400 bucks that night. So we supplement with our own now. It is unbelievable how cheap booze is in Florida. last time there I picked up a 1.75 handle of bacardi for my wife at a Publix liquor store for 17 bucks.
     
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  4. August_West

    August_West Shall we play a game?

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    Magic Express perfect for a 5 year old. The trip really starts when you get on that bus.
     
  5. Excalibur

    Excalibur

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    The amount of information here, and the amount of planning that goes into a trip, is overwhelming. But when it comes together, it makes for an amazing time. I had the lowest of low expectations when we first took the kids a year ago, made even lower by the fact that we were traveling with another family of four along with my parents. I was anticipating 9 days' worth of cranky kids, crowds, heat, and general misery. It ended up being incredible from the moment we arrived until the moment we got on the plane home.


    One thing I did notice, though, was that I've never seen so many ugly people in one place . . .
     
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  6. August_West

    August_West Shall we play a game?

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    LOL.
    Mobility scooters left and right.
     
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  7. John

    John I am the Walrus

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    not to generalize, but there's a lot of fat pushy loud southerners there.
     
  8. GemParty

    GemParty Premier Properties National Referral-All 50 states

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    I'm learning there's the rub. It's crazy if you don't book these rides on fast pass, 3 months out, you won't get a ride. I guess that's where the appointment style dragging begins?
     
  9. John

    John I am the Walrus

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    well, actually, you WILL get to ride, even without a FP reservation. Just you'll wait longer. Bear in mind that many of the queues have interactive elements, so even if you're waiting, there's things to fiddle around with while waiting. This isn't Lake Compounce, it's Disney - so everything ride-wise is done to the n'th degree.
     
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  10. Mr. Conehead

    Mr. Conehead

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    A couple of years back, took the family on a Disney Cruise out of Port Everglades. Flew down a few days early and stayed-off site as my youngest was too little for Disney (he would lasted maybe 1 day), plus my older one wanted to see Harry Potter and my wife also wanted to meet a college friend who now lives in Orlando. Stayed a the Marriot Harbor Lake Resort in a two-bedroom suite, for $120 a night (I actually used points), which is near Sea World. Spent one day at Universal Harry Potter, and then a second a Disney Market Place. The third day was just relaxed and drank at the hotel which has mini-golf, waterslides, and a video arcade with my wife's friend's family. After that, drove back to the airport, dropped off the rental, and took the Disney Bus to the Disney ship. Was a good week or so.

    PS - Disney will be basing a boat out of NYC in 2017
     
  11. nelsonmuntz

    nelsonmuntz Point Center

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    I go about every 3 years, although I am hoping to stretch that out. I recommend staying at the Boardwalk or Yacht and Beach clubs because they are walking distance to Epcot and my family ends up eating a lot of meals at Epcot when I go. I would also recommend the Japanese place at Epcot for a late dinner so you can watch the Epcot light show from the top of whatever that place is called.

    The variety and overall quality of restaurants are a lot better in and near Epcot than they are at the Magic Kingdom. The Epcot resorts are also a short boat ride to MGM.

    Disney World makes Disneyland look like a local fall carnival. I am never going back to Disneyland. Total waste of a day in Southern California.

    Be prepared for your wallet to take a beating. I have taken a 10 day oversea trip to northern Europe recently that was the same price as a week in Disney even when flights were included.
     
  12. August_West

    August_West Shall we play a game?

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    theres a lot of everyone.

    What I get a kick out of, and we see it every vacation, is that there are a lot of Brits down there always. And what is funny is when we see them at Epcot they are always eating Fish and Chips in "England"

    WTF? Come thousands of miles for a trip where you can have any food in the world, and you eat fish and chips?
     
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  13. Balker

    Balker

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    As someone else said, you don't need the reservations for rides, but what you'd want to do is pick three reservations for things that you+kid really want to do, and book them for later in the day when the lines will be stupid long without them (though again this can be very seasonal). You get to the park at opening, do all the other things you really want to do that you don't have a reservation for in the first 60 minutes before everyone else filters in, and then chill and do your reservations the rest of the day, watch parades, see fireworks, just take it all in.

    Also have to be aware that the parks often have "extra magic hours", either 1 in the AM, or 3 in the PM. Meaning Disney hotel guests +Swan and Dolphin get the parks to themselves. This means that if you aren't in that group, you avoid the park that has the extra hours that day. And if you are in the group (staying at Disney hotels), then you get there for the extra hours and take advantage of the opportunity to have small lines.

    All that said, Disney is not just rides, it is crammed to the hilt with stuff that most people are content to just walk by, but in any other context this same stuff would be a day trip in its own right. There is a 19th century steam boat, and steam train, that are among the finest in the world that you'll never wait in a line for and most people ignore, because they are too worried about getting on a 90 second ride with Peter Pan. There is an 18 story sphere that you could put in the desert and people would drive thousands of miles to see it, but for most people at Disney it's just an obstacle on the way to the Frozen ride. Kids love all this stuff. They will just be constantly in awe of it if their adult companions don't drive them to exhaustion and fits of rage over the toy they want. People who don't "get" Disney, are usually caught up in this misunderstanding of what it has to offer.

    Rental car: Definitely not needed. Disney transport will take you anywhere for free, but it can be crowded, and the buses in particular can be slow. Especially for the cheaper hotels. That's where Uber can come into play. Should be less than $10 anywhere you want to go, and there are plenty of drivers. Rental car is only helpful if you want to go to Universal, Sea World, etc... and/or if you game the system by staying off property, driving to the Disney resorts within walking distance of the parks, and telling the guards you are "shopping".
     
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  14. Kitaman

    Kitaman

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    At 5 years old it will be overwhelming (and exciting) whatever you do. We took each daughter to Disney about 3 times before they turned 15. This could be your situation as well.

    Just saying the theme park with a couple of character pics should fascinate your 5 year old whether on property or not.

    We have stayed on property, in hotel and in time share. The on property by far was the most picturesque for our young-uns with themed characters parading nearby back and forth and readily available for photos.

    Orlando has so much to do beyond Disney. There's Seaworld, Univeral Studios, Legoland, that Knights show, and other cool stuff.

    Now if you want a cheap stay with benefits, any time share will spot you a few days stay requiring only a tour (which is miserable) but giving you cash card and the amenities of home. They will have a pool, kitchen nice beds, etc..

    The trick is scheduling the earliest tour on the first morning. So when you say no, the agent has other suckers after you that he can hold hostage, letting you go about your business and enjoying the property therafter. (They also have discounts to nearby attractions). We did this on subsequent trips and saved a fortune in hotel fees and food costs (particularly breakfast).

    Or you simply can rent a timeshare for your trip which can be less than hotel fees, whether you cook there or not.

    Just describing to you off property options for consideration.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2016
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  15. John

    John I am the Walrus

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    one thing we missed during several visits to MK, but finally went to see, is Tom Sawyer Island, and now my kids love it. The day we finally took the raft ride over, my younger son was having a rough day, so my wife took the other kids and he and I went to TSI. It is GREAT, and he loved it and it was the perfect diversion to put him in a good mood again.
     
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  16. KingOPancakes

    KingOPancakes

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    Probably the best advice I can offer is the "My Disney Experience" app if you have a smart phone. It really does it all for you. You can book dining reservations, FastPasses, change reservations at the last minute, add on new FastPasses once you've used your 3, there's a map of each park that will lead you to any attraction (or what we ended up using it for, restrooms), and it will tell you the appx wait time for every ride in real time. If you sign up for the PhotoPass the pictures (ride pics, character pics, etc) show up in the app almost immediately after they're taken. The app takes an already streamlined Disney experience to a whole new level.
     
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  17. 8893

    8893 Curiouser

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    Some suggestions from a Disney-themed discussion Auggie and I had recently in the Cesspool:

     
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  18. Deepster

    Deepster

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    My two takes on Disney are:

    1) I was amazed at the amount of fatties in scooters there were. We'd wait in line for some animal show or something, then a minute before it starts, here comes a convoy of obese people in scooters cruising right up into the front row.

    2) I always wonder what foreigners must feel like when they see everyone walking around gnawing on a turkey leg. The reality is, most people eat a turkey leg on Thanksgiving and never again the rest of the year. Disney makes it feel like Americans just walk everywhere eating them every day like it's the most normal thing in the world.
     
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  19. August_West

    August_West Shall we play a game?

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    They thankfully recently did away with many parts of that scam. A few years ago you could hire "3rd party tour guides" who used an employee on a scooter to cut ride lines for entire parties.
     
  20. Fishy

    Fishy Puncher of Throats

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    They've been doing that in the fall - the Magic comes back from Europe and runs out of NYC for a couple of months.
     
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  21. huskiesouth

    huskiesouth

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    Lots of great posts full of good info.

    Considering that you are taking a 5-year old, IMHO best advice from above posts are go early, take a long mid-day break, go back late afternoon and evening, really need a stroller (you can rent one at the parks if need be), use FastPass, there are some rides that have height restrictions and remember you will not even come close to seeing and doing everything, which is okay because you will return.
     
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  22. Fishy

    Fishy Puncher of Throats

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    If I remember correctly, renting the stroller has a few benefits - you're really renting the services of a stroller, so you can grab one when you need it, but you're not obligated to tote it around when you don't.
     
  23. Balker

    Balker

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    Yeah you basically rent the stroller at the park when you get there at the front. It does take some time, and is fairly pricey ($20ish a day, not sure how much it is right now). But it does save you bringing it on a plane, and toting it around on the transportation around the property. With a 5YO I might go with one of those super light folding strollers if you don't think they'll make it through a day.
     
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  24. KingOPancakes

    KingOPancakes

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    But just imagine all the mojo if you bring your own ketchup.
     
  25. huskymedic

    huskymedic

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    Some decent info in here on food and Disney restaurants for kids and adults. Check out tabs @ top - for example: Disney World Character Meals | the disney food blog. Get planning ;)