Disney World

Stilgar Black wrote:

Awesome! I'll post them here in case anyone else is interested.

1) If you've been to the other parks, how does it compare in terms of size and experience?
2) How long would you visit to see the good stuff? One day? Three?
3) Given the different food culture, do you need to allow extra time for meals?
4) Do you need to stay near the park, or is Paris sufficient?
5) How were lines (excuse me, queues) when you were there, and what time of year did you go?
6) Anything awesome stand out for you that was a must see?
7) Anything horrible to avoid?

Ok, I think I've exceeded my limit, but I welcome any advice or experience you may give.

1. It is more comparable to Disney Anaheim...two parks...one much like Disney's standard park and the other like California land.

2. I would do 3-days.

3. Between the parks there is a large theater/restaurant complex where you can eat. just don't expect outstanding food anywhere near the park (not that I could find anyway)

4. The park is quite a distance east of Paris. I would recommend scheduling some time in Paris separately...look hard enough and there are some pretty decent, affordable apartments available in town. Both times for Disney we stayed in The Davey Crocket themed area across the freeway from the park. It was affordable...basically a clean trailer park with a fun center area with a nice indoor pool (the trailer park aspect is hilarious for me as a dirty American) but, it really is nice and close to the parks.

5. We went in March and July, both times were crowded but no more so than Disney World or Disneyland in April-May.

6. No must sees at Disney itself. I think it is the cleanest of the Disney parks and really nice. My kids loved the Nemo ride (so did I). The must sees are in Paris proper, obviously. Nothing real close to where Disney is located though. It is essentially as far out as Versailles but in the other direction.

7. Avoids? No, not really.

Hope you have a good time if you elect to go!

Thanks for the info, Monsieur Static. Back to planning!

MisterStatic wrote:

Both times for Disney we stayed in The Davey Crocket themed area across the freeway from the park. It was affordable...basically a clean trailer park with a fun center area with a nice indoor pool (the trailer park aspect is hilarious for me as a dirty American) but, it really is nice and close to the parks.

After looking at pictures those look very similar to the Fort Wilderness Campground "cabins" at Walt Disney World. (An awesome place to camp - whether tent, RV, or in the "cabins".) Pretty cool.

shoptroll wrote:

Will have overall trip report when we get home tomorrow.

So that didn't happen. Here's some random thoughts and things I learned from the trip.

These are incredibly worth the investment if you plan on being hydrated. Last year we forgot to get filtered water bottles and ended up buying most of our water from the food vendors at the parks. Two people @ 2-3 bottles a day means the Brita ones will pay for themselves after a couple of days. There's plenty of water fountains / bubblers around so it's really easy to refill throughout the day.

Packing blister pads was also a good idea.

Food & Wine festival was awesome. Was too hot to really enjoy the libations though, but the food choices were excellent. I know it's not part of the festival, but I think I had the best shaved ice ever at the stand near Tokyo.

Boma was very cool although it's essentially standard American (or at least New England) comfort foods dressed up with some exotic spices. Animal Kingdom lodge was really awesome, and I'd love to stay there for a full trip some time (even though it's in the middle of nowhere logistically).

We're convinced The Wave has the best breakfast buffet (although my only comparison is to the one at the Swan/Dolphin. Demyx can probably offer better comparisons).

California Grill was worth the price of admission. Had an incredible steak there, much better than anything I've had at home, and the view is just gorgeous.

Bay Lake tower / Contemporary was a very nice stay. Being able to watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks from the rooftop lounge was awesome. Also, they have a pretty sweet arcade in the Contemporary.

I'm still a sucker for any cocktail with a glowcube in it.

Tambu Lounge at the Polynesian is great The Poly is great, period. However, they need to rename the "Backscratcher" to "Shalalm Baskur":

IMAGE(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8472/8117898954_c574c98ebb.jpg)

As for the bad stuff:

Wifi, as mentioned earlier, exists in most of the parks. It's serviceable but I think they might have capacity issues because the connection stopped working on a very frequent basis in the hotel. Could've been our room, but I think I had some issues in the parks as well.

Rock & Roller Coaster was down for most of the day we were at MGM. We did get on it later in the day, but it was noticeably janky and not a smooth ride which was unfortunate.

Unlike the last trip (as far as I can remember), the motion video rides (Star Tours and Mission: Space) both left me feeling slightly nauseous which is slightly worrying since I usually don't have issues with motion sickness.

We missed a soft opening of New Fantasyland since we were in Animal Kingdom that day

Did you go to Boma for dinner or lunch? I found the dinner there a bit underwhelming. On the other hand, breakfast there is great.

I need some replacement feet after all this walking!

Thanks for the random thoughts! I've only ever gone with kids, so I love hearing about a grownup trip.

Vacation days started. Three days to flight. Eight to Disney. Excitement rising.

The beauty of it is that my brother has 3 kids, so with me there we can each be paired up with a kid.

I think Shoptroll's advice for the Brita filter bottle is a great one, so I went and picked one up for me.

The Dole Whip was awesome. I had mine as a float made with pineapple juice.

For the first and third days, I filled up my water bottle but forgot it on the counter. Oops!

We also found jalapeño and cheese pretzels at Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. Pretty awesome.

Hitting EPCOT tomorrow, having a blast so far.

Just got back from Disney ourselves. Enjoy Epcot, we spent a day and a half there and love it.

Going to Orlando in February. Budget kinda tight so might only go see Universal Island of Adventure(for Harry Potter/Marvel stuff) and Kennedy Space Center since my wife has never been. Would like to go to Disney Magic Kingdom to go see the New Fantasy Land, but that's only on the maybe list.

Some bits are open, but they are still doing construction on the New Fantasyland. There's a lovely scale model set up at Hollywood Studios for what the finished zone is going to look like, the Seven Dwarfs Mine Ride isn't scheduled to be finished until 2014 sometime.

We got a fastpass for Toy Story at Hollywood Studios today as soon as we got there, which was broken down for a bit in the morning. When we showed up at 5:15 (the early time for the fastpass) the sign was showing a 140 minute wait for the standby line. We should have got a fastpass for the Aerosmith ride, because the wait was an hour and unlike most Disney rides it was a boring-ass wait in line with nothing to do or see. The ride was totally awesome though.

While in line for the Tower of Terror, we ran into a family my brother knows because their kids are in the same grade at school. Also, my mom saw someone who was on All My Children, she recognized because that was the soap she watched since I was a kid. Also looking him up on IMDB to verify who he was, it turns out he's from the same small hometown we are from.

I thought Kennedy Space Center was neat when we went, but I'm not sure about my younger brothers. I was in grade seven at the time, and I remembered the Challenger disaster. My brothers would have been in grade five and one, I think.

Rainsmercy wrote:

Going to Orlando in February. Budget kinda tight so might only go see Universal Island of Adventure(for Harry Potter/Marvel stuff) and Kennedy Space Center since my wife has never been. Would like to go to Disney Magic Kingdom to go see the New Fantasy Land, but that's only on the maybe list.

I went to Islands of Adventure last weekend and left very impressed. February should be a great time as well.

Strewth wrote:

We should have got a fastpass for the Aerosmith ride, because the wait was an hour and unlike most Disney rides it was a boring-ass wait in line with nothing to do or see. The ride was totally awesome though.

Rock 'n' Roller Coaster's building and queue are a disgrace. The ride is great, but it's in a big stucco warehouse with an oversized guitar on it. It really stands out next to the gorgeous Tower of Terror, a ride with terrific atmosphere that I can't ride due to motion sickness

MisterStatic wrote:
Rainsmercy wrote:

Going to Orlando in February. Budget kinda tight so might only go see Universal Island of Adventure(for Harry Potter/Marvel stuff) and Kennedy Space Center since my wife has never been. Would like to go to Disney Magic Kingdom to go see the New Fantasy Land, but that's only on the maybe list.

I went to Islands of Adventure last weekend and left very impressed. February should be a great time as well.

Skip Kennedy Space Center.

I grew up an hour from there, I have a ton of fond memories of visiting there and seeing everything. i went back a few months ago, its a money grabbing hell. They outsourced everything to a private entertainment group. The base price is for the main visitor's center, you want to add a bus ride to one of the complexes (where the really neat stuff is) you will end up paying close to $100 total for the privilege. The main center is under construction because they are getting ready for a shuttle to be based in a new building that will house it there. The Space Shuttle Experience is really neat and the shop has a ton of cool stuff to buy, but that is about it.

I also went to the Islands of Adventure last week. I have been there 3 times and love it. I brought my 8 year old son and my nieces, 9 and 13, with me. We stayed in a hotel on the property. It allows you to get in an hour early to the Hogwarts area and their full day fast pass. It was so worth it. That being said, I have also been in February. Its the middle of tourist season there, and is much more crowed. The weather is iffy and I am going to guess that you are not going to be doing the water rides, which means that about 1/3 of the park will be off limits.

If you have any other questions, please let me know via PM and I would be happy to throw in my two pennies.

Interesting about Orlando in February. We went there in February of 2004' and while there were t-storms every once in a while, it was definitely not crowded. It was late February. But, I understand that is a sample of one experience and I have never lived in Florida.

We went in February in 2000 for our honeymoon, no rain, mostly sunny and high 70s/low 80s all week, shrug. Also, when we went the Disney parks were not very busy and it is before Spring break when we are going.

Squeeing time,
1 month to Disney day!
3 days at Animal Kingdom Lodge followed by 4 days on the Disney Dream.
Ah, it's going to be glorious to forget this
IMAGE(http://www.digyourowngrave.com/content/snow_wall/snow_wall_01.jpg)

Ok, I skimmed this thread but had a few specific questions...

Dr._Awkward and I are toying with the idea of taking our boys to Disney in October. They will be 2.5 years old. Do you guys think that is too young? Will they have no memory of it and be a complete waste of money? Are there enough things for a family like ours to do?

Would you suggest staying on site, or off?

I spoke to a Disney rep and she said that kids under 3 are free, and that we could get the meal plan for Doc and I, but that we couldn't get it for the boys, since they were under 3 and free...so basically we could either all share our 2 meals, which is not ideal, because our kids eat a lot, and they eat healthy, far healthier than I would ever want to order, or we would have to order and pay for food for them, which seems to defeat the meal plan.

Missy9579 wrote:

Ok, I skimmed this thread but had a few specific questions...

Dr._Awkward and I are toying with the idea of taking our boys to Disney in October. They will be 2.5 years old. Do you guys think that is too young? Will they have no memory of it and be a complete waste of money? Are there enough things for a family like ours to do?

Would you suggest staying on site, or off?

I spoke to a Disney rep and she said that kids under 3 are free, and that we could get the meal plan for Doc and I, but that we couldn't get it for the boys, since they were under 3 and free...so basically we could either all share our 2 meals, which is not ideal, because our kids eat a lot, and they eat healthy, far healthier than I would ever want to order, or we would have to order and pay for food for them, which seems to defeat the meal plan.

Honestly, as a father of 4 kids, I think that is too young. Certainly, it is too young for meaningful memories. I regret those times we took them to Disney younger than 4.

I pretty much can't remember anything before kindergarten so I would say 2.5 years old is way too young. If you are still counting half years, too young.

Going to Universal Islands of Adventure and most likely Magic Kingdom when I am in Orlando next month!

Missy9579, I honestly think it's too young for them to remember, even in a vague positive since. I took both of mine when they were about that age (they're 3 years apart), and neither of them remembered it. If you want to go for you and the Dr_, have fun, just don't think you're doing it for them. You'll have plenty of chances later to take them.

Yeah I have vague memories of going at 4. Much stronger memories at age 7.

We did take our kids very young, but man, it's a lot of work, and neither one of them remember it at all. Honestly, I would wait, save the money for a KILLER trip in 2 years.

Missy9579 wrote:

Ok, I skimmed this thread but had a few specific questions...

Dr._Awkward and I are toying with the idea of taking our boys to Disney in October. They will be 2.5 years old. Do you guys think that is too young? Will they have no memory of it and be a complete waste of money? Are there enough things for a family like ours to do?

Would you suggest staying on site, or off?

I spoke to a Disney rep and she said that kids under 3 are free, and that we could get the meal plan for Doc and I, but that we couldn't get it for the boys, since they were under 3 and free...so basically we could either all share our 2 meals, which is not ideal, because our kids eat a lot, and they eat healthy, far healthier than I would ever want to order, or we would have to order and pay for food for them, which seems to defeat the meal plan.

Our three each went as toddlers, about a year and a half old or so. It made for great Disney memories for my wife and me, but we're Disney pros and had a couple dozen trips between us before that. Unless you're going with family/friends I'd recommend saving the money and going in a couple years. It won't be worth it at this point. Admission will be more, but there are plenty of ways to cut meal expenses such as sharing meals, bringing refillable water bottles with flavoring packets, and bringing along sandwiches and snacks for the kids. Lodging can also be less if you do something like rent a 2br Villa from Orbit One (400 per week) or sharing a large house with friends and family.

I went to Disney and Sea World when I was about three or so. I have absolutely no recollection of it at all.

Thank you everyone! I think we sort of knew this, but I needed to hear it from some other people. I really wanted to go, but know a few more years will make for an amazing trip when they have some clue about what is going on!

Good info you guys have!

My wife and I are going to be bringing my daughter down to Disney October 2013 (She will be 13) and I'm trying to find the cheapest route. Leaving from CT I'm thinking that flying is a must. I can't imagine 2 days down/2 days back in a car. I'm thinking I can get one of those credit cards that offer 50k miles if you spend $1k or $2k in the first 3 months and just charge the trip to get the miles. That should cover 2 out of 3 tickets.

Regarding the park and stay, I'm decided if doing a Sat - Sat or Sat - Sun is the best option. Flying, Sat - Sat gives us Sun - Fri in the parks which I believe to be enough. We probably could get there Saturday but that's a long day so maybe just take it easy. 6 days is good enough, right?

One part of me says that I should just book through an agent (Dreams Unlimited was recommended) as they monitor pricing and you get any discounts that become applicable. The reason I picked October was because I've generally seen meal plans included or at least a discount on the entire trip when booked as a bundle. Even if I saved money on a room staying offsite, it still seems like the best idea would be to stay in the parks. Am I thinking along the right path?

Next comes where to stay. I've narrowed it down to the value resorts or the Art of Animation. They seem the most budget friendly. The one thing I don't know is location. I know they are all within the park but I don't know what the proximity is to the 4 parks (There are 4, right?). I've also seen where (for a little bit more) you could buy up a week at a DVC resort. Is this worth the additional cost? Without a car I'm basically looking to get around as easy and possible and wouldn't mind spending a little bit more if it meant the trams were shorter or my life became easier.

Last - meal plan. Recommended to me was the quick service, snack, 1 sit down per day. I think this is a good idea as it gives a chance to unwind and eat a little bit of a healthier meal. I am a diabetic (Type II) and read that you could tell Disney before-hand and they can cater a menu toward my dietary needs rather than just having the normal menu. Anyone have experience with this?

The last Disney trip I took was 10 years ago and it was a drunken binge so I really don't remember much from that trip. Sorry for all the questions

DeThroned wrote:

Good info you guys have!

My wife and I are going to be bringing my daughter down to Disney October 2013 (She will be 13) and I'm trying to find the cheapest route. Leaving from CT I'm thinking that flying is a must. I can't imagine 2 days down/2 days back in a car. I'm thinking I can get one of those credit cards that offer 50k miles if you spend $1k or $2k in the first 3 months and just charge the trip to get the miles. That should cover 2 out of 3 tickets.

Regarding the park and stay, I'm decided if doing a Sat - Sat or Sat - Sun is the best option. Flying, Sat - Sat gives us Sun - Fri in the parks which I believe to be enough. We probably could get there Saturday but that's a long day so maybe just take it easy. 6 days is good enough, right?

One part of me says that I should just book through an agent (Dreams Unlimited was recommended) as they monitor pricing and you get any discounts that become applicable. The reason I picked October was because I've generally seen meal plans included or at least a discount on the entire trip when booked as a bundle. Even if I saved money on a room staying offsite, it still seems like the best idea would be to stay in the parks. Am I thinking along the right path?

Next comes where to stay. I've narrowed it down to the value resorts or the Art of Animation. They seem the most budget friendly. The one thing I don't know is location. I know they are all within the park but I don't know what the proximity is to the 4 parks (There are 4, right?). I've also seen where (for a little bit more) you could buy up a week at a DVC resort. Is this worth the additional cost? Without a car I'm basically looking to get around as easy and possible and wouldn't mind spending a little bit more if it meant the trams were shorter or my life became easier.

Last - meal plan. Recommended to me was the quick service, snack, 1 sit down per day. I think this is a good idea as it gives a chance to unwind and eat a little bit of a healthier meal. I am a diabetic (Type II) and read that you could tell Disney before-hand and they can cater a menu toward my dietary needs rather than just having the normal menu. Anyone have experience with this?

The last Disney trip I took was 10 years ago and it was a drunken binge so I really don't remember much from that trip. Sorry for all the questions

My recommendations:

1. Go mid-week, if possible. Park days: M-Th. less lines = more fun.
2. Stay at Hilton Homewood suites (there is one near Universal which isnt far from Disney) which offers free (very good) breakfast and dinner. (You may want to stay and eat dinner at the park, but at least you have the option). Mid-week you should be able to get this for 130-140 a night, with a kitchen and big room.
3. Spend three days at Disney (Epcot a must)' and one day at Universal Islands of Adventure.
4. Flying is fine, the rental car process is fairly perfected at MCO.
Edit: I didn't mean to ignore your diet needs...that is why I suggest the kitchen option and the buffet style of the Homewood Suites. Always pack your meal for the park, they will let it in and, for us budget conscious folks, it is definitely the way to go!