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  1. #1

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    Big family trip to Orlando in November. I've got a ton of questions.

    Hi guys, this is our first trip to Orlando, so forgive me if I sound kinda frazzled and clueless.

    So I've found out through the grapevine that this fall my parents are planning this huge, multi-generational grandkids, kids, grandparents, and great grandparents shin dig in Orlando, and have basically left the tough decisions to us, their kids.

    The grandparents are renting a vacation home in Orlando for a week, instead of a ton of hotel rooms, for a couple of reasons. We're going to have a really big group, around twenty people, most of whom are little kids and toddlers. Renting a dozen hotel rooms would simply be too expensive and difficult to organize (not to mention loud for the neighbors). So we're getting a vacation home, and after looking at our schedules and comparing them to the on-season, off-season rates, we've decided to go on November 9-15. We're figuring with these dates that people are far less inclined to take a vacation to WDW a week and half before Thanksgiving, and it will be less crowded than normal. Is this the case? Has anyone else gone during this time and seen heavy crowds? Does WDW have any annual refurbs which take a ride down during this time?

    Second, what is the weather like in Orlando during November? I googled "Orlando + Hurricane season" and basically got back that any time between June and December is considered hurricane season. How hot/wet is it typically during this time? Any tips for what kinds of clothes we should pack?

    Third, ticket specials. The last time the family went out to DLR (back in 2008) we were extended a "Buy 3 days, get 2 free" option on our park hoppers. Is there anything like that going on with Disneyworld, which extends to people staying off property? I've even heard from some that if you're going to be paying for 7-day park hoppers, it would be cheaper to go with an annual pass.

    I've got a ton of questions for all you WDW-ers, but will hold off until we have dates nailed down. Any help would be incredible.

    -Thanks

  2. #2

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    Re: Big family trip to Orlando in November. I've got a ton of questions.

    Sounds like you've got a good start to your planning. I'm not a vet of WDW, but I have been to all the Parks around the world and WDW many times. With such a large party renting a house is a good idea. I just considered that idea myself for the same time period, but things changed, and so now I'll be in a hotel off property. From my research over the years, I don't believe that Disney extends any benefits to off property visitors-but many local hotels do with shuttles and stuff-but I hate them-as they are set times and generally don't go when I want to go.

    Weather should be fine that time of year, hurricane's happen, and you can't plan for them--you just have to hope for the best.

    The very best advice I can give you is to get to the Parks early. Be there before the gates open--and you'll get so many rides in that you'll really feel like you've accomplished something and then it won't matter what the crowds are that day. And then you can take a rest in the afternoon and go back at night if you feel like it. Or just wander and take it all in. But definitely go early.

    Because there are so many of you, pick meeting times and regular check ins to make new plans. Pick a day where you all start out at one Park and get a group photo--do it early and you won't have all the crowds of people in your photo. I always take my traditional pic infront of the Park's icon within thirty mins of opening to avoid all the strollers passing in the background.

    And finally, because you'll all want to do different things at different times, WDW has great taxi availability. I generally taxi to the Parks (take the yellow cabs-can't remember their name but they drive onto the Park free, the others you have to pay parking even to drop off). But no matter what time I've left the Park there's generally a cab there to take me where I want to go.

    Again, if you all have some form of communication with each other as you are spread out you can coordinate everyone meeting to get home more economically. You can use Disney transportation to get to and from each Park the easiest.

    Well good luck and I hope you have a fantastic time.

  3. #3

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    Re: Big family trip to Orlando in November. I've got a ton of questions.

    Now that I live here, I think I can give you more information jsut from talking to my colleagues at work and in the community.

    First, great plan on the space---remember, that you'll have access to Early Morning Hours if you stay offsite. The response to that is, find out when those days are and make sure you don't go to the park that day. Otherwise, you'll find it full and bustling by the time you arrive.

    There is a massive lull in early November before the pick up of the "Season." Crowds should be lite. However, Disney knows this and will close the park early and refurb (I'll see about schedules on their websites) happen in that time period. It's the payment you'll have to make with the smaller crowds. In fact, it's the time of the year to really go, so good for you!

    Hurricanes in Central Florida? They happen, but there's no more planning for that then there is for an earthquake in Southern California. Frankly, just come regardless and make the best of it. It can get a bit rainy in the afternoons during the hurricane season. What do you do about it? Go anyway! Most of the rides are indoors as it is, so you'll be fine. And the ponchos are held behind the counter and are something of a steal. A few bucks for each. Just grab them and keep going. You might wanna wear shoes --heck, you should anyway with all the pavement---on days it rains. Also, since it's hurricane season and you're fairly land-locked, you'll find the mornings are great for touring, but still, well, 'steamy.'

    In other words, very humid. You might not notice it, depending on your personality, but in Animal Kingdom, it can be noticable with the huge canopy.

    Whew. That's a lot of information. Let me know what more I can answer for you.

    I just woke up. So I'm sure I'm missing information.

    In fact, as you have fun, please make sure to take lotsa pictures and make a trip report! We love to see those things!

    Peace,
    Roo
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    Re: Big family trip to Orlando in November. I've got a ton of questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by RooBear View Post

    remember, that you'll have access to Early Morning Hours if you stay offsite.
    This must have been a typo...You will NOT have access to EMH if you stay off-site. That is only for on-site guests. But the suggestion is still correct to not go to EMH parks on those days if you can avoid it.

    I suggest that you buy one of the "Unofficial Guides: touring books and go to Touringplans.com to look at their crowd calendars to see what park is the best to visit on each day.

    As for the rain...It's probably going to rain. It's Florida. But I would suggest going to your local store and buying Poncho's instead of spending the $7 each at WDW.

    Most of all...Do your research. It will make things much easier to digest and plan out.
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  5. #5

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    Re: Big family trip to Orlando in November. I've got a ton of questions.

    Hey, thanks for all the great feedback and PM's guys. Everything's shaping up well. We'll be going from Nov 10 thru the 17th, and staying in some housing community called Emerald Isle. We're hoping that by the time we leave, the Thanksgiving crowds will just start flocking to Orlando.

    I think the current plan is that the grandparents will be paying for either two or four day tickets for everybody (some can only come for a couple days) and afterwards will leave everybody to their own devices. We plan on hitting the Wizarding World, and the rest of IOA for a day or two. Other family members might end up driving out to Cape Canaveral, or just hit the beach too. I'm just all about the theme parks.

    Now, regarding tickets. We're heavily considering Undercover Tourist, because right now you can buy 3 days MYW tickets, and they'll give you a fourth for free. Now I've read plenty of forum posts from ex-disney employees advising against using anybody BUT disney to purchase tickets, but this place seems pretty legit. I e-mailed their customer service, who gave me the "Don't worry, this isn't a scam" response. Has anyone ever used them, or know of anyone who has used Undercover Tourist and been burned?

  6. #6

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    Re: Big family trip to Orlando in November. I've got a ton of questions.

    I generally don't mess around when it comes to buying tickets for anything. So generally I go to the source. But that's not to say that your place isn't fine to use. I'd look under the sponsors and partners header on the main page. I think there's a travel agency and a ticket place that sponsor This forum. They may have a deal or may match the deal or if they can't match be able to tell you their reputation. Just stay away from buying partially used tickets on ebay. Good luck. I'll be there at the same time so let's hope for moderate crowds and clear skies.

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    Re: Big family trip to Orlando in November. I've got a ton of questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by SAV View Post
    This must have been a typo.
    CRAP! It was! I would know, to!

    Sorry about that!

    Peace,
    Roo
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  8. #8

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    Re: Big family trip to Orlando in November. I've got a ton of questions.

    Undercover Tourist it totally legit!
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