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  1. #1

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    Disney World 2012 Trip - Your advice is needed!

    Hello there everyone, I'll cut right to the chase here:

    I'm currently a Cast Member of the Disneyland resort in California and this most certainly isn't my first time visiting Disney World, but this will be the first time I visit it with a group of friends and both they and I have some questions for you that hopefully you can help us out with. I'll begin with the details of our trip and how I typically took them before.

    We will be staying a total of 7 days. Thur. February 2nd - Wed. February 8th. Right now this is our general schedule:

    Thur. Feb. 2nd - Arrive, check into hotel, enjoy dinner at Downtown Disney
    Fri. Feb. 3rd - Hollywood Studios
    Sat. Feb. 4th - Animal Kingdom
    Sun. Feb. 5th - Epcot
    Mon. Feb. 6th - Magic Kingdom
    Tue. Feb. 7th - Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure
    Wed. Feb. 8th - Depart

    On my last few trips we did Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure on the first day and then stuck to the Disney Parks afterwords but each and every time Universal has proven itself superior in my opinion so I want to save "the best for last" for my friends who haven't gone before.

    We will be staying at the Disney Pop Century resort, because it's the cheapest resort with my Cast Member discount that doesn't have to make several other hotel stops like the "All-Star" resorts, and getting into the Disney parks won't cost us a dime since I have free entry to those as well.

    Onto the questions; What we want to know first of all, is if this is a good time to visit given any refurbishment schedules you may have heard of? I know typically the price of visiting parks in the off seasons are normally certain rides are closed for refurbishment. We want to hit all of the major rides but reading about the possible closure of Test Track in January 2012 and the re-animating of the Amazing Adventures of Spider Man has us worried. I've done some research on my own but at best its been inconclusive, constantly at disagreement with other sites or what other members are saying on the forums. I'll list the rides that are "must-rides" for us and if anyone has any information regarding any kind of scheduled closure during our trip, please let us know.

    Must Rides

    Rock 'n' Roller Coaster
    Tower of Terror
    Expedition Everest
    Dinosaur
    Kilimanjaro Safaris
    Mission: Space
    Test Track
    Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
    Dragon Challenge
    The Amazing Adventures of Spider Man
    Incredible Hulk
    Jurassic Park
    Revenge of the Mummy
    E.T. Adventure
    Rip Ride Rockit

    Another worry we have is that of Cast Member block out dates. Should we book now or should we wait? This year my trip was unaffected by them, only being blocked out one day at one park on the holiday weekend which we will be avoiding this time. We want to wait until Disney has posted the official block out dates for Cast Members but we fear by that time the prices will have gone up farther. If any Orlando Cast Members or insiders have any advice regarding this, we'd really appreciate it.

    Finally, we also appreciate any other trip suggestions. If you feel like we should move days around, do something else, etc. please don't hesitate to speak up as we'll take it into consideration.

  2. #2

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    Re: Disney World 2012 Trip - Your advice is needed!

    There are always things that are closed down for refurbishment/repair - These parks are constantly evolving that way. As you get closer, the official website should have the schedule posted. Have you checked it recently? In the past, I've been able to get this information months in advance from there.

    As for the time of year, that's when I typically go so I really like it then - the parks are less crowded and the weather isn't so awful. As far as blocking times for cast members, I wouldn't have that information but don't they typically block during the busy times of the year? You're planning to be there during one of the lightest times - President's week on the other hand, is mobbed so it's good that you're going earlier in the month.

    Another question - does your Cast Member access allow you to park hop? If not, you might want to check the Extra Magic Hours schedule and tweak your schedule a bit. For example, I know that during that time of year, EMH evenings at MK are on Sundays - and it's a great time to be in the park - if you can park hop, you can go to one park during the day and do that in the evening.

    With regard to the hotels - the value resorts are great - you get the same benefits whether you stay there or the higher priced ones. One question though - what other stops are you referring to with regard to bus to All-Stars - I've been on it and I don't remember it stopping anywhere but the All-Star hotels. In fact, when you go out to the buses at any of the parks, the All-Stars resort has it's own bus stop, all the resorts do. I actually prefer the All-Stars to Pop Century - but they're all very similar to one another.

  3. #3

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    Re: Disney World 2012 Trip - Your advice is needed!

    February is a GREAT time to visit as you will avoid the crazy heat and crowds. It is a terrible time to visit if you want to avoid ride closures or you want to visit the water parks. Temps will often be very cool (or even cold) at night and sometimes during the day. It is considered off-season and will be a time of refurbishments for all the parks.

    But don't let that stop you. Smaller crowds and no heat make it a great time to visit in my book.

    And I like your schedule of putting the weakest parks first and the strongest ones last so each day builds upon the one before it. Excellent!
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  4. #4

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    Re: Disney World 2012 Trip - Your advice is needed!

    The one suggestion I have for tweaking your schedule is avoiding the Magic Kingdom on Monday - this is traditionally the most crowded day of the week for MK (by far) so I'd strongly suggest hitting the MK another day - possibly swap Epcot and MK on your schedule.

    Beyond that, looks good to me and that's a great time of year to visit!
    I knew if this business was ever to get anywhere, if this business was ever to grow, it could never do it by having to answer to someone unsympathetic to its possibilities, by having to answer to someone with only one thought or interest, namely profits. For my idea of how to make profits has differed greatly from those who generally control businesses such as ours. I have blind faith in the policy that quality, tempered with good judgment and showmanship, will win against all odds.
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