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.
Rock 'n' Roller Coaster
Tower of Terror
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
The Amazing Adventures of Spider Man
Revenge of the Mummy
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.