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  1. #1

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    Day trip for a newbie - HELP!

    Hi all!

    We are visiting relatives in Ft. Lauderdale from Jan 29- Feb 1, 2012.

    We have 1 (one) day to visit WDW (probably Jan 31) and am looking for tips, and any advice you can give. We are driving the 3 hours from Ft. Lauderdale and back that same day.

    Going with my wife and 18 year old daughter. Very familiar with Disney's California resort as we have passes in California.
    Want to know must see/do things that I can squeeze into 1 day. I already got some helpful information on not to parkhop more than 2 parks as it is way to much. Aslo, should I skip MK and go with maybe AK and Epcot? Anyway, I will wait for responces before I ask any more questions..

    Thanks in advance!
    Last edited by SanDiegoAl; 10-17-2011 at 11:59 AM.

  2. #2

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    Re: Day trip for a newbie - HELP!

    I would agree that in one day you should not try to hop more than once. That is too much - it'd be worse if you were relying on WDW transportation. The fact that you'll have you own car means it might be doable, but I'd still advise against it.

    I think if you have to pick two parks at WDW and you're regulars at DLR, Epcot and DAK are probably your best bets. MK and DHS are great parks, but they'd probably be the most similar to what you have at DLR.

    I would encourage you to think about just doing Epcot - there's certainly more than enough there to fill up a day. Personally I'm a fan of the "take it slow, relax, and enjoy yourself" touring style, as I think it results in a more enjoyable time regardless of how much time you have.

    If you want to do both DAK and Epcot, I would strongly recommend starting with DAK. It's best to try to see the animals in the morning (make a beeline for Kilimanjaro Safaris as soon as you get in the park) as that's when they're most active. The Pangani trail in Africa and the Maharajah Jungle Trek are two other animal highlights and well worth your time. As far as attractions, there's of course Expedition Everest, which is a must-do despite the broken Yeti. Dinosaur is a poor man's Indiana Jones Adventure, so it's fun but I wouldn't call it a must-do since you have the far superior version in CA. It's Tough to be a Bug is identical to what you have in CA. Finding Nemo The Musical and Festival of the Lion King are the two best stage shows inside a park at WDW - definitely worth checking out if you have the time. But really, the highlight of DAK, and the reason why it's a park where you really need to take your time, is the amount of detail and realism in the theming there. It is absolutely beautifully and meticulously themed, and you're doing yourself a disservice if you don't slow down and take notice.

    As far as food, Tusker House is great for breakfast if you want to squeeze a character meal in. Otherwise, Flame Tree Barbecue is the consensus fan-favorite quick service restaurant in WDW.

    Another reason to start with DAK is so you can end with Epcot. This will allow you to see Illuminations (definitely not to be missed) and, if a full service meal is in the budget, get a great dinner here. Epcot unquestionably has the best in-park dining at WDW. Plus, dusk/evening in World Showcase is one of the coolest experiences in all of WDW - it just has a totally unique, energetic, cosmopolitan vibe. As someone who's been to WDW so many times I've lost count, by far my favorite place/time to be anywhere in WDW is still World Showcase right before Illuminations.

    As far as attractions, "must dos" include Spaceship Earth, Living with the Land, Test Track, Mission: Space (take the warnings seriously - if you're really sensitive to spinning or have a medical condition, go the "green" route), and The American Adventure. The films for China, France, and Canada are all excellent, but I wouldn't count them as "must dos." Maelstrom, Gran Fiesta Tour, and Universe of Energy are all kind of fun and quirky if you have time. Captain EO is more or less identical to CA. Soarin' is identical to CA except WDW's queue is more generic/bland. The "ride" portion of The Seas with Nemo and Friends as well as Turtle Talk are identical to what you have in CA, but the aquarium (second largest in the world) is a pretty unique experience. Don't subject yourself to Imagination - it used to be an incredible attraction and is now a shell of its former self; truly awful. Don't waste your time on it if you're only there for one day.

    Definitely make some time to walk around World Showcase and appreciate the gorgeous architecture and incredible theming (probably the best in WDW). Voices Of Liberty and Off Kilter (both in World Showcase, inside the American pavilion and in-between the UK and Canadian pavilions respectively) are the two best musical acts at WDW - if you can catch either of their shows, you won't regret it.

    Food at Epcot is kind of a big deal, and worth exploring a little more in-depth, so I'll quote myself from another thread below:
    Quote Originally Posted by PSUMark View Post
    Epcot - Table Service
    • Tutto Italia - Overpriced and inconsistent as far as food quality goes. One to avoid.
    • Le Cellier - Very good but no longer lives up to the hype. It's impossible to get into, but if you're going to try, go for lunch when it's cheaper and the food is almost exactly the same.
    • San Angel Inn - Great Mexican food with great atmosphere.
    • Via Napoli - The best pizza on property. Pizza is expensive, but a large pizza will feed 4.
    • Biergarten - Great German buffet with live entertainment.
    • Chefs de France - Great food overall. Try to get in during lunch where you can see Remy (very entertaining) and it's a little cheaper.
    • Rose and Crown - Great bar, and not bad food.
    • Bistro de Paris - A personal favorite. The most expensive TSR in this park, and one of the more expensive ones on property, so not somewhere I go all the time, but for special occasions, you cannot beat the food, service, and atmosphere here. If this is in the budget, get a late reservation and ask for a window seat so you can watch Illuminations from your table. Superb.

    Epcot - Quick Service
    Anywhere that isn't Electric Umbrella or Liberty Inn (unless you're looking for just plain, standard American theme park fast food) depending on your tastes. You can't go wrong here.
    Remember - take your time, appreciate the scenery, and enjoy! Don't hesitate to ask if you have any more questions
    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.
    -Walt Disney



  3. #3

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    Re: Day trip for a newbie - HELP!

    The "ride" portion of The Seas with Nemo and Friends as well as Turtle Talk are identical to what you have in CA
    The "ride" part of Nemo is NOT identical to Disneyland's version. It's similar, but at the same time, totally different. I've only seen video's of Disneyland's version, but I know people who have done both and they've all said they feel that Epcot does it better.

  4. #4

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    Re: Day trip for a newbie - HELP!

    Quote Originally Posted by aimster View Post
    The "ride" part of Nemo is NOT identical to Disneyland's version. It's similar, but at the same time, totally different. I've only seen video's of Disneyland's version, but I know people who have done both and they've all said they feel that Epcot does it better.
    You're right insofar as they're not identical - I should've said "nearly identical" or something along those lines. That said, I've done both and the differences are pretty negligible... Epcot's version is nicer in that you're not stuck inside a claustrophobic sub and the distance between your eyes and the projected effects makes them a bit more believable, but Disneyland's version has more content, and the Kuka arm usually works there. At WDW I'm not sure if the Kuka arm has worked at all for the last 4 years (it hasn't while I've been there during that span).

    In any case, if they only have one day there and they're trying to squeeze in as much as possible, it's "identical enough" that it's probably one worth skipping.
    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.
    -Walt Disney



  5. #5

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    Re: Day trip for a newbie - HELP!

    Eh, it takes all of five minutes to do that ride, I think they should go for it.

    But anyway! Originial posters: PSU Mark dishes out his usual wonderful advice here. I'll just throw in my thoughts:

    If you're going to do two parks, you're definitely picking the right two parks. No question about it. Keep in mind that there is considerable transportation time betweent the two parks (walking/tram out to your car, driving over, parking again, walking/tram to gate, going through security, etc). Not saying you shouldn't do it, you just have to ask yourself it you'd rather have a more easy-going see-it-all-in-one-park kind of day, or a more hectic but see two parks day. I am inclined to recommend squeezing in both parks, because AK is Beautiful and Epcot is so unique.

    If it were me I'd do Everest first and the safari after, but no biggie. I really like WDW's Nemo ride but not everybody does. Ellen's Energy Universe is 45 minutes, so skip that one unless you're going to be there the whole day. Anyone who's 21 and not driving the three hours back should get one of the multi-colored frozen margaritas from the kiosk in Mexico. Yummy!

  6. #6

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    Re: Day trip for a newbie - HELP!

    My teen son and I will also do the one-day thing, only we're stuck going during the height of spring break. We're Disneyland locals who've visited the World a couple of times previously, so our situation is different. We're only interested in hitting the highlights.

    When you only have one day and it's unknown when or even if you'll return, it's hard to slow down. Personally, I wouldn't waste time on second and third tier attractions, focusing instead on those unique to WDW.

    To the OP, you're all grown people. Hopping isn't the ordeal it would be with small children or a large, unwieldy group in tow. The true downside to showing up late is the Fastpass system. Popular attractions tap out early.

    We plan to start at the Studios at rope drop during a non morning Extra Magic Hours days. While the hordes head to Toy Story, we'll enjoy Rockin' Roller Coaster, WDW's much superior Tower of Terror, and check out the eastern version of Star Tours if it isn't mobbed.

    Lunch may be at Epcot, in part a Fastpass grab and an attempt to get on Mission Space or Test Track (if the long rehab rumors are unfounded). It won't be a long stay because we'll end the night back here in the wonderful World Showcase.

    Next we'll hop to Animal Kingdom. We think it's an amazingly detailed park. We'll soak up the atmosphere, and slide onto Dinosaur (it's not THAT inferior to Indy). We should be able to ride Everest over and over via the single rider line. It's worth it.

    One more hop back to Epcot, not for rides (ok, maybe one on a late Fastpass), but for the entertainment. If we have any energy left, we may even crash the gates at the Magic Kingdom. It's open until 11. The Haunted Mansion for the new interactive elements and then into the queue at Space Mt right before the park closes.

    Crazy? It's doable. Our past visits have been confined to peak times. We have long legs and aren't afraid to use them. Each hop should take roughly 30 minutes. AK is out there but the traffic isn't bad. The most challenging move is Epcot at the closing bell to the Magic Kingdom safe behind its TTD moat. That may be a hop too far.

  7. #7

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    Re: Day trip for a newbie - HELP!

    Well, my day trip has now turned out to be a 3 day trip. Arriving at WDW at 1pm on Sunday Jan 29th. and leaving on Wednesday Feb 1st. I can breath a bit easier. We are staying @ Disneys All Star resort. Planning on MK only on day 1 (as they have late evening entry). Will have to check on Monday and Tuesday for early/late entry to determine where and when to go to other parks. Still not sure if we should sacrifice our last day and go to Universal or not (leaning towards not). I appreciate all of the advice so far and would appreciate any others tips you may have with the new turn of events and a couple extra days. Thanks again!

  8. #8

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    Re: Day trip for a newbie - HELP!

    Finalized our plans. We are staying on site from Sunday Jan 29 leaving Wednesday Feb 1. Staying at All-Star Resort and have he quick service dining plan. Preliminary plans are to go with magic hours for parks. Would love comments on this schedule please. Thank you.

    Arrive 12 pm on Sunday Jan 29th: MK All day (EMH PM)
    Jan 30: AK (EMH AM) HS (EMH PM)
    Jan 31: Epcot (EMH AM - Stay all day)

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