I apologize in advance for asking (what I am sure must be) the same questions that have been asked a million times before on these forums. I HAVE searched through the forums and found SOME answers, but… I figured it couldn’t hurt to just ask for help and clarification… and maybe some kind souls out there might be willing to point me in the right direction on a few things.
I am a Disneyland vet going to WDW for the first time in a few weeks (in parks May 19-26). This is a pretty last-minute trip, and I am not thrilled about it being so close to a holiday… but circumstances arose…ensued… were overcome…. And this is our only chance to go for quite a while… so the trip is on. We have a room booked at the Port Orleans Riverside.
My general plan is this (not in this order):
Spend one day at Harry Potter Land (Universal)
Spend one day at Blizzard Beach
Spend 2 days at Magic Kingdom
Spend one day at MGM
Spend one day at Animal Kingdom
Spend one day at Epcot
Spend one day…. Where ever we feel like returning to.
Here are some questions I have:
-Are there any special requests I should make for this hotel? (are there any recently remodeled (better) rooms, etc).
-What attractions are more or less identical to the DL counter-parts. I have no problem skipping the things that are exactly the same. But we are looking forward to riding the things that are “similar but different” (not too concerned about the minutia of the queues, either).
-Is there a place you could recommend that I look to see a simple list of the "E-ticket" rides at each park? To be honest, we don't feel the need to do "everything". We don’t have any small kids with us, so we are good to skip the Dumbo-type things. Of course, we still love Peter Pan, etc (and will do them, if they are any different)… but I have a feeling we are going to need to focus on the big things if we are limited to a single day at most of the parks.
-Are Ridemax/Touring Plans/Unofficial guides/etc WORTH IT when visiting WDW? I have tried all of them at DLR, and have found them… almost useless. However, I know that WDW is a different animal… so I am open to trying them.
-I glanced at the 2012 copy of the Unofficial Guide to WDW and noticed some “touring plans” in the back. However, they did not have SPECIFIC times, or hours… so I am wondering if those plans are worth even considering.
-We are not generally show/parade people … but if there are any on par with Fantasmic at DLR, I would love to know. Fantasmic is great.
-At DLR, I make it a point to “collect Fastpasses” early on. Will this even be possible at WDW? Or are the attractions SO spread out that it will be difficult to really get as many Fastpasses as possible, as they become available?
-Is it possible to eat in the parks without making a ton of reservations? Is it too late to make RSVPs with our trip only two weeks out?
-Is there any restaurant in WDW that is comparable to the Blue Bayou for its uniqueness and ambiance?
-Are there a few universally praised restaurants that we should make a point to visit?
-We are not big eaters, so we plan to forgo the Dining Plan. We only plan to have a handful of expensive, table-service meals. It is reasonable to think that we can eat in the parks for less than $52 a person/a day (average) ? (we are not planning to make drastic efforts to bring our own food, etc… we just generally don’t eat as much as typical Americans).
-One of our group has a NUT ALLERGY (all nuts). Are we going to have major issues eating (at Epcot, for example)? I have found that a lot of foreign foods use more nuts than American food, in general…
-My group is planning to wake early each day and do as much as we can… but not stay out TOO late – getting rest each night so we can get up the next day and do it again, without TOO MUCH discomfort. This is why I think we will need to limit ourselves to the E-ticket stuff… Does this seem like a reasonable approach? Or would a night-centric approach yield more ride-time? (used to doing the morning thing, because at DLR this is how we snag all the fastpasses early on).
-I have heard that at WDW, it is best to AVOID the parks/days with Magic Mornings/extra hours because they are so much busier on those days. This this true?
Whew. I guess that is all.
I know this is a lot to ask (and I will probably think of a million more questions tomorrow), but if anyone feels like throwing advice my way...even just answering ONE question...., I would sincerely appreciate any help I can get. As I mentioned, this trip is very last-minute… and I am feeling a little overwhelmed. I am really just wide-open to suggestions on how to make the trip fun.