Next week my Girlfriend and I are going to take a road trip from Austin, Texas to check out Disney World for our first time.
I feel like I was practically raised at Disneyland. Many of my strongest memories from my youth were formed within its berms. It's been about 6 years since I've been to DL, and the nostalgia bug is biting. The drive is about 8 hours shorter than to Anaheim each way, and far more interesting. I-10 can be brutal between AZ, NM, and Texas.
It's about a 16 hour drive for us, and New Orleans (the real one) is almost exactly half way between Austin and WDW. So we will be taking advantage of that. However, because of limited time available from work, and a lack of thousands of dollars for a full-blown resort experience, the scope of this trip is going to be more limited. Two full days in the park - yeah, that limited. We will be spending more time on the road than in the parks, but it's all part of the journey.
I believe we have a good plan, but I would like your feedback, taking account what we are looking to accomplish.
1. MK is by far the primary objective. I am well aware of its differences from DL - I've poured over every map and satellite image available. I've probably ruined any sense of surprise or wonder, but whatever.
2. Epcot is the secondary destination. We'd like to check out most of the attractions and cruise by the various countries represented, but we're not too interested in dining there or seeing any shows (perhaps the Circlevision attractions - I miss that at DL).
3. We don't really care about any other parks at the moment (we really want to check out Expedition Everest, but I can't justify the transit time).
4. We are planning to buy a single park pass for Wednesday the 24th and spend all day at MK. And then we would buy Park Hopper passes for the next day. We would knock out what we can in about 8 hours at Epcot, and then monorail it on over to wrap up back at MK. MK closes at 9 on day 1, but 11 the next day. DL late at night is stuck in my brain pretty well - I want to re-live that.
We have already booked a Condo near DTD, super cheap. Since we are driving, we are planning on driving to the ticketing and transit center early on both days. Then take a boat, monorail or even a taxi to MK. The Disney hotel experience, while it sounds very convenient and immersive, doesn't seem worth it considering the limited scope of our visit.
Generally speaking, how much time should we expect the hop from Epcot to MK via monorail take?
Also, we will be arriving in the Orlando area around 6 or 7 the night before. Will we be able to buy hard tickets for the next two days that evening? I'd like to just walk up to the gates on the mornings of our park visits.
Please let me know what you think about our plans!