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  1. #1

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    Disneyland lover in a whole new world...with a couple questions

    Alright! So me an my husband are headed to Disney world on June 17-26th. I've been only once when I was 5 so I have no memories. It will all be new. I would like to save I'm somewhat savvy when it comes to crowds and what to do in California but I have no idea what's with WDW.

    How are the crowds in late June?
    the weather?

    Any special dining experiences?

    Any other parks should we see? (non Disney)

    Which shows should we see? Is the fantasmic there better than DL?

    Any hidden treasures??

    How should we handle the crowds?

    Any help is great thank you.

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    Re: Disneyland lover in a whole new world...with a couple questions

    Hello!
    So glad to hear you're visiting WDW! Its certainly an amazing place to be. Alright I'll try to answer all your questions as best I can.
    You're going to Florida so in late June its going to be quite warm and humid. Bring shorts, tank tops, sun screen, hats, and prepare to get tan! And as always kep hydrated, you'll be happier and so will your body. The crowds will be increased at that time of the year because many families take their end of the school year trip to Disney then. You'll be just fine as long as you utilize your fastpass options and relax. There is a lot to see, but if you try to rush you won't enjoy your trip.
    Restaurants: Every dining experience at Disney is magical. The food is great no matter where you go. For all sit down meals you need to call ahead to get reservations otherwise you'll never get in. The easiest way I've found to do this is to call their hotline (407)WDW-DINE. The representatives are very friendly, always a pleasure to talk to. Some of the restaurants my family and I always visit are 50's Prime Time Cafe (Hollywood Studios), The Grand Floridian Cafe (Grand Floridian Resort), Le Celliar (Epoct), Sci-Fi Dine In Theatre (Hollywood Studios). Those are all sit down meals. For quick service I would suggest Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe (Magic Kingdom), The Land Pavillion (Epcot), Fairfax Ave (Hollywood Studios). You can learn more on the WDW website. They have a dining section that has descriptions of all the restaurants on property.
    We usually don't stray from Disney property so I don't have any help for you there.
    I've never seen Fantasmic at DL, but it is amazing at WDW! I tear up at the end of the show everytime and I'm always on the edge of my seat. The Main Street Electrical Parade is a MUST SEE! Its mesmerizing. The music makes you want to dance in the parade yourself! The Wishies Nighttime Spectacular is also a must see. It is the fireworks show at Magic Kingdom staged around and over the castle. And you must also see Illuminations Reflections of Earth at Epcot. Its a gathering and celebration of earth and all cultures. For information on any of these show or parades you van visit the WDW website. When you are there you'll want to know when and where they show. Usually somewhere near the main entrance to each park there are maps and little pamphlets with showtimes and dates. If you are having a hard time finding them on your own ask a cast member, they'll point you in the right direction.
    There are tons of hidden treasures and hidden Mickeys throughout each of the parks. There is a book that you can find at most major book store and at the parks called "Hidden Mickeys A Field Guide to Walt Disney World's Best Kept Secrets". I have the latest edition and it is so much fun to take it through the park and pick them all out!
    When it comes to the crowds the best advice I can offer is don't let them stress you out. You're on vacation! Just keep walking to where you want to go (Having a map in hand helps) and use fast passes on rides that have the longest wait times. In front of every ride there is a sign that shows the wait time for that ride and is updated often. If you find that you're having a tough time in the crowds, duck in to one of the many gift shops. They're air conditioned, festively decorated, classic Disney songs play, and everything they offer is fun to look at. Even if you don't plan to buy something its fun to walk around for a minute to give yourself a break. Need a break from walking? Pop into a show-ride such as Mickey's Philharmagic (Magic Kingdom) or Ellen's Energy Adventure (Epcot), they are also air condtioned and they make it easy for you to see the fantastic attractions and give your legs a rest.
    These are little tips that have helped my family and myself make the most of our Disney vacations and I hope they do the same for you.
    If you find you have any more questions at all please don't hesitate to post them here! I'll check back often to make sure your questions are answered. If not I hope you have the most magical of vacations!

  3. #3

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    Re: Disneyland lover in a whole new world...with a couple questions

    Quote Originally Posted by winder*wonder View Post
    Alright! So me an my husband are headed to Disney world on June 17-26th. I've been only once when I was 5 so I have no memories. It will all be new. I would like to save I'm somewhat savvy when it comes to crowds and what to do in California but I have no idea what's with WDW.

    How are the crowds in late June?
    the weather?
    Hi, happy to help! Crowds: well, it'll be crowded! Weather: Muggy like you can't imagine. You will be dripping with sweat! I recommend carrying a backpack with hats, sunscreen, glasses, rainponchos, and water water water! If you can stand to carry it, it's much cheaper than buying in the park. Staying hydrated will make all the difference between being comfortable and being miserable. Afternoon thunderstorms are common and welcome. They cool the park off a bit. Pack extra shoes so you have dry shoes to wear the next day if your shoes get soaked on any given day. Evenings are great! Warm and comfortable

    Quote Originally Posted by winder*wonder View Post
    Any special dining experiences?
    We love Boma's at Animal Kingdom Lodge, Prime Time Cafe at Hollywood Studios, and the Plaza at Magic Kingdom

    Quote Originally Posted by winder*wonder View Post
    Any other parks should we see? (non Disney)
    Heck yeah! If you're coming all this way, you've got to go see Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Islands of Adventure. It really is something, even if you're not a fan. If you do go, arrive about an hour before opening, or don't go. Afternoons are too crowded to really enjoy. It takes a while to park, walk in, buy your ticket, and they often start letting people in early, in my experience. Head straight to WWoHP first thing, do Forbidden Journey first.

    Quote Originally Posted by winder*wonder View Post
    Which shows should we see? Is the fantasmic there better than DL?
    Sadly, WDW is pretty much universally considered to be dramatically inferior to Disneylands. BUT, there is a dedicated theater with stadium seating and they serve beer, wine, hotdogs etc before the show. Forty-five minutes is usually enough time to still get a good seat. The castmembers will funnel you to a particular section, but don't hesitate to walk down front and cross back over to the middle and find a couple of better seats. Easily done. (And I get teary at the end of the show just like the above poster, but Disneyland's is way way way better. you'll see)

    Quote Originally Posted by winder*wonder View Post
    Any hidden treasures??
    Hmm, I gotta give this some thought... You will find some things that are long gone from Disneyland: Peoplemover, Swiss Family Treehouse, Country Bear Jamboree. The fireworks at MK are absolutely spectacular. Anywhere in the south end of the hub with a clear view of sky to the left of the castle is fine.

    It's tons of fun to see the differences in rides that are common to both coasts! Some are better, some are worse, decide for yourself. Don't miss Mickey's Philarmagic at MK, RocknRollercoaster at Hollywood Studios, Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdome. Definitely don't miss Haunted Mansion

    Quote Originally Posted by winder*wonder View Post
    How should we handle the crowds?
    Two ways: Get there well before opening and maximize morning hours with "must-do's". Use Fastpass; there is a lot more Fastpass attractions at WDW. Keep collecting those tickets all day, and use them. If you do this, you won't wait long for anything.

    Quote Originally Posted by winder*wonder View Post
    Any help is great thank you.
    My number one advice: Rent a car, if it's financially feasible (I think parking is about $15 a day). The buses/shuttles aren't great, and can be pretty time-consuming.

    Let us know if you have anymore questions!

  4. #4

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    Re: Disneyland lover in a whole new world...with a couple questions

    Also, since it's Orlando in late June, expect it to rain every afternoon for 2-3 hours. It's not really a steady rain, just some passing thundershowers, a few of which can be very heavy. A few attractions like Dumbo and Big Thunder Mountain close for this but most attractions are entirely indoors for just this reason. If you were wondering why Florida's Small World facade is kinda lame compared to California's, that's why. It's nothing to really worry about. There have been times when it's been sunny and dry outside when I got on an attraction, and sunny and wet when I got off.

    I was going to come up with a list of hidden treasures, but I figured it was a lot easier just to say all of World Showcase. The whole thing is full of shops that actually still sell some unique merchandise. Most pavilions also have some quiet back corners and little museums that are worth checking out, especially while enjoying a cold beverage native to the region.

    There's also a few gems outside the theme parks if you have a little extra cash to splurge for things like renting a boat to watch the Magic Kingom fireworks from The Seven Seas Lagoon. Or renting a horse drawn carriage to watch the fireworks from the trails of Fort Wilderness. Fort Wilderness in general has a lot of cool stuff if you're into the whole nature and recreation thing. While it's completely understandable that you may want to make your trip a theme park grind, it doesn't have to be. There are plenty of non-park things to do there.
    It bothers me when people selectively edit quotes to support whatever point they are trying to prove.

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    Re: Disneyland lover in a whole new world...with a couple questions

    Weather in late June is hot and humid. And as mentioned, expect it to rain at some point between 3pm and 6pm for about an hour. You can just about set your watch to the almost daily rain storms in the summer.

    One trick I've learned for keeping cool is to take a washcloth or hand towel from the hotel and get it wet with cold water in the bathrooms, wring it out, roll it up and and drape it over the back of your neck. Keeps you cool and helps prevent the back of your neck from getting sunburned too!

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    Re: Disneyland lover in a whole new world...with a couple questions

    Thank you everyone!!!
    The part about the weather really helps! Ive never been to a Disney park when it rains...always wanted to though! Does the park clear out a bit when it does rain or are people in FL just a wee bit more tougher than in CA?

    Also I was reading that there is a lunch offered to have with a imgaineer(if your willing to pay a price)
    is that any good? Im going to school to be an animator and I would Loooooove to talk with one of these guys but not if it was a custodian that worked in the imagineer building, ya know?

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    Re: Disneyland lover in a whole new world...with a couple questions

    Quote Originally Posted by winder*wonder View Post
    Thank you everyone!!!
    The part about the weather really helps! Ive never been to a Disney park when it rains...always wanted to though! Does the park clear out a bit when it does rain or are people in FL just a wee bit more tougher than in CA?

    Also I was reading that there is a lunch offered to have with a imgaineer(if your willing to pay a price)
    is that any good? Im going to school to be an animator and I would Loooooove to talk with one of these guys but not if it was a custodian that worked in the imagineer building, ya know?

    Re: Rain. It sometimes clears out a park. If its a rainy day, it can do that, but there is a difference between a rainly day (rain all day) and a day with the typical afternoon thunderstorm. The later can often fall into a litteral daily routine in Florida, especially during the warmer months which June definately is. The daily afternoon Thunderstorms don't really empty out the parks that much. They do a little but most just wait it out. After the rain passes it will be humid beyond belief. Like just plain uncomfortable, steam coming up off of any concrete or asphalt surface, cut it with a knife humidity.

  8. #8

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    Re: Disneyland lover in a whole new world...with a couple questions

    The heat and rain is just part of the deal during that time of year. You go in knowing it, and just be prepared. I remember leaving the Wilderness Lodge one time going to the Animal Kingdom ...The sky seemed clear and blue when the bus picked us up, and by the time the bus arrived at the AK it was pouring rain. Many times the thunderstorms pass pretty quickly.

    If you have time time to go somewhere besides Disney, I would definitely go to Universal at least to Island of Adventures. Some really great attractions there.





  9. #9

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    Re: Disneyland lover in a whole new world...with a couple questions

    Quote Originally Posted by winder*wonder View Post
    Thank you everyone!!!
    The part about the weather really helps! Ive never been to a Disney park when it rains...always wanted to though! Does the park clear out a bit when it does rain or are people in FL just a wee bit more tougher than in CA?

    Also I was reading that there is a lunch offered to have with a imgaineer(if your willing to pay a price)
    is that any good? Im going to school to be an animator and I would Loooooove to talk with one of these guys but not if it was a custodian that worked in the imagineer building, ya know?
    Nah, the rain really doesn't clear it out that much. Seems like everyone sticks around hoping the same thing. WDW has much more "visitors who traveled to get here" than locals in comparison to Disneyland which has more locals. So you have a lot of people who spent money and vacation time to be there, and who are quite determined to stay in the parks. And what others here are saying is true: Sometimes it'll rain like the world is coming to an end for five minutes and then stop. Not like CA where when it rains, it rains and rains and rains. Now, that could happen. Sometimes we get a great deal of rain. But it won't be a "cold" rain. Just be sure to bring rain gear and extra shoes in your suitcase! If you are prepared, you can handle anything. But my guess is you will at least get rain-free mornings.
    Another thing, WDW was designed with the Florida climate in mind. Queues are covered, teacups are covered... Basically it's easier to get out of the rain/sun than at Disneyland.

    Now watch, after all this warning about rain, you'll get solid hot and sunny and the whole time you're here! That could happen too

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    Re: Disneyland lover in a whole new world...with a couple questions

    I've never experienced the dining with an imagineer. But I have a friend who did and he said it was a lot of fun. Small group, interesting discussion, and an opportunity to ask lots of questions.
    Visit us on the web http://disneypodcast.net

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    Re: Disneyland lover in a whole new world...with a couple questions

    Quote Originally Posted by winder*wonder View Post
    Alright! So me an my husband are headed to Disney world on June 17-26th. I've been only once when I was 5 so I have no memories. It will all be new. I would like to save I'm somewhat savvy when it comes to crowds and what to do in California but I have no idea what's with WDW.

    How are the crowds in late June?
    the weather?
    It's going to be pretty crowded, a lot of families start taking their summer trips. Weather is hot, humid, and sticky. You will definitely want to carry water and stay hydrated. Make sure you plan meals/breaks in the middle of the day and don't rush too much, because the heat itself adds a new level of exhaustion on top of running around. WDW is HUGE. Compared to Disneyland, I'm sure you've heard this, but hearing it and walking it are two different things.

    Quote Originally Posted by winder*wonder View Post
    Any special dining experiences?
    WDW Dining is incredible. There is a place for everyone. I'd recommend the Dining Plan if possible, as it is a great deal, and would provide you a nice break for meals which is great in the middle of a hot day, etc. My favorite resturant is 'Ohana at the Polynesian.

    Quote Originally Posted by winder*wonder View Post
    Any other parks should we see? (non Disney)
    I really think you will find more than enough to keep you busy for your time there. Unless you REALLY want to see something else, I'd just plan to see some other WDW attractions (resort hopping, golfing, waterparks, and so many more unique experiences that you can have. Fort Wilderness can be a half day/day in itself!)

    Quote Originally Posted by winder*wonder View Post
    Which shows should we see? Is the fantasmic there better than DL?
    From What I've heard, F! is better in Disneyland. It's not bad in WDW, just not as good as Disneyland's. As for shows, I'm not going to go into attractions, but DO NOT!! miss IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth at Epcot, and Wishes! at the Magic Kingdom. IllumiNations is THE MOST amazing spectacle that I have ever seen, I cannot watch it without shedding a tear. It is one of the most moving, emotionally deep experiences ever. Wishes is just pure Disney.

    Quote Originally Posted by winder*wonder View Post
    Any hidden treasures??
    WDW is chalk full of hidden treasures. In addition to doing extensive research (more on this later), WDW offers many many tours, which provide looks into almost anything in the parks. I'd recommend looking into this, as it's so absolutely amazing to see how things are run. WDW is truly an amazing place... and they need amazing operations, etc. to run it!

    Quote Originally Posted by winder*wonder View Post
    How should we handle the crowds?
    Patience and Fastpass. Don't rush around everywhere, if you want to do something, do it. Don't skip an attraction you really wanted to see because of a long line. Also, get to the parks early. If you're a disney resort guest, take advantage of those Extra Magic Hours!

    Any help is great thank you.
    Know how to get around and what's where. Study maps of the resort, know how far away you are from any place at any given moment. Chances are you'll be hopping from park to park to resort and back. Resorts are absolutely wonderful attractions in themselves, from theming to activities to dining, I hope you visit a few.

    In conclusion, my best piece of advice to you is probably do your research. Not just on vacation planning, but on everything. Know the parks, know their history, their stories, their infrastructure. WDW is a truly fascinating and magical place, and I know you'll love visiting again. However, I can say from experience, the more you know, the more incredible it is. Don't leave any stone unturned.

    Have a magical trip!!
    Matt!

  12. #12

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    Re: Disneyland lover in a whole new world...with a couple questions

    Quote Originally Posted by winder*wonder View Post
    Which shows should we see? Is the fantasmic there better than DL?

    Any hidden treasures??

    How should we handle the crowds?
    I am also a Disneylander local/WDW lover. My wife and I make a trip every year to The World.

    1. Skip WDW's Fantasmic at all costs. It is absolutely horrible and a pain in the butt to see. Going even further skip the ENTIRE day in Hollywood Studios that Fantasmic is playing. It will dramatically increase the crowds in that park. Going to the Studios on a "non-Fantasmic day" will cut your wait time on everything.

    2. Hands down the best extra thing is the Wishes Dessert Party. The view of the fireworks are perfect, all you can eat dessert, and it's romantic for couples (this is where I asked my wife to marry me).

    3. If you are used to the crowds at Disneyland then you will have no problem at WDW. A busy day at either park looks the same to me.

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    Re: Disneyland lover in a whole new world...with a couple questions

    I second the dessert fireworks party. The desserts are really delicious. Really, really delicious. and they offer a wide selection of desserts for everyone. I loved the brownies the best.

    Also, about the water: Every QSR (Quick Service Restaurant) will give you a free cup of icewater. Often times you can walk right up to the counter itself and request one. I would suggest using this tip instead of buying the 3 dollar bottles of water. Certain restaurants have filtered water, while others do not. Pecos Bill's in Frontierland does have filtered water while Cosmic Ray's in Tomorrowland does not. And Florida water tastes nothing like Californian water. Most people I've met down here really hate the taste of Floridian water. Keep that in mind.

    As far as rain goes: Rides will operate as long as there's no lightning in the area. The lines will drop significantly if you can get on, let's say, Big Thunder Mountain while it's raining but not lightning. Things like Tom Sawyer's Island are best saved for sunny times (you're not allowed to bring open umbrellas onto the raft and you can get stuck on the island if you're over there and lightning comes into the area). I saw some people mentioned the Country Bears. Definitely hit those up in the afternoon but not in the morning when the crowds are light. It can fit quite a bit of people so you definitely want to do that when there are crowds. Do show up pretty early as it can fill up, though.

    Don't forget to check out the Carousel of Progress over in tomorrowland. It's cute and air-conditioned. Don't miss the Laugh Floor... it's pretty funny. Fantasyland will be crazy.

    Mickey's Philharmagic is a good, good show and I definitely, 100 percent suggest you check it out. It's very good. I didn't like WDW's version of the teacups, but if you like teacups definitely check it out. I think the Speedway in Tomorrowland is best at night since it's in the sun.

    One more thing: The daily parade at 3 (Celebrate a Dream come true) might be "cancelled" in way for the "Rainy Day Cavalcade" to come through instead. The music is much cuter and both are short parades so no big loss there!

    Epcot: Go early and hit the big rides first. Things like Soarin', Test Track, etc will have longer lines later in the day. Rides like Living with the Land are informative and (in my experience) don't have too bad a wait and are inside. Definitely take a day to explore the world showcase. Each country is very interesting. When I went, we colored Duffy's and went around getting them stamped. It was a lot of fun and we had a good time exploring while looking for the stamping stations.

    Animal Kingdom: I liked Rafiki's Planet Watch (I know a lot of people don't). It's mainly in a big building (air conditioned) and you can meet some characters there. There was also a neat little soundbooth called "song of the rainforest" or something similar and you put on headphones and listen to some crazy noises. I'd suggest a fast pass for Everest and if you want one for Dinosaur you can do that too, but I've noticed the park kind of empties towards the end of the day. Dinosaur is my favorite ride from all four parks so definitely check it out! They have a water ride here and you might come off dry but the one time I went I came off dripping wet.

    Hollywood studios: They have some funny little shows in the street on Hollywood Boulevard. I really enjoyed them! Tower of Terror is really neat on this coast, much different than in California. Toy Story is essentially the same but the queue here is really interesting (everything's huge, like you're a toy). You will wait around two hours for Toy Story, though. Oh and drinks and food aren't allowed in the line for Toy, so don't buy a soda from the little stand right across the street. The indy show is pretty cool. I don't like lights, motors, action! but lots of people do so I'd suggest that. Definitely check out Beauty and the Beast. It was very cute and fun.

    I hope that wasn't too much to read and I hope you have a good time!
    Code Lee-Oh-Co (Or Jessica, if you want)

  14. #14

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    Re: Disneyland lover in a whole new world...with a couple questions

    Lots of great advice above!!!

    Here are my suggestions:

    How are the crowds in late June?
    the weather?
    This is busy season. Expect the weather to be hot to oppressive and the crowds and attraction waits to be busy as well.

    Any special dining experiences?
    There are LOTS of wonderful dining experiences. My top picks would be Hoop Dee Doo Musical Review at Fort Wilderness (a dinner show), O'hana at the Polynesian (book a reservation 30 minutes before fireworks and you'll likely be able to watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks from your table), California Grill (at Contemporary - follow the same firework plan that I suggested for O'hana), Tokyo Dining (book a reservation about 45 minutes before Illumniations and then ask for a window table and you'll be able to see some of the effects of the show from your table). There are many great dining experiences at the parks and hotels but I've just given you a few of my favorites.

    Any other parks should we see? (non Disney)
    Absolutely! You could easily spend two days at the Universal Resort. Islands of Adventure in particular is a don't miss for its great attractions and Harry Potter. The Studios park is also one of my favorites. Sea World is worth a visit if the weather is nice (otherwise skip it because it gets VERY hot). If you like dolphins, take a day for Discovery Cove. This expensive boutique park by Sea World arranges your day and meals so you can snorkel with the fishes, swim with dolphin, eat great food and much more. it is a VERY unique experience. If you are on a long trip, you might even take a day to visit Busch Gardens Tampa which absolutely stunned me with its size and great rides and animal exhibits.

    Which shows should we see? Is the fantasmic there better than DL?
    I'm not a fan of ANY of the current shows at Disney's Hollywood Studios park. They are all stale and not very good. If you've seen the Disneyland original, you will be horrified that they butchered the Fantasmic show so badly in Florida. I enjoy the Lion King show at Animal Kingdom as well as the Nemo Musical. Magic Kingdom fireworks and Epcot Illumniations are both don't miss shows.

    Any hidden treasures??
    The Segway tour of Epcot's World Showcase is wonderful. You need to book in advance. Also there are great spas at Saratoga Springs and Grand Floridian if you need somewhere to decompress and get a massage. Many people skip the movie attractions at Epcot, but if you've got the time, they are a great way to escape the heat and learn more about the cultures of the countries each pavilion represents. Take time for the animal trails at Animal Kingdom. If you enjoy the park for what it is, rather than just going from attraction to attraction you will have a wonderful, relaxing, and educational day. Sadly, the Studios park is nearly a waste of time except for Tower of Terror (and perhaps Rock'n Rollercoaster).

    How should we handle the crowds?
    I'd recommend getting to the parks before opening and making a bee line for the top attractions and pick up Fastpass for your next attraction along the way. Once the park becomes too busy, switch to seeing shows and smaller attractions with less wait (or head back to your hotel pool for some relaxation). I ALWAYS skip the park with extra magic hours in the morning (that park is almost always the busiest). Extra Magic evening hours can be worth it at Magic Kingdom and Epcot if you took time during the day to go back to your hotel. It lets you catch up on things you missed and are often less crowded than during the day (at least at Epcot and often at Magic Kingdom). Book all of your restaurant reservations as far in advance as possible. When the parks are crowded, it can be nearly impossible to get into a good restaurant at peak times.
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    Re: Disneyland lover in a whole new world...with a couple questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Dustysage View Post
    If you are on a long trip, you might even take a day to visit Busch Gardens Tampa which absolutely stunned me with its size and great rides and animal exhibits.
    Holy cow, I can't believe I forgot to mention Busch Gardens. It's about an hour and a half away. It is a highly underrated park!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dustysage View Post
    I ALWAYS skip the park with extra magic hours in the morning (that park is almost always the busiest).
    Another fantastic piece of advice I forgot to mention. I have learned from experience to avoid the park with morning extra magic hours at all costs! That extra hour is just not worth how crowded that park will be

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