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  1. #1

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    First Trip to WDW in Sept.

    My boyfriend and I will be taking our first trip to Disney World in middle September. We will be staying at the All Star Movies Resort. We have read as many books as possible but after looking around here it seems like everyone here can pass along better information than a book.

    We are booked for 6 nights and just have the regular passes. Right now we are on the fence with whether or not to add a Park Hopper to it or not. Is there a huge advantage to getting the Park hopper or do you think we will be ok staying at one park all day. We are really going to try and be at the parks from open to close, or at least for the first few days.

    We already have some ADRs booked. So far we have:
    Tony's Town Square
    Crystal Palace
    Rose and Crown Pub
    Sci Fi Dine In
    Hollywood and Vine
    Tusker House (breakfast)

    We attempted to get into Le Cellier because I have heard such great things about it but they were already booked. What other places would y'all suggest? And of what we have listed has anyone dined there and if so what are your thoughts?

    What is the weather like in mid September? A friend that has gone several times mentioned that Orlando is notorious for afternoon rain showers during the summer, are those still frequent in September?

    And finally, Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween party is going on while we are down there. I have read mixed reviews about this. I should let you know we are both in our mid 20's but we both love Halloween. We are still heavily debating about shelling out the extra hundred some bucks for it. Any reviews on this? Good? Bad? Is it worth it or would our time be better spent at another park or at Downtown Disney?

    Thank you for any help!

  2. #2

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    Re: First Trip to WDW in Sept.

    Since you are going in September, the park hoppers may be an option for you. I have not parked hopped in a while since I now travel with small children and its just too much for them. I find that in all the parks I spend pretty much the entire time there, with the exception of AK. I am always done with this park by 5.
    Before the children, I always parked hopped. Animal Kingdom and DHS can have early days when you are there so it will help to go to another park that is opened later after you are done with those. Say, AK in the morning and than head over to EPCOT for the remaining time.
    But, you may not want to spend the extra $$ on the park hoppers. If you already have 6 days- you can use the extra time when AK closes and head over to DTD and spend some time there, or exploring the different hotels (which is what we usually do)

    As for your ADRs, you will get a lot of different opinions. I personally really likes Saana (AK lodge) or Boma. Definetly worth a look at the menu, and the dining experience was terrific. I also like 'Ohana - but it is hard to get an ADR for there. At MK - Crystal Palace was OK, it is mostly for the character experience. For food, I prefer Liberty Tree or Tony's (which you have). EPCOT - I tried most places and the only one I did not like was Tutto. All the dining experiences at EPCOt have been terrific.

    The Halloween party- I have never been so I can't comment on that.

    Have fun!
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  3. #3

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    Re: First Trip to WDW in Sept.

    How are the busses in between the Movie Resort and the parks? Do they come pretty frequently or will we have to wait for forever?

  4. #4

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    Re: First Trip to WDW in Sept.

    A few quicks things:

    WELCOME TO ORLANDO! We're really glad you're coming and you'll love it here! I live down here and go the parks frequently, so I might be able to help you some!

    *) Disney is magical alright, I can tell you that. They have this magical power of getting everything including the lint out of your pockets. See your concern about getting a park hopper? THere shouldn't be any whatsoever--that's Disney marketing that you might miss something. What they do is this...create doubt and then you purchase something you probably might not use. I say, do the opposite. Don't get the Park Hopper right now. Wait. And then, when you do one of the smaller parks like DHS or Animal Kingdom, if you decide as you are exiting the park "we really should head over to EPCOT and see Captain EO," walk over to the ticket booth and turn your ticket into a park hopper then and there. Don't buy it up front. Buy it when you need it! That's my two cents.

    *) ANYTHING at EPCOT, to me, the foodie, is worth the visit. Judging by your listing, however, ethnic cuisine might not be your favorite. Sci Fi is fun, but you sit next to each other watching a movie....and there isn't much fun going down. Me? I prefer the Prime Time Cafe-but that can be hit or miss too, depending on the acting abilities of your servers. If you think you might be remotely interested at anything at the World Showcase, indulge! It is, truly the most unique Disney Park in the world! If your tastes tend to run more moderate? I also recommend the Garden Grill and Coral Reef restaurants. The Magic Kingdom restaurants are working on improving, and, again, you and I have different tastes. I, for one, didn't really like Tony's Town Square or the Crystal Palace. I tend to just eat on the fly at the MK. The sit down restaurants just don't work for me. DAK's Yak and Yeti is also a personal fave, as are Raglan Road and Portobello's in Downtown Disney. Food for thought, as it were! What kinds of food do the two of you like? Is this a romantic outing, this trip? Any special events? Any kind of food you've NOT tried? I, for one, LOVE Morocco, but that's fairly exotic and many people are a bit nervous about going in there. I guess the big question is...what do you like to get out of your meal? The Brown Derby is much more expensive than the Hollywood and Vine, but SO much better. I like to go in there, pretend I'm all famous-like and wave at people pretending to take pictures.

    Sometimes the best food is not in the parks. Boma is a sublime experience.

    *) Weather is weird here in September and can be very hit-or-miss. Here's the thing. Because of our searing heat in the summer months, a majority of our attractions tend to be indoors for air-conditioning and climate control. So what if it rains? Go anyways. It'll serve to kill the crowds! I'd not worry about it.

    *) There are two night time events--Halloween and the Christmas party. I tend towards the Halloween one. I'm a glutton for free candy! Here's the nice thing--no lines on a majority of the rides as well, so you can hop right on some attractions! The drawback? If you just spent the day at the parks, do you want to spend the night there too? You'll kill your energy levels, I'll warn you. The other drawback is that the MK will close early the nights of those events. Keep that in mind. I'd do it if you haven't seen all of MK yet. There's a terrific parade as well and fireworks specific to the holiday. Very fun, but not necessary for young adults.

    *) If you are there on a Saturday, our own Kevin Yee does a quick tour and one attraction at two pm in honor of the fortieth anniversary of our beloved parks. It is a unique experience and a good way to meet other MiceChatters! Let me know if you are interested, I'll let you know where we all meet. Secondly, there's a weekly feature here on MiceChat called "Orlando Parkhopper" that might answer some of your questions.

    Fair Warning--they might move this thread to the Orlando Travel Planning Section. No worries. It'll attract more visitors and help for you!

    Peace and bon voyage!
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  5. #5

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    Re: First Trip to WDW in Sept.

    We aren't like crazy adventurous when it comes to food but we do like to try some mild new things. We just kind of booked what we could find when we were making ADRs. I would like to maybe try one place that is out of our comfort zone other than Moroccan, that seems a little to exotic.

    We are there for my boyfriends birthday and a possible romantic evening or two. Do they do anything special for birthdays I can surprise him with?

  6. #6

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    Re: First Trip to WDW in Sept.

    Personally, I would forego the hopper pass and opt for Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party. The parade is excellent, and the fireworks are unique. If you do this, you can hit MK twice, and see two very different, and very impressive fireworks displays.

    Most people say Animal Kingdom and Disney Hollywood Studios are half day parks, and they can be, depending on how you do things. If you find yourself finishing one of these parks early, either re-ride any rides you particularly enjoyed, or take this time to head down to Downtown Disney. Also on property are some cool mini-golf courses, if you are into that. The Winter/Summer mini-golf is pretty neat.

    In terms of dining, I have been to the Rose and Crown, Tony's Town Square, and the Sci-Fi Diner. All three are good. The fish at the Rose and Crown is amazing. Tony's is your typical Italian restaurant, and the food is good. I loved the Sci-Fi Diner. Yes you are next to everyone else's "cars," but that is what a drive-in is all about, and in restaurants, your tables are just as close. I noticed RooBear mentioned the Prime Time Cafe. They are supposed to have the best comfort food around. My wife and I went in there, but we walked out before ordering. It may have been our moods, but it all depends on how much role playing you like with your meal. The waitresses do a great job of being in character. This means getting snippy with you if you don't follow the "rules." I saw some guest/waitress interactions that just annoyed me and I could tell right away this wasn't the place for me. Just a warning, as the waitresses are always on, and they are good at what they do. I guess I'm just not into the interactive dinner theatre. If you like the interactive dinner, then you won't be disappointed by thier food (which, again, I hear is amazing).

    It is a shame Alfredo's is gone, or I would have directed you there in a hearbeat. Their fettucini alfredo was so incredible. As it were, I would suggest San Angel Inn at EPCOT, if you can get in.

  7. #7

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    Re: First Trip to WDW in Sept.

    Quote Originally Posted by ferdie fieldmouse View Post
    We are there for my boyfriends birthday and a possible romantic evening or two. Do they do anything special for birthdays I can surprise him with?
    Make sure you get a birthday button from Guest Relations. Never know what could happen when CM's see birthday buttons.

  8. #8

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    Re: First Trip to WDW in Sept.

    Quote Originally Posted by ferdie fieldmouse View Post
    How are the busses in between the Movie Resort and the parks? Do they come pretty frequently or will we have to wait for forever?
    The three All Star Resorts commonly share bus service and they are probably the set of resorts furthest from any of the parks, including Disney's Animal Kingdom in whose Resort Area they reside. While there are horror stories of people waiting unusual amounts of time (I myself have experienced some) the buses do tend to actually come about every 20 minutes. Where you will mostly likely get hurt is in wanting to be at the parks from opening to close, like so many others, and thus there will be a crowd waiting for your bus. At least at closing I would suggest just taking your time to leave the park. They will not stop running busses until they know that nobody is left, so go wander the shops that are open or just sit and relax. You will get some time in an emptying park and also likely get to enjoy a much less crowded (or possibly empty) bus.

    I do not know what the crowd levels will be like, but if you are not planning on park hopping I would suggest possibly forgoing Extra Magic Hours. In my experience that is the park that spends most of the day being more crowded.

  9. #9

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    Re: First Trip to WDW in Sept.

    I have never gone to the Halloween Party, but I did go to the Christmas party at the Magic Kingdom. On the day that we attended the Christmas Party, we did not use a day off of our parkhopper ticket. We actually did a tour at Epcot that didn't require park admission, and then we had Afternoon Tea at the Grand Floridian. They started letting people in the Magic Kingdom at about 4 p.m. for the Christmas Party. This way we were able to extend our vacation by one day, as far as our ticket was concerned.

  10. #10

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    Re: First Trip to WDW in Sept.

    The fact that you are attempting to make reservations for table service is the very reason for getting a hopper. Without it, you're stuck in the park where you have your reservation for that day, which sounds OK but you have no idea what the traffic will be like that day. If you have a reservation in MK, for example, and the park happens to be mobbed that day, you're stuck. The hopper allows you the flexibility to come and go as you please. On my last trip, I spent the morning of my last day there at DHS, then spent the rest of the day going back to my favorite spots to either ride or shop (I'm one of those people who like to see everything in all the park gift shops and then decide what to buy). You may decide to do early morning EMH in one park and then leave to go somewhere else - or spend the day in one park and go see an evening show somewhere else - I saw Illuminations 2-3 times the last time I was there - The point is, you're not bound to any schedule (other than your dinner reservations) when you get the hopper. I agree that it is a lot harder to make it worth the money with little kids, but for adults with no kids - the possibilities are endless. You don't feel compelled to ride everything in MK, for example, on the day you do that park since you can come back whenever you want. I actually find it a little less stressful. BTW - I love the All-Stars - you might want to take a morning and a camera and do a little exploring - that resort is well-themed - in fact, it's over the top. If they give you a choice, ask for Toy Story or Dalmations they are pretty close to the main building (you said Movies right?) Have a great time.

  11. #11

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    Re: First Trip to WDW in Sept.

    Quote Originally Posted by ferdie fieldmouse View Post
    We aren't like crazy adventurous when it comes to food but we do like to try some mild new things. We just kind of booked what we could find when we were making ADRs. I would like to maybe try one place that is out of our comfort zone other than Moroccan, that seems a little to exotic.

    We are there for my boyfriends birthday and a possible romantic evening or two. Do they do anything special for birthdays I can surprise him with?
    We had a wonderful time and a good meal at the Hoop-De-Doo Musical Revue at Fort Wilderness. It's a dinner show, so it's a little more expensive, but I thought it was worth it. And they asked if there were birthdays and anniversaries, and had everybody sing and clap. Sure, the jokes are a little corny, but it's that good, Disney kind of corny. Where else do you get served all-you-can-drink beer in a Mason jar before being asked to play the washboard?

  12. #12

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    Re: First Trip to WDW in Sept.

    One of my favourite restaurants is the Boma buffet at Animal Kingdom Lodge. Great food, and it can be nice to check out a resort you're not staying at. The only downside is the hassle of getting from resort to resort, if you are using the Disney busses (you need to go from one resort to Downtown Disney or a them park, and then transfer in order to get to the other resort).

    Les Chefs de France at Epcot had fantastic food. Epcot in general has the best food options.

    Sci-fi Dine-in is fun. Ohana (at the Polynesian resort?) was quite nice, and easy to get to from the Magic Kingdom.

    I would get park hoppers. Animal Kingdom closes at 5:00 typically, so a park hopper means you can head to Epcot and enjoy a few extra hours. Unless you have a lot of alternatives to fill in your evenings with, it should be worth it.

    Park hoppers are also very handy for making the best use out of extra magic hours. A common strategy is to start at the park with extra morning hours, and then park hop shortly thereafter, since that park may be more crowded than usual. Likewise, you might want to take advantage of a late evening in a park, without spending all day there.
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    Re: First Trip to WDW in Sept.

    I recommend getting a rental car. The bus service is hit or miss. After spending half a week at the resort, my girlfriend got frustrated with the bus service, so we just drove to the theme parks for the rest of the week.

    Of course, we had the rental car because she wanted to hit Universal (she's a big Harry Potter fan), which I also recommend. They also have a Halloween party, which is a little bit more adult then what you'll experience at the MK. We did do Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween party, and the parade was fun, but most of it is really for kids.

    As for your food choices, we went during the Food and Wine Festival (sounds like you're going during it as well, check out the dates) and hit the different country booths. We ended up saving a lot of money this way. Our budget was $100 for food a day. Of course, you'll need hoppers, so that you can head over to EPCOT when the other parks close. Last year they closed pretty early on us, and Animal Kingdom closes early for the animals. I doubt this will change much this year. Check out closing times before you pass on a Hopper pass.

    And even though we did restaurant reservations, we were still able to get into some restaurants without them. We hit the colonial one in the MK with the Thanksgiving like dinner without any problems.

    Oh, and we're like you only 10 years older. You can still have fun at Disney even when you're older. I just had a better experience at Universal and Disneyland than WDW, but your experience might be different.

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