Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1

    • Selfie Expert
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Gilbert, AZ
    Posts
    6,603

    First trip for these DLR fans with no kids, but we'll have the in-laws

    My husband and I are AP holders for DLR, despite living out of state (AZ). I keep talking about taking a trip to WDW before we start trying to start a family this year. My parents brought it up last night, suggesting that we all take a trip together (my dad is turning 70 in 2 weeks, so I think this might be some of the motivation for them to go).

    We're going in mid march, which I know hits spring break, but my mom is a school nurse and we have to go around her work schedule.

    Any information you could provide on flights from AZ to FL, renting a car (we will need one as we are going to visit family in Ft Lauderdal while we're there), hotels, tickets (how many days will we really need)? We want to spend a least a few days at WDW plus maybe one day at Universal and one day at Busch Gardens. WDW has prority.

    Is is easy to walk around most area hotels to the parks? Do you need a shuttle for everything?

    We are on a budget and I know we won't be able to afford a Disney property... Please ask anything else you need to know that might be able to help you help us!

    Thank you!!
    Last edited by KellyMcG86; 12-27-2012 at 12:48 AM.

    Thank you to Poisonedapples for my awesome signature!
    KellyMcG86's Disneyland To Do List

  2. #2

    •   
    • Chicago Gal
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    54,524
    Blog Entries
    120

    Re: First trip for these DLR fans with no kids, but we'll have the in-laws

    First of all everything at Disney World is too far away from each other so you will definitely have to use their transportation system or drive your own car.

    I am visiting in April after a long time away. My last visit was in 2009. So a lot of things will seem new to me.

    There are four parks at WDW, so most new visitors probably plan for one park a day. I have never been to Universal, but I am hoping to get there in April to all the Harry Potter stuff.

    I bought a few guidebooks which told me a lot about all things Disney World and Universal. The Birnbaum books are good as well as the Unofficial ones.

  3. #3

    • Under that tree again!
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    7,477

    Re: First trip for these DLR fans with no kids, but we'll have the in-laws

    Quote Originally Posted by KellyMcG86 View Post
    My husband and I are AP holding for DLR, despite living out of state (AZ). (my dad is turning 70 in 2 weeks, so I think this might be some of the motivation for them to go).
    Book ASAP and make dining reservations ASAP because things sell out and reservations can be booked 6 months in advance and you are later to the game already.

    You might get a senior rate that is good, also consider upgrading your APs to Premier that are good in DL and WDW. APs give you at least 10% off rooms. Also there is a Table in Wonderland card that gives you dining discounts including wine, that you can buy and get cheaper for with an AP discount on it. There are some AP dining discounts but it's pretty limited.

    Any information you could provide on flights from AZ to FL, renting a car (we will need one as we are going to visit family in Ft Lauderdal while we're there),
    Try Southwest they probably have plenty of direct flights. Maybe Airtran which is a budget airline that goes to Orlando. If you settle on having a car the whole time consider flying to Ft. Laudderdale or Miami, also Melbourne where Jetblue goes. Just weight the flight/rental cars against eachother.

    You may want a car for only Universal, Busch and Ft. Lauderdale, because WDW is really easy to do carsless. If you fly to Orlando there is free transport for you to your WDW resort(hotels are all called resorts in WDW). It includes luggage service that goes from check in at Pheonix to your room in WDW, and then in reverse on the return. It's called Magic Express and super cool, a great benefit to staying onsite.

    But since you aren't just going to WDW you can do it half way assuming your first or last day is at WDW.

    Also you may want to split your WDW visit up, and rent a car for the middle part to go elsewhere. At WDW you can easily rent from Alamo/National or walking about 1000ft, Avis, Dollar, trhifty hertz, which are in hotels near DTD in Hotel Plaza. Parking is free at Disneyworld resorts and parks for resort guests, $15 at the parks for non resort guests.

    If you go WDW first then need a rental car, here is a trick. It's probably cheapest to rent at Orlando Airport, MCO. SO take MAgic Express to WDW, then tell them you have Delta flight ABCD at 11am, and take Magic Express back. Magic Express arranges your return shuttle based on your flight so putting in a real flight you won't take gets you back to the airport where your rental is. All go or send one person to get the car while your bags are at bell services and everyone else is wandering around relaxing.

    hotels
    It's really ideal to stay onsite.
    You get Magic Express, Extra Magic Hours every morning and night. And a Key to the World, a card with your tickets on it and it's your room key. You can also link a credit card to charge with them.

    Look at the Value Resorts, they are giant motels. Price depends on demand and weekends and your visit period can up the rates. The downside you may come across is they have double beds not queens. Of the value I'll suggest POP over the Allstar resorts. If you look at Moderates look at the Port Orlean French Quarter.

    There are tons of hotels in the area, try Kissamee, which is close to WDW. Tons of hotels and restaurants on the Irlo Bronson Memorial Parkyway(or highway) south of WDW. There are also tons of timeshare and rental houses. Try a third party site like orbitz and see if you get a good rate at the Gaylord Palms, or anything at Bonnet Creek which has Wyndham, Hilton and a Waldorf. Gaylord used to have tons of $70 rates but those days may be gone.


    tickets (how many days will we really need)? We want to spend a least a few days at WDWm maybe one day at Universal, one day at Busch Gardens. WDW has prority.
    At WDW MK is going to be pretty quick, if you want you can spend the least time there. Epcot can take 2 days. Disney Hollywood Studios almost a day and Animal Kingdom almost a day. Really you need at least 4 but 5 is nice.

    Parkhopping is a flat $57 addition to any ticket length. You can hop and get more in, because usually one park opens at 8am and close at 10pm while another opens at 10am and closes at 12am, so you hop to get the extra hours. Also hop to get Extra Magic Hours in the morning and evening. Or hop because you are done in one park by midafternoon and want to go to another park.

    If you stay offsite, plan your days by not going to the parks hosting Extra Magic Hours, they are busier all day. I like EMH so my plan is to go to the morning EMH park and leave by lunch and I'll go to the evening EMH park around 5pm.

    For Universal a day is fine, and if you've been to USH there is not much you willl miss by skipping the studios. Island of Adventure has a big rush to Harry Potter and the rest of the park is only going to be moderately busy. If you want rollercoasters great if not you like many can go to the Wizzarding World and then leave. Busch is just ok, if you like coasters it's pretty good, but if not it's a good option to cut out of the trip.

    Unlike in California Florida taxes theme parks tickets, so you can usually find a ticket seller the knocks off %5. Try expedia, or undercover tourist.

    Is is eary to walk around most area hotels to the parks? Do you need a shuttle for everything?
    Like Barbaraan said you need to drive or take shuttle and in some case boats or the Monorail. Everything is at least a mile apart, though you can walk between Epcot and Hollywood Studios and from some delux resort to a park or two.

    It takes about 30 minute to get from a park to a resort, or vice versa, and about an hour to get park to park. Buses come every 20 minutes so those are that longer time estimates.



    We are on a budget and I know we won't be able to afford a Disney property... Please ask anything else you need to know that might be able to help you help us!
    Disney food is really expensive, but there is a lot of variety that adds some value. Eat breakfast waiting at the gates and avoid snacks. It's not like DLR where you can carry lots of food and drink in.

  4. #4

    • Selfie Expert
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Gilbert, AZ
    Posts
    6,603

    Re: First trip for these DLR fans with no kids, but we'll have the in-laws

    I've done a little research, and I found on Trip Advisor (my favorite source for checking out hotel options) that there are apparently a TON of Disney hotels that appear to be very affordable. That's encouraging!

    Also seems that flying into Ft. Lauderdale is about half the cost of flights into Orlando. We'll have a 3 hour drive ahead of us, but split between 4 of us this is far cheaper than flying straight in. Yay!!

    Thank you to Poisonedapples for my awesome signature!
    KellyMcG86's Disneyland To Do List

  5. #5

    • Selfie Expert
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Gilbert, AZ
    Posts
    6,603

    Re: First trip for these DLR fans with no kids, but we'll have the in-laws

    Quote Originally Posted by swampymarsh View Post
    Disney food is really expensive, but there is a lot of variety that adds some value. Eat breakfast waiting at the gates and avoid snacks. It's not like DLR where you can carry lots of food and drink in.
    Swampy, you are amazing. Thank you SO MUCH!

    Regarding the last statement in your post - are they stricter on enforcing bringing in outside food? Or is it just harder to carry around? I buy my food at the parks despite the high price tag because I think trying the different foods is part of the experience and, well, I love food. All I usually carry is a water bottle and maybe some Goldfish crackers in my backpack.

    Thank you to Poisonedapples for my awesome signature!
    KellyMcG86's Disneyland To Do List

  6. #6

    • Under that tree again!
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    7,477

    Re: First trip for these DLR fans with no kids, but we'll have the in-laws

    Quote Originally Posted by KellyMcG86 View Post
    Regarding the last statement in your post - are they stricter on enforcing bringing in outside food? Or is it just harder to carry around? I buy my food at the parks despite the high price tag because I think trying the different foods is part of the experience and, well, I love food. All I usually carry is a water bottle and maybe some Goldfish crackers in my backpack.

    It's not like DLR where they tolerate bringing in McDonalds or grocery bags of food, if just that water and a bag of goldfish you should be ok.

    Also a nice thing about WDW vs DLR is the bag checks, have a no bag lane that you can walk right through. A downside is WDW parks are huge compared to the original DL and it's smaller neighbor DCA so you may end up carrying your stuff another 25% further each day. Still rain gear is important in Florida.

    I could recommend some dining, but it's really my preference so check menus at Allears.net and avoid the burger and pizza mainstays. Restaurant Dining Menus from Walt Disney World

    If you are in Epcot it's easy to walk to the Boardwalk, Yatch and Beachclub resorts. If in the Magic Kingdom you can walk to the Contemporary and a boat or monorial to the Polynessian, Grand Floridian and even the Wilderness Lodge. Just remember it takes a lot of time to leave the parks eat and return to the park like an hour of travel.

  7. #7

    • Under that tree again!
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    7,477

    Re: First trip for these DLR fans with no kids, but we'll have the in-laws

    Quote Originally Posted by KellyMcG86 View Post
    I've done a little research, and I found on Trip Advisor (my favorite source for checking out hotel options) that there are apparently a TON of Disney hotels that appear to be very affordable. That's encouraging!

    Also seems that flying into Ft. Lauderdale is about half the cost of flights into Orlando. We'll have a 3 hour drive ahead of us, but split between 4 of us this is far cheaper than flying straight in. Yay!!
    If you fly to FT Lauderdale maybe you can stay at a hotel coming and going to cut out a couple hotel stays.


    Ton of Disney, or did you actually mean ton of Non Disney hotels? The reason I ask is at Disney the prices vary depending on day of the week and season it's very complex but you can seeing the pricing schedule on Disneyworld.com when you look at a particular resort.

    There are 5 value resorts but 1 is all suites and much more expensive as such. Of the other 4 I mentioned POP because it has the best transportation situation. The other 3 are the All Star Resorts, Music, Sports and Movies. Those 3 are all in a group and share buses with a stop at each.

    If the Moderate Resorts look ok pricewise I far prefer the Port Orleans French Quarter. It's the most compact and has single bus stop where as the other moderates have multiple stops. There are 3 other moderate resorts, including one next to the Port Orlean French Quarter called PO Riverside.

    There are many delux resorts, all offer similiar amenities, but the Animal Kingdom and Wilderness Lodges come in a lower prices. Grand Floridian is the GCH equivalent and the highest priced.

    If you are going to drive to the parks, it really doesn't matter, because parking is closer to rooms than the centralized bus stops. Of course when you get to the park in your car you have to deal with unloading the car and using trams. It's usually a wash time wise.

    If you mean non disney hotels, yes tons.

  8. #8

    • Selfie Expert
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Gilbert, AZ
    Posts
    6,603

    Re: First trip for these DLR fans with no kids, but we'll have the in-laws

    I meant Disney hotels. It seems like there are so many compared to DLR, which only has three. I was surprised that they had so many options, many of which are affordable for us. I'm hoping to be in the $150/night range, so likely we will be at one of the "value" ones. Which one is POP? Sorry I'm not as familiar with the WDW abbreviations.

    You have been amazingly helpful. Thank you!

    Thank you to Poisonedapples for my awesome signature!
    KellyMcG86's Disneyland To Do List

  9. #9

    • Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    311

    Re: First trip for these DLR fans with no kids, but we'll have the in-laws

    POP is Disney's Pop Century Resort. It features rooms themed from pop culture of the 1950's to the 1990's. It is across from Disney's new Art of Animation Resort. While not the most luxurious hotel on property, you still get all of Disney's amenities for a reasonable price.

    I highly recommend staying on-site because the area around Disney World, especially Kissimmee, features many cheap tourist traps and motels that can "break the magic" for some people.

    When visiting World for the first time, remember that it is bigger than Disneyland and in some ways be less intimate and "magical" than Walt's original can be. I also recommend visiting Universal because their offerings as of late have really been top-notch, especially the Wizarding World of Harry Potter area at Islands of Adventure.
    Last edited by MickeyM; 12-27-2012 at 09:22 PM.

  10. #10

    • Under that tree again!
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    7,477

    Re: First trip for these DLR fans with no kids, but we'll have the in-laws

    Quote Originally Posted by KellyMcG86 View Post
    I meant Disney hotels. It seems like there are so many compared to DLR, which only has three. I was surprised that they had so many options, many of which are affordable for us. I'm hoping to be in the $150/night range, so likely we will be at one of the "value" ones. Which one is POP? Sorry I'm not as familiar with the WDW abbreviations.
    Check the POP page of Disneyworld.com. On the right it will have a link for rooms/priceing. This is for the first week of March weekdays.
    http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/res...ason+-+Weekday

    Pick the days carefully, ideally midweek is usally best. March is the start of Spring Break so it will be tough. Also consider the high tax rate on hotel rooms into your costs.

    If you can go that first week this 5 day 6 night offer is available.
    Walt Disney World&reg - Walt Disney World&reg - Special Offer

    I'm not sure how they work but you may inquire about a senior discount.

  11. #11

    • Junior Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    496

    Re: First trip for these DLR fans with no kids, but we'll have the in-laws

    Quote Originally Posted by swampymarsh View Post
    For Universal a day is fine, and if you've been to USH there is not much you willl miss by skipping the studios. Island of Adventure has a big rush to Harry Potter and the rest of the park is only going to be moderately busy. If you want rollercoasters great if not you like many can go to the Wizzarding World and then leave.
    See Wizarding World and then leave? What an epic waste of money that would be. Who pays to see 1/6th of a theme park? And IOA is not all roller coasters. I don't know where you got that idea, but it only has 3.

  12. #12

    • Selfie Expert
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Gilbert, AZ
    Posts
    6,603

    Re: First trip for these DLR fans with no kids, but we'll have the in-laws

    Quote Originally Posted by JtnOrl View Post
    See Wizarding World and then leave? What an epic waste of money that would be. Who pays to see 1/6th of a theme park? And IOA is not all roller coasters. I don't know where you got that idea, but it only has 3.
    Please do not use this thread to argue about Universal (or anything else for that matter). I appreciate the thoughtful contributions that have been given here, and they are to be respected. If you have a contribution to make, please do so, otherwise take your debate to a more appropriate thread.

    Thanks.

    Thank you to Poisonedapples for my awesome signature!
    KellyMcG86's Disneyland To Do List

  13. #13

    • Poor chicken!
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Corona, Ca
    Posts
    246

    Re: First trip for these DLR fans with no kids, but we'll have the in-laws

    I would highly reccomend POP as a great value onsite motel, we prefer it over the All stars. Art of Animation can hardly consider being called "value" as it is priced well above the other values.
    Look into Spirit Air, theres lots of bad reviews but their main hub is Ft Lauderdale and we once flew there nonstop from LAX for $160 for 2, roundtrip. They may fly from PHX but I'm not sure.
    If you're renting a car it will be cheaper in Ft Lauderdale than Orlando most likely. The drive is actually quite pleasant between the 2 cities. Also if you stay onsite you won't have to pay for parking and will have extra magic hours available to you, which may be of considerable value to you if you have limited time at WDW. Definitely have a good 2 days ready to explore Epcot, besides Soarin it has more uniqueness to it than the Studios or MK parks compared to the Anaheim parks. You can bring in whatever food you like into any park also, so don't worry about that. Just dont try smuggling in any booze, I heard a great story from a security CM about a group who tried bringing in a full bottle of Jack into MK hidden in their stroller!
    I can't offer any tips for Universal or elsewhere, as we have spent 100% of our FL vacation time at WDW evey time for 6 years now. Hope you have a great trip!

  14. #14

    • Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    314

    Re: First trip for these DLR fans with no kids, but we'll have the in-laws

    Living in Phoenix, I found the plane travel straight to Orlando to be ideal. Of course, I booked the whole trip one month in advance, so maybe I received a better last minute flight deal.

    As for rental cars, I had a good experience with Enterprise. I wanted the ability to drive around, and I found the weekly rental cost to be cheaper than just renting for a few days to hit up Universal. Likewise, I ran into problems with the Disney transportation system to and from Downtown Disney, so having a car made those trips a lot easier.

    I did have problems in all the rooms that I stayed at on property. I switched resorts once to save some money--going from a villa to a moderate. But I had problems with hard beds in both. I found a q-tip under my pillow at the moderate, and when I turned on the heater at night, it stunk up the room. Also, for some reason, Disney likes to use shower curtains at their Caribbean Resort to divide the bathroom sinks from the bedroom. So my BIG recommendation is to stay off property. Yeah, I get all the arguments about the Disney Magic, so if you must stay on property, I'd stay at either the Wilderness Lodge or Polynesian.

    Food-wise, I had great experiences at both EPCOT and Animal Kingdom. I found the ice cream shop to be better at DL than at MK. My worse dinning experience was at the seafood restaurant across from Nemo ride. The food wasn't that good. But compared to the food at DL/DCA, you can't go wrong.

    Rides. Well, as you have probably read here already, a lot are in need of repair. My suggestion is to find out the ones that have been refurbished and hit those such as Test Track. Tomorrowland is also a disappointment. The Kilimanjaro Safari and the Lion King Show are must sees.

    Get a Park Hopper. It's nice to be able to hit Animal Kingdom until it closes and then head over to EPCOT for dinner, where there are a lot of great places to eat. Just bring good walking shoes. I'm not sure what your fitness level is like, but I probably walked 3 miles a day while at the parks, which is far more than I walked at DL even when I stayed at the Disneyland Hotel. Oh, one thing that I learned going to WDW from DL is that WDW closes their parks far earlier than DL, so plan out your evenings and check the schedule.

    https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/calendars/

    So my two BIG problems with WDW were: hard beds and the parks closing way too early. Plan for these.


    As for Universal, I gave myself two days, and it still wasn't enough. The crowds at the Harry Potter stuff made that section of the park take so much time to get through. But the food was good and rides were great. Don't miss the Forbidden Journey Ride.

Similar Threads

  1. Tips on a Solo First Trip to DLR for a WDW Regular
    By t3techcom18 in forum So. Cal. Travel Planning
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 05-22-2011, 10:57 PM
  2. [Fun] What were the conditions of your first trip to Disneyland/DLR?
    By dth316 in forum Disneyland Resort
    Replies: 34
    Last Post: 05-14-2010, 10:07 AM
  3. [Trip Report] My First trip Report 9/25/09 with Photos!
    By Cadensmama07 in forum Disneyland Resort
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 10-02-2009, 09:00 AM
  4. First ever trip report 10/11-15 with pictures
    By poohnpiglet in forum Disneyland Resort
    Replies: 27
    Last Post: 10-18-2006, 02:57 PM
  5. First Trip to DLR. Stay @ DLR Hotel?
    By Max Fischer in forum Disneyland Resort
    Replies: 38
    Last Post: 07-11-2005, 08:51 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •