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  1. #1

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    Question First visit to Disney World

    Well, my girlfriend and myself just booked a trip to Disney World for mid September and have been talking about it a lot. We have talked about things that we really think we must see and what we probably could bypass since we are AP's at Disneyland and have expierenced pretty much everything it has to offer. We will be in Orlando for a total of 8 days we land in Orlando at approximatly 1:00pm on Saturday Sep. 16th and leave on the 23rd at about noon. We have 7 day park hopper tickets and have been batting around the idea of spending 4 days at Disney World, 1 Day at Epcot, 1 Day at Disney/MGM Studios, and whats left of our arrival day at Disney's Animal Park.

    So, I guess what I'm looking for is advice from those of you that have been to both Disney World and Disneyland... what at the parks are the same and could be avoided... is the time we plan on spending at each park good or is there a better way... Shows that we have to see and those that could be missed... restaurants and counter service locations that you would recommend. This is a big trip for us, we haven't been on a real vacation in many many years, any help/advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Rides and Shows I have slept on or through...
    Disneyland Railroad and Monorail
    Enchanted Tiki Room
    Aladdin - A Musical Spectacular
    Pirates of the Caribbean
    Haunted Mansion

  2. #2

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    Re: First visit to Disney World

    Quote Originally Posted by Sleeping_Ugly
    Well, my girlfriend and myself just booked a trip to Disney World for mid September and have been talking about it a lot. We have talked about things that we really think we must see and what we probably could bypass since we are AP's at Disneyland and have expierenced pretty much everything it has to offer. We will be in Orlando for a total of 8 days we land in Orlando at approximatly 1:00pm on Saturday Sep. 16th and leave on the 23rd at about noon. We have 7 day park hopper tickets and have been batting around the idea of spending 4 days at Disney World, 1 Day at Epcot, 1 Day at Disney/MGM Studios, and whats left of our arrival day at Disney's Animal Park.

    So, I guess what I'm looking for is advice from those of you that have been to both Disney World and Disneyland... what at the parks are the same and could be avoided... is the time we plan on spending at each park good or is there a better way... Shows that we have to see and those that could be missed... restaurants and counter service locations that you would recommend. This is a big trip for us, we haven't been on a real vacation in many many years, any help/advice would be greatly appreciated.
    I assume you mean Magic Kingdom when you say Disney World as a park.

    So here goes.

    1. Get a couple or three books, I like Birnbaums, and Passporters, also you might think about the Pelrmuter's book (Disney World For Couples). You are going to spend a few thousand $$ on a vacation, the price you spend on books for research will save you time (which is more valuable than money) on vacation and make your vacation better. Start reading now! So you will know what's where before you get there. Better to know before than to plan as you enter the turnstyles. I can't tell you haow many people I see enterint the turnstyles, get a map and say "well, now what?" Not a clue as to where to go, what to do, what's there.

    2. Deb Wills's site http://www.allearsnet.com/ for a lot of useful info on WDW.

    3. Spend more time in Epcot. Since you are Disneyland AP's, go to Epcot, we don't have anything to comapre to EC on the West Coast. You will need at least parts of two days for Epcot, one for Future World, one for World SHowcase. My wife and I spend part of most days at Epcot and we go for 12 days, we hit Epcot for at least part of the day 9 or 10 our of 12 days.

    4. One day is enough for Disney MGM Studios.

    5. One day is enough for Animal Kingdom (maybe 1/2 day).

    6. Maybe two days for Magic Kingdom, or part days, at least one evening.

    7. Did I say that Epcot is well worth the time spent for most folks?

    8. Most important, have a rough plan of what you want to do each day, not necessarly which day, but what days. After you get there, get the schedule in your hotel, read which parks are open when and how late and make a rough plan on when to go where. Be flexible, just because you have a plan doens't mean that you can only do things "on the plan" (can't tell you how many folks I see like this either.."We can't do that, no time, it's not in the plan"). Have a plan, but don't let the plan run your vacation.

    9. Did I say get a couple of books and study, study, study? Well, do it!

    I hope this helps,

    CU@DL

    Andy

  3. #3

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    Re: First visit to Disney World

    If you're gonna spend your arrival day at Animal Kingdom, consider moving to the Magic Kingdom when it closes (since, AK usually closes early). In AK, be sure to check out Kilimanjaro Safari , Expedition Everest and Festival of the Lion King. In MK, you might wanna grab some grub at the tomorroland Noodle Station and stayng there for the performance of "Wishes" the pyro show. You can see the "Under New Management" version of the Tikki room while you're there as well as Mickey's Philharmagic (when you get there, you can circle your way from AL for Tikki, to Fantasyland for Philharmagic, and then to TL for the rest for the evening) and maybe Stitch' Great Escape and most of Tomorrowland. Since almost everything else in MK is a copy or an inferior version of what's at DL.

    1 full Day in EPCOT would be ok but if you really want to experience everything in EPCOT, try maybe 1 and a half or 2 days, you can bypass Soarin' since it's basically a clone of what's in DCA. Go to Mission:Space or Test Track early for a fast pass, preferably Test Track since it's almost always crowded there. Mission: Space can be taken care of rather quickly if you use the single riders queue. By this time the new Living Seas would be open so check it out, it might have the new Nemo ride open as well. Spaceship earth is a must-ride, great place to catch a nap . Make sure you check out Club Cool adn try different drink from around the world (make sure you check out the Beverly).

    For World Showcase, only Norway and Mexico have rides, the rest of them have films. great place to eat too. Make sure you stake out a really good spot for Illuminations, preferably right at the entrance to WS.

    EPCOT is the largest park when it comes to activities so consider spending an extra day there if you really warm up to the place.

    D-MGM, do not bypass Tower of Terror, it's the far superior version of what's at DCA, since you're spending an entire day here, you can probably get everything done. Make sure you eat at the 50's Prime Time Cafe. And if you don't want to wait too long for good seats for Fantasmic, ask about the Fantasmic dinner package. MuppeetVision 3d and Millionaire are essentially the same as the DCA ones. Beauty and the Beast ain't that special but you might have enough time to check it out anyway.

    On your fourth day, you can spend it at Downtown Disney or just go over what you missed in MK or AK.

    are you staying in an on-property hotel? If you are, make sure to take advantage of the "Extra Magic Hours" program as well as teh transportation system, WDW can seem really large and imposing for DL natives.

    WDWmagic.com is a great place to help you plan a WDW visit. the forums are really active when it comes to helping WDW vacation planners
    Last edited by stitcharielsinbad; 01-16-2006 at 10:37 PM.

  4. #4

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    Re: First visit to Disney World

    I have no advice for you on restaurants, sorry. My family usually try to avoid the expensive food. But when I do my own Disney vacation, I will definately try the food. I've only ate at the Tiki Bar and had french fries and clam chowder at DLR.

    ANYWAYS, as far as WDW attractions that are also in DLR, some themeing are different but the ride experience may be the same. It depends, but here's my opinions. I think a lot of this may be SPOILER so I will put on SPOILER ALERT. Besides, I never tried SPOILER ALERT yet :

    OR you can just check out WDW's website and compare/decide. There's also this: http://www.themeparkinsider.com/ and many more sites you can look up from google.com

    Spoiler

    MK
    1) Haunted Mansion: WDW's stretch room is not an elevator. There's a neat surprise in the graveyard before you enter the stretch room. The changing paintings and staring busts are part of the ride, not a walkthrough. The mansion and entrance to the ride are different. They are in different lands. Big Thunder Mountain: DLR's has a earthquake theme. WDW's has a flood theme. I HATE THE BARN STYLE QUEUE IN WDW'S. It was really uncomfortable. WDW's feels more tame than DLR's. Different themeing. Fantasyland keeps the "fair" look. POTC has different themeing, in a different land, different show scenes. And you don't get to "go up the waterfall". Didn't go in Country Bears. I would expect it to be the same. There's an Aladdin spinning carpet ride with spitting camel. Jungle Cruise has a different ending. Tiki Bird: Under New Management is different. I found it okay, most people don't like it. Instead of Mickey's Toontown, there's Mickey's Toontown Fair. Gadget Coaster is themed to Goofy's Barnstormer. They have Philarmagic, we don't. I hear it's really good. Autopia looked really plain, so I didn't go on it. They got PM. Stitch's Great Escape is getting mixed reviews, but I'd try it out. Buzz Lightyear is a bit different, they have more queue and attached guns. WDW's Space Mountain I think is a copy of DLR's Matterhorn. Splash Mountain has side-by-side seating. Not sure of the ride itself. Splash and BTMR are in the same land.

    EPCOT
    2) EPCOT's Soarin' experience is same in DCA. But themeing is different. Malestorm was broken when I went. Didn't see the China, France, and Canada movies. Didn't see America AA show. Illuminations is amazing! MUST-SEE. Test Track is neat. M:S was still being built. Body Wars uses the same flight simulator tech as Star Tours but seems bumpier. Lots of little attractions in that pavilion. Universe of Energy was neat. Didn't know where HISTA was. Try Journey to Your Imagination with Figment, it's interesting. Completely different theme of course. THE LAND is a boat ride through a greenhouse. Circle of Life was a movie about conservation. LIVING SEAS is like a big aquariam. Turtle Talk should be, well, technicially the same with different seating.

    Disney-MGM
    3) Star Tours themeing is different. But the ride experience seems the same. DLR Fantasmic is better than WDW Fantasmic. They use different segements. WDW's seems longer because they use more of the water screens. WDW's TOT has more themeing I think and has the "5th dimension" missing in DLR's. I didn't enjoy Disney-MGM's tram tour that much. USH's is better. I think Muppet Vision 3D has a slightly different theme, but same experience. The Great Movie Ride was cool. Check out the technology used on the ride vehicles. Indy show is awesome. Sounds Dangerous was all right, basically sit in the dark with hi-tech earphones.

    DAK
    4) DAK will have Expedition: Everest by the time of your visit. Dinosaur! uses the same tech as Indiana Jones. I like Indy a whole lot better. In Dinosaur, you can't see much. Festival of the Lion King is cool. ITTBAB show is the same, themeing is different. I don't know what is replacing Tarzan ROCKS!, but that was a cool show. There's a bunch of nature trail/ animal viewing. It's neat. But a lot of people say they can do that at zoos. There's a Rapids ride I think in Asia, that's cool.

    Definately check out all the parks' parades. I didn't see MGM's Beauty and the Beast show. EPCOT's China had acrobatics.


    WOW, it works. But now I have a big black box! LOL.

    "You're not thinking fourth dimensionally!" -Back to the Future

    "With this place, I wanted to give them something real, something that wasn't an illusion, something they could see and touch. An aim devoid of merit."
    -Jurassic Park

  5. #5

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    Talking Re: First visit to Disney World

    Thanks for all the advice so far, it is all very helpful. We are staying on property at the Port Orleans Riverside, I've seen some info on "Extra Magic Hours" and plan on taking advantage of it.

    I work in the restaurant industry... so food is obviously a big part of my life... I enjoy eating good food... so any info on the good eatz at DW would be outstanding.

    Agian, thanks for the info so far and more would be put to good use.
    Rides and Shows I have slept on or through...
    Disneyland Railroad and Monorail
    Enchanted Tiki Room
    Aladdin - A Musical Spectacular
    Pirates of the Caribbean
    Haunted Mansion

  6. #6

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    Re: First visit to Disney World

    Hmm.. Jiko has good ratings at AKL.

    Mitsukoshi Teppanyaki
    Chefs des France (for lunch IMHO)

    Hehe.. and personally love Earl of Sandwich at Downtown Disney (the Full Montagu was sinful!)

    A thought.. If you don't go looking for Walt at Walt Disney World you'll like it. He was never there, he passed away before it opened, and some people choose to hold that against the place.

  7. #7

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    Re: First visit to Disney World

    Quote Originally Posted by KNRG
    A thought.. If you don't go looking for Walt at Walt Disney World you'll like it. He was never there, he passed away before it opened, and some people choose to hold that against the place.
    That's sad, honestly. I think people miss out on something magical by looking at it that way.

  8. #8

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    Re: First visit to Disney World

    Quote Originally Posted by Sleeping_Ugly
    Thanks for all the advice so far, it is all very helpful. We are staying on property at the Port Orleans Riverside, I've seen some info on "Extra Magic Hours" and plan on taking advantage of it.

    I work in the restaurant industry... so food is obviously a big part of my life... I enjoy eating good food... so any info on the good eatz at DW would be outstanding.

    Agian, thanks for the info so far and more would be put to good use.
    Extra Magic Hours - I have found the best way to take advantage of the "Extra Magic Hours" is to be there early, like when the park opens (or 30 minutes earlier). Don't go to Extra Magic Hours late! I can't tell you how many people I've seen coming in to Extra Magic Hours at 10:00 AM -- not a good idea, the park is already crowded, if you can't go early go somewhere else. Also, when the Park with "Extra Magic Hours" starts to get crowded, go somewhere else, that park will just get more and more crowded all day. For some reason, folks keep coming in all day.

    Eating - All depends on what you want. Some of our favorite places are:

    1. The California Grill at the Contemporary Resort ($$$$)
    2. Citrico's at The Grand Floridian ($$$$)
    3. The Brown Derby at Disney MGM Studios ($$$)
    4. The Restaurant Marakesh at the Morocco Pavillion in Epcot ($$$)
    5. The Tangerine Cafe in the Morocco Pavillion in Epcot ($$)
    6. The Yakatori House in the Japan Pavillion in Epcot ($)
    7. Chefs de France in the French Pavillion in Epcot ($$$)
    8. Le Cellier in the Canada Pavillion in Epcot ($$$)
    9. The Kona Cafe at the Polynesian Resort ($$$)
    10. Plaza Restaurant in Magic Kingdom ($$)

    The $'s ratings above are from my experience, what we order, some restaurants may be more or less expensive for you. Check out the menus on Deb Wills' Site at: http://www.allearsnet.com/menu/menus.htm

    There are more great places we like, but these are some of our fav's.

    CU@DL

    Andy

  9. #9

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    Re: First visit to Disney World

    Do the dining plan and make your reservations early.

  10. #10

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    Re: First visit to Disney World

    I would add Flying Fish on the Boardwalk to the above list. Try the strip steak. There are a few seats at the bar (make friends with the bartender who can pour you some awesome wine by the glass) which will be more intimate or sit in the back room.

    Also, you can sit at the open fire in Jiko where you can converse with the chefs.

  11. #11

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    Re: First visit to Disney World

    I don't have a clue why you'd ever want to spend four days at the MK, as it's a far inferior version of DL with a bigger castle and larger walkways.

    I'd spend most of my time at Epcot and DAK as well as enjoying the plethora of fine dining, recreational opportunities and resorts that WDW offers.

    As for food, there are countless wonderful places. But it's impossible to give you truly good advice without knowing your likes/dislikes, budget, style etc ...

  12. #12

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    Re: First visit to Disney World

    I disagree about the dining plan, personally. It only works if you're going to eat a LOT of food. Every day. If you absolutely want to sit down somewhere and get a full appetizer/entree/desert experience on every day of your visit, then fine, I guess, more power to you if you can afford it. If you're not burning for that kind of thing every day, then you'll find yourself giving food away.

    If you're going a week or more and you have a budget of any kind, you're going to want to live off counter service for a day or two over the course of your stay for the price of half the dining plan for the day. While the plan is a less expensive than going to a table service restaurant every day, it's not by much. And while it does offer an abundance of food beyond that, who knows how much of it you'll really want.

    There is value if you can afford it; but not everybody can afford it and not everybody has a big enough appetite to be able to enjoy the value, let alone enjoy it every day of their trip.

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