I am from California and have been to Disneyland lots of times and am going on my first trip to Florida and Disney World from September 8-16. I am staying in the Maingate Disney Area and plan to get a park hopper w/ water park add ons and go to all six parks. I also would like to visit either Cocoa or Clearwater Beach (plz let me know which one you recommend) as well as two parks outside of Disney (Do you recommend Gatorland, Universal, Discovery Cove, or something else?)
I also would like to know how the weather is gonna be then and if the 15 day forecast is reliable. I just checked it and it says very warm with afternoon thunderstorms on some of the days. I'm glad no hurricanes are on the forecast. For the rain, should I buy my poncho here and bring it to Disney or buy the Disney Poncho over there? Should I even bother packing sneakers or are shorts, sandals, t-shirts, and swimsuit all I need?
I will have a friend with me for 5 out of the 9 days I have in Florida so I want to know what things are best done with a friend and what stuff is okay to do alone.
For those of you who've been to both Disneyland and Disney World, what are the biggest differences?
Please give me any recommendations or tips you might have,