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  1. #16

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    Re: Please Help! Last Minute Trip Planning!

    Quote Originally Posted by justjohn View Post
    I was completely disappointed by Epcot. To me its about as good as DCA. It has a couple of rides and then is basically a huge shopping mall. The Mission:Space and test track rides were cool, but that is about it.
    Epcot is a theme park, not an amusement park.


    Anyway, as others have said the park hopper option isn't probably needed. You can get the "Base ticket" and if you only get a 3 day ticket, it's the same cost at The Disney Store at MOA as it would be at the gate since the savings only start at 4-day tickets.

    While you are experienced with Disneyland, you're going with the kids. I would suggest Magic Kingdom for sure. While you've seen a lot of Disneyland and Magic Kingdom is similiar, it's still quite new to him and very new to baby!

    Animal Kingdom is also nice, especially if you enjoy animals. Remember, it's not a zoo, but if he enjoys the Minnesota Zoo or Como Zoo this will be a lot of fun for him. Add in the number of shows, including the new Nemo show and I'm sure you'll have a blast.

    The third day would then leave you picking between Epcot or the Disney-MGM Studios. Epcot has "kid cot" activities all over, the newly re-done Living Seas - with Nemo and Friends (attraction, turtle talk, etc.) There is also a nice character meet and greet, Character connection where the wait is minimal for a number of classic characters, Imagination with Figment, Soarin' at the Land, and others. (Remember to take in height requirements for some attractions.) The Disney-MGM Studios also has a lot of characters to see, but has a lot of shows. Shows include Muppet*Vision 3D, Voyage of the Little Mermaid, Playhouse Disney, Beauty and the Beast, Indiana Jones Epic Stunt, and Lights, Motors, Action! There's also the Honey I Shrunk the Kids play area, Great Movie Ride, and Back Lot Tour. However, some things would scare the baby and might scare the 4 year old. You know him best.

    One tip is to learn of the Rider Switch Program. Ask a Cast Member at any height restriction attraction for details. You can't miss out on Everest now, can you?

    Just a few ideas. Have fun. Enjoy your trip and best of luck on that 26 hour drive!!

  2. #17

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    Re: Please Help! Last Minute Trip Planning!

    Well, my experience in this area comes from one short trip. But I would say definitely spend a full day at Animal Kingdom. The kids will love stuff like the Safari and Rafiki's Planet Watch. Also, if at all possible, see Finding Nemo: The Musical! It was by far my favorite thing at WDW, just above Festival of the Lion King (which I also highly recommend). Both shows are pretty short (FN:TM is about 30 minutes, I'd say FotLK is about 20) and great for kids. Two bits of advice for Nemo: plan on seeing it early in the day, since the line can get really long, and grab a CM as soon as you get inside and ask for the best place to sit if you have to leave mid-show with the baby. Actors run around in the aisles throughout the show, so ducking out isn't always easy.

    Normally, I would recommend you spend the rest of your time at Epcot, which is just a gorgeous park with tons to see. (We didn't get through it all in a day and a half.) However, it's a big kid park. There aren't many rides, and the best of them have height restrictions. They do have activities and things for kids, but since your time is so limited, I would probably avoid Epcot altogether and come back when the kids are older.

    MGM is a toss-up. There are only four rides in the whole park (and Rock'n'Roller Coaster might still be down for refurb), and Great Movie Ride is the only one with no height restriction. Everything else is shows. Pretty good shows, mind you, but still. If your kids are okay with sitting still for 20-30 minutes at a time (plus however early you have to arrive to get a seat), they'd probably really like Voyage of the Little Mermaid, Indy, and Beauty and the Beast. Plus, MGM has probably the best opportunities for character hunting, because there's a gazillion of them hanging out on Mickey Avenue). So that will be up to you.

    I didn't care for Magic Kingdom, personally. Except for Mickey's Philharmagic, I could safely ignore the entire place. However, it does have the most stuff for kids to do. The clones aren't exact copies, so riding them is interesting for comparison's sake, at least. (And do ride Snow White, which is excellent.) I would probably do MK for your second day, then possibly hit MGM if you have time.

    Just, for the love of the Shed, do NOT go into their "Tiki Room." It's horrifying and unholy, and you will never, ever get those eight minutes of your life back. If you're really morbidly curious, Sadako has video. I would also avoid Space Mountain; it's just like the Matterhorn, except with absolutely nothing to look at but dimly lit track, and no music. Very lame.

    I have no frame of reference, but the crowds didn't seem that bad when we went about three weeks ago midweek. The longest we waited for anything was for the shows, since we tended to show up about half an hour early to ensure the best seats. (The lines did seem longer at MK, but we were with cmash95 in her wheelchair that day, so we didn't use the regular lines all that much.)

    And have fun! Vacations are always great!

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  3. #18

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    Re: Please Help! Last Minute Trip Planning!

    Definitely do MK and AKL then on your last day do MGM if you aren't exhausted. Will you be by yourself with the kids on any of those days? If so, please consider staying on site at one of the Value resorts. The busses provided by the off site hotels require you to wait in the middle of the parking lot by a numbered space for the bus (which only come at scheduled times, usually several hours apart). Doing this with small children is not only not fun it is dangerous. I tried it once and ended up calling for a taxi to take me back to my hotel in the middle of the day when my then 3 year old decided to have a melt down. The rates for the Values may seem like a lot but the transportation issue makes it worth it for me.

  4. #19

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    Re: Please Help! Last Minute Trip Planning!

    Quote Originally Posted by BigPigletFan View Post
    Epcot is a theme park, not an amusement park.
    Well, I want to be amused when I'm at a theme park. Aside from Space and Test Track, I could have done everything there without leaving So Cal.
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  5. #20

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    Re: Please Help! Last Minute Trip Planning!

    I agree what someone said about the Early Magic Hours, but if you can't swing staying onsite with your budget, don't worry too much.

    I think the boys would love AK. Make sure you have good shoes and a stroller for both boys. There is a lot of walking there. They will enjoy everything there. Definitely see as many shows as you can. I really liked the Lion King. And the trek through Asia is fantastic.

    You shouldn't miss MK. Just for the comparison you should go. There is enough that is different. Plus, when the boys are older, they will remember being at MK. I agree on the Tiki Room. If I had had a straight line to the door, I would have left. There are two redeeming qualities of the show: 1) the window boxes are gorgeous (compared to our windows) and 2) The end of the show. (Not going to spoil it for folks.)

    Enjoy the time you have at the parks. I had about a month and a half to plan my first trip to WDW. In the first week, I read a ton of websites to gain a perspective of what I would be visiting. Maybe go through the WDW site with E to see what rides he wants to go on. Could make the decision as to which parks you will go to.

    The other thing I agree with is visiting the resorts. It is a great way to have some quiet time so the baby can sleep. Maybe plan on a trip on the Monorail to get a view of a few of the resorts. If you take the Monorail to Epcot, there is a small portion of Future World that you go through. It is a nice quick glimpse of the size of that park. I could spend a few days exploring Epcot on my own, but with the kids, I would probably only spend a day there.

    I hope you have a fantastic trip!
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  6. #21

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    Re: Please Help! Last Minute Trip Planning!

    Quote Originally Posted by mamabot View Post
    There are two redeeming qualities of the show: 1) the window boxes are gorgeous (compared to our windows) and 2) The end of the show. (Not going to spoil it for folks.)
    The end? You mean the part where we got to leave? I know that was my favorite part.

    Even their Dole whips suck. They're not anywhere near the actual Tiki Room (since Dole has the good sense not to put its name on that abomination), but even from 200 feet away, they still manage to be tainted by association.

    I'm sorry, I'm a little bitter about that experience, can't you tell?

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  7. #22

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    Re: Please Help! Last Minute Trip Planning!

    I'm sorry, I'm a little bitter about that experience, can't you tell?
    No... really?

  8. #23

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    Re: Please Help! Last Minute Trip Planning!

    We will only have 2, maybe 3 days to spend. Given the ages of our children, which parks would be the best to attend? Magic kingdon, if u want another disneyland experience. epcot if you want to walk around the world in 80 seconds mgm has a few good things but will make the children bored or scared (tower of terror) Animal kingdom has a lot of animals, and dinoland with a lot of kiddy rides. I would suggest magic kingdom and animal kingdom

    Should we do the park hopper option? only if you think u wont be entertained by one park all day

    Do those tickets apply to all parks? any needing an admission, not the waterparks though.

    Would it be worth it considering we have never been there and could easily enjoy an entire day at one park? now i think u should get it, bc u might want to experience all the parks in the limited time you have

    And also, are there parks we would really need to see or enjoy with 2 small kids? Magic kingdom and epcot

    And, seeing that I have spent countless days at Disneyland, is it worth it to go to the Magic Kingdom when we have such limited time or should we spend those precious few days at parks that are different from Disneyland? get a park hopper. one park cant entertain you all day, but if u get this, u can go to any park, and see if MK would entertain

    Money is limited, this isn't a planned trip at all. So I need to do things as CHEAPLY as I can. Any and all insider info is appreciated. So far I have only checked out the WDW website. And I am finding it a bit overwhelming. Stay at either a value or moderate resort. the moderate resort is close in proce to value, and are more decorated. on the park map there are symbols saying how expensive food is. $ is about $10, $$ is about 20-30, and $$$ is $30+. DONE BUy MUCH WDW MEMORABILIA. a lot can also be purchased at DLR, so i would only suggest buying stuff u know u could not get at DLR and u MUST HAVE they have fast food places all over the park and about $4 per child and about $6 per adult.

    Most likely we will be spending Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of next week in the parks. What will crowds be like? weekdays, weekdays. fewer tourists, shorter lines. weekends are when FL. residents ruin your time at the park


    It looks like we are staying at the Seralago Hotel. I am sure it isn't the nicest place, but it is really cheap although decent looking and looks like a convenient location. Has anyone stayed there? It won't be scary will it? i only think brand name hotels like the best western or super 8 motel or the hilton or the embassy are gros hotels. these unique hotels are much nicer. always stay in a hotel taller than 5 stories, and the hallway is indoors, and the breakfast they serve is clean


    I know I will have a million more questions, I have only had an hour to think about this. Any and all help and advice from all you WDW pros is hugely appreciated! Yer Welcome have an awesome time at Disneyworld!!
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  9. #24

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    Re: Please Help! Last Minute Trip Planning!

    Bang . . . you're on vacation. No pressure, no pressure at all.

    I think, given the time you have, I would do Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom. Your 4 year old will have a great time at both parks and as a Disneyland veteran, you will get a kick out of comparing MK to the mother ship. You will find a lot to like here - the first view of the castle at the end of Main Street will take your breath away, and there is a lot you can smugly make fun of, like their teensy version of Pirates. But it is a fun park with lots of characters for the kids to see and more attractions than you'll be able to do in a day. Disney-MGM Studios is beautiful, but a more adult park, full of good restaurants, not many rides. Epcot deserves a week to see it all (most fun is talking to the CMs in the different county pavilions about life in their home country . . . and the food . . .) but, it's not a park for little ones. It is also overwhelming in its size.

    The Florida parks CMs have been exceptional on each of our four trips, and the food choices, on the balance are better, too, by our reckoning. At AK, the shows are wonderful for the whole family, the kids can go on the Safari ride which gives you close up views of the animals, and for adult fun, you two can do single rider on EE, which was a very short wait the two times we chose that route. The bad part is that the you'll miss much of the theming that you get to see when you work your way through the stand by line.

    Our first trip, we stayed at a Quality Suites on the 192, which I think is like most of the hotels in that neighborhood. A little run down, but way functional, very close to the parks, and very affordable. Since you'll have a car, you'll have to pay for parking each day.

    I really value allearsnet.com for the info they have on the parks, hotels, tickets, restaurants. It was invaluable in our planning for each trip. You can even scope out the restaurant menu items and pricing.

    You're going to have a blast. Once you hit the road, just relax and enjoy. When the kids are a little older, hopefully you'll be able to spend a longer amount of time and can take the time to make up your plan of attack and be one of those commando mommies you will see all day long. They are really kinda fun to watch.

    I know it's short notice, but have fun. Wish we were going to be there too.

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  10. #25

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    Re: Please Help! Last Minute Trip Planning!

    just a few thoughts.

    i would HIGHLY recommend staying at one of the value resorts on property (pop century, etc) for only $100 or so more for 3 nights (total). it will make your experience so much better. you get to take advantage of the extra hours (less crowded for the kiddies), or to head back for a nap or a swim in the middle of the day.

    2. people keep slagging epcot and don't even mention the world showcase. i wouldn't spend too much time at the other half with kids but the WS is one of my favorite parts of WDW.

    you can spend the morning by the pool then head over to WS for the afternoon (opens at 11). don't take a bus the front of EPCOT (long walk to WS and crowds). take a bus to the boardwalk and then walk or take a boat to the WS. spend half a day strolling around the lagoon and taking in all the countries (and foods and drinks). lots of activities for kids, sidewalk shows, etc.

    the boardwalk which is a fun spot, especially in the evening. lots of restaruants, carnival atmosphere, games, performers. to get there from epcot follow the canal that goes between england and france, or vice versa.

    after a break back at the hotel after WS, take the bus back to the boardwalk around dinner time, stroll around there and then take the boat over to epcot for the fireworks (5 minute ride). after the fireworks go back to the boardwalk and catch a bus back to your hotel (bus stop in front of the boardwalk resort)

    have fun

  11. #26

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    Re: Please Help! Last Minute Trip Planning!

    I'm not sure if there are buses from all the Disney Resorts directly to the Boardwalk. You may need to transfer one of the theme parks or Downtown Disney.


  12. #27

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    Re: Please Help! Last Minute Trip Planning!

    Quote Originally Posted by acapelad View Post
    just a few thoughts.

    i would HIGHLY recommend staying at one of the value resorts on property (pop century, etc) for only $100 or so more for 3 nights (total). it will make your experience so much better. you get to take advantage of the extra hours (less crowded for the kiddies), or to head back for a nap or a swim in the middle of the day.
    I would love to stay on site, but with this short notice, there are no rooms at all available in any hotels, including DTD that are value or moderately priced. I called and asked.

    So far we plan to spend a day at Magic Kingdom and a day at Animal Kingdom. I think that is the best bet for a short trip with 2 small kids. We have been planning a longer, better trip for awhile and we'll be back in a couple years when the youngest is a little older.

    We are going to do 2 days, we are going to do some other touristy things one day since neither of us have ever been to Florida.

    I don't have a lot of other plans. 2 days to plan, pack and prepare for a major road trip and Disney trip just isn't enough so we are going to have to go with the flow somewhat, there just isn't another option.

    But I am really appreciating the further advice, keep it coming!
    “In a world filled with hate, we must still dare to hope. In a world filled with anger, we must still dare to comfort. In a world filled with despair, we must still dare to dream. And in a world filled with distrust, we must still dare to believe.” -Michael Jackson



  13. #28

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    Re: Please Help! Last Minute Trip Planning!

    IF you are even considerring a character meal, please call now to try and get a reservation. Liberty Tree Tavern for dinner or Crystal Palace for Brkfst, lunch or dinner, are at MK and are a lot of fun.

    Two other great breakfasts are Ohana and Cape May, both are in resorts so you could go to either then hit the parks.

  14. #29

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    Re: Please Help! Last Minute Trip Planning!

    Quote Originally Posted by MinnieSummer View Post
    IF you are even considerring a character meal, please call now to try and get a reservation. Liberty Tree Tavern for dinner or Crystal Palace for Brkfst, lunch or dinner, are at MK and are a lot of fun.

    Two other great breakfasts are Ohana and Cape May, both are in resorts so you could go to either then hit the parks.
    I just emailed my husband and told him to call and make reservations!
    “In a world filled with hate, we must still dare to hope. In a world filled with anger, we must still dare to comfort. In a world filled with despair, we must still dare to dream. And in a world filled with distrust, we must still dare to believe.” -Michael Jackson



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