^^^ Unless you are broke like me, then it is GREAT to be able to go with a little bit more money in your pocket!
We were on the TIGHTEST budget when we went in '03 trust me. But it was worth EVERY CENT to move up to Caribbean Beach, I think it cost us a total of $50 more a night to move up and not wake up to bugs
Unless you are broke like me, then it is GREAT to be able to go with a little bit more money in your pocket!
Hey, I ain't made of money. I love staying on property, but if I can't afford a moderate, I'll stay offsite. There are some hotels just off property, down by the entrance by the official hotel plaza, that are really nice and cheaper than the All Stars. As long as I don't mind giving up early entry (which I can usually work around just fine), then I'm a happy and slightly richer camper!
That's very true. I might have to try that the time after next I go to WDW. I have a CM friend that is working down there on the CP until August so he is getting us discounts to stay at a moderate resort. I am SO excited. Thanx for the advice.
I admit it, I'm a total newbie to the East Coast brother of "my" park, Disneyland. I've been a DL AP holder for many, many years, and could probably do tour guide duty on both DL and DCA, but I know next to nothing about the Florida experience. I'm heading out there in June, and want the best experience possible. Anyone have a place to look for guidelines/pointers on how to plan and get the most out of all the parks? Anyone? Bueller?
Thanks! Another question here - Call me clueless, but is Fantasmic! in Florida at MGM, or at Disneyworld? I really want to see the show, and see how it compares to the DL version... Is it pretty much the same show, or bigger and better? I haven't seen a direct comparison anywhere yet. Thanks all!
Walt Disney World is the ENTIRE Disney property. Fantasmic is at The Disney MGM Studios Theme Park, which is located on teh Walt Disney World Resort property.
The term "Disney World" is often confused by many as being just the Magic Kingdom. Disney World, or Walt Disney World, is actually the land that all the parks and ahotels etc sit on. The Magic Kingdom is actually one of teh Theme Parks on the Disney World property.
So I am going in October for my 5th Anniversary and staying for seven days (I don't count the two days of travel (nine days total)). This is my wife's first trip and my second (have not been for about 15 years). We are also travelling with my folks and uncle (not a big problem) as well as my 74 year old grandmother. Is there ample seating around attractions, as she is not much of a rider and more of a people watcher while we all do the riding.
We are all staying in the French Quarter, is this a decent hotel?
Any suggestions/input would be great. The info you all have posted has been very helpful with my planning...
I agree with avoiding the park that has early opening for resort guests. They were always the most crowded. The times we did it we didn't really get to do anything. They just let us half-way in and held us there till regular opening. That way we were closer to the big rides than folks coming through the gate, but we were still waiting. Figure out the top two things you want to do, go get a fast pass for one and go ride the other. The guide books are essential. A lot of folks wander in not knowing what is there and they miss a ton. One last hint. If you find yourself in the Magic Kingdom at 3:00 in the afternoon and it is wall to wall bodies and you can't move... park hop to EPCOT. It will likely be much less crowded. It works for us almost every time.
Somone mentioned renting a vacation home/condo versus a hotel. Any specific recommendations? Thanks in advance!
In addition to the vacation home advice, there are plenty of good condo-style timeshare resorts around WDW that can be had for a song. I stayed 7 nights in a two-bedroom condo at the Orange Lake resort (as huge and activity-filled as any on-property resort) for $500. A deal like that is much harder to get in June or November than in September when I went, but it's still possible if you start looking.
My advice is to check out www.skyauction.com. They have tons of auctions for unsold/unused timeshare units that can be fantastic deals. Their Ready, Set, Go auctions can point you to a search engine for available rooms, you can reserve a room and then bid on RSG auctions until you get a price you like. There are also straight-up auctions for specific timeshare resorts and regular hotels, but if the prices are comparable, the timeshare blow away a regular hotel room -- multiple bedrooms, multiple bathrooms, full kitchens, big-screen TV's, etc.
Just be aware of the auction surcharges before you bid -- a $100 bid can actually be $300 or $400 depending on the profit-padding standard charges they add at the end.
1. I found the WDW with Kids guidebook extremely valuable for planning and inside tips, and I think it's worth reading even if you aren't travelling with kids.
When we were there in '98, I used a tip about riding in the driver's car on the monorail. Our first day, when I saw the driver standing outside the car, I asked if we could ride with him and he welcomed us! What a cool way to get to the Magic Kingdom for the first time. My kids felt like royalty.
2. Use the Surprise mornings. Get there right on time, ride a couple of the busiest rides (ie Splash and Space Mountain in MK, Tower of Terror and Rocking Rollercoaster in MGM), then park hop to another park to get away from the resort crowd. Return to the surprise morning park later in the day when all the resorters have left for other parks.
3. Divide your day between parks where you will ride a lot and parks where you will sit more than ride. For example, go to MK and ride half the day, then go to MGM or Epcot where there are more shows and leisurely activities.
4. Cinderella's royal table character breakfast- great fun and great food!
5. Stayed at the Polynesian in April 98 and Animal Kingdom Lodge in March 03, loved them both! Even if you don't stay at Polynesian, go for breakfast for the banana stuffed french toast!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AKL was spectacular, the pool was tremendous, and the food was delicious. The African stew in the food court is to die for, and our dinner at Jiko was a meal I'll never forget.
you've probably received allt he tips you need but since youa re staying for a long time, i suggest you explore the Universal parks as well....
As for Disney tips...
*The Magic Kingdom
- make sure you catch all the night shows save Cinderellabration for the evening, it looks better at night. when viewing "Wishes", do NOT stay at the hub, the castle will block the fireworks, take a spot somewhere down mainstreet it will feel grander and more complete that way.
- DO NOT miss Illuminations, the best darned pyro show ever.
-try saving Spaceship Earth for the afternoon when it is less crowded
- don't be stressed when you realize you're not gonna complete the whole park in one day. Epcot is a huge place that must be explored for at least a day and a half.
-reserve Tower of Terror and Rockin Rollercoaster for the last part of your day before Fantasmic. you can get a fast pass for one ride and go on standby for the other since theya re both next door neighbors.
-If you want REALLY good seats for Fantasmic! get to the entrance an hour early and you'll be seated at the center seats.
-Fantasmic! may be inferior to the DL original but the last part with Mickey on top of the mountain blows away the Mickey on top of a house in DL.
-get to Kilimanjaro Safari's early the animals have just woken up and are more active than during noon time.
-watch the construction of Expedition Everest
-DO NOT MISS The Festival of the Lion King
-take your time to admire the Tree of Life
-If you finish early, this is an oportune time to go back and finish off what's left of EPCOT and rewatch Illuminations.
- The bus system is your best friend and worst enemy
- Since you're staying at Coronado Springs, you don't get the luxury called the Monorail
- explore at least one water park, preferrably Typhoon Lagoon
-explore Downtown Disney and Disney Quest and if you have time Circque Du Soleil.
-take your time to explore the other resorts especially the resorts around the Magic Kingdom.
-have fun, don't let the size of the place shock you too much
Just wanted to add my two cents on planning a trip to WDW. About a year and a half ago, my wife and I and our four year old and five year old went for five days and had a blast. I highly, highly, highly recommend going to tourguidemike.com.
When we started planning our trip, I looked at many websites (including almost all of the ones in previous postings), and read several guide books. I stumbled upon tourguidemike.com when looking for info on the internet.
The site costs $25. It is run by a guy who takes families to WDW. He acts as their personal concierge on many levels. After paying the $25, you get interactive access to all his ac***ulated info.
He lists what days to visit which parks, what order in which to ride the rides, when and where to eat, as well as giving descriptions and recommendations on the rides. We followed his advice almost to the "T" and had a fantastic time. I think I really got my money's worth and think it's a great site.
Just in case you are wondering, I'm not affiliated with tourguidemike.com. I'm just a very happy customer.
Just checked tourguidemike.com, it's only $21.95 now.
I am also trying to plan a trip to WDW for mylittle girls' 8th birthday and tryiing to combine it with a Disney cruise. next march 2006. arrive sunday leave for cruise the next sunday for 4 days. But I have gotten notice from Disney that they really don't want us poor people. Those who have to save for years just to go once. Once we are there Disney says they will leave us high & dry because we can't afford the rich people hotels. They only oick up from Grand Fl, Poly, AnimalK lodge, and the Beach, Yacht, & Boardwalk, plus the Swan and Dolphin. So if we are even able to lug our bags somewhere by 8 am then have to trudge back somewhere and try and find the bus. While the rich people don't have to lift a finger other than to pack. I can see if I was off propertyand would expect to but staying on property and going not to carnival cruise but staying with Disney and we are stuck. Also when is the earliest one can plan for both? cruise I can book but WDW doesn't. It makes it hard to plan and save. So any help with these to items plus and tips in general would be appreciated. I'm trying to divert some funds for DL's 50th in the fall so I can't put more money towards fancy rooms when we're going for the place not the room. Thanks