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Thread: So.... looks like we're going to Disney in October... meh....

  1. #1
    Gunsel
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    So.... looks like we're going to Disney in October... meh....

    YEAH RIGHT!!!!

    We just found out that not only are our passports in order, but the money is there for us to plan our trip down to Florida and Disney in October! Only one week, but it's a start!

    Best part? We're only telling our son where we're going when we are on the plane!

    I am SO EXCITED!!!!

    The hard part? Deciding what to go see! The Star Wars stuff is a given. I hear Disney downtown is cool.

    And we may make a day trip to go see the Harry Potter theme park, too!

  2. #2
    Gunsel Erica J Heflin's Avatar
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    Re: So.... looks like we're going to Disney in October... meh....

    You're going to have an incredible time! Just get parkhopper passes and run around to each park at your leisure. Be sure to use the Fastpass for the lines with longer rides.

    I think HP would be worth it. Downtown Disney has a lot of restaurants and some shops that are cool to peruse, as well as the Disney Cirque show La Nouba.

    How old is your son?
    - Erica J Heflin


  3. #3
    Gunsel
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    Re: So.... looks like we're going to Disney in October... meh....

    He's going to be 7 in a couple weeks.

  4. #4
    Made bert's Avatar
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    Re: So.... looks like we're going to Disney in October... meh....

    Quote Originally Posted by Ziggy Stardust View Post
    He's going to be 7 in a couple weeks.
    I'm as much a Disney Freak as I am a Vegas freak. . so lemme know if you want any info

    if you stay in a Disney Hotel, they all have free transportation between all the parks, and Downtown Disney. (in fact, any of the 8 hotels in Downtown Disney will have a shuttle service -- tho the Hilton (the only one in Downtown Disney considered a Disney Property), will have priority -- first stop, so the buses aren't full

    by the time you go in October, the new Fairytale/Fantasyland (with the dual Dumbos and the new 7 Dwarves Minetrain coaster) should be open.

    I'll echo the recomendation for the La Nouba Cirque show (it's Orlando only, and it's targeted towards a younger crowd. .so yo-yos, BMX bike tricks, and lots of trampolines). It's a good Cirque show.


    Definately do a Parkhopper pass.

    Animal Kingdom will take an entire day. Go as early as possible, and head to the far back left of the park and line up for the Safari. (do NOT fast-pass this. . get in line and go). The earlier the better for the Safari, as when it gets hot during the day, the animals all lay under trees and "hide". . so go early and ride. Well worth it.
    For Expedition Everest, make use of Single Rider line, unless you want to go thru the themed queue -- but that line can get long. And ABSOLUTELY wait in the line for "Dinosaur". . by far my favorite ride in the Disney Parks. Oh, and when they say you will get wet on Kali River Rapids? they arent' kidding. . you will get SOAKED. So make use of the plastic cover in the center of the raft to protect anything you hold dear. (Yak and Yetti is the best restaurant in Animal Kingdom, tho there is a Rainforest cafe as well at the front entrance (and in Downtown Disney too).

    Disney Studios wont' take a full day, unless you *want* to do every show. But I definately recommend making reservations ahead of time for Restaurants. They fill up FAST in Disney studios, so unless you want to eat just hot-dogs, make a reservation online ahead of time. (best restaurants: Mom's Diner. .and the Sci-Fi Drive in).

    Magic Kingdom can take 1-2 days. just depends how crowded it is

    Epcot -- two days easy.. particualarly if you want to take your time and visit everything in each Country in the back of the park.

    what we tend to do is use the Park Hopper to eat Dinner at Epcot (my favorite restaruant is Marrakesh in the Morroco section. . but again, book online first, or it's tough to get in to the "good" sit-down restaurants).

    So we'll do Magic Kingdom (or Disney Studios), and then go to Epcot for dinner, and then back to the other park. Then plan a full day at Epcot. . do the front section in the morning, and then go to the back section for Dinner.

    hope this helps!

    lemme know if you want more info
    "do what bert says" - Flamestar (c/o Ouzo Man)

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  5. #5
    Gunsel
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    Re: So.... looks like we're going to Disney in October... meh....

    WOW!

    Thanks, Bert, that's awesome!

    I am printing this post for reference.

  6. #6
    Gunsel Erica J Heflin's Avatar
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    Re: So.... looks like we're going to Disney in October... meh....

    Bert, you're a wonderful traveler! I always agree with everything you say.

    Also of note - Disney has some fantastic restaurants at their hotels. They have some fabulously unusual dining at the AK lodge that I highly recommend. But I'd also suggest that you look through the offerings and see if there is anything you want and then RESERVE! DT Disney doesn't tend to need reservations the way that hotel dining does.

    October is a fabulous time of year to come down here and do this too. The worst of the heat has passed and the parks aren't nearly as crowed as you'll find during the summer. All in all you should have an incredible trip!
    - Erica J Heflin


  7. #7
    Gunsel BClayMoore's Avatar
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    Re: So.... looks like we're going to Disney in October... meh....

    The last time I was at Disneyworld I picked up a fantastic little book on how the park was designed. It's absolutely fascinating stuff, and creatively very inspiring.

    -BCM
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  8. #8
    Gunsel The Funketeer's Avatar
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    Re: So.... looks like we're going to Disney in October... meh....

    Definitely go with the park hopper passes if you can afford the extra cost. If you're there for a whole week, the luxury of being able to come and go as you please between the parks is worth it.

    I'd recommend hitting all 4 parks for a little bit over three days before deciding what to do next. You'll find rides you like a lot more than others that you'll want to go on more than a few times.

    Keep in mind that some rides will have insanely long lines. The line for the Toy Story Midway Mania ride at the Studios can be up to 2 hours long sometimes. We were just there a couple weeks ago and they're starting to add what they call "queueless queues" to some of the rides. It doesn't mean you don't have to wait in line but they have little things to do to keep the kids occupied while they're waiting. Haunted Mansion and Winnie the Pooh have them so far and I think we read that the new Dumbo will as well when it reopens.

    If you plan on seeing Fantasmic (and I'd recommend you do), there is a dining plan that lets you book a reservation for a meal in the park and then you are guaranteed seating for the show (off to the side a bit but still good seats). People camp out for that one hours in advance.

    Bert mentioned the Sci-Fi Drive in at the studios. I'll second it. It's my favorite place to eat in the park. Lots of fun especially for a 7 year old boy.

    Don't be afraid to take him on some of the "kiddie rides" either. Winnie the Pooh is a lot of fun even if you're "too cool" for something like that.

    I'll be honest in my dislike for Animal Kingdom. Not much to do there and it's a horribly designed park. But then, I live near 3 really good public zoos so the appeal of seeing an Elephant might not be as great for me as it is someone who doesn't have access to a nice zoo. If you've been to enough of them, you may be disappointed by that particular park (although Tough to Be a Bug is pretty awesome).

    If he's into Star Wars, make sure he not only rides the new Star Tours but see if you can get him into the Jedi Training Academy. I think in Orlando it's outside the Star Wars ride in the Studios. They choose randomly from the crowd but it's really cute and I can see how a boy his age might really like it if he's into Star Wars enough.

    If you can afford it, I'd also recommend staying in one of the Disney hotels. If you can really afford it, the Grand Floridian is my favorite but we usually like to stay at one of the Port Orleans resorts. We prefer French Quarter but Riverside is also nice, just a little bigger. The hotels and pools are nice and seem to be equidistant from most of the parks so your bus rides are never too long.

    I don't know if they'll still be doing it in October but they have a new CCG that you can play in the park that's really cool called Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom. If you stop by the first station on your way in each day, you (as a family) can get 5 new cards to play with each day (for free). I believe they're playable as a Magic the Gathering type game on their own but in the park you use them to hunt down and cast spells on different villains. It's pretty cool how it works with the video screens they've hidden around the park. It's mostly a diversion to keep people out of the lines to make them more manageable I think but it was fun and I could see a little boy eating it up.

    Downtown Disney is fun for shopping for a little while and a nice break from the parks but if your son likes Legos, the Lego store there is pretty cool (although if he's been to Legoland it's not much to look at).

    Finally, and this is important so I'm going to bold it for you, dining reservations can be a pain. When you book, or after you book, call up the reservations hotline and ask when the earliest day you can make a dining reservation is. They'll give you a day that is 60 or 90 days before your trip. On that day, you'll want to call the second they open to make your reservations. Some of the more popular places can fill up in less than an hour. If you're not sure what you want, book more than you need. You can cancel reservations without penalty up to a day in advance (ask when the latest you can cancel is, though, they just added a penalty for people who don't show up by a certain time I think). Themed restaurants and character meals fill up fast.

    Of course, you're going in October which, crowd wise, is the best time to go. The parks won't be open as late but the weather will be cool and the lines won't be too bad.

    Must sees in our family...

    Magic Kingdom
    Splash Mountain
    Buzz Light Year
    Stitch's Great Escape
    Monster's Inc. Laugh Floor
    Philharmagic
    Winnie the Pooh
    Haunted Mansion
    Jungle Cruise
    Pirates
    Big Thunder Mountain
    Tom Sawyer Island (great for a quiet break away from the crowds and perfect for a little boy)
    Peter Pan (longest line in the park, get there early or get a fast pass)

    Studios
    Star Tours
    Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular
    Lights! Motor! Action! - A little boy would LOVE this
    Toy Story Midway Mania - A must ride at least once despite the line. Make a bee line for this ride when the park opens to get a fast pass and maybe wait in line.
    Tower of Terror and Rock n Rollercoaster (only the wife likes these, the daughter and I are chickens)

    Epcot
    Imagination
    Little Mermaid
    Turtle Talk with Crush
    Norway
    Also generally a great place to eat

    Animal Kingdom
    Dinosaur
    Tough to Be a Bug
    Safari

  9. #9
    Made bert's Avatar
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    Re: So.... looks like we're going to Disney in October... meh....

    Quote Originally Posted by The Funketeer View Post
    Must sees in our family...

    Magic Kingdom
    Splash Mountain
    Buzz Light Year
    Stitch's Great Escape
    Monster's Inc. Laugh Floor
    Philharmagic
    Winnie the Pooh
    Haunted Mansion
    Jungle Cruise
    Pirates
    Big Thunder Mountain
    Tom Sawyer Island (great for a quiet break away from the crowds and perfect for a little boy)
    Peter Pan (longest line in the park, get there early or get a fast pass)

    Studios
    Star Tours
    Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular
    Lights! Motor! Action! - A little boy would LOVE this
    Toy Story Midway Mania - A must ride at least once despite the line. Make a bee line for this ride when the park opens to get a fast pass and maybe wait in line.
    Tower of Terror and Rock n Rollercoaster (only the wife likes these, the daughter and I are chickens)

    Epcot
    Imagination
    Little Mermaid
    Turtle Talk with Crush
    Norway
    Also generally a great place to eat

    Animal Kingdom
    Dinosaur
    Tough to Be a Bug
    Safari
    I agree with you that Animal Kingdom can be a bit of a let down if you live near a decent zoo (tho the safari is fun, as you surely know, since you list it above).

    and I totally agree that the park is laid out poorly -- it's the largest park, and it's a LOT of walking from one section to another.

    but I'm shocked by the omissions you have on your Animal Kingdom list.

    you list my fave (Dinosaur), but no love for Expedition Everest (a dang good rollercoaster), Kali River Rapids, or two of the better Disney Shows (that oddly aren't at the Studios):

    Festival of the Lion King is a must see.

    and we greatly enjoy the Little Mermaid show (done with puppets).

    the Tarzan show wasn't great, and I believe that one is gone. . .but Little Mermaid and Lion King are definately worth going to see (both run about 45minutes).



    oh and yeah. . Peter Pan will ALWAYS have a line (the design of the ride makes it the slowest loader in the park -- a distinction it used to share with Dumbo, but now that Dumbo will have two sides, it doubles capacity there). During extra magic hours (up till 2am!), we've still seen an hour+ wait for Peter Pan.

    what we do. .since it's my favorite ride in Magic Kingdom, is we get a fast pass, then simply get in line anyways. That way we get to ride it twice in a row

    it really IS spectaular, "flying" over London.


    oh, and in Epcot, I'm surprised you left off a few of the "biggies" -- which will ALWAYS have long lines, and are really worth it:

    Mission to Mars (go for the "spinning" side)
    Test Track (again, use the single rider line to cut WAY down on wait time)
    Soarin (in the Land pavilion). . definately fast pass this. It's a fairly long ride, and takes a while to load. . so the line can stretch for hours.
    "the Land" boat ride, thru the Disney agriculture. . fascinating boat trip that shows the Disney greenhouses, and how they grow the Mickey pumpkins they use for Halloween)
    Ellen's Energy Adventure (yeah, it's showing it's age a bit. . but Dinosaurs!. . HUGE Dinosaurs)
    Last edited by bert; 04-11-2012 at 02:50 PM.
    "do what bert says" - Flamestar (c/o Ouzo Man)

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    "Evil people can do some non-evil things, and most of them do. That doesn't mean they aren't evil." -- JeffereyWKramer


  10. #10
    Gunsel The Funketeer's Avatar
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    Re: So.... looks like we're going to Disney in October... meh....

    I did forget about Test Track which I like a lot but I can't handle roller coasters. What we usually do is get three fast passes for the coasters and then my wife will use all three while our daughter and I go on other rides.

    I forgot Soaring was at Epcot now. I haven't been there since it opened but I went on it at Disneyland and it is indeed really cool.

    But The Land? <yawn>

    I also don't care much for most of the stage shows but my wife and daughter love them.

    Quote Originally Posted by bert View Post
    I agree with you that Animal Kingdom can be a bit of a let down if you live near a decent zoo (tho the safari is fun, as you surely know, since you list it above).

    and I totally agree that the park is laid out poorly -- it's the largest park, and it's a LOT of walking from one section to another.

    but I'm shocked by the omissions you have on your Animal Kingdom list.

    you list my fave (Dinosaur), but no love for Expedition Everest (a dang good rollercoaster), Kali River Rapids, or two of the better Disney Shows (that oddly aren't at the Studios):

    Festival of the Lion King is a must see.

    and we greatly enjoy the Little Mermaid show (done with puppets).

    the Tarzan show wasn't great, and I believe that one is gone. . .but Little Mermaid and Lion King are definately worth going to see (both run about 45minutes).



    oh and yeah. . Peter Pan will ALWAYS have a line (the design of the ride makes it the slowest loader in the park -- a distinction it used to share with Dumbo, but now that Dumbo will have two sides, it doubles capacity there). During extra magic hours (up till 2am!), we've still seen an hour+ wait for Peter Pan.

    what we do. .since it's my favorite ride in Magic Kingdom, is we get a fast pass, then simply get in line anyways. That way we get to ride it twice in a row

    it really IS spectaular, "flying" over London.


    oh, and in Epcot, I'm surprised you left off a few of the "biggies" -- which will ALWAYS have long lines, and are really worth it:

    Mission to Mars (go for the "spinning" side)
    Test Track (again, use the single rider line to cut WAY down on wait time)
    Soarin (in the Land pavilion). . definately fast pass this. It's a fairly long ride, and takes a while to load. . so the line can stretch for hours.
    "the Land" boat ride, thru the Disney agriculture. . fascinating boat trip that shows the Disney greenhouses, and how they grow the Mickey pumpkins they use for Halloween)
    Ellen's Energy Adventure (yeah, it's showing it's age a bit. . but Dinosaurs!. . HUGE Dinosaurs)

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