Tford

Disneyworld and Universal Studios

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By the way, you'll need to make reservations as far in advance as possible for many of the character meals.

 

 

Good advice here. :tup:

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I took my 5 and 3 year olds last year. We had a blast

 

Stayed onsite - specifically at Animal Kngdom Lodge which wsa fabulous, because the kids could just sit and look out the window and see the animals and be wow'd. They had a great pool and in the evenings they blew up a giant screen and the kids sat in the shallow end and watched a Disney classic while we sat in beach chairs and drank.

 

Fast Pass is definitely key, the way it worked for us was not that we had a fast pass time that "expired" but simply you could not have more than one fast pass out at once. So we'd find a fast pass that we deifnitely wanted to do, get the pass, then go to other attractions, come back as soon as we could to that fastpass, ride that ride, then go grab another fast pass at another attraction, rinse and repeat.

 

I Fing hate their public transportation, it takes forever, so after 1 day I actually rented a car, if you are going to go from park to park in one day, it's a must as far as I'm concerned.

 

A few places I recommend to eat (mostly seafood)

Fulton's Crab House in Downtown Disney

Coral Reef Restaurant in Epcot (very cool fish tanks all around, food is ok/good, but a nice experience)

 

As someone else said get your character breakfast reservations now....

 

Bring some ponchos for when it rains (it will) otherwise they gouge you for like 20 bucks a pop....

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If you want to eat at one of the Restaurants at Epcott you should make your reservation way in advance as well.

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My daughter is 8 and my twin boys are 5.

 

The boys are really into super heroes so we wanted to make sure that we got in a couple days of Universal Studios for the Spiderman/Superman stuff.

 

By the way, we bought a book which recommends for Universal, that you get in line about 30 minutes before the park opens (especially if you are going to try to get into Harry Potter World).

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By the way, we bought a book which recommends for Universal, that you get in line about 30 minutes before the park opens (especially if you are going to try to get into Harry Potter World).

 

 

Similar to the book for WDW. The parks all do a show at the opening which the kids enjoy and some rides (Soaring @ Epcot, Toy Story @ Hollywood Studios) will have a 45 min wait if you get there 10 minutes after opening.

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there is steak restaurant at epcot that is supposed to be really good

i couldn't get in when we went

restaurants take reservations a year in advance is what i was told

i know i made mine 4 months ahead

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Lots of solid advice here. We've been several times, and only certain rides have Fastpass.

 

Do some advanced planning.

 

Decide where/when you'll be having your meals and make reservations. Depending on your meal plan, you'll each get an appetiver, main course, dessert with your dinners.

 

Fastpass example: if you want to go on the Himalayan Rollercoaster in Animal Kingdom, make an immediate dash to that ride and grab your passes (you have to put a card key into the machine to get the pass, and you need a different card for each pass). You can only use those fast passes on that ride and during a set period of time. Once that time expires, you can use your cards for another Fastpass. Example for Animal Kingdom - get in the park, you go get those fast passes (I went right away for the Khalahari river Rapids) and the rest of the family went to the Safari - I joined up with them while they were in line.

 

Disney World example - enter the park, split from the family and take their cards, get fast passes for either Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, and then meet up with them when they are in line at Haunted Mansion...

 

Hollywood Studios example - enter the park, go get the fast passes for Aerosmith Rock n Rollercoaster or Tower of Terror, and meet the family as they are in line for Star Tours, or something else.

 

The Brown Derby is a fantastic restaruarnt in Hollywood Studios.

The California Room at the top of the Contemporary is amazing.

Fulton's is solid.

Kat Cora's restaurant on the Boardwalk is really good.

Coral Reef restaurant...this may sound weird...get the Moroccan Pork Shank...amazingly good.

 

Go see the Luau at the Polynesian.

 

You and the boys can get a pirate makeover and your wife and daughter can go do the princess thing.

 

Ensure that you go watch fireworks one night at the Magic Kingdom.

 

Stay at the Beach Club so you can walk to the World Showcase at Epcot. You are 5 minutes away from the most laid back (non theme park area) place, plus you are closest to England, and you can get a Guiness in you right away.

 

Go to the tequila bar inside Mexico.

 

You must ride the Rock n Rollercoaster.

 

Be aware of park hours that are open an hour early (only for guests who are staying on property) or late hours where certain parks stay open later.

 

Don't over plan. You will get exhausted....but you need to plan meals.

 

The Cirque de Solei show in Downtown Disney was really cool.

 

Get a turkey leg when you are there...it's the best value, and they rock.

 

Don't forget to take advantage of the Photopass - they have photographers in all the parks and you can see all the pictures they take of you and they are of good quality.

 

The Sci-Fi Drive In Restaurant in Hollywood Studios is a cool place to get lunch.

 

Animal Kingdom is hugh - have good shoes for all the parks. At Animal Kingdom, Khalahari River Rapids, the Safari, Himalayan Rollercoaster are my favorites.

 

Hollywood Studios - Toy Story Mania, Rock N Roller, Star Tours, Tower of Terror are my favorites.

 

Magic Kingdom - Splash Mountain/Thunder Mountain are the best...don't really care too much for that park as it is always the most crowded.

 

The water parks are pretty cool...if you go, get there very early, and then leave early. Doesn't matter which one you go to.

 

If I think of more, I'll let you know...this is just random blabbering.

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Just got back . . . I had my wife, 12 year old son (his birthday was the first day), 9 and 7 year old daughters, and my parents and my in-laws. This will be different advice as I had 2 people in motorized scooters (FIL and mom)

 

General advice . . . Do what Gil said with the fastpasses. I would gather all cards as soon as we entered the park and made a beeline for the top ride at each park that the kids wanted to go on. Then I would rejoin the group and see other stuff before walking right up to the fastpass. After the ride, immediately go to the next fastpass, etc.

 

day 1= Epcot. It was the food and wine festival, which was pretty cool. Additional kiosks with countries that do not have their own set area like Australia and Argentina. The Crush turles show at the sea was awesome, (mainly because all my kids got to ask questions and interact with crush). This is where I developed the "holy crap i need to plan ahead better strategy". We hit almost every ride the kids wanted, and the fastpass for Soarin was crucial. SKipped captain Eo. I had called the day ahead and made reservations for the Mexican hacienda restaurant for dinner. This is enclised and directly on the water, so the view for the fireworks at night is perfect (especially if you slip the hostess a bribe for a table with a great view. Having Nine people in the party was a PITA) Food was excellent too. Becasue of the senior citizens we had with, we would alternate rides (they they skipped) with shows/slow rides to ease through the day and cool down.

 

The countries have a game with Perry the Platypus from Phineas and Ferb. If you do this, you will spend and extra 30 minutes at each country. You almost need a full day to do this challenge, and while cool, causes problems if you have to end early. Trust me. ;) Starship was playing at the American pavilion. Awesome.

 

Rain started early, so we missed around 5 countries and went to dinner early.

 

Day 2= Disney Hollywood studios. Indian Jones, Star Tours, Rock and roll rollercoaster and tower of terror are awesome. A monsoon cancelled the stunt show unfortunatley. If you want to do the Toy Story shoot em up game get that fastpass FIRST. They ran out of fastpasses for the day at 11:00AM. The rollercoaster and Tower of terror late in the afternoon were deserted (rain) so we went on multiple times very quickly. The girls liked the Little mermiad show. The movie ride was a big hit with everybody too.

 

Day 3= Animal Kingdom. Since this closes early be there when the gates open. TRUST ME. I made a race for the safari and we did its a bugs life while waiting. Do the safari as early as possible, because the animals are most active and fed mid-morning. Parents liked the aviary show. Raffikkis train ride and petting zoo were meh . . .kinda a waste of time, IMO. Expedition Everest was awesome, went twice. Kali river rapids you get SOAKEd, but later in the afternoon no one was there so we went 3 times in a row, no waiting. The Lion King Show was a must see. Great show, (and all my kids got to participate as well;) ) Go on a weekend and they have extended hours and the park is sloooow later in the day.

 

Day 4= Magic Kingdom. Peter Pan and winnie the pooh get busy FAST. Get those fastpasses right away. Jungle river ride was a waste of time. Pirates was cool, Thunder Mountain is a cool coaster for smaller kids that cant handle a big ride like Aerosmith. Haunted mansion was cool. Peter pan was a lot fo fun. Its a small world was mind numbingly annoying. Space mountain was very very cool. The parades and shows were very cool and participatory.(got caught in a hoedown in frontierland and got pulled in my a hawt disney worker to square dance. :yay: my wife was not amused. :sad: )

 

Random thoughts

 

I stayed offsite 2 miles away from disney in a gated community with a 6 bedroom house with a pool, hot tub and game room. It was VERY affordable, and we saved hundreds by doing this. I am happy to provide the website upon request. Buy a case of bottled water at a store and freeze a bottle, then bring a backpack with water to drink all day that uses that bottle as a chiller. Very glad we did this. schedule breaks and plan snacks at places when you get a map. Keeps kids and adults less cranky. I guess it is braziilan winter break. Hundreds of tour groups that ignore things like "small children" and "handicapped people". Poop before going into the parks. Alternating between a "Action ride" and a show/slow ride was a great plan. You get out of the heat and into air conditioning, which was VERY helpful. If someone has a electric cart, just ride up to the parking attendant and ask for medical overflow parking . . .you get to park next to handicap parking right by the gate.Bring ponchos, or buy them offsite. Much more economically feasible. You can take pictures with Indiana Jones after the show if you stick around . . .Maelstrom at Norway was closed . .bummer.

 

All for now . . . now I need a vacation from the vacation.

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My wife wants to take the kids there someday, and to be honest, sounds like pure hell. :lol:

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My wife wants to take the kids there someday, and to be honest, sounds like pure hell. :lol:

 

 

The joy it brought to the kids (and the grandparents interacting with teh kids) was priceless.

 

It was a vacation for the kids and the grandparents, not so much for my wife and I . . .that will come later for us. :lol:

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Glad you had a good time. Living 15 minutes from Disneyland, going to Florida for it is not something on our plan, but we are doing the Disney Cruise next June (my MIL and the 3 families with the 7 grandkids)

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