Florida - Tips For Disney hols - just back!(26 Posts)
Just back from florida and know a few mumsnetters are planning to go in the future - haveing now done there are a few things I wish Id know before I went so if any of you have any specific questions on parks etc post and I will do my best to answer.
For example - Universal studios used to do a fast pass system like Disney for free - now you have to pay an extra $35 per head per day to get a Universal Plus pass which is ok if you are only going to go once but if like us you intend to visit a couple of times its expensive far better to get a park map in advance and plan the rides with military precision!!!
..You must have been there around the same time as us Mfer...we got back a week ago though only did Magic Kingdom...Stayed at Wilderness Lodge, which I would highly recommend as you get access to the park then before and after usual opening hours....nad it's a fab boat ride from resort into magic kingdom.....DS (5) and DD (3) loved the whole experience (as did mum and day, though we thought that Disney wouldn't really be our 'thing" ) Needed the break after the first 5 days of hols as both DS and DD came out with hand foot and mouth the day after we arrived !!!!!
We got back today and had a great time (again). It was the US school holidays whilst we were there so Disney was pretty busy, but queues not too bad TBH. Certainly better than Disneyland paris! Have lots of info and tips as and when now needed.
We did 14 days of theme parks, tired now but DD (4yo) adored the whole thing. Especially as she is now tall enough for the next stage rides and got to go on more roller coasters and water rides than last time.
did you go to DisneyQuest Hula? You could have logged on to MN
No, didn't do DisneyQuest. Only went to Downtown Disney briefly once TBH.
We are going the 9th-26th Oct and are debating whether to spash out on Discovery Cove and Mickeys Not So Scary Halloween, as we are not "young" parents and this is our second trip with them to Florida we probably won`t be going again, lots of other places to see! What do you think?
We've done Discovery Cove twice and it was fab. I did the dolphin swim on my own the first time (only me & DH went) then last year ds2 did it. It really made an impression on him- he is determined to be a dolphin trainer (he was 15 when he went).
Discovery Cove was excellent.
DH wanted to go, I wasn't that bothered, but so glad we did. For all the thrills and spills of Florida, it's what the boys enjoyed the most, and what they talk about the most. They were 10, 8 and 6.
Do you have to be able to swim well to do it? I have friends who have just come back and they said you only got a very short time with the dolphins. Need to think carefully about it as it will cost a lot of $`s for 5 of us!
No, you don't have to swim well, and you do only get a relatively short time with the dolphins, but the day is fab and like I said, it's the day the boys remember and talk about the most.
It's not cheap, but we did it because it was DH's birthday treat and we were only going to take the boys to Florida once, so we did everything we wanted to do (well that we could fit into a fortnight).
How old are the children? I think they have to be six to be able to swim with the dolphins.
My trio will be 9 in next Jan, and are all having swimming lessons, all doing well, its me whose not confident in the water!!
If your children like ghosts and monster type stuff then I bet the Hallowe'en night is great fun. We left DLP (not done Florida in Oct) once just as everyone was arriving for the evening fun - all dressed up and ont he way to what looked like a great night ahead. It'd be an even later night than normal though!
Looked into Discovery Cove but DD is too young. I was also disappointed to hear (from parent's neighbours who did it) that the dolphin swim/contact time was very very should - 15/20 minutes max from their accounts. I don't like water parks or swimming enough to get that much out of the rest fo the stuff there I don't think. The dolphin swim would be magical though.
DD did enjoy swimming with the sharks at Typhoon Lagoon though
You'll be fine if you choose to go.
By biggest problem was the thought of the wetsuit!
Can you really swim with sharks, my Thomas would love that, he watches all the discovery progs about sharks and keeps saying he would like to swim with them! Yes............... not thought about what I would look like in a wet suit! How long is your day there?
They are only little ones though. Tpowards the back, right hand side of Typhoon Lagoon there is a couple of deep, cold water pools. You can also go underneath and observe from there. But for those swimming you queue up for a mask and snorkle and then queue for the shark swim - was about 25-30 minutes when DH and DD did it. It isn't a long swim by any means and the sharks don't come near you - they stay at the bottom with the other fish. There is a rock in the middle if you need to put your feet down, and childrenn and adults can wear life vests - DD wore her swim vest okay. Only problem for DD was that the masks and snorkles are one size and they were rathe rbig for her little 4yos face - but she enjoyed the experience.
Ooh timely thread. Just looking into going next Easter - what accommodation have people gone for? We did a Disney hotel pre-kids, but am toying with a villa now we have kids...
Have some websites here for other tips:
DisneyWorld - tells you all rides and attractions, including height limits for rides.
WDW magic - lots of news, pictures and rumour details from the Disney parks. Big news before we went was the new Stitch ride - not worth bothering with IMO to be honest though. The new Pirates of the carribean ride will be open by hen though. And the Everest roller coaster, also new, is fun
Universal Studios - info about both parks
Both times we have stayed in villas with pools, about 4 miles outside of Disney - just off the 192. Much prefer self catering and the freedom of the villas. We are not really hotel people. DD went in the pool every single morning without fail and loved it. The villas are all very simlar but, if there is a few of you they are definitely good value for money.
This time we had a 4 bed villa, with private pool on this site . In June for 2 weeks it cost £900. I thought that was a bargian to be honest.
Thanks, lots of lovely tips to send me to bed dreaming1 We are staying in a villa again, I love to have the space, pool and hot tub! Find it very good value, a friend has just come back and she stayed in the same villa we are going too, said it was fab, even has Disney costumes for the kids! Must go to bed............reading the Da Vinci Code!
Still here! We are staying on the 27 just off the 192 this time, last time stayed at Rolling Hills, nr Formosa Gdns, it was very nice, I like to try something new, this one has bikes etc, lots more for the kids. We are paying £1,025 for 18 nights inc pool heating, I think thats good. Must go to bed this time!
If going to Disney in October you must go to Mickeys Not So Scary Halloween, one of the best times we had at Disney in the last 13 years. There is no question that staying in a Villa is so much better than in a Hotel, we always stay in this one Platinum Villas privately owned and in immaculate condition ( And believe me there are some bad ones out there) also in the best position for the parks.
We have just rec`d our tickets for Mickeys Halloween, we were there the same time two years ago and didn`t do it so thought we would this time, should be great fun. The villa looks lovely and I know Indian Creek as we stayed in Rolling Hill last time just up the road. Villas are great, but yes you have to have a good look round, some firends of our have just come back from the villa we are renting and assured us it is Fab! Can`t wait!Have you done Discovery Cove, we are still debating whether or not to.
We did Discovery Cove a few years ago and thought it was a good day out especially if you swim with the Dolphins although a bit expensive for the whole family. Will go back again in a few years. Can any one recommend any unusual restaurants that are well worth going too?
We're planning a trip to Florida for the theme parks during the may half term but I'm a bit startled by the mainstream holiday provider prices (eg virgin) - has anyone done it cheaper successfully? We have two girls, 10 and 8 and would prefer not to be all in one room - want a pool (assuming hot enough then to use?) and dont want to be too far from the parks. Any ideas anyone (flights, hotels, locations or packages?)
sorry, not very good at this, meant to start new thread not post on an ancient one!
Would be cheaper in my opinion to book things separately at that time of year. Have a look at BA flights and compare prices with Virgin. We normally fly BA into Orlando but last year saved £1,200 (for 6 of us) by flying into Tampa which was only an extra 20 mins drive.
For villas, have a look at www.loyaltyusa.com who are a company owned by an english lady who only manages luxury homes within 4 miles of Disney or have a look at http://www.ownersdirect.co.uk/usa/F1895.htm -owner gives discount if you mention you are a Mumsnetter. Its a 4 bedroom villa with private pool, will be plenty hot enough at that time of year.
Tickets will depend on how much you want to cram in. If only a week you need to limit it.
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