Anyone got a Disney/Florida Holiday Planned Part 2

(200 Posts)
Groovee Thu 03-Oct-13 16:36:43
ValentineWiggins Fri 25-Oct-13 16:33:13

Currently in fantasyland queuing for dumbo ride!!! Do investigate the magic bands before you go...room key, park tix and access to book able fast passes (fast pass plus). Get the mydisney app on your phones (wifi throughout park). If you are staying onsite you can customise your bands (colour) in advance!!!

Then book fast passes up to 60 days in advance..use the app to get an idea of wait times for your favourite rides at different times of day!!

We got free quick service dining with our room - great to have if you can get it...not sure I would pay for it!

Littleredsquirrel Fri 25-Oct-13 16:44:03

Disney is a bit different though Potterer since its not really physical. I suppose it all depends on how you do it. We go for a fortnight and don't spend all day every day at the parks because the pools are fab too. We generally do the parks in the morning, come back after lunch for an afternoon around the pool and then head over to wherever we are eating in the evening, often that will be a park restaurant and so you can grab a few more rides then if you want to.

We are looking forward to four nights at Universal this time around just to change things up a bit although not looking forward to the fact that we will have to pay for food. We've been spoiled by the disney dining plan and some of the restaurants included in the plan have fantastic food. The first time we went we spent only $200 for the whole holiday since the dining plan was so good.

I love Ohana at the Polynesian and the restaurant at Kidani (animal kingdom lodge villas) the name of whihc escapes me.

TSSDNCOP Fri 25-Oct-13 23:36:00

Me, DH and DS are going this coming Sunday.

High point is a day at Discovery Cove SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

What's this about Blizzard thingy being closed?????

We are staying at the Wyndham Hotel: any tips?

How do you get these sodding character reservations of which you speak?

We're going to get creamed arnt we thlsad

DoubleDoubleTwigletTrouble Sat 26-Oct-13 09:40:43

Disney is a bit different though Potterer since its not really physical.

As you say, it depends on how you do it - I'm honestly never so exhausted as after a disney holiday! We do the parks all day every day though, unlike you (with perhaps 2 rest days in between) and it's really tiring. People apparently walk an average of around 10 miles a day at Disney!

TSS, you can make restaurant reservations (whether character ones or not) online but I'm afraid that at this late stage it will be next to impossible sad You can book up to 180 days before and some reservations are gone within seconds of the 180-day window being open!

Re. Discovery Cove - is it really good? We are going and I'm just not that excited about it. I'm trying to decide whethe to swim with a dolphin or not - DD is doing it for her birthday treat and I wasn't going to but I'm wondering if I'll regret it. Thing is, I think I'll be terrified of them! though not as terrified as having to wear a wetsuit

flatmum Sat 26-Oct-13 15:43:47

Typhoon Lagoon closes on Sunday for refurbishment. The other Disney water park is still open - Blizzard Beach. As well as the non-disney ones Aquatica and wet n wild.

Taz1212 Sat 26-Oct-13 17:26:19

We're just back from a fortnight in Orlando! There's lots of changes with the new magic bands and FP+ system which is currently in test. At the moment it's just for on site guests but rumour has it that it will eventually be rolled put to offsite guests as well. I'd strongly recommend that anyone staying on site in the near future start looking into FP+ (get the My Disney Experience app!) and everyone else keep an eye on it too.

DoubleDoubleTwigletTrouble Sun 27-Oct-13 08:55:04

Offsite guests can still use the regular FP though, yes? <worries>

Potterer Sun 27-Oct-13 13:18:17

I have the "Unofficial guide to Walt Disney WOrld with kids 2014" and have been watching stuff on YouTube about the new RFID wristbands and FastPass+ (I will now call it FP+)

According to my book, FP+ will eventually replace FastPass but that seems a long way off. There are lots of rumours about what will happen but my book says FP+ will enable you to book rides/attractions 60 days in advance so you have to have either a Disney resort reservation number or an actual Disney Park ticket to do this.

Also in plans "we re told is a hard limit on the number of daily FP+ reservations you can have" the rumour is that each guest will be limited to between 2-4 passes per day depending on park and crowd conditions.

The reasoning is when 7 dwarves mine train ride opens Magic Kingdom will have 13 fastpass enabled attractions giving rides to 19,000 people per hour.

Assume 2/3 of that capacity is FP and the other 1/3 standby riders, over the course of a 12 hour day that's 152,000 FP spots.

About 49,000 people visit Magic Kingdom on an average day so each person can have 3 FP before all the spots are taken (are you still with me?) BUT if 75,000 people visit they would need to keep the park open for 18 hours to give everyone 3 FPs. Not possible.

Disney plans to up the number of rides that have FP from 30 to around 50. hey will also allow FP for character greetings and reserving best views for spots for fireworks etc.

Speculation is Disney will limit you to one FP+ per attraction per day ie if you want to ride Space Mountain twice, once will be FP+ the other stand in line.

Also, rumour is that depending on whether you stay in value/moderate/deluxe resort or off site may influence how many FP you can have for particular head liner attractions.

This is all from the book. So for a while it seems FP will run alongside FP+ but if you have FP+ you can't have FP. Phew, that was looooong.

flatmum Sun 27-Oct-13 13:20:05

we are there now and are just using the regular FP - one per 2 hours, but they run out in the afternoon.

Taz1212 Sun 27-Oct-13 14:24:12

DoubleDpubleTwigletTouble, yes right now off site guests can use the normal FP machines. They will go away eventually and be replaced with FP+ for everyone but to be honest, the system is still so glitchy I can't see that happening for quite a long time!

As part of the "test" we were limited to 3 FP+s a day but still had KTTW cards to pull normal paper FPs. The three rides which seemed to be most impacted by FP+ were Soaring, Test Track and Toy Story Mania. If you want to get a paper FP for any of these rides you REALLY need to be there before rope drop. Toy Story was out of paper FPs by 9:30-9:45 each day we were there and Soaring/Test Track were out by 10ish. The day we picked up paper FPs for oarng and Test Track I was at the Soaring machine at 9:05 and got tickets for 1:30. DH was over at TT and at 9:05 got three tickets, one for 1:55, one for 2:00 and the last for 2:05 (I.e. it was jumping by 5 minutes with each insertion!)

For all the other rides, particularly at the Mgic Kingdom, there was no problem getting paper FPs within a reasonable time- Magic Kingdom tended to stay within an hour of the current time and one day I got to Hollywood Studios at 2:30 and got paper FPs for Tower of Terror for 5:30 so not too bad.

If you want to keep an eye on trends, log onto My Disney Experience and click on "wait times". The will show you current wait times for each ride as well as the current FP return times. I found it pretty accurate compared to what was actually happening in the park and it let us plan our days a lot better- after watching Epcot for a couple of days it was clear we needed to get there by rope drop!

DoubleDoubleTwigletTrouble Sun 27-Oct-13 14:57:31

Wow, thanks for all that info! Taz, were you there at a particularly busy time? That's terrifying about Soarin' & Toy Story Mania being out of FPs by 9.30am!! shock We went at a reasonably quiet time and they were usually gone out by midday... we are going with family who like to be slo-o-o-o-o-ow in the mornings and rope drop is never going to happen for us! (though we charge there like demons when we go to Paris by ourselves grin)

roughtyping Sun 27-Oct-13 15:09:58

We're off to Bonnet Creek at the end of June. Can't wait! Was on the last thread smile

Taz1212 Sun 27-Oct-13 15:34:19

DoubleDouble- we just got back yesterday (boo hiss!). October isn't usually too busy but this year it was busier than expected. Re the FPs, I have a sneaking suspicion Disney might be manipulating the system a bit during test. After I got the Soaring FPs, I went to wait for DH and the kids to get off Test Track. This was around 9:15-9:30. The FP machines were actually really quiet by this point- the initial rope drop crowd were gone. I was watching the times go up and they appeared to go up 5 minutes by every 3-4 FPs given out. It MAY be that Disney had already allocated so many FP+s that there truly were only a handful left for paper FPs, or they might be playing about with numbers in the background. I had a look today and at 10:30 EST, TT was still giving out paper FPs (return window 6:25), so it's all a bit up in the air right now.

If you're going in Feb I'd start keeping an eye on My Disney Experience a couple of weeks before. The third week of Feb tends to get busy with school holidays but the rest of the month shouldn't be too bad.

flatmum Sun 27-Oct-13 19:52:32

I am at Epcot now and got to the fast pass paper machines at 10:07, our times were 3.15-4.15 which worked out well as we went and did test track (half hour queue) and space (15 mins - bleurgh, the only ride so far we didn't like much!) without fast passes and then went round some o the world exhibits.

We are just coming up to the end of a 2 week stay and haven't found the queues too bad really. magic kingdom was the busiest park but got paper fast passes for space mountain everything else not too bad. Universal and Sea World were pretty chilled in comparison to the Disney parks and the water parks prctically horizontal!

We have found October pretty good I have to say tho Disney parks still busy (only have Hollywood studios to do). Looking at the roped of queuing areas though I can't imagine what seventh circle of hell August must be. we queued half an hour for Harry Potter at Island of adventure no fast passes, my colleague in August queued 2 and a half hours!

flatmum Sun 27-Oct-13 19:53:07

That was for Soarin by the way!

Were going back not to 2015 but discussed with Dc and planning 3 weeks

Have to say was fantastic time and so much to see and do

Dc will definte do again but not worried on swim this time .dd abd ds loved the reef seim

groovejet Tue 29-Oct-13 09:36:06

Oh a Disney thread grin

We are going back next October can't wait, will be staying at Old Key West and get to enjoy the food and wine festival again.

AnneEyhtMeyer - we have stayed at both Caribbean and French Quarter, whilst I enjoyed the smaller and quieter feeling of FQ I really enjoyed the Caribbean, the main pool and the kids water play area were great, and the girls loved playing on the little beach next to our building and sitting on the hammocks. Would happily have gone back there but didn't want to pay to upgrade the dining plan this time.

Cinderellas castle is nice but for a meal with the princesses would recommend Akershush in Epcot, doesn't have the same demand and really enjoyable.

Like GlitterKitty we end up spending more time at Epcot than the other parks, some good rides there followed by a meal and a drink in the world showcase and watch the fireworks, it has ended up being our favourite park.

flatmum Tue 29-Oct-13 15:45:17

I was also really impressed with Epcot, thought it would be my least favourite but we ended up staying for 13 hours! The illuminations are amazing. We went to fantasmic at Hollywood studios yesterday, no where near as good. Ride queues were the worst there too. Got paper fast pass for toy story at 9.30 times 6.45-7.45! We didn't use them in the end as clashed with Jedi training, got there at 9.30 and only time left was 7.15! Then had to leg it to fantasmic,

The queues for Toy Story Mania were 80-90 minutes all morning - worse I've seen whole time we've been here. I'm not sure why as it's a good ride but not one of the amazing ones. I really wouldn't bother queuing that long. I kept an eye on wait times on the Disney app (highly recomend downloading this) and it inexplicably dropped to 35 minutes at about 5 to 12 so we zoomed over to check (along with a hoard of other people who obviously were using the app too) thinking it was a glitch but it had gone to 35mins at the ride so we did it then. There was a technical issue so it ended up being about 45 minutes.

Hardly any queue for the rock and roller coaster which was great (took my 8y old on as unusually has a lower height restriction that the other "big ones" - he loved it and is a good "intermediate" one between the kids roller coasters and the big ones like Hulk, kraken etc) or the Tower of Terror.

So Hollywood studios was probably the least relaxing park, maybe leave towards the end of a trip once you're acclimatised, was great for character spotting though which my kids have loved - they managed to get all the outstanding character signatures that were after on the last day!

Pool day today, leave tomorow, am already jealous of anyone still with a trip to go, it's great fun, 3 weeks would be perfect if you can manage it as there is so much to do and the weather is so nice it would be nice to have more sunbathing days!

groovejet Tue 29-Oct-13 17:43:15

Hollywood Studios is my least favourite as well , whenever we go we manage to avoid queues until we go to this park, the lay out doesn't seem as flowing as the other parks. Toy Storia Mania is over hyped imo, we only go on it if we get FP for a reasonable time, I am really nice when we go we get FP for early morning ride it get some more FP which is usually for late afternoon/early evening and then give the FP to a family entering as we are leaving, is my good holiday deed grin

Your Ds is braver than me, I refuse to do the rock and roller as does dd1, we are both wimpy though grin dd2 is more into rides, she went onto Tower of Terror last year just managing to meet the height restriction at 5 so DH has high hopes she will be into coasters like him so he can have company on the big rides.

Taz1212 Tue 29-Oct-13 19:23:29

Funny, HS is DH's favourite park but I just about tolerate it. I think it's really gone downhill since they removed the animation production department to CA. I think Toy Tory Mania is completely overhyped. It's a cute ride and all but that's it, IMO. I do like the Tower of Terror but am not so keen on the Rock n Roller Coaster- it jiggles my head too much!

flatmum Tue 29-Oct-13 20:09:59

I agree about toy story, don't get why anyone would queue or 80 mins there are much better rides.

Haha that's funny, DP took 8y old and just 6y old (!) on tower of terror against my better judgement, I refused to go as I don't like lift drop rides. I likes the rock and et coaster though, I found it pretty tame compared to the universal and seaworld ones.

DoubleDoubleTwigletTrouble Wed 30-Oct-13 09:43:34

I love HS too! Toy Story Mania was one of my favourite rides in teh whole of Orlando! Star Tours is fantastic and love the Great Movie Ride too...

tory79 Thu 31-Oct-13 21:48:48

I love toy story mania, we went the year it opened (2008) and queued for about 75m if I recall. BUT even though we have been 3 times since we have not been back on it as the queues have never got any shorter! It's ridiculous. I did really enjoy it but there are far better rides that have far shorter queues.

SallyStudioIsMyFriend Thu 31-Oct-13 21:56:33

Hi all. We are going very soon but I was wondering what kind of weather to expect?

flatmum Thu 31-Oct-13 22:10:05

We left this morning and it was lovely. hot and sunny but not too humid. We had one overcast day in the 2 weeks wee were there. AC was on in the villa while time and in car most days. I got the impression from the news weather tht they would expect it to get a bit cooler shortly but didn't see any evidence of it yesterday. I'd take summer clothes and hoodies. We took pack a macks but didn't use them but think I would still take them.

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