Anyone got a Disney/Florida Holiday Planned Part 2

(189 Posts)
Groovee Thu 03-Oct-13 16:36:43
Welliesandwings Sun 13-Apr-14 13:29:17

We're going in October for 31 nights! The first 5 nights we're at the Saratoga Springs resort (me, DH, Dd and DS) then we move to a villa off the 192 for 3 weeks where we'll meet up with family, then down towards the keys for 3 nights before spending the last 2 nights at the Hard Rock Hotel in Orlando. This will be our 5th trip to the Mouse, I absolutely love it. We've got just under a fortnight before I can book our ADR's and we've chosen to book CRT for breakfast on the first full day. Whether we'll get it or not could be a different matter. If we hadn't got the dining package as part of the accommodation deal then we wouldn't be bothering with CRT as it's expensive for what it is. DD will absolutely love it though.

WeeClype Fri 11-Apr-14 16:34:35

Thanks it's pretty wide and a pain in the butt to open and fold so even going to the theme parks and squeezing on the wee trains that take you to the front will annoy me, I think 2 singles is a better idea.

I also don't want it flung about by the baggage handlers

Trazzletoes Fri 11-Apr-14 13:53:56

Also we were not allowed to take our hold luggage on the train and forced to recheck it in for that stupid extra bit. Of course the Virgin re- re-claim carousel is also completely separate from all the other ones <sigh>

Trazzletoes Fri 11-Apr-14 13:52:20

Re: double buggy it probably depends how wide it is - we saw someone coming back who queued to get through security at Orlando with a wide double and she was told to come through the wheelchair line instead. Which was massively long and moves at half the speed of any other queue. Luckily for her she didn't have to go to the back.

Trazzletoes Fri 11-Apr-14 13:50:02

We are just back from an outstandingly amazing week.

If anyone wants a free copy of the Unofficial Disney Guide 2014, barely used (I bought the kids one as well and mostly used that!) PM me and I'll post it to you.

NickNacks Tue 08-Apr-14 02:43:16

Parking for cars at the parks is so far as follows (assuming you don't have it prepaid/included)

Hollywood studios $17
Blizzard Beach $0
Animal Kingdom $17

ImASecretTwigletNibbler Mon 07-Apr-14 20:11:56

I really don't think a double buggy would present any more problem than a single at the airport...

WeeClype Mon 07-Apr-14 10:56:48

Hmm after reading about the airport I've decided I'm not taking the double buggy....I'll take a single buggy for my 2 yr old and a sling for the baby then after we've unpacked I'll buy a cheap one at Walmart smile

Thanks for the info

ImASecretTwigletNibbler Mon 07-Apr-14 08:21:58

We didn't find the escalators a problem with luggage, as we all stayed at the bottom whilst DH and DF took them up one at a time and came down for more, then took the kids & buggies up one at a time. It was the train that was the problem because once you get on it you can't come back, so you HAVE to take everything with you!

The management keep changing their minds at Orlando with regards to pax and their luggage. At one time no-one was allowed to take their cases onto the train (which goes to the main terminal) now they allow pax to take bags on again. If you choose not to put bags onto the transfer carousel (and they do seem to take a long time to arrive at the other end) you then have to negotiate either the not very wide escalator or a tiny lift with said bags before you board the train.

Immigration lines at Orlando can be very long indeed; its usually taken us 40 minutes plus to get to the head of the stop/start moving line. Wear comfortable shoes!!. Having only 4-6 desks open out of a possible 40 (that's how many were opened the last time we went there) does not help matters either. They never have enough staff available and do not seem aware or are disinterested in the fact that two/three flights from the UK arrive at around the same time.

Do ensure that your customs form is completed correctly; I have seen them send people to the back if paperwork is not accurate.

(At least all pax have now been thankfully spared the rigmarole of having all their hand luggage searched whilst still airside on arrival after getting off the train!. Even they eventually saw how pointless that measure was).

Turniphead1 Mon 07-Apr-14 02:45:51

Sorry I've just realised I've repeated myself a lot....

Turniphead1 Mon 07-Apr-14 02:44:38

Couch25 - that sounds like bliss! A real balance.

Nicknacks - you picked a great day to do Blizzard Beach. It was roasting today. Was it very busy?

We did MK today - We had a break in the middle where we went back to the hotel (we are at the Grand Floridian villas so handy for MK) - then we went back over for our ADR dinner at Be Our Guest (Beast's Castle thingy) and then did some more rides. We left about 9pm. It was nice being there at night - it really is rather beautiful seeing the Castle in the dark etc.

We are doing Typhoon Lagoon tomorrow I think.

NickNacks Sun 06-Apr-14 23:49:14


We're off site in a large villa.

Went to blizzard beach today and doing Animal Kingdom tomorrow. Kids currently having an evening splash in the pool and I'm having a sunbath! :-) you?

couch25cakes Sun 06-Apr-14 19:54:45

I'm getting so excited for our trip. I've booked all our ADRs and customised our magic bands grin. We've got a week onsite which will be full-on, then ten days in a villa when we'll take things a little slower. Then three days on Anna Maria Island to rest. Can't wait!!

Turniphead1 Sun 06-Apr-14 19:38:56

Nicknacks - think I saw you at Hollywood studios ;-). Are you staying on or off-site?

We had too much luggage to be able to take it beyond that pt. immigration was a breeze .... 15 minutes I think. Swings & roundabouts.

Did (small part of) MK this am. DD2 had a massive nosebleed all over her new dress. Staff came and gave us two vouchers for $25 each to buy her new clothes. I was shock. It's stuff like that than can change ones view of the Disney behemoth.

Back having a break then back to do Be Our Guest character dining etc. this evening.

ImASecretTwigletNibbler Sun 06-Apr-14 14:32:04

I think Sanford immigration is generally quicker but it's further away so it's probably much of a muchness, time-wise. The luggage thing is a total pain if you can't manage it all yourself without a trolley, including pushing buggies. If you can then it's easy - but if you can't then it's a total pain, I'm afraid. Immigration lines are really just the luck of the draw, I think - we got through in about half an hour when we went but my parents took over 2 hours another time.

WeeClype Sun 06-Apr-14 13:37:06

Tell me more about the airport.....I'm going with 4 DC's (7 months, 2,11 & 15) and I've only flown into Sanford before.

Is Orlando International going be a total pain? Do the security check lines go down quick?

ImASecretTwigletNibbler Sun 06-Apr-14 11:59:29

Oh my god yes, that luggage thing at Orlando is awful! If you can carry it all without a trolley then NEVER let them take it back off you! The Jedi training is great, isn't it?! Can't believe your 5yo did Tower of Terror shock I wouldn't get on that if you paid me! smile

NickNacks Sun 06-Apr-14 03:21:38

Yes we're here right now, also did Hollywood studios yesterday! Going back next Thursday fir our character dining! :-)

Turniphead1 Sun 06-Apr-14 02:50:20

Anyone else here now ? We just had our first full day today. Kids are 5, 8 & 10. Arrived last night with BA. Never been here before & Orlando Airport had this dreadful thing where you claimed your luggage - wheeled it a bit - then they take it back off you (and in our flights case it then disappeared for an hour whilst we took a shirt tram ride to arrivals terminal). It was not good but we got to hotel, kids ti bed and hit up v early (er 5am kids were up).

We did Hollywood Studios which I loved. Nice size, prettier than Id imagined. Anyone with a Star Wars fan, if you arrive for rope drop run to the Jedi experience sign up place beside the Star Wars ride. You get given a time slot for the kids to come back and do a show with other kids where they are trainee jedis and fight (very cool & realistic) Darths Vader & Maul. Great!

We did the Hollywood & Vine character dining which is great if you have 3-5 year olds as it's all the Disney Jr characters - Sofia, Jake etc. our 5 year old loved it!

The Honey I Shrunk the Kids playground is great as there are some water sprays and it's quite shaded.

Other highlights - Tower of Terror (really did terrify the five year old hmm) Rock n Roller Coaster and the Little Mermaid show. Anyone. With 10+ kids the Pop Idol show was much better than I expected. Real judges and genuinely talented contestants.

We were back to our hotel for a rest, pool time etc by 4.

WeeClype Sat 05-Apr-14 14:24:04

Ooh I'm joining, I'm going 13th June smile

Hi pud1,

re your comment:-
"we are flying monarch - concerned about the lack of in flight entertainment. i am hoping that we will get through it with the ipad and kindle fire. also the seat pitch is a bit of a worry as oh is 6 foot 3. tbh the idea of flying with a budget airline longhaul is not my idea of bliss but it was so much cheaper"

You're right; flights into Orlando itself can be hideously expensive as only BA and Virgin have the route into there currently. If you are on the A330 type plane they have overhead tvs in the main cabin.

Monarch fly into Sanford so what sort of onward transport have you got from there?.

I would take both the Ipad and kindle fire and make sure that both are fully charged prior to departure (there is no power sockets in the seats). Same with regards to the food; take what the kids and you like and plenty of it; do not rely on them at all to fully provide.

Hanginggardenofboobylon Fri 04-Apr-14 18:05:06

Fast pass plus for non disney hotel guests has launched - you can book up to 30days in advance

Hanginggardenofboobylon Thu 03-Apr-14 15:38:14

Thanks for the tips emma

We are staying in a villa in west haven, so technically quite far out but very close to the I4 so I am hoping it will be relatively straightforward in and out. We go on 1st may and the crowd calendar thingies say it shouldn't be too busy.

I remember going to Disney as a kid and my DM would fill the bottom of my brothers pushchair with a 12 pack of doughnuts to keep us going throughout the day shock

emma16 Thu 03-Apr-14 14:58:53

Hanginggardenofboobylon a good tip is to pick some coupon booklets up in various shops/restaurants when you call in. I always get some & then look through & find places where we eat at & take all the discount coupons out, makes eating out that little bit cheaper smile

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