Florida for a total novice

(10 Posts)
beadyboo Sat 07-May-16 14:58:36

My mum has been really poorly this year, and one of the things she's always wanted to do is a big family holiday to Florida.
Her treatment finishes at the end of summer so we've picked the May half term (we get 2 weeks) 2017 as the time to go.
None of us have ever been before, and I know absolutely nothing about it yet. I've tried to do bits of research but I'm left bewildered by the choice and options.
We want a villa as there will be 6 adults, 3 kids (10, 8 & 3) and a baby. We're also going to get 2 people carrier type cars.
Which parks would you recommend, which area should we focus our search on, and should we invest in all these park tickets or pay as we get there (I'm not sure you can even do this?)
Thanks for your help.

mummymeister Sat 07-May-16 15:44:13

you have plenty of planning time so my advice is buy the books WDW with kids and beyond WDW with kids. best thing we ever did. really helps to narrow down where to stay, what to see etc. also there is a website called the DIBB. start with these and it should help make it less confusing.

Willow2016 Sat 07-May-16 19:35:27

Hi have you been on 'the dibb' website? Its full of info about orlando. written by people in tbe know and who have bern with recomendations etc and the advice there is to but your park tickets obeforen ticket sites not disney or universal sites before you go as much cheaper. Getting the two week tickets is apparently cheaper than paying at the gates on odd days which is what I am doing. I am total novice to this too and it's been great help.

MelanieCheeks Sat 07-May-16 19:39:10

You've made a good start - a villa, and 2 cars is definitely the way to go!

I would buy tickets in advance, one less thing to worry about.

Try to have a rough schedule, interspersing hectic park days with less demanding ones (will your villa have a pool?)

One Disney park a day is manageable, 2 separate days for Universal.

SouthLeedsResident Sun 08-May-16 15:11:15

Another vote for The Dibb website. We have been to Florida twice and am now planning our third trip.

Re the children are any of them into anything in particular? Princesses, Star Wars, Toy Story, Harry Potter? That will help decide Disney and/or Universal.

I bought the unofficial guide to WDW with kids book which helped immensely.

You can also find a lot of people on YouTube who regularly visit WDW and film their adventures. I particularly loved Joe and Ashley from SeeYaReelSoon because they film walking between rides and all the food they ate and KrispySmores (British couple who met whilst working in Disney)

And Josh from easywdw.com for his crowd calendars and cheat sheets. Amazingly accurate and his food reviews are very detailed with lots of photos.

Ricardian Sun 08-May-16 15:25:35

Her treatment finishes at the end of summer so we've picked the May half term (we get 2 weeks) 2017 as the time to go.

Have you had a quote for travel insurance? It won't be cheap for her, and remember that you probably won't be able to get cancellation cover which includes her inability to travel.

dancemom Sun 08-May-16 15:32:50

Yy to the Dibb

How long are you going for? What's your budget? Will your mum be fully mobile?

HermioneWeasley Sun 08-May-16 15:45:37

What age are your kids?

You are probably going to spend more time at Disney than universal and the other parks as there's more parks and more to do at Disney, so I would stay closer to there. We've stayed at a villa in Windsor Hills before which is about 10 mins from Disney, and it was great for us.

You will need to plan which parks on which days so you can book your fast passes in advance. There are plenty of "busy day guides" you can use to plan this. I would say Epcot and Magic Kingdom need at least 2 days each, studios and animal kingdom can be done in a day. At least a day for each of the universal parks - maybe a third if you're big Harry Potter fans.

You're going out of peak season which will really help.

Definitely buy the park tickets in advance - you'll bankrupt yourselves paying at the entrance on the day. A 14 day Disney and universal multi park ticket will be about £470 per adult.

Make sure you have all the insurance for your cars.

Willow2016 Mon 09-May-16 21:26:38

Just a heads up about tickets.
The age of an adult ticket is over 9yrs! I had to double check! Its not as obvious as it could be on most ticket sites because you might not think to check (I nearly missed it could have been an expensive mistake!) as we are used to different ages for children and adults here.

millimat Tue 26-Jul-16 22:35:25

I'm following this as we are considering next summer. Will look at that website, but generally what's the most cost effective way to'do' Florida? Villa, apartment, hotel? Independent or package? We'll have 2 adults and 2 children.

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