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(23 Posts)
Doubletroublemummy2 Tue 11-Jul-17 11:07:34

We are going to Orlando in august and I'm looking for some tips on getting around without having to pay the car park ($20) charges everyday.

Also some top tips on packed lunches for the kids specifically keeping things cool and light ( or should I take a wheelie coolbox?). I'd rather give them a lunch box from home, then splash out on the treats than have to choose between meal or treat.

And anyother tips, if you've been recently which ood trucks are good, etc,..

Thanks all

Doubletroublemummy2 Tue 11-Jul-17 11:27:46


Neeko Tue 11-Jul-17 11:36:01

We used Uber a lot last year. Most days it worked out cheaper than the parking charges but it will depend on where you are travelling from. You have to have a phone connection and walk to the end of the taxi area to get them but we used wireless and it worked well for us.

Avoid eating in the parks if you can. We ate a big breakfast and dinner outside the parks and mostly just had snacks in the park.

All the refreshment stands will give you a cup of iced water for free so don't buy bottled at the park. Much nicer than the drinking fountains too.
Taking bottles of frozen water in with you is great too.

Have a fantastic holiday. We have been twice now and hope to return in a few years.

WhatchaMaCalllit Tue 11-Jul-17 11:43:52

1. If you're staying near IDrive, get the trolley bus to and from the parks. Costs a dollar each. You can pick up a weekly pass from your concierge in your hotel for around $20 or thereabouts. There is a similar trolley bus that runs on Universal Blvd.

2. If you're staying in accommodation that has a fridge freezer, on the first day buy a pallet of bottled water (24 bottles like you'd pick up in Lidl or Aldi here). Put some of those bottles into the freezer for day 2. Before you leave your accommodation in the morning, wrap a small facecloth/hand towel around the frozen bottled water and that way you have something cool to wipe your face/back of your neck with throughout the day and as the ice melts you have a drink.

3. Bring rucksacks where the kids carry their own water/sandwiches/snacks. I don't think I'd be doing a wheelie cooler box in the parks, but that is a personal choice.

If I can think of some other tips, I'll be back

WhatchaMaCalllit Tue 11-Jul-17 11:46:29

Denny's and IHOP (International House Of Pancakes) do really cheap breakfasts and filling too.

Quartz2208 Tue 11-Jul-17 11:52:38

Wheelie coolboxes are generally not allowed in the parks. Unlike a lot of places here, Disney/Universal etc are not into the concept of picnics! They want you to buy food there. Depending on who searches your bag (and there are mandatory bag searches for security) picnic lunches may well be removed.

Snacks on the other hand are allowed its just sandwiches etc which might be confiscated.

I agree then with a big breakfast and big dinner and just snacks at the park (which you can take in!)

Uber it (but avoid from Water Parks you can be charged with cleaning fees) and if you do take a picture of what the uber looks after you left (to avoid cleaning fees). This way you can move between the parks.

Take plenty of water and remember water is free from refreshment stops.

Sign up for mydisneyexperience app and see if you want to book in any fastpasses in advance

2014newme Tue 11-Jul-17 12:34:06

It's roasting in the parks you won't want to haul picnics around seriously! Never seen anybody with a wheelie coolbox in a Disney Park. Have a big breakfast and jus lookin grab some snacks or take non melting heat resistant snacks in with you.

Doubletroublemummy2 Tue 11-Jul-17 12:57:00

Thanks , wasn't thinking amssive picnic, more like what I would pack for kids school lunchs.

We are staying in Kissimee will check out uber prices. Thanks

Doubletroublemummy2 Tue 11-Jul-17 13:23:03

sorry earlier post was meant to read which food trucks are good?

WindwardCircle Tue 11-Jul-17 13:38:06

You can rent lockers in the parks where you could store a picnic.

One of the tips for visiting the parks which always comes up is go early in the morning, leave at lunch time when the heat and crowds are building and go back to your hotel for swimming/naps. Then go back in the evening when it's cooling down and people are heading out. If you did that you could eat lunch at the hotel.

nut3lla Tue 11-Jul-17 13:48:31

Get the app and reserve your rides. Once those have run out book some more so you don't spend half your day queuing. Magic bands are better than the cards. Saw a few people drop/lose the cards. I think the snacks are part of the experience - not sure it's a massive saving but you'd also have to carry them around. There are water fountains which my boys loved to drink out of as they had to catch it in their mouth. We never got around the expensive parking...sadpark at INt Dr?

2014newme Tue 11-Jul-17 14:09:36

The dibb forum is great for tips and advice

Dailystuck71 Tue 11-Jul-17 16:36:36

I agree thathat sandwiches will be rank by lunch in the heat. Yak.

LadyinCement Wed 12-Jul-17 17:05:06

I don't think a Disney holiday is one where you can economise. It just makes things hard and miserable. There is great food in the parks (not at all burgers/fries as some people say) and how disappointing to be having to eat warm sandwiches instead. Much better to go for it and then eat baked beans for six months afterwards when you get back home. And I say that as a veteran of 10+ trips.

Also a Disney holiday is not so much a holiday as a military operation. Planning is everything. If you don't plan, you will miss out on rides, dining opportunities, parade times, and possibly not even be able to enter the parks if they are very busy and you are not a resort guest.

I would advise buying The Unofficial Guide to WDW which is invaluable for a novice visitor (and old ones too!).

Re: the parking, the £20 gets you into any park per day, so you can get to, say, Magic Kingdom for opening, stay until lunchtime, and then go back late afternoon to Animal Kingdom or wherever. Breaking up the day makes it much easier on tempers/feet and especially in the brutal August heat.

PersianCatLady Wed 12-Jul-17 17:10:40

I don't think a Disney holiday is one where you can economise. It just makes things hard and miserable
That is exactly what I thought too.

Dailystuck71 Thu 13-Jul-17 08:42:44

I said exactly the same to a poster who was already at Paris and having a miserable time with her daughters. She didn't plan a thing. Paris is obviously much smaller but these things do need a massive amount of planning.

Certainly for DLP there is an amazing Facebook page and the trip advisor page is brilliant too. Thanks f you can find those for Florida they will help.

Tormundsbrow Thu 13-Jul-17 08:52:05

My top tip is make sure you've made any dinner reservations if you do end up eating in the parks - some of the restaurants are fabulous. Especially at Epcot! We took water bottles with filters, those little squeezy juice flavourings and filled them up from water fountains and ice fountains as I didn't want us drinking too many fizzy drinks.

We mainly had a big breakfast, snacks at lunch like a pretzel/fruit/donut then an evening meal. It gets so hot that we didn't fancy proper food during the afternoon, plenty of drinks and ice creams though!

LadyinCement Thu 13-Jul-17 08:57:43

Actually my biggest tip is to wear old shoes. Very comfortable old shoes, and preferably trainers. You will be walking miles . Absolutely no flip-flops/strappy sandals. The Unofficial Guide in fact suggests getting your kids (and adults!) in training in the weeks beforehand by walking absolutely everywhere. Some people are just not used to walking and so you see people flaked out/kids whining.

landwhale Thu 13-Jul-17 08:57:50

If you want to see everything, get a touring plan (around £15 from touring

You might be able to park in Disney hotels and use the free shuttles to get to and from the park. This is worth it for MK as you will be taken straight to the park and cuts out the monorail, however might be easier to just pay the $20 for the other parks...

If you have small kids, make use of the rider swap. Combine with fast passes to double the fast pass rides you can use.

As pp said, free ice water anywhere the serve fountain drinks.

Buy a bucket of popcorn for $10 ish and have refills for $3ish (sorry can't remember exact amounts) they do different flavours in each park so can try them all smile

There's a battery power bank you can buy, that when it is out of power, you go to a charging station and swap it for a fully charged one. Then keep doing that the whole holiday. Haven't used this myself but heard it works fine with no fuss.

If celebrating anything, go to a shop for a free badge. My daughter got a ton of free cakes and deserts and general well wishes when she wore her Disney birthday badge smile

You can go to wholesalers near by and buy discounted gift cards (their discounted by only around 5% so I would only do this if you are going there anyway.) they can be used to buy food/drinks/toys etc

I probably have more, just can't think of them right now! I live 3 hours from Orlando and so have an annual pass... We have just done our eighth trip since August 😁

landwhale Thu 13-Jul-17 09:02:34

Also, you can't take hard coolers in (or selfie sticks- FYI) but can take picnics in rucksacks.
However, lunch time can be cheap- don't buy drinks, and buy one meal between two. They are big meals. They are normally about $10- $12 a meal ish in the fast food places. We normally spend around $25ish on lunch for 2 adults and 2 dc.

Also, did you book any restaurants? If there are any big ones/character meals you wanted to go to, that get booked up straight away, there's an app that sends you notifications if anyone cancels on the day and time you want. Can't remember the name and can't search right now, but I'm sure Google would find it.

OllyBJolly Thu 13-Jul-17 09:03:08

You can get a polystyrene cool box for a few dollars in the supermarkets. Keep it in the boot with some frozen drinks and you'll have snacks and cold drinks for the trip home. You could come out to the car park to fetch the picnic but it's a trek. You'll get free iced water at all the outlets in Disney.

I don't agree the food is good in the parks. It's substandard and overpriced with a few exceptions. Get there early, home for lunch and splash in the pool if there is one, and then back to the park when it's cooler. TBH, my DCs and then my niece and nephews, would rather have stayed around the pool than spend more than a few hours at Disney. You do have to plan so much because of the sheer volume of crowds - waiting time of over an hour per ride is no fun!

No way round the parking. I did think of parking at the water parks and getting a bus but just not worth losing that amount of time.

It's difficult to do cheaply, but not impossible.

LadyinCement Thu 13-Jul-17 09:03:33

Re parking at the hotels - on our last trip in February the staff at the gates of the resorts were checking that you had a dining reservation at the hotel before allowing you to park there.

Lucky you, landwhale! (Only hope you don't have too many visitors just dying to see you...)

mummytime Thu 13-Jul-17 09:46:01

When we last went we did park at the Boardwalk and walk to both Epcot and Hollywood studios - but it was very hot, and you had to be prepared to do it.
Uber might be fine if there are 2 of you, but the more of you there are the more it will cost.
Advantage of paying for parking is if you go early, you can go home for a break in the middle of the day and not need to pay for parking again - you only pay once and its good all that day at any of the car parks.

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