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2 weeks in Florida, What Order is Best to do Things?

(73 Posts)
BaconAndAvocado Sun 16-Feb-14 19:53:11

Have posted a couple of times re our Florida holiday 2015.

Now,it is actually booked (albeit for 18 months time!) my inner OCD is already started rumbling!

We have tickets for Disney, Universal, Sea World and a day booked at Discovery Cove.

What is the best way to do things? 1 day park then 1 day at villa or,is,it better to mix up the days with half park/half chilling by the pool.

How many days all in all do,you think the parks will take?

So,many questions and so much time smile


(Got a feeling I may be here rather regularly!)

Oh! Another question for all you Disney afficienados, what is best character breakfast for a 6 year old girl's birthday?

HermioneWeasley Sun 16-Feb-14 19:55:05

Get the Brit .guide to Orlando and that will advise which parks are busiest/quietest on which says.

Do discovery cove half way or later - it's a lovely peaceful day and you'll be getting tired later on!


motherstongue Mon 17-Feb-14 01:17:17

Book for Cinderella's Castle for your DDs 6th birthday. I took my DD aged 5 for the lunch (the boys refused to come) but she loved it. She was chosen as princess of the day, got taken by Cinderella to sit in her large throne then Prince Charming came and got her and asked if he could escort her upstairs before everyone else. She also got pictures taken with Cinderella. At the lunch a lot of the princesses were there and spent a great deal of time going around all the tables talking to the kids and signing the autograph books. Not cheap but it was a real treat for her (and me). Food, however, is only average but you're not really there for the fine cuisine!

We always go the parks at opening then stay until around 2 ish before heading back to our villa for a lounge about and a swim. We then head back to the parks early evening feeling refreshed.

We tend to do a park one day then a water park the next, just to break up the huge amount of walking and get a bit of a laze about. You might need an odd day off from it all as it can be so full on you can just hit a wall. We have only once done all the parks in one trip, we tended to do Disney when the kids were small as Universal is not so good for wee ones (through experience). Love Seaworld though and would often go quite late in the evening as it was lovely and quiet.


BaconAndAvocado Mon 17-Feb-14 19:01:59

Some superb pieces of advice here, keep 'em coming!

CleanHankie Tue 18-Feb-14 08:43:34

I agree to planning your trip around Busy Days. We tried to do park one day, and rest day the next but as we avoided parks at the weekend we had to do back to back park days at one point. Wasn't too bad. Last visit we did do a park the first day instead of staying at the villa and although it wasn't too bad, looking back at the photos the DD's are hot and sweaty and we would have been better having a down day just to adjust to the temperature.

If you do book a character meal then make sure you state it's for a birthday. Also pick up a Birthday badge at the start of your visit at Guest Relations (all parks have them) is where you need to head too as well as here. You will get addicted and get every question and more answered. There are lots of trip reports with photos so you can see what the character meals are like.

bonvivant Wed 19-Feb-14 18:35:01

Definitely mix it up on the same day, park - pool - park.

bonvivant Wed 19-Feb-14 18:36:50

PS You can easily fill a fortnight's holiday with the parks - we did Disney, Seaworld and Gatorland in 2 weeks i.e. every day visiting park. Universal is another 2 days at least.

littleredsquirrel Wed 19-Feb-14 18:37:40

Akershus breakfsat is better value than cinderellas and far more characters.

We like mornings in parks an afternoons by the pool. We next go in october and I'm already excited!

RonaldMcDonald Thu 20-Feb-14 09:02:24

There is a website called The Dibb. It has literally everything you could possibly want to know about holidaying in Florida and specifically for the Parks.
It shows the best times all the different opening hours, rates the breakfasts with the princesses etc. We found it to be unbelievably helpful
It has a great planning section on it too.

BaconAndAvocado Thu 20-Feb-14 17:50:20

motherstongue that sounds amazing!

Went online to look at Bibbidy Bobbidy Boutique, thought the hairstyles they gave the little girls were very Big Fat Gipsy Wedding! DD was a bit disturbed!

BaconAndAvocado Thu 20-Feb-14 17:53:58

squirrel what is Akerhaus breakfast?

It sounds silly worrying this far in advance but I'm concerned about getting to,the villa (we land at 5:30pm) having no food for,the evening and not knowing how,to get to the supermarket! The idea of not being able to have a strong cup,of tea with fresh milk is most daunting!

littleredsquirrel Thu 20-Feb-14 17:57:58

Akershus is the restaurant in the scandinavian section of epcot. The princesses are all there and they all come to your table. Its a one credit meal (cinderellas is two credits). If you're not on the dining plan its just cheaper than cinderellas. Last time we went the princesses were belle, snow white, jasmine, ariel, cinderella and sleeping beauty (aurora?).

The other good princess one is at the grand floridian with cinderella, the prince and the ugly stepmother and sisters. Food is lovely and the baddies are good fun.

BaconAndAvocado Thu 20-Feb-14 19:22:27

There's so much to think about!

Are the big supermarkets well-signposted and easy to find?

AnnoyingOrange Thu 20-Feb-14 19:28:19

Publix is a big chain

motherstongue Fri 21-Feb-14 23:08:22

Although there are other cheaper character meals my daughter (now aged 9) still talks about when she went inside Cinderella's castle and was princess of the day.

With regards the Bibbidy bobbidy, each to their own bit I personally find it quite horrific. The girls all come out looking like pagaent entries with massive hair and make-up. Just not my cup of tea.

Talking of tea, re the supermarkets, there are loads. The link above for Publix will have a map with the store locator so just pop it into your sat nav in the car and you will be fine. Some supermarkets will let you do an on-line shop and deliver but, to be honest, we've never done this. I prefer Publix to Walmart.

"the DIBB" is great but I love the "unofficial guide to Disney" book as I think it gives you a real indepth analysis of each of the parks, all the rides, the best days to visit and touring plans if you want them, all the restaurants in Orlando are reviewed and rated too.


BaconAndAvocado Sat 22-Feb-14 20:01:47

I know exactly what you mean re Bibbity motherstongue - the hairstyles in particular we're very severe, they almost looked painful!

Is the Unofficial Guide a book or a website?

motherstongue Sat 22-Feb-14 22:07:15

Oh you buy the book and it then gives you a password for the website. Everytime I've gone to Florida I have used the unofficial guide and find it invaluable.

Discussing Florida is making me feel like going back again but we promised ourselves we wouldn't go back for a good few years. It has just been such a great place for us to holiday over the years as we have 6 years between the kids and Florida has always managed to keep them both happy (and when they are happy, we are happy) even though their needs have been different. You will enjoy it so much and so will your daughter. Aged 6 is a brilliant age to go, young enough to still believe in the magic and old enough to get on nearly all the rides, perfect.

BaconAndAvocado Sat 22-Feb-14 22:41:48

Thanks for the vote of confidence mothers

DH initially thought the little ones would be too young to remember it but I went when I was 10 and although I don't remember it I know I had a great time from all,the photos.

MOSagain Mon 24-Feb-14 18:49:02

bacon contact the owner of the villa or company you booked through and ask if they do welcome packs. We offer our guests one for $55 which includes basics such as tea, coffee, sugar, milk, cereal, bread, butter, jam, juice, eggs, biscuits and crisps. Wine and beer for an extra $15. Take your own tea bags if you are fussy about your tea

BaconAndAvocado Mon 24-Feb-14 18:56:22

MOS I will definitely be taking my own tea bags!

We are renting a villa through Thomson so will ask them re a welcome pack. Sounds lovely!

PeppermintScreams Mon 24-Feb-14 19:19:56

Just back from Florida with 5 year old DS. I've found The Dibb to be so helpful that I've abandoned Mumsnet for a bit....

A Dibb tradition, that I did, is to do magic kingdom on the first day and book an early breakfast for the Crystal Palace. It's a character breakfast and if you book it for 8am you'll get in before the park officially opens and you'll get to walk down a quiet Main Street with just the other breakfasters. Doesn't matter if it's a busy day as you can leave the park by midday to go food shopping etc. The early start will take advantage of that jet lag as well.

Weekends are busier, so Discovery cove is a good weekend choice as they limit the numbers.

Look in to getting your daughter's hair cut at the barber shop in Main Street, apparently they add glitter etc so it's nice but not full on like the BBB, and she can wear her own dress. You must get her one of the princess Mickey ears with the veil. DS didn't want one for some reason grin so please get one for your DD for me.

You can use companies like Garden Grocer to deliver groceries to your resort, and they'll leave it with Bell Services. Don't know how it works at a villa, but The Dibb will know!

I only came back yesterday from our first ever trip, and I'm tentatively looking at 2016.....

BaconAndAvocado Mon 24-Feb-14 20:43:37

Sounds like you had a fab time peppermint

Can you book the character breakfasts before you go?

Which attractions did your DD enjoy most?

I like the look of the shows, Nemo, Beauty and the Beast.

PeppermintScreams Mon 24-Feb-14 21:14:33

Yes you can book character breakfasts before you go. I suggest doing it on day 180 when the booking for ADRs open so you can get what you want. They get booked up very quickly. My DS loved everything, but I'd say the rides in fantasyland were the best for him and he loved the shows at HS. We did Nemo which was very good.

Crowler Wed 26-Feb-14 21:59:16

We were in Disney over Xmas. We were jetlagged (as you will be as well!) so we were at the park by 8am/organized fast tracks (make a bee line!), left for lunch, and often returned in the evening.

Two weeks is a really long time to cope with Disney, have you considered a side-trip?

BaconAndAvocado Thu 27-Feb-14 12:13:44

We did think about spending a third week in Mexico, all-inclusive stylie but felt it would take the edge of the first two weeks and the little ones wouldn't really appreciate 5* luxury!

We will probably have lazy days/afternoons in between the theme park madness but know that this is all,about the kids and that we will probably need a holiday when we get back!

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