Disney Florida: Has anyone hated it?(19 Posts)
I went to Disney Florida as a child, had a great time and have always thought of taking the children (now 8 and 6). We have the chance to go in mid-April this year which is after Easter and at the 'moderate' end of busyness on the crowd calendars (4/5 out of 9). DH (who hasn't been) is really not convinced about going. He thinks we will spend all of our time queuing for rides that don't last very long, paying vast amounts for rubbish food and that the theming of everything will feel suffocating (bah humbug!). I can see that he might be right... is he? Has anyone gone and hated it?
There is no need to queue for long these days. Just plan your trip, and book fast passes in advance so that you get to try everything you want. We never queue for more than about twenty minutes.
If you stay on site, you may be able to get the free Disney dining plan, which is fantastic. If you don't stay on site, just buy snacks in the parks, or take them with you. You can eat much more cheaply outside the parks.
Don't queue to see the characters, book one character meal with your favourites instead.
We love it and go nearly every year. Our DC are teenagers and still love it.
I am sure plenty of people will come on here and tell you they hated it, but personally I love it. I only started going as an adult, went 5 times without kids and have now been 3 times with kids.
I love it. Dh loves it. Not everyone will love it, but there's only one way to find out!
As for queuing, get fast passes sorted in advance for the rides that are most important to you. Queuing can be a pain in the backside but most rides have great theming so it's really not too bad, and there are plenty of things to do other than rides.
My kids hated it. Well they loved the place but they could not cope at all with the heat. Even when we did early starts and early finishes it was too much for them. We went in may and it was 35 degrees every day and ridiculously humid. If I went again I'd go in February or something. I think it was unusually hot for the time of year though (was this year). We did the Disney Bahamas cruise too and they loved it. Warm but not humid and the boat is amazing.
But don't worry about queuing as fast pass sorts all that out. It is a fab holiday - I love it there!
I don't hate it ,but I don't love it and I wouldn't go again but that's mainly because I'm not flying at all at the moment . My DH and dcs love it but DH would happily live in the USA so that's not saying much . That said I love Disneyland Paris and visit very frequently .
Three words for you - Kennedy Space Centre.
DH was so overwhelmed with his visit that it meant he loved all of the trip.
Seriously we weren't expecting to love it - we normally go to the Dordogne or a cottage and went at Easter but we had a great time.
We went early - jet lag helped, to avoid the queues and none of us like big crowds so we avoided the shows, but the parks - especially Magic Kingdom were much better than I expected and I hate and don't go on the major rides.
It's worth staying off the Disney site if you want a bit of down time - you lose the magic hours or whatever they are, but if you can get to the parks for opening time then you'll have done what you want to by lunch time anyway. Our condo was a bit unexciting, but it was on a complex with a lazy river and was within walking distance of a few restaurants so it worked well as a base for us.
There were some bits that others had raved about that left us unexcited. People raved about the meals - well a) most stuff was filled with unnecessary sugar and b) by the time you added the taxes and the tips it cost about the same as the uk. Ditto shopping - bought a few pairs of Crocs, but it wouldn't be our idea of fun to spend a day at a mall anyway.
I definitely want to go again when DS is a teen - hopefully taking a friend - so he can enjoy Universal differently by going on the bigger rides btw I enjoyed Universal a lot more than I thought we would, it's not as busy as Disney and there is actually quite a lot for younger children to enjoy.
Thanks so much for the replies, DH might be coming round... we usually go for to much quieter, out of the way places and don't really do resorts so it is very different to what we usually do.
Good to know about the queuing and the fast passes. I think his major worry is that we would be standing in hour long queues in the heat for large parts of the day all for a 2 min ride. I have seen some of the insane planning sites and was a little concerned that the only way to avoid the queues was to have some kind of military style plan with scheduled toilet breaks!
Some people plan their trips military style, but I don't find that relaxing. We get to the parks early, just before they open, and plan three big rides using fast passes. We leave plenty of time in between our fast passes so we can be more spontaneous. We might choose a ride or show with a short queue, have a meal or snack or watch a parade.
We only stay in the park until early afternoon and usually then go and relax by the pool.
We enjoyed Kennedy Space Centre too. It's a completely different experience from the parks.
Funny moment when in Florida. Our condo wasn't the ritziest and the view from our porch was of another wall. DH looks out and remarks slightly wistfully "It's not Tuscany - is it?" .
You don't need to military plan and you don't need to queue for hours. As Tokelau says go early - which is easy for the first week anyway due to jetlag and do a wee bit of research about what rides you think you and the DCs would enjoy.
The only day that was a bit of a disappointment for us park wise was the day we did Mickeys breakfast. That was great and DS really enjoyed it, but then we hit Hollywood studios at 11am which is peak and couldn't really do any of the rides we had planned to.
If it's not UK and US school holiday time then the queues shouldn't be as big as well.
It's also a good idea to leave the park at lunchtime, go back to where you are staying and relax, and then go back in the evening to watch the fireworks or evening shows.
I thought I would hate it, but I loved it.
I especially loved Universal. I want to go back this year.
Mine aren't into Disney so much, so the magic Kingdom didn't do it for us but Epcot, animal Kingdom, Hollywood studios, blizzard beach were fab.
Agree with those who say get there early, have a break in the middle of the day and back out for the evening and fireworks. You can book your rides using the app so keep queuing to a minimum.
Best meal was breakfast at Be Our Guest (meal booking opens something like 6 months in advance and lunch/dinner slots are snapped up). We had the regular meal plan - the upgrade needed much more planning and would have been too restrictive we felt.
I would suggest that Disneyland in California is a better option for someone who isn't that keen on being immersed in the Disney 'experience'. You can stay in gorgeous Newport Beach which is a 20 minute easy drive from Disney and it has fabulous beaches, shopping, restaurants etc. You can also split your time between Newport/Disney and LA (and hour away) for a more sophisticated holiday.
I also went as a child and wanted to take my own children back.
We went last year and all loved it, so much so that we're hopefully going back next year.
To avoid queuing, a certain level of planning is definitely needed but the main tips are: get there early ( preferably just before,the parks open) , use your Fastpasses (they're free) and stay at a Universal hotel. We all agreed we couldn't have done it without the Front of Line Passes that you get free when staying at one of their hotels. Otherwise the queuing in that heat (August!) would have finished us off!
Hope,you get to go, it's spectacular, unforgettable and (without sounding too cheesy) utterly magical.
Didn't love it. It was stiflingly hot (August) and our objective a lot of the time was keeping cool. Our kids aren't madly into theme parks and had enough after first couple of days. Would've preferred more time at the villa in the pool but we'd bought the park tickets.. Highlights for us were evening swims & bbqs by pool. Loved Kennedy Space Centre. Prefer natural stuff, all too plasticy for us. Love the states but doubt we'd return to Orlando.
We didn't love it. We all got bored of the parks after a couple of days, queuing was ok and the fast pass system is excellent, the food was awful and Orlando is built up and busy. We had a nice enough holiday and I was very very pleased that we stayed off site in a lovely condo
We have been 4 times, first 2 times were before we had DS. First trip was a big family holiday with my parents, sister and her 3 kids. DH was dreading it (my family and Disney )
He flipping loved it, every minute! We booked up to go back, the day after we got back, 9 months later
Have been twice with DS (when he was 5.5 and 6.9) and have just booked to go again next year.
The lines (and you won't queue for long at the time you are going) are interesting and fun at Disney, the U.K. Theme parks could learn a lot from them. The recently opened Seven Dwarfs Mine is brilliant in the line, loads to do.
We always stay in a Villa, so we can relax in our own pool, wash clothes (so don't have to take 3 weeks worth for a 2 week holiday, because you will change some days), chill and just have space.
We have breakfast when we want, take packed lunches and eat on the way back from a park.
I highly recommend it, yes we miss out on extra magic hours but the privacy and peace is golden.
We were underwhelmed. I'm pleased we did it because it means that we don't ever have to go back. We were pretty bored of wandering round theme parks after a couple of days and the children had a nice enough time but haven't really mentioned it since we got back. We spent our second week in a really quite chilled out part of Florida which they much preferred. It's really not our cup of tea and we wouldn't ever go back to Orlando. However, we did love Florida as a state and its a real shame that so many people don't venture past Orlando.
"It's not Tuscany is it"
We've also been to Disney California and it was great. Smaller yes (I guess, not done Florida) yet big enough and some lovely places nearby. We went to Huntington Beach for the day and Knotts Berry Theme park.
If you have a Disney "Cars" fan then its ideal as they have a Cars Land which is just magical.
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