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Anyone got a Disneyworld / Florida holiday planned - Part 4

(477 Posts)
ChippyMinton Sun 24-Jul-16 16:52:24

Hope no-one minds if I start another thread as the old one is full?

Or are you all in Orlando now? smile

Chrisinthemorning Sun 24-Jul-16 17:06:15

We went in May and are planning 2018.
Happy to give tips 😄

ChippyMinton Sun 24-Jul-16 17:08:19

Previous thread here

I've just rather impulsively booked a week for February 2017 half-term. Saw some cheap flights and DH and I decided it was a good opportunity to tick the Orlando box before the DC got too old - three teenagers.

So I have flights and a hire car, and not a clue where to start, so thought I'd ask you lovely lot before I head over to The Dibb.

Not overly fussed about Disney although we'd probably do a day in the Magic Kingdom. We all like Harry Potter and Star Wars. DH suggested the Kennedy Space Centre. Shopping is on the list! Not bothered about the big coaster rides. And we'd probably want to fit in a pro sport event but I don't know if there are any big teams locally - are they all in Miami?

All help welcomed!

Chrisinthemorning Sun 24-Jul-16 17:16:56

How old are your children?
My top tip if no accommodation booked yet is one night in Universal hotel for free express passes.
Get up in the morning, use the jet lag and arrive at parks before opening. You'll get a quiet hour before it gets busy. In Universal do the 2 main HP rides and Hogwarts express first.

ChippyMinton Sun 24-Jul-16 17:28:33

Hi Chris. DC will be 13-15.

Would you stay first night at Universal - flight doesn't land until 7pm, but using jet lag is good idea. Maybe 2-3 nights at Hard Rock or one of the other hotels?

Would you suggest any of the other parks as a must? I went about 20 years ago, and Epcot was looking pretty outdated even then!

Chrisinthemorning Sun 24-Jul-16 17:59:52

We stayed at Portofino Bay but they are all supposed to be nice. If you could do 3 nights you would get everything done at an easy pace even straight off a flight.
If you like Star Wars you'll want a day at Hollywood Studios which is Disney not Universal.
I like Epcot but if time is precious you could miss that or Magic Kingdom? Epcot has more for those ages but MK is the Disney experience so you probably want to do that.
A water park is a nice chilled out day.
And Kennedy Space Centre a must for teenagers.

ChippyMinton Sun 24-Jul-16 20:08:04

Thanks. Lots to think about.

2gorgeousboys Mon 25-Jul-16 06:32:48

Just dropping by in case anyone has any last minute tips. We fly out on Thursday and are all getting very excited now!

It's our first time in Florida and the first time we've been abroad in 9 years so I'm starting to get worried that I've forgotten something!

maisybobbins Tue 26-Jul-16 23:01:00

Yes we are headed out for October half term. Our first time in the US with DC aged 4 and 7. Our travel agent has asked us to consider booking Dining options while we are at Disney... Overwhelmed by the choice so welcome any recommendations! Staying st animal kingdom.

MerricatsHouse Wed 27-Jul-16 11:19:52

Glad this thread is back, keeps me going while waiting out the loooong months until next May. What are some of the best Disney restaurants people have been to? Still working on my Dining Plan...plan grin

mouldycheesefan Wed 27-Jul-16 11:26:11

We had deluxe dining plan this year.
What we found was that by evening with the heat and the busy day we really wanted to be eating locally to the hotel unless we were heading to a park for the evening.We were at beach club so that meant beach club or yacht club or Epcot. So we ended up changing quite a lot of reservations whilst we we were there to nearer ones.
Definitely make your dining reservations as soon as you can in advance.
Advice for those travelling in next couple days is to pace yourselves in heat and do everything you can to keep cool. Sanitise your hands before you eat and drink everything, the parks are spotless but with 59m visitors a year a lot of other people with grubby hands have touched ee erything you are touching (I got very sick).
Allow plenty time to travel between parks especially to get to magic kingdom by time you park, wait for ferry, board, travel across lake, go through security blah blah it all takes time and disneyworld is massive.

mouldycheesefan Wed 27-Jul-16 11:26:37


mouldycheesefan Wed 27-Jul-16 11:28:24

Immigration can take 1-2 hours to get through and you are not allowed any electronic devices out so something to amuse the kids is handy. Same on way back. You cannot go through e-passport channels with young kids.
Dining options at Orlando airport are poor so eat before you go there on way back.

MerricatsHouse Wed 27-Jul-16 11:51:24

Thanks for the tips mouldy ! Beach Club is my dream hotel and I am harbouring ambitions for it on my next trip - fingers crossed. Am planning on booking Cape May Cafe for the dinner buffet so I can go have a nose around (and it looks good).

I am anxiously waiting for early November so I can get my ADRs in, but with so many choices it's a lot to commit to. I guess we will probably end up changing a few things when we are there as well, really hoping the ipad app / website works well when it comes to booking it all!

Noofly Wed 27-Jul-16 12:34:46

We're going in a couple of weeks. We have a week at Bay Lake Tower followed by a week at the Boardwalk Villas with a couple of nights at the Royal Pacific Resort at Universal in the middle of the second week. I think I'm all organised. The only thing that has been driving me batty is the FP tie ring system at Epcot. DD is desperate to do the Frozen ride but no one else is willing to give up another first tier FP (Test Track or Soaring) so I've had to squeeze a Frozen FP into an otherwise non park day and one on our last morning with the hope that it's up and running during at least one of those slots. grin

mouldycheesefan Wed 27-Jul-16 13:34:34

We only had breakfast at cape may not dinner, but if you like crabs legs you will be happy! We made lots of reservations changes whilst we were there. We cancelled Jiko, Monsieur Paul and California grill in favour of restaurants nearer our hotel and also beaches and cream as we decided to do something else that day.
Yes we loved the beach club the pool area was fantastic and the hotel itself was very classy. We did go to the grand Floridian for dinner and breakfast but the pool area is much smaller . We also liked strolling to the boardwalk and being able to walk to Epcot and getting the boats to Epcot and studios. We would definitely stay there again.

mouldycheesefan Wed 27-Jul-16 13:35:25

I made my ADRs at 6am I think. Same for fast passes. We also changed th fast passes a couple times when there.

Noofly Wed 27-Jul-16 16:50:06

They don't have the crab legs every night, though. If you specifically want them, or another type of shellfish at Cape May, have a look at the menus on They tend to be pretty up to date (and the prices as well).

MerricatsHouse Thu 28-Jul-16 14:21:46

6am! I will have to keep that in mind for the ADRs - I guess that means the online ones (rather than phoning) go live at midnight Florida time? Will have to be up early that day then... But I do have a few popular requests on there so have to commit and get those booked (Be Our Guest, Ohana Character Breakfast - all that kid stuff!).

Crab legs all the way! I've read that they do them on a Tue / Fri or something so am definitely booking for Crab Leg Day - Disney holidays for me are always 'stuff my face with shellfish' holidays.

Pigleychez Thu 28-Jul-16 16:55:39

we are going on the 18th August.. 'Think' ive done everything. Never had to do so much planning for a holiday!

mouldycheesefan Thu 28-Jul-16 19:01:59

We did eat a lot of lobster! And steak

WhoisLucasHood Thu 28-Jul-16 19:11:59

Eeek, we go a week on Monday. I can't wait. Just ordered some dollars, they're not going to get much higher in the next week I expect. We're staying in a villa but doing 2 weeks at Disney, DD2 is 3 and so excited to see Elsa. We're going to buy some magic bands when we're there as they seem better than tickets.

CarbyBarbie Mon 01-Aug-16 20:57:17

Marking my place grin

Booking in the next two weeks, was looking at staying on International Drive, but now it seems to make more sense to stay in a villa and getting a hire car through Virgin Holidays.

Im going to have a read through the other threads as i have a million questions such as...

Is it cheaper to book theme park/water parks through travel agents, websites or paying on the gate ?

If we stay in a villa wheres the nicest (not most expensive haha) area ?

I realy do have questions after questions grin

Noofly Tue 02-Aug-16 09:28:39

Unless there is a drastic improvement in the exchange rate, I wouldn't pay on the gate. We always buy the 14 day WDW passes through Disney UK. We generally buy our Universal tickets through Undercover Tourist as they have always been the cheapest when we've been looking.

One week to go! I've changed things about this time because we have the ILs coming with us. With the odd exception, I've left mornings free and have booked FP for the afternoons in the park. I'm hoping this will take us away from the hassle of getting everyone up and organised first thing in the morning- i.e. If anyone is up, they can head to a park but as a big group we don't have any commitments until after lunch!

LunaLoveg00d Tue 02-Aug-16 09:31:09

We're booked up for next summer - july 2017. We have been to Disney before but didn't do Universal as the children were too small last time for most of the rides. Haven't bought tickets or anything yet.

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