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Holidays

Florida Advice

20 replies

Katk931 · 15/05/2020 13:53

Hi we are looking at going to Florida next year. I've never been before and DH has been but was many years ago when he was a teenager. I'm not even sure where to start so was hoping someone who has been could help me by answering a few questions to get me started.

  1. We will be going with DDs aged 8 and 2.5. Is 2.5 too young and is it a waste of time?


2. Best parks to go to (planning to go for 10/14 days) and is there certain times of day to avoid?

3. Hoping to go in June 2021, is June a good time for weather and is it mega busy?

4. DH wants to go self catering and a hire a car. He would like to stay in a villa. Has anyone did it this way as the few people I know that have been always stayed in Disney Hotels.

5. Any general tips/advice would be welcome also especially re DC as havent been on a proper holiday in years last time was when DD1 was a baby which seems a lifetime ago. Thanks in advance.
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Artesia · 15/05/2020 14:09

Personally i would say 2.5 is too young to really enjoy it. They won’t be able to go on all the rides that the 8 year old will, so you will end up having to split up while one queues with the older child. And it’s an exhausting (but brilliant) holiday- we went to Disneyland Paris last summer, which is way smaller, and walked over 11km in a day. 3.5yr old DS struggled, and couldnt stay awake for the nighttime parades, fireworks etc. Also, he didn’t always have the patience for the long queues. He did enjoy it, but we definitely agreed we were glad we are waiting a few more years before we go to Florida. We did the trip years ago with DS1 when he was 6, which was about the youngest I would look to do it.

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Ginfordinner · 15/05/2020 14:13

I agree with Artesa. I assume you are planning on taking the 8 year old out of school for 2 weeks? Is this wise given that your DD has missed so much school this year?

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Chrisinthemorning · 15/05/2020 14:16

We took DS at nearly 4 and he loved it.
Had you considered 2022? Next year will be really busy with everyone who has moved their holidays from this year, plus it’s an anniversary of something.

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Aquamarine1029 · 15/05/2020 14:17

2.5 is too young to really enjoy the parks. As said above, you will spend the whole time splitting up the family so your 8yo can go on rides.

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Levatrice · 15/05/2020 14:33

Other pp are right about splitting up for the rides etc all the time but also that would be the best age/time to take the older child so it would be a shame for them to miss out. Just have to be realistic it will be comprise and/or split activities. It’s very long and tiring days. Not sure about weather in June I went in September with an 8 and 7 year old. Stayed in a non Disney hotel which meant mental relief from the parks but also the added travel to & from and having to go out every night to eat which wouldn’t be ideal with the 2/3 year old after a long day I guess.

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Levatrice · 15/05/2020 14:34

*compromise

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blue25 · 15/05/2020 14:41

2.5 is too young

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CoolShoeshine · 15/05/2020 15:43

June is boiling and incredibly muggy - it’s very tiring to walk around in. It’s bearable for adults/older kids but I think a toddler would struggle. However plenty of people do take toddlers and cope just fine!

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underneaththeash · 15/05/2020 22:18

I also agree 2.5 too young. They’ll whinge and spoil it for the 8yo (and you!)

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Sunnydaysrock · 17/05/2020 17:51

We have taken our DC at age 1, 3 and many times since. Lots of swapping about for rides etc, but plenty you can do as a family. There's so much more to Florida than the traditional parks too. Places like Gatorland cater for all ages and you would all love it. All the parks have great facilities, as do all restaurants, shopping areas etc. June will be hot. We've been in April, May, July and August. Earlier in the year might work better weather wise, but if you can only go in June then just be prepared. We always get a villa and hire car. Love the freedom of driving around and being able to go further afield. Also love eating in different restaurants and doing our own thing. We have moved this year's trip to next year, so as pp said it will be busy with lots doing the same, but it's always busy unless you go completely out of school holidays.

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NameChange84 · 17/05/2020 18:01

The 2.5 will get into the parks for free and it won’t cost you for anything except the flight.

I’d take them for sure. There’s plenty for little ones to enjoy!

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NameChange84 · 17/05/2020 18:02

Also check out The Dibb forums they will help answer every imaginable question!

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Strokethefurrywall · 17/05/2020 18:14

We live in the Caribbean and took the kids to Disney when they were nearly 5 and 2.5 - they loved it (there was a big group of us in Florida for a wedding).

We did Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom. We were there last week of August and it was MUCH quieter because the US schools go back before then.

Obviously it's despicably hot in August but you just dress accordingly and carry lots of water. Lots of places are kept water sprayed some you can cool off, it's all well catered to provide comfort where possible. We're used to the heat and humidity so it didn't really phase us as much.

In hindsight Animal Kingdom was probably not the best option for a park because of the long distances between exhibits (lots of walking), but Magic Kingdom was amazing. We went early doors (9am), did a bunch of rides and exhibits until midday, came home for lunch/nap because the heavens opened and there was a huge thunderstorm, returned for 3pm and stayed until the night fireworks. It was a brilliant day/night and the kids were well rested.
I just took night clothes to change kids into and then drove home and put them straight to bed.

We hired a big house at Reunion resort and it's about 10 min drive from the parks.

I'd recommend doing the rides/activities you most want to do first, and then the rest of the day you can relax and just enjoy whatever comes your way. Take a stroller (we ordered on Amazon and had one delivered to the rental house before we arrived), and take a lot of snacks to keep the kids occupied if you're having to queue for something.

Also use the Disney app to book your appointment for any of the Mickey Meet & Greets.

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Katk931 · 17/05/2020 21:36

Thanks for all the advice I really appreciate it as I am totally clueless and didnt know where to start. I think I'll maybe delay it to 2022/2023 based on what you have all said. Yes I'd need to take older DD out of school but would only be for the last week of term as we are in Scotland plus unfortunately DHs annual leave is allocated in the summer so dont really get a choice. I'll take a look at the websites you all suggested. Thanks 🙂

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Mightymurphy · 22/05/2020 18:02

Summer is not ideal but people live in Florida including the summer and manage fine.

One thing to keep an eye on is parking if you stay off site. It’s 25 bucks a day. Look at some of the suites in the resorts onsite so you don’t need a car and can use the shuttles to the parks. You can also make use of extra magic hours too. All Star Music have suite rooms but also look at Saratoga Springs and Old Key West. Keep an eye out for free dining packages too.

Ages wise, all of the parks have something to offer young kids. It’s cheaper to buy 14 day passes so they will cover all parks including the water park so plenty to do.

My top tip is to join a couple of the Orlando Facebook pages as well as the DIBB. You know your family and know what they like. Tim Tracker is also excellent on YouTube.

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hippohector · 23/05/2020 06:47

Don’t go next year op. It will be even more heaving than usual.
Apart from all the people who have had to cancel this year who will rearrange for next year, the Magic Kingdom is celebrating its 50 year anniversary next year.
Lots of special events will be planned and it will be rammed.
I’d wait a couple of years if I were you, especially as your youngest is still so little

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zafferana · 23/05/2020 07:44

If you want to take your DC to Disney while your youngest is so little I'd go to Disneyland Paris. The parks in Florida are HUGE and with the heat, the humidity, the jet lag and the cost it's a lot of trouble to get there. American schools finish for the summer at the end of May, so June is a very busy time and go and the summer is very hot in Florida, which will affect your enjoyment, particularly coming from a cool country like Scotland.

So yes, you're wise to delay. We went to Florida for the first time when DS1 was 7 and DS2 was 4. We only took them then because the ILs (who live in the US) wanted to go and we didn't want to keep putting them off. In the event, they couldn't even come with us, but it was a good holiday. We went in October, which is a brilliant time to go - weather is perfect - not too hot or too cold - and it was quiet. Much better was our second trip when DS1 was 11 and DS2 was 7 - they both really enjoyed that trip and were much better ages.

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zafferana · 23/05/2020 07:47

Oh and we self-catered both times. We rented apartments in complexes with pools, which were ridiculously cheap so the $20 (now $25) day for parking wasn't a problem. It was nice to have the space and also to escape the Disney razzmatazz each day. It depends how much of an immersive experience you want, but we appreciated the peace and quiet.

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ACauliflowerAndARose · 23/05/2020 07:57

I think 2.5 is too young personally. The parks at Disney involve a lot of walking and it can be extremely hot. In your position I would wait a few years

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BritWifeinUSA · 23/05/2020 14:13

June is school summer holidays here in many states so it will be a very busy time. June is the most popular time for Americans to travel.

I would definitely go self-catering. There is so much more to Florida (it’s larger than England) than theme parks. Take a day or two out of the madness and drive somewhere else and see something a bit more natural. I have never understood being dependent on hotel shuttles - holidays should be about relaxation and spontaneity. Don’t restrict yourself to only being able to eat at places that are within walking distance of the hotel or on the shuttle route - total tourist traps!

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