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Welcome to the Mumsnet Disney World forum UK, here you can share your Disney secrets for planning the perfect holiday to Walt Disney World Florida.

Walt Disney World in Florida

I know it’s not an AIBU ! But Disney world - Florida.

116 replies

Troublewaters2021 · 01/05/2021 22:51

Hey !
Between covid, daughters health and big change to her life we are looking at taking the kids to Disney land Florida or a Disney cruise.
Kids will be DC 9 , 15 and 18 months at the time and taking niece who will also be a teenager, plus the 2 teenagers best friends.

Anyone have any recommendations of the best accommodation of hints on what to book to get the best out of it ?

Want it to be special especially for DD 9.


OP posts:
Thedogscollar · 01/05/2021 23:00

We have stayed at The Animal Kingdom Lodge twice and it is absolutely fantastic. Our room looked out onto the animals roaming around, it was truly magical. The hotel itself is stunning, themed to the max like an African lodge. Disney are masters of taking a theme and going full pelt with it.
There are different price ranges depending on your budget but if you can afford it I wouldn't hesitate to book this hotel.
All Disney hotels are good there reputation is everything. They take it very seriously. Enjoy your trip the kids will live it as will the adults probably moreGrin

Returnoftheowl · 01/05/2021 23:15

For 6 children and however many adults it might be worth looking at renting DVC points to get the size of accommodation you need.

NailsNeedDoing · 01/05/2021 23:20

I can’t get past the fact that you’re taking three teenagers that aren’t your own to Disney! You’re either mad or a saint.

If you can find Disney accommodation big enough, it is worth it.

MarcelineMissouri · 01/05/2021 23:26

With 8 of you including unrelated teenagers I think I’d be looking at a villa outside of Disney for space. Disney accommodation is very expensive and you would be wanting several rooms with that amount of people, so it really depends on your budget!

NaturalBlondeYeahRight · 01/05/2021 23:35

Disney in Florida would be much better than a cruise. The Disney hotels are fab but the rooms are small- they want you out of the room as much as possible. You have a big group and the hotels provide buses to the parks so you wouldn’t have to worry about car hire if you did do them. Having done both, I’d prefer a hotel first time and a villa every time after. They are huge and so much more relaxing for a bigger group.

Catswithflamingos · 01/05/2021 23:39

Villas are amazing. Lots of space, private pool, laundry and a fraction of the cost of the Disney hotels.

I was a Disney bride, to let you know just how much I love Disneyworld and I would choose a villa every time.

Troublewaters2021 · 01/05/2021 23:59

Hey thank you - yes you are probably right about getting a villa, haha I thought it might be easier If they bought there friends to keep them occupied 😅

OP posts:
JayDot500 · 02/05/2021 00:07

Definitely a villa, unless you're loaded.

sunsetsand · 02/05/2021 00:14

If this is a special holiday for the 9 year old I wouldn't be taking the extra teenagers.

You'll have a toddler too? Instead take a sitter for the toddler for some of the days as they can be a serious hindrance.

4 teenagers will really overshadow the 9 year olds fun surely? And it's not as if they can just wander off alone anyway. In the parks they could but then you lose that grown up pair of hands that could be helping with the toddler!

Howshouldibehave · 02/05/2021 00:18

Blimey-we took our own three DC just before covid and it cost an absolute fortune-to take another three kids would have priced us out of the market. I think it cost about £10k for the 5 of us for 2 weeks. Food was so expensive.

We did a week in a Disney hotel and then a week in a villa.

minniemomo · 02/05/2021 00:20

I would be wary about taking the unrelated kids as these are huge parks and even teens will need supervision, not sure how old they need to be to go through the entrance turnstile alone, but taking the niece might be a good move assuming she's a similar age to your teen. Some of the hotels have extra bunk bed rooms off the main room so sleep 6. The cruise is good and they sail from dover which saves flying

idontlikealdi · 02/05/2021 00:21

Villa, even if you're loaded. It's serious slunk up the wall cash if you're prepared to do it. I'm going to put a downer on it and say it's bloody hard work, hot in summer and a lot of time in queues. I wouldn't do it again but I know there's many many who would.

minniemomo · 02/05/2021 00:21

Ps hotel is my preference as it means you have the buses, essential in Florida if you don't want to rent a car. We did 3 days at Disney and a 4 night Disney cruise as a package

TigerTulip · 02/05/2021 00:26

Villa and plan your main meals to be taken whilst out and about. The parks can be exhausting, especially for young children, and the odd day spent lounging around your private pool with a pizza delivery is very welcome.
However, best in mind you will need to upgrade any hire car to a transit size people carrier to get about (one advantage for the Disney hotels - there are park shuttles).
We would opt to go for perhaps 15 or 17 nights in a villa, and take a couple of nights at St Pete in a beachfront motel half way through.

Troublewaters2021 · 02/05/2021 00:39

I should add adult wise there will be four of us my DS would be a nightmare if we didn’t take a friend for him as he would be bored with what DD would want to do.
I’m not worried they are all close family friends etc

I will have a look at villas and meal planning

Is there anything else anyone would recommended booking as an extra that was worth it ?

OP posts:
PurplePrincess31 · 02/05/2021 00:54

If you stay at certain hotels at universal, if you’re going there, then you get free unlimited fast pass for rides. Rooms a bit pricey but cheaper than buying passes separately. Great to be able get straight on rides so I would say worth it. We went with 3 year old so had to take it in turns if we wanted to go on something with older ones but if you are going with other people you might not have that problem.

Laffie · 02/05/2021 01:13

I've done both and if you've never been to Disneyworld before I'd do that over a cruise.
I've just checked and the dining plan is currently suspended which is a shame as we certainly ate at restaurants which we wouldn't have done without it.
We've had a fabulous meal at Be our guest and were lucky enough to be seated in the West Wing, not sure if you can request it though.
Other favourites are Park Fare 1900 at the Floridian and Wolfgang Puck at Downtown Disney.
I enjoy going on the water transport between the resorts.
You need to plan down days, either at the water parks or pool, it's very full on and tiring. We preferred Blizard beach when DD was younger, as it has an area for tweens.

Laffie · 02/05/2021 01:20

If your DD loves princesses, booking Bibidibobidi boutique at Cinderella's castle is worth it as a special treat and whilst not cheap, they're treated like princesses and the dresses are different to what you can buy in GB.

EKGEMS · 02/05/2021 01:24

Port New Orleans resort at Disney world was awesome-not like a hotel but like small flats. We were a few hundred feet from one of the three pools and the laundromat

Worriedmumble · 02/05/2021 02:08

I agree with the villa. Disney accommodation is not going to be large enough without multiple rooms or DVC accommodation and all that is going to add up $$$.

Plus, a villa will give you privacy and space.

If you really want a little Disney magic, a night or two at a Disney resort is just enough.

We have stayed at Animal Kingdom Lodge in a Savannah room and getting up and seeing the giraffe and antelope from the balcony was indeed wonderful. It is a pain as far as location was concerned. We always have a rental car.

Port Orleans is also a fab resort as it has a lovely boat ride into Disney Springs. The resorts are well themed. I personally prefer Riverside to French Quarter, having stayed at both.

Disney’s Yacht Club is also a nice resort, with lovely rooms and an amazing pool area and ice cream parlour/ diner. Loved it. Plus it’s within walking Distance to Epcot and Disney’s Boardwalk. It’s also a short boat ride to Hollywood Studios.

My personal favourite was the Fort Wilderness Cabins. I love being close to the stables where Disney keep their horses. You can horse ride and canoe at this resort. There is a beach and a short boat ride to Magic Kingdom. They also have a yummy quick serve selling ribs and chicken, cornbread and macaroni and cheese with BBQ beans etc. It’s not unusual to see deer, raccoon and coyote roaming this site.

I’ve stayed at the All Stars and Art of Animation resorts and liked them, but you don’t get much more than staying at a motel to be honest.

Caribbean Beach is nice, but again, I didn’t feel it was all that special.

I would love to stay at the Polynesian, Grand Floridian or Wilderness Lodge Cabins, but frankly, cannot afford them.

This year I am looking to stay at Saratoga Spring Treehouse Villas.

Watch YouTube videos to see what they are all like. My favourite Disney Youtuber is Paging Mr Morrow.

Good luck with the planning. Wherever we’ve stayed in Disney World, we always have an amazing time.

Worriedmumble · 02/05/2021 02:10

Oh and we’ve done three Disney Cruises and I just love them. They are awesome and Disney’s Castaway Cay is phenomenal.

I would much rather stay offsite and tag a three night Bahamian cruise on the Disney Dream to the end of my vacation, than spend the money on a Disney hotel. Stepping onto the Disney ships blows your mind.

Worriedmumble · 02/05/2021 02:32

If you have enough money the following experiences are amazing:

Wild Africa Trek at Animal Kingdom. It’s a walking tour of the Kilimanjaro Safari and a traditional lunch in a boma situated on the Safari.

DiveQuest at Epcot was also amazing. You get a backstage tour of the Seas Aquarium at Epcot and you get to snorkel or dive in the huge Aquarium with the sharks and turtles and rays etc. It’s wonderful.

We’ve done horse riding through the woods at Fort Wilderness for about $45pp.

We’ve also canoed around Fort Wilderness which is fun.

We have eaten pretty much everywhere. Our favourites are:
Sanaa at Animal Kingdom Lodge
Narcoossee’s at the Grand Floridian
‘Ohana at The Polynesian
California Grill at the Contemporary
Be Our Guest evening meal at Magic Kingdom
Teppan Edo at Epcot
Coral Reef at Epcot
Yak and Yeti and Tiffins at Animal Kingdom
Morimoto Asia at Disney Springs
The Boathouse at Disney Springs
TRex Cafe and Rainforest Cafe are great fun with OK food.
Il Mulino at the Swan
Toothsome at CityWalk
Cowfish Grill at CityWalk
Cracker Barrel

If you fancy a quiet day we love:
Lake Apopka wildlife drive
Circle B Bar Reserve Nature Trail
Anna Maria Island

Best Water Park: Volcano Bay by far

Should you wait 2-3 hours for Hagrid’s new ride? Yes! If that’s what it takes. It’s so much fun.

We tend to buy annual passes for Disney as the park parking fees mount up. They are free with the annual pass. Also the annual passes give good discounts in the shops and restaurants. It’s sometimes worth buying just one, to get the benefits and regular passes for everyone else.

Favourite Disney Snacks:
Dole Whip Float
Carrot Cake Cookie
Gaston’s cinnamon roll
Cheeseburger spring rolls
Gideons cookies
Starbucks sausage, egg and cheese sandwiches
Shakes from D-Luxe Burger
Ghirardelli’s brownies and ice creams. You can also ask for a caramel quake shake! Yum!
Dole whip nachos
Pistachio eclair from Amorettes

Omg, I just love it there.

HasaDigaEebowai · 02/05/2021 07:12

What is your budget Op? That makes all the difference. Disney for 8 people (most of whom are classed as adults by Disney (age 12) will be incredibly expensive but if you have £25-30k to drop on a holiday then that’s fine. But there’s no point people making suggestions until we know budget, whether you’re restricted to school holidays and whether you’re planning on going at peak times (summer/Easter) or whether you can go in the autumn.

PlumpAndDeliciousFatcat · 02/05/2021 07:16

If it’s special for your 9 year old why is she the one who doesn’t get to take a friend?

Harrykanesrightsock · 02/05/2021 07:21

We booked a Disney hotel for the last three nights and stayed in a villa the rest of the time.

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