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Trip to Disney World

115 45 December 4, 2017 at 04:18 PM in Other (2)
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Hello - Planning on a trip to Disney world, Orlando with family and looking for recommendations on where to stay, where can I find best deals on Disney tickets.

We are planning on staying there for full 5 days and would like to explore other places if possible in the vicinity. I was thinking 3 days at Disney, 1 at sea world and another day to explore. Not sure if its the right mix or how I should split those 5 days.

Looking for input, thoughts, suggestions...etc.

Thanks!

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Quote from slicbrat
:
Hello - Planning on a trip to Disney world, Orlando with family and looking for recommendations on where to stay, where can I find best deals on Disney tickets.

We are planning on staying there for full 5 days and would like to explore other places if possible in the vicinity. I was thinking 3 days at Disney, 1 at sea world and another day to explore. Not sure if its the right mix or how I should split those 5 days.

Looking for input, thoughts, suggestions...etc.

Thanks!
Give a little more information -- adult family, young children. You may want to spend a little time just hanging -- Disney can get pretty tiring. We took a 13 year old and had planned 5 days. By the third day he was crying "Do we have to go back to Disney?" He just wanted to relax for a day. Last year, I caught a deal on tickets on Black Friday, but you can usually find a small savings at UndercoverTourist.com or if you work for a large company, you may be able to buy discounted tickets through your Human Resources department.
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Costco, just booked through them for hotel and tickets, saved us a lot
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There aren't that many "deals" when it comes to Disney, because they get you at every turn and step you take in and out of the parks. You can start by going to the various Disney blogs online and figuring out exactly where you want to go. Disney takes planning and is very time consuming. You are spending a ton of $$ to go, so don't half ass it. Once you narrow down your plans we would all be happy to help, but you will get better tips from the Disney blogs. Fast Passes can be booked 6 months out if you are staying on property and 3 months out if you are off property.

I would say for it to be successful if you are going with kids you need to plan AT LEAST one day of rest if not 2, which is what I would recommend. This is very affordable IF you stay off property.

Oh...Skip the SeaWorld nonsense. Spend the extra day at Disney.

Anyways...Best of luck! It truly is a magical place and I say this as a Mid 30's Dad who was dreading my trip last year.
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We are a family of 4 in Mid 30's and have a 11 year old son and 6 year old girl.

I will check with my HR and also check out undercovertourist.com.

I am torn between whether I can do both Disney and universal or should I just stick with one. Also, wondering why you think I should skip seaworld?

Also, are there any package deals I can combine?

I hear you guys on taking rest days, so was thinking of doing Disney 2 days, do sea world in between, Disney again or universal and save the last day for other places (maybe NASA Kennedy center or any other suggestions) to visit in Orlando vicinity.
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If you were a lumberjack, you would think going to work is easier than dragging 2 young kids around Disney. Disney is pretty intense especially for the six year old. And it is super intense for the parents who have to deal with the meltdowns.

This past visit to Disney World we did not get Park Hopper tickets as we had for the previous trip and we only went 4 out of the 7 days we were there. It wasn't worth the extra money to us because by the time we finished one park, we were too tired to move on to another one. .

As LeesApproved says, check out the blogs and you will get a better idea from people that are more knowledgeable than even us SDers on how to save a buck at DW. Also read reviews and the forums on TripAdvisor.com and to make comparisons between the various area attractions.
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I have been to Disney for 7-8 times in last 10 years. Its intense for small kids. Specially Magic Kingdom. We have been there during Christmas, Spring Break and Summer too. I wouldn't go in summer as its is hot and tiring.
We have stayed in Disney Property most of the time as it saves a lot of pain to go to disney as the buses will take you straight to the park entrance.
Undercovertourist and Mousesaver are 2 good place to look for deals in tickets.
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I did the Disney trip a couple of years ago with my 2 boys, 13 and 7. Bought my tickets from undercovertourist (sign up for their newsletter for a small discount).

We did a 6 day trip, 4 days at disney, 1 day break and 1 day at Seaworld.

We stayed off property, at a very nice 3bed/3ba condo about 15 mins from Disney. There are many nice off-site condos for great prices at vrbo. I liked staying off property since it gave us a nice spacious place to come back to instead of a small hotel room. Traffic getting to/from Disney is not a problem since a lot folks buy packages and stay in Disney, hardly any traffic. I had a friend who informed me that the rooms were super small and it would be better to stay off property.

I would take my older son in the mornings and finish his rides and come back to the condo and take a small break and then we would all go together for the evening session (since my younger one would not be able to do a whole day).

As for Disney, I thought it was a super nice, unlike any other adventure parks. The customer service, cleanliness, rides and shows were top notch. Take snacks with you since the food lines are super long. You can drop Seaworld and do it on another trip if you live close to FL.

And, not to scare you, stay away from any pond in FL, there are always gators in there. This leads me to your rest day, take an airboat tour or drive to the everglades.

DS
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Staying on property, you get Disney transportation to the resort hotel and while there, you get free transport to parks. Otherwise, it is a rental car fee plus daily parking fee. Lots of factors to consider. We stayed in a timeshare and had a nice kitchen -- so saved lots on food.

VRBO.com has some nice places to stay.
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#10
Start saving and start planning. I went in May for my honeymoon and am going back with my wife and daughter in less than 60 days. Figure out if you want to stay on property or off property first. There are pros/cons to each.

Figure out what Disney restaurants you want to eat at. Reservations can be made up to 180 days in advance. Depending on where you want to eat, you may need to make reservations that far out. The "Be Our Guest" restaurant at dinner seems to be the most popular and most difficult to get reservations for.

Fast passes can be done 60 days out when staying on property or 30 days when staying off property. If staying off property, you may not even be able to get a fast pass for the most popular ride(s). "Flight of Passage" in Animal Kingdom may even be hard to get when staying on site. I couldn't get it for the time I wanted but did still manage to get one and I was booking those passes the instant my 60 days began - 7AM Eastern time aka 4am for me.

Disney World has 4 parks and 2 water parks. I would NOT get park hoppers as you have to drive to each park. If you're planning on going for 3 days figure out which park you may want to skip. It would most likely be Hollywood Studios as it seems to be the smallest. I've read they're doing construction (or will be?) there as well which would take away even more from that park. HS does have Star Wars things there though if you want that.

If you're into pictures, consider paying for Memory Maker. MM allows you to keep every digital photo taken. There are photographers in the parks that will take your picture. Some can do "magic shots" like placing Tinkerbell or some other character in the photo as well. You also get the digital photos from whatever rides take your picture. My last trip I was in the parks for 4 days (one park each day) and ended up with over 500 digital photos. If you'd rather save money and not purchase Memory Maker, the photographers will gladly take your picture using your own camera/phone as well.

When people say take a break, they mean spend one day doing very little. Stay at the hotel, nap, go for a swim in the resort pool, maybe go to Disney Springs or possibly take a drive somewhere relaxing. Just don't stay too long because at least some of your family will need that day to rest.

Check out DISboards for more information than you care to know about planning a Disney trip. If the planning seems too overwhelming, there are travel agents that won't cost you anything that will do the planning for you. Personally, I do it myself. I can't have somebody else planning my Disney trip. Wink
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Good advice above. A lot of HS was inaccessible when we were there in Feb.

We did ok with fast passes not booking so far out despite being school vacation. A lot of attractions that were popular were for younger kids than mine, though.
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I agree with many of the above posters, make sure you have a rest day in between. Consider a day at the beach. Daytona beach and Coco beach are about an hour or so east of Orlando. Clearwater beach is a little farther west. All of them are excellent.
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When are you going? We went in Feb once and saved the last day as our beach day. It was 40 degrees on Clearwater beach. Duhhh,
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Orlando resident/native here - sea world isn't as bad as everyone is saying. It gets a lot of bad press for their treatment of animals, but it's still an interesting place to go. However, with only being here 5 days, I would probably skip it.

If you want to take an "active" rest day, maybe check out the International Drive area - it's about a 20 minute drive from the Disney area and there are a lot of restaurants, the Orlando Eye (big ferris wheel) lots of shopping, and a place called Fun Spot which I think the kids would like.

NASA is fun too if the kids are into space and rockets and that kind of thing - that can be coupled with a trip to the beach as well if you're here in the warmer months.

If you and/or the kids are into Harry Potter, then Universal is a must.
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#15
We will be going in February. Thanks to all so far for all your tips and suggestions.

If you had to pick any 3 between the 4 Disney parks (Epcot, Magic, Animal and Hollywood Planet), which one would you pick?
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