DisneyWorld-Needing specific advice

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Rexindex
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DisneyWorld-Needing specific advice

Post by Rexindex » Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:25 pm

I know there are numerous Disney threads, but wanted to ask for specific advice on the following as we are planning a 3 day trip, 2 adults, 1-9 year old.

We want a moderateley priced on site disney resort- LIMITING WALKING is important to us. More so than the added price of being off site.
We want to spend 2 days at Disney and 1 day at universal.

Specific questions:

***What ticket do we buy to gain early/preferred access to rides?
***Could you recommend 2-3 moderately priced resorts that would be on site an limit our need to walk or gain transportation?
*** Would you book through expedia/travelocity or Disney directly for the park tickets?


Thanks!!!!!
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rxdawg21
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Re: DisneyWorld-Needing specific advice

Post by rxdawg21 » Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:32 pm

Look into renting dvc points from a member, otherwise look at value resorts like all star or similar

SchruteB&B
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Re: DisneyWorld-Needing specific advice

Post by SchruteB&B » Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:37 pm

I am a little confused as to what you mean when you say you want to limit your need to gain transportation? You don’t want to drive? Or you don’t want to take the free Disney transportation between all the on site Disney hotels and the parks? For our family, we stayed at the deluxe Beach Club hotel (on rented dvc points as pp suggested) because you COULD walk in and out of the Epcot park next door very easily. It was, in our view, a huge perk.

Staying at any on site hotel will get you the early admission hours.

ten2go
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Re: DisneyWorld-Needing specific advice

Post by ten2go » Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:39 pm

3 days is a short trip. If you're going to stay at a Disney resort, I would skip Universal.
Are you driving or flying?
If flying into Orlando, you can take the Disney Magic Express bus to the resort. There are shuttle buses to take you to the theme parks each day. Not sure how you'd get to Universal - maybe rent a car or Uber/taxi?

You'll get 3 fast passes per person for each day in the parks. Book those 60 days in advance to get the best pick.

Rexindex
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Re: DisneyWorld-Needing specific advice

Post by Rexindex » Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:42 pm

SchruteB&B wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:37 pm
I am a little confused as to what you mean when you say you want to limit your need to gain transportation? You don’t want to drive? Or you don’t want to take the free Disney transportation between all the on site Disney hotels and the parks? For our family, we stayed at the deluxe Beach Club hotel (on rented dvc points as pp suggested) because you COULD walk in and out of the Epcot park next door very easily. It was, in our view, a huge perk.

Staying at any on site hotel will get you the early admission hours.
Sorry, to clarify, we want to have the best access to rides without needing to drive or walk a lot.
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nisiprius
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Re: DisneyWorld-Needing specific advice

Post by nisiprius » Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:45 pm

If you don't want to walk, how are you going to deal with standing in line? 90 minutes is routine for the bigger attractions. If you include time spent in the little "pre-attraction" compartments and labyrinths, 30 minutes is routine even if you have a FastPass+ reservation for the attraction. A Washington Post article today mentioned a 295-minute wait for Toy Story Land.

A couple of year ago we stayed at Bay Lake Tower, part of the same complex as the Contemporary Resort Hotel. I don't think you can get much closer than that. It was possible to walk directly to the Magic Kingdom theme park. But even that is about a 15-minute walk.

No, I'm not a big fan of Walt Disney World. We've been there twice in the last five years but the stress and the cost took a heavy toll.
Last edited by nisiprius on Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:54 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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BuckyBadger
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Re: DisneyWorld-Needing specific advice

Post by BuckyBadger » Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:48 pm

Rexindex wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:25 pm
I know there are numerous Disney threads, but wanted to ask for specific advice on the following as we are planning a 3 day trip, 2 adults, 1-9 year old.

We want a moderateley priced on site disney resort- LIMITING WALKING is important to us. More so than the added price of being off site.
We want to spend 2 days at Disney and 1 day at universal.

Specific questions:

***What ticket do we buy to gain early/preferred access to rides?
***Could you recommend 2-3 moderately priced resorts that would be on site an limit our need to walk or gain transportation?
*** Would you book through expedia/travelocity or Disney directly for the park tickets?


Thanks!!!!!
This is a tricky one and I'm not sure what you're expecting to spend here.

The cheapest Disney hotels are a solid bus ride away from the parks, but you get the perks that you want (extended magic hours, magic bands with fast passes). We stayed there once. They are massive with many buildings. They are like motel quality but cose as much as a "normal" nice hotel.

The real on-site hotels, i.e. the ones on the Monorail are very expensive. Hundreds of dollars a night. They are still big hotels, too. THere will be less travel between the actual hotel and the park, though.

The real walking, though, is in the park, and unless you rent scooters or whatever limited mobility devices they have, this will be the bulk of your walking. And standing. The last time I went to Disney my FItBit showed me with like 30-40,000 steps. You'll walk MILES inside the park.

So I'm afraid that I'm not 100% sure what you're trying to accomplish here. The location of your hotel is the least of your concerns if you're trying not to walk very much.

ETA: Have you ever actually been to an amusement park like this before?
Last edited by BuckyBadger on Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Rexindex
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Re: DisneyWorld-Needing specific advice

Post by Rexindex » Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:50 pm

BuckyBadger wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:48 pm
Rexindex wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:25 pm
I know there are numerous Disney threads, but wanted to ask for specific advice on the following as we are planning a 3 day trip, 2 adults, 1-9 year old.

We want a moderateley priced on site disney resort- LIMITING WALKING is important to us. More so than the added price of being off site.
We want to spend 2 days at Disney and 1 day at universal.

Specific questions:

***What ticket do we buy to gain early/preferred access to rides?
***Could you recommend 2-3 moderately priced resorts that would be on site an limit our need to walk or gain transportation?
*** Would you book through expedia/travelocity or Disney directly for the park tickets?


Thanks!!!!!
This is a tricky one and I'm not sure what you're expecting to spend here.

The cheapest Disney hotels are a solid bus ride away from the parks, but you get the perks that you want (extended magic hours, magic bands with fast passes). We stayed there once. They are massive with many buildings. They are like motel quality but cose as much as a "normal" nice hotel.

The real on-site hotels, i.e. the ones on the Monorail are very expensive. Hundreds of dollars a night. They are still big hotels, too. THere will be less travel between the actual hotel and the park, though.

The real walking, though, is in the park, and unless you rent scooters or whatever limited mobility devices they have, this will be the bulk of your walking. And standing. The last time I went to Disney my FItBit showed me with like 30-40,000 steps. You'll walk MILES inside the park.

So I'm afraid that I'm not 100% sure what you're trying to accomplish here. The location of your hotel is the least of your concerns if you're trying not to walk very much.
limiting travel to the park, sorry again. We understand the tons of walking INSIDE the park. We just want to be able to get there quickly! Thanks for the response and opportunity to clarify again!
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BuckyBadger
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Re: DisneyWorld-Needing specific advice

Post by BuckyBadger » Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:11 pm

Rexindex wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:50 pm
limiting travel to the park, sorry again. We understand the tons of walking INSIDE the park. We just want to be able to get there quickly! Thanks for the response and opportunity to clarify again!
Okay - gotcha.

The cheaper remote lots will involve more time sitting on a bus, but not really any more time walking. The more expensive on site places will be a shorter monorail trip, but you'll still have to walk just as far from the monorail as from the bus.

The time will be longer from the cheaper hotels, but the walking will be the same.

But the on site hotels are really very pricey.

ETA: id you google maps and click on the satellite view for "Magic Kingdom Monorail Stop, Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando, FL" you'll see that the monorail station and the bus stops are the same distance away from the park entrance.

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dm200
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Re: DisneyWorld-Needing specific advice

Post by dm200 » Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:16 pm

Rexindex wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:25 pm
I know there are numerous Disney threads, but wanted to ask for specific advice on the following as we are planning a 3 day trip, 2 adults, 1-9 year old.
We want a moderateley priced on site disney resort- LIMITING WALKING is important to us. More so than the added price of being off site.
We want to spend 2 days at Disney and 1 day at universal.
Specific questions:
***What ticket do we buy to gain early/preferred access to rides?
***Could you recommend 2-3 moderately priced resorts that would be on site an limit our need to walk or gain transportation?
*** Would you book through expedia/travelocity or Disney directly for the park tickets?

Thanks!!!!!
Many years ago, on one trip to Florida Disney World, my wife, young son and I camped at the Disney site - lots going on (for children) and very convenient to Disney World.

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Re: DisneyWorld-Needing specific advice

Post by bloom2708 » Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:19 pm

Find a grandparent to babysit the 1 year old. Go with the 9 year old and go again when the 1 year old is 9.

1 in Disney World is a real challenge. You don't mention when your trip is. Tons of walking/standing. Even for a 9 year old.

No way to do Universal and Disney World (all parks) in 3 days. Universal probably takes 2 days to skim through everything.

If staying on site, get a meal plan of some sort. Meals are expensive in park.

Lower expectations and limit how much you want to cover.
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researcher
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Re: DisneyWorld-Needing specific advice

Post by researcher » Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:26 pm

Rexindex wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:25 pm
We want a moderateley priced on site disney resort- LIMITING WALKING is important to us.
***What ticket do we buy to gain early/preferred access to rides?
***Could you recommend 2-3 moderately priced resorts that would be on site an limit our need to walk or gain transportation?
Your questions don't make sense.

You've stated that you intend to stay at an on-site resort.
- All on-site resorts include transportation to the park.
- All on-site resorts include entry during "extra magic hours" and "fast pass."
- There is no such thing as special tickets that "gain early/preferred access to rides."

If you are seeking the quickest/most efficient access to the park, then you will have to step up to one of the three monorail resorts.
However, these are not an option since you want a "moderately priced" resort.

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Re: DisneyWorld-Needing specific advice

Post by killjoy2012 » Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:28 pm

I've been to WDW many times. Thoughts:

- Not sure hotel price point really dictates the amount of walking involved. All Disney hotels have Disney transport to the parks (bus, water shuttle, monorail), so while the Grand Floridian or Contemporary are physically closer to the MK park, not sure it would save you any steps. Shorter ride - sure, not steps.

- If a Costco member, would suggest checking out their hotel + ticket packages. They have a really good deal on the Swan and Dolphin.

- If walking is an issue, you're probably not going to like WDW all that much. Parks are huge, lines, rushing around from one side to the other based on speed passes, etc. Maybe you're planning to use an electric scooter - not sure. But "no walking" and "let's do WDW" are generally 180* opposites.

I would not stay offsite, drive and park, and walk in. The walk from the parking lots to the main gates can sometimes be quite lengthy. Disney's transportation drops you closer to the gate.

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Re: DisneyWorld-Needing specific advice

Post by jacoavlu » Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:30 pm

for a short trip given your factors I would stay on site at Polynesian. It is most convenient access to Magic Kingdom and Epcot by monorail. But there is no such thing as limited walking at Disney. Unless you're riding a scooter. You need to research fastpass plus and take full advantage of that. And plan to arrive to a park 45 minutes before opening if you have any hopes of "early/preferred access".

OnTrack2020
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Re: DisneyWorld-Needing specific advice

Post by OnTrack2020 » Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:39 pm

We have been to Disney World twice and due to a daughter with mobility issues, we wanted an on-site hotel that wasn't huge, so we didn't have to do a lot of walking from our room to the bus stop, front desk, gift shop, etc.

There are 4 parks, so I'm somewhat confused about your need to get there quickly, as each hotel as different modes of transportation to each of the parks--either by boat, monorail, or bus.

We really like the French Quarter area--Port Orleans. We never really had more than 2-4 minutes of walking from our room to the front desk/bus stop area. I don't believe the hotel itself was over 2-3 stories tall. It was just a smaller on-site property and everything was convenient--swimming pool, laundry, gift shop, restaurant, front desk, etc. were never more than a few minutes from our room. It was close to Epcot and Disney Hollywood Studios, and you could take a boat to Disney Springs. It was farther away from Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom. Also, it had, I believe either 1 or 2 bus stops which made it very convenient. Our wait was not very long to get on a bus. It was fairly moderately priced.

When we stayed at Old Key West Resort, it was much larger, spread out over more area, and had 8 or 9 bus stops. It took much longer to get to the parks simply because of all the stops and starts at the bus stops and much longer to be dropped off. Our room was far from the front desk, restaurant, etc. I believe this was more expensive than Port Orleans I mentioned above. Is this the type of information you are looking for?

If you stay in the Beach Club area, you can walk from your hotel right into the back of Epcot and also, from my understanding, walk to Hollywood Studios. Someone correct me if I'm wrong. I think this is more expensive also.

You will not have time to do Disney and Universal. Disney World typically takes a good 5-6 days.
Last edited by OnTrack2020 on Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

researcher
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Re: DisneyWorld-Needing specific advice

Post by researcher » Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:42 pm

bloom2708 wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:19 pm
If staying on site, get a meal plan of some sort. Meals are expensive in park.
I would not suggest a meal plan in general, and especially not if you want to minimize expenses.
With a meal plan, you waste a lot of time at every meal waiting in lines, sitting in restaurants, ect.
You also tend to eat (and spend) more than you typically would, just to 'get your money's worth'.

It is much more enjoyable to eat a quick breakfast in the room before heading to the resort. Fresh fruit, bowl of cereal, granola bars, yogurt, ect.

Then for lunch, you can pack your own food and bring it into the park (Disney allows outside food and provides free ice water).
We find an out of the way table for a picnic lunch.

This means you only need to eat one meal/day at Disney's overpriced restaurants.

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Re: DisneyWorld-Needing specific advice

Post by vineviz » Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:55 pm

My favorite moderately priced Disney hotel is Disney's Port Orleans Resort - Riverside, which has bus access to the parks and boat access to Disney Springs.

My favorite Disney hotel that's one step up is Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, which has bus access to the parks and great amenities for a 9 year old.

Book either of these and you'll get the earliest access to FastPass+ reservations.

The one thing you absolutely MUST do is get a subscription to TouringPlans.com for just $15. They have a great database of waiting times, with fabulous prediction abilities, and a smartphone app which allows you to optimize your visit on the fly. Get the subscription BEFORE booking your FastPass reservations (and do THAT the minute you can, even if you need to stay up all night).

Forget the meal plan, and honestly I'd say forget booking a meal reservation anywhere but Disney Springs. The walkup food in most parks is quite good, and table service is wasted on most 9-year olds anyway.
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Radjob4me
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Re: DisneyWorld-Needing specific advice

Post by Radjob4me » Fri Jul 27, 2018 2:08 pm

Being a family that loves theme parks, we have been to both many times. Two best pieces of advice I've read and totally agree with

1.) Just pick one, and preferably Disney if you have never been to either before. You would need at least a day to see each of the 4 Disney parks, and both Magic Kingdom and Epcot both would better with 2 days each by themselves. Heck, your 9 year old might only want to see Magic Kingdom, although Animal kingdom at that age is pretty cool too. Universal is great for pre-teens and teens as the rides are generally more intense and themeing outside of Harry Potter not as "magical" so to speak.

2.) Consider not taking the 1 year old, or bringing along family watch the 1 year old, unless either you or your spouse are ok waiting outside of the rides, people watching for long periods of time. And often the lines and the areas inside the rides themselves are entertaining and amazing.

Finally, you didn't say what time of year, but we would often take our kids out of school in November or early December when the parks are much quieter and weather often still nice. We warned my in-laws but they went for the first time over Christmas break and were totally overwhelmed by crowds (will happen around all holidays and schools vacations)...

Rexindex
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Re: DisneyWorld-Needing specific advice

Post by Rexindex » Fri Jul 27, 2018 2:26 pm

We are taking one (1 quantity) 9 year old. This post is a good example of how someone should not post when multi tasking at work!!!

Sorry for the lack of clarity and thanks to all who have responded!!
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Re: DisneyWorld-Needing specific advice

Post by harrychan » Fri Jul 27, 2018 2:58 pm

Stay at a disney property. It will give you access to the shuttle system which can take you to the gate of the park. This will let you avoid having to rent a car and park which can take up to 30 mins. Staying at a disney property will also enable you to have two fast passes per stay which will be gold for extremely popular rides. If it is too costly, you can stay non-disney property then uber or lyft your way in.
This is not legal or certified financial advice but you know that already.

Atilla
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Re: DisneyWorld-Needing specific advice

Post by Atilla » Fri Jul 27, 2018 4:39 pm

It's been 15 years - back when the boy was 5 but my recommendations:

Stick with Disney and avoid Universal given the time constraints.

Consider making 1 of your 3 days a "Disney Lite" day and spend half the day hanging at the resort pool

Absolutely stay at a Disney resort for earlier/later park access times and included transportation to/from the park.

Son was 5 when we last went, but we rented a double-wide "stroller" It was a huge plastic thing the kid lounged in while us adults hauled it from one thing to the next. Rentals were good between Disney parks for the day. It was a genius move - kid got a ride in the shade and enjoyed himself. Adults didn't have to drag a hot cranky kid along. 9 years old - your call if this will still work. I'd consider it strongly. Shoot - I'd let someone push me around like that any day.
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Meaty
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Re: DisneyWorld-Needing specific advice

Post by Meaty » Fri Jul 27, 2018 4:41 pm

Rexindex wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:25 pm
I know there are numerous Disney threads, but wanted to ask for specific advice on the following as we are planning a 3 day trip, 2 adults, 1-9 year old.

We want a moderateley priced on site disney resort- LIMITING WALKING is important to us. More so than the added price of being off site.
We want to spend 2 days at Disney and 1 day at universal.

Specific questions:

***What ticket do we buy to gain early/preferred access to rides?
***Could you recommend 2-3 moderately priced resorts that would be on site an limit our need to walk or gain transportation?
*** Would you book through expedia/travelocity or Disney directly for the park tickets?


Thanks!!!!!
I was just there with my family. The lowest price on the monorail is probably the contemporary. Prices are seasonal but off season expect 350/night (not including tickets or food). Like others have said, you will pay much less at the all-star or orleans but those are a 20 min ride to the magic kingdom. Staying on any Disney property you get magic bands and early admission.

I’d also recommend buying a meal plan. We did 1 full service meal (waiter/waitress) and 1 quick service (muffin, etc for breakfast). Food is crazy expensive and the meal plan gives you a pretty good break
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indexonlyplease
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Re: DisneyWorld-Needing specific advice

Post by indexonlyplease » Fri Jul 27, 2018 4:43 pm

Rexindex wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:25 pm
I know there are numerous Disney threads, but wanted to ask for specific advice on the following as we are planning a 3 day trip, 2 adults, 1-9 year old.

We want a moderateley priced on site disney resort- LIMITING WALKING is important to us. More so than the added price of being off site.
We want to spend 2 days at Disney and 1 day at universal.

Specific questions:

***What ticket do we buy to gain early/preferred access to rides?
***Could you recommend 2-3 moderately priced resorts that would be on site an limit our need to walk or gain transportation?
*** Would you book through expedia/travelocity or Disney directly for the park tickets?


Thanks!!!!!
Do yourself a favor and stay home and save your money. Disney just raised their rates again. For a 1 year old it is a waste of time. It is over rated. If you do go please post a picture of the family smiling. I dout you will find one.

SuperSaver
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Re: DisneyWorld-Needing specific advice

Post by SuperSaver » Fri Jul 27, 2018 4:55 pm

vineviz wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:55 pm
My favorite moderately priced Disney hotel is Disney's Port Orleans Resort - Riverside, which has bus access to the parks and boat access to Disney Springs.

My favorite Disney hotel that's one step up is Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, which has bus access to the parks and great amenities for a 9 year old.

Book either of these and you'll get the earliest access to FastPass+ reservations.

The one thing you absolutely MUST do is get a subscription to TouringPlans.com for just $15. They have a great database of waiting times, with fabulous prediction abilities, and a smartphone app which allows you to optimize your visit on the fly. Get the subscription BEFORE booking your FastPass reservations (and do THAT the minute you can, even if you need to stay up all night).

Forget the meal plan, and honestly I'd say forget booking a meal reservation anywhere but Disney Springs. The walkup food in most parks is quite good, and table service is wasted on most 9-year olds anyway.
I Would ECHO this sentiment a lot. Even without paying for the app, touringplans.com will let you optimize your day for free.
The biggest and the most important strategy is this:

1. GET THERE BEFORE THE PARK OPENS
2.MAXIMIZE FastPass
3. Take a "pool/hotel" free day. The activities at WDW resorts are extensive and free (pool games, movies at night). Ride the monorail, boats, etc. Go to Disney Springs at night (AVOID FRI/SAT!!!!)

We returned 1 month ago during peak June Summer Break Crowds. Spent 30+ hours researching. Used touringplans. We did 10 rides at Magic Kingdom before 11am. Took 4h hotel break with 5yo and 7yo. Went back for evening rides with well rested and happy kids.

I know it's stressful. But with a lot of planning it can be enjoyable . Have a magical day :D

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Re: DisneyWorld-Needing specific advice

Post by smitcat » Fri Jul 27, 2018 6:23 pm

Rexindex wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:25 pm
I know there are numerous Disney threads, but wanted to ask for specific advice on the following as we are planning a 3 day trip, 2 adults, 1-9 year old.

We want a moderateley priced on site disney resort- LIMITING WALKING is important to us. More so than the added price of being off site.
We want to spend 2 days at Disney and 1 day at universal.

Specific questions:

***What ticket do we buy to gain early/preferred access to rides?
***Could you recommend 2-3 moderately priced resorts that would be on site an limit our need to walk or gain transportation?
*** Would you book through expedia/travelocity or Disney directly for the park tickets?


Thanks!!!!!
Sounds like you are a party of 3 that have never been to Disneyworld and want to cover as much as possible in 3 days.
Unlike other vacations you want to plan this out well as planning pays off big time when you are there.
1. if at all possible go when the parks are less busy. That means less lines, less expensive and much more fun.
To know which days are best use teh crowd calendar and search for days that are #7 or preferably less
https://www.undercovertourist.com/orlan ... gKf7PD_BwE

2. You can stay at Disney proper if your wallet does not mind. A decent choice at 'moderate' costs are not actually Disney properties but the Swan and Dolphin. With those hotels your get all the Disney perks -magic hours, fast pass, transport system and you are a short boat ride away from both EPCOT and the studios.
For a much better price you can stay at the Disney approved hotels at Disney springs like the B resort with all the same perks ….
https://www.mousesavers.com/newsletter- ... 2/#Bresort
They have buses going to all parks and you can use the Disney system as well.

3. Spending time on mosuesavers and undercovertourist will help you organize what you want to see and how to best plan your trip - their artilces and links are very good. Tickets are best priced at undercovertourist and magic bands can be purchsed ahead of time if that is what you want.
https://www.undercovertourist.com/
https://www.mousesavers.com/

4. make your fast passes as early as possible which is 3 months ahead for most typical trips - read the trips and tricks on how to do this in your
account. Download the Disney app to your phone(s) ahead of time and test them out

Plan , plan and plan - have a great trip we love visiting Disneyworld

PS - could easily do a huge post on U-studios as well but I agree there is not enough time in 3 days to even cover all of U- studios

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dm200
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Re: DisneyWorld-Needing specific advice

Post by dm200 » Fri Jul 27, 2018 6:25 pm

There are books (we found one very, very useful) on "optimizing" your time at Disney World.

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rob
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Re: DisneyWorld-Needing specific advice

Post by rob » Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:02 pm

Years ago we stayed at the Wilderness Lodge which had an easy ferry to the Magic kingdom - sometime before the public opening times (1hr?). Short walk to the pier. It was not cheap at the time and expect that has only got worse.
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NextMil
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Re: DisneyWorld-Needing specific advice

Post by NextMil » Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:22 pm

1. Stay at The contemporary
2. Fast passes
3. Book a boat from the contemporary for the fireworks.

If you want to do it cheap, use Costco you will end up at swan or dolphin which isn’t terrible.

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Re: DisneyWorld-Needing specific advice

Post by jcchen » Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:25 pm

To save money, stay off site. Hotels are cheaper. We stayed in downtown disney area for about $70. This is 20 min drive to animal. prob need 45 min for magic kingdom due to shuttle bus from parking lot. If you are going to both Disney and Universal, you have to rent a car any ways. I agree with the others to just stick with Disney only. Not sure early access or extended day is worth it paying extra. A 9 yr might not have the stamina. I would pay for another day ticket with the hotel savings :).

Try to get to the park at least 15 min before opening. sometimes magic kingdom is open 30 min before official open. This ensures shorter walk from parking lot to Disney entrance. Plus you can ride on one or two popular rides w/o using a Fastpass. Buy touring plans or borrow the book from a library. This will minimize waiting in line.

Eat a big breakfast and dinner offsite. Bring food from outside into the park.

Consider a stroller for your 9 yr old. Walking is tiring for kids and the stroller can carry the lunch and water bottles.

Have fun!

investingdad
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Re: DisneyWorld-Needing specific advice

Post by investingdad » Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:58 pm

Port Orleans Riverside is actually pretty nice on the low end. It's a motel. You're at the mercy of the buses and you lose time with them.

The monorail resorts, Boardwalk, Beach Club, and Yacht Club are on the opposite end of price but allow quick access to the MK or Epcot. They're resort style hotels.

You can walk to Hollywood Studios (it's a hike) from Boardwalk, BC, and YC. And walking to Epcot from them is easy.

If you really want to have fast access, also rent a car.

FLSte
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Re: DisneyWorld-Needing specific advice

Post by FLSte » Fri Jul 27, 2018 8:50 pm

If you're doing a 3 day trip for Disney and Universal have you picked which parks you are going to yet? That will help with hotel recommendations. Or are you planning to hit all 4 Disney theme parks (and 2 water parks and Disney Springs) and both Universal theme parks (and water park and Citywalk).
If you're trying to hit 6 parks in 3 days. . . . be prepared to be very very tired.

Any Disney hotel will get you extra magic hours at the park (in early or stay late) and early access to book fastpasses. Think about booking dining reservations too if that is something you will be interested in.

The 4 Disney parks are spread out across the property as are all the resorts, so while contemporary will get you to Magic Kingdom in no time, folks staying at All-Star will get to Animal Kingdom faster. Then theres the Skyliner project under construction that will connect some more resorts to some more park(s?) which will change the which-resort-gets-you-to-which-park-fastest dynamic.

Luckily Disney and Universal let you pay your way out of the "Not enough time to do it all" problems. Universal you can buy express pass for priority entrance to attractions. Disney does both pre-packaged and personalized VIP tours (then you can really minimize walking as a driver will pick you up at your resort). Its not moderately priced for me, but your definition may vary.

Edited to add - the in early/stay late thing is Disney's call, not yours. Check their website to see if they've posted which park will be open early/late on the days you are planning visiting. Currently folks staying at a Universal Studios on site hotel will get into Universal Studios 1 hour early in the morning (not Islands of Adventure)

mvilleguy9
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Re: DisneyWorld-Needing specific advice

Post by mvilleguy9 » Fri Jul 27, 2018 10:07 pm

Stay somewhere on Disney property to limit walking. If you want to really splurge, stay at one of the monorail resorts. Otherwise, use the Disney Lyft service (Minnie Van Service) which brings you right to the gate of MK for $25/per trip. Just for time alone it's worth it.

mw1739
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Re: DisneyWorld-Needing specific advice

Post by mw1739 » Sat Jul 28, 2018 6:38 am

We stay in the Fort Wilderness cabins, which I believed are in Disney’s Moderate category. You can take a boat to The parks everyday and they have bonfires with the characters at night. My kids love the experience.

LeviMama
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Re: DisneyWorld-Needing specific advice

Post by LeviMama » Sat Jul 28, 2018 8:56 am

First off, get a copy of the Unofficial Guide to Disney with Kids! Good reading to prepare y’all for your trip.

Therm get a subscription to Touring Plans. Actually do that first!, Like pp said, it’s the absolute best $15 spent hands down for any Disneyworld vacation. Do this early, get familiar with the website and the touring plans tools. Download the app on everyone’s phones. Enlist your 9-year old to watch videos of the rides and read ride descriptions with you to select the ones he or she most wants to experience, and build your touring plans around that. Book your ride fast passes at the 60- or 30-day window as your ticket allows. Use them all up in the morning (9-10,10-11,11-12) so that it releases you to continue to book your 4th, 5th, 6th etc fast passes as the day continues. If you hold on to a 6pm fast pass as your 3rd set you cannot book any others during the earlier part of the day. Burn em early and fast. Make sure everyone in your group is nimble on the MDE app on how to scan and book FP for the group.

I can’t speak to staying on-site as I was a single student the last time I did that with some friends but as an adult with a spouse who travels a fair amount and in well appointed accommodations, I would stay off-site. The Hilton Bonnet Creek and adjacent Waldorf Astoria Bonnet Creek are fantastic for families, and if you want a nice break from the “Disney bubble” then I wholeheartedly endorse. Look at Costco for deals on tickets and hotel rooms (they show 5 night packages but you can toggle that stay length higher or lower). We stayed at the Waldorf Astoria this last Memroail day weekend for $2050 total 6-days, 5-nights in a 950sf suite plus 3 base tickets (2 adult, 1 child) x 3 days. Pricing something similar at the Disney site had us squished into some cramped room in one of their moderate resorts that was being heavily renovated. Staying at the Polynesian would have been $7k. I like nice things but I like a good value too. We ordered Instacart grocery delivery to our suite at the Waldorf on the first evening and happily enjoyed breakfast in our well equipped suite on mornings and snacks later in the day. (We had brunch at Boma at Animal Kingdom Lodge and when DH saw how crowded the deluxe resort was, he was like, never!) The hotel has a lovely complementary air conditioned Mears type shuttle to all the parks with awesome seats, comical drivers and Disney movies played on board. Great way to decompress on the way back to the hotel. The complex has golf, kids clubs and fantastic swimming facilities including a lazy river that guests of either hotel can use. The rooms are quiet and I never heard another guest through the door / walls.

As far as walking to gain entry, the most complicated one would be Magic Kingdom with the transportation and ticket center and monorail or boat setup. This is how we got around that - take an Uber that morning to the Contemoirary hotel and ask to be dropped off at the walkway to magic kingdom. The Uber drivers know the trick, and you literally walk 5 minutes to the side gate of Magic Kingdom bypassing all the other drama. It’s a separate security line and almost no queues depending on what time of day you go. Disney charges everyone for parking now, including their on site resort guests so staying at a Disney hotel even for that minor benefit is now a bust.

Skip the meal plan - you will be tethered to eating so you can get your moneys worth when sometimes a quick snack or nibbling through food carts will suffice. If we stayed on-site, our meal plan would have been $632 for the 3 of us in the quick service plan for 5 nights. Even with grocery delivery and brunch at Boma, and eating in the parks every day we were nowhere close to $632 in spend. Use the free restaurant reservation finder on Touring Plans to locate the hard to get reservations eg Be Our Guest. Excellent tool, and it found me specific spots (eg 8:35am breakfast) on a crazy busy holiday weekend within 24-hours of me submitting the request on their site. No amount of checking the My Disney Experience app for weeks on end would have yielded those reservations with such precision and ease.

Go early, rope drop to each park. Pack your stuff, lay your clothes the night before and shuttle or Uber to the gate early. Get a breakfast reservation for Be Our Guest at MK on a morning when there there are no extra magic hours, aka the park opens at 9am and you score an 8:40am reservation for BOG. Just head in at 8am, they will probably seat you at BOG, pre-order one meal beforehand (Disney is fantastic about sharing unless it’s a all you care to eat or character meal when every person must pay for their meal) and you can be in at 7dwarves before the park opens. Worth the single breakfast plate plus pastries cost.

Invest in good walking shoes for everyone like Teva or Keens and break them in prior to your trip. Sneakers get wet and yucky and will not dry till tomorrow. Take that midday break, go back to the hotel - swim, read, nap, and head back to the same park at night for evening touring and fireworks. You will be refreshed and enjoy it. Everyone else will be zombies at this point. With an elementary age child, i would be more open to the park hopper but I’d be inclined to tell you to just extend your stay another day instead. There’s such a big premium in hopping ticket costs and effort that unless I was with an all adult or teenage crew, I wouldn’t want the hassle.

Buy your Disney gear at your local Target (clearancing the Mickey collection now I hear) or Disney outlet mall store. Give your 9-year old a set budget for souvenirs in the park and stick to it. Don’t buy the photo pass plan, each photographer will gladly use YOUR phone or camera to take the same photos for you. Just ask, they will use your device and then take their shots and you can totally not buy any of their shots at $15 a photo! Ask for free water at all the stands around the parks to avoid the $3.75 bottle fee and presuming you don’t have a small backpack to bring a few along with some snacks for standing in line (yes you can totally bring in your own food to offset the costs, no large coolers though).

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