Magic Kingdom for a day or fun resort / hotel?

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ThankYouJack
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Magic Kingdom for a day or fun resort / hotel?

Post by ThankYouJack » Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:37 pm

I'm taking a trip to Florida to visit family with my 3 and 6 year old. We'll be about 90 minutes from Disney and I've thought about doing a day trip to Magic Kingdom but not sure it's worth $500-$700 by the time we pay for 4 tickets, food, etc. Another option could be to put the money towards a kid friendly hotel/resort (ideally in southeast Florida) but I'm not sure what hotel would be best.

Any thoughts / recommendations?

EDIT: Based on the initial replies, I think we'll do a resort instead of Magic Kingdom.
Any recommendations for a fun one that kids my age will enjoy? We'll be going mid-January so it may be a bit cold to swim.
Last edited by ThankYouJack on Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Matigas
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Re: Magic Kingdom for a day or fun resort / hotel?

Post by Matigas » Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:45 pm

My personal opinion, Mickey Mouse is a gangster.
Spend your money elsewhere.

Case59
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Re: Magic Kingdom for a day or fun resort / hotel?

Post by Case59 » Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:47 pm

At that age, they won't really remember the experience anyway. A hotel pool with a water slide will be as exciting as anything, for them.
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Re: Magic Kingdom for a day or fun resort / hotel?

Post by Gill » Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:48 pm

Agree. You won’t even get off that cheaply. You won’t see much of anything and will spend/waste a fortune. Hang around the hotel pool.
Gill
Last edited by Gill on Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Magic Kingdom for a day or fun resort / hotel?

Post by Gill » Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:51 pm

Where will you be in Florida? Plenty of good hotels in Clearwater, St. Pete Beach, Bradenton, Sarasota, Venice.
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Re: Magic Kingdom for a day or fun resort / hotel?

Post by Trader Joe » Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:51 pm

ThankYouJack wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:37 pm
I'm taking a trip to Florida to visit family with my 3 and 6 year old. We'll be about 90 minutes from Disney and I've thought about doing a day trip to Magic Kingdom but not sure it's worth $500-$700 by the time we pay for 4 tickets, food, etc. Another option could be to put the money towards a kid friendly hotel/resort (ideally in southeast Florida) but I'm not sure what hotel would be best.

Any thoughts / recommendations?
Yes, I recommend that you spend the money and go to Disney. Create memories.

Can you afford it on your budget?

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Re: Magic Kingdom for a day or fun resort / hotel?

Post by stoptothink » Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:54 pm

Interestingly enough, we did this summer '18 with my kids 6 and 3. I'll echo what others have said: the kids won't care. My wife is a big Disney fan, she had fun, but the kids couldn't have cared less. They actually said they enjoyed several others parts of the trip (swimming, even a public park) more than Disney. Huge waste of money, and we'll never do it again (well, at least until they are much older and wife tries to convince me again).

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ThankYouJack
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Re: Magic Kingdom for a day or fun resort / hotel?

Post by ThankYouJack » Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:58 pm

Gill wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:51 pm
Where will you be in Florida? Plenty of good hotels in Clearwater, St. Pete Beach, Bradenton, Sarasota, Venice.
Gill
We'll be on the East Coast around Melbourne. We really enjoyed Hawk's Cay when we went there (lots of stuff for the kids to do) but it's a bit of a drive, so ideally something closer. We've gone to the Holiday Inn at Cape Canaveral which was alright but it was cold mid-January and I read they're under construction redoing one of the buildings.

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Re: Magic Kingdom for a day or fun resort / hotel?

Post by Leemiller » Mon Jan 13, 2020 7:58 pm

We first took my kid to Disney at 3, Magic Kingdom. Had a lot of fun. My vote is for Disney hand’s down. Not even sure what a fun hotel is? Something with a bigger pool? I remember Disney as a kid, so I disagree with other posters on the memories.

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Re: Magic Kingdom for a day or fun resort / hotel?

Post by beserker » Mon Jan 13, 2020 8:29 pm

The crowd factor makes huge difference. I had fond memories the first time I went like 20 years ago, in May when school was still in session. Then 14 months ago took my 5 and 7 year old, and this time not so much. There was a line to get into the parking lot. Another to get to the shuttle to the ticketing area where there is another line to get through the bag check, another line to buy tickets then another line to get into monorail and then another line to get your tickets checked. Now for the real waiting begins on every single ride, just download their app and see what the waiting time per each ride is, it is ridiculus. I think I paid like 120 per person and ended up able to ride like 3 rides, just a soso rides, like dumbo rides. My kids actually liked the hotel pool better.
Last summer my wife wanted to goto Florida, this time we did non main attractions. We went to clearwater beach, where everyone enjoyed, then off to busch gardens, sea world and a water park, which had a packaged deal including unlimited food and drink for about the same price of one day entry to magic kingdom, we had a blast.

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Re: Magic Kingdom for a day or fun resort / hotel?

Post by SchruteB&B » Mon Jan 13, 2020 10:26 pm

beserker wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 8:29 pm
The crowd factor makes huge difference. I had fond memories the first time I went like 20 years ago, in May when school was still in session. Then 14 months ago took my 5 and 7 year old, and this time not so much. There was a line to get into the parking lot. Another to get to the shuttle to the ticketing area where there is another line to get through the bag check, another line to buy tickets then another line to get into monorail and then another line to get your tickets checked. Now for the real waiting begins on every single ride, just download their app and see what the waiting time per each ride is, it is ridiculus. I think I paid like 120 per person and ended up able to ride like 3 rides, just a soso rides, like dumbo rides. My kids actually liked the hotel pool better.
Last summer my wife wanted to goto Florida, this time we did non main attractions. We went to clearwater beach, where everyone enjoyed, then off to busch gardens, sea world and a water park, which had a packaged deal including unlimited food and drink for about the same price of one day entry to magic kingdom, we had a blast.
You can’t do Disney like this nowadays. You absolutely have to buy your ticket ahead of time in order to start securing fast passes for rides 30/60 days in advance. It’s too expensive to just show up. It requires military grade level planning!

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ThankYouJack
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Re: Magic Kingdom for a day or fun resort / hotel?

Post by ThankYouJack » Mon Jan 13, 2020 10:55 pm

SchruteB&B wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 10:26 pm
beserker wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 8:29 pm
The crowd factor makes huge difference. I had fond memories the first time I went like 20 years ago, in May when school was still in session. Then 14 months ago took my 5 and 7 year old, and this time not so much. There was a line to get into the parking lot. Another to get to the shuttle to the ticketing area where there is another line to get through the bag check, another line to buy tickets then another line to get into monorail and then another line to get your tickets checked. Now for the real waiting begins on every single ride, just download their app and see what the waiting time per each ride is, it is ridiculus. I think I paid like 120 per person and ended up able to ride like 3 rides, just a soso rides, like dumbo rides. My kids actually liked the hotel pool better.
Last summer my wife wanted to goto Florida, this time we did non main attractions. We went to clearwater beach, where everyone enjoyed, then off to busch gardens, sea world and a water park, which had a packaged deal including unlimited food and drink for about the same price of one day entry to magic kingdom, we had a blast.
You can’t do Disney like this nowadays. You absolutely have to buy your ticket ahead of time in order to start securing fast passes for rides 30/60 days in advance. It’s too expensive to just show up. It requires military grade level planning!
Appreciate all the replies. This doesn't sound appealing to me

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bligh
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Re: Magic Kingdom for a day or fun resort / hotel?

Post by bligh » Mon Jan 13, 2020 11:57 pm

We just came back from Disney world last week and had a really great time. You do have to plan your trip atleast a couple of months in advance to get the fast passes sorted. If you just show up you will end up having a bad experience. Staying at a Disney resort is also a huge bonus. We were getting from our room door to inside the park in under 20-30 minutes Pretty much every time (depends on which resort and which park)

Also, the whole family really enjoyed Animal kingdom a more than Magic Kingdom. Stay away from Hollywood studios because of the crowds associated with the Star Wars attraction. Epcot is great except it is in the middle of a massive upgrade right now.

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Re: Magic Kingdom for a day or fun resort / hotel?

Post by Watty » Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:03 am

Not to pile on but years ago when I was researching a trip to Disneyland in California one of the books had an interesting tidbit. Someone did a survey of young kids that had been to Disneyland about six months before and the number one thing they remembered was ..... (drumroll)....the pool at the hotel. :oops:

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Re: Magic Kingdom for a day or fun resort / hotel?

Post by willthrill81 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:04 am

Leemiller wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 7:58 pm
We first took my kid to Disney at 3, Magic Kingdom. Had a lot of fun. My vote is for Disney hand’s down. Not even sure what a fun hotel is? Something with a bigger pool? I remember Disney as a kid, so I disagree with other posters on the memories.
Ditto that. I remember going to DW when I was five. I loved it. We went back many times, and those were some of the highlights of my childhood.

We took our daughter to DW a year ago when she was three, and she had an absolute blast. We all did. Yes, it's expensive, but looking back, I'd much rather have the memories than the cash.

The only money that really does you any good is what you spend or give away.
Watty wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:03 am
Not to pile on but years ago when I was researching a trip to Disneyland in California one of the books had an interesting tidbit. Someone did a survey of young kids that had been to Disneyland about six months before and the number one thing they remembered was ..... (drumroll)....the pool at the hotel. :oops:
Disney does have some great pools though. I've not been there, but I've heard that the sand bottom pool at the Beach Club resort is particularly good.
ThankYouJack wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 10:55 pm
Appreciate all the replies. This doesn't sound appealing to me
If you and the kids aren't big Disney fans, then it's probably not a great idea. In order to really feel immersed into the 'world', I think that you have to buy-in to the fantasy at least a bit. Those that going into it thinking that it's just going to a crowded, expensive experience spent waiting in line will likely feel the experience to be just that.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

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Re: Magic Kingdom for a day or fun resort / hotel?

Post by ThankYouJack » Tue Jan 14, 2020 8:52 am

willthrill81 wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:04 am
ThankYouJack wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 10:55 pm
Appreciate all the replies. This doesn't sound appealing to me
If you and the kids aren't big Disney fans, then it's probably not a great idea. In order to really feel immersed into the 'world', I think that you have to buy-in to the fantasy at least a bit. Those that going into it thinking that it's just going to a crowded, expensive experience spent waiting in line will likely feel the experience to be just that.
Yeah, we aren't huge Disney fans. We really enjoyed going to Disney on Ice but don't really watch Disney movies. And having to plan for Disney World months in advance with fast passes is the part that doesn't seem fun for me. With that said, there is the Disney Vero Beach Resort that we may check out. And we have some good friends who are huge Disney fans so we may eventually tag along with them or go on a Disney cruise with them.

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Re: Magic Kingdom for a day or fun resort / hotel?

Post by rich126 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:22 am

SchruteB&B wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 10:26 pm
beserker wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 8:29 pm
The crowd factor makes huge difference. I had fond memories the first time I went like 20 years ago, in May when school was still in session. Then 14 months ago took my 5 and 7 year old, and this time not so much. There was a line to get into the parking lot. Another to get to the shuttle to the ticketing area where there is another line to get through the bag check, another line to buy tickets then another line to get into monorail and then another line to get your tickets checked. Now for the real waiting begins on every single ride, just download their app and see what the waiting time per each ride is, it is ridiculus. I think I paid like 120 per person and ended up able to ride like 3 rides, just a soso rides, like dumbo rides. My kids actually liked the hotel pool better.
Last summer my wife wanted to goto Florida, this time we did non main attractions. We went to clearwater beach, where everyone enjoyed, then off to busch gardens, sea world and a water park, which had a packaged deal including unlimited food and drink for about the same price of one day entry to magic kingdom, we had a blast.
You can’t do Disney like this nowadays. You absolutely have to buy your ticket ahead of time in order to start securing fast passes for rides 30/60 days in advance. It’s too expensive to just show up. It requires military grade level planning!
Sadly that is largely true. We had grandparents about an hour from Disney World when it was being built. I can also remember when Epcot was built. Always had a fond memory of Disney (although a 3 yr old isn't going to remember any of it, a 6 yr old maybe will). Over the years my trips diminished and I hadn't gone for ~20 years. Being moving out west my GF and I went in the fall of 2018 supposedly during one of the slower times. I thought it was a zoo. Strollers, wheelchairs everywhere. Lines, lines, lines. I don't mind making reservations for a fancy restaurant but I have no interest in reservations for a casual Disney restaurant a month in advance. We made reservations at one German themed restaurant and it turned out to be a buffer. Low end food at high end prices. I felt sorry for the parents that feel obligated to go for a week and likely spend thousands.

I still like Disney but it, like much of travel now, has gotten too crowded and too expensive.

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Re: Magic Kingdom for a day or fun resort / hotel?

Post by Youngblood » Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:36 am

I guess the OP already made a decision but, raising my three daughters we went to Disney World four times at various ages and we all had a great time. They in turn took their kids to DW several times and same result.

OP, Disney films are great for kids. Parents and grandparents usually enjoy watching them too. Great also to instill many important values.
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Re: Magic Kingdom for a day or fun resort / hotel?

Post by stoptothink » Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:37 am

rich126 wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:22 am
SchruteB&B wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 10:26 pm
beserker wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 8:29 pm
The crowd factor makes huge difference. I had fond memories the first time I went like 20 years ago, in May when school was still in session. Then 14 months ago took my 5 and 7 year old, and this time not so much. There was a line to get into the parking lot. Another to get to the shuttle to the ticketing area where there is another line to get through the bag check, another line to buy tickets then another line to get into monorail and then another line to get your tickets checked. Now for the real waiting begins on every single ride, just download their app and see what the waiting time per each ride is, it is ridiculus. I think I paid like 120 per person and ended up able to ride like 3 rides, just a soso rides, like dumbo rides. My kids actually liked the hotel pool better.
Last summer my wife wanted to goto Florida, this time we did non main attractions. We went to clearwater beach, where everyone enjoyed, then off to busch gardens, sea world and a water park, which had a packaged deal including unlimited food and drink for about the same price of one day entry to magic kingdom, we had a blast.
You can’t do Disney like this nowadays. You absolutely have to buy your ticket ahead of time in order to start securing fast passes for rides 30/60 days in advance. It’s too expensive to just show up. It requires military grade level planning!
Sadly that is largely true. We had grandparents about an hour from Disney World when it was being built. I can also remember when Epcot was built. Always had a fond memory of Disney (although a 3 yr old isn't going to remember any of it, a 6 yr old maybe will). Over the years my trips diminished and I hadn't gone for ~20 years. Being moving out west my GF and I went in the fall of 2018 supposedly during one of the slower times. I thought it was a zoo. Strollers, wheelchairs everywhere. Lines, lines, lines. I don't mind making reservations for a fancy restaurant but I have no interest in reservations for a casual Disney restaurant a month in advance. We made reservations at one German themed restaurant and it turned out to be a buffer. Low end food at high end prices. I felt sorry for the parents that feel obligated to go for a week and likely spend thousands.

I still like Disney but it, like much of travel now, has gotten too crowded and too expensive.
When we went in '18, it was a Thursday in late September, a few weeks into the school year. The DisneyWorld crown calendar said it should be one of the lightest times of the year and it was an absolute nightmare. The craziest thing is, even with fast passes, you may have a significant wait (20min is significant for me) for some of the attractions.

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Re: Magic Kingdom for a day or fun resort / hotel?

Post by greg24 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:37 am

We went as a family 4 years ago. Went 4 or 5 days. The cost per day is much lower when you go multiple days. One day is insanely expensive.

Agreed about the military level planning necessary to have a good experience. I'm super thankful that my wife spent 6 months obsessing over it. Even with all that, crowds were sizable.

We found the Magic Kingdom to be the least enjoyable park. Its really small, it was like stroller gridlock, and didn't have many fun attractions.

My kids loved the other parks and the trip in general. One of their favorite parts was the resort we stayed at with the all day/all night pool with water slides...

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Re: Magic Kingdom for a day or fun resort / hotel?

Post by finite_difference » Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:43 am

Case59 wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:47 pm
At that age, they won't really remember the experience anyway. A hotel pool with a water slide will be as exciting as anything, for them.
At 6 years old, I think that’s the perfect time. 3 years old, not so much though.

I think a day-trip can be worth it. Keep it short, kids will become tired anyway. But you’ll have a great 4 hours that is worth the price in my opinion. Drive 1.5 hours there, 1 hour to get in to Magic Kingdom, spend 4 hours there, 2 hours to get back. Shouldn’t be too long of a day.
The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. - Thich Nhat Hanh

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Re: Magic Kingdom for a day or fun resort / hotel?

Post by stoptothink » Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:58 am

finite_difference wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:43 am
Case59 wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:47 pm
At that age, they won't really remember the experience anyway. A hotel pool with a water slide will be as exciting as anything, for them.
At 6 years old, I think that’s the perfect time. 3 years old, not so much though.

I think a day-trip can be worth it. Keep it short, kids will become tired anyway. But you’ll have a great 4 hours that is worth the price in my opinion. Drive 1.5 hours there, 1 hour to get in to Magic Kingdom, spend 4 hours there, 2 hours to get back. Shouldn’t be too long of a day.
4 hours might mean 3 rides/attractions (or less).

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Re: Magic Kingdom for a day or fun resort / hotel?

Post by willthrill81 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:10 am

ThankYouJack wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 8:52 am
willthrill81 wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:04 am
ThankYouJack wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 10:55 pm
Appreciate all the replies. This doesn't sound appealing to me
If you and the kids aren't big Disney fans, then it's probably not a great idea. In order to really feel immersed into the 'world', I think that you have to buy-in to the fantasy at least a bit. Those that going into it thinking that it's just going to a crowded, expensive experience spent waiting in line will likely feel the experience to be just that.
Yeah, we aren't huge Disney fans. We really enjoyed going to Disney on Ice but don't really watch Disney movies. And having to plan for Disney World months in advance with fast passes is the part that doesn't seem fun for me. With that said, there is the Disney Vero Beach Resort that we may check out. And we have some good friends who are huge Disney fans so we may eventually tag along with them or go on a Disney cruise with them.
You would probably enjoy the Vero Beach resort a lot more. I've heard good things about it.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

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Re: Magic Kingdom for a day or fun resort / hotel?

Post by bligh » Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:19 am

ThankYouJack wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 8:52 am

... And having to plan for Disney World months in advance with fast passes is the part that doesn't seem fun for me. ...
I was worried about it at first too, but it was actually not bad. It is really "knowing" whether you will be going to a Disney world park 2 months in advance that is important. The actual selection of Fast Passes and stuff is a breeze. You just hop on their website and click away on the rides you want the fast pass for. Took me all of 10 minutes. We mostly arrived at the park around 9:30 - 10:00 am which is not as early as it sounds because it took us 20-30 minutes to be IN the park after having left our room.

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Re: Magic Kingdom for a day or fun resort / hotel?

Post by NoVa Lurker » Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:25 am

I think this topic is resolved for the OP, but just to add two more thoughts for those considering a day trip to the Magic Kingdom:

1. Disneyland in Anaheim, California is much better suited for a one-day visit (or ideally two days, either with park-hopper or one park per day, with its neighboring California Adventure). You can still make 'fastpasses' on the fly, and you can still ride a lot of stuff in the morning before crowds build. In Orlando, because everyone can make fastpasses well in advance, the "standby" ride lines move glacially, so it is tough to have fun unless you map out an exact plan in advance.

2. OP has kids at ages 3 and 6. Kids at ages 3 and 6 should be right in the Disney wheelhouse, but the reality is that the 3-year-old will not be able to do some of the "best" rides that the 6 year old (and parents) will want to experience. At any Disney park, but especially in Orlando, it is really hard now with kids at different ages. The "rider switch" process is more difficult at Disney than at most other parks, because they do not allow the smaller children to get in line for the bigger rides. You have to split up and get back together, which can create stress, especially with the ever-present crowds. This can be easily managed in a longer trip, but it requires advanced planning and makes a one-day trip even more challenging.

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Re: Magic Kingdom for a day or fun resort / hotel?

Post by rj342 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:00 pm

IMO 6yo is a perfect age to go at, then maybe go one more time by age 9 or 10 (they get jaded early these days) - younger kid will be 6-7 then, in their sweet spot.
Old enough to remember a lot of it -- and now got smartphones for plenty of pics and video to look at in the future. Everything is still magical at 6
Sure, 3yo won't remember anything long term, but part of the memories you are making are yours of watching their enjoyment.

Mid January should be great in terms of weather, and pretty good for crowds.

A one day trip is short, with a fair amount of overhead getting into and out of the park.
If you could afford to stay two nights on the grounds to bracket your park day, I highly recommend it. You have great access w Disney transport, and having the room lets you take an afternoon break for a nap, then go back out to experience it at dark w the fireworks, night parade, etc, without being too tired.

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Re: Magic Kingdom for a day or fun resort / hotel?

Post by stoptothink » Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:05 pm

NoVa Lurker wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:25 am
I think this topic is resolved for the OP, but just to add two more thoughts for those considering a day trip to the Magic Kingdom:

1. Disneyland in Anaheim, California is much better suited for a one-day visit (or ideally two days, either with park-hopper or one park per day, with its neighboring California Adventure). You can still make 'fastpasses' on the fly, and you can still ride a lot of stuff in the morning before crowds build. In Orlando, because everyone can make fastpasses well in advance, the "standby" ride lines move glacially, so it is tough to have fun unless you map out an exact plan in advance.

If you are in the area and the reason for going is rides, I definitely recommend going to Knotts (or Magic Mountain if the kids are older) instead. Yes, Disneyland is better for a single day than DisneyWorld, but it is still a chaotic nightmare most of the year. We hit up all three this past September (again, after school had started) and Disneyland on a Wednesday was absolute chaos (when crowd calendar said 5/10 crowd). The next day at Knotts, we might have waited 20 minutes total in lines the entire day - we waited longer to get on Matterhorn with fastpasses. Both my kids liked Knotts a lot more (they were too small for many rides at Magic Mountain), especially my 7yr old.

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Re: Magic Kingdom for a day or fun resort / hotel?

Post by jojay » Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:50 pm

If you and your family are Disney fans, then go to WDW.
If you are not a fan of Disney, you will likely not enjoy the experience. Visiting Disney requires a lot of preparation.

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Re: Magic Kingdom for a day or fun resort / hotel?

Post by wabbott » Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:51 pm

jojay wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:50 pm
If you and your family are Disney fans, then go to WDW.
If you are not a fan of Disney, you will likely not enjoy the experience. Visiting Disney requires a lot of preparation.
This is probably the best answer, imo. DW and I have been to WDW several times over the past 40 years, mostly in the 80s. We carried our daughter when she was 4 in 1990 and again when she was 9 in 1995. She seemed to have a better time at the younger age.

We went just ourselves last April, our first return since 1995, and I had forgotten how much I loved the place. I had figured maybe "one last trip for old time sake" before old age set in, and traveling became too arduous.

There are very few places I've ever been that give me the feeling of "home," that feeling you used to get as a kid when the family car turns down the street to your neighborhood. WDW gives me that feeling, and it's a bargain at twice the price. We will be going this April, and every year until we can go no more. Next year, we'll be taking our daughter and son-in-law. An advance inheritance, so to speak.

If you think spending that much money might cause discomfort, don't go. Outrageous prices for souvenirs, food, hotels, parking, etc. If you can't/won't do advance planing, don't go, as you will be overwhelmed, especially for a day trip.

Or, you might treat the trip as a "reconnoiter," so as to get the lay of the place and have an idea of how things work in preparation for when you can do it up right in the future. There are plenty of websites and youtube videos available to help with just about any question that may come up.

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Re: Magic Kingdom for a day or fun resort / hotel?

Post by willthrill81 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 4:37 pm

wabbott wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:51 pm
If you think spending that much money might cause discomfort, don't go. Outrageous prices for souvenirs, food, hotels, parking, etc. If you can't/won't do advance planing, don't go, as you will be overwhelmed, especially for a day trip.
I've often heard these kinds of comments, and while Disney is certainly an expensive destination, I don't find it to be too far out of line with a lot of other big vacation destinations. Lift tickets at the big Western ski resorts are $150-$200 per person per day, and the food is at least as expensive as Disney's. Lodging can be outrageous too. International travel can be really expensive too (or really cheap, depending on how you want to do it).

We spent 8 nights at the Polynesian last January-February, and the total cost of the trip, including coast-to-coast airfare for three of us, was under $5k. Going on an Alaskan cruise and booking an excursion at each port of call would have cost that much or more.
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Re: Magic Kingdom for a day or fun resort / hotel?

Post by stoptothink » Tue Jan 14, 2020 4:58 pm

willthrill81 wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 4:37 pm
wabbott wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:51 pm
If you think spending that much money might cause discomfort, don't go. Outrageous prices for souvenirs, food, hotels, parking, etc. If you can't/won't do advance planing, don't go, as you will be overwhelmed, especially for a day trip.
I've often heard these kinds of comments, and while Disney is certainly an expensive destination, I don't find it to be too far out of line with a lot of other big vacation destinations. Lift tickets at the big Western ski resorts are $150-$200 per person per day, and the food is at least as expensive as Disney's. Lodging can be outrageous too. International travel can be really expensive too (or really cheap, depending on how you want to do it).

We spent 8 nights at the Polynesian last January-February, and the total cost of the trip, including coast-to-coast airfare for three of us, was under $5k. Going on an Alaskan cruise and booking an excursion at each port of call would have cost that much or more.
Speaking to theme parks in SoCal (so Disneyland, not world), it is about twice the price of comparators if you do not use coupons. You can easily go to other amusement parks in the area for 1/3 the cost per person, and then everything inside is cheaper as well. We go through this almost every single year as we spend at least two weeks as a family in SoCal (that's where the wife and I are from). It is outrageously expensive when compared to alternatives that my family is interested in, which is (fortunately for me) not swanky ski resorts.

If we are speaking to DisneyWorld, I am not as familiar with alternatives in the area as when we went there, it was solely to visit Disney (and even wife agrees, we'll never do it again).

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Re: Magic Kingdom for a day or fun resort / hotel?

Post by sometimesinvestor » Tue Jan 14, 2020 5:44 pm

Based on reading the replies I think you should go to Disneyworld In about 4 or 5 years and plan to stay 3-5 days I confess I was last there about 20 years ago and had a great time but could not see everything I wanted to in less than 2 days> I assume its more crowded now and there is much more to see .IN four years your kids will have more patience ,get less tired and will retain memories which is a major reason to make the trip

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Re: Magic Kingdom for a day or fun resort / hotel?

Post by willthrill81 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 6:14 pm

sometimesinvestor wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 5:44 pm
Based on reading the replies I think you should go to Disneyworld In about 4 or 5 years and plan to stay 3-5 days I confess I was last there about 20 years ago and had a great time but could not see everything I wanted to in less than 2 days> I assume its more crowded now and there is much more to see .IN four years your kids will have more patience ,get less tired and will retain memories which is a major reason to make the trip
It's definitely more crowded than it used to be. When we went in January-February last year, it was purportedly about the slowest time of the year, but if my wife had not gotten us all Fastpasses 60 days prior, we would have spent many additional hours waiting in line for the headliner attractions. Thankfully, by using them, we never waited longer than about 30 minutes for anything.

With four theme parks, never mind all of the resort activities and Disney Springs (which has become a foody's and a bar hopper's dream), I'd say that you really need at least five days to hit the high spots. My wife and I went into the parks on six days and were never the least bit bored.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

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Re: Magic Kingdom for a day or fun resort / hotel?

Post by smitcat » Tue Jan 14, 2020 8:58 pm

willthrill81 wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 6:14 pm
sometimesinvestor wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 5:44 pm
Based on reading the replies I think you should go to Disneyworld In about 4 or 5 years and plan to stay 3-5 days I confess I was last there about 20 years ago and had a great time but could not see everything I wanted to in less than 2 days> I assume its more crowded now and there is much more to see .IN four years your kids will have more patience ,get less tired and will retain memories which is a major reason to make the trip
It's definitely more crowded than it used to be. When we went in January-February last year, it was purportedly about the slowest time of the year, but if my wife had not gotten us all Fastpasses 60 days prior, we would have spent many additional hours waiting in line for the headliner attractions. Thankfully, by using them, we never waited longer than about 30 minutes for anything.

With four theme parks, never mind all of the resort activities and Disney Springs (which has become a foody's and a bar hopper's dream), I'd say that you really need at least five days to hit the high spots. My wife and I went into the parks on six days and were never the least bit bored.
Great description and plan of attack for Disneyworld - one of our favorite destinations but does require some planning in advance as you have identified.

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Re: Magic Kingdom for a day or fun resort / hotel?

Post by finite_difference » Sun Jan 19, 2020 2:01 am

stoptothink wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:58 am
finite_difference wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:43 am
Case59 wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:47 pm
At that age, they won't really remember the experience anyway. A hotel pool with a water slide will be as exciting as anything, for them.
At 6 years old, I think that’s the perfect time. 3 years old, not so much though.

I think a day-trip can be worth it. Keep it short, kids will become tired anyway. But you’ll have a great 4 hours that is worth the price in my opinion. Drive 1.5 hours there, 1 hour to get in to Magic Kingdom, spend 4 hours there, 2 hours to get back. Shouldn’t be too long of a day.
4 hours might mean 3 rides/attractions (or less).
Yeah could be something like 3-4 rides with the FastPass. FastPass (free at Disney World) only gives you ~3 rides per day anyway I think. Probably need to space those one hour apart. But can also mix in some events in there too, like meeting your favorite character.

Some people love to go all day. I think I could handle that... back when I was a teenager!
The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. - Thich Nhat Hanh

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Re: Magic Kingdom for a day or fun resort / hotel?

Post by SR II » Sun Jan 19, 2020 4:15 am

Skip it and do something else with the money you'll save. WDW is a destination vacation and takes several days, not just a one day drive-by.

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Re: Magic Kingdom for a day or fun resort / hotel?

Post by goblue100 » Sun Jan 19, 2020 7:11 am

SR II wrote:
Sun Jan 19, 2020 4:15 am
WDW is a destination vacation and takes several days, not just a one day drive-by.
Lots of good info in this thread, and I think the above sums it up. If you can do 5 or 6 days at Disney, the last day cost is minimal compared to the first day. If you stay at the park you can take advantage of early entrance hours to keep ride times down. We would get up early, ride till about 2, go back to the room and take a nap and rest till about 5 and then head back out. Tended to miss the peak crowd hours.

To get the best fast passes you must start 60 days out. Once you know what you are doing and which rides are desirable, it is easy. Unfortunately, the first time you do it you probably won't know either. (The Avatar Flight of Passage at Animal Kingdom is a must!)
Financial planners are savers. They want us to be 95 percent confident we can finance a 30-year retirement even though there is an 82 percent probability of being dead by then. - Scott Burns

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Re: Magic Kingdom for a day or fun resort / hotel?

Post by Random Musings » Sun Jan 19, 2020 8:53 am

Our kids were 6 and 10 at the time. A better age, although I asked the 6 year old right now what she remembered. She remembers some. At at that age, they had a good time and were able to stay the whole day there, from open to close. Plus they were able to ride many rides.

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Re: Magic Kingdom for a day or fun resort / hotel?

Post by backofbeyond » Sun Jan 19, 2020 9:23 am

I'm a huge adventure park junkie. We live in the pan handle of FL but each year take a trip down to Orlando/Tampa Bay to go to ALL the parks...and I mean All, including the water parks. With that said, we usually go in late Oct to mid Nov when the crowds are down. We also splurge and get the fast track tickets (if the crowds are bad that day). Now saying that, each and I mean each year we go to Disneyworld and each year I swear I will never go back. Even during this non peak time the crowds are ridiculous. We went this last Nov and in one day we only got on 3 rides the whole day, spending hrs and hrs in line. I hated it so much that I bought Disney stock....I figured if this is what people are willing to do, then the Brand name is worth owning.

SeaWorld and Legoland would be much nicer for you and your family. When the kids get older, then Universal and Bush Gardens are AWESOME choices!
The question isn't at what age I want to retire, it is at what income. - George Foreman

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Re: Magic Kingdom for a day or fun resort / hotel?

Post by 2cents2 » Sun Jan 19, 2020 10:23 am

ThankYouJack wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:37 pm
I'm taking a trip to Florida to visit family with my 3 and 6 year old. We'll be about 90 minutes from Disney and I've thought about doing a day trip to Magic Kingdom but not sure it's worth $500-$700 by the time we pay for 4 tickets, food, etc. Another option could be to put the money towards a kid friendly hotel/resort (ideally in southeast Florida) but I'm not sure what hotel would be best.

Any thoughts / recommendations?

EDIT: Based on the initial replies, I think we'll do a resort instead of Magic Kingdom.
Any recommendations for a fun one that kids my age will enjoy? We'll be going mid-January so it may be a bit cold to swim.
90 minutes in which direction? Will you be on the coast (if so, which one)? Or, do you mean a recommendation for a resort near Disney World?

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Re: Magic Kingdom for a day or fun resort / hotel?

Post by smitcat » Sun Jan 19, 2020 3:27 pm

backofbeyond wrote:
Sun Jan 19, 2020 9:23 am
I'm a huge adventure park junkie. We live in the pan handle of FL but each year take a trip down to Orlando/Tampa Bay to go to ALL the parks...and I mean All, including the water parks. With that said, we usually go in late Oct to mid Nov when the crowds are down. We also splurge and get the fast track tickets (if the crowds are bad that day). Now saying that, each and I mean each year we go to Disneyworld and each year I swear I will never go back. Even during this non peak time the crowds are ridiculous. We went this last Nov and in one day we only got on 3 rides the whole day, spending hrs and hrs in line. I hated it so much that I bought Disney stock....I figured if this is what people are willing to do, then the Brand name is worth owning.

SeaWorld and Legoland would be much nicer for you and your family. When the kids get older, then Universal and Bush Gardens are AWESOME choices!
"We went this last Nov and in one day we only got on 3 rides the whole day"
Interesting - we utilize the crowd calendar when planning our many visits, we target between 20 and 25 rides and/or activities each day and usually get them in....sometimes more.

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Re: Magic Kingdom for a day or fun resort / hotel?

Post by Carson » Mon Jan 20, 2020 11:12 am

Our kids were 10 and 7 this fall and we really enjoyed our day at legoland. I think it was a very off-peak day, although we didn't plan it that way. It was late August. The place felt deserted, and we pretty much rode rides constantly. A few times it closed due to thunderstorms, but we were able to use that time for lunch breaks, mini movies in the theatre, etc... It was a really great experience, and I'm glad we took them at that age group, I think much older and we would be aging out of things.

Discounts through https://www.legoland.com/snyders/
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Re: Magic Kingdom for a day or fun resort / hotel?

Post by backofbeyond » Mon Jan 20, 2020 4:50 pm

smitcat wrote:
Sun Jan 19, 2020 3:27 pm
backofbeyond wrote:
Sun Jan 19, 2020 9:23 am
I'm a huge adventure park junkie. We live in the pan handle of FL but each year take a trip down to Orlando/Tampa Bay to go to ALL the parks...and I mean All, including the water parks. With that said, we usually go in late Oct to mid Nov when the crowds are down. We also splurge and get the fast track tickets (if the crowds are bad that day). Now saying that, each and I mean each year we go to Disneyworld and each year I swear I will never go back. Even during this non peak time the crowds are ridiculous. We went this last Nov and in one day we only got on 3 rides the whole day, spending hrs and hrs in line. I hated it so much that I bought Disney stock....I figured if this is what people are willing to do, then the Brand name is worth owning.

SeaWorld and Legoland would be much nicer for you and your family. When the kids get older, then Universal and Bush Gardens are AWESOME choices!
"We went this last Nov and in one day we only got on 3 rides the whole day"
Interesting - we utilize the crowd calendar when planning our many visits, we target between 20 and 25 rides and/or activities each day and usually get them in....sometimes more.
No doubt you are more advance that we are, so nicely done. My question to you, and this is to borrow from Klangfool's tactic, would someone that has never been to Disneyworld, like the OP, more likely know what you did to make it hassle free or more like the millions of other visitors that have to stand in line like I did? :confused
The question isn't at what age I want to retire, it is at what income. - George Foreman

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Re: Magic Kingdom for a day or fun resort / hotel?

Post by sergeant » Mon Jan 20, 2020 5:27 pm

stoptothink wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:05 pm
NoVa Lurker wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:25 am
I think this topic is resolved for the OP, but just to add two more thoughts for those considering a day trip to the Magic Kingdom:

1. Disneyland in Anaheim, California is much better suited for a one-day visit (or ideally two days, either with park-hopper or one park per day, with its neighboring California Adventure). You can still make 'fastpasses' on the fly, and you can still ride a lot of stuff in the morning before crowds build. In Orlando, because everyone can make fastpasses well in advance, the "standby" ride lines move glacially, so it is tough to have fun unless you map out an exact plan in advance.

If you are in the area and the reason for going is rides, I definitely recommend going to Knotts (or Magic Mountain if the kids are older) instead. Yes, Disneyland is better for a single day than DisneyWorld, but it is still a chaotic nightmare most of the year. We hit up all three this past September (again, after school had started) and Disneyland on a Wednesday was absolute chaos (when crowd calendar said 5/10 crowd). The next day at Knotts, we might have waited 20 minutes total in lines the entire day - we waited longer to get on Matterhorn with fastpasses. Both my kids liked Knotts a lot more (they were too small for many rides at Magic Mountain), especially my 7yr old.
+1 My kids always preferred Knotts to Disneyland due to no lines and they love the fried chicken dinner. We still go back once a year during the holidays.
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Re: Magic Kingdom for a day or fun resort / hotel?

Post by smitcat » Mon Jan 20, 2020 6:07 pm

backofbeyond wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 4:50 pm
smitcat wrote:
Sun Jan 19, 2020 3:27 pm
backofbeyond wrote:
Sun Jan 19, 2020 9:23 am
I'm a huge adventure park junkie. We live in the pan handle of FL but each year take a trip down to Orlando/Tampa Bay to go to ALL the parks...and I mean All, including the water parks. With that said, we usually go in late Oct to mid Nov when the crowds are down. We also splurge and get the fast track tickets (if the crowds are bad that day). Now saying that, each and I mean each year we go to Disneyworld and each year I swear I will never go back. Even during this non peak time the crowds are ridiculous. We went this last Nov and in one day we only got on 3 rides the whole day, spending hrs and hrs in line. I hated it so much that I bought Disney stock....I figured if this is what people are willing to do, then the Brand name is worth owning.

SeaWorld and Legoland would be much nicer for you and your family. When the kids get older, then Universal and Bush Gardens are AWESOME choices!
"We went this last Nov and in one day we only got on 3 rides the whole day"
Interesting - we utilize the crowd calendar when planning our many visits, we target between 20 and 25 rides and/or activities each day and usually get them in....sometimes more.
No doubt you are more advance that we are, so nicely done. My question to you, and this is to borrow from Klangfool's tactic, would someone that has never been to Disneyworld, like the OP, more likely know what you did to make it hassle free or more like the millions of other visitors that have to stand in line like I did? :confused
"would someone that has never been to Disneyworld, like the OP, more likely know what you did"
There are may sites which will tell you all the same thing - going to Disneyworld (or any theme park) requires planning to get the most out of it.
You can get a lot of that at either "mousesavers" or my favorite "undercovertourist" here:
https://www.undercovertourist.com/orlan ... -calendar/

"or more like the millions of other visitors that have to stand in line like I did? :confused"
1/3 of all folks in the US having no savings at all, 2/3rds of all folks have less than $10k total saved.
I would say that planning is best in most things that you do.
The point is that this experience (like many) can vary greatly dependent upon your approach.

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Re: Magic Kingdom for a day or fun resort / hotel?

Post by brad.clarkston » Mon Jan 20, 2020 6:21 pm

bligh wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 11:57 pm
We just came back from Disney world last week and had a really great time. You do have to plan your trip atleast a couple of months in advance to get the fast passes sorted. If you just show up you will end up having a bad experience. Staying at a Disney resort is also a huge bonus. We were getting from our room door to inside the park in under 20-30 minutes Pretty much every time (depends on which resort and which park)

Also, the whole family really enjoyed Animal kingdom a more than Magic Kingdom. Stay away from Hollywood studios because of the crowds associated with the Star Wars attraction. Epcot is great except it is in the middle of a massive upgrade right now.
+1 this. The only thing we will do differently is stay on the resort and get a tube ride over instead of taking the ferry that nearly killed my people induced claustrophobia.

It doesn't take much to plan out the trip ahead of time and get the fast passes far less work than financial planning in fact.

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Re: Magic Kingdom for a day or fun resort / hotel?

Post by backofbeyond » Mon Jan 20, 2020 7:09 pm

[/quote]

"would someone that has never been to Disneyworld, like the OP, more likely know what you did"
There are may sites which will tell you all the same thing - going to Disneyworld (or any theme park) requires planning to get the most out of it.
You can get a lot of that at either "mousesavers" or my favorite "undercovertourist" here:
https://www.undercovertourist.com/orlan ... -calendar/

"or more like the millions of other visitors that have to stand in line like I did? :confused"
1/3 of all folks in the US having no savings at all, 2/3rds of all folks have less than $10k total saved.
I would say that planning is best in most things that you do.
The point is that this experience (like many) can vary greatly dependent upon your approach.
[/quote]

Thank you Smitcat, I learned something today! :happy
The question isn't at what age I want to retire, it is at what income. - George Foreman

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Re: Magic Kingdom for a day or fun resort / hotel?

Post by smitcat » Mon Jan 20, 2020 7:27 pm

backofbeyond wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 7:09 pm
"would someone that has never been to Disneyworld, like the OP, more likely know what you did"
There are may sites which will tell you all the same thing - going to Disneyworld (or any theme park) requires planning to get the most out of it.
You can get a lot of that at either "mousesavers" or my favorite "undercovertourist" here:
https://www.undercovertourist.com/orlan ... -calendar/

"or more like the millions of other visitors that have to stand in line like I did? :confused"
1/3 of all folks in the US having no savings at all, 2/3rds of all folks have less than $10k total saved.
I would say that planning is best in most things that you do.
The point is that this experience (like many) can vary greatly dependent upon your approach.
[/quote]

Thank you Smitcat, I learned something today! :happy
[/quote]

Your welcome - there have been some very good posts about visiting Disneyworld on this Bogle site.
Dependent upon your flexibility and the age and preferences of the persons in your group you can save a bunch of time and a bunch of money planning trips like these. I would say that Disneyworld Orlando is one destination that lends itself to planning the most because of how larger and varied the parks really are. There are so many things to see and do that many folks never even know about , the only way I know to learn is to do some research and planning. Even though we have been on the parks for at least 60 days now there is always more to learn and do.
And if the kids and/or group is a little older the experience at Universal Orlando is both cheaper and more exciting - but not so much for younger kids.

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Re: Magic Kingdom for a day or fun resort / hotel?

Post by willthrill81 » Tue Jan 21, 2020 3:16 pm

smitcat wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 6:07 pm
backofbeyond wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 4:50 pm
smitcat wrote:
Sun Jan 19, 2020 3:27 pm
backofbeyond wrote:
Sun Jan 19, 2020 9:23 am
I'm a huge adventure park junkie. We live in the pan handle of FL but each year take a trip down to Orlando/Tampa Bay to go to ALL the parks...and I mean All, including the water parks. With that said, we usually go in late Oct to mid Nov when the crowds are down. We also splurge and get the fast track tickets (if the crowds are bad that day). Now saying that, each and I mean each year we go to Disneyworld and each year I swear I will never go back. Even during this non peak time the crowds are ridiculous. We went this last Nov and in one day we only got on 3 rides the whole day, spending hrs and hrs in line. I hated it so much that I bought Disney stock....I figured if this is what people are willing to do, then the Brand name is worth owning.

SeaWorld and Legoland would be much nicer for you and your family. When the kids get older, then Universal and Bush Gardens are AWESOME choices!
"We went this last Nov and in one day we only got on 3 rides the whole day"
Interesting - we utilize the crowd calendar when planning our many visits, we target between 20 and 25 rides and/or activities each day and usually get them in....sometimes more.
No doubt you are more advance that we are, so nicely done. My question to you, and this is to borrow from Klangfool's tactic, would someone that has never been to Disneyworld, like the OP, more likely know what you did to make it hassle free or more like the millions of other visitors that have to stand in line like I did? :confused
"would someone that has never been to Disneyworld, like the OP, more likely know what you did"
There are may sites which will tell you all the same thing - going to Disneyworld (or any theme park) requires planning to get the most out of it.
You can get a lot of that at either "mousesavers" or my favorite "undercovertourist" here:
https://www.undercovertourist.com/orlan ... -calendar/

"or more like the millions of other visitors that have to stand in line like I did? :confused"
1/3 of all folks in the US having no savings at all, 2/3rds of all folks have less than $10k total saved.
I would say that planning is best in most things that you do.
The point is that this experience (like many) can vary greatly dependent upon your approach.
Like it or not, DW is a system. And like any system, those who understand how it functions can gain more from it than those who do not.

Millions of people go to DW with little or no prior planning at all. And many, probably most, of them will still have a good time. But this does not mean that those who plan well will have a better time as a result.

Had we not planned our last trip to DW carefully, we would have spent far more time waiting in lines, would not have gotten to experience certain attractions or dine at certain restaurants, and made far fewer enjoyable memories.

Like it or not, DW is not built for those who are 'free spirits' with 'type B' personalities.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

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Re: Magic Kingdom for a day or fun resort / hotel?

Post by backofbeyond » Wed Jan 22, 2020 9:42 am

willthrill81....couldn't agree with you more!
The question isn't at what age I want to retire, it is at what income. - George Foreman

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