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(Vanity) Anyone been to Disney World lately?
Me

Posted on 04/04/2012 6:52:33 AM PDT by RangerM

Thinking about surprising the family with a Disney trip later in the year (around October), but haven't been there before.

Anyone have any suggestions? Did you (would you) stay on the Disney property itself? If so, where and would you recommend/avoid it?

I've been on the website, and they have packages available, but while I'm not looking to spend myself into oblivion, I'm not looking to go at bottom dollar either.


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Looking for advice.
1 posted on 04/04/2012 6:52:36 AM PDT by RangerM
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To: RangerM

I know it’s not Disney, but Sea World is offering free food all day with the purchase of a ticket.

That is a BUNCH of savings given how much theme park food costs.

But if you stay on the grounds, you can usually get a shuttle to and from the park AND also take advantage on some places giving you the ‘no line’ pass (where you show up at your time and do not have to wait in line for rides) which is also worth the savings of staying off grounds.


2 posted on 04/04/2012 6:57:54 AM PDT by autumnraine (America how long will you be so deaf and dumb to the tumbril wheels carrying you to the guillotine?)
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To: RangerM

We were there two weeks ago with our little ones. It was my first time too. We stayed at the Hilton - Lake Buena Vista near Downtown Disney. That was nice because Downtown Disney is a nice place that you can go for a (mostly free) day as a break from the expensive parks. It was also a nice hotel with great outdoor pools. The downside is that, if you don’t have a car, you will need to take a bus. The bus ride is fine it can just get long with little kids (especially after a long day at the parks). You might consider staying in the park — the Contemporary or the Polynesian. As for the parks themselves, it depends on whether you have small children — if so, Magic Kingdom is the best but Animal Kingdom is also good.


3 posted on 04/04/2012 6:58:20 AM PDT by dinoparty
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To: RangerM

I stay away from all Disney properties due to their very pro-homo policies,


4 posted on 04/04/2012 6:58:20 AM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: RangerM
Looking for advice.

try www.dearabby.com.

5 posted on 04/04/2012 6:58:59 AM PDT by the invisib1e hand
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To: RangerM

Stay in a Disney resort. Transportation to and from the parks is easy and buses run from the front of all resorts every 15 minutes or so. All-stars are good deal for the money. Pop Century is fun for the kids too. Hopper passes are a must, if they still call them that. Its been a couple years since we have been.


6 posted on 04/04/2012 6:59:41 AM PDT by barmag25
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To: RangerM

Been there once.

Never again.


7 posted on 04/04/2012 6:59:51 AM PDT by sauropod (You can elect your very own tyranny - Mark Levin)
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To: RangerM

October is great although a little more crowded than in the past. First and second week of December is WONDERFUL. When the kids were younger we’d get an annual pass, go second week of Dec that year and next year first week of Dec before they expired and then IF we could another trip in Oct for fall break . . . we did this a couple of times and clocked about 30 days on each set of annual passes. At the time AP’s were about 300.00 they are much higher now. Also were able to get cheap airfare about 125.00 or so per person. We’ve stayed at all three levels of the properties on Disney. It is worth staying on property. That said, Wilderness Lodge is my FAVORITE especially in December, next would be Pop Century in the 60’s building or Budget Movies in the Toy Story themed building. Only one year did we get the Premium AP’s for the water parks and Disney Quest.

Have a GREAT time! I loved using www.disboards.com for trip planning and usually went through their Dreams Unlimited and they booked everything and even lowered prices when they dropped.


8 posted on 04/04/2012 6:59:51 AM PDT by Qwackertoo (Gingrich/West 2012)
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To: RangerM

If you’re going to Orlando (I presume so, but better safe) try to get Fort Wilderness. You get a cabin, with your own kitchen (save $$ by eating b-fast at your cabin) with enough space for 7 folks.

And make sure you get a rental golf cart. You won’t need a car if you’re staying that way.


9 posted on 04/04/2012 7:00:33 AM PDT by JRios1968 (I'm guttery and trashy, with a hint of lemon. - Laz)
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To: RangerM

1. Research this trip thoroughly to save money/time. Vacation dollars/hours are precious.
2. Buy a guidebook that describes each ride and hotel in the area. Plan,plan,plan. Only you know your budget and how much you want to spend on a nicer hotel, more exquisite meals, etc.
3. Park Hopper Pass allows you from park to park in the same day.
4. Learn the Disney Bus Routes and use their buses to transport you from park to park, hotel if possible.


10 posted on 04/04/2012 7:01:00 AM PDT by BipolarBob (If I had a son who jacked jewelry and dealt drugs, he would've looked like Trayvon.)
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To: RangerM

Kennedy Spac Center is close to Disney World and has a fascinating Visitors’ Center, if you are into space stuff.

However, it is kind of like visiting Yesterdayland instead of Tomorrowland at present.

(A former rocket engineer.)


11 posted on 04/04/2012 7:02:49 AM PDT by No Truce With Kings (Ten years on FreeRepublic and counting.)
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To: RangerM

We have stayed off and on property - we prefer on property because of the extra hour in the morning. We have literally ridden every roller coaster multiple times and been ready to head back to the pool before the crowds pick up at 11. On property doesn’t have to be the pricey place - pick the pool you like the best (make sure it will be open while you are there) and sit back and enjoy.

Off property requires transportation coordination and hit or miss chances with quality. (Our usual hotel, Embassy Suites, was a complete dump outside of Disney World.)


12 posted on 04/04/2012 7:03:06 AM PDT by greatvikingone
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To: RangerM

my first advice would be to skip DW if you can. Of course the family might just be aching to see the characters and if so, take a barrel of money


13 posted on 04/04/2012 7:03:26 AM PDT by InvisibleChurch ( go in peace , serve the Lord)
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To: RangerM

Stay in Sanford and commute. J/k. I can’t afford Disney thanks to Obama.


14 posted on 04/04/2012 7:03:57 AM PDT by goseminoles
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To: RangerM
I'm biased so I'd go to Disney Land, the original. Within an hour and a half drive you can go to Disney Land, Universal Studios, Knott's Berry Farm, San Diego Zoo, Sea World, Wild Animal Park, Lego Land, and then round it all up with an educational visit to one of our original Missions.

All this and gorgeous weather with almost no humidity (especially in Oct!)

15 posted on 04/04/2012 7:05:29 AM PDT by CAluvdubya
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To: RangerM

Most over-rated, overpriced vacation/amusement park ever. Hated every minute of it and my kids weren’t impressed either. JMO!


16 posted on 04/04/2012 7:06:15 AM PDT by bonfire
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To: RangerM

the first time we went to Disney World, we stayed in a time share exchange in Kissimmee, NOT RECOMMENDED. they forced us to attend a speech about buying a timeshare, then they said if we did not attend, we would be held responsible for anything broken, almost everything in the room was broken, the icemaker, the pocket door, the appliances and the condo itself was in poor condition.


17 posted on 04/04/2012 7:07:53 AM PDT by television is just wrong
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To: ShadowAce

I was in Orlando on business and as I was starting home I tuned in a local AM talk show.

The host was practically yelling his head off, “Don’t take your kids to Disney World this week, they’re celebrating Gay Pride all this week!” He then listed every other attraction in or near Orlando. Had a Hispanic accent, BTW.

I’ve heard for years that the Magic Kingdom is just plain expensive.


18 posted on 04/04/2012 7:12:48 AM PDT by elcid1970 ("Deport all Muslims. Nuke Mecca now. Death to Islam means freedom for all mankind.")
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To: RangerM

There are a ton of duplex that are rented out near DW - and that’s what we did the last time we went (that’s probably been 10 years ago now). 3 bedroom with a small pool and a kitchen, so you can save some money on foodage while you’re down there. Also had laundry machines. Do your homework - we had very good luck. Much cheaper, more room.


19 posted on 04/04/2012 7:16:31 AM PDT by mykroar (Please be aware any /sarc tag is for the lurkers, not the Freepers.)
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To: RangerM

I was there in July. And the July before that

I’m pretty knowledgable about it. But for a really good resource, book mark this site: http://www.disboards.com/
(it might be a bit overwhelming at first, but people there LOVE to help newbies...my handle there is kidd_freeper)

There are four ways to save BIG, and have a better experience than what is offered through a Disney package:

1. Transportation: if you have the stamina, drive there instead of flying. Advantages: about 35-50% the cost of flying. Can pack more stuff. You’re on your own schedule. Diasadvantage: the trip back is tough.

2. Lodging: stay off-site instead of on-site. I highly recommend Windsor Hills condos/homes. We rented through this site: http://www.magicalvacationhomes.com/
The pictures on their website are very accurate.
Advantages: far nicer accomodations, 20%-40% the cost of on-site, more space, in-room kitchen. Disadvantages: you’ll have to pay $14/day for parking at the parks, no package delivery if you buy gifts in the parks, less Disney atmosphere.

3. Park tickets: IF you have school aged kids, and IF you can travel at the right times, I urge you to take advange of the Disney Y.E.S. program (individual enrollment). Site: http://www.disneyyouth.com/individual-enrollment/
You get an incredible experience, get to enter the parks before anyone else AND the tickets are about half-price. No disadvantages. IF you can’t take advantage of the YES program, get your park tickets through Undercover Tourist. They are a legit seller of Disney tickets, and they offer discounts on the order of 10% over what Disney offers.

4. Meals: Disney food is expensive, but eating at Disney is fun. Eat breakfast in your room. But plan on eating at Disney at least once a day. If you have your own kitchen, you can save a ton of money by eating lunch in your own kitchen


20 posted on 04/04/2012 7:16:54 AM PDT by kidd
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To: RangerM
This is not good time to go there. Labor day weekend used to be one of the best times to go since most people are done with vacations and home getting set for school to start. “Spring break” too busy IMHO. End of April or May would be better. It is hot here already so bring a straw hat. Busch Gardens is nice, but it depends on the age of your kids. Still this time of year too busy.
21 posted on 04/04/2012 7:20:59 AM PDT by GILTN1stborn
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To: RangerM

Have done onsite & offsite on multiple occasions.

Definitely stay onsite if you plan on doing nothing but the Disney thing.

Traffic outside the parks is awful. We stayed in a Residence Inn away from the parks and honestly, it was a dump from hell.

Our next FL trip will not include Orlando at all.
St. Augustine is amazing, and Jacksonville Beach is great. The kiddies came home from Jax with a bagful of shells and sharks’ teeth, which a kindly local beachcomber taught them to find for themselves. That turned them on more than the $$$ we spent at Disney.


22 posted on 04/04/2012 7:21:39 AM PDT by LadyBuck (In the immortal words of Jean Paul Sartre, 'Au revoir, gopher')
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To: RangerM

This family has been to Disney World 8 times. The number one piece of advice, stay on property. Within DisneyWorld, you can stay at an assortment of hotels in all price ranges. Pick the one you can afford, they’re all nice. You’ll be able to enter the parks before the general public and you simply get on a bus to the park itself. If you don’t intend to visit the beach while you’re there and you’re flying, don’t rent a car. You’ll only drive it to the hotel and back to the airport. Disney will do that for you on a bus.

As suggested by others, buy the park hopper tickets. That allows you to leave the Magic kingdom, go into Epcot, into the studios, animal kingdom all in the same day. You may decide on Epcot, but it’s crowded, you can leave there and visit a different park on the hopper ticket.

Food - eat as you usually do on vacation. Some people want a great fine dining option, you can get that at Epcot in the different “countries”, others are content with counter service. It’s your choice. Disney offers meal plans now, just review those carefully and think if your family really eats that many meals a day.

You can read tons of reviews online, disregard the totally negative and the totally everything was fabulous reviews, and then read through the rest.

If you have a young child, say 4 or under, by all means, take along an umbrella stroller, even IF you never have that child in one. Believe me, when he or she is tired, it will be a great place for him or her to rest. Kids get cranky and Disney is crowded hot and very sunny. Just be ready to find a good spot to relax and allow the kids to rest for a bit. If they have a screaming fit as ours did one year, just go with it and don’t lose your cool. It will pass. Somehow, a hug from Goofy or some other character makes everything better.

The number one thing to do at Disney World is have fun.


23 posted on 04/04/2012 7:21:53 AM PDT by swpa_mom
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To: RangerM
You didn't specify any ages, so I have to give some generic advice...

There's a ton of forums on WDW - mousesavers.com is one of my favorites - great advice on how to save money, reviews of various hotels, etc.

I advise against trying to ‘do it all’ - make a priority list with alternatives for rides and attractions, know ahead of time when they are, and you'll have a much smoother trip.

And on property has a huge price tag, but you literally save hours and hours (and Magic Mornings means you gain an hour of park time.)

24 posted on 04/04/2012 7:23:32 AM PDT by kingu (Everything starts with slashing the size and scope of the federal government.)
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To: barmag25; RangerM
Stay in a Disney resort. Transportation to and from the parks is easy and buses run from the front of all resorts every 15 minutes or so.

If you have small children, the Contemporary Resort is nearest to the Magic Kingdom park. It's also close to the ticket & transportation center where you can switch monorails to Epcot.

If Epcot is where you'd prefer to spend more time, check into the Boardwalk Inn, Yacht & Beach Club, Swan or Dolphin Resorts - those allow you to walk into the rear entrance of the Epcot park. Those are all generally a better deal than the Contemporary, the Polynesian or (*gak!*), the Grand Floridian. Depends on what deals are currently offered.

The transportation system really is hard to beat, even if you stay in one of the off-monorail resorts.

And RangerM, let me be the first to say:

“!Por favor, manténgase alejado de las puertas”

You'll understand, after you've been there.

25 posted on 04/04/2012 7:26:30 AM PDT by Charles Martel (Endeavor to persevere...)
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To: RangerM
I have two young boys and live about 90 minutes from the parks. We have season passes and spend more time than we should at WDW.

October is a slower time for the parks and the heat won't be an issue. You chose your timing well. If you stay at a Disney property, you'll have some advantages like early park hours, Disney supplied transportation, and charging privileges. We're never up early enough to take advantage of the early park openings but, to us, the transportation is huge. The last thing we want to do when the park closes is have to wait in a long line to take the monorail back to the transportation center, then wait in line to get on the shuttle, then get in our car and drive back to the hotel. We like getting on a bus that drops us off in front of our hotel.

Anyway, so much depends on your budget, the number of kids you have and how long you'll be staying. We usually stay at the Boardwalk in one of the villas because they have a separate bedroom and a suite area with a fold out bed. We add a roll away for our second and they can fall asleep while we have the other room to ourselves. Each villa also has a full kitchen so we save $50 a day on breakfast and bring our own drinks and snacks to the parks. It is also right next to Epcot and you can walk to the international showcase (all the countries) in 10 minutes. We usually go to the pastry shop in France for breakfast. It's pretty awesome. Then, after the Epcot fireworks show, you can be back at the hotel in 15 minutes by walking or taking the boat. The Boardwalk is also loaded with restaurants and things to do during the day and night. It also has a pretty cool pool with a decent waterslide. My kids love the place. Of course, the Disney properties ain't cheap but they have all sorts of options at all sorts of price points.

Here's my advice. Pick several hotels that will work for you and then look for the best deal. While you're doing this, choose the parks you'd like to attend on each day and then make your dining reservations. The good places to eat, especially with the characters, fill up many months in advance. Make your reservations on line now and then you can always cancel them later if you want to change them.

Finally, choosing the right park passes is important. We used to do the park hopper but found that we never hopped. Given the size of the parks and the lines, we'd simply pick a park for the day and stay there. You pay a huge premium to be able to hop and we never used it. Again, your ability to do this depends on the ages of your kids. I'd also recommend spending some time on disboard.com. There is a lot of information available there about accommodations, restaurants and specials.

PM me with any questions and I'd be happy to list some of the things we've learned to do that makes you more efficient, gets you on the rides you want to get on and where best to spend your time. There's a lot to do and like all places, some of the parks are better than the others.

26 posted on 04/04/2012 7:33:29 AM PDT by Mase (Save me from the people who would save me from myself!)
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To: RangerM

Visited Disney World last Novemeber. Stayed at the Animal Kingdom lodge — very nice room, you can look out your window and see animals (e.g., giraffes, zebras, antelope etc.) that are kept in a compound on-site — the kids love it! (like staying inside the zoo). The room had a fridge, which meant that we could get groceries and keep stuff cold for breakfast in the room. Did not eat at hotel, but lots of choices both within and outside of the parks (cheaper outside).

Staying at a Disney hotel has the advantage of getting you into the parks early; that hour helps with the lines (although in October, you should be OK in general). You should definitely rent a car if you are not driving to Orlando — you need it to get off the property for cheap eats and also, the inter-world bus shuttle to the various parks bites the big one (not enough buses, don’t run often enough).


27 posted on 04/04/2012 7:36:23 AM PDT by Cincinatus (Omnia relinquit servare Rempublicam)
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To: CAluvdubya

I assume you mean a mulitple day trip... you sure can’t do that circuit in an hour and a half ;)


28 posted on 04/04/2012 7:36:23 AM PDT by Nifster
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To: CAluvdubya

When I was a kid and Disneyland was ‘new’, we’d always wrap up the day by taking the short ride over to Knott’s — it was open and free then — and have the chiggin dinner.


29 posted on 04/04/2012 7:36:23 AM PDT by ErnBatavia (A conservative, a liberal and a moderate walked into a bar; barkeep said "Hi Mitt")
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To: RangerM
I was there once and never again. Spent most of my time waiting in line and watching the "disabled" move to the front.

If you're gonna spend the money, go on an Alaskan cruise. Your kids will be free, they will see lots of wildlife in its' natural habitat, meals are included and there are a ton of activities for them on the ship, You'll have to go before October though.

30 posted on 04/04/2012 7:37:25 AM PDT by anoldafvet
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To: RangerM

Ride Soarin. To save money pack your own breakfast foods. Cereals and oatmeals and stuff. If your driving bring it with you and if your flying fed ex it to the Disney resort you stay in and they will have it at the counter when you check in.

You will spend all day at the park and probably won’t get back to your resort till after dinner. Unless your staying at Fort wilderness lodge or Animal Kingdom lodge think of your hotel as just a place to sleep. Cheaper is better, save money with the value resorts for lunch and dinner in the parks.

If flying choose southwest/airtran. Much cheaper flights into Orlando.

Plan a day at each park.


31 posted on 04/04/2012 7:38:18 AM PDT by barmag25
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To: RangerM

I love Disney and Universal. The key is to go when it is not crowded. The 1st week in May is perfect. Not too hot, and it is after spring break but before colleges let out. Enjoy


32 posted on 04/04/2012 7:40:51 AM PDT by MattinNJ
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To: No Truce With Kings
Kennedy Spac Center is close to Disney World and has a fascinating Visitors’ Center, if you are into space stuff.

Kennedy Space Center is now the Islamic Contribution to the Humanities Cultural Training Center. You didn't get the memo?

33 posted on 04/04/2012 7:43:49 AM PDT by central_va ( I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: RangerM

Ok. You have made a wise call.

Disney in October is wonderful, specially if you can avoid the fall break crowd.

Get hold of Burnbam’s Guide to Walt Disney World 2012. Best book for overviews of the whole resort.

Go to mousesavers.com for deals and things.

Go to allearsnet.com for menus for restaurants and the like. Deb is a very nice person and knows her Disney.

Go to www.disboards.com for forum type information and discussion.

There are some very good, on property hotels that are inexpensive and very nice. There are also more expensive and some VERY expensive places.

If you want to contact me via private message, feel free. Mrs Conan and I are regular visitors and love helping folks out at Disney. You need to start soon though. If you want to eat something other than quick service fare, you need to make reservations starting soon!


34 posted on 04/04/2012 7:45:47 AM PDT by Conan the Librarian (The Best in Life is to crush my enemies, see them driven before me, and the Dewey Decimal System)
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To: kingu

Sorry.

My daughters will be 10 and (almost) 5 in October.

I’m planning on driving from Raleigh, NC because I don’t want to subject my family to flying (and the TSA), and we can take more with us more easily. I also have a ton of (various air and hotel) points so I can rent a nicer car, and stay in hotels on the way there and back for essentially free.

I guess I’d have to worry about parking the car when I get there (do they have parking at the in-park hotels?), but otherwise I’d prefer something (like a package) that smooths the way as much as possible (hotel, park tickets, meal plan, etc), BUT while I don’t mind spending a little more, I want to know I’m getting value (if I can say that of Disney).

My oldest has been wanting to go for years, and now that my youngest is probably old enough to appreciate (and remember) it, I’d like to do it while the oldest is still young (enough) to have that same level of excitement that they seem to lose as teenagers.


35 posted on 04/04/2012 7:46:27 AM PDT by RangerM
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To: RangerM

Definitely stay on DisneyWorld property! You will not need a rental car at all, with free transport from airport. They even pick up your baggage and deliver it to your room. Rental cars, with gas, tolls and parkign fees are awfully expensive in Orlando

Plus those staying in Disney properties get to use the extra hours (early admission to the parks on a scheduled basis)

If you are looking to spend all or most of your time in the parks, then just stay at a value resort. Especially if you have kids. The value resorts have restaurants and food prices that are better for families. The higher-end decor and restaurants are nice but the restaurants are more upscale and expensive- wasted on my kids!

However, if you want a nicer hotel to hang around and a more interesting swimming pool with water slides, then check out the mid value to higher end resorts.

If you have young kids check out the Dolphin and Swan hotels, when we stayed there kids under 10 ate free at several restaurants on the property with our rewards program

We eat a big breakfast and take snacks (fruit, granola bars, gum) in fanny packs for lunch, eat early dinner and go back to the parks until the fireworks!

We know our way around and always buy park hopper tickets

Be sure to take cheap rain gear that fits into a fanny pack

Buy the refillable mugs at your resort the first day you arrive- that covers drinks all the time you are at that resort

Check out AllEars- it is an unofficial WDW site with tons of information

Get a Disney VISA card and get room and other discounts, and 6 months no interest to pay for Disney vacations

Check out AAA for discounted Disney tiokets and packages. If you are military, teacher or govt employee, look for discounts

Have Fun! It is a great vacation! Be sure you have conmfortable walking shoes and/or also take moleskin and bandaids for blisters, suntan cream, and headache pills

The Disney Fast Passes do work once you figure out how to plan your time, so use them for the rides you like best that get long lines. The most crowded times are mid day and right after dinner

The shows at Animal Kingdom (Lion King) are great, so are the shows at MGM


36 posted on 04/04/2012 7:47:07 AM PDT by silverleaf (Funny how all the people who are for abortion are already born)
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To: RangerM

The last time I was there was in 1991, but I’m sure there are still nice hotels off the grounds. We stayed our last visit at a condo and it was a lot less expensive than the hotels on the ground. The Contemporary and the Polynesian are great hotels, but are pretty expensive. All hotels have shuttle busses for those without cars. And they run on a pretty regular schedule. We did that when our youngest was 4 and we had no problems. The chain hotels all should have hotels near the theme parks and you can usually get a good deal from them. The Buena Vista Palace, which is a Disney hotel, was very nice as well.


37 posted on 04/04/2012 7:51:11 AM PDT by murron (Proud Mom of a Marine Vet)
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To: sauropod

My thoughts exactly. Although I did enjoy Sea World, I doubt if i ever go to Orlando again


38 posted on 04/04/2012 7:52:02 AM PDT by mel (There are only 2 races decent and undecent people)
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To: RangerM

When we’d fly in we’d use the town car from the airport to property hotel for transport and you can request a 30 minute grocery stop and grab quick breakfast, snack, maybe some wine or beer, and a case or two of water for your room.

Also, when the kids were little, since so many rides literally dump you in a shop, I’d shop the Disney Store 75% off sales and would have a daily gift for the kids that I’d place at wrapped up on thefoot of their bed to: blank from: Tinkerbell and they’d be really excited and happy with a 5.00 t-shirt vs. a 20.00 t-shirt or a new short/top outfit or whatever Disney lighted toy to play with at the parade . . . for 75% less than they’d cost you in the parks . . . of course we’d still buy a few things in the park but I’d shop for months at Disney Store for my stash of gifts.

Character meals . . . when they are younger . . . such a waste of food and money . . . we got over that after the first trip . . . also sharing meals with smaller kids as there is plenty of food helps save.

Fast Pass . . . learn it and work it. Also early entry, we could hit Magic Kingdom and do 10-12 rides, multiple on favorites in Fantasyland in the first hour before heading on to Adventureland or Tomorrowland.


39 posted on 04/04/2012 7:52:13 AM PDT by Qwackertoo (Gingrich/West 2012)
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To: RangerM

We stayed in the cabins...fairly inexpensive, still neat and tidy, complete with maid service.

The only problem was, although the cabins are part of the park, you had to drive out of the park, and to a main gate, to enter the attractions. A little extra driving, but alot of savings on lodging.


40 posted on 04/04/2012 7:52:59 AM PDT by lacrew (Mr. Soetoro, we regret to inform you that your race card is over the credit limit.)
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To: RangerM

plenty of parking at onsite resorts. Use their transportation because they drop you off and pick you at the front gate of each park.

Let the Disney folks take as many pictures as they want to. you will get a picture card your first picture and they will scan it every time someone takes a picture of your family and you can sort through them and by the cd later if you want to.


41 posted on 04/04/2012 7:52:59 AM PDT by barmag25
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To: RangerM

plenty of parking at onsite resorts. Use their transportation because they drop you off and pick you at the front gate of each park.

Let the Disney folks take as many pictures as they want to. you will get a picture card your first picture and they will scan it every time someone takes a picture of your family and you can sort through them and by the cd later if you want to.


42 posted on 04/04/2012 7:52:59 AM PDT by barmag25
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To: RangerM

The 5 year old might be tall enough to ride all the rides except maybe a few.

When she gets tired or you’re in a hurry after a parade or Fantasmic or something, throw her up on Dad’s shoulders instead of fooling with a stroller.


43 posted on 04/04/2012 7:58:30 AM PDT by Qwackertoo (Gingrich/West 2012)
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To: RangerM
Oh, you are driving! And going in October! Excellent!

Mickeys Not-So-Scary Halloween event is WELL WORTH THE EXTRA COST. The parade is fantastic, the dress-up atmosphere is just pure FUN. If I had to pick one time to go back to DisneyWorld it would be for the Not-So-Scary Halloween event!

If the budget allows it plan now to let the girls buy their favorite Princess costumes in one of the Disney shops, to wear that night. Even the 10 yr old. The girls will never forget! My teen still has “Jasmine” tucked away in her closet, and had her photo taken with Aladdin and “Jabar” wave to her from a parade float!

Still strongly recommend staying on a Disney property (we loved Pop Century), just park the car and forget it. That convenience of no driving, no parking, no trying to make a offsite hotel shuttle schedule, and getting to use the parks an hour before anyone else, is priceless, and a family of 4 can fit in one room

AAA used to sell discounted parking passes for those who drove and had to park at a Disney park

If you have extra days, go over and stay at Loews Universal onsite hotel and try out Universal- because of the express passes for Universal onsite hotel guest we never go any other way!

44 posted on 04/04/2012 8:02:21 AM PDT by silverleaf (Funny how all the people who are for abortion are already born)
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To: RangerM
Given what's been stirring in Sanford, FL I'd personally be wary of committing any money to a vacation in the Orlando area without a decent refund/late cancellation option.

This may all blow over by October, and you could have a great vacation. OTOH, things could get stirred up something ugly in the month before the election...

45 posted on 04/04/2012 8:02:21 AM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: RangerM

Disney Packages

start here: http://www.mousesavers.com/packages.html

“A lot of people like Disney’s vacation packages because they are convenient and worry-free. However, it is important to note that the standard full-price Disney vacation packages are designed for convenience rather than savings. In most cases you will NOT automatically get a discount by purchasing a package! It is frequently cheaper to book a “room only” reservation (ideally with a discount) and then buy the package components (tickets, meals, etc) separately.

However, Disney sometimes offers special promotional package discounts, particularly in the off-season.”


46 posted on 04/04/2012 8:04:07 AM PDT by kidd
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To: kidd; RangerM

Excellent advice. I was last at WDW in Nov 2010, and we’re going again in March/April 2013. (BTW, looked you up over on DISBoards. I’m a member there too).

Let me add that you can bring in a cooler of food, put it in a locker near the front of the parks, pick it up for lunch and put it back after lunch. The cost of the locker isn’t 25 or 50 cents you might find elsewhere, but the dollar or so (I can’t recall the amount now) is still cheaper than the expensive Disney food.

I’ll also add to make the most of your Fast Pass options. Fast Pass allows you to get a specific time to return to a ride and jump on a much shorter line. But you can’t just go around and stock up on Fast Pass tickets. Your ticket is locked out of more Fast Passes for a short time after getting one Fast Pass. That time will be printed on the Fast Pass ticket. But it is an incredible time saver, especially on popular rides, but you do have to plan ahead.

For example, Soarin at EPCOT is very popular. The line grows to an hour or longer very quickly, and Fast Passes go quickly too. So you really have to plan to get to EPCOT early, go straight to Soarin in ‘The Land’ and get your Fast Pass, then come back anytime after the time given on the Fast Pass ticket. And you can ignore the end time on the ticket. They will accept it any time after the start time until the park closes.


47 posted on 04/04/2012 8:07:33 AM PDT by Tatze (I reject your reality and substitute my own!)
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To: RangerM
Stayed at the Polynesian Village when we came down from Minnesota in the spring one year when kids were 10 and 9, and they gave us discounted park tickets. It is also the first stop on the monorail when leaving the Magic Kingdom. Contemporary Hotel has the monorail line running through the lobby.

You will be there when it is still Daylight Savings Time, so sundown will be around 8 with fireworks at Epcot at 9 and Magic Kingdom at 11. Magic Kingdom Light Parade (awesome) will be one before fireworks and one after. (usually)

There will be a throng of people waiting for the monorail to the parking lot afterwards which can be quite a daunting sight.

However, in typical Disney fashion, the people are moved quite quickly.

We now live 45 minutes away from Disney. All our out of town friends know this and we have been to Disney World a total of 28 times in the past six years.

Took some of our British friends there in March of last year and watched the fireworks every night at both Epcot (watch them from the American Pavilion where they also have food for starving kiddies and outside seating to dine and watch fireworks) then monorail to the Magic Kingdom and catch their fireworks on the street in front of the railroad station and Magic Kingdom exit.

Get to the monorail station, to the car, and home in under an hour.

Best way we have found to do the parks is Magic Kingdom (best days are Mondays and Tuesdays), Epcot the next day, Animal Kingdom the third day, Hollywood the fourth day and then decide which park you want to do over.

HINT: Use the railroad in the Magic Kingdom to get from one place in the park to another.

Best rides and restrooms are near the railroad station in Frontierland that has Big Thunder Railroad roller coaster and Splash Mountain nearby.

Catch the train at the entrance and go to these first as they get packed early! Then hop on the train and go to Tomorrowland and hit Space Mountain roller coaster and the Grand Prix.

Buzz Lightyear and Stitch rides were a disappointment. There is also a slow moving sort of train ride that goes around and through other rides on an elevated railway through Tomorrowland. It is a nice respite from walking and standing and is never a long wait to get on.

Animal Kingdom, if you can get on Mt. Everest quickly do so. It gets packed and stays packed.

If you can't get on, get a FastPass (or whatever they call it now) and go to the Safari ride.

Then go directly to The Lion King show and get a front row seat.

ALERT: A must see is the Flights of Fantasy bird show!

WARNING: No seat backs at either of these, just bench seating, so go before you get tired.

Epcot, head for Soarin' first, then GM test track. Universe of Energy features Ellen Degenerate (forewarning) but it is interesting to see the kids reaction to having a dinosaur sneezing on them.

Hollywood was MGM when we went. I guess they dropped their sponsorship. Hollywood Hotel and roller coasters are great.

And, it will still be rather warm when you go, so check out the water parks for a tremendous wave pool, gentle one mile long tube ride, swim with sharks (really small ones, but hey, your friends won't know when you tell them) and slides.

And if you have the extra time and money, a great show is the acrobatic Cirque du Soleil — La Nouba performance in Downtown Disney.

ENJOY!

48 posted on 04/04/2012 8:14:20 AM PDT by N. Theknow (Kennedys=Can't drive, can't ski, can't fly, can't skipper a boat, but they know what's best for you.)
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To: kidd
Military Types must take advantage of Shades of Green. A deluxe resort in Disney World Park. Huge value. Plan your trip well in advance OR play for cancellations.

Go here: http://www.shadesofgreen.org/

It's a Walk to the monorail, on the golf course next to the Polynesian.

49 posted on 04/04/2012 8:16:05 AM PDT by Broker (Talaga!)
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To: RangerM
Looking for advice.

My parents took the whole family to Disney/Epcot 2 years ago. One of the best vacations I ever had.

We rented a 2-3 year old 4 bedroom condo maybe a couple of miles away. It was incredibly cheap something like $500-600 for 7 days because these were new units that never sold and they just wanted to cover their maintence cost. Went through a local Real Estate co. It had a swimming pool/fitness facilities etc that was included.

I have heard you can get them even less than that from a private owner.

50 posted on 04/04/2012 8:22:06 AM PDT by trailhkr1 (All you need to know about Zimmerman, innocent = riots, manslaughter = riots, guilty = riots)
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