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Any Tips On Disneyland Orlando Vacation ?

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Chat' started by Joe Strummer, Sep 15, 2014.

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  1. Joe Strummer

    Joe Strummer VIP Whale

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    My wife has been "prepping" me for this the last
    6 months.
    She tells me this a.m.
    "I have the Nov. 23rd week off - let's go, then."
    *
    Ugh !
    First i tell her "our son is only 2.5 yrs old."
    She says "He recognizes ALL the Disney characters."
    I said "Yeh.....but will he remember the trip when he's older ? and
    he can't go on alot of rides."
    *
    Travelling/flying around Thanksgiving is NOT something I care to do....having a choice.
    However, A guy told me he was in Orlando around Thanksgiving -
    went to Disney + there were no crowds because of the holiday.
    Not sure the exact day he went ?
    *
    Now, being a novice about Disneyland ( too many trips to VEGAS, instead ! )
    Does one stay right there in Disney hotels ?
    How does all that work.?
    .......what kinda prices am I looking at ?
    *
    This is my first stop for info --
    I'll be working the net from here --
    so any tips/comments are welcome !
    Thanks
     
  2. simundo26

    simundo26 Low-Roller

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    all holidays will be busy (im from uk) been 8 times stayed all star resort carribean beach and contempory resort, i dont know on price its dear for uk people
     
  3. Ty

    Ty ?

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    Holidays draw people to Walt Disney World (Disneyland is the one in California).
    https://www.undercovertourist.com/orlando/crowd-calendar/november-2014/#calendar

    In regards to hotels, I'll liken it Vegas. Staying at Disney-owned Resorts is like staying on the Strip while in Vegas (or at a Downtown Vegas hotel if you're the downtown type).
    Staying in Orlando or kissimmee would be like staying at Red Rock or Sam's Town, you're not going to be immersed in the feel.

    People seem to be very biased one way or the other (on-site vs off-site), I saw it discussed here on VMB a while back. I prefer staying in the DIsney resorts, Pop Century, it's one of the Value Resorts. They have good bus service and the bus will get you closer to the entrances then if you drove typically. It's nice to leave the park in the evening and let the bus take you home.

    Rack rates for Pop Century, Thanksgiving Nov 22-28, $165
    http://www.mousesavers.com/2014-pop-century-room-rates-season-dates/

    We've been to WDW dozens of times with our son, starting at age 4 and last time he was16. We love WDW. Having said that, my favorite time to go is January. The weather is nice and the days are shorter. The parks will have fireworks around 8 or 9 and you still have time to unwind in the room.
    http://media.disneywebcontent.com/StaticFiles/ParkHours/WDWTravelAgent_january.pdf

    The crowds are minimal in January and the lines are very short. We are son was little we would hit the parks when they opened, stay for lunch, go back to the room, maybe a little pool time (heated pools), nap, freshen up, and return to the parks till close.
    Check out, http://disboards.com/ it's the VMB to WDW.

    BTW, I cannot recall a single ride your son can go on that you can't. Outside of the thrill rides, they are family rides. You, your wife, and son will ride together. It is a fun place.

    I think you'll enjoy more when he's a little older though, 6+.
     
    Christmas Trip. Sam's Town & MSS
  4. ExVegasLocal

    ExVegasLocal Low-Roller

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    To start, I would say that if you intend to visit Disneyland, be sure to book your flights to Los Angeles, rather than Orlando. :evillaugh

    Assuming you mean Disneyworld, here is a great web site for research: http://www.mouseplanet.com

    This site specializes in predicting crowds at each park on any given day: http://www.touringplans.com As a prior DW season pass holder, I found it invaluable and I recommend paying the small fee for their information.

    As for cost, assume everything will cost at least double what it ought to, and you will be in the ballpark.

    Hope this was helpful.
     
  5. Ty

    Ty ?

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    One problem I've seen with the 'characters', some little kids are scared to death of them in real life. watch them as a 6 foot eeyore comes up and wants a hug. Others can't get enough.

    While I'm thinking about let me say this, Mary Poppins is Hot! She winked at me once during a parade, made my day.

    Although busier than January, Mickey's Not so Scary Halloween Party is great. Everyone gets to trick-or-treat and they have a special Halloween Parade, way cool.
     
    Christmas Trip. Sam's Town & MSS
  6. Auggie

    Auggie Dovahkiin

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    A lot of people take 2-3 year olds to Disneyland/Disneyworld...

    However note that there isn't going to be a lot for 2-3 year olds to do while there: a couple of rides and then mostly just being carried around through the Disney themed stores. If you do the "mom will hold on to son while dad goes on a ride and then dad holds son while mom goes on ride" thing then with lines and such that can be a lot of waiting around with downtime.

    Years ago they used to do a thing where both parents got in line and then when you got up to the front one would stand there and hold the kid(s) and the other would go on the ride and then when they came back they hand off the kid(s) and the other goes on the ride... should find out if they still do that.

    For an actual overall better Disney experience for the 2-3 year old you would probably be better off just taking them to a Disney store at a shopping center - they will probably get more out of that than going to Disneyworld at that age.


    Staying at one of the hotels is a great experience, much better than at a smaller hotel nearby. I like the analogy above about being on strip versus off strip. However it is expensive... very expensive.


    Your friend that went there around Thanksgiving and didn't find it busy probably went there before Thanksgiving, not the weekend of.


    Use something like Google maps beforehand to find out where are some cheap dining alternatives to eating at the park or at the hotel (if staying at one of the resorts). Food can end up being one of your biggest expenses there as in the park or at one of the resorts you can expect food to run you around $20-30 per person per meal and that is just for basic stuff like a burger and fries or a sandwich and a salad.


    Personally, my suggestion would be to just wait another 4-6 years before you go. If you go now your child will probably recognize a lot of the Disney elements, but they won't really remember it or be able to really experience anything and then you'll probably just end up taking them back in 4-6 years to make up for taking them when they were so young.
     
  7. Ty

    Ty ?

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    Figure $100 a day per adult for park entrance, for an upcharge you can get a 'parkhopper ticket' whichs allows you to come and go to more than one park per day. IE, Magic Kingdom in the morning, Epcot at nigth, gives some flexibility.

    WDW had four parks,
    Magic Kingdom, has the castle, Magic Mountain, Haunted Castle, It's a Small World (earworm), Peter Pan's Flight, Cinderella ride, most ot the Disney stuff that comes to mind.
    http://www.wdwinfo.com/wdwinfo/guides/magickingdom/ridesattractions.htm

    Epcot, two parks in one, front is kinda World of Tomorrow like, and the back is a representation of different countries with people from those countries working there. LOTS OF WALKING!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Epcot_attractions

    Animal Kingdom, Safair Ride. Finding Nemo show, animals in exhibits, It's Tough to be a Bug 4D show (scary to kids)
    http://www.wdwinfo.com/wdwinfo/guides/animalkingdom/ak-ridesattractions.htm

    Disney's Holliwod Studios, Studio tours, pretend filming of Indiana Jones, Toy Story is a blast--you ride through a carnival and shoot virtual dars
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Disney's_Hollywood_Studios_attractions
     
    Christmas Trip. Sam's Town & MSS
  8. miniwhale

    miniwhale Low-Roller

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    I think most adults that take young children do it for themselves (adults). Your child will not remember much if any of it. We took my son at 5 and although he had a blast, he is not 10 and doesn't remember much. It is very expensive, and it is exhausting. It is a fun experience to watch your child experience a magical moment but for the money spent, we would rather spend our $ going to Atlantis.
     
  9. makikiboy

    makikiboy VIP Whale

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    Hard for a kid so young to remember much of his vacation. My recommendation is to take along your camera so you can videotape his experience. Then you can replay it again and again so he remembers the fun he had there. You can also play Disney videos so he recognizes the Disney characters he met.

    Where to stay....I think it all depends on your budget and comfort level. Staying on the Disney property is very convenient but also pricey (not only hotel but food is also pricey). You get to go into the various parks earlier than the regular crowds and it's also possible that you can take a mid afternoon break to go back to your room for a nap. You should check with the Disney web sites for hotel prices in WDW. Unfortunately you are looking at paying $125 a night to stay in the lower end Disney hotels. You can also stay at the Disney fort wilderness resort, there are cabins if you want to "rough" it that go for about $65 a night.

    If you want to visit Disney on a budget there are many areas around WDW to stay at. I have stayed in the Kissimmee area, I got hotels for under $30 a night (beware they may be considered "dumpy" so best to check with trip advisor to see reviews on a place). The reason I stay outside of WDW is because I want to visit the many attractions in the area, Universal Studios, Busch Gardens, SeaWorld, Kenney space center, etc. Some people also stay part of the time in WDW, then rent a car and move outside to see the other attractions.

    If your wife wants to go to WDW you may as well score some points by taking her and your boy over the holiday, that way she will be more agreeable with your vegas jaunts in the future, lol.
     
  10. UTE

    UTE Plastics

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    When at Disney World my wife and I always stay in one of the hotels on the monorail route. Now, the bus system there is great - with reliable and regular runs - but the monorail is more convenient, faster, and hits the highlights most people want to see.

    Bill
     
  11. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Very good advice from TY. Unless you plan activities outside of Disney World, I would suggest staying on Disney property. My g/f was just looking into Disney World for November. I think she feels like she's priced out for the dates she was looking at.

    I wouldn't take the kid to Disney World unless you plan on taking him back somewhere between 6 and 10. My first trip was when I was 6. At least I remember some of it. Then went with my g/f at 30 and 31 and Disneyland/Vegas combo on her b-day last year. She loves Disney if you couldn't tell...lol
     
  12. parallax

    parallax Low-Roller

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    Although I think you child may be a little too young, we waited until our daughter was almost 5 so she could have some memories, I recommend that you stay at the Contemporary. It is within walking distance of the MK, where you will spend most of your time.
     
  13. LoveDowntownVegas

    LoveDowntownVegas Low-Roller

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    you have to decide if you want to take a 2.5 year old to Disney - no one can tell you if it's right or wrong. plenty of people do it.
    my 2 cents on the subject - if you take a young child, your doing it for them to some degree, but it's really more for the parents. there is a snapshot in time where everything is magical to a child, and as the parent, it's awesome to capture that moment. The child will remember bits and pieces, but the parent will remember it forever.

    on to the tips.
    1) Stay at a Disney property. with a young child you may want to go back to the room middle of the day for a nap. it's easier when you're onsite.
    2) stay at a resort with monorail transportation if your budget allows (see #1).
    3) if you don't stay at a monorail resort, strongly consider renting a car. people brag about how great the Disney public transportation is (and it can be good), but IMO there's nothing worse than waiting on a bus to get to/from the hotel with a child in tow. Also, it's a PITA to deal with a stroller on the buses. the monorail resorts can be pricey, but you can stay at one of the cheaper resorts, rent a car, and still be money ahead.
    4) in you don't want to take your own stroller, rent one from an offsite group. We've used http://www.themeparkstrollers.com/ and they were great. pickup/dropoff the stroller at your resort and they are much better quality than what you get in the theme park.

    there's so much info about Disney it's hard to generically cover things. if I think of more i'll holler. check out www.mousesavers.com for more tips/etc. and sign up for their newsletter.
     
    Futbol - final game
  14. dfalk

    dfalk VIP Whale

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    I went when I was like 7 or 8 and I don't remember much of it at all. My most vivid memory of DW was getting sunburnt really really bad and being in a lot of pain.
     
  15. pink_paradise

    pink_paradise Low-Roller

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    I've been to WDW twice, for two weeks at a time, and while I was older (16 and 20) the enjoyment and fun factor is (IMHO) worth it for any age. We stayed at the value resorts, we loved Pop Century and it was well within our budget. For food, I would suggest looking into the dining plan, if I remember correctly, for about $100/day you, wife and the kiddo could eat all your meals, and have it pre-paid. We found this worked really well, especially if food cost is a concern for you. It was great to have it all prepaid and not have to worry about it when it came time for a bill at the end of a meal, just leave a tip and you're all set.
    The transportation system is great and leaves any driving to the experts, so one less thing for you to worry about.
     
  16. JosieCat

    JosieCat VIP Whale

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    If you aren't looking to stay at a Disney property, I can highly recommend the Best Western Premier Saratoga Resort Villas. Great location, reasonable prices.
     
  17. VegasChic-

    VegasChic- VIP Whale

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    We go to Disney once a year with three kids that are young.....

    - We get a 2 bedroom villa at either Animal kingdom or Saratoga springs. When we book the resort the hotel mails us luggage tags. When we arrive at airport, we just go to the Disney busses and get on the one to our resort. Disney gets our luggage from the carousel and delivers to the room within 2-3 hours. I assume all the resorts do this as there are TONS of Disney busses at the airport. make sure to pack some bathing suits in your carry on for when you get there!
    - with the villa, we have a full kitchen, so prior to arrival, we online order our groceries with delivery the day of arrival. Disney accepts the packages for us and they store them, frozen, refrigerated or dry, and we just call the bell desk to be brought to room when we get there. Just google for online deliveries, can't remember the name but theres one that appears most people use and the delivery cost is obviously less than a car rental, and no hassle. Even if you don't get a kitchen, the use of a bar fridge could get all the needed things for your little one and make things a little easier on you!
    - when you stay on a disney resort, you get "Magic" hours where on certain days, certain parks will have extra hours in the morning or at night restricted to just hotel guests, so the park isn't as busy. You can go under the park website for the details of that.
    -for all the above, we're big fans of staying on property.....we used to get a Condo off-site. It was still totally enjoyable and workable, but staying on site just saved a few steps.
    - Decide in advance how many days you want to go to the parks. Buying multiple days at once can knock down the price a lot!!
    - Every time we've gone to Disney from September on (no clue about late NOV), there have been wicked thunderstorms. Buy the rain poncho's that fold up tiny from a $$ store before you go. Your own rain jacket is likely too warm, so the poncho's work. (an extra one has also saved my stroller in a pinch) Or, get them in the park for $25...ugh!
    - make sure to always have a fast pass ride voucher on the go, makes getting through the park way smoother with less waits.
    - I always make some dining reservations, usually for lunch on park days. When we've gone it's so hot the sit down in air conditioning was always appreciated.

    Hope that helps!

    BTW.....we've taken the kids since they were months old....they just grew up with it, they now love the pics of themselves when they were younger, and we as a family are getting this whole travel thing down to a science, but Disney makes it soooooo easy.

    Hope you enjoy the trip!!!!!
     
  18. saeldway

    saeldway Low-Roller

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    Also the parent of a 2.5 year old, season pass holder at Disneyland and having been to WDW 4x (1 week each time), I'll give you the following:

    I fought with my wife about the pass because being an on/off passhole (term used by Disney employees about pass holders) for 20 years I thought our son was too young to get use out of it, and guess who won? Her. Guess who was right, well both of us. I think my son's too young. He's really into Cars and he can't ride speed racers, he has a fit every time we pass by but that being said he enjoys much of it. He loves the characters. They will zonk out after 3-4 hours whether the kid still naps or not, it's just sensory overload (like vegas except Disney has the hooker pay)

    Holidays are going to be busy.

    Having stayed both on and off Disney properties I would say stay on property. You risk missing the "feel" of Disney.

    I've always (on property) stayed at hotels attached to the monorail. This is great shuttling between hotels and the parks.
     
  19. LV_Bound

    LV_Bound VIP Whale

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    Staying just outside of Disney will be much cheaper but personally I would pay the extra for the complete experience.
    Much less hassle and drive, plus very convenient after a long day with a 2 yr old which can make it longer.
    Staying on location does provide perks like early entry.

    Think of how convenient it is to stay on the strip than it is to stay off the strip.

    I think Disney is more appreciated when the kids are slightly older but Disney is really for all ages.
    Plus, many people go numerous times.

    Think of it this way. You will spend just as much at Disney as you would gambling. The only difference you have 0 chance of leaving with more than you came with.:evillaugh
     
  20. Joe Strummer

    Joe Strummer VIP Whale

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    I wanted to thank everyone for their info + input.
     
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