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Disney World and Universal

lwt1973lwt1973 King of ThievesSyndicationRegistered User regular
My family and I are heading down to Disney and Universal for about a week. We're going to hit a park each day and I was wondering if anyone had any advice on things to do and things to avoid. All of our kids are in elementary school so take that into consideration.

"He's sulking in his tent like Achilles! It's the Iliad?...from Homer?! READ A BOOK!!" -Handy
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Posts

  • SteevLSteevL What can I do for you? Registered User regular
    I used to live 3 hours away from Orlando and went to Disney World a lot. I haven't been there in over a decade, but definitely check out the Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean. The latter has a bit of a drop that I remember being scary when I first rode it at age 8, but as an adult I found it pretty tame.

    I was at Universal's Islands of Adventure back in 2010 with my wife and some of her family. We mainly went for the Harry Potter section of the park, which was fun. Definitely check that out if your kids are into Harry Potter.

    Captain Marcus
  • KetarKetar Come on upstairs we're having a partyRegistered User regular
    Hollywood Studios at Disney World may only be good for a half day or so unless your kids will want to do a bunch of the stage shows. They closed a number of attractions for the construction on upcoming Star Wars and Pixar areas, and what's left doesn't really make for a whole day's worth.

    Make sure to get some Dole Whip over near the Jungle Cruise in the Magic Kingdom. Pineapple ice cream and oh so good.

    If you're able to book fast passes in advance for the Disney World stuff, do so. Do it on the first day you possibly can, and book them for rides that will have the longest lines. Also try to book them to ride as early in the day as possible so that you can use them and get new fast passes at the parks.

    Shadowfire
  • JasconiusJasconius sword criminal mad onlineRegistered User regular
    if stress avoidance is on your wishlist considering breaking magic kingdom up into two days. there's plenty to do and all the lines are long so... get it all by dividing it up into two days

    you can definitely do most of hollywood in half a day.

    i enjoyed animal kingdom but when last I was there, half the place was under construction so I have no idea what it looks like now

    MichaelLCbowenTofystedeth
  • hsuhsu Registered User regular
    Some of the parks, like the Magic Kingdom & Epcot, are so big with so much going on that your kids won't make it through the park in a day and will want to return. Especially since kids get distracted and engrossed, so it's better to take it easy at a park they like, letting them experience the smaller details at a slower pace, rather than try to rush them around to see it all in a day.

    iTNdmYl.png
  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    edited January 2017
    The animal park is pretty fun and relatively low stress compared to the others.

    Recommended a day of rest as well. Spend a day at the pool, maybe go to Downtown Disney (whatever it's called now) in the evening for dinner.

    Alsoif you can (afford) it, do the bands and fast pass stuff where you book certain rides and events ahead of time. Like you have to book what date & time to see characters, have character meals, everything.

    MichaelLC on
    Jokerman wrote: »
    If sigs were still a thing this would be mine.
    CauldNobodyChallwandering
  • JasconiusJasconius sword criminal mad onlineRegistered User regular
    disney offers something called character dining, and it might be something to consider

    you get an above average meal for the family and guaranteed photo ops with a few characters/princesses

    so if there's a character they really like see if there's a restaurant where they show up

    it beats standing in line

    LostNinja
  • Captain MarcusCaptain Marcus now arrives the hour of actionRegistered User regular
    edited January 2017
    Use your disney fast pass on Thunder and Space Mountains if your kids are into roller coasters. I second Pirates. At Disney, rather than waiting two hours to get into one ride try the older, kitschy rides like Jungle Cruise, the World of Tomorrow (they might be bored by that one) and the PeopleMover.

    At Universal (go to Islands of Adventure) they sell the "Express Pass" which lets you skip the line once at each ride. Might be pricey but I can't recommend it enough. Since there's so much to do you're probably going to only ride each ride once anyways, and the last time I was there we walked on every ride. It's the difference between waiting an hour and a half for a ride vs less than five minutes. The Harry Potter stuff is fantastic (although the ride is not good for people who get motion sickness easily) and there's a kid's zone and a mini coaster in the Jurassic Park area.

    Captain Marcus on
  • LostNinjaLostNinja Registered User regular
    edited January 2017
    Was at Disney a few months ago. I can't stress enough setting up your fast passes in advance on the Disney app.

    It was said earlier that Hollywood Studios was only good for a day, I disagree, but the stage shows are one of my favorite parts. We spent two days there because the Star Wars stuff is there too, but unfortunately Fantasmic (a massive show that is only performed at night once a day) rained out both times.

    Animal Kingdom was the park we spent less time at. Showed up, did the Kali river rapids and Expedition Everest (two great rides), and the safari which is the best way to see the animals and that was about it.

    Epcot won't have a lot for the kids. We were there during the food and wine festival which was great, but I don't think it's still going on, and again, not really great for the kids unless they are up to trying a lot of different types of foods from around the world. The two things that are there for the kids would be the new Frozen ride, and some characters (many of which I believe can also be found in Magic Kingdom)

    Magic Kindom is the big one. With kids that probably won't be able to take a full day in the parks, you might want to plan for two days there. Maybe a morning so you can see the show they perform at the gates before open, and an evening so you can see the fireworks at close.

    The last advice I really have is maybe not get park hopper tickets for every day because most days you won't want, or have the energy, to go to two parks in the same day. The exception is when you want to do something in the morning and then go back late just for fireworks, a parade, or Fantasmic.

    LostNinja on
  • CauldCauld Registered User regular
    My wife and I just went about a month ago. I agree with the advice above that the Animal Kingdom is more laid back, the Magic Kingdom could easily be split into two days, and Epcot has a bit less stuff for the kids.

    One important thing to note: You can reserve fastpasses same day, as long as you have no upcoming fastpasses that day. So what we would do:
    1. Book our 3 fastpasses for the morning. We did this at least a couple weeks ahead of time.
    2. After using the 3rd fastpass, immediately book another one for later that same day.
    3. Repeat step 2 all day/night.

    LostNinjaKetarDaenris
  • ChiselphaneChiselphane Registered User regular
    Keep in mind Universal has shorter hours than Disney. And the parks are decently sized but they don't actually have a lot of rides in either one. You will want park-to-park passes in order to ride the Hogwarts Express, and that's a must-do (and make sure to ride it in both directions, different things happen each way). You can easily see everything this time of year in 2 days, I doubt you'd need an Express Pass right now but its def worth it if you go in summer, many queues are punishing in the heat.

    I love Universal though, it has a lot of 'fluff'; not everything you'll see is tied into some property or store or trying to get you to buy something, there's scenery just for the sake of being scenery. Dont hesitate to follow paths even if they don't seem to lead to anything, there are a bunch of hidden vistas that make for excellent photo ops.

    If you stay on Universal property, you get an extra hour at the start of the day for Diagon Alley. Which is a huge bonus, but not only that, Despicable Me will be open at that time, and that ride consistently has one of the biggest lines of the park, so if you're able to, hit that up the very first thing (you'll walk past it on the way to Diagon.) If you don't stay on property, well it doesn't matter all that much but generally early is still better.

    Similar to Epcot, you can walk around with alcohol in the park, but if you're a Simpsons fan you'll want to sit at Moe's and drink your Duff there for the full effect.

    TehSloth
  • TehSlothTehSloth Hit Or Miss I Guess They Never Miss, HuhRegistered User regular
    I used to live in Orlando and went to Disney all the time so I've got some picks that I don't see mentioned.

    Although Epcot doesn't really have a ton of stuff to do Soarin' is rad and should be good for younger children. There might be a ton of good stuff for them in the Innovention halls but I haven't hung around in there in forever since it seems like it's for younger kids. The Frozen ride wasn't open last time I was there but it was replacing one of my long time favorites and I imagine it'll be pretty similar just with a new theme. Mexico in Epcot has a pretty nice calm water ride that's sort of like Small World, the line is almost always short or non-existent so it's a nice way to take a load off and get out of the heat. The indoor area in Mexico is real dark though, it's kinda weird but I think it's a nice break.

    In Animal Kingdom the A Bugs Life show is great although if the kids aren't familiar with A Bugs Life it may not do anything for them. The Kilimanjaro Safari is also really great IMO.

    I'm also super cheap so instead of paying to park I usually go to Disney Springs (new name for Downtown Disney) where it's free and then take the shuttle to whichever park I'm going to. It's definitely slow so may not be how you want to spend your limited time.

    Food in the park can be hit or miss, but most of the official hotels have really great food options. A couple top recommendations would be Whispering Canyon Cafe at the Wilderness Lodge, I usually go for breakfast and it's an all you can eat type deal, pretty good food, pricey but not as crazy as a lot of other disney options, but it's a super fun environment, you should definitely ask for ketchup when you go. The bread service at Sanaa in the Animal Kingdom Lodge is also a favorite of mine although I dunno how into naan and dips/sauces kids would be. Ohana in the Polynesian resort is also amazing and they usually have some fun activities for kids like having all the kids have a coconut pushing race with mini brooms. I'd strongly recommend getting a reservation for any of the above places and in my experience I usually still have a fairly long wait for Ohana.

    FC: 1993-7778-8872 PSN: TehSloth Xbox: SlothTeh
    twitch.tv/tehsloth
  • DaenrisDaenris Registered User regular
    Also, check the schedule to see which parks have early opening hours on which days during your visit. They open early for Disney resort guests or something. Which is nice if you're staying at a Disney resort, but if not you get shafted because by the time you're allowed in there are already lines. Not a deal breaker if you have to go to a park on a day with those early hours, but something to consider avoiding if you can move things around.

    Captain Marcus
  • ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    Daenris wrote: »
    Also, check the schedule to see which parks have early opening hours on which days during your visit. They open early for Disney resort guests or something. Which is nice if you're staying at a Disney resort, but if not you get shafted because by the time you're allowed in there are already lines. Not a deal breaker if you have to go to a park on a day with those early hours, but something to consider avoiding if you can move things around.

    This. Extra Magic Hours are amazing. Going into Magic Kingdom at 8am instead of 10am means most of the rides have no lines. You can hit most of the ones they would want to ride in a couple hours, and set up fastpass for the others for later in the day.

    There was some shade thrown on Epcot above. It may not have the most thrilling rides, but it does have Bill Nye and Ellen DeGeneres, Figment, and Spaceship Earth, so screw the haters.

    Then again, they stopped playing Captain EO, so maybe burn it all down.

    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
    Ketar
  • KetarKetar Come on upstairs we're having a partyRegistered User regular
    Epcot also has Test Track and Soarin, both of which are fantastic. The Three Caballeros themed boat ride in Mexico that was mentioned before is relaxing and fun for kids. Little things like the Coke building where you can taste sodas from around the world go over really well with kids too. Mine really enjoyed a number of the foreign country pavilions, even when they don't include activities that seem as child friendly.

    If you do lunch at the nicer restaurant in the Morocco pavilion they have a belly dancer who invites all the kids eating there to come up and learn a dance or two in a group; mine had a blast. They also have pretty good food.

    Shadowfire
  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    Oh, I used this bag and it worked out really well. Plenty of room for camera & gear plus some snacks etc.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B005VTIMEQ/ref=mp_s_a_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1485951762&sr=8-10&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_FMwebp_QL65

    Jokerman wrote: »
    If sigs were still a thing this would be mine.
  • Lord PalingtonLord Palington he.him.his History-loving pal!Registered User regular
    If your kids are into Harry Potter at all, definitely hit up both theme parks with the Hogwarts Express.

    Consider entering through Diagon-Alley. The entrance is super magical, especially if you notice it first and can pull off what someone else on the internet did (maybe this very forum?) - Find the entrance through the brick wall before your kids do, then have them cover their eyes, lead them through, and then have them open their eyes already in the Magical World of Harry Potter. If you don't notice the entrance before your kids, it'll still be pretty magical, honestly.

    SrUxdlb.jpg
    LostNinjawandering
  • ChiselphaneChiselphane Registered User regular
    If your kids are into Harry Potter at all, definitely hit up both theme parks with the Hogwarts Express.

    Consider entering through Diagon-Alley. The entrance is super magical, especially if you notice it first and can pull off what someone else on the internet did (maybe this very forum?) - Find the entrance through the brick wall before your kids do, then have them cover their eyes, lead them through, and then have them open their eyes already in the Magical World of Harry Potter. If you don't notice the entrance before your kids, it'll still be pretty magical, honestly.

    This is super cool to do especially because the entrance plays the sounds of the bricks moving around. JK actually wanted the walls to open and close for each group of visitors, thank goodness they talked her down from that.

  • MayabirdMayabird Pecking at the keyboardRegistered User regular
    Stay hydrated.

    Excited kids running around getting overstimulated and eating junk food will not stop to drink water unless you make them, and when they inevitably get dehydrated they will get cranky and whiny and turn into those crying kids who scream that they hate you and want to go home. Make sure they are getting enough fluids and it will save both you and them a lot of grief.

    ChiselphaneLostNinjaDaenrisseasleepySkeith
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    Just did this a few months back for my honeymoon, and it was great. A few things to consider:

    For getting food and water to your room, a great solution is Amazon Pantry. We did this to get snacks and water, and it made things so much better than looking to get a taxi to a local Walmart. You'll need to get the physical delivery address for your hotel, as well as find out how soon before you arrive they will accept packages for you (usually, it's a day or two before check-in.)

    If it's the first time for any of your party, talk to Guest Services, and you'll get special buttons to celebrate. (They have a few different ones - we got the "Happily Ever After" buttons, since, you know, honeymoon.)

    Whether or not you're staying on Disney property, get MagicBands. (If you're staying at the House of Mouse, this is not optional, since they're your room keys.) The band acts as your ticket, accesses your FastPasses, and if you have incidentals on a room, can be used for payment. Plus, you can buy custom ones through the Disney Park Store app...

    And speaking of the Disney Store app...get it and use it. There's a special mode that lets you scan merchandise in the park stores, and save it for later. We did this, and used the app to buy souvenirs for family and have them shipped straight home - and not only did we get free shipping, but also saved money, since they had a % off on orders over $100 promo running.

    Be aware that both parks beefed up security after the Pulse massacre. That said, Universal could teach the TSA some lessons in running a security cordon. Both parks will tie your ticket to your fingerprint on first entry - remember which finger you used to authenticate.

    I really recommend buying the Universal Dining Plan - there's a kiosk you can buy the cards at in the morning. This will get you a meal, a snack (mmm, frozen butterbeer), and a drink for a reasonable price. For a small up charge, you can also get an RFID enabled mug that can be filled at any of the Freestyle stations around the park.

    Be aware that Epcot stands for Every Parent Carries Out Toddlers - it's the largest park in terms of walkable space, and it can easily become the Disney Death March if you are not careful. Plan accordingly.

    Hell, plan downtime throughout your visit. One thing we would do differently is to have a day of downtime in the middle of the week, just to recharge. Or go early to the parks, bug out in the afternoon, then return for the evening. Your sanity will thank you.

    Also, for meals, plan to eat your big meal at lunch, not dinner - prices tend to be cheaper. You'll want to make reservations for dining at Disney early, as the popular places fill up quickly. As someone mentioned, there's character dining, where the kids can eat with their favorite Disney characters, and which is popular. (If you do Be Our Guest, order the grey stuff!)

    If you have any questions, feel free to PM me.

    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum / Steam: noxaeternum
    Redcoat-13
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    If your kids are into Harry Potter at all, definitely hit up both theme parks with the Hogwarts Express.

    Consider entering through Diagon-Alley. The entrance is super magical, especially if you notice it first and can pull off what someone else on the internet did (maybe this very forum?) - Find the entrance through the brick wall before your kids do, then have them cover their eyes, lead them through, and then have them open their eyes already in the Magical World of Harry Potter. If you don't notice the entrance before your kids, it'll still be pretty magical, honestly.

    The Hogwarts Express was the one ride my wife looked forward to the most. Also, when you hit up Ollivander's, ask to do the Wand Experience - they take you to the back, and pick a kid to go through the wand fitting process. (Be aware that the interactive wands do cost around $50, so you might want to explain that the kids will need to share a wand.)

    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum / Steam: noxaeternum
  • lwt1973lwt1973 King of Thieves SyndicationRegistered User regular
    Thank you for all the advice and help with what to do and what not to do. We are staying at a Disney resort and then heading off from there to the various parks and have setup the Fastpass using your advice to chain it. My wife didn't think it was that big of a deal but I explained why and she got on board. We are doing the universal eating plan so we will be sitting down for a meal during the day to give the kids a break.

    We did read about the souvenir pennies and so we grabbed many a penny to do that with the kids. Should we do the pins as well or is that too much?

    Any advice on if it should rain? I'm looking at the weather report and it seems it might rain a couple of days. We did get ponchos but anything in particular to do at the park when it is raining?

    "He's sulking in his tent like Achilles! It's the Iliad?...from Homer?! READ A BOOK!!" -Handy
  • LostNinjaLostNinja Registered User regular
    edited February 2017
    lwt1973 wrote: »
    Thank you for all the advice and help with what to do and what not to do. We are staying at a Disney resort and then heading off from there to the various parks and have setup the Fastpass using your advice to chain it. My wife didn't think it was that big of a deal but I explained why and she got on board. We are doing the universal eating plan so we will be sitting down for a meal during the day to give the kids a break.

    We did read about the souvenir pennies and so we grabbed many a penny to do that with the kids. Should we do the pins as well or is that too much?

    Any advice on if it should rain? I'm looking at the weather report and it seems it might rain a couple of days. We did get ponchos but anything in particular to do at the park when it is raining?

    It's Florida, it will rain everyday, but it passes quickly. They will only shut down rides if there is lightning. When it's raining is also a good time to watch some of the indoor shows while it passes, but be warned that everyone else will be doing that as well so it will get pretty packed.

    That reminds me though, stop at a drug store and grab rain ponchos for everyone and carry them in your bag that you are taking into the park. They are a lot cheaper than the $10 ones they sell in the park.

    LostNinja on
  • DaenrisDaenris Registered User regular
    lwt1973 wrote: »
    We did read about the souvenir pennies and so we grabbed many a penny to do that with the kids. Should we do the pins as well or is that too much?

    Obviously it'll vary by person, but my daughter loved pin trading when we were there. You can find random lots of pins cheap on ebay so you have some to start rather than buying a starter set in the park if you do want to do it.

  • Redcoat-13Redcoat-13 Registered User regular
    Just did this a few months back for my honeymoon, and it was great. A few things to consider:

    For getting food and water to your room, a great solution is Amazon Pantry. We did this to get snacks and water, and it made things so much better than looking to get a taxi to a local Walmart. You'll need to get the physical delivery address for your hotel, as well as find out how soon before you arrive they will accept packages for you (usually, it's a day or two before check-in.)

    If it's the first time for any of your party, talk to Guest Services, and you'll get special buttons to celebrate. (They have a few different ones - we got the "Happily Ever After" buttons, since, you know, honeymoon.)

    Whether or not you're staying on Disney property, get MagicBands. (If you're staying at the House of Mouse, this is not optional, since they're your room keys.) The band acts as your ticket, accesses your FastPasses, and if you have incidentals on a room, can be used for payment. Plus, you can buy custom ones through the Disney Park Store app...

    And speaking of the Disney Store app...get it and use it. There's a special mode that lets you scan merchandise in the park stores, and save it for later. We did this, and used the app to buy souvenirs for family and have them shipped straight home - and not only did we get free shipping, but also saved money, since they had a % off on orders over $100 promo running.

    Be aware that both parks beefed up security after the Pulse massacre. That said, Universal could teach the TSA some lessons in running a security cordon. Both parks will tie your ticket to your fingerprint on first entry - remember which finger you used to authenticate.

    I really recommend buying the Universal Dining Plan - there's a kiosk you can buy the cards at in the morning. This will get you a meal, a snack (mmm, frozen butterbeer), and a drink for a reasonable price. For a small up charge, you can also get an RFID enabled mug that can be filled at any of the Freestyle stations around the park.

    Be aware that Epcot stands for Every Parent Carries Out Toddlers - it's the largest park in terms of walkable space, and it can easily become the Disney Death March if you are not careful. Plan accordingly.

    Hell, plan downtime throughout your visit. One thing we would do differently is to have a day of downtime in the middle of the week, just to recharge. Or go early to the parks, bug out in the afternoon, then return for the evening. Your sanity will thank you.

    Also, for meals, plan to eat your big meal at lunch, not dinner - prices tend to be cheaper. You'll want to make reservations for dining at Disney early, as the popular places fill up quickly. As someone mentioned, there's character dining, where the kids can eat with their favorite Disney characters, and which is popular. (If you do Be Our Guest, order the grey stuff!)

    If you have any questions, feel free to PM me.

    This is all awesome advice (and I wanted to quote it because I also went there on my honeymoon as well).

    My wife and I made it a habit to get into the parks as early as possible in the morning, then once it started getting crowded at lunch time, we'd go back to the hotel (Riverside is where we stayed and we found it to be great), rest in the afternoon and head back in the evening. We managed to avoid the mid-day heat that our pasty English skin would not have coped with, and avoid the busiest queue times.

    We also went everywhere on the bus and had zero issues with it with the exception of one time when the whole park seemed to empty and we had to wait for a few buses.

    With regards to Universal; I wasn't actually all that impressed. That said, my wife and I aren't really into the big scary roller coasters, and we're from Oxford, so we basically live/ work in Harry Potter land anyway (I look outside my window and there is a tower 20 meters away).

    PSN Fleety2009
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    lwt1973 wrote: »
    Thank you for all the advice and help with what to do and what not to do. We are staying at a Disney resort and then heading off from there to the various parks and have setup the Fastpass using your advice to chain it. My wife didn't think it was that big of a deal but I explained why and she got on board. We are doing the universal eating plan so we will be sitting down for a meal during the day to give the kids a break.

    We did read about the souvenir pennies and so we grabbed many a penny to do that with the kids. Should we do the pins as well or is that too much?

    Any advice on if it should rain? I'm looking at the weather report and it seems it might rain a couple of days. We did get ponchos but anything in particular to do at the park when it is raining?

    Since you're staying at the House of Mouse, you should be getting a box with all your MagicBands (which will already be configured to each family member.) If not, they will give the box to you at check-in.

    Are you flying in? If so, and you're not getting a car at the airport, you should look into the free Disney's Magical Express shuttle to/from the airport. It's completely free, but you have to sign up prior to arrival. One great feature - instead of having to wait for your bags, you put a special tag on them that you get in the mail, and the bags will be delivered to your room.

    Since it sounds like you have the Disney Dining Plan, you'll get a RFID mug for the soda fountains at the resorts. These don't work in the park, though. Still nice to have for getting drinks throughout your stay. Also, be aware that some of the higher class establishments require two full service credits.

    And yes, FastPasses are vital. Peak wait times at top attractions (Seven Dwarves Mine Train, Kilimanjaro Safari, Expedition Everest, Toy Story Midway Mania, Soarin, Frozen Ever After, to name a few) can easily exceed two hours. You can even modify them on the WDW app.

    The pins are fun (Pinny Arcade was based off of the Disney pins), but I would recommend finding one or two pins for each person that they like, and get those. And if you're not planning on wearing them at the park, then just save them, and put them in your big souvenir order to be shipped straight home. And again, since it sounds like this is the first time for all of you, tell them at check in, and you'll get special buttons for free.

    Speaking of free souvenirs, one that people don't know about are the transportation cards. Ask the cast members running the various transit services (busses, monorail, ferries, etc.) if they have them and if you could get the ones that you don't have. These are little baseball card sized cards featuring all the park mass transit options, with trivia on the back.

    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum / Steam: noxaeternum
  • Redcoat-13Redcoat-13 Registered User regular
    Oh jeez, not meaning to clog up the thread, but I loved going to Disney on my Honeymoon, and I loved going there with my 3.5 year old girl. I won't be going back anytime soon, as my wife and I have just had another kid, but I greatly hope to go back when she's 4 or 5 and having another fantastic time.

    You are in for a real treat; Disney World Florida does so many great things and its all so very well done.

    PSN Fleety2009
  • lwt1973lwt1973 King of Thieves SyndicationRegistered User regular
    Also, how did anyone go from the Disney Resort to Universal. I'm thinking Uber or Taxi but is there a better way?

    "He's sulking in his tent like Achilles! It's the Iliad?...from Homer?! READ A BOOK!!" -Handy
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    lwt1973 wrote: »
    Also, how did anyone go from the Disney Resort to Universal. I'm thinking Uber or Taxi but is there a better way?

    We used the Mears shuttle, but that's only worthwhile if you only have a small party. For families, there are two options:

    Get a taxi. It's going to be about $35 each way, since the parks are about a half hour apart.
    WDW does have an Alamo on the property, and you can rent a car for the day. They do resort pick-up/drop-off, so you're covered on that end. Do be aware that if you do this, parking at Universal is not free, so you'll want to factor that into the cost as well.

    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum / Steam: noxaeternum
  • lwt1973lwt1973 King of Thieves SyndicationRegistered User regular
    edited February 2017
    Thanks again for the advice. Currently waiting on Disney Express bus after the flight.

    Edit:

    And a kid two rows ahead peed his pants/seat.

    lwt1973 on
    "He's sulking in his tent like Achilles! It's the Iliad?...from Homer?! READ A BOOK!!" -Handy
    CauldCaptain MarcusMichaelLCLostNinjaChiselphanedispatch.oElvenshaewanderingTehSlothShadowfireSkeith
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    Hope you are all having fun on your vacation!

    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum / Steam: noxaeternum
    LostNinja
  • wanderingwandering Registered User regular
    LostNinja wrote: »
    lwt1973 wrote: »
    Thank you for all the advice and help with what to do and what not to do. We are staying at a Disney resort and then heading off from there to the various parks and have setup the Fastpass using your advice to chain it. My wife didn't think it was that big of a deal but I explained why and she got on board. We are doing the universal eating plan so we will be sitting down for a meal during the day to give the kids a break.

    We did read about the souvenir pennies and so we grabbed many a penny to do that with the kids. Should we do the pins as well or is that too much?

    Any advice on if it should rain? I'm looking at the weather report and it seems it might rain a couple of days. We did get ponchos but anything in particular to do at the park when it is raining?

    It's Florida, it will rain everyday, but it passes quickly. They will only shut down rides if there is lightning. When it's raining is also a good time to watch some of the indoor shows while it passes, but be warned that everyone else will be doing that as well so it will get pretty packed.

    That reminds me though, stop at a drug store and grab rain ponchos for everyone and carry them in your bag that you are taking into the park. They are a lot cheaper than the $10 ones they sell in the park.
    Rain is great because everyone is like 'oh no it's raining let's leave' and then the rain stops almost immediately and then the park is less crowded.

    LostNinjaChiselphaneCaptain Marcus
  • rockmonkeyrockmonkey Registered User regular
    edited February 2017
    I'm a little late considering you're already THERE, but I recommend trying to eat at Beast's Castle in Magic Kingdom. Dinner is reservations and probably sold out, but lunch is first come first serve, you'll have to wait in line, but if you get there early it's not so bad (or wasn't when we went). We went to WDW last in spring 2014 and Beast's Castle was pretty new. Bonus tip!: if one of the kids is having a "birthday" then they can "try the grey stuff" (it's delicious).

    I loved the Toy Story Mania ride at Hollywood, but it was super long lines and the fastpasses sold out fast.

    I'll 3rd extra magic hours if you're staying on property at WDW.

    Dining w/ characters if you can, Cinderalla's Castle for a meal is pretty freaking expensive, but most of the princesses cycle through the room and pose for pics with the kids and it's pretty great. On the way in you get pictures with Cinderella at her throne room and they print them and bring them by your table before you finish your meal.

    For a more budget friendly character meal experience trying the Crystal Palace (magic kingdom), I've been there before for a buffet breakfast and the day we went had all the Winnie the Pooh characters. Same deal they come by your table one by one for photos, and the all you can eat breakfast buffet was pretty solid.

    rockmonkey on
    NEWrockzomb80.jpg
  • lwt1973lwt1973 King of Thieves SyndicationRegistered User regular
    Hit Universal today. My wife said the people on the forums were spot on for the taxi price.

    We did get a wand though it was the $50 for it. My youngest didn't get picked for the wand selection as a Make a Wish group came in just as we got in. Oh well.

    Overall a good day though the youngest was not a fan of some of the rides.

    "He's sulking in his tent like Achilles! It's the Iliad?...from Homer?! READ A BOOK!!" -Handy
  • KPCKPC Registered User regular
    edited February 2017
    Harambe Market in Animal Kingdom has pretty good ribs. Protip: opt for the kids' meal for the ribs and get more bang for your buck. Tusker House is a pretty decent character dining option if you can spare the change ($$$) and can get a reservation (usually through the My Disney Experience app).

    Edit: re: Harambe #toosoon

    KPC on
    Captain Marcus
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    lwt1973 wrote: »
    Hit Universal today. My wife said the people on the forums were spot on for the taxi price.

    We did get a wand though it was the $50 for it. My youngest didn't get picked for the wand selection as a Make a Wish group came in just as we got in. Oh well.

    Overall a good day though the youngest was not a fan of some of the rides.

    I'm glad you all had fun at Universal. Did they have the Jimmy Fallon and Fast and the Furious rides open yet?

    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum / Steam: noxaeternum
  • lwt1973lwt1973 King of Thieves SyndicationRegistered User regular
    Indiana Jones is broken today.

    The F and F ride isn't up and running yet.

    "He's sulking in his tent like Achilles! It's the Iliad?...from Homer?! READ A BOOK!!" -Handy
  • ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    Mayabird wrote: »
    Stay hydrated.

    Excited kids running around getting overstimulated and eating junk food will not stop to drink water unless you make them, and when they inevitably get dehydrated they will get cranky and whiny and turn into those crying kids who scream that they hate you and want to go home. Make sure they are getting enough fluids and it will save both you and them a lot of grief.

    I might be late on this, but keep an eye on how you hydrate. I spent a fortune on bottled water there because the local water made me very sick after a couple days.

    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
  • lwt1973lwt1973 King of Thieves SyndicationRegistered User regular
    The water is well water so we have a huge stack of bottled water.

    "He's sulking in his tent like Achilles! It's the Iliad?...from Homer?! READ A BOOK!!" -Handy
  • Mr RayMr Ray Sarcasm sphereRegistered User regular
    I'm actually going in April so this thread is relevant to my interests. Last time I went was like 10+ years ago and it seems like the whole fastpass system has changed; it used to be you'd go up to the ride entrance and get a ticket to come back in an hour or so to join a shorter line... is that not how it works anymore? Because the fastpass system being described here sounds completely different; you have to reserve them in advance now?

    Space.
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    Mr Ray wrote: »
    I'm actually going in April so this thread is relevant to my interests. Last time I went was like 10+ years ago and it seems like the whole fastpass system has changed; it used to be you'd go up to the ride entrance and get a ticket to come back in an hour or so to join a shorter line... is that not how it works anymore? Because the fastpass system being described here sounds completely different; you have to reserve them in advance now?

    Yep, it's all online now. You reserve your FastPasses either through the My Disney Experience website or the WDW app, which ties them to your MagicBand or RFID ticket. Then when your window pops, you go to the ride, authenticate with the band/ticket, and get on. You get 3 a day (and can only use one on a top tier ride) to start - once you've used them, then you can get new ones one by one.

    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum / Steam: noxaeternum
    Shadowfire
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