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  #11  
Old October 1st, 2010, 03:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Krista 96-02 View Post
Yeah, I know trying to work that all in to a week is too much. Plus, the hubs wants at least one day that doesn't involve a park, which virtually scraps our plans right there. What the hell else is there to do in Orlando...

But thanks for the link Michael; I need to keep researching this anyway. Any other helpful links or tips are still welcome. I have not ruled this out yet!
Those days in Orlando with no real plans are nice as well, and a nice break for everyone; especially to catch up on rest for a day before hitting the parks again. There's so many "little" things away from Disney/Universal to explore at your own pace, such as Old Town (300 ft skycoaster! and a Runaway Mountain clone in broad daylight)), shopping areas, and simply unique tourists traps. Never has any place deserved the term, "We need a vacation from our vacation!" like Orlando theme parks. Try not to be a "Clark Griswald" and keep an inflexible schedule...you'll be glad, plus those "litttle things" can sometimes make the best of memories.
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Old October 1st, 2010, 03:19 PM
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Adding a little to what Michael said, it's always best not to clutter the schedule and rush things so you get to see everything. In my experience, it leads to nothing but stress.
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  #13  
Old October 1st, 2010, 03:26 PM
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Re: Disney. I usually spend one day at the Magic Kingdom (always have to go there as a default since I'm still a kid), then another day in one other WDW park (EPCOT, Disney Studios or Animal Kingdom). While I've only been to Universal Studios Hollywood, I know that USF and Islands of Adventure are amazing, both from trip reports, and by video and pics. I've also had fun at Sea World. Add in the fact that IOA and Seaworld have awesome coasters, and you have reason to tell the Mouse to cut you some slack. (Please forgive me Father Walt as I have sinned...)
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Old October 1st, 2010, 07:17 PM
Krista 96-02 Krista 96-02 is offline
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Yeah, we still have another year after this to take the kiddo before she starts school, so that gives us breathing room with vacation time, money, and her age. Chances are she'll remember it better if we wait.

We are looking at going to Branson instead, if Orlando without WDW also does not seem plausible. I wanted to take a trip to St. Louis next year anyway, and it's only 3 hours away. I have never been to either of those places, either.
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Old October 1st, 2010, 07:28 PM
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Oh, a random tip for anyone going to WDW. Don't ever confuse Christmas crowds for HitP at SFOT with WDW's Holiday celebration. From late-November until New Years, WDW has it's largest crowds of the year. Major celebration with ultra-major crowds.
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Old October 1st, 2010, 09:57 PM
Krista 96-02 Krista 96-02 is offline
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HIP crowds have been bulging at the seams the last several years. I can't recall one day I worked HIP that we had guests parking in overflow.

Christmas looks like a beautiful time to visit the World, but I'm groomed in being with family in a house by a fire for Christmas.
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Old October 2nd, 2010, 04:37 PM
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Last time I went to WDW I went the first week in November, walked on every attraction all week, not a crowd to be seen anywhere. The only ride I had to wait for was Everest because it hadn't been open long. I think I waited about 30 mins. The staff i talked to says its always like that until towards the end of November.
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Old October 2nd, 2010, 10:23 PM
VanceCope VanceCope is offline
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Sorry for checking in so late...it's been a hetic week with the new job, family in town, and a mini trip to WDW.

Ok, so 7 days and you want to fit a lot of things in....I would go with the recommendation that you either do a Disney trip OR a Central Fl trip...trying to do both will be way to stressful and you won't enjoy it. Yes, during your dates it's going to HOT, but the crowds are dying down at that time...and like Erica said since you know how to behave in the heat you'll survive...it's more humid than DFW (think Houston) but as long as you have water, duck in the AC now and again, and don't push yourself you'll have a good time.

On a first visit I would give Disney at least 5 days minimum to enjoy it and to makes more sense money wise. Disney 1,2,and 3 day tickets are way expensive, and those are just base tickets, not hoppers. Once you start moving past 4 days the extra cost per day is fairly cheap (1day ticket is $75, but a 5 day is $210 ($41 a day). With Caroline's age two days in MK is a must so that you don't overdo it. She would probably also enjoy the shows and animals at AK (and you and hubs will like Everest). Epcot is fun if she will be tall enough for Soarin' (40in which I'm sure she is, she looks tall) and there are a few other things she'll enjoy. World Showcase is ALOT of walking, but throw her in the stroller and you'll be fine. The Studios is a push...Tower of Terror and Rock-N-Roller coaster will be musts for you 2, but they are serverly lacking on "family" rides (other than Toy Story which is a must).

Now onto the non-Disney aspect. If your looking to do SeaWorld and BuschGardens you may as well go ahead and buy an annual pass so you can get into both the parks (and you could use it in San Antonio). SeaWorld is a great park, but we haven't been to BG (even though we have a pass). You may want to check out getting a Orlando CityPass which includes admission/discounts to a lot of different things (including Gatorland...no rides except a train, but it was still kinda fun)

International Drive (aka I-Drive) is the big tourist corridor where a large number of t-shirt shops, hotels, mini golf courses, t-shirt shops, go-kart tracks, restaurants, oh and t-shirt shops. I don't know if it is the one your talking about but the indoor skydiving is in this area, along with the Star Flyer (if you've never seen this thing, think Texas Tornado (but faster) on top of a Superman Tower). I believe the skycoaster that you want to ride is at the Fun Spot in Kissimee near Old Towne which also has several rides.

If you want to do a beach (maybe on your non park day) it's about an hour east or west of Orlando (some say Cocoa Beach is closer, some say Clearwater is...it's really depends on where your driving from and if you want to see the ocean of the Gulf). Kennedy Space Center is fun if that is something you think you might be interested in, but I don't think a must do if you weren't thinking about it.
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  #19  
Old October 2nd, 2010, 11:27 PM
VanceCope VanceCope is offline
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I had to go back and re-read all the posts to see what I was missing.

Legoland will also be opening "Fall 2011" so that could be an option for you. I don't know much about ticket deals for IOA/Universal, but I would recommend checking out either Orlando Fun Tickets or Undercover Tourist for a good deal...you have to be very wary where you buy your tickets from as there are "brokers" all over town that offer deals but usally come with a catch of some kind or the tickets you buy are just invalid entirely (especially Disney tickets since the tickets are linked to a scan of the finger of the person who first used it...if you buy one from a less than reputable broker chances are it won't work). No admission (other than parking) is required for CityWalk if you just want to walk around, shop, eat, etc...there is a ticket you can buy if you want to go in the clubs. We've only walked around CityWalk (no clubs) but BlueMan Group does have a theatre there (no park admission needed, just a ticket to the show). DownTownDisney is also good for a few hours of fun with shopping, food, entertainment, and no parking charge.

Addressing the public transit situation (the bus system is called LYNX), I wouldn't...it'll be 100x easier to get a car...just search around and you'll find a good deal (most car rental reservations don't require a deposit so keep looking all the way to/including your day of travel as they change constantly and keep booking the best deal) and bring lots of quaters...central FL is covered in toll roads...if you're not on I-4 or a surface street, I can almost guarantee you it is a toll road. The only exception to the public transit is if you are in the I-drive area...then you can hope on a trolley (forgot the official name, but their green) and they will take you up and down the touristy section of I-drive (including one of the nice outlet malls). Kissimiee also has their own tourist trolley that runs along it's tourist coridoor (including OldTowne/FunSpot) but I don't know much about it.

Other times to think about coming: After Thanksgiving weekend until the week before Christmas is dead AND you get the benefit of seeing all the Christmas decorations around the parks. If you're thinking Disney, it's hard to beat October since the weather is generally nice, MK is decorated for Halloween (plus the Halloween parties, which requires a separate ticket, but is much cheaper than a one day and well worth it just for the low lines) and the Food and Wine Festival at Epcot is going on). The month of January and Februrary are dead (except President's weeks), BUT you also run the risk of having a lot of the big rides down for rehab since non of the parks have a real off season since they are open all year. May is also a a good time to come as it's not too hot yet and schools are still in session so low crowds, but pretty much everything will be out of rehab.

Definite times to avoid: The week of Christmas thru like Jan 3/4...this is the MOST crowded time of the year...you will be wishing for summer crowds it's so crowded. March through early April is a bad idea sue to Spring Breakers and the Easter weekend. President's week can be crowded along with what they call "Jersey Week" which is when all of the schools in NJ are closed due to teacher conferences and everyone comes here.

As far as flights all I know is that you should book early, but keep checking for deals. I know Southwest will give you credit towards your next flight if the price of your ticket drops and you notify them, not sure how it works with other airlines. Keep in mind though that there aren't any non-stops from Love to MCO (Orlando) yet because of the Wright Amendment which is in effect for another few years, so you'll end up stopping at least once, prob in Houston. Once you get a more concrete idea of when you are going...let me know and maybe Natalee can help you out with your tickets

Last edited by VanceCope; October 2nd, 2010 at 11:38 PM.
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  #20  
Old October 2nd, 2010, 11:40 PM
VanceCope VanceCope is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twistedmister View Post
Oh, a random tip for anyone going to WDW. Don't ever confuse Christmas crowds for HitP at SFOT with WDW's Holiday celebration. From late-November until New Years, WDW has it's largest crowds of the year. Major celebration with ultra-major crowds.
Sorry to burst your bubble, but late November to mid-December is a great time to go...Christmas week through New years are the bad times.
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