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  #21  
Old October 3rd, 2010, 08:14 AM
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I would like to disagree with Vance in one instance. If you have a kid, I would skip EPCOT, especially World Showcase. It can be very boring for kids, at least it was for my niece Katy.
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  #22  
Old October 3rd, 2010, 08:56 AM
VanceCope VanceCope is offline
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I would like to disagree with Vance in one instance. If you have a kid, I would skip EPCOT, especially World Showcase. It can be very boring for kids, at least it was for my niece Katy.
and I would like to disagree with Clint because I have two kids, one close to Krista's daughter's age, who visit Epcot all the time and really enjoy it...you have to know how to tour the park...Soarin' and Test Track are great rides for kids, Innoventions has a lot of fun games for them to play, in World Showcase they can visit the KidCot FunStops and color the masks and collected all the stamps and attachments, plus they'll enjoy the boat rides in Mexico and Norway....and fun for kids and adults is Kim Possible (even if they have no clue who Kim Possible is, the interactivity in the pavillions is great)
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  #23  
Old October 3rd, 2010, 03:34 PM
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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.
Ah ok. While I knew tourists show up around the kiddos' holiday break, I'd heard from some area residents that that was when they all go and bring the local crowds out. Damn non-tourists (You too, Vance...j/k).

When I said to definitely consult you for info, I knew the area can be both confusing and intimidating for visitors. I know there are certain days of the week that certain parks are more crowded (think of a SFOT Saturday, but they happen on different days depending on the park), and the hardcore Disney fans seem to know the easier days crowdwise. Plus, as a "regular" you'd know the hidden gems that so many overlook, Disney and otherwise. And as a father with young children, that expertise is even more valuable. I consider hard-earned knowledge to be valuable "Easter eggs" (and I'm guessing Easter is crowded too btw )

You actually reminded about something I was always curious about, the "off-property" ticket situation. While you see the signs everywhere you go for brokers offering "great" ticket deals, whether at a gift shop or McDonalds, I've always been mega-leery. I've always bought my tickets at the park or at a Disney Store before going. Scams, cons, and forgeries and unscrupulous business practices do exist, even if they have Mickey's name on something. I'm glad to know that a few legit brokers do exist and I'll remember that for my next trip. And as I've said before, anyone who tries to sell me something can be my biggest pet peeve, especially when they waste my valuable Mouse time with sales pitches.
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  #24  
Old October 3rd, 2010, 03:54 PM
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Lightbulb Uncle Vance's Guide to Orlando

Dang, this thread info is so good for anyone planning trips to the Mouse area and beyond. Vance, since it already has your name on the heading, feel free to post any events, tips, or answers to anyone wanting Central FL info right here so it can be handy for everyone. We humbly bow down, but we're still not kissing your ring.

And consider it "stickied".
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  #25  
Old October 3rd, 2010, 04:53 PM
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Anytime the tourist times are low (like between Thanksgiving and Christmas, now, right after New Years) the parks are going to be more crowded with locals, but the locals crowd is a lot less than the tourist crowd. Like most parks, the weekends are going to bring out the most crowds but keep in mind that a lot of that crowd will be passholders who aren't on a mission to ride every ride available instead focusing on their favorites, and even then if the line is "long" (I'm guessing more than 20-30 mins, that's our threshold) their going to skip it. The locals like to use the parks mainly to walk around, people watch, eat (especially at the restaurants that are too hard/expensive to get in during the busy times) and window shop. For most it will be a day trip or they will be staying off site since the rates are so much lower and will have a car.Also the local crowds aren't going to have a huge impact on a lot of the things Krista wants to do like SkyCoaster except again on Fri and Sat nights when people are out and about.

Yeah, all the parking lot "ticket brokers" around the tourist section aren't to be trusted (neither are tickets from ebay). There is simply no way to tell if what you are buying is valid especially the Disney ones. If you do stop somewhere and someone tries to sell you some and a simple "no thanks" doesn't work (and often it will, especially in the restaurants where they will prob not even say anything but hello on your way in because they don't want you complaining to the management of where you are at since they could be asked to leave) telling them your a local and a passholder seems to shut them down pretty quick since they know your not going to buying or selling.

Now if you don't mind sitting through a sales pitch, there are plenty of legit time share places around town that will offer you pretty much any ticket you want, but you're probably going to burn at least half a day if not more in the processes.
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Old October 3rd, 2010, 08:40 PM
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One of the biggest tips I give to people visiting WDW, and one I know Vance will agree with, flies in the face of vacation guides that I've read in the past. Most of them will say "visit this attraction first when the park first opens". Ignore it. The ride isn't going anywhere. Take your time and explore the area. You will find all sorts of mini-attractions, features, and entertainment that you would miss by rushing to the popular attractions. My favorite example of this would be Main Street USA. It has a Disney museum exhibit at Exposition Hall in addition to a small movie theater. There's also the Barbershop Quartet, the Casey Junior Piano Player, and Main Street Performers. Not to mention all the stores, nooks, and crannies. Yet, visitors just rush on through without stopping just to get to that popular attraction.
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  #27  
Old October 3rd, 2010, 11:03 PM
VanceCope VanceCope is offline
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One of the biggest tips I give to people visiting WDW, and one I know Vance will agree with, flies in the face of vacation guides that I've read in the past. Most of them will say "visit this attraction first when the park first opens". Ignore it. The ride isn't going anywhere. Take your time and explore the area. You will find all sorts of mini-attractions, features, and entertainment that you would miss by rushing to the popular attractions. My favorite example of this would be Main Street USA. It has a Disney museum exhibit at Exposition Hall in addition to a small movie theater. There's also the Barbershop Quartet, the Casey Junior Piano Player, and Main Street Performers. Not to mention all the stores, nooks, and crannies. Yet, visitors just rush on through without stopping just to get to that popular attraction.
Yes and no...my feeling is that if you are in the park for rope drop you should race right to the big attractions which build lines quickly to beat the crowds, eat a early lunch, then enjoy the atmosphere of the park. By getting to the attractions first you are not wasting time standing in lines later because the park is not yet crowded, but it builds continually through out the morning.

As an example we can easily knock out all of the rides in Fantasyland in MK within about an hour and a half opposed to if we took our time on Main St because we have beat the crowd. Next we head over to Frontierland and FastPass either Splash Mtn or Big Thunder depending on the posted wait and ride the other and normally by the time we get off its our FP time. This works because all the people that came in at 10 are stuck in Fantasyland and all the rope droppers that made the dash for the two mountains in Frontierland have left the area (and prob mixing in with the people in Fantasyland because they prob already hit Space Mtn too). It's now about 11:30 and easy to grab lunch since most people are either in a line or waiting until the lunch hour. When we're done we get hit the (for lack of a better word) second tier rides (Jungle Cruise, Haunted Mansion, etc) with almost no lines because everyone is at lunch or stuck in line at the mountains because all the late arrivers are showing up mixing in with the early, but non-rope droppers. So now it's about 1-1:30, burning hot outside but we don't care because we're pretty much done with our must-do's and can enjoy an almost empty Main St (and the AC) until parade time at 3. During the parade we hit the Tomorrowland side of the park with no crowds because everyone is watching the parade (or stuck behind it) on the other side of the hub. After the parade the park thins out and we can do whatever we feel like until we're ready to leave (look for hidden Mickey's, explore Tow Sawyer's island, people watch, ride the rides that never have a line, etc)

Last edited by VanceCope; October 3rd, 2010 at 11:08 PM.
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  #28  
Old October 3rd, 2010, 11:31 PM
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of course each park is different...that is why it's imperative to do research if making it a Disney trip (or Universal since their are also touring plans for those parks to minimize wait times). Parks with a lot of scheduled shows (SeaWorld, Hollywood Studios) require a lot of day of planning since showtimes can change daily but I'm still a believer in showing up to those parks early so you can ride the headliners with little wait while not interferring with your show plans.

And of course, you have to know your kids and their limits. Pushing them to the point of exhaustion isn't good for them or you, which is why I think MK is a definite two day park with younger kids so you can take a break in the afternoon and come back for the fireworks, or when you come on the second day show up after 3 since many people will be leaving to take their afternoon breaks. There is nothing I hate more than to see kids breaking down after a full morning of excitment and the parents yelling at them to have a good time.

Oh, and I thought of something else you can do Krista in the Orlando area that I forgot to bring up, the Holy Land Experience run by the fine folks that bring you TBN...I haven't personally experienced it, but like Gatorland I have a strange desire to go just to see what is there...like the current feature exhibit "A Day in the Life of a Monk". Technically it's not a theme park, but actually a church because of it's tax exempt status...they actually have to open the gates at least once a year and allow free admission to keep that status...I want to go on that day because I hear it pulls out all kinds of people that would NEVER go to a park like that (think homosexuals, goths, etc)
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  #29  
Old October 3rd, 2010, 11:56 PM
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When I first visited in '78, we did SeaWorld, Circus World (later Boardwalk & Baseball) in one day, and then a day at Magic Kingdom (yes, I well remember the A, B, C, D, and especially the coveted E tickets!). I'd get bored on the long car trip, so I'd get big stacks of travel brochures along the way to pass my time.. Even as an adult, I love tourist traps, the tackier the better. With Disney only taking up a day or two for most guests, the residual attractions in town had a bigger share of the tourist dollar. I always wanted to visit "Mystery Fun House" and "Gatorland", as well as a few others. Busch Garden's "The Lost Continent" looked very fun, but it wasn't to be.

Some of those same places I only knew by the travel brochures were probably an adventure in their own right! Quite a few were even Pre-Disney. Many of them can be remembered HERE. The TBN experience would probably be something I'd get a few smirks out of.
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Last edited by Twisted; October 4th, 2010 at 12:02 AM.
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