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Disney World...

M. Bardamu

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I'm sure I'm putting my lack of sophistication out there by asking this (much like shopping at Wal-Mart), but has anyone been to Disney World in Orlando? My 6-year-old has been begging to go since last Christmas, so this holiday season it seems a go.

Any helpful tips, pointers, warnings, etc. would be appreciated.
 

mishon

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I live in Orlando and I have never been
. This said, you can't really go wrong with it as far as amusement parks go. You may also want to consider taking your kid to to the Harry Poter Experience in Universal - that has been getting rave reviews; we are taking my wife's little sister when it cools down a bit. Orlando, overall, is safe and pretty unspectacular as far as cities go. Are you looking for places to eat?
 

ter1413

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I went back in my HS days for our senior trip: Virginia and FL. It was cool. You can't go wrong taking a 6yr old there....
 

gdl203

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I went when I was 7 or 8 years old. Loved it then - but I was astounded by the lines, I didn't have much patience to wait hours a day in line at that age.
 

mishon

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Originally Posted by gdl203
I went when I was 7 or 8 years old. Loved it then - but I was astounded by the lines, I didn't have much patience to wait hours a day in line at that age.
I think you can now upgrade to VIP pass ($100 more or so) a person to skip the lines.
 

M. Bardamu

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Thanks everyone - I'm sure she will be in heaven for the week we're there.

Mishon, we're staying onsite but would like to get out for an adult's evening (going with my sister and her family too) if possible. Need respite from Mouse Burgers and Twinkie Tiramisu...

EDIT: I went to Universal Studios on junket paid for by Citrix (I think). They closed the park by 6:00 to let several hundred of us feed like hogs at the trough on cajun food, then let us loose on all the rides. There was an alcoholic drinks station at the on-ramp to each one...fallout is predictable.
 

imschatz

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If it's a daughter .. be sure to catch the princess parade. Might be some value in it for you as well, as when I was there they did the parade in vintage hotrods. Also .. be sure to catch Fantasmic .. to this day, one of the most spectacular/beautiful thing's I've seen.
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Mark from Plano

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Great for kids. I took my boys there a couple of times when they were younger and they loved it. Very diverse experience. Epcot is very different from Magic Kingdom is very different from MGM Studios, etc. Animal Kingdom is not that great, IMO. Some general impressions, in no particular order.

1. VERY EXPENSIVE! The entire experience is designed to separate you from your paycheck and they do a damned impressive job of it. Like the casino where you can't get anywhere without walking across the gaming floor, you can't get anywhere in Disney without going through the gift shop. As a business person I just had to tip my hat to them.
2. If anything is worth the kind of money they charge, this kinda is. There is no trash anywhere. Try going to Six Flags and then going to Disney. Not even the same category.
3. If you have the money, stay in one of their on-property resorts. Again, very expensive, but also very nice and very convenient when then 6 year old needs to make a run back to the hotel for a mid-afternoon nap. I've done it both ways. When you stay on property it makes it convenient to hit one park in the morning take the kid back to the hotel for a nap and then hit another in the afternoon/evening.
4. Epcot is great for the grownups, but will be less so for the kids. IMO the best food was at Epcot, so we would often plan to do a particular park during the day, then a piece of Epcot in the evening depending on which restaurant we wanted to try there.
5. Buy a guidebook and follow it. We did this on our first trip and it worked great. The best ones have attack plans for how to go about tackling the park. This may sound like overkill. Believe me, it isn't, especially if you go during a time when school's out. If you want to spend most of your day enjoying the park and not standing in line or being disappointed because you didn't know you needed a reservation for a particular restaurant, do what they say. Do it and you'll have a great trip, don't and it's a crapshoot.

At least that was my experience.
 

mishon

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Originally Posted by M. Bardamu
Mishon, we're staying onsite but would like to get out for an adult's evening (going with my sister and her family too) if possible. Need respite from Mouse Burgers and Twinkie Tiramisu...
What food are you into?
 

globetrotter

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oh, boy - I've been 3 or 4 times with work (afterhours junkets) but then 4 times with my kids. my wife is great at research, so we have done it well.

1. the obsolute key is timing - your kid is 6, so school isn't an issue. don't go during the holidays. ther are websites that will tell you the weeks that aren't crowded (or pm me). we went on a week that was so empty that I rode the dumbo ride (the single most in demand ride in disney) alone, just to get the picture.

2. go to epcot on your first day - all of the charactors are there, and the lines are shortest. many people don't even take kids to epcot. so you finish all the charactor stuff on the first day, and you don't have to worry about it after that. eat at the princess place for lunch at epcot, and then cinderellas castle in magic kingdom, your daughter will love them.

3. pre-book for sit down meals - get there early and stay late, but at least you know that you are sitting down for an hour for lunch to rest.

4. do the parade at the animal kingdom.

5. if you do the park skipper tickets, you can catch the fireworks every night, but that is pretty much the only reason for it.


good luck, it is exhusting, but your girl will love you for it.


by the way - universal studies is great too, and if you stay out of harry potter world, the lines are very short right now.
 

HgaleK

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Originally Posted by M. Bardamu
I'm sure I'm putting my lack of sophistication out there by asking this (much like shopping at Wal-Mart), but has anyone been to Disney World in Orlando? My 6-year-old has been begging to go since last Christmas, so this holiday season it seems a go.

Any helpful tips, pointers, warnings, etc. would be appreciated.


Do it and take lots of pictures. It's been almost 12 years for me and I still have fond memories of it. One week will probably be a little much for you as a parent (3-4 was exhausting for me when I went back again as an older brother). Get the autograph book. Epcot is great as an adult if you can get some free time.
 

Mark from Plano

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Originally Posted by HgaleK
Do it and take lots of pictures. It's been almost 12 years for me and I still have fond memories of it. One week will probably be a little much for you as a parent (3-4 was exhausting for me when I went back again as an older brother). Get the autograph book. Epcot is great as an adult if you can get some free time.

Our first time there we did the Disney Cruise Line trip where we did 3 days in the park followed by 4 days on the ship. The first 3 were very active the last 4, more relaxing. The ship is amazing as well and has nearly an entire deck with nothing but kid activities. Also has all the characters, etc. Highly recommended.

3 consecutive days of running around theme parks was plenty for me.
 

HgaleK

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Originally Posted by Mark from Plano
Our first time there we did the Disney Cruise Line trip where we did 3 days in the park followed by 4 days on the ship. The first 3 were very active the last 4, more relaxing. The ship is amazing as well and has nearly an entire deck with nothing but kid activities. Also has all the characters, etc. Highly recommended.

3 consecutive days of running around theme parks was plenty for me.


The Disney Cruise is even more legit than Disney World as a little kid, IMO. There was some sort of kids group thing that I spent all day in while my parents were doing their own thing. They took us to a drawing studio in the boat and showed us how to make animations using the flip books. I remember hating it every time my parents came to pick me up in the evenings. They also had a Hercules musical that I remember being pretty awesome. I also met and took pictures with Ariel and Cinderella (total babes) after getting my cruise "girlfriend" some ice cream. I kinda want to do it again
 

Mark from Plano

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Originally Posted by HgaleK
The Disney Cruise is even more legit than Disney World as a little kid, IMO. There was some sort of kids group thing that I spent all day in while my parents were doing their own thing. They took us to a drawing studio in the boat and showed us how to make animations using the flip books. I remember hating it every time my parents came to pick me up in the evenings. They also had a Hercules musical that I remember being pretty awesome. I also met and took pictures with Ariel and Cinderella (total babes) after getting my cruise "girlfriend" some ice cream. I kinda want to do it again


Plus, the Disney private island was pretty incredible too. Including a sports beach where you could take the kids snorkeling and they had sunk large treasure chest etc. Also had a grownups-only beach where, while the kids are digging for dinosaur bones or whatever, Mom & Dad can escape the hustle for a while. Had the most amazing couples massage at the spa on that beach that I've ever had.

One of the restaurants on the ship is called Animator's Palatte. The gig is that when you are first seated, everything is white (like a blank sheet of paper)...the walls, the tables, the waiters' uniforms. Slowly, over the course of the dinner, the walls begin animating themselves into all the Disney characters...first as line drawings, then into fully illustrated images. When the waiters come out for desert service, they're in animated vests with Disney characters on them. Hokey, but awesome for the kids.

There's also a really great grownups-only restaurant on the ship ($20pp surcharge or something) that was just wonderful.
 

grundletaint

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ate mescalin and went when i was 18. should have gone to universal studios.
 

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