Thursday, February 11, 2016

Disney Help Please...

Happy Thursday Ladies!
 
Hope you are all having a great week so far!
 
We have been in Florida about 4 months now, and we are finally getting settled in!  There are so many great things so close by for us to check out, and now that we are settled for the most part we are ready to get out and do some exploring!
 
We are about 2.5 hours from Disney...and can you believe my kids have never been there!  Seeing as we live so close now, there is really no excuse for us to not go and check it out.  My kids are probably the only ones on the planet that never had a huge interest in going to Disney.  I mentioned it a couple of times to Olivia, thinking she would be all over it, and her response "Mom I don't know if I really want to go there"!!!  What kid doesn't want to go to Disney?!?!?!?
 
 
Probably one of the main reasons I never really looked into it, well frankly it completely overwhelms me.  I don't even know where to start.  I am sure there are lots that both the boys and Olivia would like, and I am sure that there are some things Olivia would prefer and the boys wouldn't, and vice versa.  Also, I am not a huge fan of swarms of people and long lines! 
 
So ladies today I am asking for your help!  Tell me all the tips and tricks of doing Disney with the family!  I need to know the best places to stay, eat, and what we need to see, and what we can skip!  I am thinking a long weekend trip, so like 3 days there. 
 
Can't wait to read everyone's tips and recommendations and start planning a little trip to Disney!
 
Have a great day and see you back here tomorrow for Friday Favorites!
 


34 comments:

  1. The Grand Floridian and the Polynesian are hands down the best places to stay! The perk of those hotels are that they are on the monterail. You can hope on it and zip quickly to any and different parts of the parks. We stayed off site one time and even though the hotel was nice we felt like we spent a lot of time traveling. Hope that helps!

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  2. Hey. I have s whole series on my blog since we went last uear! Just search the Disney tab :)

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    1. Perfect. Can't wait to go back and check it out. Thanks

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  3. I definitely recommend staying in a resort hotel! There are so many to choose from and I saw on Facebook that there is a special going on for Florida residents so you should check into that! I would recommend not trying to do two big parks in one day (Magic Kingdom and Epcot) I've done it and it's extremely hectic! Also, go ahead and buy your tickets so you can reserve your fast pass times ahead of time. I will tell you that you won't get to do everything in one trip because there is just SO much to do. Have fun!!
    Cameron

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  4. Disney!!! You could probably ask a million people and get a million different opinions!! Lol
    Our favorite on site place that we stayed was Port Orleans Riverside! Absolutely LOVED it, although it's been a few years since we've been there so not sure if it's changed. We've always stayed on site because we have to fly there, so it saves us from renting a car. But since you are driving, it might be worth looking at off site options. A lot depends on your budget too!!!! Decide what's worth spending more on, and what's not. For example, we thought the meal plan was a ripoff, but we have foodie friends who eat a lot who thought it was a great deal. And if you're spending a lot of time at the hotel, then a fancy one may be worth it, but if you're going to be gone at the park all day, then go cheaper.
    And since you are close and probably have more flexibility because of that, definitely go during off peak times (I guess that's a no brainer ... haha).

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    1. Thank you! I'm very happy to able to eliminate airfare ;)

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  5. Since you're a FL resident obviously look for those discounts. Also, I don't know how it is with pulling older kids out of school, but since you're talking like a 3-day weekend thing I would only go during low crowd times. It truly makes all the difference and y'all will have so much more fun! We're passholders and my mom wanted to take the boys this weekend but the crowds are so high we said nope- and we're doing something else instead! Download the lines app- there's a crowd calendar and a really helpful chat. If you want any other tips or to chat email me at aja1223@yahoo.com I'm born and raised in the Orlando area and have been to Disney more times than I can count. People say I should become a Disney travel agent! ;)

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    1. Yes yes yes about low crowd time- one year our last day there was the start of Easter break (we flew Tuesday to Tuesday) and we got on 6 -yes only 6 - rides at Magic Kingdom that day. Even the It's a Small World ride had a super long wait and usually you can walk right on it! Plan accordingly. :)

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  6. Also, your boys would probably prefer Universal (and maybe Olivia would too!) Once boys reach about 10-12 Universal and Islands of Adventure is where they want to be. So look into those parks too and you might want to just go there first!

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  7. Do you read Shay Shull at Mix and Match Mama? She's a travel agent and books Disney trips. I'm sure she would love to help you!

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    1. http://www.smallworldvacations.com

      These people are licensed travel agents and they don't charge you a fee bc they are paid through Disney. They have actually been to Disney and have experiences.

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    2. Thanks for the info. I don't want to use a travel agency and pay for it...I know probably sounds cheap ;)

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    3. Disney approved travel agents do t charge the customer for planning. I can't imagine that Shay charges people for that because she's paid by Disney.

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    4. Why pay Shay when you can get services free elsewhere?? She said once you would never find her on a Disney cruise. Apparently, she's changed her tune...

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    5. Kimm, Certified Disney agents do not charge!!! I'm not sure why some do, but if you go through a certified agent, there is seriously no charge! Ours was 100% free! I can send you her info on FB if you want :)

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  8. Why are you going if your kids aren't even interested? Honestly, if my kids didn't want to go, I'd save my money and go elsewhere. Disney can be very expensive. Tickets for the parks alone for about 3 days will run you at least 1,500$. Are you on the gulf coast of FL? You could go to Destin, Marco Island, Sanibel, or Fort Myers for baseball Spring training! Anyway, for kids that are lukewarm to the idea, I'd go somewhere else, skip the lines and spend my money on a luxury resort with kid amenities and spend sometime on a nice beach.
    -SS

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    1. We live right outside of fort Myers. And we LOvE destin!!!!

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    2. You must check out Sanibel Island, too. The sea shells are amazing and the Gulf is beautiful!

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    3. And I think there's an ESPN something in downtown Disney! I bet the boys would love it!

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    4. We are not Disney fans. I know that makes us crazy weird but we went once and our kids were a lot younger than yours and they just weren't into the characters etc.. Downtown Disney yes, maybe universal, sanibel so beautiful! Don't "do Disney" just to be in the same circle as the mommy bloggers you model yourself after!

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    5. I don't model myself after anyone. And I'm not doing Disney to just do it. We want to take the kids and check it out and we are just a few hours from there.

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    6. Plus I think it's totally worth checking it out and then you can decide if it's with it! Have fun!!

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  9. Hi Kimm....As a former Florida resident, you must take advantage of Florida resident rates. Huge discounts on lodging and park entrance. (But you must have a Fl. drivers license) Don't go over spring break, easter or in the summer. It's wayyy tooo hot! The All Star resorts are budget friendly and have a great food courts. Also, take advantage of Disney transportation so you can just leave your car parked all weekend. We spent many a time there as the kids grew up.

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    1. I never even knew about discounts for Florida residents. Awesome !!!

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  10. Never been to DisneyWorld but Disneyland several times. Here's my tip: DON'T GO! LOL just kidding. Everyone needs to experience it once! Good luck. Its crazy busy all the time at Disneyland. Probably mid-week would be the best time to go. That is when its best in California .....but I definitely think everyone has to go one time. And have Mark take the boys on some bigger rides and you and Olivia can do some of the younger rides.

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    1. I'm sure we will have to divide and conquer at some point;). And the crowds kind of flip me out. I don't like people that much. Lol

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  11. We go every year - I have links for each trip on my sidebar.

    BUT if I were in FL and could book a trip - I'd go in the middle of the week in October or January and February. We are Disney addicts, but the thought of being at the Magic Kingdom on a Saturday or Sunday during Spring Break or any other crazy time gives me hives. On a Saturday people are spending their last day, people are just checking in, and FL residents are going because they're out of school. A weekday trip is a more reasonable idea if crowds aren't your thing!

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  12. We just went to Disney on Sunday. The best tip I can give is to get to the park as soon as it opens. They also do a really cool opening ceremony each day! If you stay on Disney property, they give "extra magic hours" and that can give you extra hours at open or close. Try to get fast-passes for the most popular rides as those have the longer wait times. We have been to Disney too many times to count as well as been on several Disney Cruises. They are amazing as well! The parks will be super crowded during Spring Break, but the weather will be perfect! Enjoy!! :)

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  13. I would definitely stay at a Disney property, we liked Caribbean Beach, it has a great pool, and affordable. When you stay on property, you have access to the early/late park hours. You will be amazed at what all you can do in that short amount of time, especially the early morning hours, because the lines are so much shorter. I also highly recommend a meal plan. Disney actually has good food and unique dining experiences. We figured we would have spent more on food if we had not had the dining plan and probably would have eaten fast food. We absolutely love Prime Time Cafe at Hollywood Studios. I've been to Disney four times, and eaten there everytime! My personal opinion, skip Animal Kingdom. Don't buy souvenirs at Disney...you probably already know that, though. Disney stuff is soooooo much cheaper at the other local stores.
    Also, as someone mentioned above, your older kids would probably like Universal much better. The riders are more "thrilling" and geared towards teens and tweens. I hope you guys have a blast! Can't wait to read about it!

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  14. We've never been...my kids just never really wanted to. I did take them to Disneyland in California and I used and app I found that helped me plan out our day and that really helped is avoid lines but I'm pretty sure the fast pass system has changed a little since the last time we went

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  15. Not sure if you are burnt out on suggestions but as a Florida resident I'll add my 2 cents. Yes, you have to go at least once and try to go off times( skip summer and kid breaks). My main point would be to enjoy it and only do the things you want. Each park will have at least a couple of great attractions. Epcot has test track for the boys and soarin and nemo for your daughter. For you and your husband there are great restaurants and alcoholic beverages in all the countries. In animal kingdom there is Everest and water Rapids ride. Disney MGM has rockin roller coaster with Aerosmith and tower of terror for the adventurous. In my opinion all the food at the parks is mediocre at best but not as expensive as I thought it would be as long as you just buy what you'll eat. Since you have a car go to a restaurant on I-drive or 4. Orlando can be very affordable because of all the competition( kinda like Vegas) as long as you get off Disney property. Stay at a nice hotel with a pool so you can go back and relax if it gets crowded. Have a great time and realize you don't have to do everything in one trip. One last thing, you can bring food and drink into the parks so if you're really trying to budget pack a backpack and rent a locker. It could pay off.

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