Anyone been to WDW in June? Would love some itineraries that worked for you!
My family (of 9) and I are going to be in Orlando from June 1st (Saturday) - June 9th (Sunday), and are staying offsite at a 4-bedroom villa in Paradise Palms. We will be spending that first day unpacking and settling into the villa, go swimming, etc. and will spend the last day packing and getting ready for our flight back home, so I'm ideally looking for things to do ...
The traveling people would be four adult parents and five young adults (ages 16 - 24)
Ideally; I wan to make the most of our trip and check out MK, AK, EP and DHS! We also want to spend at least one day at Universal (whichever one has the Harry Potter stuff), and I'd love to spend one day at Typhoon Lagoon ... but that schedule already puts at 6 parks with 7 days, so I want to be realistic here too. I've never been to WDW, know nothing about the crowds but can assume it will be busy because it's the first week in June, and would just like some perspective.
Realistically, what should I be planning / expecting?
Please note that I have an AP for Disneyland and go there frequently -- do you think there's anything I could probably omit from our trip without feeling bad about it? Though December 2012 was my first trip to Disneyland EVER, I've been there twice since and still have some more trips lined up, since it's only a five hour drive from home. Can't believe I jumped on this Disneyland thing so late!
Also, has anyone had any luck with following Touring Plans? I've been studying the Unofficial Guide To Disneyworld on my Kindle and I love the touring plans they have set up, but I'm just concerned at how I can get my family to abide by them most of the time ... I can just imagine us all finishing a ride and me going, "Okay, next is ..." and have my mother go "No, lets go here instead!" -.-
If ages matter, there will be four adult parents and five young adults (16 - 24); in case, for example, one park caters to younger audiences or whatever :)
Many thanks in advance! Love you guys.
I will be at Paradise Palms for the same dates!
I have read the touring plans and tried them once and they just are not feasible unless you are the military type. For those of us who tend to wander and stray they just don't work. Actually if it were just me they would work, but add in kids and they don't do much good because kids (at least mine) are so finicky, need bathroom , breaks, decide a ride looks scary, decide that meeting Tinkerbell is the most important thing in the whole world, etc. Of course, since yours are older maybe you can get them to work.
Islands of Adventure (the one with Harry Potter and Spiderman) will be a big hit with your young people. You may want to allow for an extra day there for them. I don't think any Disney park compares for people of that age group. By the way, they are doing a 2 day get one free special right now...
...meaning you could do 2 days at IOA and one at Universal Studios. I don't think you will be disappointed in either park but will especially like IOA.
Disney Parks....I love Magic Kingdom, but I grew up going to Disneyland and of course they are similar. I would not miss it. I don't think you would need more than a day at any of the other parks.
Have you purchased any tickets yet?
UnOfficial Guide Rocks
That Big UnOfficial Guide just begs to be picked up in the Store, great choice! I have not used Touringplans to map out a plan but have used the Guides basic plans as a guide line for my own planning.
As far as Typhoon Lagoon, if you get there at opening you may not find the need to stay all day, plus it closes early compared to the Parks which leaves time to visit DownTown Disney.
So My Opinion:
Sunday -- Magic Kingdom
Monday -- EPCOT
Tuesday -- Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Wednesday -- Typhoon Lagoon & DownTown Disney
Thursday -- Disney's Animal Kingdom
Friday -- Disney's Hollywood Studios
Saturday -- Magic Kingdom or the other Universal Park
Yes this means 7 Park days but since you are All Adults I see this as no problem. I advise maybe spending the Mornings together, then letting people do their own thing after lunch, and regrouping at dinner.
Don't forget to budget for Parking at the Parks. (no parking fee at Typhoon or DTD. )
We went in June of 2011 and are going the same dates as you this year (well, not quite as long ) 6/1 - 6/7. I have a DS10 and DD5 so a bit different from what you will have. I am the defacto planner for WDW and no one questions my plans. Hmmm... makes me sound like a tyrant - but it's not that - it's just that my DW knows from going there with me 5 times that my plans work. We never wait more than 10 - 15 minutes. And now the kids know too.
We always do what everyone wants to do - the important thing is WHEN. For example, my wife loves Carousel of Progress and It's a Small World. She knows we will go on them but not first thing in the morning. We save them until later when the lines get longer at other places. The kids love Splash Mountain. We do that early and collect FPs for it so we can do it again.
I really like having a touring plan. But, I also build in flexibility to it. The only time I'm really a stickler is hitting the big things in the morning that will have long waits later. If we can get those done, we are golden. For example, at EPCOT, I want us on Soarin' and Test Track first thing. After that, I will have a good idea of what to do but if we don't do it in the exact order, it's no big deal. Plus, I like to have some flexibility for character meet and greets as well.
The key things I found last trip were:
1. Get to the parks at opening - hit the major/most popular attractions then
2. Leave the parks around noon or so and take a break (it's really hot and really crowded mid-afternoon) - that may not be as big a deal to you since you don't have kids with you.
3. Use Fast Pass a lot.
4. Have an idea of where you are going ahead of time (touring plan) - it doesn't have to be exact, just have a decent idea of what to hit when.
Fast Passes were key for us. Get them whenever you can and while you are waiting for your time to come, go do something else (like Carousel of Progress or Small World)
Anyway - none of what I am saying is particularly new - it's the same advice you will find all over these boards, and for good reason.
I love touringplans.com as well as easywdw.com for help. Oh, and allears.net has a lot of good info as well.
Hope that helps some. I was really worried about going in June because we had never gone in the summer before. But, by staying ahead of the crowds and taking those breaks we had an awesome trip and plan to again! :)
Something most people don't think about.....
Take twice as many clothes as you think you need (or plan to do laundry.) When you come back mid-day to take a break you're going to want a shower and a fresh pair of clothes (& undergarments) because you WILL be drenched in sweat ;)
Where is the Paradise Palms Resort located? Is it fairly close to the parks? We have been staying on-site for the last 25+ years so I'm not too familiar about some of the off site hotels. Are you getting one day passes or park hoppers? We get park hoppers because we usually do some of the main attractions early in the morning (at opening) before it gets too crowded. Usually we grab fast passes so that we can do everything we want. Then we grab lunch either before we leave a park or at a resort area. Because we have park hoppers we can then go to another park...usually before supper and stay through the later hours...watch fireworks, parade or night shows such as Fantasmic at Hollywood Studios. If you plan on making dinner reservations then you need to start booking now (online or call disney dining) as people have been making them at the 6 month mark already. Typhoon Lagoon is a lot of fun but I advise you to go early because the lines grow long as the day goes on. Universal is soooo much fun and everyone in your group will definitely have a ball there. We get the one day 2 park pass and hit the main attractions at both parks. Again...to get the most out of the day you have to get there well before the posted park opening time. We go straight towards the Harry Potter area and send someone ahead to put our stuff in the locker area in the Forbidden Journey. That is the best ride in Islands of Adventure IMO! Some people stay and finish up seeing the Harry Potter stuff but we usually walk all the way back to Spiderman which IMO is the 2nd best ride in IOA. The lines get really long otherwise. We then either go back and enjoy the Harry Potter area or do some of the other attractions if the lines aren't bad. We usually leave and walk over to Universal Studios after lunch and ride the Mummy ride, Men in Black, Shreck, Terminator etc. If you go midweek then the lines shouldn't be too long. Some people purchase front of the line access passes but we don't want to spend extra money so we go with the flow. Sorry that this is so long!
Originally I wanted to quote everyone but I'm sure I would just mess up the coding!
@Ametista That's so cool that you're going to be there the same dates, I'm sure we're going to bump into each other at one point or another! And you're right about the touring plans, it seems like a difficult feat to get everyone on the same page! I'm still going to push my luck and try for it anyways. Thanks for the heads up about Universal; since I'm one of the younger adults (24!), I figured that would be more popular in terms of thrills! Definitely looking forward to Islands of Adventure, thanks for sharing the link! ... and nope, we haven't gotten tickets for anything yet -- we just barely booked our flights and are almost done paying off the villa, so we're definitely making progress! One of my friends works at Target, so I'm trying to figure out how much time we're going to spend at the parks so I can use his discount to get 10% off Disney gift cards and use those cards to pay for our admission! And LOL to ... decide that meeting Tinkerbell is the most important thing in the whole world, made me laugh :)
@WizardLarz Yes, that Unofficial Guide is pretty handy! I've slept pretty late some nights just reading and taking note of everything -- it's so handy! Thanks for giving me your idea of a Sunday - Saturday itinerary; I devised a rough draft earlier and mine came out quite similar except I was having problems trying to figure out when to go to Typhoon Lagoon!
@TallandGoofy I really really really hope I get the same results as you! I'm the one that's been pretty much planning everything for this trip, and my one of my major concerns is getting to the park at opening because my family are such heavy sleepers! The way I view sleep is; even if I get 4, 8, or 12 hours of sleep -- I'm still going to be tired regardless! Might as well wake up and make the most of your day -- especially if you're going to Disney World! I just came back from Disneyland about two weeks ago and on the second day we didn't get to the park until 11 because two of my friends were sleeping. Then when they questioned why we were waiting 40 minutes to go on Space Mountain, I wanted to strangle him and go, "We'd only have to wait 10 if you could wake up on time!" I know being at the park at opening is going to be one of the most difficult things for us, but if all 9 of us, and if like you said, we could get all the major attractions out of the way while utilizing Fast Passes at every opportunity we get, I know we'll have a very productive trip!
@SRUAlmn That's seriously some of the best stuff I've ever heard! I ran into this problem two weeks ago when my friends and I were in Disneyland -- I was indeed showering and changing clothes without realizing I didn't pack enough! Will definitely pass this on to the rest of the family ...
@disneygal55 Honestly, I'm not too sure ... but I think I remember Paradise Palms being about a 10 - 15 minute drive from the parks? Possibly longer with my luck, hah. I'm sure when I have a family of my own we will be staying on-site at one of the Disney resorts, but since we're traveling as a family of 9, we opted for a vacation rental that already came with 4 bedrooms -- saved us huge versus having four different hotel reservations.
How close are the parks to each other? I utilize my park hopper option that comes with my AP whenever I'm at Disneyland, since California Adventure is right across from Disneyland, but I'm still on the fence about whether or not if we need a park hopper ... I'm concerned that since I'm going in the summer, it might be more busy and I won't be able to finish everything as quickly as I'd like; plus I feel like a park hopper would kind of force me to speed my way through the day so I could utilize the hopper option and I wouldn't be able to enjoy and take everything in? I could be giving myself too much credit though -- I'm sure once the heat hits I'm going to want to leave very quickly and change settings!
You can add the park hoppers once you're there if you need.
Edit: don't be shocked if Magic Kingdom doesn't hold a lot of appeal with your group - especially the teens.
Epcot and Disney Hollywood Studios are the only two that are next to each other. But there is a complimentary bus system which can take you from one park to any of the other three parks. Have a great time! We'll be there from June 7th through June 14th and plan on having a great time too.
I tour a lot differently now with two young kids than I did when I was in my 20's. I spent a lot of time at WDW during those years because I worked there. Two summers my Junior and Senior years of college and then full time until I was 28 and moved to Houston.
So...here are some thoughts with that in mind.
I can definitely see how getting there at rope drop would be a challenge with that many people and the age range. I was never there at rope drop in my 20's unless that was my scheduled shift. Two thoughts - one - maybe early birds could go ahead and do some stuff and then meet up with the others once they get there.
OR, maybe don't worry so much about getting there first thing. Get there when you can - grab FPs for things with a 30 minute or more wait. Ride stand by ifor the things that have less wait and stay until close. And just know that you are going to skip some things. Figure out what your priorities are and Fast Pass those but don't sweat it if you miss some things.
Here are some park specific thoughts:
Magic Kingdom - In my 20's, this was my LEAST favorite park to visit. Why? Because it was always the most crowded feeling. I still loved it but I always enjoyed EPCOT and Studios more (we didn't have Animal Kingdom yet). Now, it's probably my favorite because I love watching my kids there.
For Magic Kingdom, I'd say you could probably skip a lot of the Fantasyland stuff and be fine. Go take a look but I wouldn't think you would need to hit every ride there. That would help you out right there with your late arrival. Hit Frontierland (Splash and Big Thunder), Liberty Square (Haunted Mansion) and Adventureland (Pirates, Jungle Cruise) .
Part of why I have to get us there early is because I can't skip that Fantasyland stuff now like I used to. I would if I could but that stuff is all perfect for my kids, especially my 5 year old. For your group, I think you could skip Pooh, Dumbo, Barnstormer and Enchanted Tales with Belle. I would do Peter Pan and maybe It's a Small World since there is usually no line. Oh, and Mickey's Philharmagic. Probably Under the Sea as well.
In Tomorrowland - skip those stupid cars. Fast Pass Space Mountain and do Monsters Inc while you wait. Fast Pass Buzz and do Carousel of Progress or Stitch while you wait for that.
EPCOT - Love this park and REALLY loved it in my 20's. With EPCOT now, you just need to get your Soarin' and Test Track taken care of. You can arrive late and still get Fast Passes but, the Soarin' ones run out pretty quickly - I think usually by noon or one. After those two, you should be able to go into the other pavilions at your leisure. EPCOT is so big and spread out, it handles crowds really well. EPCOT is where my friends and I would go alot after work when we wanted to "play" in the parks. We would just go at whatever time and then go to some pavilions, go eat at one of the countries, watch Illuminations....good times! There was no Fast Pass back then (and no Soarin' or Test Track) so if something had a long wait, we'd skip it. Usually, though, we wouldn't wait long.
STUDIOS - This was MY park so it was my favorite. First job was at Great Movie Ride. But I digress.... Things have changed quite a bit there as we didn't have TSMM or RnR. I was there for the opening of ToT, though.
Personally, I think TSMM is a bit overrated for the wait. I wouldn't wait more than 30 minutes for it. If you arrive late, though, it is hard to get a Fast Pass for that and Rock N Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror. So, you may end up having to skip one of those three. For your group, I'd pick RnR and ToT if I had to pick 2 out of three. But...it is possible you could score FP's for all of them or find a short Standby for at least one or two of them. Keep Single Rider in mind for RnR.
Star Tours is easy - waits die down in the evening and FP's are available all day. Muppets is and was one of my favorites. Hardly ever a wait there.
Once you take care of TSMM, ToT and RnR then it's just a matter of fitting in the shows you want to see and any other rides.
Animal Kingdom - Your goals here are Kilamanjaro Safari, Dinosaur, Kali Rapids and Expedition Everest. Fast Passes are pretty readily available for all of these so a late arrival wouldn't be so bad. As you wait for the FP times, there are the different trails with animal viewing + Bugs Life hardly ever has a wait. Then, you just fit in the shows you want to see.
Geesh! I just can't stop!
What are the ages of the four adult parents?
For you "whipper snappers", you might be able to handle the number of parks you are thinking about. First time I took my wife to WDW (her first time there) we were both in our 20's - early for her, late for me. We did all four Disney Parks + Islands of Adventure (may have done Universal Studios too but don't remember...) and had a BLAST. But, dang, were we worn out.
If you are going to be that ambitious, maybe look into some indoor/air conditioned/cocktail serving places for the parents to chill while you all run around.
The most important thing is to have fun! You are already ahead of the game by doing research on these boards and you are sure to find all kinds of great "insider" scoop! :thumbsup2
@TallandGoofy doy! I was typing a response at my job and left my computer and shut it off without sending it! Thanks for the advice on everything! We may very well end up splitting our group in half if it comes to it, and I'll make sure to be in the group at rope drop! Like I said, I refuse to have my trip hindered by those that want to sleep in! I really want to be able to incorporate all four parks into the trip -- Magic Kingdom especially because I feel like it's the heart of Disney World, but with us all having frequented Disneyland not so long ago, I know I'm going to have a hard time selling the rest of the family on it! It won't be the end of the world if it's omitted, but it's too bad because I love Space and Splash Mountain!
I'm really looking forward to Epcot and Animal Kingdom, since they seem pretty different than what Disneyland and California Adventure has to offer! I've heard pretty long waits can happen for Soarin' and Test Track, so I'll make sure to get those out of the way first! Like you said, as long as I can get the main attractions out of the way first, I'll feel so much better. I'm looking forward to all the different countries at Epcot and I just recently watched a Behind The Scenes feature on Netflix about Animal Kingdom, so that's got me excited too! Hollywood Studios seems really cool too; I'm most excited for Rock N Roller Coaster! On my last strip I was able to ride Toy Story Mania twice in a row, so if we miss it, it won't phase me too much. If the wait is too long I'll just play the "9 is an odd number so one of us will have to ride alone!" card. Tower of Terror is awesome though; would hate to pass it up!
The parent adults are about 45 - 50, I'm pretty sure they'll cut out early and leave us younger ones to do their own thing!
Off topic -- do you guys know where the closest beach is to Orlando?
thanks again for chipping in everyone!
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