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Old 01-01-2013, 09:33 PM   #1
The First Davenger
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Thumbs up Planning the trip

Hello folks!

First of all, Happy New Year, all the best, and hope 2013 is good to you

It's finally got to the time for us to start planning our trip in detail , so after consulting a number of sources we've come up with the following itinerary.



Now then, this is our first trip to Disney (or anywhere for that matter!) so we have very little idea on what to expect considering timings, travel, energy levels and roughly what time we should allocate to what theme park and activity.

I realize a holiday isn't supposed to be a rigid military style operation, so I thought the three rough time slots would be a good guide to go on.

As you can see we are flying 06/05/13 and returning 20/05/13. We're staying on site at Port Orleans French, neither of us drive, so it'll be shuttle buses and Lynx bus etc throughout the stay. The stuff we have planned at the moment is all we want to do, I'm just wondering what the thoughts are on this, i.e. am I planning enough? have I given too much time over for one thing while not devoting enough to others? That sort of thing.

So, what do you reckon?
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Old 01-01-2013, 10:52 PM   #2
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just a few remarks at first glance :

malls, outlets and downtown disney on Saturdays or Sundays ... bad idea.
These places get really crowded

Planning Waterparks only days is not a good move. You need a backup plan.
For all you know it might rain cats and dogs on that day, or the temperature might be too low (you never know)
Always pair a Park Day with a Water Park day option. Meaning that you should not plan any water park day at all, but only leave it as an option.
Select a few days where you open the WP option (do not make ADR for breakfast or lunch, only dinner since WP close at 5pm) and also plan a regular park for those days just in case.

for example add MK or EPCOT as back up plan for 8/05

I would do AK on Sat. 11/05 as the crowd forecast is at 3 (best day for AK all week) and go to the mall on tuesday 14th where it will be far less crowded.

Pair Epcot to your WP plan on the 16th. Should you decide to not go to the WP, you'd be in Epcot (recommanded park for that day) and since you planned to go to Boardwalk in the evening you'd already be on location. You'd only need to walk through international gateway (behind UK pavillion) and walk a nice path, 10 minutes to Boardwalk (or even take the boat)


MK on the 19th is a bad idea (very crowded), but Universal or Animal Kingdom would likely be better.
That would leave the 9th open for IOA which is a better choice (crowd wise) for that day.
If you make those changes, the 15th is free, and it's a best day for Waterparks or Seaworld.
you scheduled Seaworld on the 12th (mothers day) which is a busy day at seaworld.
The 12th work better with DHS or Universal.

happy planning
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Old 01-02-2013, 07:28 PM   #3
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Solid advice mate, thanks!

We didn't think about the Malls, that's a great shout. We didn't realise Mothers Day was different in the US either like so we might end up swapping Seaworld out to another day as suggested.

Cheers for the input man!
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Old 01-03-2013, 06:31 AM   #4
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wow u are organised !! and some helpful info on changing some park days !! i like the set out of your plan i need to do something similar !!
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Old 01-04-2013, 05:11 PM   #5
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wow u are organised !! and some helpful info on changing some park days !! i like the set out of your plan i need to do something similar !!
Oh its purely out of extreme excitement, I assure you I wish I was usually that organised lol.

Seriously though, I remember going with my parents when I was a teenager and there was just so much to do, and what with this being a one off holiday for a long while, we want to get the most out of it. Plannning can be almost as exciting as goi...wait, no, thats a lie! But its pretty damn exciting

We got hold of "A Brit's guide to Orlando" by Simon & Susan Veness, which I'd definitely recommend, its got some quality tips and info in there - about everything in Orlando, not just Disney and the theme parks etc.

These community websites are phenomenal too, like the first response is the perfect example of that, all of this will undoubtedly be vital info before and during our stay. I sound a bit gushy, I know, but its the truth like.
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:18 PM   #6
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After consideration of that info, the above is our plan for the holiday.

I suppose the only concern I have with the latest version of the plan is that there are few days that allow a bit of rest in between theme parks. In general, how many days do people usually include? Or am I overthinking it?
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:32 PM   #7
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you don't need to schedule "rest periods"

you need to be able to say "that's it, I need a break" and go back to the hotel for some rest, just when you need to.

Hit the parks first thing in the morning (be there at least half an hour before opening time) you'll be able to do much, and most of the top attractions before the crowd starts building up (the crowd begins to arrive around 11am)
By 2pm you'll probably consider that you've done a good part of what could be done. And that's a point where you'll need to decide if you call it a day, or if you remain in the park.
Don't be afraid to go back to the resort and enjoy the swimming pool. And then maybe you'll go back to the park in the evening. Try not to overdo it. If you feel you need a rest, do rest.
You don't need to schedule rests, your body will tell you when to rest. Don't be disappointed if you think you're too tired to go on today. Better lose half a day in the parks, than loosing the 2 following days because of exhaustion
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:42 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by The First Davenger View Post


After consideration of that info, the above is our plan for the holiday.

I suppose the only concern I have with the latest version of the plan is that there are few days that allow a bit of rest in between theme parks. In general, how many days do people usually include? Or am I overthinking it?
We don't do plans but...

If I were you, I'd make Sat/Sun my mall days. The parks are packed at the weekends.

I would also do more time at Universal/Islands/Sea World.
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Old 01-05-2013, 09:02 AM   #9
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I am admitting to being well jealous of your planning!!! And I will also admit that I saw this when you posted it and it kicked me into super planning mode Was up till all hours last night, planning and replanning and it still looks nothing like yours.....mines on a piece of A4 paper with a million scribbles and notes all over the place need to get my self in order

Maybe because Im a student teacher but I would rather over think it and over plan and change them according to how you feel than under plan and be like "soooooooo what will we do today/tomorrow"

And you are so right, the advice given here is invaluable better than any book! plus everyone is so nice and friendly I have learned so much from these boards
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:19 AM   #10
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Is deffo use the weekends as mall days.That's how we do it,yea its gona be busy but only if you leave it until late in the day.Do the outlets early then hit Florida mall and try Millennia.
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Old 01-05-2013, 03:43 PM   #11
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We've ear marked Seaworld, IOA and Universal as taking up one day each. We plan on hitting Seaworld early, getting the shows we want to see done and Manta and Kraken then we'll leave after a bit of a browse.
As for Universal, we plan on doing a late morning arrival and staying til mid to late evening depending on DS and hiw hes getting on. I find theres not a whole lot that attracts me there but my parents have never done the Universal parks so we're going there for them.
Now for IOA I plan on being there for opening and hitting WWOHP straight away. In May 2010 DH and I did IOA in about 2.5 hours but only cause we did Harry Potter first, got through all the main stuff except Jurassic Park which was down but just in case we've put a whole day aside for that park on our upcoming May trip. The upside of the Universal parks is you can buy the Express pass if its busy and just bypass the lines. We've done it before on busy days and its saved us a tonne of time! Just an idea if you choose to do both parks in one day and they end up busier than you'd like.
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Old 01-05-2013, 04:26 PM   #12
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I would consider 'half days' too. We would often get up and do the key rides in one park and then head to another resort for lunch and then off to another park. You get the benefit of a quieter lunch service in a boardwalk/monorail resort plus the travelling and break are a welcome relief. This is a huge perk to staying onsite.

Personally I LOVE Animal Kingdom and with two walk-through Animal safaris and lots of shows and Bugs Life there is lots to do in an afternoon when ride queues are longer - I find that doing Kilamanjaro Safari and the two walk thru treks would be way to much animal watching in one day - but all are worth seeing.

I would try to get to ALL the disney parks MK/EP/HS & AK in the first week and then leave a couple of days or mornings/afternoons unplanned in the second week to do the things you saw but did not quite manage.
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:49 PM   #13
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I like your plan- it's very similar to the way I do mine

I don't think it has been mentioned yet but do you really think you will be awake enough to enjoy the preferred fireworks at MK on your first full day? I know we are always in bed by then and it takes us a few days to adjust to the time zone. Personally, I would schedule that for later in the holiday.
What we do at the start is try to work with the EMH schedule as those first few days are when we are most likely to be awake really early and are great for making the most of early entry before the parks get busy.

If you do go to the Malls on a Sunday then check the closing times - some close earlier than expected (I usually forget that)
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Old 01-06-2013, 03:02 AM   #14
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We always plan shopping days at the weekend and never had a problem and always found parking with no trouble.

Our plan this year is Florida mall Saturday morning be there for near enough opening depending on time of its closes to lunch we will go back for a swim then come back in the evening. Sunday we will head to mall at millennia and do others like Walmart and target.

We avoid theme parks at the weekend if we can. I remember having an ADR at tutto italia in October food and wine and free dining we could barely move.

Do you have a car to be able to visit the shops when ever you feel free? If you feel like you have had enough in the park one day you could always head to the malls in the afternoon. We used to go to the malls after our water park day but now DH and I only rent a car for the weekend as we just don't use it enough.
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Old 01-06-2013, 05:30 AM   #15
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Hiya

Having visited Florida many times now and surfed these forums for hours it surprises me how differently people plan their days, and I think this is very individual to you and your family, however you will get all the advise you need here

As has already been mentioned I think planning to still be standing on your first full day at MK fireworks is fairly brave.

We hit a wall around 6pm on our first day but try our best to keep going, however we feel irritable and snappy. I think it may ruin your firework experience if you do this the first day. A thought maybe to schedule this in later on in your holiday say maybe after an AK day (an early closing park), or waterpark?

Also, in my opinion the preferred fireworks viewing area at MK is not great, you will have a much better view from the Main Street. Its ok if you have seen the fireworks before, but for your first time I would want to have the best view possible

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