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Old 09-26-2012, 09:09 AM   #1
Malin
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Help me plan itinerary for Florida 2013

So next year myself and a very good friend will be visiting Florida for two weeks during July. I have been several times before but unfortunately my friend never has and so the pressure is on to make it an unforgettable and once in a life-time experience for her. We have booked to stay at the Buena Vista Palace hotel which is a five minute walk to Downtown Disney. I picked this hotel because it was a lot cheaper then staying at any of the Disney Hotels and offers free transportation to and from the Disney Parks each day. Plus its not too far in distance from SeaWorld or the Universal Parks. It also includes most of the benefits of staying at a Disney Hotel with the exception of Extra Magic Hours. But since Disney are cutting back on this service from 3 to 2 hours, I don't see this being a major disadvantage.

Now I'm working on the itinerary for the trip. It might feel a little to in advance for some but the way I feel is that a lot of the Disney Dining reservations and other things like Discovery Cove need to be made available from 6 months before you visit. So we only have really until January to plan out 2 weeks of vacation. I have already come up with the perfect first couple of days.

Day 1) Epcot, since we will possibly be a bit jet-lag from the flight. And so I don't want to do too much the first day. Epcot for me hasn't got a lot of big attractions that we are going to want to see. And so we can easily get these done by the Afternoon. That will give us time to then visit the World Showcase have a look at the shops and grab a bite to eat at one of the Restaurants. Before catching Illuminations.

Day 2) Discovery Cove is the plan on this day. We have already agreed to book both the Dolphin Swim and this new Sea Venture experience. The plan is to keep active and explore the park and its offerings. So not to bothered about taking time out to read a book or catch some sun. Because the park has an earlier closing time at 5.30 pm. I think we will head back to Downtown Disney and watch La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil.

That's everything planned and agreed up to now. I'll post some more of the itinerary soon. But I would be interested to know up to now what you guys think?
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Old 09-26-2012, 12:40 PM   #2
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When you say you are planning Epcot for the first day, do you mean Future World only? Because, to me, Epcot is really an all-day (more than one day) park. However, if you are talking about only going for the morning to do Future World and the rides/attractions there, that makes sense.

Personally, I wouldn't plan too much for the (late) evenings too early in the trip as you may find it takes a little while to adjust to the time difference and you might want earlier nights. Plus, we actually found we were pretty tired after our Discovery Cove day as it is a full day. Currently, La Nouba has two showings - 6pm and 9pm. With the 6pm show, you would have to leave Discovery Cove early. The 9pm show is unlikely to finish much before 11.

Obviously, this is only my opinion and I have no idea how well you will cope with early mornings/late nights. For us, we can usually manage the early mornings the first few days but the late nights don't usually come until later in the holiday.
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Old 09-27-2012, 11:48 AM   #3
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Quote:
When you say you are planning Epcot for the first day, do you mean Future World only? Because, to me, Epcot is really an all-day (more than one day) park. However, if you are talking about only going for the morning to do Future World and the rides/attractions there, that makes sense.
Yeah I was thinking to visit at Park opening. And do Future World until mid Afternoon. I feel Future World has got some attractions which we honestly don't need to bother with like for instance Circle of Life. Providing we get the main things done like Mission Space, Soarin, Test Track, Spaceship Earth and the Sea's with Nemo then I'll be happy. By the afternoon we can slow down the pace and leisurely check out the World Showcase, grab dinner and enjoy Illuminations. I genuinely believe a day here will be plenty of time to check out the main attractions. And if its not we can always visit again later in the trip.

Quote:
Personally, I wouldn't plan too much for the (late) evenings too early in the trip as you may find it takes a little while to adjust to the time difference and you might want earlier nights. Plus, we actually found we were pretty tired after our Discovery Cove day as it is a full day. Currently, La Nouba has two showings - 6pm and 9pm. With the 6pm show, you would have to leave Discovery Cove early. The 9pm show is unlikely to finish much before 11.
Unfortunately I'm not sure what other night we'll be free to watch the show. I hope to take advantage of the extended Summer opening hours at the Parks. The 5.30 pm closing will give us plenty of time to head back to the hotel and walk over to Downtown Disney.

Quote:
Obviously, this is only my opinion and I have no idea how well you will cope with early mornings/late nights. For us, we can usually manage the early mornings the first few days but the late nights don't usually come until later in the holiday.
I greatly appreciate your opinion

For me I should handle the late nights. I did quite well earlier this year at Disneyland in California. Arriving at 8.00 am and not leaving before 11.00 pm at night. Its all about pacing. Plus we don't have children which can also be very tiring.
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Old 09-28-2012, 11:59 AM   #4
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What may be worth checking out is one of the busy days guides and planning your park days around the least busy parks. As you are going in July, the parks will be quite busy as it is also US school holidays.

We visited in early August this year, and by using the busy days guides and making good use of the Fastpasses in Disney, there was only one occasion we waited for more than 20 minutes for a ride.

We then worked our ADRs around the parks we were in on any particular day to save wasted travel time.

Could I also suggest that you visit DC on a weekend, as this will be when the parks are at their busiest, but at DC, numbers are limited so you should have a more relaxing day.

HTH.
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Old 10-03-2012, 04:03 PM   #5
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Hi thanks for your advise about Discovery Cove. That makes perfect sense to me

So I've now scrapped the two days after taking wilma-bride advice about Epcot in consideration. And what WiganTony has said in regards to Discovery Cove. So the first day of the Trip, now I'm thinking should go to Disney Animal Kingdom.

Its a big Park but also something that could be done in a full day. And offers no night-time shows. So if we are suffering a little with the jet-lag we can call it a night early. Or if we're still wide awake hop on one of the buses over to the Magic Kingdom or Epcot. I'm thinking the park hours will be something like 9.00 am until 8.00 pm going by this years July hours. So by that time we will possibly be ready to call it a night. Also planning to at some point during the day to eat at Yak & Yeti. Heard some good reviews

Do you think this is a better choice for our first day in Florida?
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Old 10-05-2012, 04:15 PM   #6
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Right I think I have come up with the perfect itinerary for the trip. Please read and let me know what you think?


Day 1: Disney's Animal Kingdom

Day 2: Universal/Islands of Adventure

Day 3: SeaWorld

Day 4: Disney Hollywood Studios

Day 5: Discovery Cove & Cirque du Soleil

Day 6: Magic Kingdom

Day 7: Busch Gardens

Day 8: Blizzard Beach & Blueman Group/City Walk

Day 9: Epcot

Day 10: Universal/Islands of Adventure

Day 11: My Birthday. Considering Wild Africa Trek Tour

Day 12: SeaWorld

Day 13: More Disney
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Old 10-06-2012, 02:47 AM   #7
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No rest days?!
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Old 10-06-2012, 03:12 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rosh
No rest days?!
I agree but thats just me personally. We're the 'gung ho' type but even we build in at least 1-2 rest days (well by rest days I mean we get a lie in and have a late start at the parks of about 12 or even after or else do something else) If I were you I'd do La Nouba on the evening after you do SW, IMO its not a full day park and I see you're doing it twice so...just an idea.
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Old 10-06-2012, 03:15 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rosh
No rest days?!
In all our trips not once have we had a rest day - if you pace yourself they are just not necessary. Parks AM, break (shop,swim,nap etc), dinner, park.
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Old 10-06-2012, 06:25 AM   #10
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Thanks for the feedback

Having a rest day isn't a priority for either of us on this trip. We just want to get everything done. Days like Discovery Cove and Blizzard Beach will be our rest days. Since we'll have time to take time out. And none of the activities are going to kill us. We will be pacing ourselves on several of the days by taking breaks to have some table service meals. We have already agreed on Be Our Guest and Yak & Yeti for instance. SeaWorld for me is a all day experience and since we are visiting in the Summer. I also hope we will be able to catch the night-time shows. The second day at SeaWorld is planned because we are hoping to try one of the Beluga Whale interactions. But I might consider a half day and the second part going to Aquatica. The one advantage we have is that I have spent the last couple of Summers at Disneyland in California. Park hours were 8-12 each day. So I understand the importance in taking time out. I have also been to all the parks listed above before. So have a perfect knowledge on the attractions and shows to see and the ones not to worry too much over. Keep the advice and feedback coming

Once I plan the full itinerary with ADR and tours I'll add these to the thread too
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