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Old 03-04-2013, 08:08 AM   #1
Sam1
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First visit

Hi all, we're booked up for October this year. It was originally booked for next year, but we've brought it forward to this year because we just couldn't wait. Now I'm panicking because I have to plan earlier!

I'm trying to work out how much time we'll need for each park, but it's harder than I thought. I've read quite a few posts where people suggest not to try to do too much in your first visit, so I really don't want to make that mistake. We need a break just as much as the Disney holiday, so I don't want to overdo stuff and not get chance to enjoy it. We're not the kind of people to pop back to the hotel, so our rest time would be while in the parks.

There's me, my husband and our two children (14 and 2). We're going for 15 nights, staying off site. I haven't bought tickets yet, but we were thinking of 14 day hoppers for both Disney and Universal. I doubt we'll do the water parks, so it'll just be the other 4 Disney parks.

We've been to DisneyLand Paris a number of times, how does Magic Kingdom compare when it comes to size? Would I estimate about the same time as we do for Paris, or is it a lot bigger?

Thanks for any help.
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Old 03-04-2013, 12:51 PM   #2
queendisney
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam1 View Post
Hi all, we're booked up for October this year. It was originally booked for next year, but we've brought it forward to this year because we just couldn't wait. Now I'm panicking because I have to plan earlier!

I'm trying to work out how much time we'll need for each park, but it's harder than I thought. I've read quite a few posts where people suggest not to try to do too much in your first visit, so I really don't want to make that mistake. We need a break just as much as the Disney holiday, so I don't want to overdo stuff and not get chance to enjoy it. We're not the kind of people to pop back to the hotel, so our rest time would be while in the parks.

There's me, my husband and our two children (14 and 2). We're going for 15 nights, staying off site. I haven't bought tickets yet, but we were thinking of 14 day hoppers for both Disney and Universal. I doubt we'll do the water parks, so it'll just be the other 4 Disney parks.

We've been to DisneyLand Paris a number of times, how does Magic Kingdom compare when it comes to size? Would I estimate about the same time as we do for Paris, or is it a lot bigger?

Thanks for any help.
Welcome

October is a wonderful time to visit, weather and crowd level is great and if you time it right you will be able to book Mickeys not so scary Halloween party and Mickeys very merry christmas party at MK.
Yes WDW is huge and you won't be able to do everything in the time you have but you will certainly be able to make a good dent in it. Maybe look at all the park maps and see what attractions you really want to do and ones that you aren't worried about missing. As you have been to DLP I would say that you maybe could miss out Big Thunder Mountain and Pirates as they are better rides in DLP. MK is bigger in WDW and even missing two rides out you will still have loads todo.
Make sure you don't pay for too many days at Universal/IOA because you may not need unlimited days there, it could off course work out just as cheap to do unlimited days then to pay for say 2 days. I would imagine you will spend/need more time in WDW itself so make sure you have the hoppers for there.
You say you are the kind of people that will stay out all day, but you may be under estimating just how big the place is and with a 2 year old it may be better to get to the parks for rope drop and head back for a break/sleep/swim at midday maybe and then come back refreshed for the rest of the day and the fireworks.
I think the size of the place takes people by surprise on their first trips and even when you say its huge it not until you get there you know the meaning of huge Its very hard going on the feet and you will need to factor in regular breaks, its not a holiday where you come back feeling relaxed
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Old 03-04-2013, 12:51 PM   #3
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Salut Sam, bienvenue sur DIS

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam1 View Post
I'm trying to work out how much time we'll need for each park, but it's harder than I thought. I've read quite a few posts where people suggest not to try to do too much in your first visit, so I really don't want to make that mistake. We need a break just as much as the Disney holiday, so I don't want to overdo stuff and not get chance to enjoy it. We're not the kind of people to pop back to the hotel, so our rest time would be while in the parks.
Plan at least 2 days for each park.
8 days for WDW, 2 days for IoA and 1 day for Universal, that should leave 2 or 3 days to repeat your favorite parks.
Do not overlook EPCOT
Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios can be made into half day parks once you've spent a full day there.

The biggest secret is to be there early. At least half an hour before park opening.
Crowds start building up around 11am and peak at around 2pm it's often a good idea to get out of the park, rest and go back later.
With your 2 year old it might be a good idea to take a break
Unfortunately you will be staying offsite which will make it very difficult (and not time and cost effective) to get back to your hotel.

You say that you're not the kind to pop back at the hotel ... well I can understand that, but that's a good way to go nonetheless.
WDW is very tiring (do not forget the stroller for the little one ... and Disney's rental strollers are absolutely awful... very hard plastic... we rent one from orlando strollers rental)

Be aware that you will not manage to tour WDW like your tour DLP.
If you think you will be able to hit the parks from sunup to sundown, think again...

Do not overdo it. Doing both WDW and Universal in 14 days is already pushing it. It's not too much, but consider that you already reach the limit (don't get tempted by other theme parks like seaworld or the likes of it)

Quote:
There's me, my husband and our two children (14 and 2). We're going for 15 nights, staying off site. I haven't bought tickets yet, but we were thinking of 14 day hoppers for both Disney and Universal. I doubt we'll do the water parks, so it'll just be the other 4 Disney parks.
you'll probably want to have a look at WDTC-UK's 14 days ultimate tickets. They are valid for unlimited access for 14 consecutive days at WDW
I see that you live in France, don't worry about the "UK residents only" reference for the tickets, we can get them from anywhere in Europe (except Switzerland)

Quote:
We've been to DisneyLand Paris a number of times, how does Magic Kingdom compare when it comes to size? Would I estimate about the same time as we do for Paris, or is it a lot bigger?
Magic Kingdom is smaller than Disneyland Park in Paris. But it packs more attractions and things to do.
Don't be misled by the fact that it's smaller. You'll end up spending more time in MK than you can imagine, and you'll probably keep on discovering things.
You'll also realise that you will be able to spend more time for characters.
WDW is character's heaven. No pushing and shoving, no obnoxious guest posing in the background or pushing your kids away.

Animal Kingdom is 3 times larger than Disneyland Park in Paris. Epcot is also bigger.

All in all, be aware that WDW is the same size (area) as the city of Paris (paris intra-muros)

with 14 days you'll catch a good glimpse of WDW. But one thing is for sure, you won't be able to see it all.
So prioritize what you want to do. Take it slow, and enjoy

Bon courage pour la plannif
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Old 03-04-2013, 01:05 PM   #4
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We went on our first trip last October with our girls - 12, 8 and 5. I would agree that hitting the parks first thing and then going back to the hotel is a good plan. That way, you can go out again in the evening and stay out late. My kids loved to have a mid-afternoon swim as the parks can be a bit of a sensory overload, especially for the young ones.

Definitely take a stroller! We took one for our 5 year old (and no, I didn't care what anyone thought ) and that saved her getting tired - she often had a nap in it during our later evenings.

You could also do what we did which was to occasionally split up. I took the younger ones on rides while the teenage daughter and DH went on faster rides.

We did MNSSHP and MVMCP - both were wonderful!

Happy planning x
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Old 03-04-2013, 01:53 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by queendisney View Post
Welcome

Make sure you don't pay for too many days at Universal/IOA because you may not need unlimited days there, it could off course work out just as cheap to do unlimited days then to pay for say 2 days. I would imagine you will spend/need more time in WDW itself so make sure you have the hoppers for there.
Thank you.

We've booked a package with Virgin holidays, so we were going to get the tickets with them. They only seem to do the 14 day Universal tickets and looking around they don't seem much more than a 2 day ticket. With Virgin you also get early entry to Harry Potter, so that's why we'd decided on probably getting the full 14 days with them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chmurf View Post
Salut Sam, bienvenue sur DIS

Plan at least 2 days for each park.
8 days for WDW, 2 days for IoA and 1 day for Universal, that should leave 2 or 3 days to repeat your favorite parks.
Do not overlook EPCOT
Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios can be made into half day parks once you've spent a full day there.
That's a great help, thank you! Epcot is the one that my son was looking forward to, so it definitely won't be overlooked. I'm not sure why, but I think it's the UK area in there that he's excited about. We're British, but have lived in France for over eight years and don't get back that often, so that might have something to do with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chmurf View Post

You say that you're not the kind to pop back at the hotel ... well I can understand that, but that's a good way to go nonetheless.
WDW is very tiring (do not forget the stroller for the little one ... and Disney's rental strollers are absolutely awful... very hard plastic... we rent one from orlando strollers rental)

Be aware that you will not manage to tour WDW like your tour DLP.
If you think you will be able to hit the parks from sunup to sundown, think again...
Yeah, I was thinking of hitting the parks early and staying until we're too tired to walk any more. That's what we usually end up doing. We always plan to rest, but it never happens. Can you not do that because of the heat or the humidity? We live in the South of France, so we're used to heat, but not humidity.

Thanks again for the help. It's much appreciated because at the moment all I keep reading is how big it is, so it's quite daunting trying to make sure we get to do/see everything at the top of our lists.
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Old 03-04-2013, 02:02 PM   #6
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We went on our first trip last October with our girls - 12, 8 and 5. I would agree that hitting the parks first thing and then going back to the hotel is a good plan. That way, you can go out again in the evening and stay out late. My kids loved to have a mid-afternoon swim as the parks can be a bit of a sensory overload, especially for the young ones.
That sounds like what we'd ideally want to do. We always plan to rest, but it never happens no matter where we go. I'm determined to get some rest time in somewhere though.
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Old 03-04-2013, 02:34 PM   #7
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That sounds like what we'd ideally want to do. We always plan to rest, but it never happens no matter where we go. I'm determined to get some rest time in somewhere though.
Sometimes just booking a quiet lunch somewhere was enough to recharge the batteries. My kids loved the pools and I had to almost drag them away to the parks some days lol.
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Old 03-05-2013, 07:07 AM   #8
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Last October was our 3rd trip with the girls and we went to the parks around 9am and left every day at 3pm as it was too hot and too crowded

We went back to the hotel pool for a couple of hours before heading out for our evening meal

Everyone of us said it was the best holiday so far!
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Old 03-05-2013, 07:53 AM   #9
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Can you not do that because of the heat or the humidity? We live in the South of France, so we're used to heat, but not humidity.

Never underestimate the Sun in Florida. it's a killer sun. But the most important thing to remember is to keep hydrated. Sometimes it's so humid that you forget to drink, and that's when trouble starts.

I always remember the story of that guy, who used to run marathons and was really vocal about how he would "tame" the WDW parks (the Marseille-type of guy, if you see what I mean) ... after 2 days he stopped his bragging and by the 4th day he was begging for mercy ...

Definitely let your body adapt before trying to push forward.

If you think you can do it longer, then make sure all of your party can do it longer too, or you'll have miserable people in tow and they'll be getting cranky pretty rapidly if you don't give them a break.
If you think that going back to the resort is a waste of time and money, then think what waste it will be when you have to remain 2 or 4 days at the resort because one of you is sick (happens more often than you imagine ... )
The kids will need a break, even if you think you don't need one.

I might sound a bit over cautious here, but I've had to take my 4yr old to the First Aid in DHS because of the heat and dehydratation, and we had to call 911 for DW at one point, and it was just in February ... kinda cool time of year compared to the summer ...
The next trips, we allowed ourselves some breaks, and it all went smoothly (even by 90+ temperatures)
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Old 03-05-2013, 08:33 AM   #10
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Welcome to Dis

The best piece of advice I can give is 'leave the parks when it stops being fun' - I think that's the beauty of the 14 day tickets you don't feel so much pressure to 'stay all day'. For us that could be 2pm, 4pm or 6pm - take it day by day - we always make a plan, but if the plan says full day in MK and we've had enough we forget 'the plan'.

The waterparks are included in your Disney ticket, we use days there as our 'rest days' - Disney waterparks are fantastic I'd reccommend a visit - not for everyone I know but our kids (and us) love them.

Have a fantastic time.
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Old 03-05-2013, 08:44 AM   #11
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Like most people have said, starting early and then heading back for a rest suits us well, but with plans to stay all day and with one older and one younger child you might need to look for chances to rest throughout the day.
The best thing about WDW is that there are plenty of ways to take a relax outside of the parks. Look for opportunities to take boat rides, monorails, etc to other resorts, maybe for a quiet lunch. We've ridden back and forth on boats between parks and resorts whilst our little ones have had a quick nap - and maybe that leaves your older one time to catch a few more rides?
If you do end up planning longer days, definitely try to plan some rest days in between. Florida heat and humidity can take it's toll, as can the amount of walking you find yourself doing!
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:07 AM   #12
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We went very full on for our first week in the parks, and by the second week we really felt it. We went from open to close in the parks to sleeping in and going back to the hotel early!
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Old 03-05-2013, 10:09 AM   #13
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We are on our third trip with our three year old twins and our 12th trip in total and all of the above is good adivise

Just take it easy and dont pack too much in, we still have things we havent seem etc :-)
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Old 03-05-2013, 10:13 AM   #14
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Quote:
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The best piece of advice I can give is 'leave the parks when it stops being fun' - I think that's the beauty of the 14 day tickets you don't feel so much pressure to 'stay all day'.


Exactly what we do.

We tend to do a rope drop, then are normally lagging a little by 1-2pm (unless we've had a lunch ADR somewhere cool)

So will chill out a bit for the afternoon, which gives us the energy to do the evenings.
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:03 AM   #15
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I would suggest to plan 1 day in Animal Kingdom and the Studios and 2 days at Epcot and Magic Kingdom.
Then 2 days at Universal.
1 day at Sea World.

It's a total of 9 days. Then you have 5 spare to add a relaxing day here and there. If your hotel has a nice pool, use it. Or you could go to shopping to an outlet, downtown Disney or mini golf (there are nice courses in WDW and on International Drive).

Do not overdo it. If you try to push too much you would end with meltdowns. It's not only the weather (it will be hot in October), but also the overstimulation of senses and emotions. Adding a relaxing day every 3 or 4 will help you to enjoy the other days much much more.

If you leave a park in the early afternoon to take a nap, keep your parking ticket, when you come back you can reuse it (even if it's in a different Disney park).
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