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Old 09-27-2009, 04:56 AM   #1
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Newbie trying to plan our 2010 trip

Hi everyone! Major newbie here. I am trying to plan for our first ever trip to Disney and Universal. We are looking at going in September after Labor Day. I have a good size group going 12 in all, although I am only planning for 1/2 of us. There is myself, DH, my mother, my two boys who will be 12 and 6 when we go, plus my nephew who will be 18.

Please let me know if my thoughts are possible. We are going for 6 days. Planning on spending time at both Disney and Universal. Is it possible to do two days at Disney and still see the 4 parks? I know this would involve the park hopper option. We are mostly going for Universal but want the Disney experience too.

We are staying off-resort to save some money and tickets for Universal and wet n wild are a bit cheaper then Disney.

Any thoughts or suggestion?

Plus we

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Old 09-27-2009, 07:54 AM   #2
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It is possible to do that, but I'm not sure how much fun it will be. Wait times at the major attractions get longer as the day gets later, so be prepared to wait in long lines at whichever park you go to later in the day.
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Old 09-27-2009, 10:18 AM   #3
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You really need at least one full day to see each park, otherwise it is just too overwhelming for a new visitor.

If you are only in WDW for 2 day, I'd suggest doing one day at the Magic Kingdom -- the original Disney World -- and one at one of the others. Hollywood Studios has alot of shows, Epcot has fun technology and a "world showcase" that feels like visiting lots of foreign countries, and Andimal Kingdom is like a zoo with a few thrill rides thrown in. What would your group enjoy most?

Personally, I'd skip "that other theme park" altogether and just do a week at Disney!

Oh, hey! I'd also suggest doing alot of research before you make decisions. I like the "Unofficial Guide to Disney" and "Passporter" books best, and is a GREAT website.

Have fun planning! For some of us, it's as much fun as traveling.
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Old 09-27-2009, 10:30 AM   #4
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Disney parks

If you tried to do all 4 parks in 2 days you would only get a teaser of each park and wear yourselves out trying. WDW is huge and to do decent exploration to any of their parks you need a day. I've done both universal parks in a day easily two different times and doubt I'll bother to go back as the whole feel of those parks is sorely lacking compared to Disney!!!! Just my 2 cents but you just really can't do it.... We like Disneys water parks better as well!!!!!!
missing this season at new DGD will be arriving this fall so skipping this year....may try to sneak off this winter for a short trip lol
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Old 09-27-2009, 02:30 PM   #5
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We visited Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure for the first time on our last trip. I would recommend spending 1 full day at each Disney park, and buy the express pass for US/IOA, and you can probably see both of those in only 1 day. I agree with everyone else, 2 days for all Disney parks will be just a tease.
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Old 09-27-2009, 05:57 PM   #6
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talk it over with the others

i know that most of them will defer to you as you're doing a lot of the planning but check with each of those in your party to see what they are expecting for this trip - your mother may enjoy the world showcase - your sons may only be looking for rides - so you can cover both of these at epcot - my kids have always loved epcot that we can spend a whole week there - also if they only want rides - let them decide which parks they want - most of the rides are the same - just with different themes - so if you get their input you can set up a schedule for everyone to have what they want - just decide how may choices they get - one per day - one per two days - we've gone on trips with big groups and when everyone knows upfront that they can have a choice the trip flows a little more smoothly -
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Old 09-29-2009, 07:47 AM   #7
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Thank you all for your suggestions, our biggest problems are 1 Disney does not have Harry Potter that is Universal (our original reason for our trip at this time) and 2 money is fairly tight especially when my dh and I are footing most of the bill(tickets and hotel) for 6 people 5 of which count as adults. Also I know this will not be our last trip.

I have gone over all the attractions with my side of the group that is going (we are the first timers, other half have been several times) and my group does not have a lot of interest in Disney Hollywood so we could drop that park this time, most of what my family have said they want to see and do are in Animal Kingdom and Epcot so I think I'll make those as our main trips keep the park hopper and try to work in a little of magic kingdom such as Pirates and the coasters.

Is it still going to be horrible crowds in Sept after labor day? Just wondering.

P.S. already getting plans to do Disney again and possibly do one of the resorts for 2011 but one thing at a
Still wish I were going tomorrow and not next year.

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Old 09-30-2009, 01:50 PM   #8
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Came back from Labor day this year

Hopefully my experience can help you:

I was planning on labor day, but after research, specially after reading the Unofficial guide, which I believe someone have already recommended and I strongly advice you get a copy, I decided to do it AFTER labor day. Sept 11-19 09.
Crowds were low, it rained but nothing to worry about. And I am thinking on coming back next year at approximately the same dates. My longer line was Toy Story mania (30min) but most rides were really walk-ins, no more than 10-15 min line.

FYI: One day, in which we planned to stay at the pool and rest, we changed our mind and felt like going to MK after lunch. We did Pirates, Splash Mountain and Thunder M in about 2 hrs from the time we arrived to the park, at about 5pm and herding cats (7yo, 4yo and DW going through stores, photo ops, restroom stops, etc. ).

I did stop at "the other park" and it was a little disappointing, I must admit. I hope Harry Potter makes a difference, a big one, or won't be worth the effort for my next visit, IMO.

Again, hope it helps.
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Old 09-30-2009, 02:36 PM   #9
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We found low crowds this year after Labor Day and before Food and Wine Festival started, so plan accordingly.
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Old 09-30-2009, 03:25 PM   #10
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Welcome to the boards!

IMHO I would pick two parks and stick with them for the day, MK and Epcot. Both have thrill rides, great places to eat, a ton to see, fireworks everynight, a variety of stuff to do for the wide range of ages in your group. I think if you try and get two parks in, you will waste some of your time travelling between parks and you time is limited. I would definately not try and do 4 parks in two days. Don't get me wrong I love HS and AK but if I had to choose just two, they would be MK and Epcot.

Good luck planning, get your husband signed up and send him over to the Dis Dad's Club and maybe he can get as excited as you!
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Old 09-30-2009, 04:28 PM   #11
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I agree with everyone. You can't do all 4 Disney Parks in 2 days. You can however, do both US/IOA in 2 days. DW and I are also going next year. We're taking along 6 first timers as well. Like you, we'll be staying off site also. We know what it's like to be in budget crunch. Our main plan is to go see Harry Potter at Universal Studios as well. HP is only occupying a certain portion of IOA, so you should be able to see all of IOA in a day.

I personally have to disagree with some of the other posters. We had just as much fun at US/IOA as we did at WDW. I love thrill rides and personally, I think IOA has the better thrill rides over WDW. Again, that's my opinion. Overall though, both places have their fair share of thrill rides and they're all pretty much the same. Just themed differently.

I mostly agree with kiddisney though. Get a feel of what everyone expects or wants to do. I'm doing this with our first timers and we're having fun planning the trip together, even though we're not going until October next year. We're all getting excited and anxious to go. We'll be there 11 days and have planned enough time at both places. Have fun.
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Old 10-02-2009, 05:56 AM   #12
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Our Dates are set!!!

We have set our date and have our hotel reservations we are going Sept 12-17. Sun - Friday. We are going to leave out Sat nite, we are driving down but we are only about 10 hrs away and this way the little ones should sleep most of the way.

We got a great rate at the Country Inn and Suites - Universal. Free hot breakfast, hi-speed internet, and in room safes. The breakfast will come in very handy. We can eat at the hotel before we head out for the day and it will save us a little money.

I think we are still going to try to squeeze in as much as we can for our time there. We will start Sun morning at Wet and Wild, before we check into the hotel and then it can still be a kinda short day and we can get some rest for the rest of the week.

I know IOA is going to be one day on it's own, not because of crowds because we are certainly going in the "off-season", but because most of us are major HP fans. I so hope it lives up to the hype.

I think if we do AK in one morning I think we'll see most of what everyone wants, being Everest and the Safari. We can hit MK after lunch. Doing Epcot the next day. Most of the group wants RIDES. So that is mostly what we are going to try to do. We have also decided that there are times where we will split up into groups so that we can do different things. We are also doing the park hopper.

Thank you everyone for the suggestions and I will keep it in mind. I understand that there are a lot of hard core Disney people here and that is cool but we tend to do almost Comando mode when we are on vacation and will cram just as much in as we can. We have fun this way. We are not completely strict with schedules but we will get a high percent of what everyone wants to do. We have a good child-adult ratio so if the smaller ones need a break one or two adults can break away from the rest of us. We only have 3 little ones who will be 5, 6, and 7 at the time of the trip, the rest of us are pre-teen and above. So we will see how it goes.


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Old 10-02-2009, 06:56 AM   #13
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I know most people on here will suffer a slight heart attack at my next sentence, but I'll explain...

Don't plan anything just yet. (I know, I know )

Spend the next couple of months just researching. See, the thing that no one can really explain is that Disney isn't about going to an amusement park or how many rides each park might have that interest you. Disney is about how it makes you feel.

This is the best way I can describe it...

We were headed in to MK. Had just started up Main Street. Every single one of our senses is offered something pleasing. The music, the smell, the sights, the cleanliness. Anyway, we were trying to turn on our pal Mickey for the first time and couldn't quite figure out how to get him in "park" mode. The CM that was sweeping the street notices our problem. He stops what he's doing, with a smile on his face, offers to help and immediately escorts us inside a store to see the manager. The manager also smiles, welcomes us to the Magic Kingdom and immediately "resets" our Pal Mickey for us. She then thanks us for being there and gives the kiddos some stickers.

Soon, there's just this feeling to the whole place. (My DH put it better. He turned to me about half way through our vacation and asked me if I know where the put it. hmmmm, "put what?" "put the little machines that must be constantly blowing sunshine up their b&%*" )

So the answer to your question is yes, technically you can walk at a brisk pace and cover most of the ground at the Disney parks in just two days. But to those of us that just love Disney magic, it's hard to recommend to anyone that they "fly" through the parks.

PS: We can't wait to see Harry Potter either! Our whole family is bunch of Harry Potter junkies!
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Old 10-03-2009, 12:37 AM   #14
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Thank you mouseketeer_mom. I like your advice. We have decided to take up Disney's new promo - "Give a day Get a day" We are all going to do the volunteer work to get the ticket to a Disney park which will give us 3 full days so we will have one full day at MK, one at Epcot, and one for AK. We will still get the park hopper and maybe bounce over to HS when we want.

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Old 10-03-2009, 03:47 PM   #15
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I agree with PP that WDW is all about the magic. When we drive through the gates that say "Welcome to Walt Disney World" I feel all of the stress of the real world fall away. US/IOA are great and I do not want to slight them. But they have always been somewhat of a disappointment for me. Parts are great, but the rest is just so so But, you have to realize that we are Disney nuts and to us that is the only place to go We usually go for a week and still leave feeling like we missed so much But it truly comes down to what everyone in your party wants to do...but you need at least a day for each park...even if you are really only interested in rides. Just go with the flow and have a great time!
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