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Old 02-22-2013, 07:37 AM   #1
nunzia
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DLR Veteran 1 day at WDW..argh

Since my DH boss made us cancel our May trip to DLR (so disappointed).. we are booked on the cruise from Galveston that has one WDW day included. We haven't been to WDW for about 18 years so ..Animal Kingdom is a must since DH wants to see that and probably EPCOT? What's that night time show at EPCOT? Also, I hear of all the craziness about having to make reservations to have a chance to eat at any table service place, so any suggestions on that front? DLR is so easy..WDW is so daunting.
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Old 02-22-2013, 07:59 AM   #2
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Opposite here, WDW vet. Illuminations is the firework display at Epcot. Yes I would highly recommend reservations especially depending on time frame you are going. There are a lot of great restaurants , depends on where you want to eat! You could eat at a few good ones in Epcot's world showcase or you could hop over to Yatchmans Steakhouse which is within walking distance to Epcot. This is a signature restaurant so is pricey but well worth it!
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Old 02-22-2013, 08:09 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nunzia View Post
Since my GH boss made up cancel our May trip to DLR (so disappointed).. so we are booked on the cruise from Galveston that has one WDW day included. We haven't been to WDW for about 18 years so ..Animal Kingdom is a must since DH wants to see that and probably EPCOT? What's that night time show at EPCOT? Also, I hear of all the craziness about having to make reservations to have a chance to eat at any table service place, so any suggestions on that front? DLR is so easy..WDW is so daunting.
I'm a native and resident of SoCal and Disneyland annual pass holder. I've been to WDW twice in the last six months and am amazed the level of planning it requires. I'm used to the laid back style of the California parks. Between Advanced Dining Reservations, Fast Passes, and the show schedule, sometimes I think that my calendar is busier at WDW than at work.

Another thing that makes WDW different is that it is so freakin' big. Park hopping or moving from one park to another will involve either a bus, boat or monorail, or perhaps a combination of multiple busses, boats, or monorails. It's not a simple as the 30 second walk across the entrance plaza at Disneyland.

To address your specific questions, It is best to make advanced dining reservations 180 days in advance, or as soon as you know that you are ready to commit to the restaurant. Some of them will take a credit card number and charge you a $10 no show fee if you don't eat. Some require you to pay in advance.

The night time show at Epcot is called Illuminations. It is displayed on the lake in the World Showcase section of the park. It is possible to get a table at one of the World Showcase restaurants with a view of Illuminations. You might want to read and/or inquire in the Disney Restaurants sub board on the Disney Planning forms.

In my opinion, Animal kingdom is a good half day park. It isn't all that interesting at night because a great many of the animal attractions close and the animals go to bed.

Enjoy your day at WDW!
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Old 02-22-2013, 08:31 AM   #4
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You can make ADRs 180 days out. You don't have to. We've planned both of our WDW trips in under the 180 days. One was barely a month out. We only do 2-3 ADRs for a 7 day trip, and I didn't have a problem getting the ones I wanted. (Some are harder to get than others) Personally, if i only had 1 day to spend in the parks, I wouldn't spend any of it at a table service restaurant. You have to factor in the time it takes to get from wherever you are to wherever your ADR is, the time it takes to wait to be seated, and the time for your dinner. But, I know for some people dining is a priority. It's not for us. We do better when we eat wherever we are at the time we happen to get hungry that day.

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Old 02-22-2013, 09:37 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nunzia View Post
Since my GH boss made up cancel our May trip to DLR (so disappointed).. so we are booked on the cruise from Galveston that has one WDW day included. We haven't been to WDW for about 18 years so ..Animal Kingdom is a must since DH wants to see that and probably EPCOT? What's that night time show at EPCOT? Also, I hear of all the craziness about having to make reservations to have a chance to eat at any table service place, so any suggestions on that front? DLR is so easy..WDW is so daunting.
Note that WDW has ADRs online so you can look at what's available and make your ADRs. Also note that due to folks overbooking ADRs with no penalty for now shows, a number of the WDW restaurants require you to put down a deposit (like $10) which you lose if you do not show up.

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Old 02-22-2013, 02:23 PM   #6
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WDW can be daunting (especially if you only have one day and want to do 2 parks) but you just have to have a plan. I would not waste time at a TS. Epcot has the best CS in all of WDW. Morocco is my favorite but Mexico, France and UK have good food too If you eat at AK a couple of very good ones are the Yak & Yeti CS and Flame Tree BBQ.

Do not count on getting a table at a TS where you would be able to see Illuminations - the chances are slim. Just find a spot around the lake and park it

See what rides/shows you want to do in each park. For AK it's best to be there at opening when it is not so hot (for you and the animals). Do the safari first thing, the animals will look for shade around midday and wont come back out until it gets cooler in the afternoon. Illuminations is at 9PM.

Transportation between parks is time consuming - especially from AK which is the farthest park from the rest of the parks. But AK (and DHS) is a good half day park.
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Old 02-22-2013, 02:57 PM   #7
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With ONE day, and a possible two parks in your day, I would not, under any circumstances, take any time out of the day for a table service. I would do counter/quick service all the way. I personally would do Pizzafari at AK and Sunshine Seasons at Epcot, done.

I would sign up for the paid version of touringplans.com (it's the site related to the Unofficial Guide) and make some touring plans with them. Bring a smartphone with their app on it, and refresh it through the day. We did that on our shortish days this last trip, and it helped us be super-efficient. Well, except that you had to click "optimize" then "refresh" to get it to refresh and be optimized, when I thought ONE click should be sufficient, but you can do that while walking, LOL.

It's not going to be a stop and smell the roses day, that's for sure, but it will be fun!
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Old 02-22-2013, 03:00 PM   #8
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Let's take this one step at a time, since your stay will be extremely short for WDW

First, Galveston is no where near Orlando, so from where will you be traveling to FL? Is it a stop on the cruise (at Port Canaveral) or is a bus going to take you from Texas to Florida afterwards?

What time do you anticipate starting your one day at WDW? This is key, as it will determine what you can and can not do.

All in from sun-up to sun-up the next day, I recommend mornings at Animal Kingdom. Be there for rope drop, and you'll be fine. Since you can get much of the park sampled in half a day (depending on desired rides and pace), you should decide to hit the second park in the afternoon/evening. If you want to do all of AK, then you'll need at least 3/4 of a day (start 9ish and leave after the parade at 3:30ish).

What time will you leave WDW? If this is a port visit from Canaveral, then it is likely you'll bus it back to the ship. As such, departure time will be earlier than if you over nighted in WDW. You may not have quite as much time to see the evening shows/fireworks. If you are staying the night, then you'll have more time and flexibility.

EPCOT is a nice park for the afternoon/evening, as you can get most to all of Future World done in the afternoon, with the World Showcase and Illuminations in the evening. It also has a great selection of restaurants for table service, if you want that. However if you need to leave WDW in the evening to catch the boat (8-9ish), then you'll need to pick and choose your way through EPCOT. In this scenario, I'd recommend a TS for lunch (1-2ish) at EPCOT, so you'll be in the midst of things afterwards. The World Showcase is a meandering place, so it burns a lot of time and is more relaxing psychologically. If the former case is in play, make TS for the evening, and have a counter service for lunch.

More info, please!

Of course, you could post on the other boards for specific touring plans and such given a specific time frame.
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Old 02-22-2013, 04:04 PM   #9
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First, Galveston is no where near Orlando, so from where will you be traveling to FL? Is it a stop on the cruise (at Port Canaveral) or is a bus going to take you from Texas to Florida afterwards?
I'm curious too. Just looking at the Disney Magic itineraries I see that they have one that will dock at Port Canaveral on day 5 of the cruise, and will be there from 6:15am to 11:45pm. I'm guessing Disney buses will transport guests to WDW, but it would be interesting to find out if those buses will drop off at each park or one central place like the TTC. At any rate it will be a whirlwind visit, but should be a lot of fun.
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Old 02-22-2013, 04:19 PM   #10
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As soon as online check-in is available on the DCL website, register your family for your port arrival time at Galveston, and also the first bus leaving PC for WDW. Folks who have already sailed said they got to the parks before ropedrop. On the return you just go to the bus depot and pick up your bus to the port. Guest services will give you all the info on the ship. Busses will leave frequently from every main park. I wouldn't worry about a table service, they are many counter service restaurants that you can try. I would concentrate on the rides and/or shows. Have fun. See the cruiseline message boards on DIS for more information on Galveston cruise reports.
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Old 02-22-2013, 04:55 PM   #11
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Only one day at WDW? You can easily just spend the day at Epcot. But if you want to see AK (it's a great park) I would recommend going there at opening and spending the morning there (pick carefully what you want to see and what you are willing to skip). Then you could take the bus to Epcot (which will take up some of your time...) and you could spend the rest of the day there. Even with the rushed schedule, I would take the time for a late lunch or dinner break at a Sit down place at Epcot -- there are many to choose from. Illuminations is the wonderful nighttime show at Epcot -- and IMO is the best one at WDW and I wouldn't want to miss it.

We like to go to Rose and Crown (the pub in the UK) at Epcot for dinner and watch the show from there -- even if you cant see it from your table there is an area where you can stand and watch it. Unless the park is pretty empty you can waste alot of time just getting a decent place to watch it.

Have you looked into touring plans? They let you "plan" out your day and maybe you can see what a 2-park day would look like vs a one-park day. Hopefully that will help you decide!
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Old 02-22-2013, 05:17 PM   #12
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Reading the other responses I realized that I would budget for a cab from AK to Epcot. Well worth the savings of time!
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Old 02-22-2013, 05:32 PM   #13
nunzia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lsulindy View Post
You can make ADRs 180 days out. You don't have to. We've planned both of our WDW trips in under the 180 days. One was barely a month out. We only do 2-3 ADRs for a 7 day trip, and I didn't have a problem getting the ones I wanted. (Some are harder to get than others) Personally, if i only had 1 day to spend in the parks, I wouldn't spend any of it at a table service restaurant. You have to factor in the time it takes to get from wherever you are to wherever your ADR is, the time it takes to wait to be seated, and the time for your dinner. But, I know for some people dining is a priority. It's not for us. We do better when we eat wherever we are at the time we happen to get hungry that day.

You can make it complicated, but you don't have to.
I looked stuff up today and see the Flower Show thing is going on and that they will have a lot of little food booths at World Showcase..snacking around the world sounds good for dinner. At our ONE previous trip we stayed at Beach Club and ate at Yachtsmans...still remember how good that was! Is there a place to watch the show that is better than others? Figure we will do AK in the morning and then EPCOT/World Showcase rest of the time, then back to the boat after Illuminations. Keep the advice coming
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Old 02-22-2013, 05:40 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greysword View Post
Let's take this one step at a time, since your stay will be extremely short for WDW

First, Galveston is no where near Orlando, so from where will you be traveling to FL? Is it a stop on the cruise (at Port Canaveral) or is a bus going to take you from Texas to Florida afterwards?

What time do you anticipate starting your one day at WDW? This is key, as it will determine what you can and can not do.

All in from sun-up to sun-up the next day, I recommend mornings at Animal Kingdom. Be there for rope drop, and you'll be fine. Since you can get much of the park sampled in half a day (depending on desired rides and pace), you should decide to hit the second park in the afternoon/evening. If you want to do all of AK, then you'll need at least 3/4 of a day (start 9ish and leave after the parade at 3:30ish).

What time will you leave WDW? If this is a port visit from Canaveral, then it is likely you'll bus it back to the ship. As such, departure time will be earlier than if you over nighted in WDW. You may not have quite as much time to see the evening shows/fireworks. If you are staying the night, then you'll have more time and flexibility.

EPCOT is a nice park for the afternoon/evening, as you can get most to all of Future World done in the afternoon, with the World Showcase and Illuminations in the evening. It also has a great selection of restaurants for table service, if you want that. However if you need to leave WDW in the evening to catch the boat (8-9ish), then you'll need to pick and choose your way through EPCOT. In this scenario, I'd recommend a TS for lunch (1-2ish) at EPCOT, so you'll be in the midst of things afterwards. The World Showcase is a meandering place, so it burns a lot of time and is more relaxing psychologically. If the former case is in play, make TS for the evening, and have a counter service for lunch.

More info, please!

Of course, you could post on the other boards for specific touring plans and such given a specific time frame.
This is a Disney cruise that departs from Galveston and has a STOP at Port Canaveral with a 1 day WDW park hopper INCLUDED so masses of buses will take cruisers to specific parks early in the AM then we catch buses back whenever with the ship not leaving until 12AM. To be honest, on our only other WDW trip we weren't all that impressed..especially with the busses and such, so we know about the distances (and no..not in anyones imagination would anyone think Galveston is close to Orlando ) Previous cruisers on this particular cruise report being at the park they are starting at prior to gates opening, so hopefully we can do what DH wants to do at AK...get on a bus to EPCOT without a forever wait, then stay there until we head on back to the ship.
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Old 02-22-2013, 05:42 PM   #15
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As soon as online check-in is available on the DCL website, register your family for your port arrival time at Galveston, and also the first bus leaving PC for WDW. Folks who have already sailed said they got to the parks before ropedrop. On the return you just go to the bus depot and pick up your bus to the port. Guest services will give you all the info on the ship. Busses will leave frequently from every main park. I wouldn't worry about a table service, they are many counter service restaurants that you can try. I would concentrate on the rides and/or shows. Have fun. See the cruiseline message boards on DIS for more information on Galveston cruise reports.
AHH..good idea..We sail April 26 (such a quickly planned trip for us! we are DVC so 11 months out is the norm) I will look at DCL site. There don't seem to be many TR for this trip yet..I guess the 1st just got back and the second is underway.
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