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Old 09-27-2012, 10:01 AM   #1
samnc
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a few general questions regarding DW

Hello...I have a six year old son, and we might go to Disney soon. I have a few very general questions...tried looking for the answers, but can't find them.

1. I imagine the very peak season will be between Christmas and New Years. My kid gets out of school on December 19 (Wed). If we go to Disney from the 19th until say the 25th (Tues) will this be just as crowded as between X-mas to New Years? The ladder would be easier for me since I am off work and don't have to take vacation days, but the former might be less croweded...is it?

2. what about during his spring break of April 1-5. Is that generally crowded?

3. I think there is a Hilton (Buena Vista?) on the property. I have a HHonors Gold membership and lots of HHonors points, so this might be a good option. This hotel is on the premises, right? Is it a good hotel? I am assuming they shuttle to the parks such as Epcot, MK, the safari park etc...

4. how many days? I am thinking five: one for each of the four main parks and an inbetween down day where we just chill @ the park..is this a good idea?

thanks! -sam
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Old 09-27-2012, 10:37 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samnc View Post
Hello...I have a six year old son, and we might go to Disney soon. I have a few very general questions...tried looking for the answers, but can't find them.

1. I imagine the very peak season will be between Christmas and New Years. My kid gets out of school on December 19 (Wed). If we go to Disney from the 19th until say the 25th (Tues) will this be just as crowded as between X-mas to New Years? The ladder would be easier for me since I am off work and don't have to take vacation days, but the former might be less croweded...is it?
The former will be less crowded than the latter, but you can still expect it to be 9's or 10's on the crowd-level calendars.

Quote:
2. what about during his spring break of April 1-5. Is that generally crowded?
The week following Easter is fairly crowded as well.

Quote:
3. I think there is a Hilton (Buena Vista?) on the property. I have a HHonors Gold membership and lots of HHonors points, so this might be a good option. This hotel is on the premises, right? Is it a good hotel? I am assuming they shuttle to the parks such as Epcot, MK, the safari park etc...
It's not on property; it is near the property. It is not considered to be a Disney resort. Aside from there possibbly being blackout days which would prohibit you from using your points during the dates you mentioned, you also run the risk of the parks being full and closed to day guests (people staying off-property).

4. how many days? I am thinking five: one for each of the four main parks and an inbetween down day where we just chill @ the park..is this a good idea?

thanks! -sam[/QUOTE]
First visit? I'd stay at least a week. 5 days is nowhere near enough time to get oriented and see what Disney has to offer.
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Old 09-27-2012, 10:49 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samnc View Post
Hello...I have a six year old son, and we might go to Disney soon. I have a few very general questions...tried looking for the answers, but can't find them.

1. I imagine the very peak season will be between Christmas and New Years. My kid gets out of school on December 19 (Wed). If we go to Disney from the 19th until say the 25th (Tues) will this be just as crowded as between X-mas to New Years? The ladder would be easier for me since I am off work and don't have to take vacation days, but the former might be less croweded...is it?

Best thing would be to check the crowd calendar and compare the two, I think they are about equal crowd wise though. http://www.easywdw.com/category/cale...rowd-calendar/

2. what about during his spring break of April 1-5. Is that generally crowded?

3. I think there is a Hilton (Buena Vista?) on the property. I have a HHonors Gold membership and lots of HHonors points, so this might be a good option. This hotel is on the premises, right? Is it a good hotel? I am assuming they shuttle to the parks such as Epcot, MK, the safari park etc...

The Hilton does have transportation to the parks, but you may want to read some reviews about the hotel. I've read complaints about their transportation.

4. how many days? I am thinking five: one for each of the four main parks and an inbetween down day where we just chill @ the park..is this a good idea?

You are going to get a TON of opinions on this one. Ideally, I think you would want one day for HS and AK, and two days for Epcot and MK, for a total of 6 park days. That's not always possible of course, so one day per park would be a good idea, or you may want to read up on the attractions at each of the parks and maybe cut one (or more) out in favor of an additional day at another park.

thanks! -sam
I hope that helped a bit!
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Old 09-27-2012, 12:12 PM   #4
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ok thanks...I have two other questions/observations:

1. I imagine most of the off-site hotels have shuttles that takes you to the parks...however, I have picked up on the fact that the shuttles are a pain in the ***, slow, takes a long time, etc... Do you think this consensus is generally correct?

2. Ideally, I would like to hit the park 1st thing in the AM, then nap, and come back in the late afternoon. This isnt practical if I am not in the park, is it? By practical, I mean it not taken an hour or so to get back to the hotel, and for the after lunch nap to add to the enjoyment of the day, not to be a pain in the ***.

3. So, I am picking up that any time after December 15 will be pretty jammed up. Is this crowded, meaning that it is basically an unenjoyable kind of crowded? The mom thinks it will be "fun" but I am not seeing any "fun" in waiting an hour for a ride, and neither she nor my kid thinks this is "fun" when we go to a theme park close to home etc...
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Old 09-27-2012, 12:27 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samnc View Post
ok thanks...I have two other questions/observations:

1. I imagine most of the off-site hotels have shuttles that takes you to the parks...however, I have picked up on the fact that the shuttles are a pain in the ***, slow, takes a long time, etc... Do you think this consensus is generally correct?

2. Ideally, I would like to hit the park 1st thing in the AM, then nap, and come back in the late afternoon. This isnt practical if I am not in the park, is it? By practical, I mean it not taken an hour or so to get back to the hotel, and for the after lunch nap to add to the enjoyment of the day, not to be a pain in the ***.

This will be an issue....travel to Disney property hotels takes over an hour so I would imagine off site shuttles taking much longer.

3. So, I am picking up that any time after December 15 will be pretty jammed up. Is this crowded, meaning that it is basically an unenjoyable kind of crowded? The mom thinks it will be "fun" but I am not seeing any "fun" in waiting an hour for a ride, and neither she nor my kid thinks this is "fun" when we go to a theme park close to home etc...
It's going to be crowded....there are fast passes (free passes you can get at the rides for your tickets that give you a time to come back to the ride with little to no wait), but you will not be able to use them all day (they are limited by time and how many you can have at once)....if you want to avoid huge crowds then anytime around the holidays, Summer, Spring break are going to be a pass.
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Old 09-27-2012, 12:34 PM   #6
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Our first trip (2005) we stayed at Homewood Suites by Hilton and they had a shuttle. It went once in the morning and once in the evening, and only to MK and Epcot. There was no going back in the mid-day. Since then, we have given up on the off-site thing and just stay in a Disney resort. I don't know about the transportation at the hotel you are looking at, but if you are not going to have a car, and want afternoon rest, I would recommend staying on-site. Otherwise, if you do stay offsite with shuttle, I would get there early, if possible, and leave at a decent time and have restful evenings instead of afternoon rest breaks and extra travel.

That same trip we only did 3 park days- MK, Epcot, MK. It was fine for a first trip, if you don't have time for a whole week, I think 1 park/day plus a rest day will be fine. Sure, it left us wanting more- that's what the next 4 trips were for!
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Old 09-27-2012, 12:36 PM   #7
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You child is very young, consider pulling him out of school and enjoying a much cheaper and less crowded trip in Mid January. A GREAT time to go. Staying off site has it's advantages but transportation is NOT one of them. If you plan to take a mid day break, staying on site is almost a must. I have never heard anyone have anything good to say about off site transportation.
If you go value season (mid January), you could get a value resort on site for around a 100.00 and maybe free dinning!

The length of the trip depends on how long you can take and afford. Generally, most people use a full week. We did one 5 day trip and we felt rushed even though we have been many times.
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Old 09-27-2012, 12:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samnc View Post
ok thanks...I have two other questions/observations:

1. I imagine most of the off-site hotels have shuttles that takes you to the parks...however, I have picked up on the fact that the shuttles are a pain in the ***, slow, takes a long time, etc... Do you think this consensus is generally correct?

Actually, not very many offsite hotels and resorts offer a free of charge shuttle service, and from what I've read, the offsite shuttles are generally a pain in the butt.

2. Ideally, I would like to hit the park 1st thing in the AM, then nap, and come back in the late afternoon. This isnt practical if I am not in the park, is it? By practical, I mean it not taken an hour or so to get back to the hotel, and for the after lunch nap to add to the enjoyment of the day, not to be a pain in the ***.

It really depends on where your hotel/resort is located and what mode of transportation you use. Relying on a shuttle, even if on site, can eat a chunk into your time. If you have your own vehicle, it can be relatively quick travel. The resort we are staying at, has an access road that comes into Disney, so people who stay at that resort say they can travel to and from the parks in a matter of minutes. Other hotels/resorts in that direction can also use that road for quick travel.

3. So, I am picking up that any time after December 15 will be pretty jammed up. Is this crowded, meaning that it is basically an unenjoyable kind of crowded? The mom thinks it will be "fun" but I am not seeing any "fun" in waiting an hour for a ride, and neither she nor my kid thinks this is "fun" when we go to a theme park close to home etc...

Personally, I wouldn't want to make a first trip at a high crowd time of year. You can use fast passes for the rides that offer them and cut down on wait time for those rides, but not all rides offer them so you could spend a great deal of time in lines. There also is the very real possibility that the parks could reach capacity, and off site "day visitors" could be turned away at the gates. It's also not a great idea to leave the park during high crowd times, because the park could reach capacity and you could be denied re-entry. In general, I think you would have fun, but not NEARLY as much as a low crowd time. I think you would be limited on what you could experience. It would be fine if you were a return visitor and were there specifically to experience the season, but I don't think it's a good time for a first visit.
Check out yourfirstvisit.net , there's a lot of good info.
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Old 09-27-2012, 03:43 PM   #9
samnc
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thanks!

I have other questions, but I will get some background information first on my own so I don't wear out my welcome with very basic stuff like which park has that big giant golf ball thinggie

I did learn that:

1. my plan on beating the crowd by going the week before Christmas isnt that great of an idea;

2. stay onsite;

3. off-site shuttles isnt what I am imagining, as I am picturing what we had at Port Orleans, when I stayed there back in 1997 with my parents.
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Old 09-27-2012, 05:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samnc View Post
thanks!

I have other questions, but I will get some background information first on my own so I don't wear out my welcome with very basic stuff like which park has that big giant golf ball thinggie

I did learn that:

1. my plan on beating the crowd by going the week before Christmas isnt that great of an idea;

2. stay onsite;

3. off-site shuttles isnt what I am imagining, as I am picturing what we had at Port Orleans, when I stayed there back in 1997 with my parents.
Are you flying or driving?
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Old 09-27-2012, 09:50 PM   #11
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probably drive.
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Old 09-27-2012, 10:01 PM   #12
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probably drive.
You may want to consider staying offsite at a resort like Windsor Hills. You can get a condo for as low as $300 a week for a 2 bedroom, and slightly more for a 3 bedroom, or they have townhouses with 3 bedrooms and a pool for as low as $555 for a week. You will have to drive to the parks and pay $14 a day for parking, but with what you are saving on the room it might be worth it to you. General consensus on the boards here, is that offsite is the unspeakable dark side, but you can save a ton of money and the space and privacy is priceless. Not to mention you can prepare breakfast in a full kitchen and save even more money in that regard. If you have any questions or need any help, feel free to message me, I would be happy to answer anything I can or at least direct you to the answer.
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Old 09-27-2012, 11:53 PM   #13
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You could also consider using your points to stay at the Doubletree near Downtown Disney. The shuttle service in that area is better than some, but not as good as that on the Disney property.
If you're driving, you have to incorporate any charges to park at the hotel you stay at, in addition to the cost to park at the parks (unless you take a shuttle).

If you want to avoid taking your kid out of school, but still avoid the crowds to some degree, you may want to consider the first week of June. The weather won't be quite at its hottest yet either.

I agree that you'll probably want more than 5 days. One day in each park won't get you very far, especially if you're planning on midday breaks.
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Old 09-28-2012, 03:57 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSSANDRA View Post
You child is very young, consider pulling him out of school and enjoying a much cheaper and less crowded trip
This is always my #1 piece of advice whenever anyone asks me for Disney tips.

Nothing, I mean NOTHING, beats going to WDW when most of the kids in our country are in school.
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