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Old 10-09-2012, 11:46 AM   #1
glorania
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Question Help planning 8 full days at Disneyworld!

I'm planning our first family vacation to Disneyworld this December (12-22) and we are super excited ---- but i'm super stressed! We will have a full 8 days (2 days are travelling from Canada) to check out the parks etc. I realize we will not be able to see and do everything, yet i want to make the most of our time there but at the same time not be a touring nazi.
I figured 2 days at the MK (we are doing MVMCP Dec 13th), 2 days at Epcot, 1 at DHS and 1 at AK.....We also have a waterpark and more pass. My DH and DD are big video game junkies, so we have to check out Disneyquest.
Plus we were thinking of renting car and checking out the Premier Outlet Mall. (Being from rural Canada, it is a real treat to have access to these stores!).
My question is, should i bother trying to get over to see Universal Studios?? I heard it takes 2 days. It looks like a blast, but at the same time, having some down time is nice. I don't want to be running around like a mad man because we 'must get everything done on our list'.
If we do Universal, then we only get one day "off" - to do shopping, swimming, checking out downtown disney or boardwalk etc...Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!
So far i've used touring plans to at least formulate a plan of attack.
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Old 10-09-2012, 12:01 PM   #2
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I think that with 8 days, something on your list has to give. If you even attempt to do what you have planned you will either collapse from exhaustion or have to extend your trip by a couple of days. No vacation is fun if you try to cram too much into it.

You already have 6 full days in the parks planned. That gives you 2 days for the Christmas party, the Outlet mall, at least 2 visits to Disney Quest and/or a water park (if you want to get your money's worth out of the WPPM option), DTD and resort hopping. Did you say that you wanted to relax too? Not sure where you could fit that in. I would recommend that you leave Universal for another time.

I like touring plans as well, but given that the parks will become increasingly crowded during your stay, I would also recommend that you look at easywdw.com for his park recommendations for each day of your stay.
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Old 10-09-2012, 12:36 PM   #3
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This sounds like a once in a lifetime (or once in a long time trip). IF that's the case:

- I'd ditch the WPFM pass - the WDW waterparks are great, but a waterslide is a waterslide, and you can visit a waterpark near home. I haven't done DisneyQuest yet, primarily because even when we did get the WPFM tickets, I couldn't justify going there over a park. For me, simulators and games pale in comparison to being in one of the 4 parks.

- I'd pass on the US side trip - we just did it this year, and it was fun, but this was our 4th year going to WDW, I can't imagine including a US side trip in our first or even our second trip. I also think you need 2 days at US/IoA - especially if you aren't staying onsite over there and benefitting from fotl access.
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Old 10-09-2012, 01:12 PM   #4
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We will be going from December 12 to the 19th and doing MVMCP on the 13th also

Our strategy is to park hop. We never go for a full day to most parks (AK exception) and this allows for some down time. We still see and do all we planned just not crammed into one day.

I don't think you will have time to really enjoy all of what WDW has to offer and do US to.

My kids and grands love going to Disneyquest and can easily spend several hours there. We also can spend a whole day at DTD shopping and eating

Once we did US but that was spending 10 days at Disney and 4 at US and shopping.
Have a wonderful time
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Old 10-09-2012, 01:27 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glorania View Post
I realize we will not be able to see and do everything, yet i want to make the most of our time there but at the same time not be a touring nazi.
Well said!

I think you're on the right track. I think you should ditch the WPF&M option. If you just want to go to DisneyQuest (and no water parks), then it is cheaper to just buy a standalone ticket to DisneyQuest rather than the WPF&M option. If you decide that you also want to go to a waterpark (it's cold in December!), then you can add back the WPF&M option.

Ditch the idea of going to US. Next trip.

I would also ditch MVMCP. You'll have enough to see in the regular parks without adding this option. Some people will disagree. Perhaps you could take an extra rest day if you don't want to drop MVMCP.

Then, since you won't be over-loaded, the most important thing is to get to each park at rope drop, and take a mid-day break. You will have a great trip.
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Old 10-09-2012, 01:28 PM   #6
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Our plans with 8 day tickets and WM&M option

Hi there! You all will have so much fun and your dates should be perfect!!
Here are our plans -
Arrival afternoon and evening - DTD, dinner at TRex and treats from Goofys and resort swimming
Day 2 - Epcot: FW in the morning, break/swim and lunch at resort and afternoon/evening in WS
Day 3 - DHS, full day
Day 4 - AK in the morning, resort break from 2-5pm and MNSSHP 6-midnight
Day 5 - sleep in; then TL 10 - 2 for whole group and DQ 3-5 for older kids. After break at resort, we are going to MK at 7pm for MSEP and Wishes.
Day 6 - MK from 9am-noon and straight to BB (eating lunch there) for waterparks rides until 4pm. Date night for me and DH at Epcot's F&W 6:30 - 10pm. Kids chill all evening at resort with the grands.
Day 7 - MK, full day 8am - 7pm
Day 8 - AK in the morning and free time in the afternoon (maybe a waterpark/resort activites/?) Leave for DHSat 6:30pm after dinner in resort and stay until after second F! show.
Day 9 (departure day) - breakfast at Ohana and MK until lunch. Then head home.
Hope that helps!!!
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Old 10-09-2012, 01:29 PM   #7
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We did our first family vacation to Disney back in August, for one day less than what you're doing. It was DH, DS4 and myself. I'll share my itinirary, which worked really well for us. We never felt over run ragged or too tired. All but one night, we had our son back to our room for normal bed time, which is around 8:00 for him.

Day 1 - Our arrival day... our flight got in a little after 1:00, we were checked in and settled by 3:00 and were on the MK ferry by 4:00. We spent 3 hours in MK and were able to cover off all of Adventureland.

Day 2 - EK for the full day. We arrived mid morning and went until dinner time and then headed back to the resort for a little swimming before bed.

Day 3 - MK full day. Pre park ADR for CP and then Fantasland and Liberty Square. Headed back to the resort around 3:00 for swimming and a rest before heading back to MK for Wishes and Dessert Party at 8:00. This was our only "late" night.

Day 4 - Offsite at Universal Studios. We did this only for Seuss Landing because my son loves Dr. Seuss so much and was totally worth the side trip. We spent 90% of our time in that one section and were there from about 10:00 - 4:00

Day 5 - Offsite day. We went to Gatorland in the morning and then Cocoa Beach for the afternoon.

Day 6 - HS day. Pre-park breakfast ADR and we went until we dropped that day becasue DS was loving it so much. We were there until after our 4:30 dinner ADR then back to the resort for more swimming.

Day 7 - AK day. This was a shorter day. Pre-park ADR for breakfast and then back to the resort at about 1:00. DS wasn't into the park and a probably starting to feel some fatigue. We swam for the entire afternoon. I ended up doing DTD solo late that night after DS was asleep. DH had no interest in seeing it anyway.

Day 8 - MK day. This was a pretty relaxed day. We had already rode all the rides DS was interested in, so we doubled back to some favourites. This was a 2am EMH night, so after putting my son to bed at 8:00, I ditched the boys and headed back there again for 4 hours on my own.

Day 9 - Departure day. Our flight was at 2:00, so no park time. We did Ohana's for breakfast and then packed up the car and headed to the airport around 11:00.

All that to say, that your plan is very doable and your schedule is not looking all that different to mine. You have 6 park days, a universal day and a shopping day. I think the key is to just not run full speed the whole time, take breaks in the afternoons. You could easily combine outlet shopping day with some time at DTD, if you wanted to. Or on a park day, you can leave early and enjoy down time at the resort. Whatever you do, have a great time!!
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Old 10-09-2012, 01:51 PM   #8
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December 12-22 with 2 travel days is still 9 full days, not 8. Go to Universal.
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Old 10-09-2012, 02:17 PM   #9
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You're going during a slow period for much of your trip. You should be able to do a lot in the week. If you do venture over to Universal, I'd stick to Islands of Adventure. I can imagine that outlet shopping seems cool, but being surrounded by them, I don't see a great big value in them. I do like like the Gap Outlet and JCrew outlet, but I don't know that I'd spend one of your days doing that over all the other stuff. What time is your landing and departure? It may be better to do shopping on those days. I'd opt to do MVMCP, too.
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Old 10-09-2012, 02:54 PM   #10
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I wouldn't skip either park at Universal personally so I agree with allowing for two days if you go.

How tired you will get depends on your group's stamina. Some people tour every day and don't run out of steam. Plus you aren't likely to stay in any park from opening to closing anyway. You might want to plan for breaks.
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Old 10-09-2012, 03:01 PM   #11
glorania
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dubb View Post
December 12-22 with 2 travel days is still 9 full days, not 8. Go to Universal.
we arrive late afternoon Dec 12 and our flight leaves at 10 am on the 22nd. so i wasn't counting those days
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Old 10-09-2012, 03:09 PM   #12
hannahryan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glorania
I'm planning our first family vacation to Disneyworld this December (12-22) and we are super excited ---- but i'm super stressed! We will have a full 8 days (2 days are travelling from Canada) to check out the parks etc. I realize we will not be able to see and do everything, yet i want to make the most of our time there but at the same time not be a touring nazi.
I figured 2 days at the MK (we are doing MVMCP Dec 13th), 2 days at Epcot, 1 at DHS and 1 at AK.....We also have a waterpark and more pass. My DH and DD are big video game junkies, so we have to check out Disneyquest.
Plus we were thinking of renting car and checking out the Premier Outlet Mall. (Being from rural Canada, it is a real treat to have access to these stores!).
My question is, should i bother trying to get over to see Universal Studios?? I heard it takes 2 days. It looks like a blast, but at the same time, having some down time is nice. I don't want to be running around like a mad man because we 'must get everything done on our list'.
If we do Universal, then we only get one day "off" - to do shopping, swimming, checking out downtown disney or boardwalk etc...Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!
So far i've used touring plans to at least formulate a plan of attack.
Definitely skip Universal! Use your down time to shop (if that's what you enjoy), swim, visit the other WDW resorts and see the beautiful Christmas decorations, enjoy the Boardwalk, DD, etc. We have a home in the area so have been to WDW countless times. But, when we have guests come and we take them to the resorts, boardwalk, etc. they frequently say that they haven't had chance to enjoy all these extras. They were too busy running from park to park. So, my suggestion is to slow down and enjoy all that WDW has to offer
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Old 10-09-2012, 04:47 PM   #13
elaine amj
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Depends on what you want out of it. If you want to ride every ride in the parks, that's not enough time. If you just want to concentrate on your must-dos and do all the major rides in each park, you should be fine.

My family likes to do EVERYTHING and then re-ride our faves multiple times. Plus we do dining plan and spend a LOT of time eating. On top of that, they like relaxed strolls from one ride to the next with plenty of time to smell the roses. So there's no way that's enough time for us.

But like others have said, it's certainly doable with the schedule you have. Adding universal plus time for outlet shopping sounds a bit much to me though.

BTW, DQ was the surprise hit of our trip! I was planning 1.5 days there and we ended up happily spending 2 full days there. Looking forward to going back one day. Really....the admission fee wasn't all that much in light of how long we spent playing the various games. We've easily dropped $20 per child in less than an hr in arcades many times over. 7 hrs of video games was well worth it...particularly with WPF&M. Although my take on it is skewed as we used all full 6 WPF&M days to the very max.
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Old 10-09-2012, 07:12 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glorania View Post
we arrive late afternoon Dec 12 and our flight leaves at 10 am on the 22nd. so i wasn't counting those days
that still leaves 13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20 and 21...9 full days, not counting arrival and departure days. So there, like a PP said, you just gained a day.

I've heard that AK could be done 1/2 day, so you could go shopping that afternoon/evening.

And if your family really wants to do Universal, then you should do it. You could even do a one day park to park and hit the highlights of both parks. I'm from Canada too, so the idea of a "Universal OR Disney" trip baffles me..If i am spending $600 pp in airfare just to get there, I want to make the most of it. We only have 5 days in Orlando, including our arrival day because we get in at 12:45, and we have set a day each for Universal and Islands of Adventure. Enjoy the trip
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Old 10-09-2012, 07:16 PM   #15
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You have 9 days...here is a sample schedule:

2 days MK, 1.5 days EC, 1 day DHS, 0.5 days AK, 0.5 days shopping, 0.5 days at a water park,1 day US, 1 day IOA

That leaves one day for complete downtime. Maybe DisneyQuest that evening?
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