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Old 05-02-2013, 01:14 PM   #16
Laszkowicz
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Hotel and all park tickets are booked.


Re:car
I think ill book one then. I can use it for all other parks off site. Can I drive from AOA to MK AK EPCOT HS ? Is this a good idea if I get one.

Should I get a car for 2 weeks or one.?
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Old 05-02-2013, 01:19 PM   #17
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Thanks for the menu points. Ill check allears again tonight.

I think I might get a car then
Should I go for 2 weeks or one ?

Can I drive from AOA to MK EPCOT HS AK ? And is this a good idea.

I'm warming to the fact we are 'free' if we have a car and can re jig the whole itinerary.

Might get DC a few days earlier incase of bad weather.
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Old 05-02-2013, 01:26 PM   #18
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We always have a car so I would go for the full 2 weeks. You may want to collect it on your first full day rather than driving and trying to find you way after the long flight. Won't save you much if anything except a bit of stress! If you collect it from the car care centre they will send a shuttle to your hotel to collect you and take you over. It's free and you can book at a time to suit you.

We always drive to the parks except MK as you have to park at the TTC and get a ferry or monorail anyway. We will drive sometimes if we have plans to head straight out after.

We prefer eating offsite too - it is much better value and the food is as good if not better offsite. We will do a couple of character breakfasts and a couple of dinners on site everything else we eat offsite.
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Old 05-02-2013, 02:10 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elise79 View Post
We always have a car so I would go for the full 2 weeks. You may want to collect it on your first full day rather than driving and trying to find you way after the long flight. Won't save you much if anything except a bit of stress! If you collect it from the car care centre they will send a shuttle to your hotel to collect you and take you over. It's free and you can book at a time to suit you.

We always drive to the parks except MK as you have to park at the TTC and get a ferry or monorail anyway. We will drive sometimes if we have plans to head straight out after.

We prefer eating offsite too - it is much better value and the food is as good if not better offsite. We will do a couple of character breakfasts and a couple of dinners on site everything else we eat offsite.
Is their a charge for parking at the parks or is it free for Disney guests?
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Old 05-02-2013, 02:20 PM   #20
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We always drive to the parks except MK as you have to park at the TTC and get a ferry or monorail anyway. We will drive sometimes if we have plans to head straight out after.
I've always thought the main problem with driving to the parks is that you have to use the car parking lots which if you're no where near the park entrance can mean you end up having to take a shuttle from your car to the entrance, whereas the Disney buses drop you and pick you up right at the park gates
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Old 05-02-2013, 02:28 PM   #21
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I've always thought the main problem with driving to the parks is that you have to use the car parking lots which if you're no where near the park entrance can mean you end up having to take a shuttle from your car to the entrance, whereas the Disney buses drop you and pick you up right at the park gates
good point if you have to park away from the gate and bus to the gate anyway.

Can anyone recommend a car hire Co.
The display website looks simple and easy to sort.
about £265 GBP for a small car 2 weeks.
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Old 05-02-2013, 02:28 PM   #22
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Parking is free for disney resort guests - you get a pass to put in the windscreen
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Old 05-02-2013, 03:02 PM   #23
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We went from 29th Oct to 12th Nov last year andd it was our first time too. I was adamant that I wasn't going to get a car but I hired one in the end. We picked it up on our first full day and dropped it off on our penultimate day. We got ours from Alamo. I would advise getting a satnav for your trips offsite. I am a very nervous driver and it really wasn't that bad.

I would eat onsite as there are so many different places to eat and I wouldn't want to 'waste' time travelling around looking for restaurants on idrive.

We have dd's (then 12, 8 and 5) They loved Chef Mickeys. Have you considered the Halloween or Christmas parties? We did both. I have a trip report link in my signature which might be of interest as we travelled at the same time, with children and stayed onsite.
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Old 05-02-2013, 04:17 PM   #24
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We hire a car for full two weeks even when we stay on site!

We never use the car to go to and from the parks, but will this year as staying off site.

Having a car gives us the flexibility with hopper passes to do a park until lunch time swim chill out afternoon go for a meal off site then drop car at hotel and do a park in the evening.

It would be possible to do Disney on its own without a car, but with your plans as others have said a car is a must.

Remember WDW as a whole is as big an area as Manchester, driving from the world to I-Drive takes at least 20 mins in quiet traffic and often takes longer, also I-Drive stretches miles so walking one end to the other isn't feasible or recommended!

Now we have all scared you, driving in the US on the whole once your accustomed to the car is easier than in the UK. A satnav would be good if nobody is great at map reading, we always have at least one journey where we go the wrong way, it's a running joke!

Anyway enjoy your first visit and I'm sure it won't be your last as you will get hooked like the rest of us on here!
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Old 05-02-2013, 04:22 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Disneynutinlondon View Post
I've always thought the main problem with driving to the parks is that you have to use the car parking lots which if you're no where near the park entrance can mean you end up having to take a shuttle from your car to the entrance, whereas the Disney buses drop you and pick you up right at the park gates
We always walk to the main gate it's not really that far, yes it is further than the bus stops however the time saved by driving is more than the extra 2 minute walk. The only one which we usually don't drive to is MK.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laszkowicz View Post
good point if you have to park away from the gate and bus to the gate anyway.

Can anyone recommend a car hire Co.
The display website looks simple and easy to sort.
about £265 GBP for a small car 2 weeks.
Have a look at this http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/other...worldwide.html combined with quidco has been the cheapest for our last 2 rentals.

For offsite food I wouldn't bother going to I-Drive there are plenty of places around LbV.
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Old 05-02-2013, 09:05 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laszkowicz View Post
Great idea.

We can stay on site but saw a saving off site but with taxi fair or bus times I see its not a benefit.
But we've gotta try sizzlers lol

We're generally plain Janes.
Meat n 2 veg
Chicken dishs
Sandwiches
Wife likes pasta
Spag Bol

Kids generally kids usual nuggets, sausage, spaghetti Bol etc etc, with fries lol.

We've looked at a few menus but I must admit not lots.

Def wanna do chef mickey for experience and rainforest cafe CID we loved it in Paris.


Might have to be serious about a car !!
Regarding the cars. You will need to book ahead of time to get a good deal. I would possibly start looking a couple of months in advance. The best ones to check out are Enterprise, Avis, Budget, Hertz. Of course someone hitting you is always a concern but make sure you check with your insurance in the UK to see if you are covered in a rental car. They will try to sell you rental insurance but the truth is, normally you are covered. I will tell you that Orlando is crowded in terms of traffic. You will need a GPS if you don't have one on your phone to navigate. We go every year and still use the GPS to get us around the huge DIsney property let alone getting off on the many interstates around to do your traveling. Just remember which side of the road you need to be on!

Regarding the plan to do Disney part of the week, that is probably a good plan. I would probably do it the second half so you can be immersed in it after all the other driving around. But with the rental car, you will just have to assess the cost. It may be that a week is cheaper to rent than a few days depending on the itinerary. So do some research on that. You may be better off having the car even during Disney days just in case you want to go off Disney property but like the others said, I just cannot imagine that. It's a mad house on ID and the food is so great at Disney. Even the food courts at the value resorts are great. By the way, you can take Disney transportation to get to the other hotels there and eat at their restaurants.

Now regarding eating. Your family honestly looks like mine. My daughter is a pasta no sauce gal, or chicken nuggets, etc. I personally eat very limited. Pasta and no meat except for chicken. In fact, chicken is about all I eat. My hubby and older girl love all the meat and seafood etc. In seeing what you eat, I don't think you will have a problem getting what you want. Are you sure you looked at the menus? They all have what you seem to want. BUt let me tell you this, if they don't have it, just ask. I am the queen of changing everything I order. If I don't see broccoli and I want it, I ask. If there is bacon in something, I'll have them keep it out. I have often requested a chicken dish morphed into something that seems very lowfat and plain but just to my liking. Disney will really bend over backwards to accommodate. I will tell you of the restaurants that would fit. I just have to say that someone else recommended the Prime TIme diner. We hated it. And being from out of the country, I'm afraid you might not like the food nor the service which is meant to be rude. We never returned to that one. Also, any of the buffets (even Africa's BOma) has kids fare that always includes, nuggets, pizza, pasta. And virtually all quick service (lunch) has these same options. But here is where it gets a bit tricky. You sometimes have to search so again, I would strongly encourage you to check out the quick service menus before you go and come up with a battle plan. For example, in Epcot, my daughter wanted a hamburger. We headed to the American Pavilion certain that we would find one there as that is as American as apple pie. Nary a hamburger nor applie pie was there! In the end, we found a kids meal with a hamburger and fries at Morrocco's lunch counter (my favorite lunch anywhere)!. Again, planning can truly make your vacation great and stress free.
Here are some of the restaurants I might suggest with these tastes
Magic Kingdom (we normally go off site due to the limited restaurants)
Tony's Italian food. My hubby loved the steak
Crystal Palace A buffet. Plenty of choice and a carving station along with plenty of sides and pasta etc.
Be our Guest --actually we have not tried it yet but it is decidedly French so look at their menu and see if you want to eat at this brand new restaurant

EPCOT
Coral Reef!!!!-One of our favorites as the entire wall of the restaurant is the aquarium. The fare is mostly fish but my favorite meal in all of DIsney is here. It is chicken over spaetzle in a light broth. Awesome!! Desserts are to die for. I would book my reservation at 5:30 so you will be able to see the divers in the tank. Arrive early and ask for a window seat.
Biergarten--very festive. They have entertainment and you sit at long tables with others. It is a buffet with German fare including sausages. My girls love it.
The Garden Grill-it is a revolving restaurant that serves everything family style. It is one of the few restaurants that offers Turkey.

France's restaurant. My oldest girls favorite. If you book a lunch there, there are more sandwich options. It was delightful when we went.

HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS
Sci-Fi Diner--A have to for anyone. It is an outdoor drive in, inside. You eat in cars and watch campy B-movies from the 50's. We have always had good luck with their food from steak to chicken (in fact I took a shrimp over pasta and turned it into chicken over pasta) and burgers. Their desserts have made us salivate for weeks after.
AVOID-Hollywood and Vine. The worst restaurant ever.

Animal Kingdom. They are limited as well. We have only eaten in this park once. The truth is, Animal Kingdome normally closes early at about 5. I would strongly suggest eating at one of the hotels at the end of the day. Maybe even Boma at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. A great buffet if you like unique seasonings. But again, they have a kids section so the kids can still get their normal "stuff"

HOTELS WORTH EATING AT
Polynesian--O'Hanas-- it's our last meal every year and we adore it. They serve incredilbe appetizers, and sides family style. Then they come to your table with offerings from the grill. Pork, Chicken, Turkey, Beef and Shrimp. It is sure to delight your whole family. Additionally, there is entertainment for the kids like a coconut race. We always end our last night there and then head for one last trip on the monorail before returning to our resort.

Grand Floridian--A buffet much like the Crystal Palace. The great part about this one is that Cinderella, Prince Charming, the stepsisters and step mother all come around during your meal for you to take pictures with. Its great.

AVOID WHISPERING CANYON in the Wilderness Lodge at all costs. It used to be great. Last time we went in September, they had changed their menu and it was terrible!!!

Ask any other questions and I am sure the Disney lovers here will help you out. HOpe this did!
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Old 05-02-2013, 09:12 PM   #27
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One last thought on driving. We have always drive to the parks even when staying on property to avoid the huge lines of the value resort busses. However, we have booked through AAA which means we get their diamond parking passes. This is right up front which means we are in and out of there. You may do just fine in the busses at night but know it can be a 45+ minute wait if you leave at the end of the night when the park closes.

Regarding the other parks, yes, they will all charge you about $12+ dollars to park (on Disney property it is free as you will have a parking pass issued when you check in).

And like someone else said, Disney is hundreds of acres. We get lost all the time on property. That is why I highly recommend the GPS. Good luck.
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Old 05-03-2013, 12:33 AM   #28
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WOW thanks for the lengthy and full reply with lots of info.
Ill will re read this later and take notes.

THANK YOU to everyone ones comments so far, I can honestly say I think with the car business you've made me avoid a grave mistake.

I will prob get one for 2 weeks definatly with a GPS and damage waiver insurance.

We've re jigged the plan a little last night to almost first week disney second week off site parks with 4 free days.

Wife had the good idea we should do the off disney sites 2nd week, therefore I'm over jet lag, got my bearings a little more and get driving experience on the closest ones first ( DC 10 miles ) then venture further from there.

Plan not finished yet as food and EMH will probably tweak it further,

Thanks
Speak to you all soon.
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Old 05-03-2013, 12:35 AM   #29
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Ps I'm changing DC to start of second week due to your advise about weather. Therefore if its cancelled by DC we have about 6 days after to go.

I read up last night and we can change the date once f.o.c after that its $50.
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Old 05-03-2013, 01:38 AM   #30
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Personally I wouldn't hire a GPS - you can buy one cheaper in Walmart.

Also we bought this map Tourist Map when we first went. It was great as it shows all the restaurants etc on it.

Book the car before you go with a UK broker it will be cheaper and make sure you have all the insurance you need and honestly driving out there is easy.
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