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Old 08-05-2013, 07:50 PM   #1
Mickeyhugger
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Is it a crazy idea to visit a park before catching the DCL bus?

DH and I are booked for the Fantasy February 1-8th. We usually stay at Hyatt MCO as our DD and her BFF are with us. This time it'll be just the two of us, and we have old park-hoppers which still have two days left. We're currently planning on flying in late Thursday evening, staying at Wilderness Lodge, and visiting the parks Friday, and Saturday morning before the cruise. Is that possible?

We've never stayed at one of the resorts before the cruise. Also, is there pick-up from Wilderness Lodge? (It's still the least expensive of the deluxe resorts, and we figured the 'boat' to the MK is still faster than the bus from the moderate resorts?)
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Old 08-05-2013, 07:59 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Mickeyhugger View Post
DH and I are booked for the Fantasy February 1-8th. We usually stay at Hyatt MCO as our DD and her BFF are with us. This time it'll be just the two of us, and we have old park-hoppers which still have two days left. We're currently planning on flying in late Thursday evening, staying at Wilderness Lodge, and visiting the parks Friday, and Saturday morning before the cruise. Is that possible?

We've never stayed at one of the resorts before the cruise. Also, is there pick-up from Wilderness Lodge? (It's still the least expensive of the deluxe resorts, and we figured the 'boat' to the MK is still faster than the bus from the moderate resorts?)
DCL transportation picks up at all WDW resorts. I'm not sure I'd risk it. The DCL transfers usually pick up between 11:30-12:30 and you won't know exactly what time until the day before (so, most likely, when you checkin on Friday). The time needed getting to the park and back would take up a large part of the available time you would have in the morning. And, IMO, it's not a very relaxing way to start your cruise.
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Old 08-05-2013, 08:52 PM   #3
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The only way I'd do it was for a morning EMH -- this last May we had a day that AK was open from 7am to 8am for a EMH. Even though it was so stinking early my kids loved riding Everest 3 times in 20 minutes and the Safari all before 8AM. They still said that was their favorite day!
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Old 08-05-2013, 09:13 PM   #4
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The only way I'd do it was for a morning EMH -- this last May we had a day that AK was open from 7am to 8am for a EMH. Even though it was so stinking early my kids loved riding Everest 3 times in 20 minutes and the Safari all before 8AM. They still said that was their favorite day!
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Old 08-05-2013, 09:52 PM   #5
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Not crazy, and def doable if you're at wilderness and going to MK. so long as you're early risers and have specific things to see or do, it seems feasible to me. On our last cruise, I realized the night before the cruise that I forgot DH'S dress pants. We still had ample time to eat, talk to gs, order a taxi, go to an outlet, buy pants for my difficult-to-fit DH, and get back to the hotel without issue. If I can do that....I think you could handle an hour or two at MK!
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Old 08-05-2013, 09:55 PM   #6
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We've done this before when we stayed at the WL. Went to the MK on the morning that we embarked for our cruise.

Just make sure that you are back at the WL at least one hour prior to your cruise departure time.

We squeeze in every moment of park time that we can.
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Old 08-06-2013, 03:45 AM   #7
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And, IMO, it's not a very relaxing way to start your cruise.
Agreed.

I barely felt comfortable eating breakfast that morning, and we ate at our resort! I was nervous the whole time that somehow time would speed up and we would miss our meeting time for the bus. It didn't help that DH was injured and moving slowly, which messed with my normal brisk walking.
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Old 08-06-2013, 08:13 AM   #8
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BTW you should remember that Disney transport (such as ME or Monorail) are much much much slower than you think!!!!

We had a situation where we were trying to fit a quick hop to EP in before dinner and we had to wait on the bus for an extra 20 min while the bus driver in front changed drivers so we could pull in and get the all clear to let us off. We were less than 5ft from the unloading station!

Also the monorail as nice and direct as it is, you stop inside the hotels and we were calling the Contemporary restaurant telling them we were stuck on a monorail that sat there for at least 15 min inside a hotel so we didn't miss our dinner reservation (that EP bus stop did us in and this rail from EP, its like they were in it all together.) Plus we were surprising my parents who didn't even know we were all in Orlando, except that they got to dinner early and had no idea why their reservation was in my name for a party of 7!

After dinner, we hopped back on a monorail to go back into MK and see Monsters and Wishes as a family. That monorail sat there again for another 25 min. I watched valuable time ebb away. We were in the park less then 10 min when Wishes started but we made it! Whew!

Point being that with all extra time it takes to ferry or monorail back to the ticket center where your bus can pick u up to take u back to resort (unless u are at G. Flor, Contemp or Polyn and even then, those monorails are huge time suckers)

No way I would ever risk it. You can't underestimate those transport times. Holy cannoli they had a lot more time delays then u think!
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Old 08-06-2013, 01:43 PM   #9
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I had the same question a while back. We decided to do a character breakfast that morning instead. Thought maybe the morning would seem a little less rushed. Both our hotel and the character breakfast are at monorail hotels.
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Old 08-06-2013, 02:02 PM   #10
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Granted this was a while ago, we did a land and sea vacation in 2008.

We were staying at the Swan and went to MK for opening, caught the show at the castle, went on some rides, got back to the hotel and had lunch then met for our bus pickup. We actually had extra time after lunch to just sit and relax by the pool. We don't have any kids with us, but we didn't feel rushed.
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Old 08-06-2013, 07:51 PM   #11
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We've always been picked up about noon from our resort except last December when we were picked up at 10:30! While I hadn't anticipated that, I had booked a relatively early breakfast in our resort which basically gave us enough leisure not to get up too terribly early, make sure our luggage was ready for pickup at 8 am, have breakfast, pack our carry-ons, relax for a few minutes and then go down to the lobby for pickup.

You typically don't get your letter telling you what time your pickup is the next morning until about 8 pm that night so you don't have a lot of time to make sudden changes if you've got other plans.

It's more than likely that you'll have a noon-ish pickup but not guaranteed. Be prepared to make a quick change if necessary. Don't get stuck on following your first plans if you can't make it back to the resort at least an hour before you are being picked up. If you aren't driving, the on-site transportation can take longer than you think if you just miss the bus.
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Old 08-06-2013, 08:07 PM   #12
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You didn't say what your plans are for after the cruise, but with getting off the ship so early, it seems like the perfect day to use that last park ticket!
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Old 08-06-2013, 08:16 PM   #13
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I would recommend wasting a day on your passes for an hour or two.
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Old 08-06-2013, 08:19 PM   #14
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You didn't say what your plans are for after the cruise, but with getting off the ship so early, it seems like the perfect day to use that last park ticket!


we arrive at least a day prior to cruise and do whatever park is open the latest. Sleep in (Disney version 9 am lol) grab our bags and drive to port, usually eating a large lunch by 12:30 pm giving us time to enjoy the ship pre-muster.

We rarely do breakfast at the parks anyway, going for an 11 am-ish lunch, such huge portions just too much food after a week Two meals a day is plenty for us but if somebody gets hungry they can easily grab something to hold them over.
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Old 08-06-2013, 08:21 PM   #15
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My thoughts used to be - if I was ANYWHERE in the state of Florida, that a visit to WDW was MANDATORY!! Now its, If I am Anywhere in the state of Florida, I better be stepping on a DCL ship within a day or two!

So go for it if you feel comfortable - the boat between the MK and WL should not have to many issues or take to long. If its an early morning there - then BONUS Time!!

Have Fun and Good Luck.
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