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Old 12-31-2013, 11:50 AM   #1
junebugTN
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The night before the cruise

I am weighing the pros and cons for the hotel stay on our next trip, and I feel like there are probably some factors I hadn't thought of.

Last cruise, our flight was a late one so we stayed at the Hyatt MCO the night before. It was really convenient, and we got to the port nice and early. This time, we'll be arriving much earlier in the day. Seems like for about the same price (or less) we could take Magical Express over to a Disney resort instead.

Since we're paying for Disney port transportation anyway, that part of the price wouldn't change. We could just hang out at the resort in the morning before catching our transfer versus hanging out at the port waiting to board.

What's been your experience? I think we'd have more fun hanging at WDW versus people-watching at MCO, even if we didn't head to a park. And I'm thinking those pirate rooms at Caribbean Beach would be fun - and keeping with the cruise theme. :D What would you do - stay overnight at the airport or at a resort?
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Old 12-31-2013, 12:02 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by junebugTN View Post
I am weighing the pros and cons for the hotel stay on our next trip, and I feel like there are probably some factors I hadn't thought of.

Last cruise, our flight was a late one so we stayed at the Hyatt MCO the night before. It was really convenient, and we got to the port nice and early. This time, we'll be arriving much earlier in the day. Seems like for about the same price (or less) we could take Magical Express over to a Disney resort instead.

Since we're paying for Disney port transportation anyway, that part of the price wouldn't change. We could just hang out at the resort in the morning before catching our transfer versus hanging out at the port waiting to board.

What's been your experience? I think we'd have more fun hanging at WDW versus people-watching at MCO, even if we didn't head to a park. And I'm thinking those pirate rooms at Caribbean Beach would be fun - and keeping with the cruise theme. :D What would you do - stay overnight at the airport or at a resort?
A lot depends when your flight in is.

If it's morning I say do WDW if it's late afternoon or evening then Hyatt.

It's down to how much you can squeeze in, WDW park hours at that time, early entry and what you want to see, Monorail resorts are good for MK and Beach club for Epcot, these allow you max time in the parks and you know exactly what time you need to get back to catch the DCL coach.
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Old 12-31-2013, 12:15 PM   #3
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I did AKL once and was great. Went to park and did expedition Everest 3 times then back to pick up bus to port.
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Old 12-31-2013, 02:23 PM   #4
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We stayed at BLT last time, did the fireworks from resort and character dinner night before, worked out great
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Old 12-31-2013, 02:39 PM   #5
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ME makes it so easy to head over to a resort. DTD, watching the fireworks, some pool time, there is a lot that can be done without heading into a park. The only possible downside is that the buses from the resorts don't get in until early afternoon but if that is OK with you - it works perfectly.
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Old 12-31-2013, 03:04 PM   #6
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How long is your cruise? For a 3 day I would want to get on the ship as soon as possible (it goes so fast). If you are on a 7 day you will have more ship time so maybe a later port arrival would work.
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Old 12-31-2013, 03:10 PM   #7
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I like spending the day at a WDW resort! We are DVC members, so we go to TOWL to see fireworks.
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Old 01-01-2014, 09:10 AM   #8
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Thank you!

Many thanks for all the replies. I was worried that we might feel like we were trying to cram too much into the day before the cruise, but it sounds like it could be a fun way to kick off the trip. It is going to be a shorter cruise though, so I appreciated the mentions about getting to the port later from WDW versus MCO, too.

I think we've decided to go ahead and head to a resort that afternoon. Thanks for sharing your experiences with me...and happy 2014!
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Old 01-01-2014, 11:52 AM   #9
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I usually fly out a night or two before the cruise just to avoid any potential flight delays due to weather, mechanical, etc. However, I have in the past flown in on the day of the cruise to save $$ but only under the condition that I catch the first flight out and they are multiple flights that same day that could be me to my destination in time for me to make it to the ship if something should happen to my first flight.
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Old 01-01-2014, 12:54 PM   #10
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I'd go to WDW. The pirate beds are awesome but even staying at a value resort is great. You could hang out at the pool or go to downtown Disney or see if you could tickets to the hoop-de-doo, or the ....too many ideas to list.
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Old 01-01-2014, 01:30 PM   #11
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I can't spend all that $ to get there and not soak up every Disney moment I can. At the very least, you can stay at a WDW resort and go to DTD. I wouldn't want to buy a 1 day park ticket unless I was buying one w/ more days that I could use after the cruise too. But you do what you need to do. Soak up the Disney!
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Old 01-02-2014, 09:45 PM   #12
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Ooh, more great tips. Thank you ludari, ppony and angela1044. Right after reading your posts this morning, I got a Disney Visa discount on rooms in my email, so I took it as a good sign and booked the room!

I was really glad to hear the pirate beds are as cool as they looked in the pictures, too. What better way to spend the night before a cruise than sleeping in a pirate bed, right? Many, many thanks to all for helping me make this decision. I think it's going to make the trip even more magical!
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Old 01-03-2014, 12:48 AM   #13
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I would agree with most, we fly in early and leave a day or two later to spend time at WDW. It's a short drive and with a 3 night you can have the best of both worlds and get a weeks vacation
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Old 01-03-2014, 07:26 AM   #14
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I wouldn't want to stay near MCO unless we were arriving after 6 or 7 pm.
For our 1st Disney cruise in 2007, we had a 10 am flight and stayed near MCO and our kids were so bored. We looked into a taxi to WDW since we had non-exp tickets with us. It was over $50 + tip each way so we stayed at the hotel and just walked around.
Now we know better.

The next time we had a 3pm arrival which is not a lot of time but we did rent a car & visit the "ICE!" show at the Gaylord Palms hotel. (awesome!!)
In March we have a 9:30am arrival so we're staying at BCV and just relaxing/exploring the resort which we rarely have time for when visiting parks.
Just being in WDW is fun; we don't necessarily need a park visit.

Character meals & exploring resorts are great ways to have fun & pass some time Disney style.
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