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Old 04-19-2014, 03:13 PM   #1
mawatcha
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Planning tips/ideas for October/November trips?

Hello Everyone,

I'm trying to get planning started on a trip to WDW for a week in October/November of 2015. I realize that right now bookings aren't available for that time of year yet but I like to be prepared!

Wanted to see if anyone has recommendations/thoughts on the best ways to plan certain things that will make everyone on our vacation happy. I am going with three of my best friends and we last visited WDW in Feb 2012 together and had a wonderful time but realized that we do need some more logistical assistance. We ended up doing MK, Epcot, AK & Hollywood Studios in 3 days (1 in MK, 1/2 in Epcot, 1/2 AK and 1 in HS) and another day at Universal's Islands of Adventure. It was a bit of a challenge to make everyone happy and we regretted not having a lot of time for Epcot and Animal Kingdom.

Here are essentials for our next trip:

- Staying onsite (I really like the look of Art of Animation Resort, it's also in our budget range) and being able to use Magical Express to and from airport
- Having at least 1-full day for each park. I think the only one we'd be willing to have less time in is Hollywood Studios.
- Fitting in 2 days for Universal parks too (hope I don't upset anyone by posting this, we're really huge Harry Potter fans!)
- Not renting a car (we're waiting so long for this vacation in order to save, we think car is a possible expense can do without/one less worry)
- Have at least 3 hours on 1 vacation day to sit by the pool.
- Spend time at Downtown Disney

If you have any tips on how to best plan the days, any thoughts on restaurants we must go to, hotels, transport, etc, I'd love to hear from you.

Thanks!
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Old 04-20-2014, 12:06 AM   #2
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We occasionally make a day at universal and find that renting a car is the best way to get there and back, you can rent / return them on Disney property and they will take you back to your resort or a park if you return the vehicle during normal hours. I usually pick it up early am and return it the same time next day, and have them drop me off at our chosen park to meet DW & DD.

https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/gu...ntal-services/

there are usually discounts for rentals if you google around.

I highly recommend having breakfast @ Kona cafe
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Old 04-20-2014, 12:10 AM   #3
BeachClubBride
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If you go the first week in November you may be able to go the not so scary Halloween party and very merry Christmas party. Maybe you could go to universal or a pool and then go to the party at night. This strategy would allow you to do a couple less days on your Disney passes.
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Old 04-20-2014, 12:25 AM   #4
MidnightParade
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You might want to consider staying onsite at Universal if you're doing two days. Cabana Bay just opened which is their answer to moderate/value resorts if you're thinking AoA.
We decided to stay at CB ourselves for two nights at the start of our vacation coming up and we can take advantage of early entry into Harry Potter. We're going to book a taxi (Tony Hinds who comes highly recommended) to take us from the airport to Universal and then pick up us after two days and bring us to Disney for the rest of our vacation. We can still use Magical Express to return us to the airport when its time to return home.

Just something to consider!
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Old 04-20-2014, 08:44 AM   #5
ChadsGirl
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Throughout October and beginning of November, the Food & Wine Festival is going on at Epcot. I would highly recommend doing this if you are a group of adults, would be a blast for a group of friends.

Since you want to spend one full day at each park, I would consider spending the morning on Future World at Epcot, maybe use that day for your afternoon pool break, then go back to Epcot in the late afternoon/early evening until close to enjoy F&W.

One note of caution though--do not go to F&W on a weekend. It's a madhouse.
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Old 04-20-2014, 10:12 AM   #6
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During that time frame you can expect a discount - a pretty good one, usually. While Art of Animation is great (I've stayed there and loved it) it is excluded from most discounts. Consider Pop Century, which is right across the lake, or one of the moderates with more room and/or queen sized beds.
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Old 04-20-2014, 11:21 AM   #7
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Hi there! I am planning an October trip for this year, and we are also doing both Disney and Universal. If you are not renting a car (we didn't last time either), and you plan on 2 days at Universal, it would cost you approximately $200 to get a cab return twice. If I were you, I would consider spending my first night in Orlando onsite at Universal. It would cost approx $250 to stay at RPR, which is about $120 more than you would pay for one night at AOA. This gets you the Express Pass, which is essentially front of the line access for all the rides, and that is valid for the entire day of check in and the entire day you checkout. We stayed there one night last year, and the check in day we did everything we wanted in Universal in 4 hours. The following day,we did early entry at 8 am for Islands of Adventure and saw everything in 3 hours, including multiple rides on the HP rides.

Add in another $100 to account for the cab from the airport to Universal, and Universal to Disney to check in on your second day, and it would cost approximately the same as staying an extra night at Disney and cabbing it to Universal on two days, BUT you get the Express Pass and can do all the rides multiple times. Plus, the hotels are beautiful and literally a 5 minute walk to the park along a beautiful trail. Or, you can take a water taxi.

Hope this is helpful and enjoy your trip. Any questions, please ask!
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Old 04-20-2014, 11:04 PM   #8
mawatcha
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Ideas on lowest attendance times?

Thanks for all the responses so far!

I think we'd want to go when the parks still have some Halloween stuff on.

When we went in Feb 2012 we were blessed with the parks being very empty, we waited no longer than 40 mins for really popular rides at MK and had no lineup at all for Forbidden Journey at Universal.

Any thoughts on best weeks to go around Oct/Nov time for low attendance?

Thanks!

Ps. anyone have thoughts on Be Our Guest?
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Old 04-26-2014, 05:16 PM   #9
Manders77
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We are planning a 2015 trip as well

I'm interested in hearing these responses, since I am planning 2015 October Trip as well. We are splitting between Universal/Disney- staying onsite at Universal for 2-3 nights and then onsite at Disney for 4 nights. Trying to figure if we should do Universal first or Disney first (Saturday-Saturday, most likely driving from VA) THen to decide which week. Columbus Day Week is ideal since Kids will miss only 4 days of school, but I hear that week gets busy. At time of travel kids will be 5 & 7. My parents may be joining us so we can do HHN, and fitting in MNSSHP one night. Disney we will do MK & HS parks only this trip. If we did pick Columbus Week, should we do Disney later in the week and start with Universal? Somewhat Game plan is Universal Sat-Tues checkout. Checkin Disney on Tuesday afternoon and stay till Saturday and drive back.

Sorry for highjacking the thread but I really didn't want to start a new one with Similar questions.

Once I figure out days then to figure out how to plan must do's - BBB with CRT dinner, H & V breakfast, MNSSHP.
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Old 04-26-2014, 05:37 PM   #10
Chubby
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mawatcha View Post
Hello Everyone,

I'm trying to get planning started on a trip to WDW for a week in October/November of 2015. I realize that right now bookings aren't available for that time of year yet but I like to be prepared!

Wanted to see if anyone has recommendations/thoughts on the best ways to plan certain things that will make everyone on our vacation happy. I am going with three of my best friends and we last visited WDW in Feb 2012 together and had a wonderful time but realized that we do need some more logistical assistance. We ended up doing MK, Epcot, AK & Hollywood Studios in 3 days (1 in MK, 1/2 in Epcot, 1/2 AK and 1 in HS) and another day at Universal's Islands of Adventure. It was a bit of a challenge to make everyone happy and we regretted not having a lot of time for Epcot and Animal Kingdom.

Here are essentials for our next trip:

- Staying onsite (I really like the look of Art of Animation Resort, it's also in our budget range) and being able to use Magical Express to and from airport
- Having at least 1-full day for each park. I think the only one we'd be willing to have less time in is Hollywood Studios.
- Fitting in 2 days for Universal parks too (hope I don't upset anyone by posting this, we're really huge Harry Potter fans!)
- Not renting a car (we're waiting so long for this vacation in order to save, we think car is a possible expense can do without/one less worry)
- Have at least 3 hours on 1 vacation day to sit by the pool.
- Spend time at Downtown Disney

If you have any tips on how to best plan the days, any thoughts on restaurants we must go to, hotels, transport, etc, I'd love to hear from you.

Thanks!
We went in Sept '13 (myself, wife, son, my mother and my stepdad) and are currently planning our Nov '15 trip so I'll pass along what we are doing.

We saw MNSSHP last trip and wanted to see MVMCP this time around so we are going Nov 11-18. Christmas decorations and party should be up and running during our time and this is traditionally a time that free dining is offered. Obviously there's no guarantee of FD this far out but it is one of the big reasons we chose those dates.

I'm a big believer in planning from macro to micro so I'd suggest pick the dates you'd prefer to go and work down from there. Everything for us is flexible to varying degrees. The days we are going are pretty locked in but which park we go to which day is no so much (see below).

After we picked our dates, we narrowed down our resort options. We will stay on site again (POP last time, loved it). We're looking at POP again or possibly the Cabins depending on what discounts are available. I highly recommend the individual resort threads on the board. Very helpful IMO.

Do you want dining (paid or free)? It's a decision you'll have to make, the sooner the easier you can budget. We'll be doing dining either way as it's the best for us with a soon to be grade schooler.

Memory maker is same thing. We passed last time as our son was very skittish about meeting costumed characters which of course meant he LOVED meeting them at WDW and we did a ton of character M&Gs (along with Mickey's breakfast)

At this point I blocked out my days for what parks I want to do on each day. They aren't firm but I want to know how much time I have for things. We are a big midday nap, rope drop family. We're also doing Legoland for a day with car rental so we had to plan (and budget) that in.

Obviously we don't know EMH or what days will be Xmas parties yet so we can move stuff around but I know I want 2 days for MK (one being xmas party day and another for DW and I to do Keys to the Kingdom tour). Last year our "rest day" was spent at the racetrack driving sports cars and my wife's birthday dinner.

For your specific points: I'd at least look into the cost of renting a car and driving to Universal. As we're doing only 1 day at Legoland it's cheaper for us to just rent a car than to uproot and change hotels for a day. Run the #s both ways and take into account travel time and what fits your family best. As others have said, AOA usually gets excluded from promotions so keep that in mind. I would have loved to stay there last time but we chose to save the money and stay at Pop, did not regret it at all.
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Old 04-26-2014, 05:53 PM   #11
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As far as crowds, I think the later in October the better if you want to do Halloween stuff (Halloween Horror Nights at Universal is supposed to be great!). The first few weeks have gotten fairly busy recently with more and more schools giving a fall break. As far as November, I think the week before Thanksgiving is your best bet there. The first week is Jersey Week and then you have Veteran's Day and the last week of Food and Wine with the half marathon being that weekend.

I agree with the PP who said to consider going to Universal onsite for at least the first night and then moving over to WDW. Only bad part about that is you have to get to Universal from MCO, which is an expense. But, to go for 2 days from WDW to Universal is $20 per person minimum anyway.

As far as hotel, if you are ok with double beds, AoA is a great resort. However, as stated above, it is generally excluded from discounts so you might want to look at Pop. Another option would be to look into renting DVC points for a studio (you would get a queen bed and a pull-out, which to me can't be worse than doubles!), but it might be too late for this year.

I personally love BOG. Good food, great atmosphere, glass of wine...what's not to love? However, I can pretty much guarantee that October will be booked solid within a day or two as the 180 window opens for on site guests. You can sometimes get in with a cancellation though.

As for planning, if you only stay 7 days, I'm not sure how you can get two days at Universal, one day at each park, pool time, and DTD...that's a tall order. Having said that, we often to DTD on AK day as it closes earlier. Maybe on a long Epcot day you could hit rope drop through lunch, head to resort for pool time, and then head back for dinner and Illuminations? Try www.easywdw.com for ideas on what parks to hit each day. Sorry so long but hope that helps!
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Old 04-26-2014, 08:03 PM   #12
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I'm planning for oct/nov 2015 too and I went last year end of oct/start of nov, we caught a mears shuttle from mco to royal pacific for the mere cost of $10 each; the taxi we caught from royal pacific to AoA cost us $45 so in comparison the shuttle was waaaay better and we shared it with other people who had been on our Bahamas cruise so we had nice chat to them while we made two additional stops at other hotels (which I didn't mind as saw some of Orlando I wouldn't have seen), next year I will look at booking mears to take us to wdw instead of the taxi.

Hotel wise RPR is fantastic, great service, great location, great food, fantastic pool, if you miss the boat to citywalk you can just walk there 10mins or so depending on walking speed - we usually missed the boat by like seconds it seemed on a number of occasions so we just ended up walking and was quicker than waiting for the boat to come back. Early entry into potter area was great - by the time the general public was allowed in we had done FJ, toured the castle, rode dragon challenge two or three times, done some shopping and had breakfast so then we moved onto Jurassic park area and stayed 'ahead' of the crowed!

Crowed wise it wasn't bad at all, I have several pics from universal where you can't even SEE anybody else! Disney World was a different story - it wasn't overly crowded but it was more people than we had experienced at universal how ever we were still able to walk on rides like splash, space, big thunder, safari, kali river. Only crowds that were bad was the food and wine festival at Epcot, we went through there to get to le cellier in the Canada pavilion and because it was a Saturday Epcot was a mad house! After we finished dinner we went to see how bad test track was and it was almost a 2 hour stand by wait, no fp available so I would avoid Epcot on the weekends if you can.. Won't be making that mistake again that's for sure!!

We stayed in the cars suite at AoA after initially booking the LM rooms I asked if there was any upgrades available on check in and we got given cars suite, our room was closest to the bus stops you could probably get and best of all Disney didn't even charge us for the upgrade so we got a $700 room for LM prices!

The oct 31st Halloween party was crowded (as you can expect) but it was manageable, we did mostly trick or treating and had our pics with the 7 dwarves and then just walked around.. In hindsight we really didn't get much done at the party and it wasn't overly enjoyable but that wasn't Disney's fault; my travel partner and I fought for most of the night. I can't wait to get back to universal and Disney next year, hopefully we have the same type of crowds we got last year
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Old 01-24-2015, 10:39 PM   #13
mawatcha
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Smile Update and a few more questions

Hi Everyone,

Since posting I've had a few changes in my life. Biggest has been becoming a runner, a friend and I have decided to do the WDW Goofy Challenge in January 2016 so our dates have changed from Oct/Nov to January 7 - Jan 16, 2016.

I'd love to have some advice on the following:

- Best way to book a hotel where we might get a discount (We love the look of Port Orleans FQ)
- Would we all (4 people) be able to take advantage of Magical Express if we're arriving/departing at different times? We'd all be staying in the same or 2 rooms but arriving from different departing airports (e.g. I'm flying from Vancouver, others from Edmonton and Calgary).
- Recommendations on that time of year for park days? I think we're going to venture to Universal on the days we're not running around the run weekend as I expect WDW to be busier and then I imagine we'd focus more on WDW during the week.
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