Planning the trip

Discussion in 'UK Trip Planning Forum' started by The First Davenger, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. The First Davenger

    The First Davenger Disney Rookie

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    Hello folks!

    First of all, Happy New Year, all the best, and hope 2013 is good to you :)

    It's finally got to the time for us to start planning our trip in detail :goodvibes , so after consulting a number of sources we've come up with the following itinerary.

    [​IMG]

    Now then, this is our first trip to Disney (or anywhere for that matter!) so we have very little idea on what to expect considering timings, travel, energy levels and roughly what time we should allocate to what theme park and activity.

    I realize a holiday isn't supposed to be a rigid military style operation, so I thought the three rough time slots would be a good guide to go on.

    As you can see we are flying 06/05/13 and returning 20/05/13. We're staying on site at Port Orleans French, neither of us drive, so it'll be shuttle buses and Lynx bus etc throughout the stay. The stuff we have planned at the moment is all we want to do, I'm just wondering what the thoughts are on this, i.e. am I planning enough? have I given too much time over for one thing while not devoting enough to others? That sort of thing.

    So, what do you reckon?
     
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  3. chmurf

    chmurf DIS Veteran

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    just a few remarks at first glance :

    malls, outlets and downtown disney on Saturdays or Sundays ... bad idea.
    These places get really crowded

    Planning Waterparks only days is not a good move. You need a backup plan.
    For all you know it might rain cats and dogs on that day, or the temperature might be too low (you never know)
    Always pair a Park Day with a Water Park day option. Meaning that you should not plan any water park day at all, but only leave it as an option.
    Select a few days where you open the WP option (do not make ADR for breakfast or lunch, only dinner since WP close at 5pm) and also plan a regular park for those days just in case.

    for example add MK or EPCOT as back up plan for 8/05

    I would do AK on Sat. 11/05 as the crowd forecast is at 3 (best day for AK all week) and go to the mall on tuesday 14th where it will be far less crowded.

    Pair Epcot to your WP plan on the 16th. Should you decide to not go to the WP, you'd be in Epcot (recommanded park for that day) and since you planned to go to Boardwalk in the evening you'd already be on location. You'd only need to walk through international gateway (behind UK pavillion) and walk a nice path, 10 minutes to Boardwalk (or even take the boat)


    MK on the 19th is a bad idea (very crowded), but Universal or Animal Kingdom would likely be better.
    That would leave the 9th open for IOA which is a better choice (crowd wise) for that day.
    If you make those changes, the 15th is free, and it's a best day for Waterparks or Seaworld.
    you scheduled Seaworld on the 12th (mothers day) which is a busy day at seaworld.
    The 12th work better with DHS or Universal.

    happy planning :)
     
  4. The First Davenger

    The First Davenger Disney Rookie

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    Solid advice mate, thanks!

    We didn't think about the Malls, that's a great shout. We didn't realise Mothers Day was different in the US either like so we might end up swapping Seaworld out to another day as suggested.

    Cheers for the input man!
     
  5. bex7583

    bex7583 DIS Veteran

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    wow u are organised !! and some helpful info on changing some park days !! i like the set out of your plan i need to do something similar !!
     
  6. The First Davenger

    The First Davenger Disney Rookie

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    Oh its purely out of extreme excitement, I assure you :hyper: I wish I was usually that organised lol.

    Seriously though, I remember going with my parents when I was a teenager and there was just so much to do, and what with this being a one off holiday for a long while, we want to get the most out of it. Plannning can be almost as exciting as goi...wait, no, thats a lie! But its pretty damn exciting :goodvibes

    We got hold of "A Brit's guide to Orlando" by Simon & Susan Veness, which I'd definitely recommend, its got some quality tips and info in there - about everything in Orlando, not just Disney and the theme parks etc.

    These community websites are phenomenal too, like the first response is the perfect example of that, all of this will undoubtedly be vital info before and during our stay. I sound a bit gushy, I know, but its the truth like.
     
  7. The First Davenger

    The First Davenger Disney Rookie

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    [​IMG]

    After consideration of that info, the above is our plan for the holiday.

    I suppose the only concern I have with the latest version of the plan is that there are few days that allow a bit of rest in between theme parks. In general, how many days do people usually include? Or am I overthinking it?
     
  8. chmurf

    chmurf DIS Veteran

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    you don't need to schedule "rest periods"

    you need to be able to say "that's it, I need a break" and go back to the hotel for some rest, just when you need to.

    Hit the parks first thing in the morning (be there at least half an hour before opening time) you'll be able to do much, and most of the top attractions before the crowd starts building up (the crowd begins to arrive around 11am)
    By 2pm you'll probably consider that you've done a good part of what could be done. And that's a point where you'll need to decide if you call it a day, or if you remain in the park.
    Don't be afraid to go back to the resort and enjoy the swimming pool. And then maybe you'll go back to the park in the evening. Try not to overdo it. If you feel you need a rest, do rest.
    You don't need to schedule rests, your body will tell you when to rest. Don't be disappointed if you think you're too tired to go on today. Better lose half a day in the parks, than loosing the 2 following days because of exhaustion
     
  9. Kath2003

    Kath2003 DIS Veteran

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    We don't do plans but...

    If I were you, I'd make Sat/Sun my mall days. The parks are packed at the weekends.

    I would also do more time at Universal/Islands/Sea World.
     
  10. The First Davenger

    The First Davenger Disney Rookie

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    I do tend to over think, well...everything! So thanks again for the advice, it helps having an experienced second opinion to assuage my concerns :)

    I reckon in my head that I'm overestimating the time it will take to see the tings we want to see in the theme parks. I suppose if we are there early on as you suggest (we wanted to be there for the opening also) a bit of prioritizing and smart Fast-Passing will cut down the wait time too.

    Time feels a lot different now to when I was a kid! haha
     
  11. chmurf

    chmurf DIS Veteran

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    Florida mall on a saturday/sunday ? you can't even park your car ... (unless you go at 10am)
    I'd rather wait in line 120 minutes under a blazing sun for a ride in MK than going to the mall on a sunday :)
     
  12. The First Davenger

    The First Davenger Disney Rookie

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    That was my initial thought too, but after thinking about it, I'd rather shop on a quieter day and be in a theme park on a busy day. I know it's different in the USA but remembering past experiences in Primark in Leeds City Centre on a Saturday leave me with a bitter taste in my mouth (Although I may be pretty stereotypical in my gender when it comes to shopping haha).

    Is one day per Universal and IoA too little? I know IoA has an awful lot of stuff to do, fair point, but in May next year there seems to be very little going on at Universal, so we were looking at a park hop option on our tickets.

    Sea World on the other hand we aren't planning on staying there for a great amount of time, mostly to see the shows and the animals.

    All of that considered still - we've never done this before so this is exactly what we're looking for, a bit of feedback. With this in mind, we may look at swapping out a Water Park day if we decide IoA turns out to be more of a chore than was expected.
     
  13. bee86

    bee86 DIS Veteran

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    I am admitting to being well jealous of your planning!!!:rotfl2::rotfl2::rotfl2: And I will also admit that I saw this when you posted it and it kicked me into super planning mode :lmao::lmao: Was up till all hours last night, planning and replanning and it still looks nothing like yours.....mines on a piece of A4 paper with a million scribbles and notes all over the place need to get my self in order :rotfl:

    Maybe because Im a student teacher but I would rather over think it and over plan and change them according to how you feel than under plan and be like "soooooooo what will we do today/tomorrow"

    And you are so right, the advice given here is invaluable better than any book! plus everyone is so nice and friendly I have learned so much from these boards pixiedust:
     
  14. The First Davenger

    The First Davenger Disney Rookie

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    Haha aye we started out like that! We've cut it down a load since we first started planning it. We were originally going to go to Busch Gardens and feed Giraffes, also meet a Penguin at Sea World, Kennedy Space Center was mentioned, visiting beaches, dining at Medieval Times, going to Legoland - the list goes on! In the end we had to be ruthless and budget conscious, so we cut the extras and stuck with the main reason we chose Florida - Disney and Universal. Thats not to say, of course, that we are going to stck to this plan like a platoon leader, its just always handy to have a bit of an idea of when and where :)

    I dont know, having said that the plan is important, retaining that "We're on holiday, we can do WHATEVER we want today" feeling and staying as care-free as possible is still an important part of being on Holiday. I know that I HAVE to go to work every 5 out of 7, and I know I HAVE to go shopping once or twice a month, and I know I HAVE to hoover, tidy, dust etc every week. I'm going to Florida - I'm doing things I WANT to do! :goodvibes
     
  15. Grimm Grinning Ghost

    Grimm Grinning Ghost Mouseketeer

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    Is deffo use the weekends as mall days.That's how we do it,yea its gona be busy but only if you leave it until late in the day.Do the outlets early then hit Florida mall and try Millennia.
     
  16. Kath2003

    Kath2003 DIS Veteran

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    Really? My view is that I've paid to be in the theme parks, so standing around in lines is pointless. Don't care if the mall is busy - have been at the weekends for the last 4 trips and it's been fine? :confused3
    Depends what you're into. We LOVE US/IOA and could easily spend days in each.

    [quoeSea World on the other hand we aren't planning on staying there for a great amount of time, mostly to see the shows and the animals.[/quote]

    Sea World is more time consuming than you'd think. You'll need to be at each show about 20 minutes before hand, then it takes a good 10 minutes to leave, meaning each show takes about an hour (get there early for the sea lion show, it's worth it ;)) The park is also quite large.
     
  17. Wills Mom

    Wills Mom DIS Veteran

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    We've ear marked Seaworld, IOA and Universal as taking up one day each. We plan on hitting Seaworld early, getting the shows we want to see done and Manta and Kraken then we'll leave after a bit of a browse.
    As for Universal, we plan on doing a late morning arrival and staying til mid to late evening depending on DS and hiw hes getting on. I find theres not a whole lot that attracts me there but my parents have never done the Universal parks so we're going there for them.
    Now for IOA I plan on being there for opening and hitting WWOHP straight away. In May 2010 DH and I did IOA in about 2.5 hours but only cause we did Harry Potter first, got through all the main stuff except Jurassic Park which was down but just in case we've put a whole day aside for that park on our upcoming May trip. The upside of the Universal parks is you can buy the Express pass if its busy and just bypass the lines. We've done it before on busy days and its saved us a tonne of time! Just an idea if you choose to do both parks in one day and they end up busier than you'd like.
     
  18. zippy99

    zippy99 DIS Veteran

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    I would consider 'half days' too. We would often get up and do the key rides in one park and then head to another resort for lunch and then off to another park. You get the benefit of a quieter lunch service in a boardwalk/monorail resort plus the travelling and break are a welcome relief. This is a huge perk to staying onsite.

    Personally I LOVE Animal Kingdom and with two walk-through Animal safaris and lots of shows and Bugs Life there is lots to do in an afternoon when ride queues are longer - I find that doing Kilamanjaro Safari and the two walk thru treks would be way to much animal watching in one day - but all are worth seeing.

    I would try to get to ALL the disney parks MK/EP/HS & AK in the first week and then leave a couple of days or mornings/afternoons unplanned in the second week to do the things you saw but did not quite manage.
     
  19. irenep

    irenep DIS Veteran

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    I like your plan- it's very similar to the way I do mine:)

    I don't think it has been mentioned yet but do you really think you will be awake enough to enjoy the preferred fireworks at MK on your first full day? I know we are always in bed by then and it takes us a few days to adjust to the time zone. Personally, I would schedule that for later in the holiday.
    What we do at the start is try to work with the EMH schedule as those first few days are when we are most likely to be awake really early and are great for making the most of early entry before the parks get busy.

    If you do go to the Malls on a Sunday then check the closing times - some close earlier than expected (I usually forget that:headache:)
     
  20. tinks_1989

    tinks_1989 <font color=teal>need a <b>like</b> button<br><fon

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    We always plan shopping days at the weekend and never had a problem and always found parking with no trouble.

    Our plan this year is Florida mall Saturday morning be there for near enough opening depending on time of its closes to lunch we will go back for a swim then come back in the evening. Sunday we will head to mall at millennia and do others like Walmart and target.

    We avoid theme parks at the weekend if we can. I remember having an ADR at tutto italia in October food and wine and free dining we could barely move.

    Do you have a car to be able to visit the shops when ever you feel free? If you feel like you have had enough in the park one day you could always head to the malls in the afternoon. We used to go to the malls after our water park day but now DH and I only rent a car for the weekend as we just don't use it enough.
     
  21. fairytale

    fairytale DIS Veteran

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    Hiya:)

    Having visited Florida many times now and surfed these forums for hours it surprises me how differently people plan their days, and I think this is very individual to you and your family, however you will get all the advise you need here:surfweb:

    As has already been mentioned I think planning to still be standing on your first full day at MK fireworks is fairly brave.

    We hit a wall around 6pm on our first day but try our best to keep going, however we feel irritable and snappy. I think it may ruin your firework experience if you do this the first day. A thought maybe to schedule this in later on in your holiday say maybe after an AK day (an early closing park), or waterpark?

    Also, in my opinion the preferred fireworks viewing area at MK is not great, you will have a much better view from the Main Street. Its ok if you have seen the fireworks before, but for your first time I would want to have the best view possible ;)

    Annette x
     

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