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  #1  
Old December 10th, 2015, 09:35 AM
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Disney advice

I know this is entirely non-rover related... But most of you family men have kids much older than mine and have 'been there done that' and I trust your judgement.

I'm planning to take the family to Disney this January because I have some time off and won't again for a while. We've never taken them. Even though they are little, we know they will have a good time. Our oldest will be 3&4 when we go. We plan on spending 2-3 days between Epcot and magic kingdom.

Where I'm struggling is with lodging. The Disney resorts are exorbitantly priced for the 'convenience' and 'extended experience'. Is it worth it? How much of a pain in the ass is it to get to the park from a local hotel vs a disney resort? What are the hidden costs of parking, busses, etc?

Open to any other advice too. Except for telling me they are too young. Trust me, I'd rather spend a couple grand on rover parts but I want to do something fun/special for my kids before work picks up again.
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  #2  
Old December 10th, 2015, 09:41 AM
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Happy to help - PM sent
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  #3  
Old December 10th, 2015, 09:42 AM
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your kids will have so much fun! my 5 year old has been to disney 8 times i think by now and my 3 year old 4 or 5 times. they are never to young to enjoy, just too young to remember it later on.

send me an email and i will let you know where she brings them.
make sure to stop and see safariHP. bring pizza. =)
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  #4  
Old December 10th, 2015, 10:06 AM
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Done it both ways, the thing is (when you stay on property) with littler ones you can just head back to the room for some nap/down time when they/you get tired. Then head back out to the Magic Kingdom for more fun later on.

As opposed to loading up the troops who are melting down then once in the minivan fall asleep then you got to wake them up to get them up to the room now they are cranky as shit and you got to whip their little asses in the hotel lobby in order to regain troop discipline - you get the idea.

But there are a lot of cool hotels off the Disney properties. The Nickelodeon hotel was pretty cool and had plenty to do afterward. Hotel in Orlando | Nickelodeon Suites Resort | Orlando Resort
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Old December 10th, 2015, 10:12 AM
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raub is right. stay on property so you dont have to rent a car, take the buses everywhere.

i forget where they stay but it is near wolfgang pucks express restaurant if that helps.
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  #6  
Old December 10th, 2015, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d90boy View Post
raub is right. stay on property so you dont have to rent a car, take the buses everywhere.

i forget where they stay but it is near wolfgang pucks express restaurant if that helps.
You forget where they stay? does this mean you have the nanny's take them while you have cold drinks at the Ritz?
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  #7  
Old December 10th, 2015, 10:23 AM
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Yup stay on site. Universal isn't far either. Hopefully you'll avoid school vacation crowds.
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  #8  
Old December 10th, 2015, 10:24 AM
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ha. no, i stay at work and her and her mom take them. =)
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  #9  
Old December 10th, 2015, 10:26 AM
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With such young kids I would stay as close as possible.
Lots of advantages of staying at Disney Hotels. Dealing with the parking lot thing is a real PITA with the extra stuff you have to bring with you to the park because of kids.

I've been doing this EVERY year during the holidays and we stay at my wife's parents timeshare in Orlando. Relatively close to the park, but still a hassel.

The older the kids get, the easier it has become. I can't wait to NOT have to bring in a stroller into the park. You wouldn't believe the stroller parking situation.

Download the Disney Park app. Very helpful.

Even if you don't stay in the park hotels, make sure you book a character breakfast for your family. Very good picture opportunity with Micky, Minny etc.
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  #10  
Old December 10th, 2015, 10:30 AM
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We just did Disney over Thanksgiving with my 6 year old boy and we had a great time. We ended staying at the new Four Season hotel which is just off the Disney property. It wasn't cheap, but was comparably priced and cheaper than some of the Disney hotels. The hotel is only a year old, so it's really nice and clean, and they have their own buses running to and from the parks every 30 minutes to an hour depending on time of day and which park. It was the best part of our trip. My wife is not much of an amusement park fan, so we would wake up early hit one of the parks right when they opened, stay until around noon and head back to the hotel for a good lunch and cocktails. Then drop our son off at their free kids camp for the afternoon and we got a little adult time in. Best of both worlds!!
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Old December 10th, 2015, 10:38 AM
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Me and my family have been going to Disney every year since magic kingdom opened.
We now are Disney vacation club members and have time shares at the boardwalk.
To me it's 100 percent worth it to stay on site.
Parking lots are a huge pita! It's not worth it.
And if you can stay at one of the monorail hotels that's huge for the magic kingdom....

Now that I'm older boardwalk is perfect for us becouse we can walk into the world showcase at Epcot which has most of the restraunts.... And I like to eat.

Stay on park if you can
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  #12  
Old December 10th, 2015, 10:57 AM
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With small kids I echo the sentiment to stay in the park. Another big benefit is the extended hours afforded to those staying on property.
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  #13  
Old December 10th, 2015, 10:57 AM
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Stay on the property - and if you can in one of the hotels on the monorail. The last time we went we stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge (kids were about 18 mos and 5 years) and lugging the stroller on the bus was a pain. We mostly went to the Magic Kingdom and it was a PITA waiting on line for the buses each night to get back to the hotels. It was a pain standing on the bus holding a sleeping kid, then having to deal with getting our stroller off of the bus, setup, etc. We took the monorail to dinner one night from the MK and I just rolled the stroller on, kids in it. The monorail seemed better since it is a quick ride to the MK. I guess that is why those hotels cost more. Also with the bus - some night we would have to take a bus to another place and transfer to another bus. We had to do this when we were going to other hotels for dinner. We wound up taking cabs some night just to save ourselves an hour.

When you stay on Disney property you are allowed to enter the parks one hour earlier, which might sound like a lot but is great. We would get out early, come back to the hotel in the afternoon to go to the pool and nap, then back out for dinner.

I would also not get the meal plan. I felt like we were over eating at lunch. Most of the restaurants we went to for dinner required us to use two vouchers per meal. Next time we go we are going to have a breakfast / lunch foods, snacks and water delivered to the hotel when we arrive. That way we can still eat reasonably healthy during the day and save some money.

Also - do some searching for discount codes. They are out there you just need to do some research and call to book. There is a lot that you can do in a conversation with the agents that you cannot do online.
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  #14  
Old December 10th, 2015, 11:38 AM
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The other thing that worked really well was the "GOOFY PARKING LOT". On my first visit when I was a little kid we parked in the Goofy parking lot. Of course I was all jacked up acting like I was on crack and pitching a fit I'm sure and my mom snatched me up and gave me an epic beat down in the Goofy Parking Lot. I mean whipped my ass good in front of God and everybody as only a mean redheaded momma from Alabama can! You know the kind where every she smacks you she says a word "YOU (SMACK!) WILL (SMACK) HAVE (SMACK) FUN (SMACK) TODAY (SMACK) OR ELSE!!!

So I pulled my shit together and had a great rest of the trip. But any time I started to come unhinged and lose my shit my mom would just give me the death ray stare and ask "do we need to go out to the "Goofy Parking Lot" again?" - No ma'am.

Fast forward to when I took my kids for their firs trip to Disney as we were parking I made sure to point out the "Goofy Parking Lot" and as we drove by reeaally slow like, I told them about my ass whippin' in the "Goofy Parking Lot" and that the "Goofy Parking Lot" was where the kids who didn't behave went to get an ass whippin' and you girls don't want to end up in the "Goofy Parking Lot" do you? You should have seen their eyes, big as saucers!

And it has worked like a charm every visit since, just the mention of the "Goofy Parking Lot" will put down any and all insurrections. True story.
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  #15  
Old December 10th, 2015, 11:40 AM
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Thank you EVERYONE for the advice. I knew this place would have some good info. Obviously there are a ton of sites out there committed to reviews and what not... But they don't really show a consensus like this thread has already. Clearly I need to get the family in an on-site resort! I feel like I need a drink just reading about the bus escapades... So monorail is a must.

Thanks again!
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  #16  
Old December 10th, 2015, 12:48 PM
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Don't forget that since you're going to be in the Orlando area, try to fit in a day at "Rover Drama-land"!
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  #17  
Old December 10th, 2015, 01:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ontheway View Post
Clearly I need to get the family in an on-site resort! I feel like I need a drink just reading about the bus escapades... So monorail is a must.
Not sure if others had the same issues with the buses that I did. I take mass transit every day (trains) so sitting on a bus on vacation sucked.

The Grand Floridian, Contemporary and Polynesian are more pricey, but it's Disney. You will remember it forever.

There are also some great restaurants there too. The Hoop De Doo Review was really fun.
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  #18  
Old December 10th, 2015, 04:55 PM
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Shades of Green is an Armed Forces Recreation Center located on Disney property. Short resort shuttle to the Rail, all inclusive stay, discounted Disney tix....Highly recommended!
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  #19  
Old December 10th, 2015, 05:25 PM
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Disneyworld sounds like a parents nightmare. Why not spend the same amount of money on a cool trip to europe,carribean... or rent a cottage in a faraway place where the whole family has fun. What's the attraction to standing in line,being hot and irritated, spending your hard earned money on commercial crap.If you want roller coasters go to a local amusement park. Please enlighten me.
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Old December 10th, 2015, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by ctrover View Post
Disneyworld sounds like a parents nightmare. Why not spend the same amount of money on a cool trip to europe,carribean... or rent a cottage in a faraway place where the whole family has fun. What's the attraction to standing in line,being hot and irritated, spending your hard earned money on commercial crap.If you want roller coasters go to a local amusement park. Please enlighten me.
Yes. Go see the world! Damascus weather is the bomb this time of year!

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