Going to Disney World - Anyone have any must see/do things?

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#51
Christopher, I don't know how old your child is but you may want to take advantage of the single rider line too. It will save a lot of time.

And all the parks are great. They all have great rides now but I'd say Hollywood Studios probably is the most packed with great thrilling ride, although Expedition Everest in Animal Kingdom is the ride I'm most excited to go on again and that's not just between the Disney parks but also Universal's.
 
#52
Paradise Island for the adults is a must, just don't plan on driving back to your hotel. Basically every type of popular bar/club in one strip mall style setup. Hot women walking around selling test tube shooters, jello shots and the like. I suggest the Liquid Cocaine or the Four Horsemen. I don't remember what was in them, but then again I don't remember a large portion of the evening after knocking a few of them back.

They have a techno bar with a spinning dance floor that was packed the entire night. They held the bartender championships there that evening as well.

Sports bar, karaoke bar, retro, country.. you name it and it's there.

When I was a manager at EB, they sent us down there for vendor shows and dropped us off there one night each time. We'd all be a mess by the end of the night.. staggering our way back to the busses.

Good times.
 
#53
Disney Hollywood Studios: Go to Toy Story Mania as soon as you enter the park, and either ride standby or grab a fast pass. It has the worst lines in the whole of Disney World.
 
#54
My ultimate Disney protip? DEMAGNETIZE YOUR TICKET IMMEDIATELY. What this does is render it useless at the fastpass ticket taker things. So you play dumb every time and tell the attendant it's not working. They then push buttons on the back of the fastpass machine and it spits out fastpasses without it registering against your ticket. So what I started doing a while ago is I walk in there, tell my wife I'll meet her somewhere and run around the park and get fastpasses for every ride. Another key to this is to understand that the only time that matters on a fastpass is the first time. They don't expire until the next day.

edit: Whoever tells you that you'll get soaked on splash mountain is doing it wrong. Just don't sit in the front row and you'll be fine. They used to have these squirter thingys but they haven't been operational the last few times I've been there. It's a great ride.
 
#55
Universal's Islands of Adventure is awesome if you love Harry Potter. Or if your kid does. It's well worth the price of admission alone. Outside of the Harry Potter area and the Incredible Hulk ride I think the park is pretty lame. But chances are your child likes superheroes and dinosaurs, so the Marvel comics rides and Jurassic Park areas will probably go over well.

If it makes any difference, you should know that the Spider Man ride is closed until March or April.

The Harry Potter ride is in fact very cool...but it costs like $80-120 bucks a head to get in...and the fast pass system doesn't apply to Harry Potter at all because waiting in line IS PART OF THE RIDE! #%$&@!!!!
I'm pretty sure they let you bypass a large section of the line if you agree to go as a single rider.

As with anything like that, you're better off just waiting until the last hour that the park is open. Lines dwindle down to nothing and you can ride it like 3 or 4 times in a row with virtually no wait.
 
#56
I would recommend the Fast Pass (or whatever the name is). It costs more, but you get to ride more rides.



edit: Whoever tells you that you'll get soaked on splash mountain is doing it wrong. Just don't sit in the front row and you'll be fine. They used to have these squirter thingys but they haven't been operational the last few times I've been there. It's a great ride.
:lol
Splash mountain is lame if you don't get wet.
 
#57
Don't forget to check out the Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom interactive game! It's a scavenger hunt in which players interact with various shop displays and signs using trading cards of various spells and Disney characters hidden throughout the Magic Kingdom. http://youtu.be/4BBOiT_Y-mA
 
#58
My ultimate Disney protip? DEMAGNETIZE YOUR TICKET IMMEDIATELY. What this does is render it useless at the fastpass ticket taker things. So you play dumb every time and tell the attendant it's not working. They then push buttons on the back of the fastpass machine and it spits out fastpasses without it registering against your ticket. So what I started doing a while ago is I walk in there, tell my wife I'll meet her somewhere and run around the park and get fastpasses for every ride. Another key to this is to understand that the only time that matters on a fastpass is the first time. They don't expire until the next day.

edit: Whoever tells you that you'll get soaked on splash mountain is doing it wrong. Just don't sit in the front row and you'll be fine. They used to have these squirter thingys but they haven't been operational the last few times I've been there. It's a great ride.
Never tried demagnetizing them, didn't think of that. Sounds like a good thing to test out though. It is true that the second time on the Fastpasses don't matter right now though I think I heard they are going to start enforcing that next month so your mileage may vary there depending on the employee they have working each ride.

Splash Mountain definitely doesn't completely soak you like Kali River Rapids but it does still get you pretty wet and that can be uncomfortable when walking around in the park depending on the weather that day.

I would recommend the Fast Pass (or whatever the name is). It costs more, but you get to ride more rides.
Fastpass is free. You just need to use your normal ticket at the ride of your choice (provided it is offered there) and you'll get the pass to come back at a later time. You can just only get one per hour (or thereabout) unless you do that demagnetize thing I guess.
 

RubxQub

φίλω ἐξεχέγλουτον καί ψευδολόγον οὖκ εἰπόν
#59
Can you even get into the park if you de-mag your ticket?
 
#62
Phillarmagic

Probably some of the best 3D I've ever seen, and if you still have any love for Disney classics, you'll want to see it. Great animation and great music.

I might be going this summer and I will not stop pestering my group until we see it.
 
#63
The Toy Story ride @ MGM is awesome. I remember the lines being bad for that ride so I'd watch out for that. Also I think Epcot (?) still has that Captain EO 3D thing, the line for that is also pretty non-existent.

Imma have to check out the Disney rides to refresh my memory again, I think my last visit was in the summer last year.

Phillarmagic

Probably some of the best 3D I've ever seen, and if you still have any love for Disney classics, you'll want to see it. Great animation and great music.

I might be going this summer and I will not stop pestering my group until we see it.
^Also worth checking out.
 
#64
Paradise Island for the adults is a must, just don't plan on driving back to your hotel. Basically every type of popular bar/club in one strip mall style setup. Hot women walking around selling test tube shooters, jello shots and the like. I suggest the Liquid Cocaine or the Four Horsemen. I don't remember what was in them, but then again I don't remember a large portion of the evening after knocking a few of them back.

They have a techno bar with a spinning dance floor that was packed the entire night. They held the bartender championships there that evening as well.

Sports bar, karaoke bar, retro, country.. you name it and it's there.

When I was a manager at EB, they sent us down there for vendor shows and dropped us off there one night each time. We'd all be a mess by the end of the night.. staggering our way back to the busses.

Good times.
It was great, especially Adventurer's Club. Unfortunately it's been closed for years and now just has a few restaurants and shops and no street drinking.
 
#65
If you have extra time visiting the hotels for meals is great. Disney transportation makes it very easy to get around. The Animal Kingdom Lodge, Polynesian, Grand Floridian, Wilderness Lodge, Contemporary, Beach/Yacht Club and Port Orleans are all nice to visit and have good restaurants.

I really like eating at Port Orleans and then taking the boat to Downtown Disney for desert and watching Illuminations while eating desert at the Yacht Club.
 

isny

napkin dispenser
#66
Eat at Boatwright's Dining Hall and Yachtsman's Steakhouse. You'll want to make ADR's. (Advanced Dining Reservations)

Two of the best restaurants on property =D
 
#67
The FastPass thing at Disney sounds like a convoluted mess.

I like Universal's system a whole lot better - just cough up an extra $30 and you can get in the express line all day everyday.
 
#70
I was going to make a similar topic as the wife, son and I are going in a couple of weeks. One day a Universal, two or three days at the Disney parks and one day at a water park.

If you plan to visit any other theme parks, I would recommend Universal Island of Adventure. Lots of rides, big and small.

Cocoa Beach is a nice place to wind down.
How far is it from Disney World? Is it one of the better beaches to go to, as in, not too packed due to Spring Break going to start for many folks?
 
#71
The FastPass thing at Disney sounds like a convoluted mess.

I like Universal's system a whole lot better - just cough up an extra $30 and you can get in the express line all day everyday.
It's not convoluted. It's not difficult at all to organize around the assigned time, and then there's literally no waiting at all when your slot is up. DisneyWorld is already extracting the maximum amount of money possible out of your wallet, it's nice that they're not charging twice to get on a ride.
 
#72
I went there last year for a week with my gf.

The best thing you can do is book with a disney agent to ensure that you get the best deal possible. If the person doesn't offer you any specials or good deals just call back until you get a good agent. We got someone who was able to get us 7 days worth of passes for the water parks at no additional cost.

I would also advise staying at a Disney Resort, they have some that are super cheap (like the music, movies, and sports resorts). This way you can take disney shuttles everywhere to save you time and money. Only mistake we made was staying at the disney music resort which was the most crowded so at the end of the day we would have to wait for 2 or 3 shuttles before they could fit us. We finally started taking the sports shuttle and walking the quarter mile back to our hotel so we didn't have to wait forever.

Disney meal plans were awesome, make sure to get the one that includes 1 sit down meal a day, and call and make reservations at least 1 month in advance. My favorite restaurant was a irish pub at downtown disney.

Other than that, have fun. Fast passes are super easy to get for most all rides with an exception to Toy Story Miday Mania, they usually run out of fast passes within 2 hours of the park opening.. So get there the second they open to get your pass!

PM me if you want any other advise, I haven't read the thread to see what other people recommend, and I doubt I'll remember to check back in.
 
#75
Fastpass is extremely convoluted and I rarely use it. I don't want to keep track of what time I have to return to ride the ride and how many fast passes I'm allowed to have out at once and what bonus fast pass tickets I have. That new X-pass system coming up is going to make it even worse by introducing tiered fast pass. On top of that you miss out on the really elaborate queues for these attractions that create the buildup. It's like watching a movie but skipping the first act and diving right into the middle.
 

isny

napkin dispenser
#77
I went there last year for a week with my gf.

The best thing you can do is book with a disney agent to ensure that you get the best deal possible. If the person doesn't offer you any specials or good deals just call back until you get a good agent. We got someone who was able to get us 7 days worth of passes for the water parks at no additional cost.

I would also advise staying at a Disney Resort, they have some that are super cheap (like the music, movies, and sports resorts). This way you can take disney shuttles everywhere to save you time and money. Only mistake we made was staying at the disney music resort which was the most crowded so at the end of the day we would have to wait for 2 or 3 shuttles before they could fit us. We finally started taking the sports shuttle and walking the quarter mile back to our hotel so we didn't have to wait forever.

Disney meal plans were awesome, make sure to get the one that includes 1 sit down meal a day, and call and make reservations at least 1 month in advance. My favorite restaurant was a irish pub at downtown disney.

Other than that, have fun. Fast passes are super easy to get for most all rides with an exception to Toy Story Miday Mania, they usually run out of fast passes within 2 hours of the park opening.. So get there the second they open to get your pass!

PM me if you want any other advise, I haven't read the thread to see what other people recommend, and I doubt I'll remember to check back in.
It's cheaper to book everything yourself. MUCH cheaper. Disney Travel Agents, well, ANY travel agents, as only in it to make a profit and you can book everything online these days MUCH cheaper yourself.

Fastpass is extremely convoluted and I rarely use it. I don't want to keep track of what time I have to return to ride the ride and how many fast passes I'm allowed to have out at once and what bonus fast pass tickets I have. That new X-pass system coming up is going to make it even worse by introducing tiered fast pass. On top of that you miss out on the really elaborate queues for these attractions that create the buildup. It's like watching a movie but skipping the first act and diving right into the middle.
Previously Fastpasses could be used at any time after the start time window. They just recently stopped allowing this due to the Xpass system being rolled out soon. Most tourists did whatever they had to to hit their "Fastpass Window", but they didn't have to as you could come back any time without a problem. Now unfortunately, with the recent changes, you're stuck with having to make it back in time. (Besides a small ten minute grace period)
 
#78
If you want to do everything at Epcot, you will need 2 days to do it without killing yourself: one for the Future World part of the park, and one for the World Showcase.
Yes, it's possible to do the whole park in one day, but you'll need to plan everything down to the minute, you'll still have to miss things and you'll feel like shit at the end of the day. It's not worth it. Spend two days. Trust me.

Get Fastpasses EARLY for the popular rides or they'll run out before you get there. Specifically: Space or Splash Mountain in Magic Kingdom, Test Track or Soarin' at Epcot (do Test Track, Soarin' is borin'), Tower of Terror or Rock n Roller Coaster at Disney Studios, and the Safari or Mt. Everest at Animal Kingdom.

Typhoon Lagoon is the best water park. Blizzard Beach is good, but it feels a bit bare in comparison and Typhoon Lagoon has an incredible wave pool.

Illuminations at Epcot and the fireworks at Magic Kingdom (I can't remember their name) are worth staying late for, but try and get a good spot early and DON'T MOVE FROM THAT SPOT, or you'll lose it. If you don't care about the fireworks, then use the time they're on to go on some rides that had long queues earlier in the day.
 
#79
Fastpass is extremely convoluted and I rarely use it. I don't want to keep track of what time I have to return to ride the ride and how many fast passes I'm allowed to have out at once and what bonus fast pass tickets I have. That new X-pass system coming up is going to make it even worse by introducing tiered fast pass. On top of that you miss out on the really elaborate queues for these attractions that create the buildup. It's like watching a movie but skipping the first act and diving right into the middle.
The XPass system is about completely planning your day at the Disney park, from what time you get on rides to when you meet characters to when you eat your meals and so on. Not sure if this is a good or bad thing yet.

And you really failed at trying to make the fastpass sound convoluted. It's pretty damn simple. Just put your ticket in, another ticket pops out with the time, return during that time. It also tells you when you can get another fastpass.
 
#81
Epcot is one of those parks that is boring until you get older and realize "HOLY SHIT! There's a culturally relevant restaurant in every country and beer EVERYWHERE!". Totally changed my outlook on it.
 

smokeymicpot

Beat EviLore at pool.
#82
Epcot is one of those parks that is boring until you get older and realize "HOLY SHIT! There's a culturally relevant restaurant in every country and beer EVERYWHERE!". Totally changed my outlook on it.
Yeah last time I went this past year it happened to be the festival where they have more countries and more beer. It was awesome.
 
#83
Not sure if anyone mentioned this, but a large chunk of Fantasy Land in WDW is closed... Thunder Mountain, Dumbo and everything past the carousel north of Cinderella's Castle.
http://www.themeparkreview.com/forum/files/dsc_0294_10.jpg
They are rebuilding that whole area.

Just got back around 3 weeks ago from there. Had an awesome time with the kids.

Staying at a resort, thanks to some really good deals and free meal plan upgrades, is the way to go. So much easier than doing everything on your own. Just set up your character meals in advance. It takes a lot of stress out of it, and I find that you spend more time at the parks doing stuff in my experience.
 
#86
Not sure if anyone mentioned this, but a large chunk of Fantasy Land in WDW is closed... Thunder Mountain, Dumbo and everything past the carousel north of Cinderella's Castle.
http://www.themeparkreview.com/forum/files/dsc_0294_10.jpg
They are rebuilding that whole area.

Just got back around 3 weeks ago from there. Had an awesome time with the kids.

Staying at a resort, thanks to some really good deals and free meal plan upgrades, is the way to go. So much easier than doing everything on your own. Just set up your character meals in advance. It takes a lot of stress out of it, and I find that you spend more time at the parks doing stuff in my experience.
Eh? How is Thunder Mountain closed when it isn't even in Fantasy Land?

Also Typhoon Lagoon is the better of the two water parks in my opinion.
 
#90
How bout some more DisneyLand tips as well?
There is a special train car called the Lilly Belle that was used to cart around dignitaries and what not. If it's running and the park isn't busy you can ask City Hall if you can ride in it. You can also ride the tender seat in the locomotive with the conductor, again if it's not too busy. But that's Disneyland, I know fuck all about Disney World.
 

isny

napkin dispenser
#91
Oh wow first I've heard of this.

Do we know what they're doing to it?
Replacing the whole track. Updating the ride control system. Fixing broken show pieces. (Like the tarp covering the hole the rock that fell on someone used to be)
 

Vanillalite

Ask me about the GAF Notebook
#92
One of the coolest experiences I ever had as a kid was eating at that restaurant inside of the castle in the Magic Kingdom. I was like OMG this is AAAAAMMMZZZZIINNGGG as a kid. LOL
 
#93
One of the coolest experiences I ever had as a kid was eating at that restaurant inside of the castle in the Magic Kingdom. I was like OMG this is AAAAAMMMZZZZIINNGGG as a kid. LOL
Not quite the same effect as an adult, but it is nice. Another cool thing to do at Magic Kingdom is book breakfast in the park before it opens. Walking down Main Street when there is no one there is really cool. It's the only way to get a wide picture without a ton of people in the background.
 
#94
Not sure if anyone mentioned this, but a large chunk of Fantasy Land in WDW is closed... Thunder Mountain, Dumbo and everything past the carousel north of Cinderella's Castle.
http://www.themeparkreview.com/forum/files/dsc_0294_10.jpg
They are rebuilding that whole area.

Just got back around 3 weeks ago from there. Had an awesome time with the kids.

Staying at a resort, thanks to some really good deals and free meal plan upgrades, is the way to go. So much easier than doing everything on your own. Just set up your character meals in advance. It takes a lot of stress out of it, and I find that you spend more time at the parks doing stuff in my experience.
Most of what is "Closed" in Fantasyland doesn't actually exist yet. The only thing back there they actually shut down is Dumbo. The rest was all past the park's old boundary and will consist of new Beauty and the Beast, Snow White, and Little Mermaid areas. Nothing has occupied that space though since 20k leagues under the sea in the area where the little mermaid stuff will be, which closed in the early 90s.

Dumbo is also re-opening in a different location in the park around the middle of next month. Really there won't be anything you would normally find in Fantasyland that is closed unless you are going before 3 weeks from now when Dumbo is open again.

Thunder Mountain is definitely closed for a full refurb though.
 
#95
Take an extra hour or so and check out Kim Possible at Epcot and the Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom games. sorcerers just opened yesterday, so I can't comment on it. But if it's anything like Kim possible it will be special. These are the type things that make Disney special.
 
#96
Decide which parks you are most interested in spending the most time in and plan which hotel you stay in around that, if you're going to stay at a Disney hotel. Some of the hotels are on the monorail line, which will take you directly to Epcot and the magic kingdom. It's a lot more convenient than taking trams places.

If you stay over at the Yacht/Beach clubs or Boardwalk, you get a direct boat to the movie park, and you can walk to a special back entrance to epcot.

Even if you're planning on staying at one of the hotels that only has busses, you can still pick one closest to where you want to spend the most time.
 
#97
I'm pretty amazing at giving advice towards all things Disney, so here I go.

If you have an iPhone or Android grab the Undercover Tourist App. It'll let you know about wait times and what parks will be busy or not busy for the day. If you stay on property, take advantage of the extra magic hours. Sometimes a park will be open until 3am or as early at 7am!

Rides to DEFINITELY ride:

Magic Kingdom:

Space Mountain
People Mover (while eating a Mickey ice cream)
Mickey's Philhar Magic
Splash Mountain
The Haunted Mansion
Buzz Lightyear
Monster's Inc. Laugh Floor (my personal favorite)

Epcot (lame):

Soarin'
Test Track
Mission Space
Living with the Land
The Seas with Nemo and Friends
World of Cool

Hollywood Studios (my favorite park of all time):

Toy Story Mania

Ok before I go on, the day you plan to go to Hollywood Studios you NEED to get there before rope drop. You also need to be right in front of the rope when it opens since they'll walk groups down to get fast passes to Toy Story Mania. Toy Story Mania will run out of fast passes for the day about an hour or 2 after the park opens. That means no more fast passes and you'll need to wait in the eventual 90+ minute line if you want to ride it again. So I highly suggest you be the first one to get a fast pass.

Rock n' Roller Coaster
Tower of Terror
Star Tours
Muppet Vision 3D
Studio Backlot Tour
The Great Movie Ride

Animal Kingdom:

Expedition Everest (absolutely amazing)
Dinosaur
Kali River Rapids
It's Tough to be a Bug (Remember to sit forward when the bees come, trust me)

This is more of an attraction list that I personally love, but since you have a younger one, I'm sure you'll have to go on It's a Small World, and Peter Pans Flight and even Dumbo. My girlfriend and I already have our May 2012 Disney World trip booked and ready to go!

For dining, I definitely need to suggest going to T-Rex at Downtown Disney. Amazing atmosphere similar to the Rainforest Cafe, but with Dinosaurs and Dino props everywhere. It's kind of expensive. I got the Bronto Burger which is pretty massive and I really almost threw up after eating it. That was about $12. For inside the parks, I suggest The Colombia Harbor House for a quick service meal in Magic Kingdom if you guys get hungry. It was pretty affordable as I got shrimp with fries and cole slaw for about $8.50. Oh and a drink. My girlfriend and I didn't eat much while we were in the parks, we just mostly brought snacks. We did eat at the Rainforest Cafe also which I like.

If you can hit up DisneyQuest in Downtown Disney, do it. 3 floors of arcade games and interactive/virtual reality games galore!
I think that's about it to sum it all up. If you have anymore questions, don't hesitate to PM me!
 
#98
It's not convoluted. It's not difficult at all to organize around the assigned time, and then there's literally no waiting at all when your slot is up. DisneyWorld is already extracting the maximum amount of money possible out of your wallet, it's nice that they're not charging twice to get on a ride.
They're just making you show up at every ride twice (once for the pass, once to actually ride it).

It sounds like it'd get pretty dicey trying to fit into a half hour arrival window. You're talking about coordinating arrival times in between multiple rides with varying wait times.....kids/friends wanting to stop for food and photos and souvenirs....girlfriend/wife wanting to go to the bathroom or sit down or rest....and just generally not knowing how long it will take you to get around the park. There's generally a lot of weird tension and pressure and rushing on family vacations, the FastPass just compounds it.

I'd think that at the very least they could just issue you FastPasses at the gate, rather than making you walk to a ride, get a pass, then walk back to it hours later.
 
#99
Just went last summer. 4 days of Kingdom parks and 4 days of Water parks package. It was great spending one day in Disney park and resting the next day in a water park, especially since it was so damn hot. It's not worth it to spend extra for the Hopper Pass since you pretty much spend the whole day in one park antway. And, spend a night doing one of the show. Arabian Night was pretty good.
 

TAJ

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
There is a special train car called the Lilly Belle that was used to cart around dignitaries and what not. If it's running and the park isn't busy you can ask City Hall if you can ride in it. You can also ride the tender seat in the locomotive with the conductor, again if it's not too busy. But that's Disneyland, I know fuck all about Disney World.
Wat
That was in Walt Disney's back yard, and it's in a museum in San Francisco now. I was just there a year ago.
 
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