Going to Orlando !!

  1. Anyone got any suggestions on how to best plan a two week vacation at Disneyworld? Hotel...on the premises or outside? Can we see it all in 2 weeks? What not to miss? We are planning for the last 2 weeks in May. Can a family of 4 do it on $3000?
  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   NurseDennie
    Oooh, you'll have so much fun!! I don't have much in the way of advice, because I went there for ONE day, and it was so long ago, there wasn't even EPCOT.

    I do know from trying to work up another holiday there that there are hotels/motels in the vicinity which are quite a bit more reasonably-priced than the hotels in Disneyworld. There were a couple in Disneyworld that I REALLY would have liked to stay at - they just appealed to me, you know? But I couldn't afford it, and there are nice places, like I said, reasonably cheap fairly close. Besides, what's the room for anyway? Just some place to sleep and shower and get ready for the park or the pool or something cool.

    May is a great time to go, or at least it was when I went all those years ago. The weather was nice and it wasn't the busiest time at the park!

    Have fun! I envy you your cool holiday!!


  4. by   LTC-LPN
    ...a book for you to read before you make reservations. It is called the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World. We used it on our last trip and saved a lot of time and $$$. We also took a cooler to our hotel room loaded with juice boxes, fruit, pop and assorted sandwich fixings to cut down on eating in the park. It worked great. I really like to visit Disney world and we saw what we wanted in six days. That was a few years ago though and now there is the animal park to see too.

    Have fun in the sun!!!!

    Jane Ann
  5. by   Brian
    I havent been to DW in about 8 years, but we are going to Disney World next week for 7 days, cant wait, the kids are gonna love it!

    I bought "Birnbaum's Walt disney World 2002" I got it at our local AAA office, but you can find it in bookstores or online, here it is at amazon:

    It's filled with good info and well worth the $12 I paid. Or so my wife said, She did most of the reading, I just browsed.

    The one thing I would recommend to do is try and make an itinerary of where you might want to go which days etc... and call and make reservations at differnt resturaunts.

    For example, if you want to take the kids to a Character breakfast at Cinderellas Castle, I would call and try to get reservations now. They are booked up about two months in advance. My wife scheduled several meals at the different themed resturaunts etc... and many of them were quite full.

    $3000 sounds a kinda low for a 2 week vacation, but I guess it all depends on how frugal you are Where you stay, where you go etc...

    Here are a few websites that I found while researching Orlando that I found helpful:




    Orlando Attractions:

    At one of the sites above, I sent away for a free orlando visitors guide and they sent me a bunch of booklets that were helpful. There was a brochure for rental homes close to disney that seemed quite affordable in comparison to hotels. Here is the URL that is on the brochure:


    I am not at all recommending this, just sharing the info with you. Anyways, I hope this helps, have fun!!!
  6. by   CC NRSE
    disney world!!!!!!! ohhh how fun!!!!! we went two years ago for a week and stayed in one of the disney resorts. it is a little expensive but was worth it for me. there were shuttles that ran all day starting at like 6am and ran until about 1 or 2am (when downtown disney closed). we didn't have to drive or even leave the resort if we chose not to!!!! the other thing to consider,...if you stay on the resort,...it is easy to go back to the room for a nap!!! i did this on a daily basis!!!! :d there is lots to see and do. the also have three water parks that are lots of fun!!!! :d

    when we checked in they gave us a calender with the scheduled events and we planned accordingly.(not really,...as i hate to plan!!!! )
    brian,.....ohhhh,.......your gonna have so much fun!!!!! just thinking back,...i remember how much fun i had,...and i don't even have kids!!! :d
  7. by   shay
    Okay, here's my 'list': (hubby and I did honeymoon there)

    1. get parkhopper passes....a bargain.
    2. stay in the resort for the 'nap' reason, and plus free buses run to all the different parks all day and late into the night.
    3. stay somewhere that has a kitchenette, pack and bring your own 'quick' food to put in your fanny pack....that is, if they still allow fanny packs there after 9/11.
    4. DON'T EAT INSIDE THE PARK IF YOU CAN HELP IT. Give the kiddies a very strict food $$ spending limit each day(if they're old enough), plus their own fanny packs with their own snacks. That way, they have a very clear picture of why they can't buy the doggone $5 hamburger and $3 coke. Also another good reason to stay on property and get the passes...you can go back to the room or out of the park to eat lunch.
    5. I also recommend the 'unofficial guide to wdw.' It rates rides according to child's age, plus gives average wait times and how to 'attack' the park so the wait times are shortest.

  8. by   bagladyrn
    Birnbaum's guide is excellent. If staying in the resort is out of your budget, I could suggest the Motel Six Maingate. I've stayed there - good location, close to it all, your basic generic motel room, of course.
  9. by   NICU_Nurse
    My hubbie and I LOVE Disney World, and go every chance we get- last time was May of 2001, and May the year before that as well. I would be thrilled to answer any questions that I could if you like. First of all, GO TO THIS WEB SITE: www.wdwig.com and read the FAQ's. Deb Wills has collected a HEAP of info from people like us who go there frequently, and you can find all kinds of tips and interesting information, including menus from almost all of the restaurants, hotel faq's with photos, prices for tickets and passes, etc., as well as personal experiences. Second, buy a guide book or more than one- we used Birnbaum's, which is the "official" guide and packed with helpful information and maps, and we carried this one with us in my little backpack, and also Walt Disney World for Couples, which was good for us because we don't have kids and were afraid that we wouldn't have anything to do- WRONG. We were like four year olds, rushing around Toon Town like crazy sugar-pumped children, and I swear to you, the last day of our trip, I finally saw Winnie-the-Pooh and started CRYING. Hey, hush up- he's my FAVORITE!!!!!!! ;>P Some things off the top of my head- don't be afraid to try to stay on property. The all-star hotels have great prices, and if you go any weekend but Memorial Day weekend, you could probably get a nice discount on the rooms. Don't go for the big packages unless you have beaucoup money to spend- you are paying for needless extras and you can get most of it much cheaper if you pay for them seperately. A little bit of extra footwork, but worth it. Get the Disney Club card, about fifty bucks or so, and use it to get discounts on your hotel stay, park passes, etc. The wdwig web site has the discounts available listed in a faq, and you can read this and see if it's worth it before you buy one, but I tell you the thing paid for itself in less than an hour when we booked the hotel. Plus, it has discounts for hotels all across america and rental cars and stuff with affilliates, not just in Florida, so if you visit the parents or whatever later in the year, you can use it for that too. WELL WORTH IT. If there is an E-ticket night, go for this- it's only for hotel guests, and they let only five thousand people or so into the park for like, four hours after it closes. THIS WAS AWESOME!!!!!!!! The park is freaking DESERTED and it is soooooooooooooo beautiful at night, I can't even tell you. We rode Splash Mountain EIGHT TIMES in a row without waiting in line- got off, ran back up the ramps, got on again, etc. Even Space Mountain had no lines ( I think there were seven people up there waiting to get on when we rode it!) and they have rides that are suitable for smaller children open too, but I forget which ones they are. Take your time in May because it's SWELTERINGLY hot (I'm from Louisiana, and my family lives in Daytona, and it's just as hot both places- it will suck the life out of you). Drink lots of water, and be patient, because if it's crowded, people get cranky and you want the trip to be fun for your kids, unlike my first trip to Disney, when my father (I was nine, brother was seven) was so frustrated he yanked us out of line as we were about to order Cokes because he said the prices were jacked up (and we'd been waiting for thirty minutes!!!!!!!!!!! Arghhh.) and made us drink from water fountains. :>P Dads- gotta love 'em. If you stay on property, I hear that the All-Star Movies is the nicest of the three or so cheaper hotels, and we always stayed at the Carribbean beach resort, which is just amazing and totally takes you away from your troubles. Ahh, sitting on the beach, drinking Fairy Tale cuvee (we could order it from room service!!), toes in the sand, reggae music wafting over the lake, feeding ducks by hand...I'm getting all verklempt. Anyway, let me know if I can help. And sorry for all the enthusiasm- Disney was the best times of my life. Super fun. Unforgettable memories. Good luck planning your trip!!!!!!!!!!!

    -Me, who would cry for Winnie any time without shame!!!
    Last edit by NICU_Nurse on Aug 28, '03
  10. by   NICU_Nurse
    Just killing time: ;>P

    7-day park hopper passes are $326 adults, $262 for kids
    (If you bought 2 7-day passes for each person, which is 14 days of admission per person to ALL PARKS, it would be $1304 for both adults, $1048 for both kids for those two weeks)
    *These passes NEVER EXPIRE, unlike the annual passes below. If you don't use all fourteen days, THEY ARE ALWAYS GOOD for your next trip to Disney World, even if it is four years later.
    *Good for unlimited admission to ALL PARKS and water parks and Disney Quest, etc.
    *For a two week vacation, if you are ACTUALLY going to be going to the parks your whole trip or most of it, this is probably the best buy because your tickets NEVER EVER expire.

    Premium Annual Passes are $498 adults, $423 for kids
    (If you each had an annual pass, it would be $1992 for both adults, and $1692 for both kids)
    *These passes expire one year from the date that you use them first, but also include discounts on resorts, food, rental cars, etc.
    *Good for unlimited admission to ALL PARKS and water parks and Disney Quest, etc.

    Disney Club membership (about fifty bucks, I think) offers discounts on ALL TICKETS, even onepark/oneday tickets, as well as hotel discounts, food discounts, etc. Disney Club members get a 15% discount on AllStar resorts and moderate resorts from 2/14/2002-8/24/2002

    May E-Ticket nights are the 6, 10, 13, 17, 20, 24, 28, 31

    Food is VERY expensive, and can add up quickly for a family of four. You can consider a hotel off property that has a kitchenette and you can cook your own, or one of the condo-type rentals on property that have kitchens (like, umm...Old Key West, I think, has kitchens). As you can see, though, the trip can be super-expensive, but your major purchases are airfare, hotel stay, passes, and food. (I don't know what you're planning on doing for spending money or whatever). I think it's worth it, but then again, I don't have children!! Not sure if all of these things would work within your budget, but they give you something to look at. Could probably save mucho bucks if you stayed off property, so you may want to consider that, but I will say that the convenience of quick afternoon naps and dips in the pool when it's too hot, as well as the bus transportation is worth it in my opinion. 2 weeks is a very long time to stay there- you will surely have plenty to do. The hotels have pools, and there is tons of stuff to do in Orlando that ISN'T Disney, like miniature golf, etc. (I don't know...you know what I mean!). You don't have to go to the parks every day, but there is something to consider- your kids may be really impatient to get back to the parks, so prepare them that you will also be doing other things if this is the plan, because they will probably bug the crap out of you to go back the next day and the next and this may not be in your budget. I think a full seven or eight or even nine days is plenty- you don't have to see EVERY little thing, and some things you won't even be interested in. This gives you plenty of time to see all the parks and go to a water park (two major ones, basically the same but for theming), and then spend your evenings at the hotel or going to Downtown disney to eat dinner, shop, or go to Disney Quest (a huge arcade- very neat. Kids love it, lots of virtual reality stuff and super cool theming inside.) You know what I'm saying? Anyway...sorry for the length, but I'm waiting for the phone technician to come out and fix our phone line, so I have nothing else to do!!!!!!!!!!!

    -Me, the babbler ;>P
    Last edit by NICU_Nurse on Aug 28, '03
  11. by   bagladyrn
    Just another note - if you plan do do things outside of Disney - I checked the Nasa site and there is a shuttle launch scheduled in May - only tentative date so far. The space center is worth a visit, but will be VERY crowded and restricted at launch date, but you get great views from Cocoa Beach - easy access: follow 528 East all the way to the beach and it dumps out at a small park/parking area with great view. Only about an hour from Orlando (not counting traffic tieups, of course) If you can't get there, shuttle launch is quite visible from Orlando.
  12. by   BadBird
    Well good for you on your upcoming vacation, I don't know how many of you are going but a fun and inexpensive way to see all at disney is to stay at the camp grounds. I used to live in South Fl., and several times a year we stayed at Ft. Wilderness. I did have a popup camper and 2 tents but they rent cabins which are really trailers . The camp ground is great 2 big pools, petting zoo, sandy white beach, river country. Free movie at night. Great family atmosphere. Now I want to go back. If you stay there or anywhere at a disney hotel the transportation between everything is free. So much fun but remember disney is expensive, you are not allowed to bring in a cooler and a soda is about $2.00 each and it is very hot and humid so you will drink a lot. depending on how much time you have, you could go see a time share, sometimes they give free tickets to the parks.
  13. by   misti_z
    I have been 2 times in the last 3 years with my husband and we lovvvvvvvvvvvveeeeeeeee it!! We stay at a Super 8 in Kissimee. Much cheaper that staying on site and only 10-15 minutes from each park. Each parking pass is good all day to any park and I think it is like 6 bucks. Park hoppers are the way to go. The last time we went was December 2001...to see the Christmas decorations.....we only stayed 2 days and bought a 4 day hopper, so we would have an excuse to go back 2 weeks would be wonderful. Do not miss fireworks at Magical Kingdom with Cinderella flying through the air. I believe that starts at 9. The best place to see it from (and the least crowded spot) is near the people mover at the palce that serves pizza. Vague description I know, sorry. And of course the Tower of Terror, Space mountain, Thunder mountain, Splash mountain, the Aerosmith rollercoaster are all must does. For me and my husband one full day at the aminal kingdom was enough for us..it is great though, do the safari, and the 3D movie 'A Bugs life' in the tree.
    Fanny packs are still allowed but everything is searched very well
  14. by   misti_z
    Meant to have posted this with the other message...oops :kiss