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  • [Question] Orlando Arrival Time

    My sister and I are planning a celebration trip to WDW for the end of May/beginning of June, and we've come to a point where we need to select a flight time. We live in NorCal, so it'll be an 8 hr+ trip for us. Our options pretty much are taking a red-eye and arriving really early the following day (6:30am) or taking a day flight and arriving in late evening (6-7PM).

    We've pretty much agreed that that first day will be a dead-day of no going to parks or rushing to resteraunt reservations, and just enjoying the resort(s). Which time should we pick? I'm angling for the red-eye so we'll have a full day that isn't totally shot by travel and we could visit the big 3 resorts (Poly, Contemporary, and Grand Floridian), but any advice from the WDW pros would be greatly appreciated.

    EDIT: A little more info- we're high energy college students and we've been to Disneyland several times if that helps any.

  • #2
    Re: Orlando Arrival Time

    I have taken the red-eye twice (from Seattle) and if you can get any sleep at all on the plane it is great otherwise you have to blow a whole day travelling.

    If you are not planning a busy day anyways you could even take a nap.
    Maybe you folks can tell me though. Does gettin' two womenfolk mean you're the winner or the loser?
    ~Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland

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    • #3
      Re: Orlando Arrival Time

      Arriving at 6-7PM still allows for a great meal at one of the Resort restaurants. Most don't close until 10pm local time, which'll feel like 7pm to you.

      In less than 2 weeks now, I'll be leaving from Orange County, CA at 9am and arriving at Orlando Int'l at 7:30pm. We have reservations for 'Ohana at 9:15pm. Should be a great kickoff to our week.

      "Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom." -- James 3:13

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      • #4
        Re: Orlando Arrival Time

        How are you getting to your hotel? A 6-7 arrival time at the airport can mean a 7-9 arrival at the hotel once you get checked in. I'd vote red-eye, resort, nap, night out.

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        • #5
          Re: Orlando Arrival Time

          Originally posted by flotsam_mike View Post
          How are you getting to your hotel? A 6-7 arrival time at the airport can mean a 7-9 arrival at the hotel once you get checked in. I'd vote red-eye, resort, nap, night out.
          I'd second that one, if you can sleep on a plane the red eye isn't a bad way to go and you can get a full day at the parks in and just maybe take a nap midday or go to bed early the first night and get an early start on the next day. I usually just take a tylonal pm and sleep the whole flight with my NC headphones on when flying back from the west coast and usually have to put in a full 8-10 hours that day when I get back. Like so many things it's not as easy as it was when I was younger but it is doable.
          Hi I'm Jerren and I'm a Disneyholic...

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          • #6
            Re: Orlando Arrival Time

            I third that. We did this last year with a not-quite-4-year-old and it worked pretty well. Even though check in was supposed to be later they were able to get us right into a room. I think our plan arrived at 7:00 or 7:30 am and we were in our room by 10:30. We got up around 2:30 or 3:00 and headed over to Animal Kindom which had extended magic hours that night and saw the 4:30 parade, ate dinner, and hit a couple of rides before heading back to the hotel around 8:30.

            Keep in mind - that was with a 4 year old who only got 4-5 hours of sleep on the plane! Surprisingly, he was pretty ok.


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            • #7
              Re: Orlando Arrival Time

              Also keep in mind that your luggage may not show up to your room until later in the afternoon so if you want to go swimming, be sure your suit, sunscreen and hairbrush, etc are in your carry-on!


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              • #8
                Re: Orlando Arrival Time

                One more thing - if you are sticking to your plan to go resort hopping, try a dinner at Ohana - great food and great view. After dinner you can watch the fireworks over the magic kingdom from the Polynesian beach - then take a boat ride from the dock right there across to the magic kingdom and back. Fantastic!


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                • #9
                  Re: Orlando Arrival Time

                  Oh one more thing.... :lmaosorry could not resist!)

                  If you do eat at Ohana's and the little one passes out on your shoulder after a long day and no sleep, they usually will not charge you for their dinner since they didn't eat... Had that happen when my daughter was about 3 and after not sleeping the night before (remember that commercial? "I'm too excited to sleep!" yeah it really does happen!) and a full day at the MK she just fell asleep on my wife's shoulder right after the appetizers where served. Slept through the fireworks, coconut races, and all!
                  Hi I'm Jerren and I'm a Disneyholic...

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                  • #10
                    Re: Orlando Arrival Time

                    Thank you very much for the input everybody! We were looking into a redeye on JetBlue, but instead we decided to take a normal (day) flight on Southwest for about $100 cheaper. As it stands now we'll leave SJC at 6:30 in the morning, have a 1 1/2 hour plane change in Phoenix, and arrive at MCO at 5:30 at night. To compensate for losing a whole day in travel, we're going to extend our stay by one night.

                    Since we're going to be getting in a little earlier than we thought we would, we're going to setup a later reservation for 'Ohanas so we can see the fireworks and the electrical barge parade. :yea:

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                    • #11
                      Re: Orlando Arrival Time

                      Originally posted by Skawt View Post
                      I have taken the red-eye twice (from Seattle) and if you can get any sleep at all on the plane it is great otherwise you have to blow a whole day travelling.

                      If you are not planning a busy day anyways you could even take a nap.
                      Man, either I'm going crazy, or there are quite a few Micechatters posting from the Seattle area.

                      Last month I took a red-eye both going into LAX and going back to SEA. Originally it was so I could make it into Team Disney the same day I flew in, however it was scheduled for the next day. I still enjoyed the red-eye because the people I sat next to didn't speak a single word to me, making me not feel guilty at all for knocking out most of the flight.

                      It was also great walking down Harbor Boulevard towards Disneyland knowing less than four hours prior I was home in Washington.
                      Piano performances: Bohemain Rhapsody, To Zanarkand
                      Theatre organ performances: Singin' in the Rain, Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite, My Foolish Heart

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