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  • [Question] First time at WDW - have a couple of questions for y'all

    Hi,there! We usually go to DL for our vacations, but in January, we will be flying with 1 of our grands to WDW. I haven't been there since 1983 (I heard it has changed some) and my hubby and 10-yr old grand have never been.

    Is Mid-January a good time to visit? I know it will still be warm. What about average temp then?


    We are staying 10 days at the Animal Kingdom Lodge with a savannah view. Does anyone know approx. the hours for the Parks in mid-January? Are all the outdoor shows like Illumination still running then? Are the busses and shuttles pretty good? I think we will be pretty far away from the Monorail station there.

    Thanks to all for any suggestions and help. Hubby will be in mobility scooter -- probably set on Bunny mode, so we will be hopping to keep up with him!
    sigpic
    Hidden Mickey - Historical fiction about Walt that mixes action and mystery with time travel and fantasy! Tweens to adults will enjoy these novels. And now, three gamebooks to play in Disneyland, DCA and WDW Magic Kingdom!


    Check out my six action/adventure novels about Walt's lost diary and his epic quest. Visit my blog page!


    Sometimes Dead Men DO Tell Tales!

  • #2
    Re: First time at WDW - have a couple of questions for y'all

    I was there this past year during President's Week (Mid-Feb) (surprise! I had no idea what this was) and it was quite warm, to be honest. However, quite warm for someone from California is quite different that someone from Toronto.

    Assuming that Janurary's weather is similar to Feburary, you should have temperatures between 25 - 30 degrees C... er... 77 - 86 degrees F.

    Busses were often enough, however, the MK bus on EMH days were stupidstupidstupid busy, so we took a bus to Epcot and worked our way to MK from there.

    10 days?! So very jealous.

    If I remember correctly, most of the parks close around 8 or 10 except MK which closes around 12... and all the parks have their respective shows.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: First time at WDW - have a couple of questions for y'all

      Welcome to my home-state. I really can't add to the conversation related to the busses. Living here, I tend just to drive myself around! Being from SoCal, you should be fine in January, no worries. Occasionally, the temps drop into the fifties, and for us Florida folk, that causes us to freak out. Understand too, being this is Florida, you can't really just waltz into the nearest store and grab a sweatshirt. THey aren't really big sellers, per se, down here. You have to go around and look for them.

      But, in all honesty? Winter in Florida is truly exceptional. You'll be fine.

      A quick scour of the interwebs shows me average attendence during the time you're here; Illuminations should be going down as well. The Animal Kingdom is in a fairly secluded corner of the park--but it is absolutely exquiste. It is an attraction upon itself. I still advocate for, and always have, renting a car. Unlike SoCal, where hoofing it a few yards past the gate, you can find Perkins, food stores and hotels, you cannot escape here. If you want to grab breakfast to have in your hotel room, you have to snag Disney stuff marked up.

      Hope that helps!

      Peace,
      Roo

      PS: Always good to welcome a fellow author. Is your stuff available digitally yet?
      husband, petowner, wordsmith, imagineer, martialist, playwright, traveller, ardent, wit, critic, barista, Taoist, superhero, fortuneteller, reader, fidget, teacher, dreamer, author, blogger, ghosthunter, voter, patient, bear, gourmand, Floridian, friend

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: First time at WDW - have a couple of questions for y'all

        Originally posted by HiddenMickeyBook View Post
        Hi,there! We usually go to DL for our vacations, but in January, we will be flying with 1 of our grands to WDW. I haven't been there since 1983 (I heard it has changed some) and my hubby and 10-yr old grand have never been.

        Is Mid-January a good time to visit? I know it will still be warm. What about average temp then?


        We are staying 10 days at the Animal Kingdom Lodge with a savannah view. Does anyone know approx. the hours for the Parks in mid-January? Are all the outdoor shows like Illumination still running then? Are the busses and shuttles pretty good? I think we will be pretty far away from the Monorail station there.

        Thanks to all for any suggestions and help. Hubby will be in mobility scooter -- probably set on Bunny mode, so we will be hopping to keep up with him!

        Hello. I am a retired Walt Disney World cast member.
        I have stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge in a savannah view room. It is great. (nice choice)
        The park hours will be cut some during the winter, but you still will have plenty of time in the parks.
        The weather usually will be nice, but cool. Last year it did get pretty cold here. I volunteer every year at the Disney
        World Marathon in January. Some years are real nice, and some not so nice for weather. (just a hit or miss thing)
        But you will enjoy it as the crowds are lighter, except for the weekend of the Marathon. About 40,000 extra people
        that weekend!
        All the shows will be up and running, and the bus service is very good to get around to the parks. (some routes take some
        time to get to where you want to go, so plan for travel time) Enjoy and Have A Magical Trip!
        If you want to contact me, you may at bcurt2895@aol.com
        Billy

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: First time at WDW - have a couple of questions for y'all

          Originally posted by RooBear View Post
          Welcome to my home-state. I really can't add to the conversation related to the busses. Living here, I tend just to drive myself around! Being from SoCal, you should be fine in January, no worries. Occasionally, the temps drop into the fifties, and for us Florida folk, that causes us to freak out. Understand too, being this is Florida, you can't really just waltz into the nearest store and grab a sweatshirt. THey aren't really big sellers, per se, down here. You have to go around and look for them.

          But, in all honesty? Winter in Florida is truly exceptional. You'll be fine.

          A quick scour of the interwebs shows me average attendence during the time you're here; Illuminations should be going down as well. The Animal Kingdom is in a fairly secluded corner of the park--but it is absolutely exquiste. It is an attraction upon itself. I still advocate for, and always have, renting a car. Unlike SoCal, where hoofing it a few yards past the gate, you can find Perkins, food stores and hotels, you cannot escape here. If you want to grab breakfast to have in your hotel room, you have to snag Disney stuff marked up.

          Hope that helps!

          Peace,
          Roo

          PS: Always good to welcome a fellow author. Is your stuff available digitally yet?
          Thanks, Roo for your help! We are looking forward to the trip.

          Yes, my books are on Kindle and Nook. Thanks for asking! This trip will also be research for me for possibly something in the future!

          ---------- Post added 08-08-2011 at 10:45 AM ----------

          Thanks for all the replies so far. Everything will help! I am sure the busses and transports are accessible for the motorized scooter we will be bringing. We will just have to be patient.

          As for the temps being around 70-85, awesome!!!! That is our regular temp where we live and love it.

          Thanks again, and keep the suggestions coming!
          sigpic
          Hidden Mickey - Historical fiction about Walt that mixes action and mystery with time travel and fantasy! Tweens to adults will enjoy these novels. And now, three gamebooks to play in Disneyland, DCA and WDW Magic Kingdom!


          Check out my six action/adventure novels about Walt's lost diary and his epic quest. Visit my blog page!


          Sometimes Dead Men DO Tell Tales!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: First time at WDW - have a couple of questions for y'all

            I've been there in late jan. early Feb. and actually, it's much cooler than summer, but it's not too cold.
            DisneyTwins
            Since May 2003

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: First time at WDW - have a couple of questions for y'all

              Weather is very difficult to predict that time of year. It could be hot, warm, cool, or cold. One year we were there in January, it was 25 degrees in the morning! I'm not kidding. Just keep watching the forecast, and pack accordingly

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: First time at WDW - have a couple of questions for y'all

                I have never been there in january but bus transportation around the resort especially from the deluxe hotels is very good. And when you stay at the disney deluxe hotels the buses drop you off right near the park gates.

                And as for if you get a park hopper pass you can always take the monorail from Magic Kingdom to Epcot. If you are not park hopping you could just take the monorail for a spin.
                I also recommend using the other means of transportation the resort provides. They might not be the fastest way but can be fun.

                By the magic kingdom there are boats you can take across the 7 seas lagoon to the resorts. and by Disney Hollywoods Studios and Epcot (world showcase entrance) you could take a boat to the boardwalk and stroll the boardwalk like you are in Jersey/New England beach town instead of central florida.

                Since this is your first trip (in a long time) I highly recommend the book "Mini Mickey" The Pocket-Sized Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World. They should sell it at your local barnes and noble or online. It is a great little book that gives you the ins and out of the park and even provides touring plans. I used it to see almost all of Disney world in 3 days in July a few years back.

                Because you are going for a long duration of time you should have no trouble seeing all the sights you want to see. I would even recommend checking out some of the other resorts while you are there to just walk around and explore. It's pretty cool sometimes.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: First time at WDW - have a couple of questions for y'all

                  As others have said, the weather can vary quite a bit. I've been to WDW in late Dec./early Jan. when it's been below freezing. Most recently I was there in early Jan. 2011 and it was in the low 40s in the morning, warming up to somewhere in the 60s during the day. I would definitely plan on at least bringing a light jacket and long pants.

                  All of the outdoor shows will be running except for Fantasmic! which will be closed for refurbishment from January 6 to February 12 (but honestly, you have the far superior version of Fantasmic! in DL anyway so you won't be missing much).

                  The buses and shuttles are adequate. General consensus is that you don't want to have to rely on them (except maybe if you're going to the MK) if you don't have to. If it's in the budget to get a rental car, that will eliminate what could add up to hours over 10 days spent waiting for a bus and will be a lot more convenient.

                  I and several others have recently written some very extensive posts on transportation, crowd, dining, and attraction recommendations at WDW for DL natives in this thread. You may find it helpful.
                  I knew if this business was ever to get anywhere, if this business was ever to grow, it could never do it by having to answer to someone unsympathetic to its possibilities, by having to answer to someone with only one thought or interest, namely profits. For my idea of how to make profits has differed greatly from those who generally control businesses such as ours. I have blind faith in the policy that quality, tempered with good judgment and showmanship, will win against all odds.
                  -Walt Disney

                  sigpic

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: First time at WDW - have a couple of questions for y'all

                    What everyone else has been saying about the weather. Mid-January can be downright COLD, especially at night. And when it's windy... OMG it's almost unbearable. My advice is to keep an eye on the 10 day forecast here:

                    10 Day Weather Forecast for The Walt Disney World Resort - weather.com

                    And plan/pack accordingly.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: First time at WDW - have a couple of questions for y'all

                      Originally posted by RooBear View Post
                      Illuminations should be going down as well.
                      What do you mean by this? As far as I know, IllumiNations runs year round, and only goes down for major refurbs occasionally.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: First time at WDW - have a couple of questions for y'all

                        Originally posted by danyoung View Post
                        What do you mean by this? As far as I know, IllumiNations runs year round, and only goes down for major refurbs occasionally.
                        I know there are rumors of an illuminations update. But we all know rumors are just rumors. but D23 is coming up. never know if a rumor might pan out to be true.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: First time at WDW - have a couple of questions for y'all

                          Originally posted by danyoung View Post
                          What do you mean by this? As far as I know, IllumiNations runs year round, and only goes down for major refurbs occasionally.
                          Originally posted by LongIslandGuy View Post
                          I know there are rumors of an illuminations update. But we all know rumors are just rumors. but D23 is coming up. never know if a rumor might pan out to be true.
                          From the context, I'm pretty sure that RooBear meant "going down" as in "happening." For example, "The D23 expo will be going down in Anaheim this August." I don't think Roo was saying it would be shut down for refurb. There's been rumors about an Illuminations upgrade, but I don't think any have been so detailed as to specify a refurb date.
                          I knew if this business was ever to get anywhere, if this business was ever to grow, it could never do it by having to answer to someone unsympathetic to its possibilities, by having to answer to someone with only one thought or interest, namely profits. For my idea of how to make profits has differed greatly from those who generally control businesses such as ours. I have blind faith in the policy that quality, tempered with good judgment and showmanship, will win against all odds.
                          -Walt Disney

                          sigpic

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: First time at WDW - have a couple of questions for y'all

                            Thanks. I for one am not yet ready to say goodbye to the current version of IllumiNations!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: First time at WDW - have a couple of questions for y'all

                              PSUMark, my new best friend, is hip to the lingo. "Going down" means, "yo, yo, yo you got it GOING DOWN, hog!" Meaning it is happening.

                              I'm so 'street.' Next they'll start calling me macho and saavy.

                              Now--back to the Original Post!

                              Peace,
                              Roo
                              Last edited by RooBear; 08-10-2011, 06:00 AM.
                              husband, petowner, wordsmith, imagineer, martialist, playwright, traveller, ardent, wit, critic, barista, Taoist, superhero, fortuneteller, reader, fidget, teacher, dreamer, author, blogger, ghosthunter, voter, patient, bear, gourmand, Floridian, friend

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Re: First time at WDW - have a couple of questions for y'all

                                I was hoping to see Illuminations! Glad to hear it is "down"! LOL

                                I think we will have to rely on the busses as a car rental is not in the pic at this point. We are really jazzed about coming!

                                We also appreciate all your comments and suggestions! They will be used!
                                sigpic
                                Hidden Mickey - Historical fiction about Walt that mixes action and mystery with time travel and fantasy! Tweens to adults will enjoy these novels. And now, three gamebooks to play in Disneyland, DCA and WDW Magic Kingdom!


                                Check out my six action/adventure novels about Walt's lost diary and his epic quest. Visit my blog page!


                                Sometimes Dead Men DO Tell Tales!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Re: First time at WDW - have a couple of questions for y'all

                                  Going later into the year, you're going to experience park closures fairly early, so plan your evenings in advance. And don't expect Downtown Disney to stay open for you. When I ran over there after having dinner, I found Disney Quest was only staying open a few more hours. Check the times of the places you want to go. For your evenings, I suggest the Downtown Disney equivalent over at Universal. It's honestly far better.

                                  With "free" dining available, you're going to want to plan your dining reservations in advance since they fill up fast. This is really a pain since you basically need to plan in advance what park you'll be at each day. This is painful because some parks are better than others when the rain comes down. Florida gets a lot of rain.

                                  On the topic of rain, just bring umbrellas. You can get some pretty light weight ones that you can throw into a backpack.

                                  On the topic of buses, I went during the food festival, and the buses were awful. The good news is that I had a rental car (Enterprise was fantastic). But Disney's signage could be better. Our Garmin GPS didn't help out a whole lot either.

                                  Because the Animal Kingdom lodge was booked, I ended up just going there for dinner, which was a good thing since I got to check out the Savannah over dinner and walk out and see it. In hindsight, the lodge looked better online than in person. But the restaurants at the lodge are really good if you like Indian food.

                                  Reading this forum you probably saw a lot of complaints about rides being poorly maintained, that carries over the resorts, which are in even worse shape than the rides. I'd suggest either camping out or staying at a non-Disney resort. If you must stay at a Disney resort and want to the outdoor feel, the Wilderness Lodge is pretty nice.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Re: First time at WDW - have a couple of questions for y'all

                                    Originally posted by thedude76 View Post
                                    But Disney's signage could be better.
                                    I agree that they could do a better job with this. But there's a secret, and once you know it the signage is a lot more usable. You simply have to know what area your hotel is in. For example, you might be staying at an Epcot area hotel like Port Orleans Riverside. Just follow the signs to Epcot Area Hotels, and as you get closer the signage will then direct you to your hotel. On your way into park property are some large signs identifying all of the hotels and which area they fall into (MK, DAK, Downtown Disney, etc.). Once you know the area you're all set!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Re: First time at WDW - have a couple of questions for y'all

                                      Originally posted by thedude76 View Post
                                      And don't expect Downtown Disney to stay open for you.
                                      Downtown Disney is open until at least 11pm year round. DTD hours generally don't vary too much by season. On Sun-Thurs DisneyQuest closes at 10pm, but that's the only thing in DTD that does.

                                      Originally posted by thedude76 View Post
                                      For your evenings, I suggest the Downtown Disney equivalent over at Universal. It's honestly far better.
                                      This really depends on what you're looking for. For teens to people in their 30s w/o kids this will often be the case. For grandparents taking their grandchildren, this is almost certainly not the case.

                                      Originally posted by thedude76 View Post
                                      Florida gets a lot of rain. On the topic of rain, just bring umbrellas. You can get some pretty light weight ones that you can throw into a backpack.
                                      This is true during the summer. In January it doesn't rain very often at all.

                                      Originally posted by thedude76 View Post
                                      Reading this forum you probably saw a lot of complaints about rides being poorly maintained, that carries over the resorts, which are in even worse shape than the rides. I'd suggest either camping out or staying at a non-Disney resort. If you must stay at a Disney resort and want to the outdoor feel, the Wilderness Lodge is pretty nice.
                                      IMHO this isn't true regarding Animal Kingdom Lodge. While it's out of the way, it's still a beautiful resort and pretty well maintained. Since a rental car isn't in the picture, staying on property is really their only option, and I think Animal Kingdom Lodge will be a great experience.
                                      I knew if this business was ever to get anywhere, if this business was ever to grow, it could never do it by having to answer to someone unsympathetic to its possibilities, by having to answer to someone with only one thought or interest, namely profits. For my idea of how to make profits has differed greatly from those who generally control businesses such as ours. I have blind faith in the policy that quality, tempered with good judgment and showmanship, will win against all odds.
                                      -Walt Disney

                                      sigpic

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Re: First time at WDW - have a couple of questions for y'all

                                        Does anyone know where the closest Barnes & Noble bookstore is to the resort? We are considering doing a book signing while we are there, but not sure of the logistics. Any help with this info would be an added bonus! We would love to open up the Florida area.
                                        sigpic
                                        Hidden Mickey - Historical fiction about Walt that mixes action and mystery with time travel and fantasy! Tweens to adults will enjoy these novels. And now, three gamebooks to play in Disneyland, DCA and WDW Magic Kingdom!


                                        Check out my six action/adventure novels about Walt's lost diary and his epic quest. Visit my blog page!


                                        Sometimes Dead Men DO Tell Tales!

                                        Comment

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