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  • 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!

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

    I have been in late Jan early feb. Being from California I found the weather to be great. I brought one sweatshirt with me and it was fine. I would suggest getting a car though. it made my life a lot better. I tried the buses and transportation and just felt like I was wasting time waiting for them. It is nice to take the transportation from place to place once you hit your destination but the buses from the hotels is where i felt the pain. When I had a car i was able to do whatever I wanted. I honestly felt like I gained a couple hours a day being able to drive around. If you stay on the wdw property you get to park for free in the parks anyways. Also being that you are staying in AKL that is the furthest away from all of the parks and DTD besides Animal Kingdom itself. if you have the budget I would get a rental car.

    Leave a comment:


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

    Thanks again for all your suggestions! I'll probably have more questions as the time gets closer.

    And I know who to ask!

    Leave a comment:


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

    Originally posted by thedude76 View Post
    On the other hand, the Animal Kingdom Lodge is a pretty far bus ride to all but Animal Kingdom.
    Sorry, but I have a hard time with statements like this. Yes, within the borders of the World, AKL is the furthest away from the MK. But it's the difference between maybe a 10 minute bus ride from Rivereside and a 20 minute ride from AKL. We're just not talking a huge difference here. And I'd bet that the bus from AKL takes about the same amount of time to get to the MK that a boat from Wilderness Lodge takes to get to the MK. WDW is a big ol' spread out property. But it's not dozens of miles between locations, and anywhere is accessible to anywhere else within minutes.

    Leave a comment:


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

    Originally posted by thedude76 View Post
    Florida gets a lot of rain.
    In the summer. Late May-mid September is VERY wet. The rest of the tear though is quite lovely. It's just that rainy summer season that's annoying. And the time of year the OP is planning on going (Jan/Feb), it's usually cloudless or nearly cloudless blue sky most days. But like I mentioned, it can can be anywhere from temps in the 80s to as cold as temps in the 30s or 40s (and if it's windy, the wind chill makes it feel like it's freezing).

    Leave a comment:


  • mickeyfan4ever
    replied
    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!
    hope you have grate trip walt disney world is differce then disneyland and i oly been to disneyworld once and hopeing to back in june 2012

    Leave a comment:


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

    Originally posted by HiddenMickeyBook View Post
    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.
    Please, please, please let me know! I'll get down to whereever and get an autograph!

    We authors have to support one another!

    Peace,
    Roo

    Leave a comment:


  • thedude76
    replied
    Re: First time at WDW - have a couple of questions for y'all

    Originally posted by PSUMark View Post
    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.
    The Animal Kingdom Lodge is a nice resort. But like you made the points about DTD being a better fit for them, I think a lot of those points also make the Wilderness Lodge a better fit.

    Hear me out. I think one of things that the Animal Lodge really has going for it is the ability to ride an early morning Safari at Animal Kingdom. This is a huge plus that I hope the OP takes the opportunity to enjoy. There are also a lot of cool activities happening at the Animal Kingdom Lodge as well. These are all great pluses.

    On the other hand, the Animal Kingdom Lodge is a pretty far bus ride to all but Animal Kingdom. The restaurants are less kid friendly than those at the Wilderness Lodge. And the Savannah could be far better for what it costs.

    The reason why I suggested the Wilderness Lodge was because it's close to Magic Kingdom. The restaurants are more kid friendly. And it looked far better maintained than Animal Kingdom Lodge when I visited last year.

    The reason why I suggested the Swan/Dolphin was because the Disney Resort beds are pretty hard. But that hotel is still closer to the action Animal Kingdom Lodge, which is the biggest reason to avoid it.

    As for rain, I agree that it rains far less in December than the rest of the year, but that's no reason to not carry an umbrella that weights less than a pound.

    Nevertheless, unless they are going during the Christmas week, they'll get better around with a rental car than depending upon the bus system, especially since Animal Kingdom Lodge is so far away from everything.

    Leave a comment:


  • New Orleans lady
    replied
    Re: First time at WDW - have a couple of questions for y'all

    Once my daughter called from WDW, she said,Mom, it is so cold tat you need gloves and a hat. I arrived 3 days later and it was 83 degrees. Watch the weather channel and pack as indicated. Anything is better than 90 degrees with horrible humidity of the summer months. Have a great time.

    Leave a comment:


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

    The closest Barnes & Noble I know of are on Sand Lake rd in the Dr Phillips area or there is one on Orange Blossom Trail near the Florida Mall

    Leave a comment:


  • HiddenMickeyBook
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • PSUMark
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • danyoung
    replied
    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!

    Leave a comment:


  • thedude76
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • HiddenMickeyBook
    replied
    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!

    Leave a comment:


  • RooBear
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • danyoung
    replied
    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!

    Leave a comment:


  • PSUMark
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • LongIslandGuy
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • danyoung
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:

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