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  • #21
    We are doing 8 days in November arriving on the morning of the 18th:

    This is our tentative schedule:
    Day 1: Epcot/MGM
    Day 2: MGM/Epcot
    Day 3: Sea World/Animal Kingdom
    Day 4: Magic Kingdom/MGM/Epcot
    Day 5: Universal/IOA/Magic Kingdom
    Day 6: Universal/IOA/Epcot
    Day 7: Magic Kingdom/MGM/Epcot (This is thanksgiving day so basically whatever park is least crowded)
    Day 8: Busch Gardens Tampa

    We are flying in and out of Tampa, and have a rental car for the week. We still haven't decided where we are staying though. Still looking for the best deal.

    I know some parks close early, and some close later. We will most likely end the days at whatever park closes latest.

    Now, I was thinking about the Magic Mornings and got some different type of advice.

    The advice I was given was that if there is a Magic Morning at say Epcot, then avoid Epcot on that day because 10,000 resort guests will decend on the parks and steal all of the fastpasses. So instead of that, go to Magic Kingdom while all of the resort guests are at Epcot.

    That made pretty good sense to me.

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    • #22
      I agree with the magic mornings things. When we went last summer we skipped all magic mornings but one and MAN it was packed!!!

      If they are still doing E-Ride nights though, that was TOTALLY worth the $$


      SirClinks, are you planning on staying onsite at WDW? Or just looking for the best all around deal?

      I've always thought it would be really fun to spend a few days at a MK resort and a few at an Epcot resort :o
      Last edited by dsnylndmom; 02-15-2005, 09:16 PM. Reason: Hotel question



      Delta Mu Chi Alpha ΔΜΧΑ

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      • #23
        Haven't really decided yet. We would LOVE to stay onsite, but if we did it would pretty much keep us at an All-Star level. If I can pay the same price for a Nicer Hotel that is off-site, I will.

        Of course, this is figuring in the amount we will have to pay for parking if we stay off-site as well. Any hotel we pick we add $10 a day to for the parking we wouldn't have to pay.

        We are actually considering spending a few nights at a Universal Hotel since they have good packages with the tickets, not to mention the Universal Express. We don't need Sea World or Busch Gardens tickets since we have the Platinum Sea World Passes. (Preferred Parking and seating even in Orlando and Tampa!!!)

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        • #24
          Originally posted by sir clinksalot
          Haven't really decided yet. We would LOVE to stay onsite, but if we did it would pretty much keep us at an All-Star level. If I can pay the same price for a Nicer Hotel that is off-site, I will.

          Of course, this is figuring in the amount we will have to pay for parking if we stay off-site as well. Any hotel we pick we add $10 a day to for the parking we wouldn't have to pay.

          We are actually considering spending a few nights at a Universal Hotel since they have good packages with the tickets, not to mention the Universal Express. We don't need Sea World or Busch Gardens tickets since we have the Platinum Sea World Passes. (Preferred Parking and seating even in Orlando and Tampa!!!)

          I would defintely stay at a Univesal resort while visiting there. I hear their "on site" benefits are GREAT!!!

          And be sure to check www.mousesavers.com for discounts, parts of Nov. are still value season so you may be able to check out a mod resort!



          Delta Mu Chi Alpha ΔΜΧΑ

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          • #25
            Originally posted by Reaver
            I find it odd that a show that from what I can tell has it's own dedicated area (unlike at DL, which is on Sawyer's Island, and in the River where boats and canoes regularly run) is less impressive than the multi-use areas here. You'd think it would be the other way around...
            They did several things to diminish the quality of this show (if you don't like spoilers, don't read the rest of this paragraph!). The seating area is quite nice, and the waterway equivalent to the Rivers of America is about the same size. They've constructed a mountain on the far side of the water, where Tom Sawyer Island would be. They use this mountain to stage scenes from Pocahontas, in place of the Peter Pan stuff (as they don't have a Columbia to act on!). For me the Poc scenes are no where near as impactful as that ship sailing across in front of the crowd. They also use quite a few more filmed segments than DL, and they jump a lot back and forth from film to island to film to island. It just doesn't have the smooth flow of the original. And the worst shortcoming is at the finale, as you expect to see something similar to the Mark Twain filled with characters. What you get is a much smaller boat that was designed to look like the boat in Steamboat Willie. Mickey's at the wheel, and there are a few characters on board, but it if you're used to the majesty of the Twain, you'll be greatly disappointed. The overall show is fine, lights are fine, fireworks are fine. But for me it's a pale imitation of DL's show - the most perfect outdoor spectacular ever performed!

            I also have a few general suggestions for a WDW rookie. You won't be prepared for just how danged HUGE the place is. Even at the Magic Kingdom, which most closely correlates to your DL experience, stuff is just much farther apart. It'll take you longer to get from Adventurland to Tomorrowland. Speaking of TL, you'll be amazed at how cool a fully functioning TL is. You'll weep when you see a PeopleMover once again!

            Even if you're a late riser on vacation, try to break that and hit the parks about 1/2 an hour before published opening. You can get so much done in that first couple of hours. As things get crowded in the late morning / early afternoon, take a break and go back to your hotel for a swim or a nap (CSR has a killer main pool!). Then go back to your park of choice and close it out. Remember that all parks except the MK serve alcohol - fireworks shows with a warm buzz is a pretty cool thing!

            I'd pick up a couple of tour books to fill out your plans - The Official Guide to WDW by Birnbaum and the Unofficial Guide by Sehlinger. The official book is a fun read, with lots of warm and fuzzy Disney feel to it. The unofficial book is much more accurate, and has some great touring plans if you want to avoid lines and see the most stuff. I enjoy reading both books before a Disney trip just to catch up on the latest.

            You've picked my favorite moderate resort on property - the CBR is really a beautiful property, with a great food court. Try breakfast there - tasty and hearty!

            Keep them questions coming! I'm jealous of you - getting to see it all for the first time is really a special visit!

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            • #26
              Originally posted by danyoung
              They did several things to diminish the quality of this show (if you don't like spoilers, don't read the rest of this paragraph!). The seating area is quite nice, and the waterway equivalent to the Rivers of America is about the same size. They've constructed a mountain on the far side of the water, where Tom Sawyer Island would be. They use this mountain to stage scenes from Pocahontas, in place of the Peter Pan stuff (as they don't have a Columbia to act on!). For me the Poc scenes are no where near as impactful as that ship sailing across in front of the crowd. They also use quite a few more filmed segments than DL, and they jump a lot back and forth from film to island to film to island. It just doesn't have the smooth flow of the original. And the worst shortcoming is at the finale, as you expect to see something similar to the Mark Twain filled with characters. What you get is a much smaller boat that was designed to look like the boat in Steamboat Willie. Mickey's at the wheel, and there are a few characters on board, but it if you're used to the majesty of the Twain, you'll be greatly disappointed. The overall show is fine, lights are fine, fireworks are fine. But for me it's a pale imitation of DL's show - the most perfect outdoor spectacular ever performed!
              That's sad. I expected a grander show than ours here in DL... Oh well, I'll still enjoy it. Even the one here bums me out every time I see the dragon. Remember how cool the one on the commercial was? The real one looks like a video game wireframe version by comparison. I still love the show though. Have the soundtrack and everything. The advice on this thread is fantastic! I need to print this all out and organize it. With a resource like the folks here, who needs a guidebook?!?
              Honor those who fall under the sword.
              But pity the warrior who has slain all his enemies.

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              • #27
                I was just telling someone last week that the only reason I read the guidebooks anymore is to see how many errors there are in them, based on my huge knowledge base from my time online!

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                • #28
                  I can see that. My own knowledge has increased a great deal from the short amount of time I've been on this board. It's funny how much more many of us know than a lot of the CMs do. Nothing against CMs, I'm sure they're not as crazy about Disney as most of us, but you'd think they'd be a bit more in the know than us "civilians"...
                  Honor those who fall under the sword.
                  But pity the warrior who has slain all his enemies.

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                  • #29
                    Originally posted by Reaver
                    Thanks! Another question here - Call me clueless, but is Fantasmic! in Florida at MGM, or at Disneyworld?
                    Just to clarify, Disneyworld or Walt Disney World is the entire property, including the 4 theme parks. The park that you're referring to as Disneyworld, the one that's most like Disneyland, is called the Magic Kingdom. And Fantasmic! is in D/MGM Studios (more and more just called the Disney Studios).

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                    • #30
                      Originally posted by Reaver
                      I find it odd that a show that from what I can tell has it's own dedicated area (unlike at DL, which is on Sawyer's Island, and in the River where boats and canoes regularly run) is less impressive than the multi-use areas here.
                      I was also surprised by that. The basic effects (lighting, lasers, fireworks) are easily as good as their DL counterpart, maybe even better. But for me there are 2 important factors why this show isn't as good. First is the boats on the waterway. In DL they had the Columbia and the Mark Twain, two massively impressive platforms to work from. In Florida they didn't try to recreate the Columbia, going with the less impressive island-bound Pocahontas section. And the Twain was replaced by the dinky little Steamboat, which is cute but nowhere near as impressive as the mighty Mark Twain.

                      The other reason I don't think WDW's version is as good is the pacing of the whole show. They mucked around with the balance between screens and live, and I just don't think they did a very good job. At times they're cutting back and forth so much that your eyes barely get a chance to focus on the island action before the water screens are coming back up again. The bubbles section (where classic Disney character heads are see floating up in a bubble montage) seems to go on forever. I don't recall ever feeling that from any section of DL's show.

                      I've always said that DL's Fantasmic! is the best outdoor multi-mode nighttime show that's ever been created. For WDW's version it just seems like the designers mushed around some of the elements to make it different, with no real ability to make it better. And Kyle, I don't think it's only nostalgia. On my first viewing I was aware that there would be differences, and I was looking forward to them. By the end of the show I was almost angry at the shortcomings, and that feeling has never improved with repeat viewings.

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                      • #31
                        Fantasmic - Yes, Disneyland's is by far better....there is just something incredible about haveing this show rise out of the areas you've been walking through and playing in all day...plus the Peter Pan scene in hands down better than Pocahontas!

                        Having said that, it is still worth seeing MGM's. It is kind of a nice change to sit on a bench and enjoy the show without having to peer over people's heads or have people pushing up behind you. And little kids get a clear view as well. MGM has dinner packages that include seating at Fantasmic. The seats are way over on the side, but truly, (in my opinion) any seat is good, and it beats having to wait an hour and a half (I think you need to be there 45 minutes prior to the show starting.)

                        Also at MGM DO TOWER OF TERROR! It is better than ours...and has some really neat effects. Don't skip it thinking that we have our own here. The line itself is worth it (the outside part.) (You can usually get a fast pass to Rockin Roller Coaster and then go ride Tower of Terror while you wait to use your fast pass. - In my experiece, that is the better way to go, as the Terror Line seems shorter becasue it is more interesting...)

                        at EPCOT - Take an afternoon/evening to not eat dinner and just walk around the world showcase and sample stuff. I especially love the Fish and Chips in United Kingdom and the pastry shop in France. Enjoy the little street shows they have in each country...even if you only stay for a few minutes...like the living statues in France or the acrobats in China.

                        At the Magic Kingdom, its fun to compare our rides to their's. Sometimes there are just little subtle differences. Other times there are whole sections added or missing.

                        Animal Kingdom - Kilamanjaro Safari's was already mentioned. Also, try Dinosaur...while interesting, it really makes me appreciate our Indiana Jones!

                        You are going for ten days....that is great for your first visit. Take it easy. Park Hop....go to one park in the morning, rest or swin in the afternoon, and go to another park at night....when I first went, I thought "no way, I'll just go to the same park each day" but my friend talked me into it, and it was quite a fun experience to mix it up.

                        Oh look into any resteraunts that sound appealing ahead of time. You may want to make some priority seatings before you leave. We like:
                        EPCOT: The Garden Grill and Marakesh
                        Animal Kingdom Lodge: Boma (and for a good counter service - Tusker House)
                        MGM - The Brown Derby, The Sci Fi Diner (usually for desert)

                        Have Fun!!!
                        525,600 minutes...how do you measure, measure a year?

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                        • #32
                          Originally posted by Reaver
                          I know next to nothing about the Florida experience. I'm heading out there in June, and want the best experience possible.

                          The first thing that you should do is buy a good pair of walking shoes and break them in NOW! The one thing about WDW is that everything is very spead out and you have to hike everywhere.
                          Plague Of Vampires | A Novel by Eric and Elizabeth Gerds:

                          Buy Now at Amazon

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                          • #33
                            Somone mentioned renting a vacation home/condo versus a hotel. Any specific recommendations? Thanks in advance!

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                            • #34
                              Originally posted by ni_teach
                              The first thing that you should do is buy a good pair of walking shoes and break them in NOW! The one thing about WDW is that everything is very spead out and you have to hike everywhere.

                              I wore flip flops the entire trip when we went in '03. Not one single problem. My boys switched between tenny's and sandals they were okay(one day problem due to rain)Hubby wore good tennys and had horrible problems due to getting soaked in the rain. Go figure! LOL



                              Delta Mu Chi Alpha ΔΜΧΑ

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                              • #35
                                In early dec 2001 I rented a three bedroom fully furnished vacation with a heated pool for $66 a day! That was a deal because of events after 9/11, we stayed there for two weeks and still did not see all of WDW! The rental agency was Families First

                                We went back to Orlando for a full month in jan 2004 but this time we only visited the Disney water park Blizzard Beach, we mostly went to the OTHER parks like Universal and Sea World, the agency for that house was at Orlando Villas which is an excellant outfit with even a discussion board.

                                Personally I would like to have stayed onsite but in order to see all of WDW in a leisurely manner it takes at least two weeks and all that time you are buying your meals in expensive resturants, instead my family and I had home cooked meals, privacy and security, our own pool plus many extras are available like game rooms, widescreen TVs, jacuzzis and the house at Orlando Villas furnished a PC with DSL.

                                Another reliable outfit is AllStars Vacation homes, just visit the other major discussion boards like The Dis, WDW Magic or even Mouseplanet, ask for input and recommendations, if you find a home look for a newer one either west or south of WDW. Do not just do a generic search as you may get scammed for your money. A good home rents less than a moderate resort, good luck!
                                Micechat member # 98

                                TARDIS
                                "Time And Relative Dimension In Space."

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                                • #36
                                  Originally posted by ni_teach
                                  The first thing that you should do is buy a good pair of walking shoes and break them in NOW!
                                  I made the huge mistake of visiting the World a few years back in tennis shoes that I'd just bought the weekend before. Needless to say, large foot problems ensued. It's really amazing how GIGANTIC the World Showcase is when you're hobbling in pain! Oh well, at least it was incentive to drink more (for medicinal, pain killing reasons of course)!

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                                  • #37
                                    Plague Of Vampires | A Novel by Eric and Elizabeth Gerds:

                                    Buy Now at Amazon

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                                    • #38
                                      Oh come folks give the guy a break. Yea I know it's the best kept secret at WDW and we don't want everyone knowing about it but I think given that he's a long time disney guy we can fess up:


                                      TONGA TOAST!
                                      "Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect."

                                      -Mark Twain

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                                      • #39
                                        Alright, I'll bite, what's Tonga Toast??

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                                        • #40
                                          I agree with most of your advice, but I wanted to pick a couple of nits with the above list.

                                          #2 - While the official company line is that staying on property gives you access to Disney transportation, they rarely (if ever) ask for any kind of ID before boarding boats, busses or monorails. I've been visiting at least a couple times a year for the past 15 years, and have not once been asked for any kind of ID.

                                          #4 - It used to be that you had to stay on property to make advanced reservations (or as Disney calls them, Priority Seatings). As of a few years ago they stopped doing this. No matter where you stay, you call call the Disney dining number ((407) WDW-DINE) up to 90 days in advance for most locations and book your seating.

                                          Enjoy!

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