this Saturday with our 2 kiddies. Any advice/suggestions? People are scaring me to death about how worn out I will be when I get home We have a few character lunches planned. Any helpful hints?
How long will you be there? Don't try to cram everything in - or you will be exhausted! Pick your places, and just enjoy yourself! My favorite/most memorable moment - watching the fireworks display over the castle at night... My husband and I still talk about it... simply magical!!
I agree with cakesbyallison. How long will you be there? and How old are your kids?
My best advice is do NOT try to do it all in one trip.
I would try to stick to one park a day (or morning/afternoon if you plan on leaving for a break) Start on one side and work your way around. Look at the maps before you get there and mark any hot spots that you definitely want to go to.
Disney World is one of my favorite places to go (and have never gone w/kids)
Depending on the age of your kids I think will depend on what parks would be best to hit. I personally did not care to much for the Magic Kingdom b/c I thought it was to much like an amusement park with all the rides. But with kids it is a great place.
My kids are 3 and 4 1/2. I figured we'd get to the parks early do some things and go back to the hotel in the PM to take a break. If they are still up to it we can go back at night. I have 3 character lunches planned on 3 different days, seaworld one day and park hopper passes. I have my kids on a tight routine at home so I am afraid they won't hold up well on this trip
First of all HAVE FUN! I went to Disney World on my honeymoon! It was a BLAST!
I personally like Epcot's firework show better than Magic Kingdoms BUT not saying to miss that something special about the castle and when I was there they had a flying tinkerbell!
I don't know if you scrapbook, but I do, so I brought freezer bags a w/ me and each day I had a bag designated for that specific park. SO I was able to put the keep sakes in the bags and they were safe and Icould label them until I was ready to scrapbook them at home.
Also I brought colored note cards b/c all the characters you meet w/ will give you an autograph (which is my kids favorite part in the scrapbook is the pics w/ me and the character w/ there signature).
The park hopper is the BEST! Dh and I spent 1 1/2 days in Magic Kingdom and only a partical day in Epcot (wasn't AS fun)... MGM is pretty awesome too and that firework show is AWESOME also...
MAN I can't wait to take my kids!!!!
HAVE FUN! OH bring a poncho b/c it rained on us EVERYDAY that we were there BUT it was only in short spurts so it didn't ruin any plans BUT we had to buy $8 poncho's for each of us.
Disney to my kids and I is OK..my boys are 17,10,8. They gave the following "scale" for all the parks.
Scale 1-10- Disney 5, MGM 7, Epcot 2, Animal Kingdom 3
Seaworld 6, Gatorland 4, Islands of Adventure "50hundred" says my youngest and the other two "agreed" Universal Studios "50hundred and 10" of course they know that number doesn't exist "like that" but I have to agree with them the last two is the most fun. We went every year for 7 years, and if we get to go back we will only go to the last two and make it more fun for all of us. Either way it's fun, and yes exhausting.
Ditto on Island of Adventure!! Although yours may be too young for that... it was AWESOME! (Wouldn't waste your time at MGM, and though you'd enjoy Epcot, they probably won't). My kids were "ok" w/ Disney, we stayed 3 nights there, and 3 nights at the Hard Rock (next to Island of Adventure), and we'd go back there again, definately!!
I have been to all the parks numerous times. It's a wonderful place in my opinion.
With young kids like yours, definitely go to the Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom. They will probably like those the best. Epcot is cool, but geared more towards adults. MGM is fun too, but I would go there on a "slower" day when the kids are tired. It doesn't have as many rides and there are a lot of shows where you can take a break and rest. It may not take all day to go through MGM. The other parks are all very large and busy and definitely take full days if you want to see everything.
Also, if there are rides you and your husband want to ride, but the kids are too little, don't fret. They have this cool thing called a baby switch. One of you stays outside with the kids, the other gets in line and tells the attendant you need a baby switch card. After the first person rides, they come out and hand over the card. That person then goes right in and rides without waiting in line again.
Also, make sure to use the fast passes for big rides with long lines. Just grab a ticket (there are booths outside of the rides). It will tell you a time to come back. You come back at that time and only have to wait in a line a few minutes.
Are you staying at a Disney Hotel? If so, there are some definite perks. You can get in the parks about an hour earlier than everyone else. They have free transportation between all the hotels and parks.
When planning your schedule, make sure to find out when the parks close. Some are open later than others, which may help when choosing if/when to come back at night.
If you want to have dinner in one of the more popular places in the park, make reservations NOW!! I don't know if you have girls or boys, but little girls love eating in Cinderalla's castle, and little boys like the Rainforest Cafe at Animal Kingdom. Also, all the different countries featured at Epcot have restaraunts (France, Italy, Mexico, Japan, etc). So if there's a certain type of food you like, that's a good option.
That's all I can think of for now. I haven't been to Seaworld since I was a child, so I can't really help there. I hear it's fun. And Universal is great too -- lots of fun, updated, thrill rides.
HAVE A GREAT TIME!
Etta1025 was right on all counts.
I was there with my son 4 1/2 and my niece barely 4 in December. At MGM, ours loved the live playhouse Disney show and the pictures with Cars and Little Einsteins. They did not care about the rest. The fireworks are cool, but loud if you are in the park. we were lucky enough to have a grandparent-sponsored stay on the side of the Contemporary that faces the park and we could see them from our windows/balcony. That was nice.
They also liked Animal Kingdom, and if you can get into the big safari dinner without being a Grand Gathering (8 or more people), it's worth it. The kids LOVED seeing all the animals and having the big "feast" at the end.
We discovered that a break in the middle for naps was a good idea, and keeping them fed always helps reduce whining. Their favorite rides were: Dumbo, teacups, Peter Pan. My son LOVED the Disney Philharmagic Show-- about 10-15 minutes with 3-D and "smell effects" etc. My niece was mildly bothered by it.
They loved the parades too. The jungle parade at animal kingdom was one of the best.
I hope that you have a wonderful time.
One more thing-- you may want to rent a double stroller there. It is rather a lot of walking for little legs. Both of ours did really well. However, our son had a virus on the way down and wasn't 100% so he needed a stroller for the first day or so. The rest of the time we just carried them as needed, but we had 6 adults and 2 kids so we could share a lot. I don't think it's too expensive either, and probably is worth it.
I know you are long gone but for others going, I highly recommend Tour Guide Mike (http://www.tourguidemike.com)
He gives you ides on the best days to visit each park and gives really good touring plans and advice on how to visit the park and see the most without wearing yourself out.
We go often and he has really changed our trips for the better. I thought I was a pro until I went to his site.