Have You Vacationed At Disneyworld In Florida?

Lounge By butternut Updated 25 Jul 2008 , 10:51pm by butternut

butternut Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
butternut Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 6:58pm
post #1 of 14

My hubby and I are thinking of going to Disneyworld in December and would love it if you could share with us what you liked the most and the least there. We are middle aged and aren't really interested in the wild rides. We were thinking about going to Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom and SeaWorld but I really know nothing about any of the parks. Any advice you wouldn't mind sharing with us would be greatly appreciated. Thanks sooooooo much..

13 replies
emrldsky Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
emrldsky Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 7:58pm
post #2 of 14

My husband and I were just there in May with his parents, his sister and her husband. We had a blast! Our favorite park, hands down, was Animal Kingdom.

The places you mentioned were great too. But be prepared for a LOT of walking. The parks are huge, and if you're not walking, you're probably standing in line waiting. Magic Kingdom was nice, but it's really just for the picture-taking or child-toting crowd. Watch out for strollers..they can be dangerous!

Find out when all the night shows are. There's Illuminations at Epcot and Fantasmic at Hollywood Studios.

My absolute favorite thing, though, was La Nuba. It's a Cirque De Sole show only available in Disney World. Some tickets are around $100 each (about 1/2 to 1/3 the price of a Vegas Cirque show), but it's so worth it.

itsmylife Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
itsmylife Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 8:08pm
post #3 of 14

I live just south of Tampa - about 45 mins from the parks. Lots of stuff to see and do out there. There is so much to write about every park... they all have their pros and cons.

Maybe I'll stick to one park, and see who else chimes in (otherwise I'd be writing a novel here) haha

Sea World...
Definitely one of my favorite places to go (before kids and now with the kids). Good place for both. They have a few 'behind the scenes' type tours that you can do (all for a price, of course)... but depending upon how interested you are, you could do things like the Beluga Interaction Program.. where you actually get to sit in the water with the Beluga whales with a trainer and learn about them (with a very small group of other people), feed them etc...

If you are interested in any of the behind the scenes tours or things like that, definitely book ahead of time either online or call.

When you get to the park, get a map that shows the feeding times and show times for the animals, so that you can plan your route accordingly. The feeding times are cool for things like the dolphins, stingrays and sea lions. For a few dollars (at certain times), you can buy a little container of fish to feed (so like for the dolphins, you get these little fishies, and you hold one out into the water, and they will either grab it from you or come up and open their mouth so that you can just drop it in)... it really neat, and you can touch them when they get close enough.

I'll write more later about Sea World.... I need to run out to the store right now....

Hope this helps!

oh... before I forget.....
Sea World also has Discovery Cove (their dolphin interaction program--separate from Sea World park... but you can get a combo ticket), where you can get in the water with the dolphins (even in December).

costumeczar Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
costumeczar Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 8:42pm
post #4 of 14

Go buy a copy of the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World. It's scarily accurate, and it gives ratings of all of the hotels, rides and restaurants. Just make sure that you get the right book, (It's got a red border and a picture of a water ride on the cover this year) or you might get one that's "authorized" by Disney, and those aren't the most objective!

There's plenty to do there, even if you're not into the wild rides. Just being somewhere where there's no kitchen is great! thumbs_up.gif

Amia Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
Amia Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 9:10pm
post #5 of 14

I love, love, LOVE Disney World! I've been 5 times and I'm going next summer.

I definitely think a trip to Magic Kingdom is in order. You can't NOT go there, it's the original park! They do have lots of rides that aren't "wild," as well as shows. I love the Haunted Mansion and the Pirates of the Caribbean, and those are not wild AT ALL! If you get a park hopper pass, and I highly recommend that you do, you can go back and forth between parks during the day. Regular tickets only allow one park per day.

Animal Kingdom is fun. I enjoyed the Kilimanjaro Safari Ride and the Kali River Rapids the most (Kali is kind of wild). I got to touch a giraffe on the safari though! They also have a Rainforest Cafe there, but I would book a reservation there way ahead of time if you want to eat there.

Epcot is definitely for the older crowd, kids do not usually have a lot of fun there, in my experience. It's definitely a learning adventure and the House of Tomorrow is always interesting. The Moroccan and Italian restaurants are phenomenal! If you want to eat at the Japanese Teppanyaki, you MUST make your reservation when you book your trip. It can fill up as far as a year in advance.

I have not been to the SeaWorld in Orlando, but I live in San Antonio and we have a SeaWorld here. I love it! I'd recommend going there.

At night there is Pleasure Island, which I think is just for adults. There are nightclubs and such. Though I think I heard they were closing soon. Not sure about that though.

When did Disney change MGM to Hollywood Studios? Oh well, that park doesn't have much in it. It's the smallest of the 4 parks. I like the rides there, but you said you weren't interested in wild rides. They have a lot of shows there too. The Back Lot Tour is interesting.

Oh and if you take the monorail, you should ask if you can ride in the front, it's kinda corny but fun! I go there to be a kid and do kid things, so I guess I'm not the best resource for an adult-themed Disney trip. icon_lol.gif

Oh and if you, or your DH, are military, check out the Shades of Green hotel. It is right there next to the Polynesian Village hotel and you get much better rates. They also give military discounts on park tickets.

HTH a little. icon_rolleyes.gif

butternut Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
butternut Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 11:29pm
post #6 of 14

Wow, thanks so much guys.

emrldsky - La Nuba looks like it is fantastic. Do you recall which section you were in when you went? It is a bit pricey but I bet it's something you don't soon forget.

itsmylife - I'm so glad that you brought up Discovery Cove. That is something that I think we would both really enjoy. My hubby has always wanted to get in the water with the dolphins. This may be his chance.

costumeczar - you're absolutely right. I'll have fun anywhere as long as there is NO kitchen in sight. thumbs_up.gif That alone makes it a great vacation.
I'm so glad that you brought up the Unofficial Guide to Disney World. I've called our local book store and they have it. Going there tomorrow to pick up a copy. That should really help a great deal.

amia1024 - Great idea about Shades of Green. We are retired military so that is an excellent idea. We just checked on the web and you can get a great room for 117.00 per night. Pretty good deal. The Kilimanjaro Safari Ride sounds really good. Gonna do that for sure. I haven't found anything yet on House of Tomorrow at Epcot. Still have lots of research to do.

Again, thanks so much to each of you for your help. I appreciate it more than you all know. We haven't been on a vacation in what seems like forever. Even though it's not until December, I'm sure excited about it.

Ohara Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
Ohara Posted 24 Jul 2008 , 12:44am
post #7 of 14

I will second getting The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World. We were amazed at how great the tips and directions they give were.
We like all the parks. We do enjoy Epcot. When we are at Epcot for the day we usually eat at Mexico. It's dark and cool and a nice place to sit down and rest for a while.
A little tip that the book taught us was that they let people ride up front of the monorail with the driver, all you have to do is ask the attendant. If it is available they will let you. It is a great view, worth the wait if the first train the front is taken you can ask if you can wait for the next one.

jen1977 Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
jen1977 Posted 24 Jul 2008 , 2:29am
post #8 of 14

Visit www.disboards.com It's a message forum, and they have tons of sections there...restaurants, visiting without children, hotels, etc. We went for Spring Break this year, and it was the best vacation we've had. You have to eat at The Coral Reef restaurant at Epcot (seafood place wit hone wall that's a HUGE aquarium), and at Le Cellier, also at Epcot (in France, steakhouse, best steak we've ever had...get the filet!). Our least favorite park was Hollywood Studios, and we actually spent a lot of time at Epcot. Our 3 favorite restaurants were all there...Coral Reef, Le Cellier, and a Japanese steakhouse. Le Cellier books quickly, so call for ressies whe nyou book your trip. We were only able to get in for lunch, but well worth it! We also did the dining plan.

emrldsky Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
emrldsky Posted 24 Jul 2008 , 2:44am
post #9 of 14
Originally Posted by butternut

Wow, thanks so much guys.

emrldsky - La Nuba looks like it is fantastic. Do you recall which section you were in when you went? It is a bit pricey but I bet it's something you don't soon forget.

We sat pretty much towards the back of the theater (section 205, Cat. 2), but it's so small, there's really not a bad seat in the place. The theater is in Downtown Disney. icon_smile.gif

joshalow Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
joshalow Posted 24 Jul 2008 , 2:52am
post #10 of 14

We're annual passholders, and before living in FL, we'd make yearly visits to WDW. We love WDW! I have to agree that even though you might "think" you wouldn't be interested in the Magic Kingdom, it is a must see. There is so much to this park! It truly is magical walking down Main Street! Epcot is a wonderful park, as is Animal Kingdom. Hollywood Studios is my least favorite, although my daughters are now more into it, so we do spend a little more time there. One of my favorite things to do is also go around to the hotels, as there is so much to see at the different resorts, especially in December. The Christmas decorations are just incredible! The large resorts have huge gingerbread and chocolate displays. Each resort has a different theme for their incredible trees! Epcot has the Candlelight Processional which is an awesome show with a 300 member choir made up of people from all over Fl., as well as Disney cast members. They always have a celebrity master of ceremony. This is one of our favorite things to do at Christmas! Then Hollywood Studios has this huge Christmas light display. (Fantasmic is also worth seeing as already mentioned.)

For some great restaurants - our new favorite is Ohana's at the Polynesian (excellent grilled food), Boma's at the Animal Kingdom Lodge (African buffet), Cape May Cafe at the Yacht and Beach Club Resort, and Liberty Tree Tavern at Magic Kingdom. (Le Cellier is wonderful at Epcot.)

MosMom Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
MosMom Posted 24 Jul 2008 , 7:40pm
post #11 of 14

I highly recommend http://www.tourguidemike.com to help with planning your trip. He tells you literally everything you need to know. Even the best days to hit each park to avoid the crowds and great touring plans.

We are regular visitors and I would do the parks anymore without following his best days information.

PrincessMommy Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
PrincessMommy Posted 25 Jul 2008 , 6:44am
post #12 of 14

We are a Disney family- we love it and try to make it once a year. We went on our honeymoon and now have a disney loving tot. A great website is www.allearsnet.com They have everything from resort pictures to complete menus from the restaurants and great reviews! Deb is a wealth of information. Also be sure to sign up for their weekly newsletter!

Pookie59 Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
Pookie59 Posted 25 Jul 2008 , 10:16pm
post #13 of 14

I don't think but a few of the rides at Magic Kingdom could be classified as "wild", so don't scratch that park off your list. There is plenty there to entertain.

butternut Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
butternut Posted 25 Jul 2008 , 10:51pm
post #14 of 14

Ohara - Great tip about the monorail. Thanks for sharing that with me. I went to get my Unofficial guide from the book store today and for some weird reason they couldn't find the one that they had listed as being in the store. I was then told that the 2009 was coming out next month so I guess I'll wait for that one. Can't wait to look through it.

jen1977 - thanks for the info on the message board. Gonna check that out tonight and also the restaurants that you suggested sound GREAT!! Especially the Coral Reef. Gotta do that one for sure.

emrldsky - I called and booked a reservation for a date in December for La Nouba. I wanted to get seats in Section 204, Category 2 but believe it or not, they had already sold out that section. Now this is for mid December.... But we were still able to get good seats in Section 203. Can't wait to see this show. Thanks so much for recommending it!!

joshalow - I think you're right, we have decided to go to Magic Kingdom as well. I'm glad that you said what you did. It made me think twice. After all, how can we not go to the MAIN park at Disneyworld? I need some "magic" in my life thumbs_up.gif Thanks also for the restaurant suggestions. I'm checking on them now.

MosMom - Wow this website sounds great. Gonna check this one out for sure tonight. Thanks so much.

PrincessMommy - I honestly can't thank you enough for sharing that website with me. I've gone on there and they have EVERYTHING!! I've already found out so much info on restaurants and prices. That's a big thing for me. It is absolutely fantastic. I've learned more on that site than I have the actual Disney site. Thanks so much!!

Pookie59 - Yep, I've put Magic Kingdom on my list. I might just find that I like this park the best. Thanks so much.

Again, thanks so much everyone. You guys are just GREAT!! Geeez, I'm getting so excited, I wish we were going tomorrow icon_lol.gif December seems so far away........

Quote by @%username% on %date%