Post # 1
So. My name is MousePeach and I’m 30 years old and have never been to Disney World.
But we are SOOOOOO excited. We’re having an expensive wedding so we wanted to do something more budget friendly so we thought Florida/Disney would be best. We will be there 6 days – 2 of the days are for travel so that gives us 4 solid park days. I need recommendations
- park hopper & fast pass – worth it? needed?
- romantic resorts? We looked into Grand Floridian and it was $790 a night! no way
- crowds? We will be there from Feb 10th-Feb15th so hopefully we will just miss the President’s day crowds
The research is overwhelming me and I have no idea what’s good or what isn’t good. Any advice on must-dos would be SO appreciated. As of now my only priorities are A. Magic Kingdom and B. Harry Potter World @ Universal. Oh, and finding a romantic hotel that doesn’t cost more than $220 a night (it doesn’t have to be a Disney hotel, that looks impossible.)
Post # 3
I’m a Disneyland pass holder and I haven’t been to Disneyworld yet, but I can say that I do think park hopper tickets are worth it. Unless you’re planning like 2 days in one park and 2 in the other or something. I can tell you from experience that my boyfriend and I almost never stay in one park when we go for the day. Sometimes we’ll change parks 2 or 3 times. It’s really nice to not be restricted 🙂
Post # 4
Oh and fast passes – absolutely. Getting a fast pass for the most popular ride should be the very first thing you do. For example, in California Adventure, the most popular ride is Radiator Springs Racer. It’s super cute and worth going on, but you can cut the wait from 2+ hours to 30 minutes with a fast pass. They only have a certain amount of fast passes available and they’re generally gone within the first hour that the park opens, so definitely plan carefully.
Post # 5
Have you gone to disboards.com. The contributors on this site help create the Passporter planning guide.
We went last January with our kids and that site helped so much. We stayed on property (at Coronado Springs, which was very nice) and got a free dinning plan. If it is your first trip I would not do park hoppers because it will take you a lot of time to get through each park and if you don’t know where you are going I think you would just waste time. Fast passes were nice for the big rides, but we were there at such a down time it would have been possible to go without grabbing them and still not have to wait in line for too long.
Post # 6
Thanks! Do any of you guys know if we’re going at a good time? Feb 10-16th?
We’ll probably do magic kingdom Tuesday Feb 11th. I did Harry Potter world on Feb 10th a couple of years ago and it wasn’t very crowded at all. I hope it’s not packed!
Post # 7
@mousepeach: Fast passes are definitely worth it! You don’t pay extra or have to buy them, but they do save you time! Definitely get them for the most popular rides first (Space Mountain, Spash Mountain, etc). The passes give you a time to return to the ride and you basically get to skip the majority of the line.
At Disney World you want to stay in a resort hotel- it’s way easier and you get some perks that way too. Unfortunately, they are expensive. I don’t know if I’d consider it “budget friendly.” We will be going there on our honeymoon as well (yay!) and we are staying at the Port Orleans resort. It’s closer to Epcot, and a moderate hotel. It’s around $220, but I can’t remember exactly how much. We just decided that the priority for us wasn’t the hotel room- it was food, and days in the park, etc. It’s a nice room, but nothing fancy.
If you’re really only thinking of doing Magic Kingdom, park hoppers might not be worth it for you. Especially if you want to make it to Harry Potter one day too. One thing to remember is that the parks aren’t super close together….in DisneyLAND, DL and California Adventure are less than 100 yds from each other, making it super easy to go back and forth. Not the case in DW!
I found this old Bee blog that was helpful: http://www.weddingbee.com/2013/05/10/disney-honeymoon-tips/#axzz2VPRcxZ2Y
Post # 8
I’ve been to Disney in February and I wasn’t very crowded at all.
We went to Universal Studios for one day of our honeymoon and stayed at The Point Resort in Orlando. It was about $100 a night, but we got a free honeymoon upgrade to a suite and it was gorgeous! It was basically like a little apartment, with a kitchen, washer/dryer and jacuzzi tub. I’d highly recommend it and it’s only about a mile from Universal.
We always do the park hopper tickets because some of the parks you really could spend all day in and others (like Hollywood Studios) you ride a few rides and are ready for the next park.
I would definitely get fast passes for the popular rides. It saves a ton of waiting time.
The nice thing about Disney is the fast passes are free. At Universal you have to pay for them.
Fast pass for Disney: Tower of Terror, Rockin Rollercoaster, Space Mountain, the safari ride in Animal Kingdom (can’t remember the name) In my experience these are the rides that have the longest wait times.
Fast pass for Universal: The Incredible Hulk, Harry Potter 4-D ride
Post # 9
@Audrey2_sings: Thanks! Do you happen to know what perks?
We’ll be renting a car so distance to the parks isn’t that much of a problem because we don’t mind the 10 min drive and the $15-$20 parking fee (it’s still cheaper than a disney resort) but I might be talked into it if the perks sound to our liking 🙂 THANKS!
Post # 10
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
@mousepeach: Four days can easily be eaten up just by the Disny parks so if you’re planning to add in Universal you absolutely need to do Park Hoppers at Disney if you want to see all four parks.
Fast passes are great but use them strategically because once you have one you cannot get another one until the current Fast Pass starts (i.e. it’s 9am and you have a Fast Pass for 2-3pm, you cannot pick up another Fast Pass until 2pm.) allears.net is great board to figure out strategies. Based on my visit last month here are my recs to get Fast Passes as soon as you enter a particular park: Magic Kingdom – Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger; Epcot – Fast Track (or Mission Space Orange high intensity, Mission Space Green low intensity has a short line most of the day); Hollywood Studios – Twilight Zone Tower of Terror (and get in line for Rock N Roller Coaster, or vice versa); Animal Kingdom – Expedition Everest (if you have to skip a park, this is the one to skip)
As far as resorts go, stying on property in a “romantic” room is going to cost $$$ but if you can compromise (and it is worth staying on property for the free buses and early/late entry to the parks) then I would rec the Caribbean Beach Resort or the Coronado Springs or Port Orleans which are all moderately priced resorts. Since you’re going in February you should be able to get a good deal. Sometimes you can also get a good deal on the Swan or Dolphin which are on Disney property and share the benefits of the free buses but are not technically considered Disney resorts.
As for Universal, be prepared to drive 20-30 minutes from Disney to visit the park. I regularly Priceline the local Holiday Inn which is just off property (an $8 cab ride away.) For Universal you want to go to Island of Adventure for the Harry Potter land; it also has the bulk of the roller coasters. I’m not sure when the new Harry Potter area opens at the Studios park but if it’s open you will want a two day pass here. The new Transformers ride and Simpsons area is at the Studios park.
Post # 11
@beachbride1216: The second phase of Harry Potter won’t also be @ Islands of Adventure? Dang.
Post # 12
I would suggest you buy a copy of the Complete Idiot’s Guide to Walt Disney World. I have been there many times but it is still a great reference and has everything (including tips) listed in one book. There is also an app for smartphones which give you details on the parks every day.
We are actually having our wedding there. If you check out Disney Weddings and Honeymoons (webpage) there are deals for newlyweds. The other thing you could do is get on their email list for deals. I quite often receive emails offering 7day 6night packages including hotel, passes and free dining plan for great prices during ‘down’ times and since you’re going in February it would be covered.
There are several moderately priced resorts which are nice. The Grand Floridian is beautiful but also a deluxe resort and the prices reflect that. Honestly I’d rather pay less for a room and more doing things but obviously it’s up to you. The Port Orleans Riverside is moderate and very nice. The advantages of staying at a Disney Resort is that transportation from the airport is free (and they will deliver your luggage directly to your room), transportation between resorts, parks, downtown Dinsey…basically anything on Disney is included so no car rental needed. Also there are extra park hours available ONLY to resort guests.
Parkhopper passes are great because you are not stuck to just one park a day. You can start off in the Magic Kingdom and end the day heading over for an amazing dinner at one of the ‘countries’ in Epcot for example. Speaking of dining…you can make reservations at most sitdown restaurants months in advance online. I would recommend it if there is a particular one you want to go to. This is the only way you will get into some restaurants because they are completely booked up in advance.
This is all I can think now right now. If you have any more specific questions just pm me. 🙂
Post # 13
The Hilton Bonnet Creek is a really nice hotel. It’s one of the few hotels that is in Disney property but not owned by Disney. I think the prices are affordable, and it has a lazy river that runs around its pool!
Definitely get park hopper and fast passes. You wil probably want to dedicate a day to each park, but it’s nice to have the option to switch, especially at night. I love to have dinner at Epcot, and also go there for the nightly firework show!
Post # 14
@Audrey2_sings: We’re also going to Destination Wedding for our honeymoon and staying at Port Orleans. I haven’t been there before, but I heard it’s really nice!
Post # 15
@Audrey2_sings: thanks for the link to my blog! 🙂
@mousepeach: Touring plan, touring plan, touring plan! If you want to make the most out of it 🙂
Diagon Alley at Universal Studios (note: not Wizarding World at Islands of Adventure) is only due to be completed late summer 2014 but you CAN get an 8am entrance to WWOHP if you stay at a Universal hotel – lots of people recommend the Hard Rock Hotel.
Post # 16
I love all these tips! I will use them myself. Marking this for future reference – thanks everyone!!!