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First, Brief Disney FL Visit - Advice?

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by GarrAarghHrumph, Jun 17, 2010.

  1. Holley Calmes

    Holley Calmes Well-Known Member

    We saw a teen guy one time trying to feed a hamburger to an alligator. We drove past this scene and the immediate thought was "Darwin at work."

    MOIJTO Banned Member

    And always make sure you gas up at the last station before you travel the alley, its pretty scary to be broken down through there! Experience! :)
  3. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

    That, too. One gas station in almost a hundred miles.
  4. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

    As milanessa said, I go to Florida quite frequently; half my family lives down there. I visit at least once a year, and have done for over half my life. I've just never been to Disney! I've been to Seaworld, though - that's actually a fun park. And I've been to Universal.

    I'd figured the beaches listed at the Disney resorts must be fresh water, but either man-made or springs. Alligators don't like clear water. They prefer the murky stuff. People in FL do avoid lakes and some rivers re: swimming; but springs are well used by swimmers, and there are a ton of springs in FL. Cold as all get out, extremely clear, and beautiful.

    But someone else said that the beaches at Disney aren't along swimmable waters, so that's out. Pools it is.
  5. GaPeach

    GaPeach New Member

    Myth. A couple of years ago, An alligator attacked and killed a woman in clear spring water of Jupiter Springs in the Ocala National Forest. We had an extremely dry rainy season that caused the wetland to dry-out and the spring temperature to rise.

  6. skaternum

    skaternum Grooving!

    My 2 cents, which echo what others have said:

    Stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge in a savannah view room and spend about a half day in Animal Kingdom, doing the "animal stuff." Spend the rest of your time at the Magic Kingdom. Epcot is too spread out and, in my opinion, Hollwood Studios is lame!

    Definitely book restaurants as soon as you can. Many of the good ones are already going to be booked solid.

    Best bet: get one of the how-to-do-Disney books written (such as the Insider's Guide to Disney). They can help you figure out the best order to do things in.
  7. Holley Calmes

    Holley Calmes Well-Known Member

    OR....forget "new Florida" or "Disney Florida" and go on a really fun adventure of exploring the byroads and beaches of the "real" Florida. Still a tourist mecca, but you can find some really different and beautiful places, like Tarpon Springs. Or the Ringling Home and Museum in Sarasota. Or I mentioned Everglades City for a trip back to the 1950's Florida....and nothing is more beautiful than Sannibel/Captiva. Florida does not have to involve Disney! In fact, I prefer Florida without Disney.

    I guess I've been going there my whole life. I actually prefer the panhandle-the most beautiful beaches anywhere I've ever been. If I had money to spend on traveling right now, I'd find a panhandle beach that hadn't been hit by the oil spill literally but has definitely been hurt by tourist cancellations...and I'd go there in a heartbeat! Anywhere west of Appalachicola......
  8. Twizzler

    Twizzler Well-Known Member


    :rofl: :lol: :rofl:
  9. Bev Johnston

    Bev Johnston Well-Known Member

    Jumping in here! We've been to Disney World three times. Epcot is better for older kids and adults. They've added a few things for smaller kids over the years, but my kids appreciated it and liked it much better in 2008 than they did in 2000.

    Another thing about Hollywood Studios is that it seems it was built at a time when crowds were much smaller. We went at the beginning of August in 2008 and the darn place was so crowded that you could hardly walk down the streets and it took forever to get anywhere. Hollywood Studios has an awesome closing show (Fantasmic), but you have to get in line very early to make sure you get in.

    My kids love Animal Kingdom, but their hands-down favorite is Magic Kingdom. It's such classic Disney stuff.
  10. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

    I said that they prefer the murky stuff. That doesn't mean that they don't go in very cold, clear water - especially during times of stress, such as those you mentioned. Likewise, they'll also go in salt water. It's just that they prefer not to.
  11. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

    My dad's the king of the "real Florida". I'm normally visiting Florida Florida. Sinkholes, northern beaches, springs, and more off-the-beaten-track stuff. This year, for one day, it's Disney. This year, for one day, I'm a tourist. :lol:
    milanessa and (deleted member) like this.
  12. IvoryIris

    IvoryIris Active Member

    We just returned from Disney last night! :cool: It had been 10 years since our last visit. We all had a wonderful time even though it is very hot already. My son made the best discovery of the week. After the first day he said: Once you concede that you will not be able to see and do it all, it is possible to relax and just see and do what you choose.

    Our must see list:
    The Lion King (A.K.)
    Finding Nemo (A.K.)
    Electric Light Parade (M.K.)
    Evening Fireworks (M.K.)
    Teacups (M.K.)
    Illuminations/ Nightly show (Epcot)
    Toy Story rides (M.K.)/ (Hollywood)
    Safari (A.K.)
    Pirates of the Carribean (M.K.)

    Hope you have a fantastic time!
  13. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

    Okay, we've booked it. We're staying two nights at the Wilderness Lodge - my husband's pick, totally his style, and I'm fine with it. We'll arrive the first day, play in the pool, eat dinner, get to bed early. Next morning, we're up early to ride the boat to Magic Kingdom, where my daughter will go on Disney Overload.

    Thanks to everyone who suggested we get the DVD, by the way. After the DVD arrived, soon came a hotel discount ticket... which very much influenced our ability to stay on-property.

    We hope to get to the park early, and do a ton of things. Then break for a swim and maybe a nap. Then return to the park in the evening for the big parade. But we probably won't stay for the fireworks - my daughter's normally deeply sleeping by 8pm. The parade is at 9. The fireworks are at 10! They'll have to wait until she's older, I'm thinking. We'll see. Best case, we get a room from which we can see the fireworks, and watch them from the room in our PJs.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2010
  14. zhenya271

    zhenya271 Active Member

    We are going for 5 days in the middle of August!:wideeyes: Not looking forward to the heat, but wanted to do something with the kids during the break, so I think we will do the same as you and take an afternoon break for a swim or nap and then go back in the evening. My kids are older, but even when they were older they were always nightowls!

    It's funny one vacation we did Disney in Paris after the Vatican and noticed how there were so many quiet children in the Vatican museum, but at Disney so many of the kids were whining and crying!:lol: Too much forced fun!
  15. Lanie

    Lanie Well-Known Member

    What's this about a DVD? I'd love to get one. Planning an October visit, as we're flying into Orlando for a family reunion in St Pete. :) Disney + my husband finally meeting my extended family = YAY.
  16. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

  17. Aceon6

    Aceon6 Hit ball, find ball, hit it again.

    One thing I learned... don't waste any time/money on souvenirs in the park. Instead, head over to the Disney shopping center on Buena Vista Drive. Free parking, no crowds, and the hours are good. They do sell liquor in the restaurants there.
  18. ballettmaus

    ballettmaus Well-Known Member

    I don't think it's been mentioned yet - the parade will be cancelled if it just looks like there's going to be a thunderstorm. Happened to us twice in a row - rain, some lightning, everyone was waiting, rain stopped, lightning continued without thunder but parade was cancelled. Just so you're prepared that it could happen :)
    There's a parade in the afternoon though - or are they not having it anymore?
    If you want to do some shopping you might want to check out the Disney Village Market Place the day you get there. If you make it before park closing hours it's rather empty and much nicer to shop at than in the park. I also find that the gift shops outside of Disney have tons of Disney stuff at a much cheaper price but all genuine.

    Have fun!!
  19. BelleBway

    BelleBway a monkey stole my title

    There's an afternoon parade, but the nighttime one is much better. And it's much more pleasant waiting outside after the sun sets. ;) We skipped the afternoon parades last summer because we were always taking our mid-day break at the hotel around that time.
  20. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

    How far is the hotel with the zoo animals in it from the Wilderness Lodge? We'll have a car, btw. Is it close? Easy to get to? I ask because I heard that you can see the animals from all public spaces in the "zoo" hotel, and if it's easy to get from one to the other, I might bring my daughter over there.
  21. Christina

    Christina Well-Known Member

    Not sure how far it is, but you'll be looking for the Animal Kingdom Lodge.

    Don't forget sunscreen and take water with you. If you have a freezer in a mini-fridge in the room, freeze bottles of water and take them with you into the park.

    Also, the electric light parade is back, that's the evening parade. It is soooo worth taking a nap to see it. But check the weather forecast and ask a cast member if they are looking like canceling it.

    Enjoy and stay hydrated. It is horribly hot and humid right now.
  22. BelleBway

    BelleBway a monkey stole my title

    I'd guess it's about a 20-25 minute drive... kinda going from 1 end of the property to the other. But yes, you can go through the lobby of the Animal Kingdom Lodge and down the stairs to get to a public viewing area. (there are actually 2 buildings; I am only familiar with Jambo House, which is where we stayed)
  23. minuet

    minuet Well-Known Member


    This is a map of the entire park. You are staying at #6. The Animal Kingdom Lodge is #30.
    I agree with BelleBway that it would take about 20-25 min to get there.

    If you decide to do the shopping thing at Downtown Disney that would be the section on the right marked with blue. If you do not want to drive, by staying on property you can take Disney transportation over which would be by bus and they drop you right to the Marketplace where the shops are. Just look for the one marked Downtown Disney. Buses run every 10-15 min so when you are ready to come back just go back to the bus stop for Wilderness Lodge and one will be by shortly.

    The other nice thing about staying on property is any shopping you do you can send your packages back to the hotel. The next day you pick them up at the gift shop in the hotel and are not saddled with carrying them around with you.

    Great resort choice! I hope you love it as much as I do!