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phredalc Sep 9th, 2009 12:51 AM

Disneyworld and around
My wife and I, along with my daughter's family (husband, 2 children age 8 & 11) plan to go to D-World in Oct. 2010. I have been assigned the task of finding the best places to visit and the best deals. We have a place to stay (Westgate) and I'm wondering if anyone out there has any pointers for me so that this first visit to mouseland is a success. What should be part of our itinerary and and how can I avoid mortgaging the house to pay for it? I've heard terms like "park hopper" and "no serpentine lines for rides", terms new to me. Are there any other area attractions that should not be missed? We have a 6 day stay. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks, phredalc

J62 Sep 9th, 2009 02:44 AM

There are several internet chat forums that are dedicated to Disney that have a lot more info than here on fodors; and The good news is that October is definitely slower season so crowds will be small to non-existent.

To answer your two questions.

Park hopper is a $ add on to your ticket that lets you visit more than one park in a day. Park discounts at Disney are virtually non-existent, and you can find prices on the WDW website The $ add on depends on the number of day ticket you buy, ranging from a high of +$50 for a 1 day ticket, down to +$10/day for a longer multi day ticket.

Since you are there for multiple days you'll have time to visit all the different parks you want from the list: Magic Kingdom, Epcot Ctr, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood studios, and the 2 water parks, so you may not really need or want to pay for the park hopper. It depends on you (and the kids).

Disney has a fast pass system to avoid serpentine lines at the most popular rides. You scan your ticket at a ride you want to come back to, and you'll get a printout for an express line (no wait) later in the day. How much later depends on the crowds, but in October it could be anywhere from 30-60min later, with a 1hr window. You can only have one pending fast pass at a time, but it really helps to avoid the lines at the most popular rides like Splash Mtn, Thunder RR, and Space Mtn.

You may luck out in October and have no wait at any of the rides, so you wouldn't need the fast pass at all.

swisshiker Sep 9th, 2009 03:32 AM

Hello phredalc :)

I wouldn't count on short lines or low crowds during October (well, relative to spring break or summer, yes, but IMO there's still lots of people in October). Disney's marketing department does an excellent job of filling their parks these days in what would normally be considered low or value season.

For example, during October of each year, Epcot hosts the International Food and Wine Festival, which brings in lots of folks for the entire month.

And if bookings are low, they will offer such attractive enticements as free dining (only if you stay "on" property).

J62 gave an excellent suggestion to visit disboards and mousesavers. And is a another good resource.

Happy travels!

montereybob Sep 9th, 2009 07:03 AM

If the kids like water parks, Disney has some excellent ones. However, you have to pay extra for them. Disney periodically offers some very good discounts on package deals, but they change periodically and are for limited times. So as your travel dates approach, check the WDW website for their latest deals.

KendraM Sep 9th, 2009 09:15 AM

Fun, Fun. I am excited for you and your family. I travel to Orlando a couple of times a year for business. The parks are a huge hit with the kids. Definitely get the Park Hopper. You will want to visit them all. If your grandkids like the characters, go online and check out the dining opportunities with the Disney characters. My daughter loved breakfast with the princesses. Now that she is 13, she prefers Universal Studios over Disney. If you have time, I would take one day at Universal too. Epcot has the best fireworks show you will ever see. I would go over in the late afternoon, walk the park, eat dinner then get an up close view of the show.

Probably one of the most memorable Orlando experiences was our day at Discovery Cove. If the kids have any desire to swim with dolphins, this will be a big hit. It's located near Sea World. (Also a fun day!)

There are loads of "non park" activities that you might enjoy as a family. You could take a day trip to Coco Beach and tour Cape Canaveral or take an air boat tour and see the Orlando everglades.

Cheap tickets can sometimes be found on ebay, through Costco and on Craig's list. Have a super fun time!

CatherineL Sep 9th, 2009 03:06 PM

You will have an awesome time. October is a great time to go. We went in October 2006 and lines were minimal. We rode Big Thunder mountain four times in a row one morning, without waiting in line.

The food and wine festival is great - you can wander the World Showcase in Epcot trying small portions of food and drink from different countries.

Do park hop - visiting one park in the morning and another in the afternoon.

If you would like to eat any sit down meals - it's best to reserve in advance - 180 days, I think. You can read dining reviews on the DIS boards. Also, keep checking their resorts boards for deals on hotel rooms for that time.

Also, if you're into Halloween, you might want to get tickets for Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party, which is scheduled for several different evenings in October. You will be able to find details on Disney's own site.

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