Just Back from Disney World

Jul 31st, 2006, 08:52 AM
  #1  
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Just Back from Disney World

I just returned from a weekend trip to Orlando, where I found the parks crowded and hot but still manageable as long as I got an early start.

Having stayed both in WDW and out, I'd have to say that I still recommend staying in the WDW resorts. I stayed at the Doubletree Suites in Walt Disney World, which I loved as a hotel, especially for the staff, which were uniformly nice and helpful; I'd give this hotel a high recommendation. The suites are roomy and quite comfortable, but the food (esp. the breakfast) is overpriced, so I'd probably skip that unless you have a package that includes breakfast. My main gripe was with the theme park transportation, which wasn't the hotel's fault.

You're definitely a second-class citizen staying at the Downtown Disney hotels; the buses were just ok and never stopped where the other Disney buses stopped but rather far, far away. The Magic Kingdom bus doesn't take you to the front gates like other Disney buses, but rather to the ferry/monorail station. I also had one surly driver and a long, hot, delayed ride back on Saturday afternoon that was just a mess. Other than that, I enjoyed my stay.

I rode the new Expedition Everest (a fun but not too wild coaster, which was just my style) and discovered a "single rider" line, which allowed me to avoid the lengthy lines. But I tended to go early to the parks, enjoy them while they were less crowded, eat lunch early when there were no lines, and then exit by 2 or 3. I think my appetite for theme parks is not as strong as it was when I was younger and hardier (I was also by myself most days, so that didn't make it any more fun). I didn't go back to the parks at night because I was tagging along with a friend at a conference, so we went out to dinner at night and just hung out.

I did have dinner at Artist Point, and that was great, if expensive.

I did the Magic Kingdom, MGM Studios, and Animal Kingdom. I skipped Epcot this time. If anyone has general questions, post them, and I'll try to answer as best as I can.
doug_stallings is offline  
Jul 31st, 2006, 09:36 AM
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Oooh, how could you skip Epcot and The World Showcase?

Wherever did you do happy hour if not Epcot?

 
Jul 31st, 2006, 11:36 AM
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GoTravel - Happy hour can be spent doing the monorail crawl - hit all/some of the bars at the hotels on the monorail - California Grill etc.... Just another alternative to the Epcot version!
bennnie is offline  
Jul 31st, 2006, 12:34 PM
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The last thing I seem to be thinking of at happy hour time in WDW is happy hour. But perhaps that's a side-effect of too many kids and too much sun by that time of the day. (If I'd been able to get back to my hotel to refresh myself in the pool and then return to a park, I might have been more interested in that.) I'll take your suggestion under advisement for my next trip.
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Jul 31st, 2006, 02:15 PM
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Doug, listen to me honey, after 8 hours in a park with kids (calculating 9AM to 5PM) in July, in central Florida, in the heat, there is NOTHING in Disney better than a frozen margarita from Mexico in The World Showcase.

Take notes, file this away.
 
Jul 31st, 2006, 06:04 PM
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Touche.
doug_stallings is offline  
Aug 1st, 2006, 06:47 AM
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Was your sub-par bus transportation directly from your hotel...or did you have to walk 10 minutes to Downtown Disney and then take Disney transport?
tracys2cents is offline  
Aug 1st, 2006, 10:54 AM
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The bad bus service were the buses that stopped directly at the Downtown Disney hotels.

You could walk to the bus stop at Downtown Disney Marketplace, which is about 15 minutes from the Doubletree and get buses there (they don't ask for your room key, but I also doubt they have buses to the parks first thing in the morning .... though I don't know the schedule). This was really my only complaint about this trip to WDW.

For some reason, even the food and drinks seemed more reasonably priced to me this time. They did sell a $1.25 bottle of water at all the parks; though small, it could certainly be refilled. In the past, I thought water was overpriced at about $3, but I could just be mis-remembering.
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Aug 1st, 2006, 12:43 PM
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I do recall my afternoon at Epcot going very nicely after a lunch-time glass of wine at Le Cellier!
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