need disney itinerary help for dec.

Old Jul 1st, 2009, 10:14 AM
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dkb
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need disney itinerary help for dec.

Hello
am planning a trip for dec 3-6, Thurs-Sun. Will be me, DH, almost 5yo and 23mo girls.
We plan on arriving from NY late morning. We are not buying a parkhopper ticket in order to save a little money- and i figured we wont need it anyway.

I was thinking:
Thurs after we arrive: Animal Kingdom
Friday- MK
Saturday- MK
Sunday - eat and leave, no parks flight around 2pm

is there any reason to go to Epcot with kids this small. Is Animal Kingdom ok for a half-day? I figure the kids will be tired after the early morning flight.
We plan on staying at Port Orleans FQ, but wonder if PO Riverside is better
I also cant decide if we should do the meal plan or not-
I would also appreciate any recs for dinner at the table service restaurants
thanks,
dkb
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Old Jul 1st, 2009, 10:32 AM
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Given the ages of your kids, you can easily skip Epcot. As you probably know, it is a park designed toward the interests of adults. Animal Kingdom is fine for a half day.
I have stayed at Port Orleans FQ and it was OK but the PO Riverside looked much better and I vowed to stay at Riverside next time. It is a quieter, prettier property and best of all it is near the river boat taxis that take you to many other parts of Disney World. The boat taxis are much more fun and scenic than the other option which is the buses.
If you are going to eat every dinner at one of Disney's sit-down restaurants the meal plan is a good deal because the dinner prices are expensive. However, if because of the kids, you will be eating at more informal, counter-service and snack places, the meal plan would not be a good deal. I think, though, that they do have a meal plan for counter-service only (no restaurants) that is cheaper. You might want to call and find out your options.
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Old Jul 1st, 2009, 11:00 AM
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Be sure and check out park hours for Animal Kingdom in December. Depending on your time of arrival, you don't want to spend $200 for a couple of hours. You can easily do the park in 4 to 5 hours, just make sure you've got 4 to 5.

I agree that you can skip EPCOT with your kids.

Your kids should enjoy the Christmas decorations at some of the hotels. Plan a breakfast or dinner at Grand Floridian, Concourse or Wilderness to check them out. Always well done.

All Disney's restaurants handle children just fine. Some of our favorites on the property are Artist's Point in Wilderness, Narcoosee's in Floridian (you can see MK fireworks from here), Portbello in Downtown.

I don't know pricing for young children on the dining plan, so I can't speak from experience about that value. For adults, we've found that the dining plan is consistent with your cost if you went to the restaurants and ordered modestly priced meals. With the dining plan, you can be liberated at a moderate price point.
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Old Jul 1st, 2009, 11:19 AM
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I would skip Epcot with the kids. What I did when my kids were this little, was to pack PB&J sandwiches, snacks, and drinks and haul them in the stroller. It saved time from standing in line, saved money, and we could stop anywhere for a snack break, rather than have to look for a food vendor.

Half a day at Animal Kingdom is all you need, watch out for rain that usually hits around 2 or 3 pm. Just stay until the parade and leave.

The parks are large, and just the logistics of getting to the parking lot, and from the parking lot to the main gate can be time consuming (when you have little ones). Staying at one of the hotels with a monorail station such as the Contemporary is helpful. You have the convenience of going back to the hotel for a mid day nap.
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Old Jul 1st, 2009, 12:27 PM
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We have stayed at both PO Riverside and French Quarter. Riverside is actually our favorite of all the moderate resorts. It is big though and it can be a walk to the food court, so bring your stroller to your room.

Animal Kingdom has earlier hours than any other park, and in the winter since the sun goes down early they will definately close earlier. I would spend that half day plus a full day at the Magic Kingdom. And one full day at Animal Kingdom. (I just went last weekend with my 5 year old neice, and we had a car, but we did MK and Sea World, for little one's the animals can be hard to find at Animal Kingdom, but since you sit for a show at Sea World it worked out well, except for the princesses, she enjoyed Sea World more than MK) Magic Kingdom is huge and there is so much to do and so many lines to wait in that young kids get overloaded and only last so long anyway. One thing I noticed and did not like about MK, that has changed since my children needed a stroller is the stroller parking. MK now has more centeralize stroller parking instead of at each ride, and sometimes that meant more walking or holing of the little ones.

Although the monarail is the most convenient, the Disney hotels run buses to all parks, and Downtown Disney. Check to see which parks are offerning Extra Magic hours for Disney Hotel guests, that could be another reason to change park visiting days around some.
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Old Jul 1st, 2009, 01:32 PM
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dkb
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hmmm, if AK closes earlier, then maybe we should do this

I was thinking:
3 Thurs after we arrive: MK
4 Friday- AK
5 Saturday- MK
6 Sunday - eat and leave, no parks flight around 2pm

my concern is if AK is really an all day thing for kids my age. I need to check the calendar of events and see if anything special is happening- but i thought there was some Holiday thing on the 4th- so i originally thought we should go to MK on that day

Does anyone think a 5pm dinner reservation for table service is too early?

thanks
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Old Jul 1st, 2009, 02:06 PM
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Your new schedule sounds good, especially if you don't want to be rushed in AK.
No, 5pm is not too early for dinner res. It was my experience that even if you have a reservation and show up on time you may still have to wait 10 to 30 minutes to get your table. I asked someone why this was so and was told that Disney overbooks the dinner reservations to make up for the no-shows. So depending on how many people actually show up the nite of your reservations you could still have a wait of unpredictable length.
We ate at Yak and Yeti in AK and it was very good food.
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Old Jul 13th, 2009, 07:12 AM
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An idea for you and your children is....
"
If Christmas time is your favorite time of year, consider celebrating it with Mickey and the gang! While there are dozens of exciting seasonal events taking place in Disney World during the winter months, Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party (MVMCP) is probably my favorite! Bundle up with your favorite characters to experience snow on Main Street, complimentary cocoa and cookies, and a festive atmosphere throughout the park! You can even "buy a Christmas tree" from Donald!

MVMCP is an evening event at the Magic Kingdom that takes place during November and December. The special events of past MVMCPs have included:

--Holiday Wishes: a special Christmas firework extravaganza

--Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade: an exciting parade down Main Street, complete with snow! It will surely give you goosebumps!

--Mickey's 'Twas the Night Before Christmas' Show: Mickey and his friends star in this favorite Christmas story

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party is a "hard-ticket" event, meaning your regular Disney World theme park ticket for the day won't allow you entrance into the party. The Magic Kingdom will close on party evenings to everyone who does not have a special MVMCP ticket.

The event will be held from 7pm-12am on the following dates in 2009:

November 10, 12, 13, 17, 19, 20, 29

December 1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 13, 15, 17, 18

Advanced Purchase:

Adults: $55.38; Children 3-9 $48.99 (not available Nov 29, Dec 4, 11, 17-18)

Day of Event: Adults $62.84; Children 3-9 $56.45


Annual Passholder and Disney Vacation Club Member Discounts:

Adults $52.19; Children 3-9 $45.80
Only available for the following dates: Nov 10, 12, 13, 17, 19; Dec 6, 8

You can purchase tickets, starting May 1st, by calling 407-WDW-PLAY. "
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Old Jul 14th, 2009, 05:45 AM
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I think that I would stick with Port Orleans French Quarter with kids the age of yours. The resort is smaller and more condensed than Port Orleans Riverside, so not as much walking.

The river boat taxis that a previous poster referred to go from both Port Orleans Riverside AND Port Orleans French Quarter. They take you to Downtown Disney only. There are some nice play areas there, you might want to go there for a few hours. If you want to go anywhere else you need to take the bus.

Two planning resources that I highly recommend are:
www.allearsnet.com
www.disboards.com

Lots of pictures and accomodations and restaurant info on allears. Tons of information on disboards and very helpful and knowledgeable folks to answer questions!

We go to Disney almost every year and I'd be happy to answer any other questions. Enjoy your trip!
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Old Jul 14th, 2009, 01:43 PM
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I'll join Pat_in_Mich in recommending those two websites. They are both excellent resources.

I like your revised itinerary. With young children it's good to pace yourself, so a shorter day at AK followed by a longer day at MK makes sense. Early December is a great time to visit Disney World - the weather is just about perfect and the crowds are small.
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Old Jul 14th, 2009, 02:10 PM
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Our very favorite thing at Disney is the waterparks. They have plenty of stuff there for your 23 mo. I think the water is heated. You might consider 3 or 4 hours at one of the waterparks. In the winter, I think they only open one of them up, not both. Your plan to hit AK and MK looks like the right thing to me. I would skip Epcot and MGM. Your kids will love it, just go at their pace.
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Old Sep 1st, 2009, 03:03 AM
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Is it too chilly for waterparks in December??? I know that weather can vary but wondering if to save a day or 1/2 day anyway.
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Old Sep 9th, 2009, 02:45 AM
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Brrrr! I wouldn't plan on a waterpark in December, and I don't think they are open anyway.
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Old Sep 9th, 2009, 04:22 AM
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FYI - Mickey's Christmas Parade is being taped on Saturday, December 5th, at the Magic Kingdom. The MK will be very busy that day. Of course, you may be interested in watching the parade being taped, but if not, I would avoid MK on Saturday.

Also, Disney is offering Free Dining while you are there. DEFINITELY, call and ask about this. Free Dining must be booked by September 26th, I think. You pay rack rate for the hotel room, but the Disney Dining Plan is free.

Also, I like POFQ better than PO Riverside. Have stayed at both - PO Riverside once and POFQ three times, most recently in March.

Have fun!
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Old Sep 23rd, 2009, 12:19 PM
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we just got back from Disney with an "almost" 5 year old girl and a 2 year old boy.

We stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge which was a treat and the kids aboslutly loved it (and so did we).

We are from NJ and arrived at Orlando around 10:30 AM and it took us about 2 hours to get to the hotel - so keep that in mind especially if you are using Disney transportation (Magical Express).

In my opinion, skip all the other parks, it's not a competition and you'll be there again. By the way, there is nothing "special" at the Animal Kingdom (except a daily parade) as to not freak out the many animals there.

Thursday I'll just hang out in the hotel, the kids loved the pool and there are plenty of activities for them to do. To be honest, we could have spent the whole week at the Animal Kingdom Lodge.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2009, 12:46 PM
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Also, be aware that Disney's dining reservations are not really "reservations" but just mean that you'll get the next available table. So build a nice 30 minutes - 45 minutes cushion into every meal.
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