Orlando/Disney in Jan. 2006 - Where to start?

Old May 6th, 2005, 04:33 AM
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You might want to consider staying at the Swan/Dolphin. These hotels are on Disney property, but are not owned by Disney. You still get all the perks of the Disney hotels, but not nearly as many children. They have several pools where you can relax without screaming children all around you. I have always gone to WDW without children. I am over 50 and still love going to the parks, but I also like to be able to relax around a pool.
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Old May 6th, 2005, 05:40 AM
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My husband is also going to run the marathon. They have the best medal! He just ran Boston and that was so exciting. I don't think Disney's will be as great as that, mostly because of the spectators' support.
We go to Orlando every year. We stay at the Sheraton Vistana Resort in Lake Buena Vista. It's beautiful and very close to the parks. I think you really should stay outside the park and rent a car. It's so much easier to get around and do what you want. We love Animal Kingdom and would consider staying a night or two there, it should be great there. I agree with the poster who said to leave the Magic Kingdom for when you bring your child. It is a magical place with a child who loves Mickey and knows all the characters. When you bring your child make sure to make a character dining reservation. Epcot is great without young kids too. We love Sea World. They have a great deal, pay once, get your picture taken and receive a pass for a second visit free within the week. It's great. Universal is wonderful too.
We have been to Disney in January once and the year we were there the weather was very warm which isn't the norm. The parks were not crowded so it was wonderful, no lines at all.
We have enjoyed every vacation in Orlando. Lots of restaurants, shopping and of course all the parks.
Have fun!
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Old May 6th, 2005, 06:15 AM
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dufrogger, how exciting for your husband doing the Boston Marathon. My English husband just asked last night what so special about the Boston Marathon. I was speechless. I think we will stay onsite for a couple of days before the marathon and check into a hotel outside of the park on the Monday after for 5 nights or so. My husband is a total Disney fanatic, so this holiday is for him. He will be happy staying onsite the whole trip, but I can't see me doing that. I like the look of the Westin Grande Bohemian for the days following the marathon. I will give the Sheraton you mentioned a look. Thnaks for the info!
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Old May 6th, 2005, 02:08 PM
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Congrats to your hubby for the Boston. Since I didn't qualify for the NYC Marathon, I am anxiously awaiting the lottery.

For the Disney half marathon, the medal is Donald Duck. For the full marathon, the medal is Mickey Mouse. They are very nice.

Again, I can't stress enough staying onsite during the days around the marathon.

Seeing Disney on a tourist basis is different from the whole 'travel for a marathon' deal.

I don't recommend the length of stay passes because there is so much walking involved in the parks. You can easily walk 6-8 miles in any of the parks in any given day. Before a race, that would wear me out.

Has your hubby perused any of the running message boards? Tons of Disney Marathon runners with great tips.
Old May 10th, 2005, 06:50 PM
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I'm also going to recommend the Hyatt Grand Cypress... especially since you're going without any children. The pools are amazing. There are hidden "grotto" type areas that are very romantic. Great place for couples. And that's just the pool... the hotel itself is wonderful too. Big thumbs up.
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Old May 10th, 2005, 07:41 PM
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My husband and I took our honeymoon and our 9th wedding anniversary at WDW Resorts. We do not have children, and are two 37 year old kids. I have also been there when I was 7 and when I was 23. I have enjoyed it at every age.

Disboards makes my head spin too! It is a very "busy" site visually. I did find some good info there though.

I used Fodors and Birnbaums guides. The latter also has a campanion volume for travel without children.

I absolutely perfer to stay inside in one of the WDW resorts. I think that it is so much more convienent, you can also get early entry and later hours.

We have stayed at the Contemporary, and Port Orleans French Quarter. We were both comfy in our rooms. We liked to take the Sassagoola river boat to Pleasure Isle at night from POFQ. It was convienent and a nice ride. I have never had anything but good service when I have stayed in a WDW resort hotel.

I made all of my priority seating arrangements way early. Hitting the nice places for luch as opposed to dinner. We saved a lot of money that way. Not everyday, but we splurged on a meal once a day.

I set my itinerary based upon when you can get early entry into the parks. I believe we got there on a wednesday. I think that we did tues and fri EPCOT, Sat Magic Kingdom, Sun MGM, Mon Animal Kingdom, and thursday was Universal.

We had nice meals at Sci Fi drive in @MGM, Teppanyaki dinning room in EPCOT's Japanese pavillion, Brown Derby @MGM, a character Breakfast @ Cinderellas Castle, Animal Kingdoms Rainforest Cafe for breakfast, dinner at Emeril's at Universals City Walk, and a nice dinner at the Contemporary as well. I do reccomend doing priority seating. You can call 407-WDW-DINE to arrange priority seating.

I think that it makes for a nice break mid day to sit down in the cool airconditioning and get waited on for a nice lunch.

I think you need at least 7 days. But I am one of those people that just runs flat out her whole vacation. I need a vacation when I get back from my vacation.

I made copies of the must see things in each park. Fodors on one side Birnbaums on the other. Also a list of their tips. I check off each thing as we went along.

Between the list, being organized with a game plan and using the Fast Pass system, we saw most everything that we wanted to see.

I also struck a budget, and then did my best to keep to it. We have a tendancy to spend way too much on food. I did budget $200.00 a day for food! I wanted to make sure that if I wanted to eat at a place like Emerils everyday, I could. We need a limit he and I. Plus it gives me an idea of how much I need to save.

If you have anyother specific questions please let me know. My boss just came back from a week long Disney cruise. I hear he had a nice time, but I have not gotten specifics yet.

I wish we were going for a week! I am going down to Florida to visit my Granparents. We are hoping to run away for one day and get over to Animal Kingdom.

Have Fun!!

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