View Full Version : Planning a Trip to WDW, need advice
10-13-2003, 02:48 PM
I am planning on doing a trip to WDW within a year for about a week. Considering that I have never been to Florida before and don't know the area I was wondering if I could get some help and advice. I Live in the LA area.
Like I said, I will be planning a trip hopefully within a year to go. I would like to know from the local's or anyone who has frequented the WDW park what are the best times of the year to go?
Things that I am concerned about are, the best time that fewer rides are down for refurbishment, the weather (not too hot or humid), and park crowdedness.
Also, if anyone one has any suggestions as to what are the best Hotels to stay at that are reasonably priced, I will be on a budget.
I just want to spend my time the WDW area and not need a rental car.
I have been looking at packages online, but they are somewhat confusing.
Maybe someone could tell me a good place to look at where they have a great deal including: Airfare, Hotel, Tickets.
I appreciate any information that anyone could provide.
10-14-2003, 07:34 AM
We went during the first week in Feb. and it was great. Not crowded, good weather. We stayed at All Star Movies, which is one of the Disney economy motels. It was a pretty standard to small room, but it was great being on property.
10-14-2003, 08:27 AM
jrad32 is right on target with Feb...we were there during the 2nd. week of Feb. last year and experienced almost NO crowds. It was great - weather was very nice. We started the day out often in shorts and sweatshirts, and ended the day in our t-shirts and shorts. Evenings got a bit cool again - nothing uncomfortable or anything though.:cool:
We stayed at the Port Orleans Riverside resort, which we found to be just fine. When we go in 2004 (Feb. again!) we are trying Caribbean Beach. They are both considered moderate resorts. I've not been during Sept., Oct., Nov. but I understand they are also nice months to visit.
Best of luck in your planning
10-14-2003, 10:19 AM
Thank you both for the info.
Are both of those places within the WDW area and provide shuttle or walking distance to the park?
10-14-2003, 10:35 AM
All WDW hotels have bus service to the parks & downtown disney. The hotels that are closest to the parks are deluxe hotels AKA more $$$.
Although the Swan & Dolphin, which are considered deluxe but not run by Disney are within walking distance to Epcot & MGM (there's also a boat that goes to both parks), are generally cheaper than the deluxe. Check out www.mousesavers.com for info on their special rates now. S/D also have a nurse/teacher/military discount rate of $129 a night (I believe). For more info on Swan/Dolphin check out www.swandolphin.com
They're very nice hotels, but they're not Disney-fied, although I still find them to be magical, esp at night. :D
10-14-2003, 05:41 PM
I think if you're not going to get a car, you really should strongly consider staying on-site. Don't overlook the newest Disney resort, Pop Century (just opening this coming December) - which is good for those on a budget (off-season starting at $79/night).
There's a TON of great information in MousePlanet's Trip Planning Guide (http://www.mouseplanet.com/dtp/wdwguide/).
Remember, WDW is HUGE -- the off-site hotels are no where near walking-distance, though I assume most of the nearby ones offer some sort of shuttle (though I honestly don't know) -- and no on-site hotel is walking distance to all 4 theme parks.
Also, since you are coming from California, you may want to consider a "room only" reservation for your first night. Mary talks about this on her site (Mousesavers (http://www.mousesavers.com)) which was mentioned previously for looking for great deals.
You can do lots of "what if" planning on the official web site with packages to see what the difference would be for different dates and resort combinations.
Have fun planning!
10-14-2003, 06:58 PM
Just a few thoughts contrasting Florida with the California park:
The WDW parks are quite spread out -- think about having a park in Beverly Hills, and another in Marina Del Rey. In between you will have forests, instead of traffic jams.
When you take the monorail at night, you are floating through the treetops. A very nice experience, especially going over to Epcot.
The few resorts within walking distance only have that advantage for 1 or 2 of the 4 parks anyway. This is okay, though, as the onsite transport (boats and monorails, anyway) is part of the fun.
And rides being "down" is much less of an issue than in Cal. Fla has a lot more rides and they're newer. You might see a few more rides open around holiday times -- for instance Carousel of Progress. Otherwise, refurbs are pretty rare.
They do happen, though -- Mouseplanet lists them on their weekly updates.
10-15-2003, 09:05 AM
About February at Allstars- UCA, which is the BIG cheerleading organization has the National High School Cheerleading Finals at WDW in Feb. They stay in Allstars and overflow into other hotels. Also, in March they hold the National Allstars Cheerleading Finals and the National College Cheerleading Finals. UCA even has a building which is located between Sports and Music, which is called the UCA tent. I did meet a lady who had had brought her granddaughter, did not know about the competition, and the child was thrilled to be there to see the competition on tv and watch the squads practicing(they use the football field at Allstar Sports alot) BUT, if you don't enjoy the sound and activity level of many, many cheerleaders, I would check the UCA website and plan accordingly. You would also need to get your reservations in early because the Allstars will be booked solid during the competitions and the cheer squads make their reservations really early. Also, the prelims are held at MGM, where they close down Indiana Jones for a day or two. The finals are at the sports complex and are broadcast on ESPN. It's a big deal.
10-16-2003, 07:11 AM
Might I suggest May. during the Epcot food and wine show. the weather is outstanding. warm and generaly dry. and the crowds are nice. you can get some good deals if you do your research try looking at www.mousesavers.com for some discounts.
as to resorts, any of the all star, or the pop century will suffice. the all have transportation to the parks, but if you can afford it the upgrade to a mod resort like Port Orleans is well worth the money.
10-16-2003, 01:33 PM
Hey, Thanks everyone.
You all gave me some good advice and things to look into.
I appreciate all the help.
10-16-2003, 03:10 PM
A quick correction: The Flower and Garden Show is in April and May.
The Food and Wine Fest is in October and November.
10-17-2003, 03:21 PM
I actually grew up in Los Angeles and now live in Celebration, FL, which anyone who has been here will tell you is the city at the edge of the property developed by Disney.
In regard to the best time of year to come, the least crowded with the best deals will be between Thankgiving and the third week of December. This is your most cost effective period to take advantage of general specials, in addition to getting a taste of christmas spirit. This is the dry season however it can get chilly at times. Feb/Mar is very nice time of year, and if you are a baseball fan you have a few major league teams close or within a reasonable distance.
If you are not planning on driving, I would certainly recommend you stay on property. This is not at all like Disneyland/CA Adventures. You will be pleasantly surprised and impressed. Depending on the time of year you come, of the Moderate Hotels the Riverwalk- old Dixie Landings/Port Orleans has a Southern Charm you will not find at the other facilities and is considered a good value. However, if you are shopping for value, the home away from home are good alternatives- Boardwalk, Key West, Wilderness Lodge, et al. Minimally you are going to pay 300.00 a night for one night. Without purchasing the DVC timeshare, people will sell a 5 night package (Sunday-Thur) for roughly 600.00-700.00 for something that will cost 1800.00. You would purchase something like this on e-bay or look on other boards to purchase. In addition, you could look to see if the owner could purchase a length of stay pass, which is discounted.
There is so much to do here I could go on and on talking about the various hotels. There are some very good ones off the property. If you need anything else feel free to ask.
10-17-2003, 07:16 PM
From the middle of September to the middle of November would be my choice. Early December and January are also good times to beat the crowds, but I don't think the weather is as nice.
We have only ever stayed at a Disney hotel in WDW. To stay anywhere else only to save $10-15 night is not worth the extra hassle.